tv Confederate Flag Slavery and Modern Racism CSPAN November 19, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EST
pennsylvania. together with our comcast cable partners. learn more about pittsburgh and other stops in our cities tour citiestour.rg/ you were watching american history tv on c-span 3. 1953, washington national cathedral installed to stained-glass windows honoring confederate generals robert e. lee and stonewall jackson. this gushing about removing depictions of confederate flag from those windows. a panel of historians talked about the flag's history in relation to slavery and modern-day racism. this is about an hour and 50 minutes. >> welcome everyone and thank you for being here tonight i am dean of the washington national cathedral.
an honor and pleasure to have you here for us to begin a series of conversations that we hope will be a blessing to many. -- for thisthi evening is to create a cap conversation about the lee jackson windows and the larger issues of race and the legacy of slavery and our nation. know the recent history of events regarding these windows, i invite you to read about that history in the information we provided for you within your program on tonight's conversation. this is the first in an ongoing series of conversations over the next two years intended to foster conversation and a deeper understanding. while the leadership of the cathedral made the decision to remove the confederate battle flags from these windows, the larger question of whether the
windows should stay in the sanctuary or be moved to a different location was intentionally left open for a period of two years so we might engage in conversation and education around the difficult issues of race and our history and our present life together. as i said in my letter that is part of your program, these windows are about history but they are also about our future. how will we move forward together? how will we learn from one another? oow can we use the windows tw right new narrative of our history together. the conversation we are having tonight and the ones who will have over the next are part of a much larger conversation taking place nationally. an important conversation around race and the legacy of slavery.
as the cathedral community we are hoping to create a place within this sacred space where learn from onend another with open hearts and minds. that seeksmodel always to reconcile all that is broken and ourselves, and our community, and in our culture. bese conversations may well uncomfortable at times. they involve difficult subjects. but they are important conversations and it is important that our hope over the next several years with god's help we can create something that is positive and uplifting for us all. we are so grateful for your
presence and we invite your participation not on in this program but in future conversations. if you would like to share your ideas about the nature of some of the future conversations and you would like to share with us in this journey, i would invite you to look in the back page of your program where there is a link where you can go and sign on to be part of this journey together. so welcome, we are glad you are here. if you will permit me, i would like to start with a prayer. the lord be with you. >> the lord be with you. >> let us pray. god that your holy and life-giving spirit may so move every human heart that the barriers stomatitis may crumble -- that divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease. that our divisions being healed we may live in justice and peace
through jesus christ our lord. men. i will not repeat the bios but it is my great pleasure to welcome our participants, dr. john koski, dr. kelly brown douglas, dr. rexx harris, and our moderator ray suarez. please join me in welcoming them. [applause] welcome tond monuments speak. thanks to the panel. and thanks for being willing both audience and panel to wrestle with some of the questions that arise in a people, and people, when they have to face their own past and what the past tells them today. we are here this evening because symbols speak. we are surrounded by them. red and green traffic lights,
elephants and donkeys, gothic towers, the cross, the lamb. saints are all around this building. they stand mutely and mostly unlabeled and statuary, paint or stain glass. they identify themselves through language understood by the artist and by the viewer. saint philip with an arm full of stones, st. peter with his keys, sebastian shot with arrows. twoa with a platter and eyeballs. they work as a language in part because of widely shared understanding, a consensus about what they mean. the red hexagon of the stop sign does not have parties chiming in to register their objections or insist it doesn't mean stop at all, but in fact it means speed
up. symbols have meaning. symbols speak. they derive their power from common understanding, except when they don't. can they change over time? can they be repurposed over time? can they have layers of meaning that come from context? who displays them? who witnesses they display? and can common understandings render some symbols hard to use? can the passage of time at meetings that leave us very clear on the fact that symbols speak while some of us wish they would just shut up? today we come together in this church to discuss the display of windows dedicated while this church was still under construction to memorialize generals robert e. lee and thomas jackson.
