After a deadly attack on a counter-protest at a white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia left one person dead and at least 19 others injured, state and local lawmakers have initiated a renewed push to remove Confederate symbols from public spaces.
The speaker of the Maryland state House on Monday called for the removal of a statue of Roger B. Taney, the Supreme Court justice who penned the Dred Scott decision in 1857, from the state house lawn.
State Rep. Michael Busch, a Democrat, told the Baltimore Sun that leaving the monument (pictured above) in place after the attack in Charlottesville, Virginia “would send a message that we condone what took place, that slavery is alright.”
“It’s the appropriate time to remove it,” he said.
Busch sits on the Maryland State House Trust, which would have to vote on the monument’s removal. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Democrat, also sit on the board but have resisted calls to remove the statue in the past, according to the Baltimore Sun.
In addition, the president of the Jacksonville, Florida, city council has called for the city to take an inventory of its confederate monuments, and said he would then propose legislation to relocate those monuments to museums.
A statue of a Confederate soldier called “Old Joe” also was removed from outside the Alachua County Administration Building in Gainesville, Florida, on Monday, although the removal already had been in the works for a while.
In 2015, a white supremacist’s gunning down of black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina had also prompted a wave of calls to remove Confederate statues and other symbols of the Confederacy from public land.