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Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan 2 years ago

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Maybe we can talk about flying the confederate flag (which aren’t displayed in an official capacity in Maryland), but removing confederate statues is right out!

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he supports taking some steps to address concerns over the Confederate flag and whether it is a historic symbol or racist reminder, but extreme measures only represented “political correctness run amok.”
[…]
Asked whether he would review Confederate statues around the state in the same way that the city of Baltimore is doing, Hogan said he “would have no interest in that.”

Gov. Larry Hogan, yesterday, signalling he intends to run for a second term:

Gov. Larry Hogan joined a groundswell of opposition to Confederate-linked monuments on Tuesday, calling for the removal of a statue of the Supreme Court chief justice who wrote an 1857 decision that upheld slavery and denied citizenship to black Americans.

The statue of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, a Calvert County native and author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, has stood on the front lawn of the State House in Annapolis since 1872, withstanding multiple efforts to remove it.

Meanwhile, in Charm City: Crews worked early this morning to rid the city of some large pieces of scrap metal.

As we’ve seen, confederate statues attract undesirable elements of society who use them as fetish objects in their weird, violent rituals. By removing them swiftly and in the middle of the night, supremacists are deprived of a rallying point for a protest in defense of statues commemorating treason and slavery.

Unless they want to stand around some empty plinths, looking pissed.

Yes it is all very symbolic. I assume some politicians will try to use agreeing to remove statues as a proxy for doing anything to stop the bigotry and oppression happening right under their noses. However, anyone who denies the importance of symbols to h. sapiens don’t know us very well.

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  • Thom

    Cultural anthropologists and historians would be shocked to learn that symbols are important in current and historic human cultures.

  • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

    Holy shit I didn’t know there were statutes of Taney. What a travesty.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      Move ’em next to the Benedict Arnold statues.

      • Aaron Morrow

        Replace them with Arnold’s traitorous shoe!

      • firefall

        hey, Arnold did the proto-USA a lot of good, before he got embittered by his treatment by them.

    • Matthew White

      Heck, there’s also a ship named after Taney, the USCGC Taney and it is a historic ship you can tour in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

    • Sharon1W

      When I had my beloved dog Eva, I used to walk her in that park with the Taney statue. The first thing she would do, was run over to the statue and pee on it.
      I loved my dog.

  • Cervantes

    There is still a bust of Taney in the U.S. Capitol, BTW. Let’s see how Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan feel about removing it.

    • wjts

      For me, something like that would depend on the context. Is it part of a series of busts of all the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court? It should probably stay – the Court has a long history, not all of it good, and if you’re going to commemorate it, you should include the bad parts as well as the good. Is it just Roger Taney all by himself? It should go – Taney was awful and should not be specifically honored with a bust in the Capitol.

      • so-in-so

        AFAIK, the statues in the Capital are placed there by the states, so Taney is selected as a prominent Marylander. I suspect the Governor or legislature could request it be replaced.

        • wjts

          I would hope so. I’m a little leery of letting Congress (or whoever) be able to say, “Your choice of which prominent person to commemorate is unacceptable; pick another.”, but I’m open to persuasion.

          • jmauro

            Congress already has a procedures to replace a statue with another one that has been effect since 2003 when Kansas realized that they really should have a Ike statue there and removed the George Glick statue. If a state wants to remove it they can and replace it with another, but it’s up to the state governor and legislatures to do so.

            Basically the Congress decided that keeping the same 2 statues there forever really would leave out a lot of people who should be there, since most states sent two around the time of statehood. So far there have been 6 replacements with another 3-4 pending (including Kansas replacing it’s second statue of John James Ingalls with one of Ameila Earheart.)

            • Joe Paulson

              George Glick doesn’t appear to be a bad guy or anything. Ike just was more current and significant. Seems appropriate to update these things from time to time, especially if it is the only thing there representing your state.

              • spork_incident

                John Waters.

                .

            • Cassiodorus

              Florida is going through this now to replace the random traitor they sent.

            • N__B

              I am pleasantly surprised by news from Kansas. Can’t remember the last time I felt that particular emotion.

        • Joe Paulson

          Thurgood Marshall was from Maryland. Free advice.

          • Chet Murthy

            I was just thinking: “who else is there, of national repute, from Maryland”. And my first thought was “Agnew” (oh, I see why they keep Taney). But Marshall! Wow, I can’t imagine why they don’t pick him to replace Taney! [I can, ha! or, erm, sigh]

          • Matthew White

            As was Frederick Douglass.

            And Harriett Tubman.

            And Benjamin Banneker.

            And Frank Zappa.

            • bender

              Who is the other Marylander statue of? Frederick Douglass deserves lots of statues, and Maryland could (I assume, haven’t checked) have the distinction of being the first state to have two statues of African Americans in the Capitol.

              For historical continuity, states that replace their statues ought to have a small plaque explaining about the statue which was formerly present.

              • Matthew White

                According to the Wiki, the two Maryland Statues are Charles Carroll of Carrollton and John Hanson. Both slaveholders, but neither of them are Taney.

                Which isn’t to say there is no bust of Taney anywhere in the Capital, but it isn’t part of MD’s official submission.

