Baltimore, Removing Confederate Monuments With Little Fanfare, Makes Doing the Right Thing Look Easy
A day after President Trump was seemingly pressured into denouncing white supremacists, saying “racism is evil,” the president backtracked on his remarks on Tuesday night, attributing Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia (in which one woman was killed, and many others were injured; the man charged is a suspected Nazi sympathizer), to “both sides” of the conflict. During the bizarre press conference, scheduled to be a talk about infrastructure, Trump went on to describe some of the tiki torch–wielding white supremacists in Charlottesville as “fine people” and defended their protesting of the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. “This week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, Where does it stop?”
Apparently not in Baltimore. Early on Wednesday morning, cranes and police officers quietly began removing Confederate monuments across the city after the Baltimore City Council voted on Monday to take the monuments down. As of this morning, four statues of Confederate leaders had been removed, including one of Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and a monument of Roger B. Taney, a Supreme Court judge who wrote the 1857 decision that even free blacks could not be considered American citizens. A number of Baltimore citizens cheered as trucks hauled them away.