MD Governor Wants Statue Of Dred Scott Justice Removed

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has called for the removal of a statue of the Supreme Court justice who wrote the infamous Dred Scott ruling from the State House grounds.

Hogan issued a statement on the matter Aug. 15, according to Fox News.

"I believe removing the Justice Roger B. Taney statue from the State House grounds is the right thing to do, and we will ask the State House Trust to take that action immediately," Hogan, a Republican, wrote.

Taney issued a ruling in 1857 declaring that African Americans could not become American citizens and could not petition the courts for freedom from slavery.

"While we cannot hide from our history -- nor should we -- the time has come to make clear the difference between properly acknowledging our past and glorifying the darkest chapters of our history," added Hogan.

The governor's statement came on the heels of an Aug. 14 incident in Durham, North Carolina, in which a group of protesters pulled down a monument to the Confederacy. The protest was organized following the Aug. 12 violence at a white-supremacist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews indicated that participants who pulled down the statue could be charged with vandalism.

"As the sheriff, I am not blind to the offensive conduct of some demonstrators nor will I ignore their criminal conduct," Andrews added. "With the help of video captured at the scene, my investigators are working to identify those responsible for the removal and vandalism of the statue."

Other protests have occurred. On Aug. 14, protesters in Nashville, Tennessee, called for the removal of a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

In Lexington, Kentucky, plans are under way to remove two Confederate statues. One is of John Hunt Morgan, who was a Confederate general, and the other is of John C. Breckinridge, who served as the Confederacy's secretary of war.

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The protests which erupted into violence in Charlottesville were originally called by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members to oppose the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Other monuments have been removed under the threat of violence. Workers in New Orleans who took down four Confederate monuments in April wore flak jackets and helmets in case of attack and wrapped scarves around their faces to hide their identities. They were given a police guard.

Sources: Fox News, ABC News, The New York Times / Featured Image: Maryland GovPics/flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Bedford/Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons, C. Bedford Crenshaw/Wikimedia Commons

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