as we are gathered here, not in front of the memorials which are over there by president wilson, let me tell you what lee's inscription says. "to the glory of god, all right just and merciful, and undying tribute to the life and witness of robert edward lee, servant of god, general in chief of the armies of the confederate states whose compelling sense of duty, serene faith and unfailing courtesy mark camper all ages as a christian soldier without fear and without reproach." the windows show the general as a soldier, educator and engineer. stonewall jackson is shown ineling prayer fully cantwell of bugler plays any reads the bible. he is shown in an adjacent ,indow as an armored crusader
arms uplifted while heavenly trumpets play. "like arial reads, stone wall at his steadfastness, swift as lightning, mighty in battle, he walked humbly before his creator whose word was his guide. this day is erected by the united daughters of the confederacy and his admirers from south and north." for the moment the confederate battle flag sedin removed from the windows and replaced with rectangular pieces of colored glass. the days, the windows, they were made. can their meanings change over time? can what is appropriate or acceptable change over time? how has time shaped americans' understanding of the civil war and the real-life flesh and blood men, the actual robert e. lee and stonewall jackson.
do they belong in a church? in the windows throughout this building you will find prophets, apostles, martyrs, saints ancient and modern. yes, and you will find political leaders. two of the right by the front door. abraham lincoln and george washington. what does it mean for them to be affected in a house of prayer for all people? and what the designer of the city called "the great church for national purposes." joining me in this conversation from left to right is dr. john koski, historian at the american civil war museum and author of the "confederate battle flag: america's most embattled emblem." sitting next to him is the reverend dr. kelly brown douglas, theologian here at washington national cathedral. and sitting here directly next to me is dr. rexx alice,
associate director of curatorial affairs at the national museum of african american history and culture recently opened here in washington. dr. koski, i want you to take us back to the period when these windows were being imagined, designed, and installed. it was a time when americans were preparing to look back at the centennial of the civil war approached. the were experiencing dixiecrat candidacy of strom thurmond for president in 1948. the departure of the final and oldest confederate veterans. there were actually know firsthand witnesses to the war. they were leaving the stage. it was sort of a secondary memory passed down to people rather than experience spoken of
firsthand. where were we at as a country, and in our commemoration of the when wer in that period got to the early 1950's when they were being contemplated? dr. koski: i will stand. can everyone hear me? he has not asked me to digest my entire 300 page book so i will not try. a little bit of background before the 1950's. he mentioned the dixiecrat's in 1948, a very important year in the history of the confederate flag in particular. let me start with the immediate aftermath of the civil war. there is the old adage that the winners write history. most of you know in the american civil war, the real exception to the rule. maybe unique in modern history. the losers in the american civil war and quite the role in shaping our understanding of the history. where itrief period
was clearly not a good idea to go trotting out the symbol of the confederacy during reconstruction, after that period the white south was more or less allowed by the federal statues toto erect their dad first in cemeteries, monuments to their dead, to their soldiers, their heroes in funeral spaces and later public spaces. history ofd teach the confederacy and of the war from the southern perspective. a type of history that became influential nationwide with "gone with the wind" and "birth of a nation." it influenced the shaping of the american civil war. from the 1880's, beyond world war i they confederate monument in arlington cemetery was erected in 1914. the last monument on monument avenue in 1929. this extended well into the 20th
century, the last major confederate reunion in 1932. the last veteran actually died in 1949. perioe while in that long the confederate battle flag was part of the ritual of white southern lifed. in the loyal they ceremony, the rituals of the confederate memorial organizations, these dedications of monuments, it was a familiar part of the ritual of white southern life. it was restricted very much to those kinds of rituals. that kinds of things many of us grew up with since 1950. the world in which every pixie -- business had dixie in his name had a confederate flag as part of his logo. that was foreign before world war ii. it changed in the perio just befored world war ii as the flag took on a meeting for the south -- meaning for the south,
specifically the white south. admit that it meant not just the army, but the white south. american serviceman from the south fighting overseas, american southern boys and their football teams when they were going to fight the northern football teams adopted the flag as their symbol. ofotal if you will -- totem what it means to be a southerner. roughly 1948 and just before, the flag started to have a more prominent currency on the southern landscape. a lot more people are using it. a lot of people noticed and were against it, including the united daughters of the confederacy that believed it was not good for that flag to be used outside of mr. quickly -- a strict lee memorial context. the dixiecrat themselves the not adopt the symbol, but most of the young supporters accustomed to using the flags in a casual
way associated the flag with the dixiecrat movement, which of course began to protest the embrace ofparty's stronger civil rights platform. it took on a meeting of protest against the civil rights movement. as well as continuing to be these other things. in the aftermath, what the headline writers dubbed -- the flag became popular in the north. people were asking why. was this somehow part of the dixiecrat movement against truman, or the coonskin cap in the hula hoops and other youth fads of the 1950's? the press concluded the latter. it is just a fad. the african american press was warning against the flag is a symbol of racism but this union in the context of the cold war. we needed to present a united front in this flag suggested disunity in the nation.
