Thank you for publishing Wyatt Massey’s piece on April 22. It’s long past time for Frederick County Public Schools to take seriously the message they send to students who attend Governor Thomas Johnson Middle School and Governor Thomas Johnson High School. When we name schools for an individual, we honor that individual and hold him up as a role model for young people. Governor Thomas Johnson enslaved African Americans and stole their labor for his own enrichment. At Rose Hill, the land where these two schools now stand, dozens of school-aged children were enslaved over time. Evidence connected with Rose Hill strongly suggests that many of those children were sold away in the 1830s, at the height of the interstate slave trade, when vast numbers of black Marylanders were sold to the Deep South. (Specifically, Johnson’s daughter and son-in-law held eleven children under age ten in slavery in 1830, and none of those children were recorded in the estate inventory three years later.)

At TJ Middle and High Schools, Thomas Johnson’s name and initials are everywhere — for example, student athletes wear his initials on their uniforms. What message does this name send to students of color, some of whose ancestors may have been forced to work in Thomas Johnson’s fields? What message does it send to white students? This is not some dead issue. Although slavery ended in Maryland in 1864, its legacy is with us every day in structural and institutionalized racism. To stop honoring a slaveholder in a specific way is not to change or forget history; on the contrary, it is to express a fuller understanding of history. We should recognize that the unusual honor of having one’s name on a school is not appropriate for Thomas Johnson.

Dr. Emilie Amt

Myersville

(126) comments

threecents

Where does it begin, and where does it end? In my opinion - sorry in advance if it offends - it begins and ends with the low hanging fruit - the most obvious symbols of slavery and/or racism, such as confederate flags and statues of Lee. Going further than that may be the only thing that satisfies some people, but in the end that would be counterproductive and it likely isn't even wanted by most African Americans. As someone pointed out - it wouldn't end until the very name "America" was removed, and even then someone would probably find bigger things that would have to be changed. So let's stop before we bleach the earth of everything offensive.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup] three!

Jeepers11md

I am so sick and tired of everything being racist time to grow up history is history and should be respected just like those democrats who cant get over Hillary losing TRUMP is the best President we ever had a lot better then Obama by way means look at the economy much better come on people more important things to worry about than a name on a school GET OVER IT

KellyAlzan

Disgusting letter

randallwgriffee

The political correctness BS is getting out of hand! Stop bemoaning our founding fathers and history! I personally found President Obama to be one of the worst and most divisive presidents we have had, so if you find Gov. Thomas Johnson, or Gen. Stonewall Jackson, or Thomas Jefferson or George Washington objectionable as far as I'm concerned, tough cookies!

awteam2000

“Gov. Thomas Johnson, or Gen. Stonewall Jackson, or Thomas Jefferson or George Washington” Is a long name for a school. I don’t think anyone is going to buy into that.🤷‍♂️ Maybe just stick with “TJ”.

gabrielshorn2013

Yes, please.

shiftless88

People who call this "political correctness" are just knee-jerking and not thinking. It is the most insane term ever invented and totally inappropriate for this situation. The fact that you cannot conceive of the fact that this truly bothers people, to have their oppressors celebrated, tells me you need some empathy training.

gabrielshorn2013

Is it though shiftless? There will always be something that bothers someone. Everyone has in their history some level of subjugation. Are we to address them all? We are going down the road to praying at the altar of Our Lady of the Perpetually Agrieved. The slightest perceived slight deserves maximum attention and action. There are many of us that could play the victim card on this issue, but we don't. We actually support keeping the school name as is because TJ was a great local statesman, as was Charles Carroll of Carrollton (Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Carroll County named after him, slaveholder). There was something in their history that was reprehensible by today's standards, but was very common in Colonial Maryland, and the rest of the Colonies. And don't use Hitler as a counterpoint. What Hitler did was reprehensible in his time and now. Bad comparison.

User1

And who does this bother? The crying soccer mom parents? The snowflake children? “Their oppressors”? Really, must be pretty old if TJ was “their oppressor”. See how ridiculous that sounds? Let’s burn Mt Vernon! Owned by a slave owner. How about all the black slave owners? And OMG...FSK Mall...burn that too, he sang a racist word!

corgikid

No need to refer to this self-appointed intellectual elitist as "doctor." She has a PhD in history and now wants to jump on the "purge our history and culture" campaign.

awteam2000

This is kinda off subject but because so many learn history through visuals, if they study it at all, this could be an option:

After the White Nationalist riot in Charlottesville and the threats of potential separatists rallies, Baltimore removed 4 Confederate statues over night.

* Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument
* Confederate Women's Monument
* Robert E. Lee and Thomas. J. “Stonewall”
* Roger Taney Monument

The ‘Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument’ and the ‘Confederate Women's Monument’ are great works of art. Both very humane and tell a story.

My proposal, preference would be to see them all placed in some kind of less controversial area, some kind of memorial park.

shiftless88

I mean really, what would a PhD historian know about history!? I am sure you are more qualified, right?

des21

What would a political science Ph.D. know about politics right shift? Your side only values education when it results in the monolithic acceptance of the dominant paradigm- that the US is a racist oppressive actor globally and domestically that exploits the system to enslave the masses (See AOC, Omar, Tlaib et al.) That type of status quo group think is the definition of non-political conservatism oddly enough. It is utter ahistorical nonsense. Qualifications, shmailifications.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup] des!

fnfn

Keeping the names with their lows and highs is keeping it real. He is not a Lee that was a traitor that should have his statues in museums with his low and high list.

shiftless88

I posted this below but I want to ask all of you who complain about this letter or the proposed actions: are you of the mind that if we do not fix all issues at once then we should not start? Because that seems to be the primary argument here against this LTE, that if we do not remove every single symbol or person wrt slavery then why remove even one. And that, folks, is the stupidest and most regressive argument I've ever heard.

gabrielshorn2013

That may be one way of looking at your argument shiftless, but it certainly is not mine. My question is where does it stop? The reason given was that Governor Johnston owned slaves. So what? Lots of people did in Colonial and early America. They did it in the north as well as the south, from Puritan Boston to Charleston. As I stated previously, slaves could be anything from field hands to the educated house servants. To deny someone recognition for their service and accomplishments to the city, state, and country because of a practice that was common in all of Colonial America is not appropriate.

DickD

I just want someone to do all of my work for me, doesn't have to be a slave, just do my work - I am easy to please, Gabe.

gabrielshorn2013

You couldn’t afford my hourly rate Dick [wink]

thump1202

I believe they should stand as a reminder and a lesson, the world is not a warm and fuzzy place and lessons can be learned by anyone's experiences, even former slave owners. Slavery is still practiced in the world and the more people are aware of it's true horror, the more it can remain an object of disgust that any future psychopath trying to bring any form of it back would be stopped. I also appreciate the irony of a slave descendent learning lessons from former slave owner biographies to find success.

shiftless88

Note that I am in no way advocating erasing history. TJ will not be erased from Maryland history books. This is about who we choose as a society to honor. There are many choices. If you want to keep the horrors of slavery alive to students, take them on a field trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Then follow that up with a visit to the Holocaust Museum. One does not need to name a school after Hitler to avoid forgetting the Holocaust, correct?

jsklinelga

Just in a brief look I did not find any record of Thomas Johnson owing slaves. His daughter and her husband did. They owned Rose Hill where TJ spent the last 25 years as a guest..Just curious if anyone has historical records of TJ owning slaves.

eoz7

Just call Rose Hill Manor. They will tell you that he owned slaves. There is quite a bit of evidence about that.

shiftless88

jsk; perhaps you should look more than "briefly" before commenting

awteam2000

JSK,

You may want to check with the Deaplaine Center in Frederick.

There was a copy of a slave sale document of Thomas Johnson on display at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, a few years ago. He was selling humans beings ranging from $70 to $300.00. My guess is, you got to own them, to sell them.

https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2013/11/13/record-of-slave-sale-by-1st-md-governor-exhibited/

Hope this was helpful.

DickD

Interesting, aw, because I was looking at some census records, from 1820, in upstate New York, where they did not count slaves. It always made me wonder, what in the world were these people thinking. It happened, for me it is hard to understand.

gabrielshorn2013

Dick, were you saying that they didn't record slave names in NY because there were none in 1820 (there certainly were in Colonial NY) or that slave names were not recorded because they were slaves. Please clarify.

awteam2000

I ‘ll let Dick speak for himself, but his comment read as “slave were not counted in the census record”. Now he understands why.

