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Returning Confederate monuments would be a big mistake

"Black Lives Matter" was written in yellow on the base of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument formerly located on Mount Royal Avenue in Baltimore prior to its removal in 2017. File.
"Black Lives Matter" was written in yellow on the base of the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument formerly located on Mount Royal Avenue in Baltimore prior to its removal in 2017. File. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

The last thing that should be done with the removed Confederate monuments is to return them to where they were before. If that were to be done, it would be a slap in the face to black Baltimoreans who had to live with this glorification of black slavery for generations (“Baltimore’s Confederate statues were removed in the dead of night. 2 years later, they languish on a city lot,” Sept. 26). Moreover, if it were to be done, it would have to be done with full explanation as to what these things were — when they were erected, why they were erected, the political atmosphere in which they were erected — and all that information is even a stronger slap in the face.

Like most of the Confederate monuments which have been removed elsewhere, these are relics not of the Civil War, but of the Jim Crow era, erected after 1900 specifically to warn black citizens about what their place was. Put them back up where they were and it is a further insult to the people living around them.

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Ideally, a museum would take them and display them with complete explanation of what they were about, why they were erected, where they were erected and when. But apparently, no one is interested, and that should be telling modern-day Confederate supporters the truth — no one wants these things but you. No one cares to glorify a racist history of our country anymore, either the Civil War or the Jim Crow era.

Celebrate it privately in your own house and your own yard if you want to, but do not force the rest of us to glorify what you love when we don’t love it and don’t believe it deserves to be loved. These monuments do not represent who most of us are today.

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Marleen Roberts, Frederick

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