At the center of this weekend’s chaos in Charlottesville sits a larger-than-life depiction of the Confederacy’s top general, Robert E. Lee, atop a horse.
Plans to remove the figure sparked protests and counter-protests, triggering violence that ultimately injured 35 people and killed one.
On Monday, gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous called on Governor Hogan to take action and revisit the possibility of repurposing or relocating confederate monuments across the state.
“The tragedies of this weekend underscore the heightened danger of delay [in removing the statues],” Ben Jealous said.
Just three weeks ago, Montgomery County officials removed its only Confederate monument.
After standing for more than 100 years in the heart of Rockville, the 13-ton statue was transported to private property in Dickerson.
“There are people in Montgomery County who fought on both sides of [the Civil War] and had it properly depicted the entire war, not only those who fought against slavery but those who fought for it. Then, maybe it would have been an appropriate statue,” County Executive Ike Leggett said.
It was done quickly and quietly; officials agreed to conduct the move without formal notification to the public or media.
“The goal from my stand point was not to make a spectacle of this,” Leggett said. “We’ve seen what had happened in the city of New Orleans. Now, we’ve seen what happened in Charlottesville. It was my decision, and I think I made the right decision for it.”
Leggett said he’s not sure it’s necessary to remove all Confederate statues in the state, but it could be worth considering relocating some.
We reached out to Gov. Hogan regarding Ben Jealous’ pursuit to remove all Confederate monuments, and his Deputy Communications Director, Amelia Chassé, responded by saying:
“This weekend’s tragic and disturbing events in Charlottesville have intensified an important national conversation about the place of Confederate memorials in our society. While we must be mindful not to scrub historical references that are difficult to confront, the use of these monuments as a rallying point for bigots and racists means that we must make the distinction between recognizing our history and glorifying dark chapters in our nation’s past. Governor Hogan supports Mayor Pugh’s decision to move statues in Baltimore City to a place where they can be displayed in their appropriate historical context. The Maryland State House is a living, working museum that is overseen by the State House Trust, and decisions regarding changes to monuments on the grounds are governed by the Trust. The governor is willing to consider and discuss any proposed changes to monuments with the Speaker and the Senate President.”