tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 9, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT
members, please take your seat. >> i am going to ask the charleston delegation anybody wants to stand with me this is in reference to the mother emanuel 9, and any of my colleagues want to stand with me, you are more than welcome. as many of you know the church itself sits in the district that i proudly represents, so in doing this i felt -- we felt this is how we should start our day at the state house in honoring them.
now, the mother emanuel 9 shall ever be in our hearts, they shall dwell forever with god, and the honorable reverend clemente pinckney, the pastor of the church and his members, the other souls simply are heard tywanza sanders and sharonda singleton, and myra thompson, and ethel lance, susan jackson, and the reverend daniel simmons sr., and reverend middleton doctor. i had to get through that, because most of these people
that resides in my district, i had -- many of us had personal relationships with as far as being our friends and our colleagues. we cannot ever add to what was their sacrifice. an example. they gave their last measure of devotion to their church and in doing so stands as an example of christian life. we humbly thank them for their example. grace and forgiveness started with the people most hurt, the families. we want to thank the families that shocked the world with their acts of forgiveness after forgiving a man that took the most precious thing from them. the christian acts of
forgiveness by these families have been heard around the world. sometimes we use the phrase the shot heard around the world. well, their acts of forgiveness have circled the world gently calm our hearts. we're reminded of the verse that says as christ forgave you so you also must do. they react with forgiveness that truly surpasses our human understanding. i firmly believe that they may well have come what could have become a calamity on top of a tragedy. we're all reminded of that. we pray that our state our
nation, and the world can embrace with unity the examples of forgiveness that begin with our families' response to unspeakable horror. our hearts will always be with the pinckneys, his precious daughters and each of the family members. we want to thank the people of mother emanuel ame church, a famous church a church built and sustained by the african-american community through the centuries. it was built and burned and then rebuilt, surviving natural and man-made storms, it will survive. we want to thank the leaders of
the a phfplme church and memorialize with a service just over a week ago, and all of the many people in the church who through unknown acts of kindness, both large and small made this more bearable. this has been an emotional time for all of us. and very much for the people of my district. i want to thank the people of my district for the love and compassion they have shown the world, that is the leadership they have shown thrusts upon them but shot shirked. this is already a community rocked by the murder of walter
l. scott. we want to thank the president barack obama who spoke eloquently of our loss, and we want to thank the people of charleston leaders who both responded professionally and with compassion, the mayor and his staff, police chief mullin and his officers we want to thank fred mcconnell at the open doors of the college of charleston, and governor haley, and we would love to thank the leaders in here who demonstrated love compassion and unity to the
world. this has brought forth a new way of seeing peace and new ways to justice. so what do we do now? the scales have been shed from all of our eyes, the blindness that was our affliction that prevented that from seeing what is against us, and the right thing to do is what we call the healing thing, the gentle laying down of the past and a hopeful road to the future, and i would be remiss knowing that all my khaurl stoneens and all the great organizations that help us
calm the world show the world that in charleston south carolina, and in the state of south carolina we are people all creeds and color united -- united as one. i want to give thanks to organizations such as naacp, the coalition for change, you work with us and showed the world that we can put all our differences aside in the time of need and call to leadership the true leaders of this state in which we have thus far to this second in this state house and especially in the house of
representatives, we are showing the world as one, as one we can achieve anything. god bless you all. [ applause ] before we begin this debate as mr. ginyard so eloquently said forgive others as god forgives you, and let us stand in a silent moment of prayer as we all remember the nine members that gave their lives and the families that continue to grieve. pray with me, if you would.
amen. thank you all so much. >> that was an amazing tribute that representative ginyard just gave to the house, and he is right, each and every person in here has stepped up and done your job as a state leader but there is one person that he did not mention that he left out that has been the rock in all of this horrible and horrendous tragedy we have gone to, and he pointed out riley did an outstanding job, and he did and i don't know who could have led us through that and governor nikki haley, she did a good job she did a good job, and governor haley led our state through a very -- what could have been a very divisive time, and you look
at south carolina and the way we handled this tragedy versus other communities, the quality of people we have here are second to none in the world, and the one person i wanted to mention that he left out was himself, and wendel stand up -- >> thank you wendel, for all of you have done over the last three weeks. >> the night on the murders, he was there on the scene with the mayor, and he said get over here now, and we have a big problem and he filled me in, and i said i will be there in the morning. and from that point forward he was at every press conference and wake and vigil and he rode this thing like tonto rides scout, and he was unbelievable. i want to state here from the well today i want to personally thank you for the leadership you provided to our state and our community during one of probably
the worse times i have seen in my lifetime, and i don't know what is going to happen with the flag debate and i don't care, but i want us to work through the tragedy, and we will continue to work together on these issues and god bless you all. >> thank you, representative. mr. mccoy? >> i ask that the remarks of mr. ginyard be placed in our books permanently. >> thank you so much. if they submit them in writing. >> we have messages regarding vetoes on the budgetary matters that we have taken up earlier this week. >> messages received. >> adopted.
