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Latest Confederate cleansing target is statue of Dred Scott justice at Maryland State House


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roger-taney-statue-at-maryland-state-house-emergesWashingrton Times:

A bronze statue of Roger Brooke Taney, the Supreme Court chief justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision, has sat outside the Maryland State House since 1872, its eyes gazing down in judgment at visitors.


But General Assembly Democrats say it’s now judgment day for Taney, declaring it’s time for the Maryland native whose 1857 ruling upheld slavery to be expunged from the state’s pantheon.


“Justice Roger Taney represents a period of time and an ideology that black people are not human beings, not fully human,” said Delegate Jill P. Carter, the Baltimore Democrat who introduced a bill to pull down the statue and have it destroyed.


It’s the latest effort to rid Maryland’s public spaces of memorials dedicated to those who played a role in defending slavery or enforcing discrimination against blacks. It also comes amid a national debate over public displays of Confederate symbols, which are viewed by some as historic markers of heritage but by others as offensive relics of racism.


A Taney statue already has come down in Baltimore, and the University of Maryland last year renamed its football stadium, stripping the name of late college president Harry Clifton “Curley” Byrd, who died in 1970. Students who led that push said Byrd’s contributions to making the school a research powerhouse did not overcome his anti-integration beliefs.


Colin Byrd, a senior at the university who joined the anti-Taney fight Wednesday at the State House, urged lawmakers to keep pushing for an accounting of the state’s troubled past.Scissors-32x32.png


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