The state passed a 1799 law for gradual abolition; after that date, children born to slave mothers were free but required to work for the mother's master for an extended period as indentured servants into their late twenties. Existing slaves kept their status. All remaining slaves were finally freed on July 4, 1827.

gabrielshorn2013

Thanks aw, I knew that, but I wasn't sure if Dick did. Slavery was quite common in all of the colonies at the time of TJ.

DickD

Aside from this FNP article on Thomas Johnson, I could find no reference to Thomas Johnson owning slaves, Jim.  You might want to talk to Elizabeth Comer - shown below.  https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/education/schools/public_k- 12/high_school/governor_thomas_johnson/school-notes-in-addressing-gov-thomas-johnson-name-change-discussion/article_87814eba-f404-5299-9829-4068926c7bf6.htmlThe Johnson family owned slaves, and slavery propelled him and his business to prominence. Johnson and his brothers owned the Catoctin Furnace, one of several forges that were part of their business. The work of creating munitions for the Revolutionary War was no doubt done by slaves, said Elizabeth Comer, a member of the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society.“Good luck soft-pedaling that one, because there is no soft pedal,” she said. “How many [were there]? Does it really make any difference? One is too many.”Johnson owned several dozen slaves, one of the largest slave populations in the county, Comer said. When his slaves ran for their freedom, his company took out advertisements in local newspapers offering bounties for the return of what they considered property.Local leaders were reluctant to offer thoughts on the school name. The African American Resources, Cultural Heritage Society of Frederick County declined to comment. Other people deflected comment back to AARCH or spoke for several minutes without giving a clear answer.

jsklinelga

TJ owned Richfield outside of Frederick before divesting of his property. He owned slaves.

He was a very prominent figure in our history. He was very influential in setting up a government for a country that was the "freest" known to mankind. We are a country of immigrants that had the way paved to a better life for millions of people of all colors, ethinicites, poverty levels and backgrounds thanks to men like Thomas Johnson. I truly believe more and more people are beginning to realize that this goes way beyond renaming schools. There is a growing class of people "h bent" on destroying this country and everything it stood for. Renaming the school would be appropriate because the public school system has been instrumental in this movement of revisionist history.

For my entire adult life I would have never considered myself racists in the very least. Now we are having racism forced upon us as an avenue of destroying something larger.

awteam2000

No Sir... not buying what you’re selling. I’m not really on board with changing the school’s name (indifferent) but why is everyone so overly melodramatic? Com’on man 👨.

DickD

Jim, they go too far, but I am not sure it is racism. It is like anything remotely connected is contaminated. It definitely is a problem because they are exacerbating what really happened and why it happened. Can't we all just be friends?

jsklinelga

DickD
That certainly would be nice. Articles like these help Trump. You talk about New York, your family and locals. Do you consider them white supremacist? Someone may say laugh it off but it has become too nasty too often. A real anger is building. Seeking to dishonor one of the principal founders of our country is an indirect way of seeking to dishonor our country, And lets face it. That is the objective. What is the popular saying now ':America was never that great." Slavery was a horrible institution but a part of a worldwide culture. Thomas Johnson was a remarkable man who we owe a great debt of gratitude.His name and his remarkable record should actually be in more places with greater prominence.

phydeaux994

jsk, you are the first person I have ever heard use that “popular saying now” “America was never that great”. Where do you come up with this garbage? Tell us who all these people are that are “seeking? You are always talking about people doing this and people doing that but you never tell us who they are? They sure aren’t the 60% of Americans that Trump for rejecting the very foundation of our Country, the Constitution and the Rule of Law! So it must be the 40% that don’t care what he does, as long as he “Keeps America White”. Donald Trump’s only core values and beliefs are those he expresses when he is with “his people” who are chanting “lock ‘er up” at a Trump Rally.

gabrielshorn2013

Phy, to answer your question, I believe that it was Governor Andrew Cuomo who stated America was never that great. And surprisingly, several commentors on this forum.

Dwasserba

"Although slavery ended in Maryland in 1864, its legacy is with us every day in structural and institutionalized racism." And the most educated among us will detail Johnson's accomplishments in his defense without realizing the part they play.