                • slavdude

                  Carroll was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and, IIRC, the longest-surviving signer, dying sometime in the 1830s or 1840s.

              • I hear more and more people are recognising what a good job Frederick Douglass is doing.

            • dstatton

              Harriett Tubman was born in the Dorchester County, adjacent to
              Talbot, where Douglass was born. There is a monument to a confederate soldier in front of the Talbot County court house; it’s still there, but there is also now one of Douglass.

              • mattmcirvin

                There’s a bust of Douglass in Faneuil Hall in Boston, along with, I think, Lucy Stone, the John Adamses, and Daniel Webster. I presume they were prominent speakers there.

          • dstatton

            Marshall went to Howard University law school because he was denied admission to the University of Maryland law school, where there is now a building named after him. I believe that Maryland added his name to BWI Airport to counter Regan National.

          • PAM Dirac

            I went to Roger B Taney Junior High School in Southern Maryland. It was renamed Thurgood Marshall JHS well over a decade ago.

          • mattmcirvin

            BWI airport is named after him, but nobody seems to call it that except in the official PA announcements and signage.

        • Hogan
    • Snarki, child of Loki

      “There is still a bust of Taney in the U.S. Capitol, BTW. Let’s see how Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan feel about removing it.”

      Would some sticks be helpful in the removal process? AFAF.

  • i love saying the word “plinth”.

    this country needs more plinths, so others can enjoy saying the word as much as i do.

    • catbirdman

      Still better is “Pliny.” If you drink IPA’s anyway…

      • Tom B

        In San Diego, the store owners would often keep them hidden in the back—you’d have to ask for them. It was annoying…but worth it.

        • njorl

          Did they keep the Youngers in the back or just the Elders?

          • Tom B

            Just the Elders…I guess. I’m not sure I ever saw any Youngers.

      • It seems cruel that Pliny the Younger is released on the cusp of Santa Rosa’s two coldest and wettest months, all but guaranteeing blocks long lines of beer fanciers standing in the rain.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      I, for one, would welcome more racist conservative shibboleths sacrificed on the plinth of Political Correctness.

  • William Burns

    Taney was not a Confederate. Take his statue down by all means, but don’t act as if white supremacy can all be put into a bag labeled “Confederacy, 1861-1865” and disposed of.

    • KiddoMcLargeHuge

      That’s literally why people want his statue removed, because he’s a symbol of white supremacy. You’re being a bit too clever.

    • Aaron Morrow

      If a statue of Calhoun was established to honor the Confederacy, could it be called a Confederate statue even though Calhoun was obviously never a Confederate?

      • William Burns

        If it was specifically erected in honor of the Confederacy, yes. But associating Calhoun or Taney with the Confederacy loses the fact that these were national politicians, and that white supremacy was a national policy, not restricted to the South by any means.

        • KiddoMcLargeHuge

          No one is saying it was.

        • Aaron Morrow

          Since associating Calhoun or Taney with the Confederacy happened in the late 19th and early 20th century, that ship has sailed.

          The fact that the statue in question is in Maryland, a Union state, makes it clear that these were national politicians, and that white supremacy
          was a national policy, not restricted to the South by any means. Pay attention!

        • Joe Paulson

          Calhoun was not just associated with “white supremacy” but specifically Southern nationalism, including the idea that secession was appropriate if Southern rights were not properly secured. He was as much a promoter of the overall Confederate ideology than merely a white supremacist.

          • prufrock

            Calhoun would have been the “Evil Spock” version of Benjamin Franklin for the Confederacy if he’d lived another dozen years.

            • firefall

              well, without the charm. Or the intellect.

    • Bruce Vail

      I’m not a supporter of slavery, but I think it is a hasty and stupid decision to remove the Taney statue in Annapolis. It was installed there because Taney was the most accomplished Marylander in government of his era. And, as you say, he was assuredly not a Confederate.

      About 20 years ago, a number of plaques and other explanatory materials were installed to remind visitors that the statue was not a Maryland state endorsement of Dred Scott decision. I visited earlier this year and it is a perfectly lovely spot with appropriate signage. It’s a shame to vandalize for it the purpose of promoting creepo Larry Hogan’s desire for a second term.

      • sibusisodan

        What is lost by not having a Taney statue there?

        Right now, all symbols are getting their nuance flattened. It may be that ‘this statue is not an endorsement of Dred Scott’ is insufficient to the present moment.

        • CP

          What is lost by not having a Taney statue there?

          This.

      • Aaron Morrow

        It’s silly for the Taney statue to remain in its place of honor, given his accomplishments.

        I’d be okay to moving it where it can be placed with other figures from Maryland history.

      • KiddoMcLargeHuge

        I mean what Taney is most known for is upholding the slave power, but thank you for clarifying your own personal views on slavery.

      • anapestic

        The Baltimore city council voted to remove it, and a city crew did the removing. Nobody vandalized anything.

        • Bruce Vail

          No, there are two separate statues. The one in Baltimore was removed last night. The one in Annapolis is still in place

          • Sharon1W

            Hogan approved the Taney statue relocation yesterday.

      • so-in-so

        If Hitler is arguably the most “accomplished” Austrian….

