Campus Reform | NAACP files complaint against ‘Eyes of Texas’ song

NAACP files complaint against ‘Eyes of Texas’ song

The Texas chapter of the NAACP filed a federal complaint against the University of Texas at Austin’s alma mater.

Alumni have told 'Campus Reform' that they will not donate to the university if the school bans the song.

The Texas chapter of the NAACP reportedly filed a federal civil rights complaint over the University of Texas at Austin’s alma mater “The Eyes of Texas."

“The Eyes of Texas” originated with former University of Texas President William Prather, who was a law student at Washington and Lee University while Confederate General Robert E. Lee served as its president. Lee frequently told students that “the eyes of the South are upon you,” and Prather adopted the same phrase at the University of Texas, stating that “the eyes of Texas are upon you.”

As Campus Reform previously reported, several university band members refused to play the song in the wake of George Floyd’s death and subsequent social justice activism.

[RELATED: UT band members refuse to play ‘The Eyes of Texas,' citing racist history]

The Texas Tribune, which obtained a copy of the organization’s complaint to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, reports that the NAACP is arguing that the university “has failed to respond to racial harassment against Black students and others who oppose the song, violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.” 

The complaint also states “the university’s decision to create a separate marching band for students who do not want to play ‘The Eyes of Texas’ violates equal protections afforded under the Fourteenth Amendment.”

As Campus Reform reported in March, hundreds of alumni threatened to pull donations from the university if it were to stop playing “The Eyes of Texas,” leading administrators to support the continued playing of the song.

[RELATED: REPORT: UTexas donors succeed in saving 'Eyes of Texas' song from cancel culture]

"My wife and I have given an endowment in excess of $1 million to athletics. This could very easily be rescinded if things don’t drastically change around here," emailed one donor in October. "Has everyone become oblivious of who supports athletics??"

"The Eyes of Texas is non-negotiable," wrote another alumnus. "If it is not kept and fully embraced, I will not be donating any additional money to athletics or the university or attending any events."

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Texas-Austin and the NAACP for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.