Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh hired a contractor to remove the city’s four Confederate monuments on August 16. Two of these monuments are located by the Homewood campus, one in Wyman Park Dell and the other, on the corner of N. Charles St. and W. University Pkwy.
While these monuments stood, students walked by these symbols of the Confederacy everyday. These statues, erected decades after the Civil War, were used to buttress white supremacy and memorialize a hateful past.
Currently, the monuments are located in an undisclosed lot. Pugh is soliciting suggestions from the community for what to do with the now empty pedestals.
The Editorial Board commends Pugh for acting decisively in removing these statues following the horrific events in Charlottesville.
Unlike other efforts in removing Confederate monuments, Pugh’s move was executed quickly and peacefully. While Baltimore only spent $20,000, other cities have spent millions.
The Editorial Board also applauds Pugh for seeking suggestions from the public about what to do with the now empty spaces. The city has opened an online portal for residents to submit specific ideas. Some have suggested leaving the pedestals empty while others recommend erecting new statues commemorating people of color.
We believe that Baltimore citizens should absolutely have a say in what happens to the monuments they walk past every day. We encourage Pugh to employ the same decisiveness in deciding how to proceed with the pedestals as she did in removing the statues.
Hopkins students must remember that they are a part of the Baltimore community as well. The Editorial Board believes all University students have both a right and a responsibility to voice their opinions on this topic, especially since two of the four monuments in question are across the street from campus.
We encourage students to not only start a dialogue with classmates and professors but also to submit ideas to Pugh’s online portal. Baltimore is our home, and we have a responsibility to help decide what happens next.