      • NonyNony

        I’m not a supporter of slavery, but

        Bruce, I’m going to use you as an example here. It isn’t personal, but it needs to be said and you’ve just given a classic example of it.

        Anyone starting starting a sentence using this construction needs to seriously stop and think about a) what they’re saying and b) if it can possibly be said in any other way while still not being offensive or dumb. If it can, then by all means say it the other way. If it can’t, then you’ve stumbled onto something offensive and/or dumb and you should think about not saying it at all.

        “I’m not a supporter of X, but…” may be a sentence construct that once started a good sentence worth articulating somewhere, but if it has I don’t think I’ve ever read it. At least not in anything that wasn’t actually a joke using the construct derisively rather than someone trying to make a serious point.

        And to be sure – I’m positive that I’ve used it too if I go back through everything I’ve ever said in my life, and I’m sure whatever came after it was equally stupid.

        • Bruce Vail

          I started off my sentence that way precisely because of people like you who will insist that that any defense of the statue is a defense of slavery.

          I’m not defending slavery but I think there is good reason to leave the statue alone. See Jefferson Monument.

          • Aaron Morrow

            Since Jefferson accomplished more than Taney, who was and is celebrated for his accomplishments defending slavery, you still haven’t provided good reason to leave the statue alone.

          • djw

            But you didn’t identify that good reason. You seem to be arguing that “not technically a confederate” is sufficient to warrant taking the “Is this really a person we want to be honoring” question off the table for the foreseeable future. You haven’t given any reasons *why* this is the correct heuristic.

          • NonyNony

            Stop. Just stop.

            Look back at what I wrote. I never said that any defense of the statue is a defense of slavery. I am specifically saying that the construct that you are using causes valid points to be lost because what follows is following something that should not need to be said. And if you feel the need to say it so that it’s all clear to us that the thing that should not need to be said is not what you believe, then what follows is likely to be offensive and dumb.

            “I’m not a supporter of the Holocaust, but…”

            “I’m not a supporter of Native American genocide, but…”

            “I’m not a supporter of fascism, but…”

            “I’m not a supporter of white supremacy, but…”

            Nothing good is likely to come after these clauses.

            So what I’m begging everyone to do is just – if you feel the need to qualify your thoughts in that way THINK about what you’re saying. You feel the need to signpost that you aren’t a supporter of the thing you’re going to say next. Why? Is it because it’s exactly the same thing that a supporter would say? Then ask yourself if you can say it differently without that clause. If you can’t, then maybe, just maybe, what you’re saying isn’t what you think you’re saying. And you should think a little more deeply about the point you’re trying to get across..

            • Bruce Vail

              So, your point is about the use of effective rhetorical constructs alone?

              • NonyNony

                Yes. Rhetoric matters.

                I honestly read what you wrote and don’t see the point of your defense at all. Why are you defending Taney? You start out in a reflexive defensive crouch saying something that shouldn’t need to be said by anyone commenting in good faith and from there your point gets lost because I’m looking for the bad faith reason you must be trying to hide. I’m reading it trying to figure out “why does he feel the need to point out that he’s not a defender of slavery – what racist bit of claptrap is going to show up in this comment that he feels the need to up front disavow” instead of looking at your actual reasons.

                Just make sure that your defense is written in such a way that only a moron would think that you were defending slavery. If you can’t do that, then your point is probably a bad one and you should think about what you’re saying. If you can do it, then you don’t need the reflexive defense at the front that only serves to put people on edge looking for the racism/sexism/whatever nonsense that your reader knows that you “obviously” know is in there because otherwise you wouldn’t be signposting it like that. Reading through your post and trying my damndest to ignore that first sentence it comes across as “other than his active defense of the slave-state, Taney did great things and deserves to be honored, and he wasn’t actually a Confederate, so his statue should be left up”, which I doubt was your point. But even that is a better argued point if you leave off the “I’m not a supporter” clause than if its included.

                And like I said – this is true for everyone. I use you as an example because a) I think you’re commenting in good faith and don’t know how it comes across and b) your post came right in just as I’m getting goddamn sick and tired of reading on comment threads “I’m not a supporter of neo-Nazis, but…” where it goes off into some claptrap about how antifas or BLM is just as bad or centrist Democrats are worse or whatever nonsense comes next. It’s a bad rhetorical construct and people commenting in good faith do not need to use it, and their arguments are stronger if they avoid it.

                • Bruce Vail

                  Okay. My defensive crouch notwithstanding, I think the Annapolis statue is worth preserving as a monument to Jacksonian Maryland of significant historic and aesthetic value. It is properly contextualized with the use of modern plaques and signs so that the unread visitor can be informed that the modern state of Maryland does not endorse Dred Scott. It is sited properly on the grounds of the state house so it is not given undue prominence, yet is easily accessible to anyone who would seek it out.

        • Thirtyish

          Jesus, thank you. Any valid points Bruce may have made after that show stopping opener are going to be lost.

      • Nah. If we’re going to honor people from history, we have to be able to not honor them. We have to be able to discuss and recognize when the bad outweighs the good, and when our forbears were wrong not to see that. At some point, not doing that results in continual slaps in the face to people we are claiming solidarity with.

