Civil Rights Activist Carl Snowden on Anne Arundel’s Troubled History and Rising Hate

Civil Rights Activist Carl Snowden on Anne Arundel’s Troubled History and Rising Hate

Listen to Pete’s interview with Carl Snowden for WPFW’s On The Ground.

“It’s not surprising that we’ve seen an increase of hate or racist incidents” in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, civil rights activist Carl Snowden told me in an interview for WPFW’s On the Ground. We spoke in Annapolis, the city where Snowden previously served as a city councilmember and which is the county seat of government.

Understanding Anne Arundel today requires knowing its history, Snowden said. He noted that just 20 years ago the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in Annapolis. Only two decades before that, the presidential campaigns of Alabama Gov. George Wallace, with their message of white supremacism, found a large following among Anne Arundel voters. (Wallace won Anne Arundel in his 1964 and 1972 bids and had a strong showing in 1968.)

Image credit:   Baltimore Sun

Image credit: Baltimore Sun

Fast forward to the Trump era and hate incidents are rising both nationally and in Maryland. Like the president, the politics of two Anne Arundel County councilmembers, John Grasso and Michael Peroutka, also lean toward white nationalism. I’ve previously reported on how extreme Grasso and Peroutka are, yet they still retained significant Republican support right through their recent losses.

Come December 3, Grasso and Peroutka will be off the Anne Arundel County Council, and the Council will become majority Democrat (and also majority female, with the board going from all male to a 5-to-2 female majority).

Snowden discussed these political developments, the rising hate incidents, as well as his efforts to build a memorial to the victims of the shooting of the Capital Gazette, where he’s a columnist.

Photo credit: Capital Gazette

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