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Canton is not a white supremacist enclave | READER COMMENTARY

Surrounded by iron fencing, a statue of Capt. John O'Donnell (1749-1805) stands in the middle of Canton, nestled in the center of the commercial district. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff)
Surrounded by iron fencing, a statue of Capt. John O'Donnell (1749-1805) stands in the middle of Canton, nestled in the center of the commercial district. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff) (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)

As a white homeowner living in Canton all my 72 years of life, I’m offended by John Linwood’s recent commentary (“Removing enslaver’s statue not enough, Baltimore must also rename Canton and anything else honoring O’Donnell family,” Oct. 29).

He poses the question: “How does a majority white neighborhood still exist in a majority Black city?” He then flat-out states, “The answer is simple — racism." Really? His accusation that Canton was and is a stronghold of white supremacy is a stretch if not an out-and-out insult and lie.

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Poor people lived in Canton. Many were German, Polish, and Ukrainian immigrants seeking a better life in America. None, and I repeat, none, came with any idea of becoming supreme. They came to raise an American family.

And you know what? They stayed in Canton, raised their kids, and those kids stayed, went to school locally, shopped locally, and not once did it ever cross anyone’s mind that Canton was named by an Irish ship captain who settled there in 1805 and enslaved people. But Mr. Linwood has spent his time researching and planning and coming up with a solution. He would rename the neighborhood and remove a statue to the captain (And, by the way, we all know how removing all those other offensive statues brought us peace and tranquillity).

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It is a shame isn’t it, Mr. Linwood, that for the past 200-plus years, Canton’s racist residents have kept this neighborhood one of the jewels of Charm City?

Roland Moskal, Baltimore

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