        Ultimately, if we don’t consider removing them from the “honor roll,” we are going to be in a position where we’re requiring honor for them for basically authoritarian reasons, “just because” people before us honored them, and demanding no one ask inconvenient questions.

        • Chet Murthy

          Some one (TPM Josh?) pointed out that you can look at a historical figure’s entire legacy in deciding whether to continue honoring them. So Jefferson was a slaver, held a woman in concubinage, and, well, he sure wasn’t an opponent of slavery in his business dealings, esp. in later life. No way. But he was instrumental in shaping the narrative of our country, and (as the writer wrote) his words, once meant only for white men, are used by people of color and women today as part of their struggle. He has a mixed legacy, but some partof it is really good and valuable to our country.

          Lee? He’d be a footnote in an Army history, if not for his role in Treason in Defense of Slavery. Fuckem.

          Taney? I can’t judge (not a historian) but I’m sure there -is- such a judgment: was he a notable SC Chief Justice for any reason other than Dred Scott (and other white supremacist) decision? Was he good at all otherwise? I’m sure there’s a judgment. [my bet is, it’s “what a scoundrel”]

          And as bianca steele says, if we can’t make that sort revision, then we can get stuck with some pretty awful history. E.g., let’s remember that until recent times, the Dunning school line was taught in high schools. That had to change. We MUST be able to revisit these things. And veneration of an unalloyed scoundrel? Sorry, not sorry.

          • Exactly. I would oppose chiseling Lee’s name out from the list of superintendents at West Point. I would also oppose removing a bust of Taney from a collection of all the justices. If he did anything notable and admirable besides Dred Scott, maybe he could be left in some selection of important Justices or Marylanders. But the person the people (among a handful) choose to put in front of the courthouse for everyone to see as a person the state honors? Just because he’s already there?

          • rea

            Well, he was Chief Justice for a very long time (1836-1864). He issued some reasonably good opinions on the contract clause, banking and currency, admiralty jurisdiction, and habeus corpus. But, you know, you fuck one goat . . .

    • Joe Paulson

      He was a Confederate sympathizer, comparing those who fought in it to American colonialists fighting the American Revolution. He also wrote the infamous decision that blacks were not persons white man had to respect under the Constitution. And, yes, he’s an example of how white supremacists are not just members of the Confederacy.

      I personally think him a borderline case but understand why a solo statue of him would be removed. OTOH, e.g., he is represented in the U.S. Surpeme Court along with other Chief Justices. That’s appropriate, and if his statue was one of many Maryland historical figures, it wouldn’t be the same thing.

      ETA: it seems ironic to me that various Confederate statues are in front of courthouses, which these days enforce the US Constitution.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        At minimum any brass/bronze statue of Taney should have JUST THE HEAD cleaned and polished, to emphasize his ideological connection with Copperheads.

      • rea

        He was not a Confederate sympathizer–he was a racist supporter of the Union. He made the choice in 1861 to stand by his country.

        • Joe Paulson

          “Sympathizer” — “a person who agrees with or supports a sentiment or opinion.”

          Taney wrote down his thoughts regarding ongoing events in early 1861. He argued free states and Republicans had a stream of abuses on the South. The South could secede “upon failure of justice,” which his analysis clearly suggested he thought existed. And, once secession occurred, “There is no rightful power to bring back by force the states into the Union.”

          He wrote to Franklin Pierce that he hoped for peaceful separation, the alternative a military government/reign of terror. When a grandson of an old friend called upon him before leaving to join the Confederate army [one of his own son in laws fought in it] he reportedly compared it to those who fought in the Revolutionary War.

          [Don Fehrenbacher, “The Dred Scott Case”]

          You can “sympathize” — which I think he did — without (like his fellow justice, Campbell) actively taking part in the rebellion.

    • SatanicPanic

      Who on earth would make that case?

  • Sentient AI From The Future

    This motherfucker.
    Murder nine black folks, oh no, not interested in taking down any tributes to the violent ideology of the gunman.
    Murder a white girl though? Beyond the pale, let’s get these statues out of here.

    ETA: additional swearing

    • benjoya

      baby steps, futureBot

      • Sentient AI From The Future

        Oh, certainly. The statues coming down is an unalloyed good and the first thing ive genuinely smiled at (as opposed to e.g. late night gallows humor) since Charlottesville, especially since ive spent time in bawlmer and know these particular monuments well [spit].

        All the same, the obviousness of the political calculation and how it sits squarely on a foundation of bigotry, even as it joins the voices calling for removal, well, that gets me all stabby.

        • The statues coming down is an unalloyed good

          The bronze ones, anyway.

          • Snarki, child of Loki

            oh, the irony. Also coppery and goldy

          • N__B

            I’m reasonably certain the marble of the others is not an alloy.

    • so-in-so

      It is sickening that anyone has to die (well, I might not mind some of the Nazis being killed, but I digress), at least SOMETHING positive results. The key question is if this sustains; if people remember that CSA apologists and Nazis are now one, and should be treated as such. maybe we can keep advancing and not have to have people die for each new step.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        It is frightening and depressing that Medgar Evars must get shot, little girls in Birmingham must be blown up, John Lewis must be clubbed, Matthew Shepard beaten to death, and Heather Heyer smashed by a car, before “normal” and centrist and apolitical people get a clue what it is we’re dealing with.

