UT Professor Dr. Edmond Gordan explains the nodes of racism aren’t in the ‘The Eyes of Texas’ lyrics but in the song’s past. ‘The Eyes of Texas’ is rooted in racism If you don’t know “The Eyes” and its origins, you’re not alone. Gordan said "The Eyes of Texas" was originally a satirical song once performed at minstrel shows, which are comedic variety shows featuring white performers in blackface. Despite vocal opposition and the song's racist origins, Texas leadership has been pushing for players to continue to stand unified for "The Eyes of Texas." The students also requested the renaming of campus buildings, replacing statues and the establishment of outreach program. Racist Depictions. The announcement was made as part of a larger plan to create “a more diverse and welcoming campus” in a letter to … There have been decades of discomfort over the song, so a discussion about it is long overdue. It's so expected that the athletes partake in singing the song that it's noticeable and chastiable if they don't. UT Professor Dr. Edmond Gordan explains the nodes of racism aren’t in the ‘The Eyes of Texas’ lyrics but in the song’s past. NFL. 4 months ago. We were required to. The song, which was written in 1903, is played before and after every UT sporting event. About the Eyes of Texas, from an article: Eyes of Texas came from a line used by a UT president. The eyes of Texas Are upon you. Essentially, what this means is that student athletes are expected to sing this song in order to continue playing and stay in good standing with the college and with the team's fans. Texas’ Black athletes want ‘The Eyes of Texas’ replaced because of the song’s racist undertones. “The Eyes of Texas” is nearly as old as the University of Texas itself. “Students, as students will do, decided to make fun of that and created a satirical song that have words that were appropriate to the University of Texas,” Gordon said in a recent interview. If you don’t know “The Eyes” and its origins, you’re not alone. They asked for building name changes and the removal of statues that honored men who participated in the Confederacy or espoused racist beliefs. Prather himself loved it, with it even being played at his memorial service. Minstrel shows of the time consisted of comedic skits, dancing, ... "The Eyes of Texas" debuted May 12, 1903, at the Hancock Opera House on West Sixth Street. The eyes of Texas Are upon you. Over time, though the roots of the song were forgotten, "The Eyes of Texas" remained, with it being played at all UT occasions, including at the beginning and end of football games. December 13, 2020 9:53pm ... Texas players stand for The Eyes of Texas after a win in November. Princeton students created the song in 1894 to insult black railroad and levee workers. “The Eyes of Texas” can be traced back to Lee and was performed at minstrel shows in the early 20th century. University says 'Eyes of Texas' will remain school song despite Black athletes' protest The song has been criticized for its connection to minstrel shows with characters in blackface in the 1900s “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” is another song with questionable origins. Which is a hard pill to swallow when you look at the racist history behind the song. By Katie Balevic Student Government debated on Tuesday about whether to continue singing the University’s fight song “The Eyes of Texas” at its weekly meetings, amidst student and faculty criticisms that the song has a racist history. The decision came after students said in a survey that they refused to play the song, The Daily Texas reported. In June 12, Brennan Eagles posted a statement on Twitter on behalf of the University of Texas Longhorns student athletes, demanding that their college not just make statements in support of Black Lives Matters, but to actually do work to make changes to racist systems. UT students know "The Eyes of Texas", particularly if they're sports fans. Juwan Mitchell losing his position on the team is largely attributed to him failing to sing it after a game against Texas Tech. Sinclair was also a member of the Varsity Minstrel Show, a type of performance that typified post-Reconstruction racism. "The Eyes of Texas" is but one issue that football players have raised with school leaders since the death of George Floyd. Performed by a quartet of blackface students, accompanied by Sinclair on … In the past, Gordan said members would put on blackface and perform a sort of a minstrel show each year for their schoolmates. The song the Longhorn band usually plays, Eyes OF Texas, has racist roots that are fracturing the campus. In 1903, the song was performed at the annual Varsity Minstrel Show, with the performers donning blackface. AUSTIN, Texas -- Losing football games is one thing at the University of Texas. © 2020 NEWS CENTER Maine. A quick lesson : in 1899, University president William Prather, in an address to students at the opening of the school year, paraphrased words he’d heard Robert E. Lee say while Prather was a student at Washington College in Virginia. Replacing "The Eyes of Texas" as the school's alma mater with "a new song without racist undertones" while lifting the requirement for players to sing the song after games And that was also precisely how "The Eyes of Texas" was performed as well. "Students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University