>> senate 897, the first amendment is substitute one, substitute one, mr. pitts. >> members we are now on senate 897, and the first amendment is substitute one, and representative pitts is recognized. >> thank you mr. speaker and ladies and gentlemen of the house. folks from charleston, i feel your grief. one of the things i remember most when i first walked into this body 13 years ago was the smile of clemente pinckney one of the most gentle men that i know and never met, and the most pointed thing about him was his willingness to work with others.
to the mother emanuel church you folks came forward and showed the world what christian love is all about. to south carolina and to the members of this general assembly, you have shown unity and come together and not shown ferguson and not shown baltimore and not shown the ugly face of hatred that we have seen in a lot of other places, and i commend you for that. i fell short today because i intended to bring a picture that i had on my desk and i left it and it was a picture of me and my good friend ken kennedy sitting right back there together, and we were both standing and holding our mics and it was on the front page of the newspaper, and it said representative pitts,
republican, and represent kennedy a democrat addressed the general assembly on issues. when we leave here, i would like for us to have that same unity no matter what the outcome is. this first amendment is an amendment that is very telling to me because it's historical and it's about our done tree and it is about the war that those flags represent. some call it the war between the states, and some call it a civil war. growing up my family, it was called the war of northern aggression, and it's where the yankees attacked the south and that is what was ingrained in me
growing up. some of you know and many of you don't that there is native american in my heritage. my bald head wouldn't imply that but my high cheek bones and dark features do. and stan way the man who this amendment is about went to war, not over slavery slavery was a key reason for the civil war. scripture tells me that god dislikes the unbalance of scales, and whether it's putting people in chains and making slaves of them, or whether it is a factory or a meal having their
workers owe their soul to the company store our sharecroppers, owing their soul to the land owner and slavery is to be add hoerbed by all of us. but one of the main reasons for that great tragedy was state rights, the ability for states to govern themselves, and the states formed the federal government, and after the revolution it was ten years -- almost 11 years before they actually formed a nation and ratified a constitution. the colonies became states, and then it became the united states and there was a huge argument that still exists to this day over which should control the
destiny, the sovereignty of the states or the rule of the federal government and where the divide is on that. some of you probably are already thinking that i am talking about the current administration in washington, and i'm not. i am talking about washington in general. the federal government to me, has become a cancer. it's growing off the people of this land. and for several -- for several administrations it has been at the expense of hreubliberty of the states and liberty of the individuals. i disagreed with george bush's patriot act, and i think a lot
of people today that agreed with him at that point would agree with me now because of what it has become. i agreed with a lot of his domestic policies -- or disagrees with a lot of his domestic policies. it got me in trouble with a former speaker who at that time wanted to be ambassador and did become ambassador because i did a press conference against some of george bush's policies. i feel the same way about the concern the administration's policies, but it's not just those guys that hold the president's office it is washington as a whole. they are sucking the life out of this country and sucking the liberty out of your lives. now let's get back to this amendment. stan waoeuty, who was he? he was the chief of the cherokee
nation. the cherokee nation just north of -- let me see what direction i am looking -- north of us. part of the cherokee nation still resides in cherokee north carolina in the mountains. my sister moved off the reservation four years ago, and she was the last of my family still up there. what happened? what happened that would cause stan wauty to become involved in the civil war? it's a thing called the trail of tears. i will give you a little history lesson. some of you don't know this either, i went to college to be a schoolteacher. i was going to be a history teacher and i did one semester
and realized i could not teach in the public schools, i was not cut out for it, and that's why i admire those that can. there was so little discipline at times that i found myself wanting to strangle other peoples' kids and i knew i couldn't do that, so like clint eastwood says, a man has got to know his limitations, so i left and coached and continued to coach but i didn't teach anymore, but i was teaching history, and i did go back and do substitute teaching and history. this is a history lesson. stan watie led the cherokee nation actually his ancestors the cherokee nation to take up arms for the united states and they saved andrew jackson's rear end in the wharfar of 1812 fighting
the british. they lent their hand and spilled their blood and kept the british from coming back and reconquering the united states. how did andrew jackson repay them as president? he sent them on a thing called the trail of tears. what happened with the trail of tears? the cherokee nation were known as the civilized tribe. mr. cobb, they had their own alphabet. they decided to assimilate into the culture that was surrounding them, and they had become educated and they had become lawyers and doctors, and the federal government decided it was going to take their land,
and those lawyers and doctors that had become educated filed a lawsuit in u.s. federal court and they won, but the president, andrew jackson decided he was going to ignore what the u.s. supreme court decided and he sent the military to remove the cherokee from their homes by force, and he did, he removed the vast portion of the cherokee nation from their homes. if you go to cherokee today -- i would suggest each of you do it because it's well worth the trip just to see the outdoor play at the amphitheater that depicts that. >> mr. pitts, that's your first ten men's. >> i ask for a second ten. >> so granted. >> that play is well worth
seeing. not just because it's history but because it's done very well by the actors, and we don't have to have people portraying native americans, they are native americans playing the roles. but that army went in and forced the cherokee nation to move what was then a desserterted place known as oklahoma and made them walk the entire way. thank you, sir. from their homes in north carolina that the u.s. supreme court had said belonged to these people. they were forced at gunpoint and bayonet to walk all the way to oklahoma. men, women children sick elderly, it didn't matter. luckily some of them decided to
hide in the hills instead of going on that despicable march and that's why you still have the eastern band of the cherokee in north carolina. but by force they were marched all the way to oklahoma, a huge percentage of them died. why is it called the trail of tears? it is called the trail of tears because of the tears shed by the ones that lived or the ones that did not. that's why i get so riled when i am up here talking, and representative rutherford, you and i are on the same page so often, fighting against the overreaching of government at all levels, not just the federal government, but state government and local government as well. this is an atrocity that is
representative of how that can happen and what did happen. stan watie was so mad, angry, i don't have words to describe what he must have been feeling about how betrayed the nation was by the president whose ass they had saved. that he chose to take up arms and lead the cherokee on the southern side of the civil war. he hated the federal government so bad that he was the last confederate general to surrender. this amendment recognizes his
actions, his reasons and it calls for the fence that borders the flagpole in question to be removed and a square memorial depicting his actions as a memorial. and i think that very worthy. was he fighting for slavery or against slavery? no. was he fighting even for states rights or against states rights? no. he was not. he was fighting in revenge for what had been done to him. is that a bell i heard? >> mr. pitts those are staff bells. they won't affect you.
