By Associated Press
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s mayor says she wants to explore removing the city’s Confederate monuments, “following in the footsteps of New Orleans.”
Mayor Catherine Pugh tells The Baltimore Sun that the “city does want to remove” the monuments, and could save money by auctioning them off.
New Orleans recently removed three prominent Confederate statues and a monument heralding white supremacy. A commission appointed by the previous mayor recommended removing a monument to Marylander Roger B. Taney, the Supreme Court justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision denying citizenship to African-Americans, as well as a statue of two Virginians — the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson.
Instead, former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake put up signs calling them propaganda designed to falsify history and support racial intimidation.
Last week, a Confederate monument in Norfolk was vandalized by someone spray-painting the word “Shame” on it, adding another event to recent controversy surrounding Confederate statues all throughout the South.
Monuments honoring the Confederacy dot the South, and following the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church by a white supremacist, there has been renewed debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage.
While Maryland is often viewed as a Northern state, the Mason-Dixon line actually runs along the northern border of Maryland, south of Pennsylvania.
Earlier this month in Charlottesville, Tiki torch-wielding protesters rallied around a statue of Robert E. Lee that city officials plan to remove.
The Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, however, denounced that torch-lit protest, saying “We represent Southern Heritage NOT White Supremacy.”
Debate continues over the Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park, as a temporary injunction in a lawsuit keeps it in place for six months.