that was the context of the early 1950's. this interesting period in which the flag went from a restrictive symbol revered by its owners, heritage groups essentially owned it, symbolically and otherwise. it was essentially pandora's box opened. for those of us that grew up in the 60's, 70's and 80's, the culture we knew began in the late 1940's and early 1950's with the flag fad. united daughters fought very much against this. they persuaded many state legislatures to pass laws that punished the very things that many of us knew growing up. beach towels with confederate flags on them were punished by law as desecration of a sacred symbol, a misuse of the battle flag. it was not the african-american press, but the protectors of the confederate flame initially
reacting against it to make sure it was used only in the revered memorial symbol and not the way it became by the time of the civil war centennial. that is the context of the early 1950's for the use of the flag. dr. brown douglas, would we install a set of windows like that today if -- today? if we did, how would it be different? >> what an easy question. [laughter] as i contemplate that question i ask a prior question. and that is what we have even installed those windows in 1954 or beyond. because they were installed in 1953.
1954, in response to the brown versus board of education decision, confederate symbols began to gather new meaning or different meanings as even dr. koski points out in his book. those meetings began to become clear that the symbols were symbols of white supremacy, or at least segregationists symbols and symbols that stood against the decision of brown versus the board of education and against integration. myself, thek to cathedral that installing those windows in 1953 because the culture certainly changed in 1954. today i think that perhaps a series of questions would have to be asked that maybe were not asked in 1953 when those windows
were installed. the overall question is this. what does it mean to be the national cathedral? we would have to ask the question who are we? by themore driven nation's civil religion and its sense of itself? or are we more compelled by who we are as a church and the theology of a church whose god liberated the slaves from egyptian bondage, and whose god we claim is most manifest in jesus who said i have come to set the captives free? i think we would find ourselves today having to ask the question of what does it mean for us to be in washington national cathedral? does this mean we happen to be
-- we are a social institution that happens to be religious so we service the civil religion of the nation? or are we indeed a church, which is called to show for the glimpse of god in the world and perhaps these questions were not asked. i don't know. thoughure it seems as the lisa jackson window forces us to call -- lee-jackson windows force us to call the wisdom they represent. even the daughters of the confederacy spoke of this civil respectsthat in many sanctified the confederacy and raises lee and jackson is not simply heroes of the confederate war, but they are also saints.
we would have to ask those questions which would cause us to really contemplate and ask of what ituestion means for us to be a national cathedral. >> dr. koski was careful to point out when he talks of the south and of the logo for the south east speaking particularly of the white south. in his book eight knowledge is time and again that black americans simply were not asked. they had no voice in that conversation as we came up with consensus symbols. yet black americans were speaking. not being heard is different from not having anything to say. let's talk about those years. from the mid-1940's to the mid-1950's. what was going on in black america and was there a very conscious sense that this alternative narrative of the
past was gaining legitimacy and gaining force and heartening -- hardening in the public consensus without a lack american counter narrative being given enough space? back to world war i and the experience of black soldiers when they fought in commands andfrench you look at the experience of most of them being one where they ate in the same restaurants as the french, they rode on the same buses, the same transportation, they fought in the same units, they trained in the same units, they were
treated differently than they remember and the america of that time. they fought in the war, and then they returned home with this new expectationis new that if this happened in france and if i was allowed to feel differently and to feel more like a man, to feel more empowered, to feel like i was then this white man, is something that is possible in america. america and back to it was the summer of 1919. they call it the red summer of 1919 because of the number of riots that took place during that period. they come back to a continuing environment of lynching that
started in the 1890's but was still going on. they come back to a reminder that the quality they felt and they experienced in france, they would have to leave in france or they would have to fight even harder for that environment to exist in america. adam clayton howell and others coined the phrase "the new negro." createw negro began to all kinds of agencies and all kinds of organizations that in some way supported this idea of the quality within the community. but even as the naacp and the urban lake and the national council -- urban league and national couil of women began to exist, there also was the
barnett inf ida memphis and trying to in some way speak out about injustices going on in tennessee. she had to leave because they burned down her house. she had to leave and go to the north. somewhere around 6 million african-americans left the south and headed to the north, to the urban cities of the north using the chicago and robert abbott's paper to give them information about where they might settle in philadelphia. where they might settle in new york. where they might settle in boston. they left the south because for them this confederacy we are discussing and talk about, this confederacy was not for them a cultural icon that was popular. it equaled lynching.
