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Montgomery County Council moves to rename Potomac street honoring infamous white supremacist

Jubal Early Court was named in the 1950's after a Confederate general whose memoirs included multiple passages calling Blacks "inferior."

POTOMAC, Md. — In Potomac, Maryland, sits a quiet street just off Montrose Road named after one of the most notorious white supremacists of the 1800's: Jubal Early. 

Early, a former Confederate general, had this to say about Black people in his memoirs:

“Reason, common sense, true humanity to the black, as well as the safety of the white race, required that the inferior race should be kept in a state of subordination.

“[Slavery] had furnished a class of laborers as happy and contented as any in the world.”

Credit: National Park Service
Confederate general Jubal Early in 1863

In the 1950’s, Montgomery County planners gave Jubal Early Court its name, despite Early having only set foot in Montgomery county once before. 

"[He] occupied our towns with a foreign, treasonous invading army," said Montgomery County councilmember Hans Riemer.

Riemer said he's had enough. He wants to change Jubal Early Court’s name as soon as possible.

"To have to live in this country as a Black person, or as any person and see these symbols of hate, racism and white supremacy and be told that's not what they are. You know, that has got be terrible. I hate it. I really can't stand it. I want to get rid of all of those markers and all that that legacy," said Riemer.

One woman WUSA9 talked to living on Jubal Early Court says she’d rather see any money spent on changing the name going to pay for more school counselors.

Credit: Nathan Baca
The cul-de-sac at the end of Jubal Early Ct in Potomac, Md.

Riemer admitted, "It will be complicated for the homeowners, because, you know, you think about it all your bills, all your documents, have your street name on it. But, you know, it's worth it. It's worth it."

Naming things for Confederate leaders is not a controversy limited to Maryland. WUSA9 spotted the Stonewall Jackson Volunteer Fire Department’s engine taking on a Manassas, Virginia, apartment fire Wednesday afternoon. We asked the department if it was considering changing its name honoring the Confederate general. Within hours, the department promised to “resolve” the name “quickly” after it gets “community input.”

Credit: Sky9
Stonewall Jackson volunteer fire engine responds in Manassas June 17, 2020.

RELATED: Stonewall Jackson fire department will 'resolve' controversial name

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Back to Montgomery County: The entire council has now asked the county executive to review all public places named for Confederate soldiers, demanding they be renamed.

Credit: Nathan Baca
Jubal Early Court in Potomac, Md.

There is no exact number to how many there could be. First, a study needs to be done. Any changes would need to be approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board, a process that could take months.

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