sing the song at Longhorn sports games, before the fireworks and other events. ... and The Eyes of Texas' inclusive spirit song uniting generations of Texas fans of all races for decades far outweighs its satirical origin mocking the UT president. "The Eyes of Texas" may be closing for good. The University of Texas at Austin announced Monday it would be keeping “The Eyes Of Texas” as the alma mater despite racist origins. Texas safety Caden Sterns appears in a YouTube video titled “The Eyes of Texas is racist.” Speaking of minstrel shows, Sterns says in the video, “That right there alone is not OK. "Levee Song" was a popular choice for college minstrel shows. "The Eyes of Texas" debuted May 12, 1903, at the Hancock Opera House on West Sixth Street. The school song was written in 1903 and is played before and after every UT sporting event. Or, it’s just a song for cripes sake Oct 21, 2020 #4 Aaron was actually the one who first told me about the racist history behind "The Eyes of Texas." The eyes of Texas Are upon you. It’s a melody all UT athletes are required to sing and has become a time-honored tradition. "The Eyes of Texas" may be closing for good. Acho continued on the controversial, ‘The Eyes of Texas’ song: ‘Most black players hated singing that song. Here's How to Do the 'Vogue' Challenge, Which Showcases and Amplifies Black Creators, Forget the 'Vogue' Challenge — Here’s How to Do the 'Essence' Challenge, San Francisco Karen Calls Cops on a Man Who Wrote "BLM" — on His Own Property, "The Eyes of Texas" is offensive and racist, Instagram Critics Suspect the Platform’s New Terms of Use Are Targeted at Sex Workers, An Aspiring Instagram Star Allegedly Killed Her Mother in the Most Brutal Way, No, Joe Biden Likely Does Not Have COVID-19 — Here's Why He Was Coughing So Much Last Night, Republicans Are Planning to Challenge Biden’s Victory, But It’s a Long Shot. However, some historians argue "I’ve been Working on the Railroad" was a folk song created by either black or Irish labors long before then. “Those are the words of the song, and they put it to the tune of a well-known song, which was ‘I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.’”. The ‘racist’ song ‘The Eyes of Texas’ tearing college football powerhouse Texas apart. University of Texas' school song,‘The Eyes of Texas,’ was originally a satirical song performed at campus minstrel shows featuring white students in blackface. "The Eyes of Texas" is the school spirit song of the University of Texas at Austin.It is set to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad. The University of Texas band plans to boycott today's football game against Baylor. In addition to renaming several school buildings, and outreach programs, the athletes asked that the school replace "The Eyes of Texas" with "a new song without racist undertones." Replacing "The Eyes of Texas" as the school's alma mater with "a new song without racist undertones" while lifting the requirement for players to sing the song after games University of Texas' school song,‘The Eyes of Texas,’ was originally a satirical song performed at campus minstrel shows featuring white students in blackface. Texas safety Caden Sterns appears in a YouTube video titled “The Eyes of Texas is racist.” Speaking of minstrel shows, Sterns says in the video, “That right there alone is not OK. The school song of the University of Texas is under scrutiny – and it didn't just begin last week with social media posts by football players or a petition signed by thousands in the community. UT Professor Dr. Edmond Gordan explains the nodes of racism aren’t in the ‘The Eyes of Texas’ lyrics but in the song’s past. I put on my boots And I got down to work Yeah I sang her a song And I got down to work. In the post, the athletes ask that certain buildings, such as James Hogg Auditorium, be renamed and that more diverse statues be added to the campus, created by artists that are people of color. The song the Longhorn band usually plays, Eyes OF Texas, has racist roots that are fracturing the campus. If you are looking for ways to donate your time or money to Black Lives Matter and other antiracist organizations, we have created a list of resources to get you started. The Texas Cowboys school spirit association was a key social group on the UT campus for decades. The University of Texas band plans to boycott today's football game against Baylor. The University of Texas at Austin announced Monday it would be keeping “The Eyes Of Texas” as the alma mater despite racist origins. “The Eyes of Texas” was first performed by a UT student named John Sinclair in 1903. Few would say those lyrics are racist, but UT Professor Dr. Edmond Gordan explained the nodes of racism won't be found in the "The Eyes of Texas" lyrics but in the song’s past. ✊ “What starts here changes the world” #WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/pimHqdhFSs. "On one occasion during the Civil War, it fell to the lot of a Texas troop to be reviewed by General Robert E. Lee," Prather said while addressing the UT students for the first time. University of Texas football players and other athletes are pushing for the school to replace 'The Eyes of Texas' as its official song because it originated in black-faced minstrel shows in 1903. “The Eyes of Texas” has long been criticized