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Many people in Baltimore woke to a surprise Wednesday morning: Their city removed all its Confederate monuments in the dead of night.

[rebelmouse-image 19530624 dam="1" original_size="750x1124" caption="Workers load statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson onto the bed of a truck. Photo by Alec MacGillis/AFP/Getty Images." expand=1]Workers load statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson onto the bed of a truck. Photo by Alec MacGillis/AFP/Getty Images.

Four monuments honoring the spirit of the confederacy — one of Robert E. Lee, another of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and the Roger B. Taney Monument — were gone by 5:30 a.m., the Baltimore Sun reported.


As word of the statues' removal got out in the early hours of the morning, the mood in Baltimore turned jubilant.

Students gather to take photos where a Confederate monument once stood. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

It wasn't just locals celebrating the news though.

The powerful images made waves online early Wednesday morning, as thousands applauded the long-overdue decision.

“It’s done,” said Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.

The city council voted on Monday to remove the statues, The New York Times reported — but the speed at which it happened surprised many. And that was intentional.

They needed to come down," Pugh explained of the quiet overnight operation. "My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could.”  

The events on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia — as well as President Trump's response to those events —  no doubt pushed Baltimore to move fast.

"Trump accomplishment: the removal of Jackson and Lee after nearly 70 years in Baltimore," ProPublica's Alec MacGillis, a journalist who captured much of the removal in real time, wrote on Twitter.

An accomplishment, to be clear, Trump probably isn't too excited about.

The president was met with a fury of criticism blasting his statements in the wake of the Charlottesville terrorist attack, when an alleged white supremacist plowed his car through a crowd of anti-Nazi protesters, killing one woman and injuring at least 19 others.

Trump's first response was to blame "many sides" — not the white supremacists or neo-Nazis — for the violence. After coming forward with a scripted response on Monday, Aug. 14, more explicitly denouncing racism, the president then fielded questions at a head-spinning press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday, Aug. 15. There, he seemingly backtracked on the previous day's remarks, defending the white supremacists in Virginia and railing against advocates demanding Confederate monuments be removed from public spaces.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

"I wonder: Is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?" Trump said of the monument removal. "You know, you really do have to ask yourself — where does it stop?"

Well, certainly not in Baltimore.

Trump may be fighting a losing battle in his defense of Confederate monuments, as a push to remove such statues gains steam across the South.

White supremacists rallied in Charlottesville over the college town's decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. In the wake of Saturday's violence, the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, wants to follow suit. Similar initiatives are taking shape in Dallas, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; and Jacksonville, Florida, Reuters reported. In May, New Orleans removed its final Confederate monument.

A worker measures the Jefferson Davis monument in New Orleans in May. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Removing statues can't fully remove the stains of slavery, of course, nor does it stomp out modern day white supremacy — the kind on display over the weekend, under the guise of "alt-right" or "white nationalist" labels.

But it's a symbolic gesture that reflects a very real desire to do better.

"It's major in its own right, but it's small when it comes to the bigger battle," said Derek Bowden, a photographer on the scene last night in Baltimore. "It's a bigger battle. This is a small victory."

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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