Baltimore mayor exploring removal of Confederate statues

Posted May 31, 2017

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is considering the removal of her city's Confederate monuments, as New Orleans did just days ago.

"The city does want to remove these", Pugh told The Baltimore Sun.

It wasn't exactly clear which of the city's Confederate monuments would be up for removal, but a commission appointed by Rawlings-Blake reviewed five specific monuments, including a statue of Robert E. Lee. The signs said, in part, that the monuments were "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".

"New Orleans has taken on this issue", Pugh said.

But Rawlings-Blake didn't remove the statues, citing cost and logistical concerns.

Pugh suggested one way to get rid of the statues, telling the Sun, "It costs about $200,000 a statute to tear them down".

The commission recommended removing the Taney and Lee and Jackson monuments, and adding signs to the two others.

"And so hopefully, the people of New Orleans will use this as an opportunity to reach into our past, tell our whole history, and then prepare for the future in a way that makes sense to us".

For those who think that Maryland is not the south, think again. The commission also observed that while almost three times as many Maryland residents enlisted in the Union army as fought for the Confederacy, Baltimore has only one public Union memorial.

Pugh says maybe the city can auction the monuments.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) received death threats over his ruling to remove four statues.