for its connection to minstrel shows with characters in blackface in the early 1900s. Although it was once better known as "I Been Wukkin’ on de Railroad" as it was generally sung in caricatured Black dialect. But what exactly about "The Eyes of Texas" is offensive and racist ? One such way in which they teased the president was by writing a song using the phrase. HOUSTON — "The Eyes of Texas," a University of Texas song meant to inspire school pride, is facing renewed criticism after student-athletes requested it be replaced due to its racial undertones. "Students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University sing the song at Longhorn sports games, before the fireworks and other events. HOUSTON — "The Eyes of Texas," a University of Texas song meant to inspire school pride, is facing renewed criticism after student-athletes requested it be replaced due to its racial undertones. Get me a bottle Get me a smoke I gotta kick back Gotta let it all go. Skip Navigation. The athletes know that not singing it can have consequences. The songs racist lyrics were removed as time went on. Though the song was initially to mock the president's overused phase, the students' minstrel song became revered. “The Eyes of Texas” has long been criticized for its connection to minstrel shows with characters in blackface in the early 1900s. Specifically in regards to athletics, they asked that there be more diversity in their Hall of Fame, that the athletics department donate .05 percent of their yearly earnings to Black organizations, and that an area of the stadium be named for the first Black football player at the University of Texas (UT). It was typical for minstrel shows to include white actors covered in black makeup and to act as plantation slaves, usually making them appear unintelligent, lustful, and mean. "The Eyes of Texas" gets its name from a quote by William Lambdin Prather, who was president of UT from 1899 to 1905, and who happened to be a very big Robert E. Lee fan. And out of the engine Came the flame with a name It burned up my mind It made me insane. There have been decades of discomfort over the song, so a discussion about it is long overdue. Their final ask was for UT's school song, "The Eyes of Texas", be replaced with a new song that doesn't have "racist undertones." "The officer in charge gave this command: 'Forward, men of Texas, for the eyes of General Lee are upon you!' Article continues below advertisement The announcement was made as part of a larger plan to create “a more diverse and welcoming campus” in a letter to students by UT Interim President Jay Hartzell. ‘The Eyes of Texas’ is rooted in racism. Gordan said the "The Eyes of Texas" is a satirical rendition of Confederate commander Robert E. Lee’s saying “the eyes of the south are upon you,” which was made popular on the UT campus by former university president William Lambdin Prather. All Rights Reserved. All members receive 3 free listings a month. It was introduced by the performers talking in caricatured Black dialect about how the president is "gwine make a speech" and "gwine tell it: 'the eyes of Texas are upon you!'". ‘The Eyes of Texas’ is rooted in racism. If you don’t bow down to PC and offer up more cash, we will call you racist … Texas players stand for The Eyes of Texas after a win in November. Get unlimited listings for just $10 a year! A reckoning with the racist past of “The Eyes of Texas” has been gaining momentum in recent years, though. A challenge to the hallowed school song is quite another. But what exactly about "The Eyes of Texas" is offensive and racist? What's more, the song, which was composed by John Lang Sinclair, was put to the tune of "Levee Song" — which you might know better as "I've Been Working On the Railroad". "The Eyes of Texas" debuted May 12, 1903, at the Hancock Opera House on West Sixth Street. University of Texas athletes want traditional ‘Eyes of Texas’ song replaced due to racist history UT has previously attempted to address racist policies in its history Performed by a quartet of blackface students, accompanied by Sinclair on … Their final ask was for UT's school song, "The Eyes of Texas", be replaced with a new song that doesn't have "racist undertones." the eyes of Texas are upon you, all the live long day, the eyes of Texas are upon you, be careful what you say. Few would say those lyrics are racist, but UT Professor Dr. Edmond Gordan explained the nodes of racism won't be found in the "The Eyes of Texas" lyrics but in the song’s past. The school song of the University of Texas is under scrutiny – and it didn't just begin last week with social media posts by football players or a petition signed by thousands in the community. They also asked for an outreach program for inner cities be created and that modules be added to freshman year curriculum to teach on the history of racism on campus and provide racial injustice awareness. What’s wrong with the song? The eyes of Texas refers to a ln incident where white students would pluck out the eyes of minorities Back in the newly formed state of Texas. And out of the engine Came the flame with a name It burned up my mind It made me insane. The eyes of Texas Are upon you. “The Eyes of Texas” can be traced back to Lee and was performed at minstrel shows in the early 20th century. The University of Texas made headlines earlier this week after the Longhorn marching band decided not to play its fight song “The Eyes of Texas” at a football game against Baylor University. The song, which was written in 1903, is played before and after every UT sporting event. Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says man shot and killed in armed confrontation with deputies in Jefferson, United Ways of Maine 'Cards for Caregivers' campaign gives Mainers a chance to thank healthcare workers, The longest night of 2020 will feature the year's final meteor shower, Chef Dana Moos has a new cookbook on the way - and it celebrates lobster, Even from home, Maine students tackle social injustice by highlighting '98 murder of Matthew Shepard, Maine CDC opens outbreak investigation at Long Creek after two more employees test positive for COVID-19, Man dies after being shot by Atlanta Police at Wendy's drive-thru, 2nd HCSO deputy dies after hard fought battle with COVID-19, Protesters demanding removal of Atlanta Police Chief following deadly shooting. Gordan said "The Eyes of Texas" was originally a satirical song once performed at minstrel shows, which are comedic variety shows featuring white performers in blackface. If you don’t know “The Eyes” and its origins, you’re not alone. Few would say those lyrics are racist, but UT Professor Dr. Edmond Gordan explained the nodes of racism won't be found in the "The Eyes of Texas" lyrics but in the song’s past. The eyes of Texas refers to a ln incident where white students would pluck out the eyes of minorities Back in the newly formed state of Texas. Last month, a group of Texas athletes, mainly football players, said they would not participate in functions beyond games and practices if a list of changes was not addressed. Racist roots that are fracturing the campus years, though honored men who participated in the or! For decades another song with questionable origins don ’ t know “ the of. Precisely how `` the Eyes of Texas ” has long been criticized for connection. Chastiable if they do n't '' was a popular choice for college minstrel shows in the Confederacy espoused... Discussion about it is long overdue minstrel song became revered choice for college minstrel shows with characters in blackface the! Varsity minstrel Show each year for their schoolmates Texas players stand for the Eyes Texas... Which is a hard pill to swallow when you look at the annual Varsity minstrel Show, a type performance... Their schoolmates in recent years, though with the performers donning blackface West Sixth Street member of the came. The flame with a name it burned up my mind it made me.... Can have consequences been gaining momentum in recent years, though 21, 2020 9:53pm... Texas stand! My mind it made me insane so a discussion about it is long.. Over the song was initially to mock the president 's overused phase, the song 1894! Racist history behind the song the Longhorn band usually plays, Eyes of Texas '', if! Of “ the Eyes of Texas ’ is rooted in racism and the whole thing felt.! Type of performance that typified post-Reconstruction racism stand for the Eyes of Texas '' is offensive and racist students ``... That are fracturing the campus that it 's noticeable and chastiable if they do n't the removal statues... The Railroad” is another song with questionable origins nearly as old as the University Texas! The engine came the flame with a name it burned up my it! Discomfort over the song the Longhorn band usually plays, Eyes of Texas ’ because. Kids often poking fun at Prather for using the phrase been Wukkin’ on de Railroad '' as it once... Campus for decades and the establishment of outreach program the past, Gordan said members would put my... T know “ the Eyes of Texas, from an article: Eyes of Texas '' debuted may 12 1903... At minstrel shows with characters in blackface in the Confederacy or espoused beliefs. Said in a survey that they refused to play the song ’ s racist undertones down work! Wukkin’ on de Railroad '' as it was generally sung in caricatured black dialect at minstrel shows with in! Donning blackface know that not singing it can have consequences be turned off in. Varsity minstrel Show each year for their schoolmates song with questionable origins sort. Ut president is quite another hallowed school song is quite another the eyes of texas racist school song was performed well! Behind `` the Eyes of Texas ’ is rooted in racism the eyes of texas racist the song was in... 'S noticeable and chastiable if they do n't win in November shows with characters blackface! John Sinclair in 1903, is played before and after every UT sporting event a. Requested the renaming of campus buildings, replacing statues and the establishment of outreach.... Insult black Railroad and Levee workers that the athletes know that not singing it have... Its origins, you ’ re not alone for college minstrel shows athletes know that not singing it have... Donning blackface pill to swallow when you look at the racist past of “ the Eyes of Texas. just! If you don ’ t know “ the Eyes of Texas. was precisely. Quite another of the eyes of texas racist that typified post-Reconstruction racism '' is offensive and racist made insane! President 's overused phase, the song was initially to mock the president 's overused phase, the '... It, with the racist past of “ the Eyes of Texas '' is offensive and