Burgessdr

Your logic is brilliant. Removing TJs name will get rid of institutional racism in Frederick

shiftless88

of course it won't, but we can stop celebrating it. Erecting a statue of Mao Zedong will not make Frederick communist, but would you want to do that?

gabrielshorn2013

That would be true if Governor Johnson was only known as being Maryland's best (or worst) slaveholder, and had no other notable contributions to Frederick, Maryland, or the United States of America. The fact is that he was one of the significant founders of this country, and should be honored as such. As I have stated previously, slavery was quite common at that time. Slaves could be anything from field hands, to the educated house servant, and everything in between. There were also slaves that were not black, but they were much fewer. To stop honoring a founder for a practice that was common in this country, both north and south, is PC nonsense.

shiftless88

But why not something, for example, like honoring the people who ran the underground railroad at that time. Actively combating slavery. They did a lot as well, and it was right here in Frederick County.

gabrielshorn2013

By all means shiftless, let’s do it, You’ll get no argument from me on that. We could have a Harriet Tubman High, or a Sojourner Truth Middle, or Frederick Douglas Elementary. All from Maryland, and all deserving of high honors and recognition.

User1

Was Mao ever a governor or Maryland? So why erect a statue of him? See how dumb that logic is?

StrengthofLiberty

History proves the outcome of the human experience cultural curatorship in the hands of those bent on demolition and desolation of a scapegoat - usually a historic set. Each of the voices calling for removal, erasing, elimination, extermination - all had the same mingling of outrage, indignity, and emotional appeal. And I am not writing about those whose names we know only to well. Nah. I am writing about the neighbor. The baker. The clerk. The beaucrat. The doctor. The artist. The mother, the father ... Those are the purveyors of an outrage that someone told them to foster and nurture in themselves and others. This airborn hatred, in everyone of its filthy forms: overt, covert and inverted may now need to be wholly confronted by
one question: When will you be happy? Let me help you a bit: Imagine an element on a state flag - that once indicated that the place where the flag flew supported slavery, or the cause of the Confederate States of America. What would you do about that flag? I wonder how many of you "folks" have it on a tee-shirt.

shiftless88

Why is it that you imagine that people who do not like slavery and want to stop celebrating it are "told" what to be outraged about? Maybe it is those who still fly Confederate flags are the ones being told what to do?

thump1202

Because no one cared until it was normalized in a particular ideologys media.

shiftless88

You mean none of the whites cared? Lots of people have cared about this for a long time, but their voices are getting strong enough now to bring it up.

thump1202

Whites are the largest demographic supporting nonsense measures like these, largely out of fear of being targeted by the far left who are also disproportionately white.

shiftless88

thump, you said no one cared. I am pointing out that lots of people cared for a very long time. You with your white privilege were just never aware of it.

thump1202

No one does really care. I don't have white privilege, I'm tired of leftists trying to make me out to be weak, stupid, and oppressed when I have legal equality to every other American and trying to stuff my head with victimhood instead of the tools to make a plan and execute it for my own success. Minorities need the exact opposite message you're trying to sell here to raise their average income and that's why I'm tired of garbage wastes of time like this story and am willing to spend a couple minutes calling it out as what it is.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] thump!

User1

Let’s get rid of all those traitors buried in Mt Olivet cemetery on the confederate dead side. Do you want to go that far? Seeing a Mexican or El Salvadoran flag flying in the neighborhood upsets me a heck of a lot more than the confederate battle flag.

awteam2000

StrengthofLiberty, ... “outrage”?”Hatred”? “Confederate State of America”? TJ was way dead before the civil war. We’re discussing a dated school name, and does the name identify with the student body of today. Johnson wasn’t a confederates,long dead before then. The question is, ‘does his bad acts outweigh his good acts. Should one’s school be named as an honor, for a slave owner? Is it appropriate to name a public school after a person who traded in human suffering and wouldn’t had recognize many of the students of today as citizens, but at the same time was an active leader in the birth of our nation.

🤷‍♂️ I don’t hear outrage but questions whether the school name makes sense today.