i am trying my best to be objective about what we are discussing and talking about. paint remember all this when you talk about pride. i remember all this violence when you talk about liberty and justice. i just remember all of these. boy. a young white i live in williamsburg, virginia. .illiamsburg was called the restoration at that point everyone came to williamsburg to see the town that rockefeller built. i lived there. we lived on the east side of the town. right across the road from me was a white community. we did not have to have a wall of. we knew we stayed on one side and the white community stayed on the other side. riding day, one day i am
my bike down this road that was integrated that we never used. white strobe on the road and black strobe on the road as well. i was riding my bike. i had a balloon and tied it on the back of my wheel. you know it am talking about. i could swear i was on a motorcycle. and there was this white young man, same age as me. there he was on his bike with this balloon as well. i rode and he rode. he was trying to go faster than he. he did the same thing. when we got to the end of the road, he looked at me and i looked at him. he was just as serious as i was about him. then he spoke to me. i spoke to him. all of a sudden he asked me a
question and i asked him a question. we rode a little bit more. before i do it we have been talking together for three or four hours. all that afternoon. i had toe only one play with and i was the only one he had to play with so we played together. he goes to his home on the other side of the street and i go to my home on my side of the street. the end of the week, never saw him anymore, but the end of the week our families would go to market to buy's groceries. we are in our car. middle brother on the right and my sister on the left. i sat in the middle. i am driving down the road and i look over and there's a car over the left lane. i look over in that car and they
are he is. there is the white boy i played with. so we get to the red light. when i get to the red light i turned in my car and i'm looking at him. i'm hoping that he looks at me. he was on the edge, not in the middle like i was. as we go to the stop, i'm at him andwill wave he will wave at me so my family .ill know i have a white friend we get to the stop light, and he swerves over and looks at me, and when he looks at me, he does this -- as i tried to wave at him, he tried to avoid the fact that he .ven recognized me
that is what i remember about the confederacy. that's what i remember about that flag. because i found out that his father ran a barbershop, and the barbershop ran a flag that was a , and he did not want his family to know that he had found someone who might be his friend, and we never became friends. we never saw each other after that day. we never spoke after that day. i think often about what would have happened if he and i had and theaced a symbol lifestyle and the philosophy that prevented us from ever knowing each other before we ever gave ourselves a chance.
[applause] mentioned "the defender," which circulated on the rail lines throughout the country and told the story -- it kept a running tally of the number of lynchings. very important institution in american life for black americans. was there an ongoing attempt to defang the civil war, to make it , to makepy, less scary the sectional consciousness of the country that prevailed less frightening to all americans out of commercial interest as much as anything else? when i look at something like disney's "song of the south," uncle remus.
when i look at things like the ole miss mascot running out onto the field with an enormous flag just up as a confederate cavalry officer and the running rebels as a confederate cavalry officer and the running rebels and various state land-grant university campuses. there was a nostalgia about the anti-bear room -- antebellum world that declawed it. it was not based on chattel slavery and suffering and all that. it was based on glorified thatved notions of what world was like into which black people had no input. there was no "yeah, but" moment where you could add that other stuff. was there an attempt to legitimize that story by making
it less threatening, less cool, less problematic for americans from all parts of the country? are these windows part of that project? >> yes, on several levels. the popular culture project you yankeesut, rebels and becoming like cowboys and indians, but on a more significant intellectual level, i'm sure many of you are familiar with david white's book race and reunion, in which he .racks the memory of the war essentially beginning before the turn of the 20th century, but especially in the years right afterward, the spanish-american war, agreeing to disagree. other historians, kerry janney in particular, make clear that there was still a lot of dissension. essentially, --
they agreed to disagree on causes, to praise each other's valor on the battlefield. warmay not agree what the is about" -- in fact, they fought at the drop of a hat the , but just avoid talking about the causes and talk instead about the war valor ofd about the both sides. it was a kind of consensus among, again, white americans to side, to causes to the essentially forget what david calls the emancipation is --ision of the civil war emancipationist division of the civil war. will beralizing i make exaggeration to some extent, but america reunited on the basis of