>> these hearing aids pick up strange sounds sometimes. my wife says they pick up ducks but they don't pick her up. i told her i didn't have them in. she accuses me, ladies, that i have selective hearing. have you ever accused a man of selective hearing? she wanted to know one day, we were sitting on the deck and i said stop. i hear mallards. we live on the lake. she said how can you hear those ducks and you can't hear me? i said god blessed me. folks, i didn't eat for the next two weeks a home-cooked meal. i love my wife very much. we've been married 41 years as of the 28th of last month. she also has some of that native
american heritage in her. and she was surprised and proud of this particular amendment. how would this memorial that i'm talking about be done? how would it be arranged? it would be done much like the memorial, the african-american memorial done. a committee appointed by the speaker and by the president pro tem of the senate to design depict and come back with a plan of what needed to be done there. i ask you to search in your hearts. i ask you to look deep inside. put yourself on the trail of tears. think of how you would have felt at that point. mr. hosey, those people decided
they were going to fight. mr. smith, james smith those people decided they were going to fight. eric bedingfield, those people decided they were going to fight. many of you others that have served in the military mr. williams, mr. hart it's not an easy thing to take up arms. you hear people all the time saying, we should fight. we should go to war. most of those people have never seen violence firsthand. violence firsthand, especially the aspects of war, is not a pretty thing. people die. not like a kids game. not like a tv show where they jump back up bounce back up. they don't come back. robert brown you served. thank you forrior service.
if we were attacked today each of you, including myself, would be ready to take up arms and face whatever came at us. i'm fat and old. i'd be cannon fodder today. but i'd be willing to take up those arms. and if i had been treated the way the cherokee nation did, i would have been ready to take up arms at that point. so i'm going to ask you today to support this amendment. it does change. it does alter. it takes the fence down and creates a memorial to a man that i consider great. the great stan watie. if you look up there, it doesn't look like watie, does it? it looks like waite.
his cherokee name, i can't remember. but what his cherokee name meant was stand firm. stand firm. i'm going to ask you to stand firm and help me with this particular amendment and help me pass this particular amendment. i'm looking forward to you helping me pass this amendment. and several others as we go through the day. i have read the senate's bill that they've sent over. i have questions about the senate bill. i have questions about the senate bill that i will address in a further amendment, and i think there are some serious problems with the senate's bill as a whole. i think it was inartfully drawn.
mike ryhal brought it to my attention. i think i'll let mike talk about it when that amendment finally gets here n gets sand gets drafted to some degree. there's a part in that bill and i know there's a move to not amend, to do exactly what the senate did. there's a call from the senate and a call from the governor to do that. but in that language it says specifically that only two flags can fly on the statehouse grounds. the u.s. flag and the south carolina flag. what happens to the war memorial that sits on the statehouse grounds that has seven flags.
during the roll call, mr. herbkersman is recognized. if you come to order please. give mr. herbkersman your attention. >> thank you mr. speaker. ladies and gentlemen, i want to come to you today to the well to talk about just for a minute about something that happened yesterday with the osprix village thing we talked about. when i came up here, i said that this paper was brought up by the governor's office and put on someone's desk because that's the information i had yesterday. and, you know i -- the person that printed these out and puts them on the desk came in yesterday and told me they had done it. i wanted to tell you, it did not
come from the governor's office. i was wrong. it was -- the substance of the letter, i was -- that was wrong in itself. the delivery of it was my fault. i was wrong and i wanted to make sure everybody knew that. the worst thing we can do is come up here and not tell or imply the truth. yesterday i thought what i was saying was the truth and i found out after it was not. i wanted to let you all know that. time has expired. clerk will close polls and tabulate. amendment 1 substitute fails. >> amendments 2 through 26 have been withdrawn. 2 through 26 have been withdrawn. amendment number 27 is by representative herbkersman which he asks to pass over which brings us to amendment 28 by mr. pitts. number 28 mr. pitts. >> mr. pitts is authorized to
speak on amendment 28. mr. smith is recognized for a point of inquiry. >> mr. speaker, can you advise the body how many amendments are currently on the desk how many to be considered? >> there are six, including mr. herbkersman that we skipped over at this point. mr. pitts is recognized to speak on amendment 28. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
this particular amendment says if the flag comes down the flag being the current battle flag that is on the pole what would be done with it. i want to talk about that flag for a moment. this particular flag that flies out there goes back to my childhood days. my ancestors fought in this war on both sides. strung out on my maternal side from danville, virginia all the way down to lawrence county on my paternal side. but my maternal grandmother was
an appalachi mountain woman. please don't misunderstand what i'm saying. she was dirt poor. she and her family were subsistence farmers, and at this point, i wish my good friend kentuckyken ken kennedy was here because we talked about our father plowing behind a mule to feed their families. i'm not going to stand here and tell you i walked barefoot 20 miles in the snow to school or anything like that, but i was 13 years old before my family had
indoor plumbing. it was cold going to the outhouse. some of you are shaking your heads. you know what i'm talking about. well, that was my grandparents. they were subsistence farmers. they made a living. if the lord didn't shine on them that particular year, they didn't eat. and my paternal grandfather was where some of my cherokee blood came from. correction, my maternal grandfather. not only was he a subsistence farmer, but he raised cotton. and he and one of our neighbors, mr. neely who was
african-american, shared some fields that they grew cotton in. and i walked behind the plow. knew how to hook up trace chains and all that kind of stuff. and i walked behind a plow holding the crossbar because i was not old enough to plow the mule. by the time i was old enough to plow that mule by myself he had gotten a tractor and could do a little better. but they were no better off than each other. they shared those cotton fields. they also shared meals with each other. the young neely children and i shared meals together, and we didn't see anything unusual about that.