        • CP

          It’s even more depressing how many “normal,” centrist, and apolitical people never get it, even after that graphic illustration of the point has been made.

  • sharculese

    Hogan is good at this kind of room reading. When I was leaving Maryland I had one last lunch with my old supervisor from NARAL. I asked her what it was like working with him as governor and she said the message they had gotten from his administration was basically:

    “The Governor isn’t stupid. He knows his election changes nothing about the fact that Maryland is a pro-choice state. You won’t be able to do anything that involves asking for the state to spend more money, but, other than that, keep doing what you’re doing and you don’t really have anything to worry about.”

  • Mike in DC

    This begs the question: how many confederate monuments and statues, total, exist in public spaces (including public universities)? Is there any place tracking this?

    • markefield
      • Mike in DC

        Wow. 1503? 223 of them are in Virginia. It’d be nice to try to remove as many as possible in the next few years.

      • ChrisS

        Interesting. Three in NY, but they’re street names. Longstreet Avenue could be argued I think, I know I have ancestors who were Longstreths (a few served in the AR – for the good guys) and that maybe that avenue’s name isn’t directly connected to the confederacy. The other two are named General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive. They needed be changed yesterday.

        • Joe Paulson

          The historical nature of certain local streets and highways is at times lost — few probably know the “Hutchinson” a local (for me) highway was named for. As to Longstreet: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/battle-gettysburg-heroes-give-names-streets-bronx-article-1.397481

          James Longstreet is a bit of a turncoat in the eyes of the South anyhow given his post-war Republican activities (and serving as a useful scapegoat).

          • N__B

            Lemme see if I can remember Anne Hutchinson history without resorting to Wikipedia: She was too annoying for the Massachusetts religious fanatics so she moved to Rhode Island; she was too annoying for the Rhode Island religious fanatics so she moved to the Bronx.

            How’d I do?

            • Joe Paulson

              Looking at Wikipedia, she might have left Rhode Island because Massachusetts was making noises to take control of the area she was living, so she left to settle in New Netherlands. Where she was killed in conflict the local Native Americans had with the Dutch.

              • N__B

                Oh well. NYC history in high school was 37 years ago.

                • Joe Paulson

                  N.p. More than most people around here would know.

        • wjts

          I’m sure there are a bunch of things in Virginia and Maryland named after Lee, but not necessarily the one you’re thinking of.

        • CP

          I’ve been saying for some time now that if the people who say their Confederate celebration is about “heritage, not hate” and they’re totally against slavery and white supremacy weren’t completely full of shit… Longstreet, not Lee, is the guy who’d have statues put up to him all over the South.

          Confederate veterans who fought for racial equality after the war exist. Very few, for the obvious reasons, but not completely nonexistent. Of course, they’re not the ones honored by the nostalgists – also for the obvious reasons.

          • so-in-so

            And yet, his is the smallest and most out of the way at Gettysburg, and I don’t think there is one of him at all where he commanded black militia in New Orleans.

          • slavdude

            Confederate veterans who fought for racial equality after the war exist.

            Right. The Civil War was fought over more than just slavery. Unresolved constitutional issues played a big part as well. And it would have been all but impossible to muster enough Northerners to fight to free the slaves at the start of the war, given the pervasiveness of white supremacy in nearly every state. Hell, many states in the North in 1861 (Illinois and Oregon are two that come to mind) had laws banning African-Americans from setting foot within their borders. I just finished reading T.J. Stiles’s biography of Custer. The General was certainly no friend of the black man. He was rather typical for his time and place (he grew up in Michigan).

        • Bri2k

          Not trying to argue, but there was a General “Light Horse Harry” Lee of Revolutionary War fame. Is it possible the street is named after him and not the traitor from Arlington?

          • David Allan Poe

            That was Robert’s dad.

    • Tom B

      Here’s an interesting graphic, showing when most confederate statues were put up.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/6tukfg/this_graphic_shows_how_late_most_confederate/

    • Jason K.
  • Tom B

    “Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he supports taking some steps to address concerns over the Confederate flag and whether it is a historic symbol or racist reminder, but extreme measures only represented ‘political correctness run amok.’”

    Just a reminder that anyone who unironically uses the term “political correctness” is an asshat.

    • so-in-so

      Just a reminder that anyone who ironically uses the term “political correctness” is an asshat.

      Or a GOP politician. But I repeat myself.

  • Brian

    Confederate idols should be removed. This is obvious to me. It is akin to erecting Nazi statues in London in 1947. A disgusting regime was defeated, and the victors have no obligation to memorialize the tyrants.

    However, removing statues of people from the country that does exist, simply because they represented despicable things seems problematic.

    It would be far better to contextualize them.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      “It would be far better to contextualize them.”

      So, re-erect the confederate idols in a sewage treatment pool?

      Sounds plausible.