admiring each other's valor on the battlefield, and that continued into the time we are about, especially in a world war context.ar it was all the more essential to talk about how the war made us stronger, made us one nation, and we could not face the threat of the soviet union and red china if we were divided, but thank goodness we are now one people made stronger in this crucible that was the civil war. many people did remember emancipation. it did not take w.e.b. dubois to write about it. a lot of people did remember, but speaking generally, the nation healed at the expense of racial justice. the red something the other day from a confederate veteran who had been one of the red shirts immediately after the war, but he wrote a pamphlet immediately
after world war i saying how it was the south was responsible for victory in france. his thesis was by precipitating secession in civil war, painful as it was for those of us who fought -- he was a kernel of a thement -- it was all for better because it made this nation one. it exploded the doctrine of states rights and made sure the nation was unified. it was an interesting thesis, but that is the sort of thing that was prevalent for most of the early 20th century, that we are a stronger nation, and as much as we may disapprove of or you invaded us, according to the southern charge against the north, victims of
their vision, but they will overlook it, and you folks down south were guilty of human slavery, but they would overlook that, and it was that faces of reunification that came at the expense of racial justice well into the 20th century. >> i guess i would say in response to that and response to what you are saying that clearly, the nation -- it was a , and clearly the nation had not healed or united. we can see that today. we can only suggest that the nation was united or healed from the perspective of white america, right? from the not perspective of those who were enslaved and the perspective of black america, and the latency of that continues today as we see and which brings us to this moment of a nation not united because the nation has not been
looked at and talk , oft slavery or its legacy which these confederate symbols are a part, and there's much to say about that. i also think when we talk about that, even as i think about the question of what the church would do today, we also have to remember that there was a church that was speaking out against these confederate symbols, just as the african-american community has been ignored in some of the history about the confederacy, so has the black church. the black church was always a firm witness against racial against, and obviously, as it emerged, as an invisible institution during the time of slavery, and so that what the church
would say or even if we look at the ease by which some churches incorporated confederate symbols , then their institutions black church was very clear about that and was very clear in terms of what it meant to be christian, and the black church continuing to hold up the theology of the gods, the liberator of the oppressed, and the black church gave worth to people like harriet taubman, nat turner, david walker, ida b have -- at theid same time that you had a widerral and perhaps a white faith community that was embracing confederate symbols and the lost cause ideology, you had another christian witness, which was the black church witness that was indeed saying that to embrace that is to
compromise the faith. >> but it could not come into public spaces and cast a decisive vote on if stonewall jackson would be depicted as a --sading night with trumpets literal trumpets -- pointing down from heaven as he looks skyward. could notouglas: they be heard. they were there. they were witnessing, but they could not be heard in a way that would change the debate, even if we inter-on a debate. it is the divisiveness that i think is the legacy in many ways of the .onfederacy and the flag i think about world war i and w.e.b. dubois sort of advertising and advocating for war.s to fight in the i think about frederick douglass
and that same notion about blacks fighting in the civil war. was the tuskegee airmen in world war ii, the united states colored troops in world war ii, the 93rd or 92nd regiment in , the colored troops in the civil war, it was this "give me an opportunity to prove to you that i'm deserve -- that i deserve to be a citizen. give me this opportunity to fight and to die so that i might in some way convince you that i am not a coward, that i am what thatat i am not symbol says, that i am not what that symbol purports me to be. i'm something different. asked civil war
, "we soldiers who said need a building. we need something that reminds a nation what we have done, that we have bought and died and not been part of this country but given everything to this country. .e have fought valiantly they held that dream until september 24 when we opened that museum. we opened that museum because of a dream that began in 1915 that was deferred, deferred, deferred, and finally came to fruition. much of that need, that desire to want to be a part of america to be part of the memory of what made america wast was a dream that deferred.