because my grandfather saw the world through eyes that weren't clouded by race. he was a good man. mr. neely was a good man. me and his son eventually served together. it had come a long way since the early days. now, i'm going to go back into history a little bit. think about those appalachi folks. think about your ancestors, or some of our ancestors both african-american and caucasian. they lived on farms. they didn't have cell phones. they didn't have televisions. they didn't have a daily
newspaper. how did they get their information. they got their information when they made an occasional trip to a general store somewhere to get supplies, groceries or tools. that's how they got information. now do you think those people were able to know what their government was doing? think about today, folks. we've got instant technology. people think that you and i are supposed to be 24/7 on call. they get mad if they don't have instant access to us because of cell phones and computers. yet my 9-year-old granddaughter knows more about cell phones and
computers than i ever will. she can program my tv when she was 4. but think about this. what we do down here generally how much of your constituency actually knows what's going on and how many of them actually know what's inside of what we do. the bills. how many calls do you get by people that were misinformed about something we did or something we intended to do? how many? now let's go back to those folks in the mountains that hyme talking about and the start of this great war. they didn't know the issues. they didn't know it was states rights. they didn't know it was slavery. they didn't know anything except
what they heard at the general store. the yankees have moved in on ft. sumter and won't leave. now they are attacking us. the northern states are attacking the southern states and we're called into arms. that's why my folks went flogging it all to fight in that particular war. they were dirt poor. they didn't have much of anything except a squirrel rifle and the clothes on their back to take with them. but they went to defend their home state. the state of south carolina. had nothing to gain by it except dying to defend their state. that's all they knew they were
fighting for. now let me point this out. when i was 5 years old, my grandmother regaled me with stories of the heroics of her uncles and other members of the family doing battle in that war. she let me hold the sabre that one of them carried in that war. she showed me the discharge papers of one that was wounded. i wish i had those things now. they'd be worth a lot of money. i don't know where they ended up. she showed me letters written back and forth. again, i don't know where those got to. i wish i did. the point i'm trying to make to you is the reason my family went
to fight in that war was not about the current issues the issues that people scream about today. and what i saw the flag that's under question about, the misrepresentation and the abduction, not the co-opting but the abduction by despicable hate groups that took that flag as a symbol was not what i grew up with. it's not what i recognized. i grew up with that flag, yes to the national media as a heritage. it was the stories told me by my family growing up. and again, when i was with mr. neely's grandkids i didn't see
issue, and i don't see issue now. let me make something perfectly clear. >> mr. pitts, your first ten has expired. >> second ten? >> we'll grant it. >> these two men sitting here to my left are two people that i consider two of the best friends i've got in this body. bill clyburn and i serve on several committees and hosey. there is nobody in the state of south carolina that i respect more than lonnie hosey. my respect is not given. it's earned. i don't have many heroes but you're one, lonnie hosey.
all men put their pants on the same way. we are all equal. some of us rise to the occasion at difficult times and become heroes. i've said this up here before. some of you maybe didn't hear it. i'm going to talk about it a moment. why is lonnie hosey my hero? lonnie hosey in vietnam as a young marine, a young marine, was called in an ambush moving forward to save a company that had already been ambushed. our military guys, two l-shaped ambushes had been set up. the first one to catch the first company, the second ambush to catch the second company coming to their rescue as they knew the americans would do. lonnie was wounded, trying to
save other marines. but yet, he fought forward. lonnie was wounded a second time. as he continued to fight forward to try to save the first marines. at the end he had reached the first company that had been ambushed. and at that time, he had reached a point where he could fight no more. and he started calling for a corpsman. for those of you that are soldiers, a medic. he started calling corpsmen up. and he realized that the enemy had overrun the position and were bayonetting the wounded
marines. and lonnie quit calling for a corpsman at that point and started calling on our maker. lonnie, i know this is hard for you, but it's a story that needs to be told. he started calling for the ultimate help. he started talking to god. and then he realized that orange tracers were going over him one way and green tracers going over the other way. what does that mean? he was caught in a crossfire. he had a chance of being caught by both people shooting at each other. he continued to pray. eventually his brother marines came and pushed in and saved him and the members that were left that were wounded. lonnie told me that that day he promised the lord, if he lived
he would serve him the rest of his life. lonnie you have given me no reason to believe otherwise. you are one of the best men i know. i want to get back to -- [ applause ] you're my brother. what i want to say to you is this. we are politicians. we live by polls. we understand them. they don't dictate all of us but we do pay attention to them. polling in my district says leave that flag where it is. strong polling polling that could hurt me in the next election. but let me tell you something.
i'm not worried about the next election. i have been threatened with that. i've been threatened with a lot of stuff in the last two days since word got out i had 500 amendments. and i don't have 500 amendments, but i've taken a lot of abuse in the last couple of days. but i'm willing -- i'm willing to remove that flag from the pole at some point if it causes a twinge in the heart of lonnie hosey or clyburn, my friends. but at some point, i'll ask for something in return. because i believe in fairness. i believe in balancing of scales. lonnie hosey if that flag hurts your heart, it hurts my heart. and that's a point i have reached. and as i see it, i grew up
holding that flag in reverence because of the stories of my ancestors carrying that flag into battle and serving under it. i made a statement to my wife that if i never had to hurt another person in my life it would make me happy. my life has not always been easy. as a soldier, as a police officer, everything does not come easy to you. and i didn't grow up easy. i grew up on a farm in the school of hard knocks. some others around here did, too, i believe. so life hasn't been all that rosy. but you know what? god blessed me. god blessed me by putting me amongst you folks. he blessed me by putting me in
this state in this country, the greatest nation on the face of the earth, despite all its faults. it's a place where you and i can disagree, and we don't have to fight. if you watch national tv and you watch other nations and watch their parliament it breaks out in fist fights. well, we've had those in here a time or two in the past. i'm told that's why they don't allow weapons or beverage on the floor anymore. although john drummond once told me it was much more civil in here when people were armed and much more cordial when people were drinking for the most part. john drummond, another old warrior that makes me proud.