    • sibusisodan

      It’s not _very_ problematic, is it? The statue was created to honour Taney. Removing it says that he is not worthy of that honour. It doesn’t make him an unperson. Just one of the many, many people who aren’t memorialized in bronze.

      • Agreed. Some might make the argument that as Chief Justice, a position of esteem that relatively few people have held, he merits this kind of memorial. That of course is nonsense; holding the seat by itself does not earn you esteem, it’s what you do with the position, and as exhibit A I give you Roger Taney. For exhibit B, i refer you to old Balls and Strikes.

      • SatanicPanic

        Sounds like people are asking for a participation trophy for these guys

      • Brian

        I knew after posting I shouldn’t have used to word ‘problematic’, but I couldn’t come up with something less ‘mealy’.

        Removing the statue doesn’t seem to have any lasting effect. Most people don’t know who he was.

        Contextualizing it, saying something like:

        Putting a Plaque on it that says: “Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney: A slavery proponent and citizenship denier”

        “Originally erected to honor Taney a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His decision to uphold slavery serves as a reminder that the United States is a nation founded on white supremacy and slavery. The statue itself demonstrates that not only was this true at the time of Taney’s tenure as Chief Justice, but the idolization of white supremacy continued…”

        Maybe it is naive to assume that means anything, maybe it would be better to have a museum dedicated to the despicable history of White Supremacy would be better.

        • sibusisodan

          I kinda know what you mean – in a lot of these cases, it’s hard to to point to concrete effects of the presence or absence of symbols.

          But: statues are very blunt symbols. Remember This. This Is Good. Thats about all you can hope for. The plaque, and its context, are utterly secondary to the fact there’s a giant image of the guy in the first place.

          The only way to properly contextualize the statue outside a museum would be to place a double height statue of Dred Scott right next to it, so we could see how small Taney’s vision was.

          • I was thinking about the complaints made about the Vietnam Memorial and some other recent one(s), that they weren’t glorifying enough. Anything more glorifying than that is definitely not enough contextualizing.

          • so-in-so

            Exactly. Most people assume upfront that a statue to someone means they are worthy of honor. Related to another post someone noted that there are NO statues of Benedict Arnold. Yet it is arguable that without him in several early battles the revolution might have been lost. Absent Lee, the Mexican war would probably turned out about the same (and it wasn’t an existential war for the U.S. anyway).

            • CP

              Absent Lee, the Mexican war would probably turned out about the same (and it wasn’t an existential war for the U.S. anyway).

              Yeah, I was just thinking earlier today about whether there was anything in Lee’s service in the U.S. Army that might still deserve to be remembered and honored.

              Answered: no, not really, because the only other war he was involved in was the Mexican War, which isn’t something we should be commemorating in the first place.

              (There was also that intervention to put down John Brown’s insurgents, but… frankly, I’m not that interested in commemorating that either. Certainly not when you consider that the entire thing brings us right back to conflicts over slavery, and regardless of how one feels about Brown, I’m not interested in putting up a statue that says “here, commemorate the greatest hero of treason in defense of slavery, putting down a radical abolitionist!”)

              • wjts

                Yeah, I was just thinking earlier today about whether there was anything in Lee’s service in the U.S. Army that might still deserve to be remembered and honored.

                He was the Superintendent of West Point for three years. I’m fine with him being remembered/memorialized in that context.

          • Brian

            Yeah, maybe the best thing to do would be to remove the statue, and leave the pedestal with some icon representing regret and shame.

            • N__B

              I’m thinking that a frown emoji statue could be used generically as a replacement for these statutes.

              • FMguru

                There’s a different, more triangular emoji that I think would make an even better choice.

                • N__B

                  But it’s smiling.

                • Richard Gadsden

                  It’s a Maryland Justice of the Supreme Court. Replace it with one of Thurgood Marshall.

  • West

    I have been wondering a lot since this past weekend: have the right wingers in the US ever made such an explicit link between Nazi worship and the KKK? I can’t remember it out in public like was seen at Charlottesville. Ranting on the internet, sure, but marching in public like that? I don’t remember it (I’m old enough to remember the 1960s violence, as a kid – open KKK rallies aren’t a new thing to me).

    My perception of the American Right since WW2 is that they’ve vigorously denied any link between Nazi ideology and any “difficulties” we’ve had here in America. When historians note Hitler’s admiration for the Confederacy, and how much he drew from Manifest Destiny in his Lebensraum schtick, those linkages would get hand-waved away by the American Right as invalid.

    And so I’ve seen, my whole life, Republicans making a fetish of worshipping the Nazi-beating Greatest Generation, and the USA’s role in proudly defeating Nazism, and so on, and so forth, while simultaneously dog-whistling away on racial issues (and sometimes using a bullhorn instead of the dog whistle). All with no hint of internal contradiction or shame as they use the former to provide cover for the latter.

    But in Charlottesville, I could discern no daylight at all between right-wing marchers’ admiration of the Nazis and allegiance to the KKK. I DO realize this has been going on in the dank corners of the Internet for quite some time. But right out in the open, on CNN etc? I don’t recall this. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

    So, to Larry Hogan: has he found himself in a sudden bind that changes his political calculus? How’s he, or other Republicans, going to dog whistle to the right-wingers in the standard way, while also being a proudly anti-Nazi worshipper of the Greatest Generation in the standard way?

