Why Confederate statue must go
Why should those outside of Talbot County care about whether a statue there stays or not? Perhaps because the statue honoring those Talbot countians who fought for the Confederacy stands on the very spot on which human beings were bought and sold right in front of the local courthouse. Perhaps because those of color who pass by that honorific on their way to their day in court wonder if they will be judged fairly today.
Perhaps because Talbot County was Frederick Douglass’s birthplace. He was born into slavery, hardly knowing his mother because she was delegated to another part of the farm and then separated from his beloved grandmother in order to work for the owners at an age when our children enter kindergarten. Like other slaves, he had barely anything to wear, certainly not shoes, and when the one piece of clothing was washed, had to go naked until it dried, no matter what the season.
He endured horrible beatings that left marks raised like fingers across his back. From his earliest days, he witnessed the murder of slaves, for example one named Demby who had run to the creek to soothe the effects of a bloody beating. The overseer called him to come out. When Demby refused, the man shot him in the head and his body and brains floated in the water until sinking. As a strong young man, Douglass suffered a heat stroke after long hours of working in the sun and while trying to recover outside in a tiny bit of shade, was found and beaten. After fighting off that overseer, he found the strength to leave, walk miles and ask for refuge with sympathetic landowners. After being rejected, he had to return.
Later he did escape to New York but certainly not safety. For years he lived in fear that someone would find him and return him to Maryland because of the Fugitive Slave Act, as had been the fate of friends.
Imagine being a descendent of slaves like Douglass, having to walk by or even work in that courthouse, knowing history in a way that most of us will never experience. That statue has to go.
Dee Krasnansky, Westminster
Columnist peddling racist lie
So, Rick Blatchford thinks it is easy to avoid “tense” encounters with police by complying with their orders. Or by not shoplifting.
Take the case of John Crawford III, who was not shoplifting or committing any sort of violation in a Walmart in 2014. Another customer falsely called the police on him. The police immediately shot him to death. Mr. Crawford did not fail to comply, because the police did not give him any instructions. They just slaughtered him.
Then they lied about it. And then (to quote from the Wikipedia article): “Police aggressively questioned Crawford’s girlfriend, Tasha Thomas, threatening her with jail time. The interrogation caused her to sob uncontrollably, with hostile questions suggesting she was drunk or on drugs when she stated that Crawford did not enter the store with a gun. She was not yet aware of Crawford’s death at the time of the interrogation.”
It gets worse. The police were not charged. Did I mention that the late Mr. Crawford was a law-abiding Black man?
Mr. Blatchford, in his column, objects that a letter writer called [his column] racist. I am calling [it] racist, too. Because he is peddling an old racist lie that we hear every time trigger-happy cops gun down an innocent Black person.
Harry Eagar, Sykesville
True, Barnum couldn’t do that today
Regarding Jennifer O’Connor’s May 11 letter, Of course “P.T. Barnum himself couldn’t convince today’s public that hauling ... animals around from city to city is still acceptable.” He died in 1891.
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Steve Silberman, Westminster