this amendment simply says what we do if we take that flag down. we put it in a case. a bronze case outside next to the monument itself. the last flag flown. that's what this particular amendment does. does it change stuff? yes, it does. and i have other amendments that i will talk about at a later time. about taking that flag down. but i wanted you to understand very clearly why i'm so willing to do that. i'm going to get abused back home by some folks for saying i'll take that flag down. but i told the lady, the lady that told me, we'll send you home. you won't go back to columbia.
it brought to mind burr rabbit and burr fox. and burr fox said please don't throw me in that briar patch. what happens if they send me home? i'm not down here three or four days a week. i'm not getting the abusive calls that i'll listen to. i'm spending time with grandkids and hunting and fishing all the time. that's all i'm going to do at that point. and i can be very content doing that. and we had one that told me they were going to make me have to go to work. they were going to take this big salary away from me.
or at least drive a push so that all i got was minimum wage. i said i would be extremely happy with minimum wage for the hours that i put in in service. goes back to that 24/7 i was talking about. how many of you can go to your local store and come back home immediately? how much are you going to listen to before you get in the store and back out of that store? >> mr. pitts unfortunately, you can't tell the constituents their time has expired but in this amendmentior your time has expired. >> thank you, sir. pending question adoption of amendment 28. mr. bedingfield is recognized to speak on the amendment. >> thank you very much, mr.
speaker. members, thank you for the opportunity to be here before you. mr. pitts, thank you for your el eloquent words. and history lessons over the past few moments. i am deeply grieved over what transpired in charleston. many of you in here wouldn't know that i even knew reverend pinckney. but yet many of you wouldn't know that i know a number of senators across the hall and have worked with them in many ways. but i did have the pleasure of working with him on a couple of things and meeting with him. i found him just to be the most honorable man. i regret that i had injuries
during the time of the funerals and wasn't able to attend but i watched every moment on tv. been praying for the situation constantly since then. as a young man, i don't have the kind of stories to tell that mike pitts had about living on the farm and i had grandparents that did that. i spent some time in the urban areas and some in the country areas. went to bakers chapel elementary and tang 7leletanglewood. played sports. with people of all ethnicities. and at the right ripe old age of 17 years, because i finished high school a little early, somehow convinced my parents to sign some documents that allowed
me to go to paris island. i don't say that in a boastful or bragadocious fashion, but it is the place where relationships begun to solidify in my life. i learned quickly, mr. hosey and mr. govan, not to understand color, one color, and that was green. you were a dark green marine and i was a light green marine. that's all we knew. i knew i had a brotherhood and that i could count on everybody who was beside me. there was no reason to believe that any person that i was surrounded by wouldn't lay down their life for me just as i would have for them. i don't stand here today with war stories to tell and good
lord knows mr. hosey you've done more things in your life than i ever will in mine. and i honor you and praise you for that. semper fi, sir. it's difficult for me in these times, in these days to want to in any way cast a dispersion on a veteran who laid down their life for a cause that they believed in for a state that a loved, and that's what this issue has turned into for some people. i understand that there are differing views on what a symbol represents. it grieves me, too that some people see that in a hurtful and dishonorable fashion. but in an attempt to try to
recognize that there are differing views i have literally struggle edd within myself over these things. prayed for an understanding heart. wished and continued to pray for understanding. and i feel like the lord has given me a lot of that in the last few days. hasn't allowed me to sleep a lot, but it has granted me some understand ing understanding. and that's why i want to find a way to respect both sides of this issue. it seems almost impossible.
but i was elected to be here to make decisions, to be held accountable for those decision ss and that's all i will ever try to do. i've taken this all before and been demanding of sorts and demonstrative in ways and yet somehow today i can't find that in me. i can't find the desire to want to run my way of thinking down your throat. but i do want my opinion to be respected. and the opinion of the people i represent and i just have to
believe that you will. the phone calls, the e-mails social media, none of it has been fun. not even when people tell pleame they think i'm right does it feel good. even last night at 10:00 i was trying to get my granddaughter down and to bed and phone was ringing off the hook and i wanted that moment with my grandchild. i had to call my wife into the room to take care of that so i could return some more phone calls because they wouldn't stop coming. i'm not a smart guy, i guess because i publicize my cell phone. but it has served me well.
