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Instead of removing statues, put them in better context | READER COMMENTARY

Performance artist Nicoletta de la Brown cleanses the space at the site where the statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney was once on display in Mount Vernon. July 27, 2020
Performance artist Nicoletta de la Brown cleanses the space at the site where the statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney was once on display in Mount Vernon. July 27, 2020 (Lloyd Fox)

Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, where I attended public schools, and graduating from the University of Washington in 1960, at no time did my civics classes adequately address the Native American population, the Civil War, nor the specter of segregation. I only learned about these issues after marrying my wife, who grew up in segregated Langston, Oklahoma. Our civic history books are very much skewed to favor a European (white) person’s accounting of our nation’s history.

When the statues of these enslavers are destroyed, we lose the opportunity of displaying the true history of their involvement (“A thoughtful approach to diversity and inclusion in Baltimore,” Oct. 26). For example, I had no idea of the decision or involvement in the Dred Scott case until I had the opportunity to read a stripped down version at what was a Roger B. Taney monument site in Mount Vernon. Rather than eliminating these statues, our children would be well served to be able to read on a tablet their involvement in the history of our country. That would provide a valuable lesson if, for example, such information could be placed on our own Washington Monument.

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Leon Bridges, Baltimore

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