    I’m not at all trying to excuse Hogan here, I’m trying to comprehend how his cynicism is being deployed today, as opposed to last week. And it’s of course not just Hogan: it’s a whole bunch of Republicans.

    Also, if Hogan felt backed into a corner and thus took down offensive statues to avoid looking like
    a Nazi sympathizer, well, that says nothing good about him but: the statues are at least down.

    • Chet Murthy

      They’re in sore need of a new William F. Buckley. That’s what he did for the Rs in the 50s — he shut down the nutjobs, while making sure that their sympathizers felt like NR was a place they could still feel comfortable. He taught ’em all how to dog-whistle instead of use that damn bullhorn. But the lesson faded after a few generations, snif [NOT]

      • njorl

        The far right were starting to resent the dog whistles. A dog-whistled promise is easier to weasel out of. They started favoring politicians who were more open in their racism.

        • They’re addicts who need larger and larger doses to get off. Dogwhistles are still harmful and upsetting to the targets, but that’s not enough any more, they want the whispered parts shouted. That’s why whoever follows in tRump’s footsteps is going to be worse. whee.

          • West

            yeah, I think this is inescapably true.

          • so-in-so

            We can only hope Drumpf and his Nazi followers foul the water so badly that it ceases to be viable path forwards. (Mixing metaphors badly).

      • bender

        Buckley may not have challenged racism, but he significantly helped the Jews, and his legacy in that regard faded out slowly after his death.

        ETA or so I’ve been told.

      • We’re in sore need of a recontextualization of Buckley’s legacy. It looks now like he didn’t shut down anybody, just created a respectable facade to hide them, and educated the next generation to readily give them a place at National Review when they were strong enough to take over.

    • NonyNony

      have the right wingers in the US ever made such an explicit link between Nazi worship and the KKK?

      No. Because the WWII vets who were willing to wave the Confederate battle flag in the faces of black parents and kids trying to desegregate the schools would likely have shot anyone trying to wave a Nazi flag around. Because Nazis were the enemy, regardless of their shared racism, and for many (most? God I hope it was most) of them at least because shoving people into gas chambers and ovens was a bridge too far. Segregation was supported, and Jim Crow that was a close to slavery as you could get when slavery was outlawed, but genocide not so much.

      What has happened in the ensuing decades is that the older WWII vets have died off enough and are immobile enough that its the generations that didn’t fight in WWII who are out there now. Many of whom grew up in the 80s when transgressive dabbling with Nazism and Nazi symbols was a way to freak out their parents. And many of them who are the children of parents who grew up in the 80s playing with those symbols.

      They don’t see anything wrong with using Nazi symbols next to Confederate symbols because they have correctly seen that the underlying ideologies that those symbols represent are compatible, if not exactly the same. Their grandparents refused to see it because Nazis were a foreign enemy they were trained to kill, or at least trained to understand as “the enemy”. But the grandchildren never got that training and so they see it.

  • RD

    “Unless they want to stand around some empty plinths, looking pissed.”

    I’m sure some of them will try it.

    • Perhaps some enterprising soul can create a line of blow-up dolls in the likeness of Lee and other Confederate heroes that can be taken to these locations as needed.

  • gleeb

    Well, that stinks. Next time I’m in Mt Vernon Square, I’ll have nothing to spit on. Well, there’s always Severn Teackle Wallis.

  • Crusty

    Are there any other countries that have monuments to the leaders of failed treasonous rebellions?

    • Hogan

      Does Oliver Cromwell count?

      • sibusisodan

        I don’t think he gets close enough to ‘failed’.

        • Hogan

          And yet, Charles II.

          • sibusisodan

            Sure, but a Charles II who has to respect Parliamentary sovereignty and whose republican predecessor died of old age.

        • The most interesting thing about King Charles the First is that he was five foot six inches tall at the start of his reign, but only four foot eight inches tall at the end of it.

      • Crusty

        Well, after the royals returned to power wasn’t his body dug up and his head chopped off?

        • N__B

          That showed him.

    • PohranicniStraze

      Not quite the same, but Trafalgar Square in London features a statue of successful (arguably treasonous) rebel leader George Washington.

      • Crusty

        Interesting.

      • so-in-so

        Probably because the U.S. and Britain became allies. Granted that it was after GW’s time.

      • wjts

        A stone’s throw from the statue of Washington (erected in 1921) is a statue of Charles I (made in 1630, put in its current location in 1675). Half a mile down the road from that statue is a statue of Oliver Cromwell (erected in 1899). In the park across the street from that statue is a statue of Gandhi (erected in 2015). In the same park is a statue of Indian independence opponent and Boer War veteran Winston Churchill (erected in 1973) and a statue of Boer General/South African Prime Minister Jan Smuts (erected in 1956). The politics of commemoration are weird and fluid.

        • so-in-so

          Maybe we can add the depiction of Queen Victoria in a chariot as Boadicea, a rebel against legal authority of her time…

        • bender

          There is a bust of Tecumseh on the campus of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, IIRC.