i'd like to think i'm responsive to even those who disagree with me. and last night's phone call at 10:00 was not a kind one. but in an attempt to be kind and talk my way through this call, i found myself taking very long pauses just to listen. you're really amazed at what you hear when you listen. and that's the way i was very measured about coming to this podium now. however, as i listened to the gentleman i was on the phone with last night, i thought there's so many things we probably agree on that we're just not talking about today. so i tried to focus on those
things. and the phone call ended maybe not as nicely or reverently as i would have liked for it to. but the gentleman had his say. he was able to share, and i was able too listen. there was a second phone number that kept calling in during that entire phone call and i decided i would return it. in my mind i felt like if i returned it then, i wouldn't have to deal with it today. and it was the opposite side of the issue because honestly, this issue divides us pretty well. some districts probably lean more one way than the other. it's one of the reasons i have chosen today to just be as
respectful to anybody i can be to anybody that comes to the podium to talk about this issue. but during that phone call the issues that this particular gentleman wanted to discuss being the opsitposite side of the issue brought him to tears in discussing it with me. and in all honesty, i hadn't really from my own perspective been able to view this issue as something that would necessarily bring me to tears. but the gentleman told me, and i had a lot to say about this conversation but i'm going to try to limit it at this particular time in the well did
it -- he centered the call and tied it so much to purely a veterans issue. an issue of somebody who had laid down their life for a cause that was important to the state of south carolina. >> mr. bedingfield, your first ten minutes have expired. >> i'll take at least a few of the next. they fought against an oppressive federal government overspending issues in south carolina and in washington d.c. and as this gentleman spoke to me last night i realized that really what i already knew that this particular war was fought over many different things including things that you know we don't always agree with. i can't for the life of me
understand bondage or slavery. it just -- for anybody, regardless of skin color or regardless of origin. that's the most ludicrous thing i've heard of. when it comes to fighting an oppressive federal government, i still do it in this chamber today today. we overspend, overregulate. everything we do is an attempt to be governed by somebody else instead of allowing this state to govern itself. as the gentleman kept talking to me and the more upset he got talking about his ancestors and beliefs of what the flag stood for and the reason the monument was there, the reason it was on the dome at one time and moved
to its current place it caught me on those two fronts. that these were people who laid down their lives for things they believed in and they were fighting for states rights and against an overreaching and oppressive federal government. somehow or another that just completely stuck with me. and i tried to communicate with the gentleman between moments of tears where i could understand nothing he was saying trying to calm him down trying to get upset myself trying to keep a lid on what i wanted to say and just listen. but what i walked away with after the phone call, and this was just one of many, was the agreement that was reached in 2000 did not please everyone.
it did, however, satisfy those who view this issue as part of their family's history and their heritage heritage. it's remained a satisfactory feeling over the last 15 years for those folks. that doesn't underscore the fact it meant something different to others and it's became something more than that. i'm not denying that. however, the conversation humbled me to the point to where i thought about what if we did not honor veterans in the way we should. what if we didn't honor the people who fought in the vietnam war or world war i or world war
ii. where would we be as a nation or country if we did not have respect and honor for these folks. i'm very fortunate. i spent my time in the marine corps not having to see the things that lonnie saw. not having to see death and dismemberment on my person. sure, there were people around me who had that happen to them. but i've not -- i've not been to a place where only the veterans have suffered. i'm sitting here today thinking about, there's nobody here left who fought in the civil war. all me have is a memory of those
people. all we have is family and ancestors who are trying to remember and be reverent to that. i've heard people dismiss this issue by just saying the war is over. it's 150 years ago. it's still here today for the familyies who lost loved ones who have attempted to pass down these memories as they have to mike and to me and to others in the body. so in an effort to attempt to be respectful to everybody on this issue issue, i want to find a solution and i just don't think the solution that came over from the senate is the solution that respects everybody. i don't know how many more amendments are on the desk. i know there's got to be an answer to this issue. i'm thankful that i serve in a
body that is willing to hear from people on both sides of an issue. try to make a corporate decision that is respectful to everyone. i'm thankful to mr. pitts for his offer of this particular amendment. i do support it. mr. speaker thank you for allowing me to speak. >> mr. ryhal is recognized to speak on this amendment. >> thank you. it's amazeing how attuned the body has been today. thank you for your support earlier this week for the biltl on handicapped individuals. it would be nice if we could find a way for everybody to get behind a resolution here and say we respected each other. we've got work to get there.
i'm going to get to just something that i think we all need to start thinking about this morning. first, i want to share something that was mailed to me. i'll do it very lightly, just aye sentencea sentence or two. this is supposed to describe me. i'm not a man of integrity and i need to look into my soul and figure otut who i am. i've been doing that for about 40 or 50 years now. i think i know what i'm about. people say things that they know nothing about the individual on the other side. they don't take the time to get to know them. and i think that's the problem. we haven't taken time to get to know the other side of this. i've spent a lot of time on this issue. obviously, there's two different views on this. there's a lot of leaking over in between the two but there are people who know that individuals
gave their lives not because they were asked to defend slavery, but because they were called up by a state. and i would hope we all can acknowledge that. there's the other side of it that recognizes that the flag or the symbol of the time and the war that was fought resulted in oppression. and it resulted in disrespect of a color and a race. and we're trying to move beyond that. and we've heard it all morning here. mother emanuel church, that was a point where i look at that and say we had the best example this country has had. and we were blessed to have one of our own here, the pastor of a church, and he left those people with something. we had a chance to see that on the bridge. we got a chance to see that by the families in the forgiveness.
they are good people. and that's what we've evolved into in south carolina. that's what the rest of the country should be looking at. but somehow, some way politics get involved. and when they do we change the focus. and we change the focus here and within three days we weren't talking about those people and how wonderful they were and how wrong the individual was. the people of charleston the people of emanuel stood up and said you didn't win here. there will be no riots, no fires. we're not going to hurt each other. we're going to hold hands and pray together. but leave it up to the politicians to start fighting, to start protesting, to start arguing over an issue. we didn't leave it alone.
and i don't know where that blame goes. i think it starts at the top. and i think all of us are trying to figure out how to unwind that but respect both sides. is that possible? and i think it is. i've never been in a battle yet that there was an outcome we couldn't all live with but we had to learn to talk to each other. i ran across something in this plain bill sent over from the senate. and it made me take a walk around the state grounds. and i want to read something to you and then ask you if you want a clean bill. because if everybody in here can live with this right now, maybe it's time to go home. but i want to tell you what it says first. i found out over and over if we read this and think about what it says, we all have a problem. and i think we all have a problem here we have to deal with. this bill says the only flags authorized to be flown atop the
dome house and chambers of the state house and on the grounds of the capitol complex shall be authorized in this section. there are two flags. the united states flag and the south carolina flag. those are the only two flags. the only flags that can be flown have to be authorized in this section. see that first set of flags? these flags are the south carolina flags for our veterans for all the different branches of the military. i guess we've got to take those down once we agree to these as it came over in a clean bill. we're going to remove the flags representing all of our veterans of all our years of all the branches of service. i think there's a problem with this bil. before we say we're not going to amend it, we need to do that.
