Maryland is the only state in the country with a Confederate symbol for its State song. Its lyrics glorify Maryland’s shameful slave-holding history. To think that children have been singing this hateful song for seven decades, makes me cringe with angry embarrassment. Let this be the year for us to topple Maryland’s musical monument to the Confederacy and send a strong message that all are welcome in today’s Maryland.
My Unitarian Universalist faith calls me to respect the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Surely a new song – such as "Maryland, My Maryland: The Free State Song"– can replace a song of hate with a song of pride and inclusion and teach us about all the people who have made Maryland truly the Free State.
Repeal our Shameful State Song
While there are multiple bills that will be introduced this year in regards to our state song, we are supporting the Repeal Bill (HB 667 / SB 8) for the following reasons.
1)The Repeal bill is simple, costs nothing and it's long overdue.
2) State leadership has signalled their support of this bill--let’s not lose the momentum by also insisting on Replacement this year,
3) the Repeal and Compete Bill (HB 437) contains problematic language around copyrights for the composers of contending songs, so it’s best to not get into a contest until that’s resolved, and
4) This would give the Speaker and President of the Senate time to appoint a panel to choose a new song or develop a process to do so.
Our song can wait that long.
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Please take a moment and get out the word about the racist nature of the State Song! You can involve your congregation, union members, and other organizations you’re in; teachers, birders, environmentalists, Orioles fans, racial and immigration justice activists, neighbors, friends and family in this effort to topple Maryland’s musical monument to the Confederacy!