I am writing today on behalf of the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) Washington, D.C. Regional Office, to echo the concerns of our community partners who are calling for the removal of the “Talbot Boys” monument from the county courthouse lawn.
As you may know, since 1913 ADL has been a leading anti-hate organization with a mission to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Considering our mission, and our expertise with respect to symbols of hate and white supremacy, we often speak out in response to public symbols that evoke our nation’s ugly legacy of slavery and racism.
The “Talbot Boys” statue is one such monument. Honoring and/or glorifying those who sought to perpetuate the institution of slavery in our nation is antithetical to our aspirations for full and equal participation in our democracy, free from discrimination and bias. Allowing this statute to continue to stand on government property, and in particular, in front of the county courthouse, conveys a strong message to all who seek to access our judicial system that racism and hatred are accepted by Talbot County.
Our monuments signal our values. While displays of certain confederate symbols may be appropriate in the context of museums, historical reenactments and/or textbooks, these symbols of hate and oppression have absolutely no place in official government displays.
Removing this offensive Talbot Boys monument from its current location would send a resounding message that your administration is sensitive to the horrors and wounds of slavery, and the lived experiences of people of color in our country today. We therefore urge you to remove this offensive monument from its current location without delay.
Meredith R. Weisel
Senior Associate Regional Director
Anti-Defamation League Washington, D.C. Regional Office