Long before the murder of George Floyd last month, the Talbot County Council has been wrestling with the future of the Talbot Boys monument on its courthouse green. Five years ago, in the wake of the Charleston Church Massacre in 2015, the local chapter of the NAACP petitioned Talbot County to remove the confederate statue. And after a considerable public debate, the Council unanimously voted to keep the Talbot Boys with the then Council president, Corey Pack, speaking on its behalf to defend their decision in November of 2015.
Five years later, Corey Pack is still Talbot Council president, but his conviction that the Talbot Boys memorial not be removed has changed dramatically. After much soul-searching after the tragedy in Minneapolis and the growing support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Pack and his current council colleagues will be moving forward with a resolution on June 23, that would remove the sculpture of the confederate soldier from its base. That proposal will open up a process that will once again ask Talbot County citizens for public comment, and Mr. Pack is the first to admit that there is much to say about this compromise solution where the names of those who served in the Confederacy remain in place.
In his Spy interview on Sunday, President Pack outlines the rationale for this proposal, including the belief, based on his own research, that the United States Congress had approved a bill that designated all who served in the Confederacy as United States veterans. That is one of several considerations Pack notes in detailing a deliberate process to reach his conclusion that the Talbot Boys base should remain. Pack also discusses what he is recommending as action steps for Talbot County to be on the forefront of ending racial inequality.
(Editor’s fact check: The U.S. Congress did not designate those who fought for the Confederacy as U.S. veterans. This claim, which began circulating in 2015 after the Charleston Church Massacre, is based on a 1958 law that gave the widows of Confederate veterans a pension benefit. At that time, there were an estimated 1,500 Confederate widows alive; the last known surviving Confederate veteran had died seven years earlier, in 1951.)
This video is approximately twelve minutes in length.