University of Texas Releases 58-Page Report on ‘The Eyes of Texas’
A 58 page report states that the University of Texas' school song, “The Eyes of Texas”, has “no racist intent.”
According to an article from KXXV Channel 25, the report was commissioned last year by school President Jay Hartzel after students and school athletes demanded the school drop the song because of its racial history. The song has long been a tradition at University of Texas' football games, with players and fans doing the traditional singing following home games. The report also included that students will not be required to sing the song.
A panel of 24 people studied the song's origins, lyrics, and history and concluded that the song was rooted in "a message of accountability and striving toward excellence".
There had been reports that the song had its roots in a phrase used by Confederate General Robert E. Lee and was written in a form resembling the style of minstrel shows. The committee, however, reports that the song is about holding UT graduates to a high standard, but acknowledges that it did premiere at a minstrel show. (See the video below.)
Under the heading Facts and Historical Context Matter, the report states, “These historical facts add complexity and richness to the story of a song that debuted in a racist setting, exceedingly common for the time, but, as the preponderance of research showed, had no racist intent. 'The Eyes of Texas’ should not only unite us, but hold all of us accountable to our institution’s core values.”
Hartzell reiterated that there is no requirement to sing the song, nor will anyone be punished for choosing not to participate. He hopes that as people read the report and absorb the committee's findings, they'll find other ways to participate in celebrations. Hartzell said he planned to meet with UT athletes about the report.
The website hosting the full report has tabs that break sections down in case you don't have time to read the full report right now. They include videos like the one below, which explores what researchers believe to be the origins and intent of the song.
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