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The Maryland legislature voted on Monday to repeal the state’s fight song over its connections to the Confederacy.
The song, titled “Maryland, My Maryland,” is adapted from an 1861 poem by James Ryder Randall, a Confederate sympathizer. The song is a call to arms against the Union, refers to the Union states as “Northern scum” and derides former President Abraham Lincoln as a despot.
State lawmakers have been pushing to repeal the Civil War era ballad since 1974. The Senate passed a motion repealing the song in a 45-0 vote, and the House took up the measure and passed it on Monday 95-38, sending it to GOP Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk, according to The New York Times.
Hogan has not yet said whether he intends to sign the bill or not, though he has said that he does not like the song.
“I don’t see any problem with it,” Hogan said in reference to the repeal bill earlier this month. “And I never liked the song in the first place.”
The effort to repeal the state song gained enough support to pass the legislature in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in May of last year and the national protests and riots that followed.
“This has stained the pages of our law for too long,” Democratic House Speaker Pro Tempore Sharee Sample-Hughes said earlier this month. “The passage of this legislation is one more way that we can, as a state, take a stand on racism.”
Democratic Sen. Cheryl C. Kagan said that resistance from the previous Senate president, Democrat Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., was why the song had not been repealed earlier. Miller was the longest serving state Senate president in U.S. history. He resigned his post in early 2020 and died in January.
“There has been a long battle between those who are offended by the lyrics and those who perceive it as an important aspect of preserving history,” Kagan said. “President Miller fell on the history side. He was an avid historian and it was a challenge to get it past him.”
Floyd died in police custody after one of the arresting officers kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The chief medical examiner for Hennepin County found potentially lethal amounts of drugs, fentanyl and methamphetamines, in Floyd’s body during an autopsy. As The Daily Wire reported:
New court documents have uncovered two memorandums, dated May 26 and June 1, that suggest Chief Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker concluded George Floyd likely died from a fentanyl overdose and found “no physical evidence suggesting” that he died of asphyxiation.
“AB (Andrew Baker) said that if Mr. Floyd had been found dead in his home (or anywhere else) and there were no other contributing factors he would conclude that it was an overdose death,” says a memo dated June 1, outlining a May 31 virtual with Dr. Baker.
The memos seemingly run contrary to the Armed Forces medical examiner and Hennepin County medical examiner’s final conclusion that Floyd’s death was a homicide.
“His death was caused by the police subdual and restraint in the setting of severe hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and methamphetamine and fentanyl intoxication,” the Armed Forces medical examiner found, according to FOX 9.