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#TalkRadio – April 16: Public Tax Dollars Paying for Racist Statues: The Case for Renaming Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge

April 16 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

April 16, 2024: Public Tax Dollars Paying for Racist Statues: The Case for Renaming Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge

The nonpartisan “Igniting Change Radio Show with Barbara Arnwine, Esq. and Daryl Jones, Esq.” program will be aired from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Radio One’s WOL 1450 AM in the Washington, DC metropolitan area as well as nationwide on WOLDCNEWS.COM and Barbaraarnwine.com.

Please note, during the show there are 3 hard stop commercial breaks at 12:13 PM Eastern Time, 12:28 PM ET and 12:43 PM ET.


Carl Snowden: 12:00 PM – 12:57 PM ET
Convener, Caucus of African American Leaders; Former Civil Rights Director for the Office of the Maryland Attorney General; Former Annapolis City Alderman.

State Senator Michael Bowen Mitchell: 12:00 PM – 12:57 PM ET
Former Maryland State Senator, Nephew of Congressman Parren J. Mitchell; the Baltimore Maryland Circuit Courthouse is named for his father, Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr.

State Senator Jill Carter: 12:00 PM – 12:57 PM ET
Member, Maryland State Senate, Representing Baltimore; Member, Maryland State Bar Association.

Jayda Jeffrey, TJC Fellow, Class of 2022 12:00 PM – 12:57 PM ET

 Quincy Robinson, TJC Fellow, Class of 2022, 12:00 PM – 12:57 PM ET


The Igniting Change Radio Show on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, from 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Eastern Time, entitled, “Public Tax Dollars Paying for Racist Statues: The Case for Renaming Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge,” will be live with Radio Show Co-Hosts and Transformative Justice Coalition (TJC) Co-Leaders Attorneys Barbara Arnwine, Esq. and Daryl Jones, Esq. and guests Carl Snowden, former Baltimore Maryland State Senator Micheal B. Mitchell, nephew of Congressman Parren J. Mitchell, and Maryland State Senator Jill Carter.

This show will focus on the issue of the naming of monuments and structures after slaveholders and racist Americans, that if funded by public taxpayer money.  Maryland holds the fourth highest percentage of African American citizens in America.  It is the only state in America with an African American Governor.  Maryland also boasts an African American women as the Speaker of the House.  Yet Maryland taxpayers have supported the naming of monuments after people who stood for slavery and against the advancement and inclusion of African Americans.

Francis Scott Key, the writer of the words to the “Star Spangled Banner” was a Maryland native, a lawyer, a poet and a slave owner.  Key served in the War of 1812 and wrote the “Star Spangled Banner” while witnessing the twenty-five hour bombardment of Fort McHenry.

Francis Scott Key and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the dreaded Dred Scott decision which opined that, “…[B]lacks had no rights which the white man was bound to respect,” were not only close friends, but Justice Taney was married to Francis Scott Key’s sister, Anne Phoebe Charlton Key.

Francis Scott Key rigorously upheld and defended slavery.  In Fact, Key was a close political advisor of U.S. President Andrew Jackson, a Tennessee slaveholder who believed Black people were subservient and should be enslaved.  After being elected President, Jackson brought enslaved people from Tennessee to the White House with him.

Given Maryland’s high African American population percentage, fourth highest in America, and understanding that the GenZ/Young Millennial voters are the most multi-cultural, multi-religious, diverse and accepting of differences in our country’s history, the question becomes what will drive the consideration of the renaming of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Today, the issue regarding the naming, removal and renaming of markers, monuments and various public edifices with public tax dollars has raised the question as to how elected officials determine for whom public structures should be named.

This show will discuss the decision of removing historical racist markers, the renaming of racist historical edifices and the best system to catalog and record America’s peculiar institution.

Our guest today will discuss the challenges voters, taxpayers and elected officials face in removing, replacing and renaming publicly funded edifices.  Our guest will also discuss strategies that they are taking to overcome state, local and grassroots communities that are in opposition to the removal, replacing and renaming of racist slaveholders on public structures.

Resource Stories



(The questions included below are designed to provide a guide but are not the only possible questions, nor will they necessarily be asked in the exact same order. If a question does not have a specific name, then it is for everyone.  All panel participants are encouraged to weigh in on all questions are the speaker has completed their thoughts).

Carl, you have initiated a movement to rebuild and rename the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore after Congressman Parren J. Mitchell.  Why did you decide to undertake this effort?

Why do you believe that the Francis Scott Key bridge should be renamed?

Victor Blackwell asked the question on CNN, is there a line in the sand where historical occurrences, that were common during its time, but is considered bad policy today exists, such that the naming of facilities should be judged by the era and common practices in which the person lived?

Senator Carter, How are state funded projects named?

  1.  Is there a best practice to name state funded projects?
  2. What role should the public have in naming State funded projects?
  3. Do you believe that the Key Bridge should be renamed?

The Roger Taney statue was removed from the Maryland State House grounds. Are you familiar with why this occurred?

Senator Mitchell, what is it about Congressman Mitchell that you believe merits a bridge in Baltimore being named after him?

  1. What challenges did Congressman Mitchell face being the first African American to be elected to Congress out of Maryland?
  2. You are the patriarch of the Mitchell family, what would it mean to you to have the Baltimore bridge named after Congressman Mitchell?

We know that George Washington owned slaves, should publicly funded projects bearing his name be renamed?

For each of you, Maryland’s Governor is the only African American Governor in America.  What do you think is the biggest political concern facing Maryland Governor Wes Moore in the naming of the bridge?

Do you believe that state legislatures banning books, restricting access to reproductive freedom and making it more difficult for young voters to access ballot boxes will have the opposite effect of having young voters rise up and vote?

How does voting for elected officials weigh in on the Francis Scott Key Bridge naming controversy and Similar naming controversies across America?

What do you think is the most important grassroots organizing effort that needs to happen in order to ensure a non-offending naming of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and similar publicly funded structures?

How can our listeners assist in the renaming effort?

What are your final thoughts to our listeners?

Thank you for all of your hard work. How do our listeners get in contact with you?


News Talk Radio 1450