StrengthofLiberty

To that end - does it make sense today to have the symbol of the Crossland Banner in the Maryland state flag? Or how appropriate to have Lord Baltimore's bold heraldry the second element given his treatment of women, and preference for white men of wealth? To the end that I see this "PC" meaning to me: Past or Present Censor, or Censorship - the glut of our history's symbols are up for grabs or for examination as appropriate for today. I guess Captial One Arena is just what - equal?

shiftless88

Strength; do you think that if all symbols are not removed then none should be? If that is your attitude about things I'm surprised you even get out of bed in the morning because your day will not be perfect so might as well stay in bed.

awteam2000

I do like the Maryland State flag. Under Armour has turned the state flag into a cool insignia, loosing it’s southern symbolic sympathies, into a new symbol of state pride, non-divisive. But I do have problems with the state anthem. The song advocates the overthrow of the United States government. It disparages Northerners and President Abraham Lincoln and doesn’t represent the ideals and values of Marylanders today."

But i’m not sure what that has to do with a school’s name.

StrengthofLiberty

No shiftless88 - I am not advocating for all symbols to be removed - I am asking for a less random series of attacks. Instead of this drip, drip, drip STD of blame and shame. Give the entire nation a list. Provide strategies, alternative names, other cultural works that would be used to replace the random, and manipulated elements of history that are pretending to be moral discussions. BTW - Lord Baltimore was a pip. Its written over and over again about him and the laws he enacted - "Slavery became worse for slaves." So - what history is safe from being infected by the STD of blame and shame? I am asking - when does it stop? When will the abused find justice? Or more aptly - can the abused not become abusers? Rename. Remove. Renovate. The past remains prologue.

awteam2000

Lord Baltimore was a title. So who are you referring to?

shiftless88

Strength; why must everything happen at once? Society changes. Some powerless voices become stronger over time. I am pretty sure if I gave you a list you would fight it anyway. It is just an excuse to do nothing, as always.

User1

So your saying “gated name, time for change”. Are we going to have “expiration dates” on everything named now? Let’s pass a law....nothing named after ANY people. Only cute animals, mythical animals, rainbows! It’s part of history! Delete history, delete southern monuments, delete southern leaders.....fine! Then forget about crying about reparations.....because IT NEVER HAPPENED! See the logic?

thump1202

People need to be trained to be concerned about things like this. Without someone to create a problem out of it for others, these objects roll off of the eyes and cause no significant reaction or hardship in anyone's life. You people who have time to be outraged over these topics need to thank whatever creator you believe in that your life is so easy in this country that you have he luxury to worry about whether a statue is offensive or not. Your time is better spent exercising, gardening, or doing anything productive or even relaxing.

Dwasserba

"You people" is always offensive.

thump1202

Don Lemon would be proud of how you took that out of context. Let me rephrase You people who have time to be offended over things like these to Racists. More clear?

shiftless88

versus those who take the time to comment twice about it in the comments? How much time did you spend?

thump1202

Very little. And what are you insinuating there?

shiftless88

thump; my point is that it takes little time to be annoyed by stupid things like naming schools after people that history has shown to be on the wrong side of a human rights argument.

awteam2000

Thump1202, really, “You people who have time to be outraged over these topics”, you sound like the one out of control, rolling and screaming on the ground, outraged and along with JSK. He searching for Thomas Johnson’s slaves.

thump1202

Quite the imagination you've got there. Is that how you reacted when Trump was elected?

awteam2000

Got drunk 🥴

thump1202

Same here actually, half of work called out sick including the boss! Pulling all the extra weight while half asleep and hung over was hell.

Blueline

While Thomas Johnson may have owned slaves, I never read anywhere where he "enslaved" anyone.

eoz7

Blueline, your ignorance is blinding. Owning a slave is enslaving a human being.

Burgessdr

Eoz7 your ignorance is blinding. George Washington owned 100s of slaves and profited from enslaving human beings. Why no rant about George Washington being a horrible cruel person

eoz7

Burgessdr Your comment makes no sense. I was pointing out that enslaving a person is the SAME as owning a slave. How did you miss that? Poor you. We can certainly discuss Washington's ownership of slaves. Glad you brought that up!

