Another major city investigating removal of Confederate monuments

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Another city is considering the removal of confederate statues. Baltimore’s Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh says she’s exploring the possibility of taking down several Confederate statues.

“The city does want to remove these,” Pugh told the Baltimore Sun. “We will take a closer look at how we go about following in the footsteps of New Orleans.”

Pugh is referring to the removal of four Confederate statues in New Orleans last month. Despite protests from residents who saw the statues as historical, New Orleans Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu defended the removals, unable to justify the existence of statues depicting Confederate figures, specifically citing offence they might cause “black children.”

In Baltimore, a monument to General’s Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson is being considered for removal. Also on the chopping block is a statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, who made the Dred Scott Case ruling in 1857 which said African-Americans weren’t citizens of the United States.

Baltimore’s “Soldiers and Sailors” Monument

Pugh’s predecessor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, also a Democrat, wanted to remove the monuments during her term, but cost and logistics inhibited her. Instead, the confederate statues now bear plaques put in place last year. In part, the plaques indicate the statues are “part of a propaganda campaign of national pro-Confederate organizations to perpetuate the beliefs of white supremacy, falsify history and support segregation and racial intimidation.”

Pugh faces the same issues with cost and logistics Rawlings-Blake faced. “It costs about $200,000 a statute to tear them down. … Maybe we can auction them?” Pugh said.

Carolyn Billups, a Maryland resident involved with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, wonders where the city will find the money to proceed with the removals.

Confederate Women of Maryland monument

Last year, a commission including academics and officials was asked to review four monuments and suggest action. They suggested the following:

  • The Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mount Royal Avenue – ad plaque.
  • The Confederate Women’s Monument on West University Parkway- ad plaque.
  • The Roger B. Taney Monument on Mount Vernon Place – remove (currently has a plaque).
  • The Robert E. Lee and Thomas. J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument in the Wyman Park Dell – remove (currently has a plaque).

 

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