Maryland Removes Second Taney Statue Overnight

Katrina Barker
August 19, 2017

A statue of the U.S. Supreme Court justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery and denied citizenship to African-Americans has been removed from the grounds of the Maryland State House in Annapolis. Taney's ruling said blacks, whether slaves or not, could never be US citizens.

There are more than 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy in public spaces across the United States, with 700 of those being monuments and statues, the Southern Poverty Law Center says.

Some witnesses commented that Taney's likeness, gazing slightly down, appeared to be bowing its head in shame as workers pulled straps around his frame.

"Now that it's gone, it means that people are understanding that having a statue commemorating such a bad time in US history is down", said Maya Hartwell, of Bowie. "He's all hunched over like Ebenezer Scrooge. we deserve to celebrate the heroes of Maryland, not the villains of history". Work began shortly after midnight. About an hour later, the statue was removed from its pedestal and put on a truck to be hauled away. The perch, for the time being, remains on the lawn, covered by a wooden box. President Donald Trump has criticized the removals, writing on Twitter that is it "s$3 ad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our lovely statues and monuments". There's an irony, however, in Taney statues coming down during a national debate on the merits of Confederate monuments: Taney wasn't a Confederate soldier at all.

She said, "it was important that we move quickly and quietly, and that's what we did". Cookie Washington, who had just turned 59 that day, said Taney's removal "felt like a birthday treat".

But in a statement released on Tuesday, Hogan contended that taking the statue down was "the right thing to do".

One of the members who voted on the decision, criticized the fact that the vote wasn't held in public.

On Wednesday, members of the State House Trust Board-including a representative for Hogan-voted in favor of removing the statue.

Trump on Thursday decried the removal of such monuments, drawing stinging rebukes from fellow Republicans in a controversy that inflamed racial tensions nationwide. He reversed course this week, saying removing the monument was "the right thing to do". Miller did not vote. Hogan made the remarks Wednesday after a meeting of the Board of Public Works, of which he is a member, said that the president had made a awful mistake. But he noted that Taney also "served with distinction" in a series of public offices, including as a state lawmaker, state attorney general and USA attorney general.

According to the Baltimore Sun, authorities moved the statue to Maryland State Archives storage.

Another Confederate monument in Maryland has been removed under the cloak of darkness.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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