Dwasserba

"Merriam-Webster: 1enslave
verben·slave\in-ˈslāv, en-\
: to make (someone) a slave"
When a child's parents are slaves, and that child is born, *someone* considers that child a slave as well...

awteam2000

🤷‍♂️Owning slaves is enslavement, Blueline. Do you mean something else?

threecents

While you all are arguing semantics, I say let's start with the bigger names. If we are not willing to sand blast Mount Rushmore, then we should not touch TJ High. And in case anyone does not know it - We are dang well not touching Mt. Rushmore anytime soon, no matter what Beta or AOC want.

awteam2000

Wow 😮 from a dated school’s name to sand blasting Mount Rushmore! Are we getting a little carried away. Btw, I think you meant to sleight ‘Beto’ O’Rourke nicknamed by his family to distinguish him from his Grandfather, Robert.

TwoDawgs56

Another case of the left trying to wipeout American history, and judge our Founding Fathers by today’s PC standards. In West Virginia there are dozens of buildings, highways, bridges named in honor of the late Senator and former KKK Exalted Cyclops leader Robert Byrd. So how about this: no more Founding Fathers, Confederate, or any other non-PC monument be removed until everything named for Bobbie Byrd is torn down or renamed. Enough of the double standards.

eoz7

So condemning the ownership and brutality of another human being functions as simply PC? So owning a person, selling their children, beating and raping that person should be acceptable behavior, but "today's PC standards" make such things annoyingly (your emphasis) unacceptable? In short, you think they should be acceptable. Check your morality, it is missing.

thump1202

Check your privilege, you are so well fed, comfortable, and have so much free time you're able to spend time on nonsense like this and feel like a good person by virtue signalling on a topic that doesn't have any effect on your life.

gabrielshorn2013

eoz7, were all slaves treated like that, or is that what you heard? Yes, people owned other people. Reprehensible now, but quite common in Colonial America. Slaves were not disposable, and discarded. They were indispensable parts of the Colonial economy, whether we like it or not. Do you abuse your possessions, or do you take care of them to get the maximum service life?

User1

And these people seem to fail to realize that a majority of these “slaves” were sold to slavers by other blacks! Sometimes even family members! Look it up.

eoz7

My comment is for TwoDawgs56

TwoDawgs56

Smart guy, how do you know if he “abused” slaves? I’m concerned with more recent history when Robbie Byrd was a leader of his state’s KKK at a time when people of color were still lynched. Wake up, TJ may not have been a “perfect” human being, but because of his courage, we are not living under British tyranny.

Business Owner

You stated "Although slavery ended in Maryland in 1864, its legacy is with us every day in structural and institutionalized racism." Please provide examples of structural and institutional racism that exist today. Please be specific -- provide documented examples. You might want to share your definition of these terms so that we have a common basis to start from. This sentence appears to be the main reason for the change and I'm just curious what needs to change structurally or institutionally in our government and society.

eoz7

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-modern-day-redlining-20180215-story.html

eoz7

https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-2012-07-12-bs-md-ci-wells-fargo-20120712-story.html

eoz7

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/racial-disparities-in-school-discipline-are-growing-federal-data-shows/2018/04/24/67b5d2b8-47e4-11e8-827e-190efaf1f1ee_story.html

eoz7

@business owner, I can provide many, many, many more examples of the structural inequality that is a legacy of slavery. Dr. Amt is completely correct in her statement. I challenge you to prove otherwise.

Business Owner

Your sources are not valid -- please include primary research not the "research" of others trying to sell newspapers to liberal audiences. Do we have segregated schools? No. Can an African American teach in our schools? Yes. Can African Americans serve as police officers? Yes. Are all people, regardless of color allowed to vote? Yes. Does FMH treat all people, regardless of race? Yes. Can an African American serve as President? Yes. Has the United States ever elected an African American President? Yes, twice. Can an African American serve as Mayor or Alderman in Frederick? Yes. Can an African American serve in the House of Representative (Congress and Senate) of the United States? Yes. Can an African American serve in the Maryland Legislator, serve as Governor or Lt. Governor? Yes.

If we lived in a country with structural inequality, you would have to change the answers to these questions and many, many more. We didn't even touch affirmative action in education, government service and corporations. Oh, by the way, Wells Fargo tried to steal from my parents (I'm white) too and would have had I not gotten involved. Poor business practices from various corporations hold no weight either.

eoz7

@Business owner - Not valid? I could provide more information than you could possible comprehend. You exist in a position of ignorance that disallows you to see the truth. Your privilege is blinding you. I have pity on you. All things come to light. Your ignorance, your lack of willingness to understand the realities of today and the continuation of racial injustice and structural inequality will crumble.

rlc5495

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

gabrielshorn2013

Oh jeez, and out come the rulers. "My list is bigger than yours". Let's change our currency, state and city names, and remove the monuments in DC, even DC itself.