for me, that has a great deal to do with the power, the prominence, and the presence of the confederacy. able to begin to do what we are doing now, discuss and talk about it and begin to heal as a result of it, it will maintain itself. i worry so much about what is happening in our country and our nation now. just the mean-spiritedness that .s here i worry about it because that is not what we need. what we need is another kind of formula. if you could convince me that newe was a definition or a redefinition of the confederacy
and the confederate flag that led us to a better understanding a better realization of what we are and what we can be as americans, i would fly the flag, too. [applause] mr. juarez: i think context is pretty important in these matters. when you want to fly a flag in your front lawn -- and it's your front lawn -- well, that's up to you, isn't it? is it different if it is a state park in the state of mississippi leader ofa general or a state government that was a validly segregationist? if it is arent calhoun hall at a university named after john c calhoun? is it different if it is a
church? is it even more different if it is a church that in its founding documents says that it is a church for all people and for national purposes? somehow to present a consensus version of american history in a way that just any old church maybe is not? reverend douglas: and is it different with it is a stained-glass window? mr. juarez: why is that? reverend douglas: two things, and it brings us back to the question of who we are in the nation's cathedral and whose stories are we trying to tell, and whose stories are here in this cathedral? no, let's say that part of who -- so let's say is about of who we are
perhaps telling the nation's story, and if that is the case, then we have to tell a broader story, so that we have to tell the nations story, which means the story of not just people bee lee and jackson have to told, but the people who were victims of the institution that they ought to preserve also have to be told. when we talk about stained-glass windows, stained-glass windows -- the history of stained-glass ofdows in churches -- first all, they injured in two churches in one respect because they provided during the an opportunity for people who could not afford bibles or people who were not literate to know the biblical into -- they entered churches.
stained-glasst, becomes religious symbols, and they say something about not only the culture from which they emerged, but also about the gods , so what are we saying about in the stained-glass window of lee and jackson? it's different if it was one of the monuments of lincoln, etc., but they are stained-glass windows, so that takes on a different religious symbolism. mr. juarez: so they speak in a different way than a statue or bas relief or some other symbol? reverend douglas: in a church. it would be different if they were in a museum. mr. juarez: is part of the problem that once something is installed, the fight around getting it uninstalled, as we
are seeing in new orleans, as we have seen repeatedly in richmond, as we saw in the confederate state house -- is totally different from the argument over installing it in the first place? mr. coski: yes, and i also want to speak to a point you made about the installation of these windows in 19 53. precisely because this was to be , and you saychurch observing that it was to incorporate all americans, i think -- i have not read all the documents, but that explains why they are here. your point about a year later when the confederate flag was very clearly and more widely as a symbol of opposition to violent opposition integration that might have made it less palatable for the cathedral after 1954 is a really good point. it tells us the white south
was still in 1953, as it had been, i can tell you, for the previous 50 years, since really the spanish-american war, fighting for legitimacy, trying .o prove to the nation the white south tried mightily to fight despite what was happening to them at home. it's an opportunity to earn respect. white south was also writing for that respect, and a window here for the consensus harrow of the confederacy, the man who embodied virtues so much so that american submarines were named for him, army bases were named all kinds of amos
eulogiesrs were giving for him at his centennial. it was important to get respect for the white south to get respect. lot to doat has a with why they are here, precisely for that reason. it was an opportunity, kind of a gesture of respect to earn our , to provehe table that once and for all we are part of the united nation, especially in this cold war context. where we are now, we have a commemorative landscape that has been built up for centuries. a monument to the confederate in
a public space says, among other things, that at the time this monument was erected, the voice of let people did not count. that is part of its back story. there is no way around it. but it speaks to the power, the unequal power relationships at the time. they take on a life of their own over time. people get used to them. you mentioned regimen in monument avenue. it is among the most visited places of the city. it's good for business. it's not about gray and blue. it's about green. .t's good for the city's image it's good for tourist dollars. but people also get used to it. you talked about high schools named for confederate heroes. people become invested in those school names, not because of the name but because of their own personal heritage in attending that school and remembering from
their youth and the glory years being part of that school. taking things down is an attack on a received world. most of us do not stop and think that the commemorative landscape we inherit had to come from somewhere. those things did not just rolled out of the ground. god did not place them there. placeous decisions to those monuments, to raise the money, to build them, to design them exactly as they are, to , thosehose inscriptions were all conscious acts, and others back stories to the speaker to who had power and who did not. the tell us more about people who directed them than they do about the historical being commemorated. they are documents of the period in which they were directed -- directed -- erected.
most people do not stop and think about it. it a human tendency to stop and react negatively when you're comfortable. as you said earlier, there's a lot of people who have very good reason not to be comfortable with that landscape because they do know the back stories, but when you are comfortable with it, an attack on it is a personal attack, a disruption of the life you knew and the world as you received it is, i think, what you are getting at. mr. juarez: we will be going to your questions and just a moment. before we do, i want to ask you, dr. ellis, given the point dr. oski just made about how these things become fixed values , stone mountain becomes stone mountain, and it is very hard to it.tone mountain that plaque of robert e. lee that says he was beyond reproach is part of this building.
