Black Journalist Argues That Destroyed Baltimore Bridge Should Be Renamed Due To The Fact That Francis Scott Key Owned Slaves

Jack Hadfield

Following the destruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, left-wing outlet The Root has called for the replacement bridge to be renamed due to the fact that the previous namesake owned slaves.

The bridge, which carried the I-695 Baltimore Beltway road, collapsed early Tuesday morning after the MV Dali container ship crashed into one of its piers. The bodies of two construction workers who were on the bridge at the time have since been recovered, while four other workers are currently missing and tragically presumed dead.

Soon after, some commentators on social media speculated as to whether the rebuild of the bridge would retain its original name due to the recent surge in incidents involving historic figures, statues, and institutions being revised due to modern liberal sensibilities.

Anthony Cumia, the host of the Anthony Cumia Show, posted on X on late Tuesday, arguing that “anyone who thinks the replacement for the Francis Scott Key bridge will keep the same name hasn’t been paying attention.”

Cumia continued: “Look for the ‘discussion’ to begin about renaming the bridge after someone more ‘representative’ of the population of Baltimore.”

In 1976, while the bridge was still being built, it was named in honor of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner after witnessing the assault on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.

On Wednesday morning, The Root, an “African American-oriented online magazine,” ran an article titled, “When The Bridge in MD is Rebuilt, Rename it Because Francis Scott Key Was a Slave Owner.”

In the article, author Wayne Washington argued that the Francis Scott Key namesake should be done away with as a result of his slave-owning past.

“We should not, in 2020-whenever-the-bridge-is-rebuilt, be naming things in honor of former slaveholders,” Washington wrote. “Yep, Key had that colonial fever. He bought his first slave in 1800 or 1801. Even at that long-ago date, slavery had ceased being an unquestioned aspect of American life,” Washington wrote. “There were people who questioned its morality, abhorred its horrors. Key bought a few more Black people during his life and had seven or eight when he died in 1843.”

Washington proposes that any new bridge be named after Black American icons such as Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglass, or former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

“I know there are those who are frothing now, pointing out that I’m ‘playing the race card’ during this tragedy. And my response is… yep, I am most definitely doing precisely that,” Washington concluded. “If, after this tragedy, we can focus on the urgent need to turn away from spit-in-the-face insults to Black Americans, count me in on some of that.”

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Jack Hadfield

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