DickD

You are good, B.O. You are good![beam]

thump1202

So if I submit an op ed about flat Earth to one of these enquirer level publications and link it, is that proof that the Earth is flat?

Business Owner

Privileged? I paid for my college using a shovel to move dirt, concrete, and asphalt. Prior to that worked on a pile driver on open water. Many, many long days in summer heat in typically dangerous work. I was privileged to have work ethic given to me by my Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Father, Mother, Aunts, Uncles, and siblings. Given that I have a bachelors and two masters degrees hardly qualifies me as ignorant so your claim to overwhelm me with detail isn't impressing me at all. Fact: (1) The questions I posed, if answered differently, would prove that we live in a country with structural and institutional racism. Racism exists in this county -- no doubt -- and I pray we can change the hearts and minds of those who think they are superior to another race. Wasting our time renaming schools will not get us there. (2) In my answer I did not attack you personally -- did not say you lacked intelligence nor did I assume anything about your background.

Business Owner

Apparently.

shiftless88

Business owner; if you do not believe it exists then you must be purposely turning a blind eye. Look, for example, at real estate trends and loan trends. Did you know that blacks were not allowed to buy in certain neighborhoods? That pushed them all into a few neighborhoods and propagated poverty.

Business Owner

Wake up Mr./Ms. Rip Van Winkle. That practice was outlawed 50 years ago (Fair Housing Act) and if it exists anywhere today those who are the victims of this horrible practice would have a path for redress in our legal system. You can blame the entitlements in LBJ's "Great Society" on the propagation of poverty and poor Urban Planning that placed low-income families in the same building. Hope VI, used by Frederick City for more than 10 years, is a much better way to go -- this approach doesn't separate low-income families/households from other income groups.

shiftless88

Apparently you aren't reading the news. Disparities in lending to black families versus white families still exist. The tests of submitting identical job applications with two different names, one being more linked to blacks, shows the disparities exist. Sentencing of blacks and whites for the same crime is blatantly unbalanced. The evidence is overwhelming.

eoz7

Business Owner, if you had actually read the articles I posted (all of the information can also be found on the Department of Justice website) demonstrates that redlining still exists! Wells Fargo, B of A, Suntrust all have denied loans based on race or giving higher interest rates to qualified black and brown buyers in the last five year!

Business Owner

With all due respect shiftless88 and eoz7, you seem to have missed my point -- perhaps I wasn't clear. If anyone is the victim of horrible business practices in this country, they can pursue redress in the State and perhaps Federal Court. Sixty years ago, they didn't have that ability across all 50 states.

For the record, I respect your opinions and admire that you both appear to be concerned when people are treated unfairly. No one, in this day and age, should be the victim of racial discrimination.

fnfn

The power of small numbers of people with Senators that are made equal to Senators that represent far more people. A holdover from the Constitution slavery issues including representing black people as 3/5 a non voting person.

Burgessdr

Dr Amt quote "When we name monuments for an individual, we honor that individual and hold him up as a role model for young people. President George Washington enslaved African Americans and stole their labor for his own enrichment. At Mount Vernon, 100's of school-aged children were enslaved over time."

shiftless88

I think it is appropriate to balance the good they did with the bad they did. I believe George Washington did plenty of good compared to his bad. Can't say the same about a lot of others in that era.

Burgessdr

Thomas Johnson's contributions to the US and Maryland were significant and all "plenty good." So why do you not balance his good but do for Washington? Hypocrisy

gabrielshorn2013

By the good doctor's reasoning, we can expect a change to our currency, both paper and coin, in the near future. After all, many of those depicted were slaveholders. Then comes the renaming of states and cities, even the very seat of our democracy, Washing DC. Mount Rushmore will be defaced, and all other monuments to these men torn down. Stop, please just stop all of this PC nonsense. The past is the past.

Business Owner

gabrielshorn2013 -- I agree with you on this one -- well stated.

