On June 8, 2020, Maryland Comptroller, Peter Franchot, called for the confederate statute located in Talbot County to be taken down. Here is his complete facebook post:
“Anyone who has followed my career and my social media accounts knows that Talbot County is one of my favorite places in all of Maryland. It has miles of beautiful and unspoiled waterfront, a vibrant cultural scene, thriving downtown and commercial centers, and many of the best health care providers in our state. It’s no wonder that the streets of Easton, St. Michaels and Oxford are bustling with visitors every weekend!
Unfortunately, Talbot County also remains the home of something that has no place in today’s society. The Talbot Boys Monument, a tribute to the Confederacy, is located right on the front lawn of a courthouse that is supposed to embody our nation’s dedication of equal rights and equal protection under the law. It was dedicated in 1916, at the height of our country’s era of “Jim Crow” laws, to send a clear message to anyone – African-American or otherwise – who would dare think of challenging the status quo.
Let’s be clear. The Talbot Boys Monument has no value – historical, educational or otherwise. It was, and is, nothing more than propaganda designed to romanticize white supremacy and legitimize an act of treason against the United States. The Smithsonian describes the statue as follows:
“A young soldier stands with a C.S.A. flag on his left side, holding it with both hands. The flag curls behind him, covering his back. He wears a broad-rimmed hat and an open shirt. The youth is meant to represent youthful courage and enthusiasm as portrayed in Longfellow’s poem “Exceisior.”
At a time when people of color across our country are more vulnerable to harassment, abuse, economic discrimination, violence and murder simply because of the color of their skin, there is just no place in our society – and certainly not within our taxpayer-funded centers of justice – for a monument that glorifies and celebrates the very worst elements of our past.
The Talbot Boys monument is a disgrace to one of our state’s most beautiful places, and it’s time to bring it down.”
This is not the first time Franchot has taken the lead on a progressive issue. In May 2019, Marland’s chief financial officer condemned Alabama’s ban on abortion calling it a radical and a “malicious assault on the rights and protections of women everywhere.”
“I obviously have no direct control over the behavior of Alabama lawmakers who would thrust their religious interpretations upon those they are paid to represent, and who choose to weaponize their system of laws to punish women who are already experiencing great vulnerability,” Franchot said. “However, I can work to ensure that Maryland’s taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize extremism.”
Franchot, although not offiically filed yet, is considered a front-runner for the 2022 Maryland gubenatorial race and often describes himself a fiscal conservative with progressive social values.