Anyone looking to purchase some visually impressive, slavery-tainted statues? Because Baltimore is looking to unload a couple, and so far they haven’t found any buyers.
Last week the city decided it would remove two public statues — one of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, the other of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney (who actually stuck with the Union during the Civil War but who had penned the slavery-strengthening “Dred Scott Decision”).
According to the Wall Street Journal, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has been reaching out to “Confederate groups” to sell the statues to, but they won’t go for it. Either the price is to high or they refuse to aid in their public decommissioning.
The two Confederate statues that will remain where they are will be accompanied by new signage that attempts to “recontextualize” them. Maybe there’s some radical recontextualization we could perform on the other ones also. I don’t know about you, but pop a chin-strap beard on that Taney statue and you’ve basically got Abraham Lincoln. Sure, he’s wearing judicial robes, but give him a pointed hat, and he’s “wizard Abraham Lincoln.” As for the Lee and Jackson monument — remove the riders, leave the horses, and place it at Pimlico?
By the way, it’s entirely fitting that Taney statue be such a pain to rehome, given that even on the heels of his death, the Senate refused to make a bust of him, and Sen. Charles Sumner suggested that they memorialize him by leaving an empty space “to speak in warning to all who would betray liberty.”
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