While officials struggle with how to deal with the rise of hate crimes across our state (“Arundel leaders battling hate rise,” Nov. 13), one simple action that they can take would be to banish the use of our pro-Confederate and hateful state song, “Maryland, My Maryland.” This would send a loud and clear message that intolerance is not appreciated in the Free State.
It has been almost three years since the Maryland State Archives committee on the state song issued its report declaring that it was time to retire the disgusting anthem. The report suggested several remedies including revising the lyrics to remove the most offensive parts, changing the song altogether, or repealing it outright and not immediately replacing it with a new one until a consensus was formed on how Marylanders would like to be represented musically. The Maryland General Assembly has repeatedly tried and failed to pass legislation that would have accomplished the first two options. They should now act to finally erase the song from the Maryland Code — the music, the lyrics, the title — once and for all!
Until that happens, local jurisdictions, school boards, and community organizations can act. Legislative councils and other local deliberative bodies can pass their own resolutions that proclaim the singing of the state song is not welcome at any official or community event and it should no longer be taught in our schools. While we do not want to infringe on anyone’s freedom of speech, we should no longer sit uncomfortably silent while we are insulted by the recitation of this hideous ode to a Lost Cause.
Sean Tully, Baltimore
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