If your state’s song was written before 1995, there’s a very likely chance it’s racist as hell. The state legislature in Maryland voted on Monday to repeal its state song, which, as of now, is very pro-Confederate.
According to CNN, this is not the first attempt to repeal “Maryland, My Maryland” as the state’s song but it’s the first attempt that looks like it might actually succeed. Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones, the first Black woman to serve in that position, and state Sen. Cheryl Kagan, who has previously attempted three times to repeal the song, were behind the most recent effort to repeal the song. Kagan told CNN that the ongoing racial reckoning brought on by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Freddie Gray, who died at the hands of Baltimore police officers in 2015, resulted in “pressure to finally get rid of offensive Confederate-themed symbols,” becoming majority consensus.
So what exactly makes this song so trash? Woo, chile, let me tell you.
The song, written by Confederate sympathizer James Ryder Randall, came after a confrontation between secessionists and Union troops in Baltimore ended with blood being shed. Randall refers to President Abraham Lincoln as a “despot,” and says that Maryland “spurns the Northern scum.” While Maryland didn’t secede from the union, slavery was legal and many supported the Confederacy in the state.
Making the shit even more racist was the fact that the song wasn’t even officially adopted as the state song until 1939, a whole 74 years after the Civil War officially ended. Efforts to repeal the song date all the way back to 1970, but as you can see none of them went anywhere.
Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, is expected to sign the bill repealing the song into law, with spokesman Michael Ricci telling CNN that Hogan “has never really cared for the song and plans to sign the measure.”
There are currently no plans on what to replace the song with, though I suggest they just get Cordae on the track with a Ty Dolla $ign feature and call it a day. If they don’t want to do that, then the theme song from The Wire should suffice.