Baltimore takes down its Confederate memorials in the middle of the night

"They needed to come down"

By Matthew Rozsa
Published August 16, 2017 9:22AM (EDT)
Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument (WikiMedia)
Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument (WikiMedia)

If the goal of the alt right marchers in Charlottesville was to protect Confederate heritage, they have failed. Indeed, they seem to have accomplished quite the opposite and galvanized public officials into removing these physical reminders of America's slave-owning past.

Over a period of six hours — between 11:30 PM on Tuesday and 5:30 AM the following morning — Baltimore quietly removed four Confederate monuments, including monuments commemorating Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney (best known for his decision in the infamous Dred Scott case).

"It’s done. They needed to come down, Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh explained to the Baltimore Sun. "My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could."

Pugh added that the decision to remove the statues had been in the works since before she took office (and thus since before the Charlottesville riots), but said she "did not want to endanger people in my own city. I had begun discussions with contractors and so forth about how long it would take to remove them. I am a responsible person, so we moved as quickly as we could."

Baltimore isn't the only city taking down its Confederate monuments. They have already gone down in Gainesville, Florida, and Durham, North Carolina (due to the actions of protesters). Similarly, protesters in Nashville, Tennessee; the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky; and the governor of North Carolina all called for the removal of Confederate monuments, according to Newsweek.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Alt Right Baltimore Confederate Monuments Donald Trump Partner Video White Nationalism White Supremacism