I agree with John Ford, a long time, devoted public servant. And I thank Mrs. Ford and the Editors of The Star Democrat for republishing John’s sentiments.

His comments are genuine and thoughtful, as was he. They are not colored by avarice or by beliefs — conscious or otherwise — that have long since lost luster in the eyes of reasonable men and women. His sentiments are heartfelt.

The monument in its entirety — plinth and all — must be relocated. It must go.

There is a photograph of The Talbot Slave Market that is so shocking, shameful and sad, that tears of pain cannot help but well up in the eyes of any man or woman who feels and has love for one another. In another life, another time, “those slaves” could be me. Or you.

The Talbot County Courthouse looms over The Slave Market, steps from the hundreds bartered, bought and sold that day. One day of many

Most — if not all — of the people in that photograph were torn from their families, separated and sold. Never more would they see the ones they loved again. Never more would they laugh with them. Never more would they hug them, kiss them, touch them and know the joy of being together with them.

With each other. Like the families they were. Like our own families.

Ever.

The last remaining symbol of servitude in the State of Maryland, the last remaining symbol of shame, the last remaining symbol of centuries of oppression still stands in our public square. On hallowed ground.

Let it now travel a different road. Relocate “The Talbot Boys” with whatever respect due to the Talbot Historical Society. All. Of. It.

I have hope that each of you — and all of you together — and all of us — will join together in a common moment of grace, humility and determination. And hope. And do the right thing on June 23rd.

Do it unanimously. Together.

Not just because I’m asking. Not just because John or Peggy Ford is asking. Not just because history is asking.

Do it for every single human being who, over 400 years was born, lived and died in Talbot County. Who suffered in chains. Who suffered in bondage. Who suffered never losing hope that one day — one day — they would be free.

Set them free. Relocate “The Talbot Boys” and its base. Set us all free.

KEITH WATTS

Tilghman

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