Whoknows

Totally agree with Gabrielshorn! Rewriting history as if it never happened is dangerous and is a very slippery slope. Once that ball is rolling (which it already is), there is no telling where (or if) it will stop. Please stop the PC nonsense before it's too late! Let history be history It's "history" for a reason.

awteam2000

That’s not rewriting history... Like most Marylanders, and the majority of kids that attend TJ, they have no clue who Thomas Johnson was, nor do they care. And, I doubt that either school holds Thomas Johnson up as a modern day role model 🤔.

shiftless88

Rewriting history, like pretending TJ didn't own and sell slaves? Why is taking his name off a school "erasing history"? School names are not history books.

gabrielshorn2013

Let's try a hypothetical to see if your reasoning holds shiftless. Suppose sometime in the future a city, say Baltimore, wishes to honor an outstanding citizen by renaming a street. They decide to rename MLK Boulevard after the war hero and patriot PC Milquetoast. Would the citizenry be rightly outraged at this proposal? Why or why not.

awteam2000

Gab, In your hypothetical is MLK’s actions now seen as taboo? You know, like profiting off human bondage?

gabrielshorn2013

aw, I am a huge fan of Dr. King, but I believe he had a few warts, as we all do. There were many reports of extramarital dalliances according to the FBI (got that from the History Channel). I was looking for a virtuous man of color with something named after him. I guess I could have gone for Malcolm X, but Newark NJ would be too far. So let’s say that the Puritans come back into vogue, and extramarital dalliances are a damnable offense, and the City of Baltimore wants to rename MLK Blvd to PC Milquetoast Highway. Since despite all the great things MLK did, should his extramarital affairs be reason enough to remove his name from the road, in favor of PC M?

awteam2000

You, as a huge fan of MLK, to compare his faults and accomplishments to TJ’s, I find Interesting. But let’s say there’s a time when the taboo, extramarital affair‘s, MLK infidelities, are seen by the public to outweigh his accomplishments, and choose to strip him of the ‘posthumous honor’ of avenues named for him, then we will have reached a very virtuous state. One thing good, Trump won’t have a chance of a short alley being named after him. I can live with that.

gabrielshorn2013

I said it was a hypothetical aw, and there are societies today where adultery is a capital offense. It was punishable to various levels in Colonial times, so historically, you shouldn’t be surprised at the comparison.

shiftless88

What is wrong with changing a school name? It isn't that hard. It is not uncommon as society changes and governments change to stop honoring those we realize no longer deserve the full honor. Heck, the US military pulled down the statue of Saddam. Why? Were they erasing history?

gabrielshorn2013

Actually shiftless, yes they were. The victor destroying the vanquished monuments. Common.

threecents

Gabe[thumbup]Changing all the symbols and bombing Mount Rushmore and all the monuments and memorials probably does nothing to make most minorities feel any better. I think they would prefer government focus on education programs and other efforts to improve their lives.

gabrielshorn2013

Thanks three. I had a vision of the Taliban using tanks to deface the statues of the Buddha because they accept no other history except the one they deem to be true. I agree with focusing on beneficial projects.

awteam2000

We’ll said, Dr. Amt. When I first moved to Frederick, I found it odd that a low income housing project, predominantly African-American was named after a slave owner John Hanson. Times change. What seems appropriate one day, may not be tomorrow.

jsklinelga

Dr. Amt
Since you seem so eager to "dishonor" this gentleman maybe you could shed some light on his slave ownership. Did he buy slaves? Where? How many slaves did he own? Is there any records of his attempts to free the slaves, like George Washington tried, or help establish a place in Africa where they could be returned as free similar to men like Judge Taney? Does moving in with his daughter whose husband owned slaves make him a slave owner? I am not sure of the history but before this distinguished man is furthered dishonored it would be nice to know additional facts.

niceund

1830??? How many "people of color" have attended and graduated from these schools since their inception and are very successful today? How many cared about the name?
It's time for this crap to stop.

threecents

I was not aware of a lot in this letter and would like to know more, including the opinions of the black kids who go to TJ and their parents. The school has a lot of history too, and changing the name might cause more harm than good. Thomas Johnson is an important figure in Maryland's history, and he is no more a symbol of slavery than was George Washington.

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