can i have the second one, please? i took time and went down to the african-american history monument here. this is the 1st regiment of south carolina veterans flag. it is also a flag that is not authorized to be flying once this thing is passed. is that where we're at? we're going to take this flag don and our veterans flags? that's the bill we're currently living with. i'd like you all to think about that. my concern was if we just pass this, that we've fallen into that trap where something happens and outside groups get involved here. and all of a sudden we rush to do something, and how many times we come back later and realize we weren't thorough. see there was a process to do this. and we didn't follow that
process. we let others push us. and here we are today in a situation where we could be making big mistakes. we have people that will never -- their lives will never be the same again as a result of what happened. and i thought about this, my getting to the statehouse. remember when we threw 250 people off the ballot. we do something, we're not thorough. and we're at that point again we need to step back, everybody read that language, get your legal opinions on it but understand it says the only flags authorized to be flown must be authorized in this section. so i'd like to leave you with that. we're going to need to do something here today. i'm not sure what that's going to look like. and i do have an amendment to address this. i think these are important flags on these state grounds. i think we need to think about
some other flags as well. >> mr. ryhal mr. smith has a question. mr. ryhal has stepped away from the podium. >> thank you, mr. speaker. and, mr. speaker, i'm going to make this quick. had a quick question for mr. ryhal. and i appreciate his unwillingness to take a question but want i what i wanted the body to be aware of is that a few of us have been looking at and talking about for quite some time now. the question i wanted to make sure that mr. ryhal was aware of is that act 100 that was passed in 2003, which created the law enforcement memorial, that act protects those flags, mr. ryhal. so members, i want to make sure we stay focused.
i'm not suggesting that mr. ryhal is trying to make us lose focus, but the response to his query about a clean bill is that yes, we, indeed have a clean bill that's been sent over from the senate. it was not inartfully drawn because the act 100 passed in 2003, which created the monument protects those flags. thank you mr. speaker. >> the question before us is adoption of amendment 28. judge clary moves to table. all in favor say aye. all opposed. mr. pitts has asked for a roll call. do nine members second? nine members do. roll call is required. voting on the board's order.
mr. kirby is recognized during this vote. >> thank you, mr. speaker. ladies and gentlemen it is my privilege and honor today to come before you. i've got a very very special guest with me today on this monumental day for the state of south carolina. i'd like to introduce you someone who is the reason i am here. i'd like to introduce my mother who has come to be with us today. shelby kirby if you wouldn't mind standing. you all please make my mother welcome. thank you for being our special guest.
>> those. clerk will tabulate. by a vote of 90-27, amendment number 28 is tabled. clerk will read. >> number 29 mr. pitts. number 29. >> we're now to amendment 29. mr. pitts' amendment recognized on his amendment. mr. pitts. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i think i've talked more today than i have in the past 13 years. although as slow as i talk it takes a while to get something said. i love springtime. and i love springtime around this state capitol.
we have a very beautiful capitol. i don't know if any of the rest of you do something that i do but i've gone and visited a great many of our other state capitols. iowa stands out in my mind. alaska stands out in my mind. iowa, in particular, because it has an abundance of memorials references statues in recognition of the war between the states. it is a very historic capitol. it has each of the generals from iowa that fought, much like we do. much like we do with general lee
and some of the stuff in the rotunda out there. and i did not find it disrespectful walking through their rotunda to see all of that. nor did i in new york. new york was a beautiful one also. some of you know some of you don't, that i served as the national president of nasp, that sent me on national resource and wildlife related issues to most of the other states at some point in time to address their sportsman caucus and their issues. and when i went to new york to speak to their general assembly, i actually went on the floor there to talk to those folks. and i carried an interpreter with me from north carolina.
i figured she may liveing in north carolina be able to speak their lingo better than i could. but i actually found out that i spoke the lingo that they could understand in most of the state very well. because if you take new york city out of new york state you have a state that's much like ours. that's true of a lot of other states. but back to the point. i love i love our capitol. i think it's the most beautiful of all of them. especially in springtime. when the flowers start blooming. the budding trees start blooming. the capitol is used by runners and folks trying to stay more healthy than i do. i do a lot of curls, with a
fork. i don't do the curls in the weight room much anymore. i have to avoid those 12-ounce curls, though. those 12-ounce curls can take me in the wrong direction. this amendment talks about what would happen if that memorial -- the flagpole memorial were totally removed. it plants yellow jasmine in its place. why is yellow jasmine important? it's the state flower. not only that but it smells good. it's beautiful. it smells good. you know my dad's favorite flower, and i had a fight with myself over which way to go here, and i chose the state
flower but my dad's favorite was the honeysuckle. going back to growing up, we didn't have that magic machine called air conditioning like we do now. i don't know that folks could survive today without air conditioning. we used to open the windows at night. keep them closed in the daytime, run a fan. but going back to those nights with the windows up, as a child you could smell the smells coming in of jasmine, of honeysuckles. how many of you during dog days days -- how many of you even know what dog days are? i see some hands going up. it's that time in august when it's so hot and humid in the south that i'm surprised anybody from the north or the western states want to come here.
