on rotten legacies from people who were people

Interesting.  What is Maryland to do about this Roger Taney statue, the man — Supreme Court Justice — best known for authoring the Dred Scott Decision?  In a previous bout of statue removing, they decided to “compromise” by sticking up fellow Marylander and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall statue.

I tend to want to keep these things up, and contextualize them… maybe change the meaning of what the heck a statue is representing, though I suppose that means a degeneration of the Marshall statue.  Here they are — Supreme Court Justices from Maryland!

Which, theoretically, would have put me on the side for now embattled Maryland state Senator Mike Miller, except then he’ll lob this at us…

Miller, an avid reader of history, also defended Taney’s character, describing him as a man with a “complex” past.
“Unlike George Washington who freed his slaves upon his death, Taney freed his slaves early in his life,” the letter said.
“Roger Brooke Taney was not a Confederate officer and he remained loyal to the Union until his death in 1864,” Miller wrote. “Many historians have debated the conflicting anti-slavery words and works of Roger Brooke Taney.”

Might be an interesting subject for a book, I suppose, in exploring the what of the great compromises upon compromises in societal racism on not wholly evil men.  But put it this way — the founder of the Ku Klux Klan — or, something of some early key figure — ended up denouncing the entity as it turned to a more violent vigilance and into the role as military wing of the Democratic Party.  All very interesting. Not worth venerating or celebrating the guy.  His statues must go… as they are.

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