on -- un-builed -- ild that? should we go dr. ellis: i think the question ld the concrete and the symbols and image we have created. , we can.ah it takes a great deal of effort to do that. the easier thing to do is let it stand and create new definitions for why it should stay there, collet culture, call it something else. .o not call it violence do not talk about what it does or has done to a community. for me, what makes it even more that we not only
grapple with this but that we resolve this is because it will sores be like a scab, a that will not heal. in god's house makes it even deeper in terms of its ability or its ability to destroy. people thatse, the i knew as a child who were the , who did not allow oppression to overcome them, who did not allow their anger to subsume them were men of god and women of god. a god's house was always sanctuary. god's house was always a place .o go to renew one's self
god's house was a place to go to be inspired so that you can leave god's house and fight the good fight. to have in god's house something that questions your sense of what you can do, what you can is, tot you can achieve andanathema to who god is to his example. i just wantedas: to add that it's taking them down is an attack upon a people, we also have to recognize that keeping up certain symbols is also an attack upon a people. a. juarez: is it different in church, as we just heard dr. a majorggests, from
square in new orleans where a general stands? is a church a different place and a different context which demands a different kind of conversation, a different kind of response? >> i have written more about the difference between private and public as you were alluding to earlier. clearly, as you say, there's a huge difference between what the naacp referred to as a sovereignty context of state flags and flags on public property. versus on private property, comes under the free speech room. seems to me as a matter for the church itself, that is, the people of the church. any number of churches, primarily at this google once to my knowledge, have wrestled with
the issue, but as someone who does not belong to a church, i will defer to those who do. is it different? yes, clearly, and i think the decision belongs to the congregation to the people of that church. let's go to questions, and let me ask you to not -- i'm sure there are deeply felt opinions about those windows and very interesting insights about those windows, but i would ask that you not make a speech. you can give us an idea of what is on your mind and please ask a question of one of our fine panelists. we have a microphone in the center aisle and we have a gentleman whose hand shot up. tell us who you are. .> my name is riley temple
i'm a former member of the props in it this google cathedral -- props in if this couple -- , the boardathedral of trustees. i want to salute the church for doing this. it is a wonderful and absolutely essential thing to do. richmond,grew up in virginia, born and bred, and i grew up in a house that sat on the very ground of largest .onfederate hospital i grew away from where up, the confederate soldiers sailors monument. those confederate doubles were never been nine.
we always considered them an attack. they may have been benign with white people, but not in the black community. toondly, with respect monument avenue, i weighed in on monument avenue, a public thoroughfare. i don't leave those symbols should come down because they can be taught about, but in this church, my question is about framing the question. in a church that honors two people in windows, people who fought to preserve the way of ,ife of slavery, dehumanization i think the question should be framed differently to talk about , and iten of proof
seems to me that the burden of proof should be -- how can you justify having those windows in a house of god, not how do we set aside the burden of proof that -- not how do we satisfy the burden of proof that they should come out. but how do you justify it? mr. juarez: responses, panel? reverend douglas: i think again that that is the question. it takes a hard question, and questions that were not asked when they were put in. we now have to begin because we are at hopefully -- and we are it seems to me by virtue of the fact that we are having this discussion, that we are at a different place and have new questions and different and should be hearing different voices and recognizing
that a history has been negated and that voices have been silenced so that it indeed this is a place, a church for all people, then those voices have to be heard. i think that the question is right, and that's what we are grappling with, and i think that it requires these kind of in which people can indeed begin to hear the voices that have been left out of not simply the conversation but out the storiesry, and that are not told in those windows. mr. juarez: does the fact that they were put in, that the cathedral took the donation of the united daughters of the confederacy, that the inscriptions in the days are worded the way that they are in thed to us that
washington of 1953, this really was not even an argument? very much so, and that's one of the major points that i hope that has come through in a number of discussions so far. clearly among the african-american community nationwide and in the south, lots of reservations, lots of perceptions of them as attacks, but among the white our brokers, those who were making the decisions, lee was a hero. there was almost no question. a submarine was named after him in this time. basis -- bases. lee and jackson to a lesser degree. for one thing, he was a presbyterian, not episcopalian. at the very least, the presence of these windows do testify to the zeitgeist of the time, that they were, among white america, byoes, a legacy of 75 years
that point, 80 years. four score and thing -- something years in which the white south's interpretation of the civil war had become kind of a consensus one. also, let's face it, the confederates are more fun. they are the underdogs. this has been an issue with reenactors, as many of you know. they had to get some of the guys to show up as confederate to galvanize and become yankees so the odds are at least fairly even instead of having 10 confederates for every union soldier. as a romance about the confederacy that began at the turn-of-the-century. you talked earlier about the defending -- defining -- defanging of the civil war. that is the crucial context. >> thank you. i think we had a discussion. i'm impressed with the panel.