          • wjts

            There are at least two statues of Guyasuta in the Pittsburgh area.

          • Hogan

            Crazy Horse Memorial in S.D.

          • Hogan

            In conclusion, Maryland is a land of contrasts.

            • njorl

              It’s one of the more liberal states, but we also have a disproportionately large number of white supremacist headquarters here.

    • Joe Paulson

      You’d think with all the rebellions over history and governments changing hands over the centuries, other examples can be found.

    • CP

      None that immediately come to mind, which is one of the things I’ve always found most mind-boggling about our vision of “real Americans” and all that.

      The French, Spanish, and British have all got separatist movements to deal with too, but they usually don’t let the Corsicans, Basques, and Irish-Catholics write the book on what is and isn’t the patriotic and correct way to be French/Spanish/British. But for the last half-century at least, people here who wave the Confederate flag and cling to Southern regionalist identities have been uncritically accepted as the most authentic and patriotic part of the country, which is almost too absurd to comment on.

      • so-in-so

        Racism is a hellave drug. Plus the desire to “heal the wounds” between North and South (white people) made the Dunning School acceptable to both sides.
        The alternative was a new rebellion, or years of expensive occupation and “de-Confederatization” that nobody wanted to pay for in coin and/or blood.

        • N__B

          Yup. Also, I suspect a fair percentage of the people who made the decision to not deconfederalize understood that blacks would be paying for the path chosen in blood and coin. “Better him than me” is a hell of a drug.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    I think it’s OK for Philly to rename Taney Street now (some of which runs through North Philly, a largely African American neighborhood). If they want some continuity, they can rename it for John Chaney, the legendary basketball coach of Temple University, which is *in* North Philly…

  • It’s only a matter of time before Trump asks Sessions for all the names and IP address of everyone who was ever interested in this shameful rewriting of history.

  • CP

    When I was canvassing around here, I heard a few people tell me they were totally Democrats and would vote for all my candidates, but would probably vote for Hogan again when he came up for reelection too, because he’s not like other Republicans.

    Color me skeptical. Either that, or it’s simply another illustration of a fairly strongly held belief of mine: even the best Republican is a huge step down from the worst Democrat, and that’s not about to change.

    • To say that he’s not like other Republicans is true, but it is a Duh! sort of true. Hogan got elected because he was very careful to stick to economic issues and his opponent was a dud. Screaming about inner cities and baby parts wouldn’t work here. At least not yet.

      Were these people by any chance more likely to be interested in lower taxes on the upper classes?

      • CP

        Maybe? I don’t remember any of them actually saying so. But this was Montgomery County, where most people are pretty not-poor, so that’s not a bad guess.

      • The problem with “different sorts of Republicans” is that they still support and enable the Disaster Party of Racist Doom.

        • CP

          Pretty much.

          A decade ago, when I was still a naive youngun who partly bought into the media-manufactured image of Maverick McCain, his choosing Sarah Palin was an illuminating illustration of that: even if McCain was a Good Kind Of Republican, he’d have to make so many compromises with the loonies in his party that it didn’t make much difference in the end.

          (Of course, the campaign had already pretty well demonstrated that he wasn’t at all the person the media had been portraying).

        • Another problem: We’re going to break a straight line D vote to vote for the incumbent R governor, even though we don’t know who the D candidate will be, is sheer gibberish. That’s why I asked where this was.

    • njorl

      He’s not like other Republicans in that he knows when to stick a sock in it.

  • Matthew White

    “Maybe we can talk about flying the confederate flag (which aren’t displayed in an official capacity in Maryland),”

    Well, actually………

    Well that is true but the white and red portion of the state flag is an explicit reference, or “shout out” as the kids might say, to Marylanders who fought for the Confederacy under Robert E. Lee. It is a reference to the Crossland branch of the Calvert family and as a stand alone symbol was worn in patch and metal pin form by CSA Marylanders. It was officially adopted as part of the MD state flag in 1908 and paired with the Calvert coat of arms (black and gold) to represent the reconciliation of (white) Marylanders who fought on both sides. (But more for the USA than the CSA)

    Also, too, the state song of Maryland’s lyrics are one refrain after another calling the state’s citizens to fight for the Confederacy and ends with this:

    I hear the distant thunder-hum,
    Maryland!
    The Old Line bugle, fife, and drum,
    Maryland!
    She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
    Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum!
    She breathes! She burns! She’ll come! She’ll come!
    Maryland! My Maryland!

    And don’t even get me started on the state sport “jousting.” Can we just make it duckpin bowling already? Or better, the state sport these days seems to be sitting around drinking beer while wearing Under Armour clothes.

    ETA: And how could I forget about the state motto?

    Fatti maschii, parole femine

    Manly deeds, womanly words.

  • wengler

    Wow, they took out the plaque too. Nice touch Baltimore.

  • N__B

    A small step, but at least it’s in the right direction: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/robert-e-lee-plaques-removed-brooklyn-article-1.3416400

    Fort Hamilton, the neighborhood, was named for Fort Hamilton, the fort, which was part of the second federal fort system, and meant to protect the entry into NY harbor from the dastardly British.

  • MikeG
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