A statue of Robert E. Lee (Shutterstock/MGS)
Baltimore is looking to follow the lead of New Orleans by removing its Confederate monuments, with its mayor suggesting Saturday that the city may auction them.
Mayor Catherine Pugh is exploring removing them entirely, according to The Baltimore Sun, and suggested Saturday the city may auction the monuments off. “The city does want to remove these,” Pugh said. “We will take a closer look at how we go about following in the footsteps of New Orleans.”
“New Orleans has taken on this issue,” Pugh said. “It costs about $200,000 a statute to tear them down. … Maybe we can auction them?”
Former Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has already put signs up in front of the city’s Confederate monuments calling them “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.”
Baltimore’s Confederate memorials include ones dedicated to Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Confederate women, Confederate sailors and soldiers, and Roger B. Taney, a chief justice who penned the Dred Scott decision barring blacks from citizenship.
A commission appointed by previous Rawlings-Blake advised the city to remove the Lee, Jackson, and Taney monuments and place signs on the other two. The commission also observed that while nearly three times as many Maryland residents enlisted in the Union army as fought for the Confederacy, Baltimore has only one public Union memorial.
“I find it interesting that Baltimore city has that kind of money to move statues when there are problems with crime and schools,” Carolyn Billups, a former president of Maryland’s United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter, told The Baltimore Sun. “I would think that would be more of a priority.”
“If you erase Confederate history, what are you going to teach or think about?” she said
“We have not erased history,” said Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans, after his city’s removal of its Confederate statues. “We are becoming part of the city’s history by righting the wrong image these monuments represent and crafting a better, more complete future for all our children and for future generations.”
Pugh did not respond to a request for comment.
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