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O’Donnell statue removed: What part of Baltimore’s history is next? | READER COMMENTARY

Canton Square, photographed here in 2019 when the Capt. John O'Donnell statue was still in place, has become a popular neighborhood for relatively affluent, often young Baltimoreans. (Sarah Pastrana/Baltimore Sun Media).
Canton Square, photographed here in 2019 when the Capt. John O'Donnell statue was still in place, has become a popular neighborhood for relatively affluent, often young Baltimoreans. (Sarah Pastrana/Baltimore Sun Media). (Sarah Pastrana, Baltimore Sun Media Group photo)

As a lifelong resident and native of Canton, I did not know that there was a Canton Anti-Racism Alliance. What has Canton done to “deserve” this organization? How in the world could so many people flock to this small southeastern enclave of six-room row homes and then spend thousands of dollars to “upgrade” them with roof top decks and parking pads and central air only to find out that a racist slave owner some 236 years ago had established this area and helped in building this ever evolving community?

Wow. They moved in and, lo and behold, they found out that “Hey, this place has the stains of slavery and racism. We can’t be part of that. What do we do?”

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Their answer? Let’s tear down the statue of this man who came here 236 years ago and, as Mayor Brandon Scott put it, “continuously work to build an inclusive Baltimore.” That sounds good, or as Councilman Zeke Cohen put it, we can’t honor our “dark history” (”‘Symbols that occupy our collective landscape matter’: Baltimore removes statue of slave owner from Canton park,” April 6).

So I suggest that Mr. Cohen and the Canton Anti-Racism Alliance better get working fast because there are quite a few street names and parks in Charm City that are carrying that stain and dark history.

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Roland Moskal, Baltimore

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