Friday, June 26, 2015

HISTORY - South's Confederate Past

"How should the South see its Confederate past?" PBS NewsHour 6/23/2015


SUMMARY:  As more politicians and governments call for the removal of the Confederate flag from public life, and retailers like Amazon and Walmart bar the sale of flag memorabilia, Judy Woodruff talks to Jack Hunter of, author Isabel Wilkerson and Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention about Southern legacy and confronting difficult history.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  The wave of reactions to the Confederate Flag today reached into state capitols across the south.  The governors of Virginia and North Carolina both called for taking the flag off special-order license plates.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, should be taken out of that state’s capitol rotunda.  And, in Mississippi, the speaker of the statehouse called for the removal of the Confederate emblem from the state flag.

We use this moment to take a look at the South of today with Russell Moore, who is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Liberty Commission.  Jack Hunter is a radio host and blogger in South Carolina who has used the identity the Southern Avenger.  And from Atlanta is Isabel Wilkerson. She’s the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Warmth of Other Suns,” about Southern black migration.

And we welcome all three of you to the program.

Russell Moore, let me start with you.

What role does the Confederate Flag play in the identity of the South today, do you believe?

RUSSELL MOORE, Southern Baptist Convention:  Well, I think Confederate Battle Flag is a symbol that causes a great deal of division and reminds us of a really hurtful legacy and past.

So, I think people see it in different ways.  And I think what some people see in the Confederate Flag is a sense of Southern assertion that the South matters.  So, for instance I was at a conference one time where the speaker, every time that he would reference saying something ignorant, would do it in a Southern accent.

I think there are some Southerners, black and white, who feel as though the rest of the country looks down on the South as uneducated and backward.  And for some people, that was a symbol of defiance against that.

But it’s really clear that the way the Confederate Battle Flag has been used, not only initially in terms of the Confederate States of America, but in our more recent history in terms of terrorist acts against African-Americans, that this is a symbol that causes unnecessary division.

No comments: