A resolution denouncing lynchings in the 1800s and early 1900s was rejected Tuesday by county commissioners, while the City Council agreed to try to draft a document both bodies can accept.
McLennan County commissioners decided against adopting a community group’s measure apologizing for the lynchings by a 4-to-1 vote, but then said they would work on a resolution all could accept.
In a separate meeting Tuesday, the Waco City Council agreed to meet in June to draft its own resolution. Members said they hoped to work with county commissioners to draft an acceptable document.
Both bodies had been urged by the Community Race Relations Coalition to apologize for the “failure of past leadership to uphold and defend lynching victims’ most basic rights to life, liberty, and due process.” Of the more than 4,700 lynchings nationwide during the 1800s and early 1900s, about 500 were in Texas.
“My hope at the end is some resolution, some statement that can bring about healing, recognizing how far we’ve come, who we are and who we hope to be,” Mayor Virginia DuPuy said.
At least two county commissioners had said they opposed an apology because the lynchings happened before current leaders and residents were born. But they also said the victims should not be forgotten.
Lester Gibson, the only black county commissioner, vowed to keep placing the matter on the agenda until the group reaches a consensus. He voted against the motion rejecting the resolution.