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Removing statues doesn’t solve Baltimore’s problems | READER COMMENTARY

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

The removal of the statue of Capt. John O’Donnell was indeed a Pyrrhic victory (“Baltimore removes statue of Capt. John O’Donnell, a slave-owning merchant, from Canton park on Monday night,” April 6). For those who may not know what a Pyrrhic victory is, according to Wikipedia, “A Pyrrhic victory takes a heavy toll that negates any true sense of achievement or damages long-term progress.” It may have made a lot of people feel good — I read that roughly 1,000 people signed the petition — but what did it accomplish to improve Baltimore?

The crime rate remains high. The high murder rate continues as usual, and the drug problem persists in Baltimore despite State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby declaring the war on drugs is over here. So what did it accomplish to improve the life of Black residents of Baltimore? Not a thing. And the city had to do it at night without informing the residents of Canton. Sounds a little cowardly to me. But that is the way Baltimore operates.

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I am from Canton, born and raised, and then I left for military service and then served as a defense contractor before retiring and returning to Baltimore. And guess what? I woke up this morning and Canton was still the same except for the absence of a statue. And all the problems that plague Baltimore are the same.

If they took down every statue of a white person in Baltimore, it would not help solve the problems that exist in the city today. Yes, that’s a Pyrrhic victory, indeed. Nothing of value was accomplished. Had something of value been accomplished, I would be cheering.

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Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore

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