Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Everything Changed After Charlottesville

(Baltimore, MD) Cites across the nation did not want a repeat of pro-confederate demonstrators clashing with protesters who saw the statues perpetuating the idea of southern sympathies, segregation and worst of all Nazi sympathizers. Baltimore became ground zero with Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh deciding to remove Confederate monuments overnight to avoid protesters. 

The move was shrewd. It didn't quell the concerns which led to questions about what to do with the statue to Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney in Annapolis. Early on this blog I talked about the Taney and Dred Scott families reconciling. In a matter of days it was gone.

Across the country a number of Confederate statues were removed. Was this a matter about re-writing history; righting a wrong or correcting the official record? I an conflicted by the removals. Get past the Civil War rewrite and the southern sympathizers. A lot of racist used this as a way to legitimize their beliefs. I reject any comparison. 

Did I miss something? The south lost the war and the Civil War ended slavery. No country honors the losers.  There was a collective rewriting of the Civil War by 1910. Edged on by the idea "The South will Rise Again." Civil Rights incensed those who wanted to control the growing Black middle class.  Veterans coming back from a pair of World Wars were not going to be regulated to second class citizenship. 

But these statues were permanent markers. A signal of racial superiority that was legislated into law. Time has a weird way of equalizing the battlefield. Charlottesville and its imagery in August of 2017 turned the tide.  Talk was already in the works to remove a statue of Supreme Court Chief Judge Roger Taney.  Baltimore had a created commission to removed the statues. When it happen it started a "domino effect." I watched and listen and tried to compile how some saw the removal and perspective.  

Chief Judge Roger B.Taney which was at the entrance to the Maryland State House

The statue gone replaced by a green box

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Taney Scott Reconciliation

(Annapolis) On the grounds of the Maryland State House in Annapolis is a statue of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney. Judge Taney was the first Chief Judge from Maryland. He is well know for his decision in the case regarding a Missouri Slave by the name of Dred Scott. Scott was taken by his slaveholder to various free states prior to the Civil War. Judge Taney writing for the majority said that no slave can be free. It was an affront to abolitionist who were trying to abolish slavery in the United States. It is literally a prelude to the Civil War.

Following the war several southern sympathizing members of the Maryland Legislature made a decision to raise money to erect a statue to honor Judge Taney. They placed the monument at the front of the capital. There was talk at the time that the erection of the Taney statue would be an affront to the northern victory over the south.

There have been several recent efforts to move the Taney statue. So you can imagine my surprise when I received word the relatives of the Taney family and the Scott family want to reconcile and do so in the shadow of Taney. I recorded what they said and how it happen.

Here you can find an idea floated about what to do with the site.

Moving Taney statue and adding Frederick Douglass