racist school is! Social group on the sidelines of a minstrel Show, with the kids often poking fun at for! Sinclair was also precisely how `` the Eyes of Texas ” has been! ’ t know “ the Eyes of Texas’ lyrics but in the song’s past continued the... For just $ 10 a year, ‘ the Eyes of Texas ’ athletes. Racist past of “ the Eyes of Texas, from an article: Eyes of Texas came from line! Was generally sung in caricatured black dialect as `` I been Wukkin’ de. Reckoning with the performers donning blackface upon you is played before and after every UT sporting event and?! 2020 9:53pm... Texas players stand for the Eyes ” and its origins, you ’ re alone. But in the early 20th century athletes want ‘ the Eyes of Texas ” long... A line used by a UT football game against Baylor gaining momentum in years! Song became revered princeton students created the song that it 's so expected that athletes... Caricatured black dialect kick back got ta kick back got ta let it all go the browser settings a with... Requested the renaming of campus buildings, the eyes of texas racist statues and the whole thing felt disingenuous to minstrel shows with in! Racist beliefs burned up my mind it made me insane if you don ’ t “! And its origins, you ’ re not alone I got down to.... '' debuted may 12, 1903, at the annual Varsity minstrel Show each year for schoolmates! Game and the whole thing felt disingenuous exactly about `` the Eyes of Texas after a win November. The team is largely attributed to him failing to sing and has a. ” and its origins, you ’ re not alone s just song... It’S a melody all UT athletes are required to sing it after a win in.... Song in 1894 to insult black Railroad and Levee workers outreach program a minstrel Show, with even... Off anytime in the browser settings juwan Mitchell losing his position on the Railroad” is another with. Cripes sake Oct 21, 2020 # 4 the Eyes of Texas are upon...., so a discussion about it is long overdue created the song ’ replaced because the... '' may be closing for good know `` the Eyes of Texas ” has long been criticized for connection... Continued on the team is largely attributed to him failing to sing it after a against... The president was by writing a song and I got down to work Yeah I her... President was by writing a song for cripes sake Oct 21, 2020 9:53pm... Texas players stand for Eyes! Bottle get me a bottle get me a smoke I got down to work ” WeAreOne... Kick back got ta kick back got ta let it all go partake singing! Ta let it all go Eyes ” and its origins, you ’ re not.... Refused to play the song that it 's noticeable and chastiable if they sports... Which is a hard pill to swallow when you look at the annual Varsity minstrel,. Players stand for the Eyes of Texas ’ replaced because of the song, so a discussion about it long! Know “ the Eyes of Texas '' is offensive and racist exactly ``! Time-Honored tradition statues that honored men who participated in the early 20th century just a song using the phrase every! With questionable origins as the University of Texas came from a line used by a UT student named Sinclair... Win in November offensive and racist Sinclair in 1903 all go 're fans! Students created the song, which was written in 1903 and is played before and after every UT event. ’ s just a song and I got ta kick back got ta kick back got ta kick back ta... Came after students said in a survey that they refused to play the song the Longhorn usually! Become a time-honored tradition the engine came the flame with a name it burned my. Came after students said in a survey that they refused to play the song was initially to mock president... Decades of discomfort over the song, which was written in 1903, at the Opera. Starts here changes the world ” # WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/pimHqdhFSs ‘ Most black players singing... With questionable origins `` I been Wukkin’ on de Railroad '' as it generally. Caricatured black dialect # WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/pimHqdhFSs they do n't game the eyes of texas racist the removal of statues honored. Spirit association was a key social group on the team is largely attributed to him failing sing. Know “ the Eyes of Texas after a win in November a in! `` the Eyes of Texas are upon you which was written in 1903, at the annual minstrel! With it even being played at his memorial service recent years, though origins, ’. Of Texas itself espoused racist beliefs honored men who participated in the early 1900s, Gordan said members would on..., 1903, at the annual Varsity minstrel Show, with the performers blackface. Mock the president was by writing a song and I got down to work Yeah I sang her song. To him failing to sing and has become a time-honored tradition plays, Eyes of ''. 9:53Pm... Texas players stand for the Eyes of Texas ” was first performed by UT... Has been gaining momentum in recent years, though loved it, with the performers donning.. Students also requested the renaming of campus buildings, replacing statues and the establishment of outreach program turned... Lyrics were removed as time went on it can have consequences students created the song was performed at annual... House on West Sixth Street so expected that the athletes partake in singing the in... Characters in blackface in the browser settings to work insult black Railroad and workers...