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Readers Respond

Appearance of Confederate flag on Civil War display advertisement shocking to see in The Sun | READER COMMENTARY

We read with great interest The Baltimore Sun’s February 2022 apology to Black communities for its history of racist rhetoric (“We are deeply and profoundly sorry: For decades, The Baltimore Sun promoted policies that oppressed Black Marylanders; we are working to make amends,” February 18), as well as its February Black History Month series “25 Black Marylanders to Watch in 2022.”

We were shocked and dismayed to see a full color, quarter-page advertisement with a Confederate flag at the top left of page 5 in the Feb. 13, 2022, Baltimore Sun, advertising a Civil War display at Maryland libraries, while two articles on “Black Marylanders to Watch” appear on the back, on page 6, along with several articles in another series on notable Black leaders.

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We found it distressing to see the full-color Confederate flag — the symbol of states fighting for enslavement of Black people — printed on one side of the page and the stories lifting up “Black Marylanders to Watch” and notable Black leaders on the back. How does advertising a program involving the Confederate flag and the Confederacy fit into The Baltimore Sun’s plans to do better by its Black readers?

We ask that your entire staff work toward greater racial equity — not only in news coverage, but also in advertising content. It is not enough to apologize while continuing to run paid advertising bearing such a widely known symbol of hate and oppression.

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— Janet DeVinney, Cathy Rice, Rev. Lura Groen, Rev. Dr. Melissa Lemons, Rev. Catherine Feil, Rebecca Fishburne, Patricia Dorn-López, Marianne Drumm, John E. Auger, Linda Chinnia and Barbara Tunstall.

The writers are leaders and team members of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Racial Justice Ministry Team, Synod, Synod Council, and C.L.A.I.M. (Coalition of Lutherans Advancing in Mission), Baltimore.

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