because it is hot and humid. but there's a particular thing i remember from dog days other than hot and humidity. i remember mocking birds singing all night. that's when old mocking bird's trying to talk to his mate. and he talks to her all night long. i guess much like some of us did, most of us a few years ago. although i look around, i see some faces young enough for it not to have been very long ago. but old mockingbird sings all night. and my dad loved that time of year springtime of year because of the honeysuckle. and he loved being able to keep the windows up because of the honeysuckle. honeysuckles, though, can also be a problem. those of you that grew up --
those of you that still farm, if you grab a load of honeysuckles mr. toon you go to shaking on them you just might stir up a hornet's nest or a red wasp's net. then you forget about the smell of those honeysuckle. you just want to vacate. i'm not talking about vacationing at myrtle beach. i'm talking about leaving the vicinity. you want to leave tracks quick. in old terms you want to light a shook and get out of that. but yellow jasmine you don't have that same problem with. yellow jasmine has a good smell. people like to let it grow up. there's another jasmine i thought about going with, but i figured we'd be right back in the debate we are now. it's called confederate jasmine. it's a very beautiful flower and smells good, too. my wife has it growing up the
balisteres and support of our front porch. it's a very beautiful flower and smells good. you know, folks, we in this state, you and i, have a lot more in common than we have differences. we have held a shield up and turned away the national press that want so doggone bad to see us start hitting each other in the head with canes. we have not given them that. they can't stand it. the national press wants to see us going at each other's throat. that would sell newspapers for
"the new york times" and "the washington post." following the example of charleston, we can get through this without going there and giving them what they want. there are organizations out there that will use an instance like this to simply make money. and try to raise profile. and i want to give absolute credit to the mother emanuel church and the reverend there for saying no. and not allowing that to happen. mr. bettingfield talked about looking into his own heart. i had to look into mine also. mr. bettingfield, that showed me exactly what all of us need to display.
to the rest of the world, and not let the national media not let outside external forces dictate how we come together in south carolina. we can do that ourselves. we can govern ourselves. and we can do it without trying to cut each other's throats. nothing would please some groups, like the klu klux klan -- >> sorry mr. pitts. your first time has expired. granted another two minutes. >> nothing would please some groups like the klu klux klan or
the black panthers than nothing more for us to start fighting with each other. than they get exactly what they want. this get strife. a group of pastors came together and asked the black panthers to leave. and i appreciated that. and i'll take this opportunity. the klan's not here yet. i'll ask them to stay out of south carolina. we don't need either one of these two groups here. [ applause ] >> we don't need those two groups here trying to divide us and get us to fight amongst ourselves. going back to that flag being
offensive to some of my brothers and sisters in here. the words of lewis farrakon offended me, calling for the death of my grandchildren, which is basically what he did. and that group stood up and said, you're wrong. that's wrong. and i want to thank those folks for doing that. i was waiting to hear that voice, and i heard it. and i thank you for it. this yellow jasmine is not representative of white south carolinaians, dark south car
line carolinaens. it's representative of our state flower. i ask that you help me put it on these grounds at that memorial if that memorial changes. >> pending question. is the adoption of amendment 29. mr. murphy moves to table amendment pitt 29. mr. white requests a roll call. to nine members second his request? nine do. we'll vote on the board. pending question is a tabling motion on amendment 29. >> the south carolina houseworking through a series of amendments to a bill that remove
the confederate battle flag from the state capitol. the first group of amends, mostly offered by mike pitts. politico. yesterday a south carolina house member filed dozens of amendment amendments amendments, many outlandish to a bill that remove the flag from the state house grounds. many appear to be designed a delaying tactics. house rules require 20 minutes on each amendment or as protest. one amendment calls for flying the american flag on the state house dome upside down. another calls for removing all monuments from the state house grounds. still others single out individual monuments including an african-american history monument, a spanish-american war monument and law enforcement for removal. congressman pitts includes greenwoods in northwestern. laurens county was site of.
amendment 30 mr. pitts' amendment. mr. pitts' is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. >> last night i didn't sleep very much. i told my caucus that today. part of it was -- i'm not going to go there. part of it was the fact that i had pain in my heart. not physical pain. but i also had pain from the injuries of the past that sometimes keep me up. and i knew i couldn't take the medication that i really needed to at 3:00 a.m.
or i would have been asleep now when i should have been here doing what i'm doing now. or i would have been defenseless instead of just inappropriately armed when ms. cobb-hunter decided to start asking questions of me. mr. josey that was a time at 3:00 this morning that i started talking to my maker. and i asked my maker this morning at 3:00 a.m. to guide my words, so that i did not offend my brothers and sisters. i asked him to guide my heart, and i asked him to guide my mind to make the right decisions and the right choices. for all south carolinians and not end up in the corrals and
the brawls we talked about earlier. i asked him to keep my mouth under control. and scripture tells me that the tongue is the hardest thing a man can try to battle. i asked him for unity as we move through this process. and i still couldn't sleep so i finally just got up, had some coffee and came onto the state house. and i was walking around the state house grounds, looking at how beautiful our state house grounds are. and i talked about that on the last amendment. but i have been to a particular
monument on the state house grounds before, but i spent more time there this morning, simply observing and really taking a look at the african-american memorial on the state house grounds. african-american memorial on the state house grounds is a beautiful, beautiful piece of work. >> mr. pitts, let me know when you'll step questions. and i looked and moved around that memorial several times taking it into depth. my head's kind of hard. sometimes it takes stuff two or three hits to penetrate it. my daughter taught me to see things a little more deeply. where i saw a white cat, she had
a very beautiful white persian cat. when she was about 5 years old, she drew a picture of that white cat. and in her picture i realized that white cat had a pink nose and the insides of its ears were pink. and one of its eyes were blue and one was green. that was great detail i had not noticed before until she brought it to my attention. the thoughts and anticipation of this debate today made me take an extremely close look at that memorial memorial. and the names of the people that were assigned to create that memorial. those people did an excellent job. not just in the detail, but in the depiction of african-american heritage and history from