Monday, May 29, 2017

Baltimore next to remove Confederate monuments? UPDATE1 Looks like St. Louis is next

From the above link.

Former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wasn't at a loss to find reasons to stall and not get Confederate monuments removed.

The commission appointed by Rawlings-Blake decided to remove only 3 of the 5 Confederate monuments in Baltimore coming up with excuses to keep two.

However, there wasn't really a plan to move the monuments and they sat in place. Rawlings-Blake had signs put up by the monuments to contextualize them.

The Baltimore Sun has been critical of the city administration. In this article about Baltimore comparing it to New Orleans. the editors wrote:
In January of last year, a seven-member mayoral commission recommended the removal of two of four Confederate era monuments from Baltimore's public parks. Sixteen months later, the offending statues haven't budged. While some "interpretive" signage has been added, they remain where they are and what they are — symbols of racism, fond tributes to the "Lost Cause" cult.
Last week in a city about as deep in the Deep South as possible and where there is far greater affection for the Confederacy than in Baltimore, workers removed that last of four monuments deemed just as offensive. ...

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu didn't shirk his responsibility. He didn't drag his feet or choose to let the next administration deal with the controversy. He wasn't swayed by arguments that these monuments had some transcendent artistic or historic merit that made them off-limits. Instead, he gave a speech in which he clearly and convincingly explained why removing these monuments was not a denial of a benign history but an avowal of the terrorism and white supremacy they represented and that was no longer to be tolerated.
Clearly this is a slam at former Mayor Rawlings-Blake. Also it asks questions why New Orleans removed their monuments before Baltimore. I think the reason is that there is behind the scenes politically influential groups that back the monuments and who the political leadership of Baltimore feel they must answer to.

However, it seems that the new Mayor Catherine Pugh isn't in a hurry to get ride of the Confederate monument. One of her suggestions is to auction off the monuments to pay for the cost of removal. Not really a plan to do anything at all. Not a lot of demand for Confederate monuments now days, certainly not enough to pay for a monument removal.

The cost of the monument removal is being brought up by Mayor Pugh. She estimates that each monument removal will cost $200,000 and with a city budget of $2.8 billion that money to remove these monuments somehow can't be found.

As the old cliche' goes, "Where there is a will there is a way."

I think that if the monuments aren't removed soon it will become clear who really runs Baltimore and who the political leadership of Baltimore feels they must answer to. As the Confederate monuments remain it will reveal what the political leadership of Baltimore is made of.

Of course there could be a development where political groups outside the establishment will seize on this issue to discredit the establishment in which case the monuments will be removed and Mayor Pugh will make many fine speeches about it.

I don't think the monuments in Baltimore are going anywhere soon. Hopefully I am wrong.

It will likely be some other city elsewhere which will be next to remove their Confederate monuments.


Looks like St. Louis is next. I am numbering these posts since my expectation is that there will be several cities getting rid of their Confederate monuments while Baltimore's leadership is stumbling around.

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