you really dealt with some issues, and as we go through period, i hope we aboutaise more questions the windows, we have the emancipation window, which is a very emasculating window to look at. i have an picketing the cathedral the last few months -- mr. juarez: tell people who you are. >> robert hunter. retired priest. moved theinto with a and told mey came they moved the flags out of the windows. i know those folks. they are not going to move the windows. and that's ok. i will just keep picketing as the weather permits and my health permits.
when general came and said to me, "i appreciate what you're doing. i'm trying to make a film about reconstruction, how we can reconstruct some healing in this ation." i said you cannot reconstruct this nation because it began wrong. you can construct this nation, build it a new. that's what they say about a cathedral. it is never finished with construction. stones that need to be thrown away, windows that need to be put out. always, we are constructing a new cathedral for a new age. dr. ellis just helped open a museum that has to speak to all the people about this highly fraught, highly contentious history of hours -- of ours. how do you do that? dr. ellis: i would like to
respond to the gentleman in a way that is probably surprising. the young man who was talking about richmond and talking about andmonuments in richmond talking about -- did you get that? and not wanting to take it down because of a story to be told. i want to say a little bit more about that. the can utter a seat and stonewall jackson and robert e. figures -- the confederacy and stonewall .ackson and robert e. lee we about four years ago put together an exhibit called "the paradox of liberty" where we talk about thomas jefferson, but the title was "thomas jefferson "nd the slaves of monticello because during his lifetime, he .wned over 700 slaves
we had thomas jefferson, a statue of him, and behind him, we had the names because they did excellent research, and they know the names of all the so weed that he owned, put this huge series of tiles behind him that had the names of .hose in slaved our suggestion was that in order for you to know who thomas jefferson was, you had to see as an inventor, not just as a statesman, not just as an author, that he also was an owner of slaves, and in order to see him, you had to see him through that prism as well. i suggest that there are things that can be learned about robert e. lee and about stonewall
jackson that we do not know because they have a come iconic of a value system as whosed to individual men had parts of them that were good, that were bad, and were ugly. thejuarez: you started with memorial boulevard in richmond. does that mean augmenting that part of the church, adding material, adding something for the visitor to go on, or does it mean taking out those windows? i am suggesting that a conversation is valuable in terms of asking what we really the iconic men as opposed to the human beings they represent. i am simply saying that it's
possible if we find out more the good, the bad, and the ugly of who they were, it might not be necessary to take it down. just might be expanding and enhancing a story that allows us to know more about who they were. i want to addas: to that in a different way. even as we talk about the cathedrals -- the windows injuring the cathedral in 1950 three, there's another story we also are not telling, and that is the story of the piscopo -- the piscopo -- the scoble -- the episcopal church and its .omplicity in slavery it was not until 1958 the general convention -- if i'm not
mistaken, it was the 1958 general convention -- where the episcopal church spoke out for the first time about racial injustice. up to that point, during the , while otherriod churches were splitting over the issue, they were not. the church was more concerned about unity at the time that it , so they wereery concerned about unity. in a sense, that same concern is expressed by the fact that those windows injured the cathedral in 1950 three because there was that concern about unity and not racial justice, so when we tell , i think the windows also signify the complicated story of the piscopo church, and we need to be honest about that
-- the complicated story of the episcopal church, and we need to be honest about that. to put it that way, it may be even more difficult to get them out because we in these latter days seek validation through the maintenance of symbol and the way symbols speak to us today. they may feel the loss more keenly from here than they would a public park or the courthouse square. yes, ma'am. >> my name is family teller. i have come here from boston today to be here this week and i'm thrilled to be here. i think i will have to come back the next two years to represent the north, which i'm happy to do. growing up, i was the only yankee of 75 people, and i went to savannah, georgia, every
summer, and i was not allowed to sit on the back of the bus, much to my sadness, but i think -- i have a suggestion going forward tonight. i think it will be a huge mistake to erase history, a mistake our country cannot afford to make. i would suggest the stone of this building not limit the stained glass windows that are allowed to be here and going forward, a lot has happened since 1953. we have had the civil rights movement, a complete increase in the number of hispanic people now in this country. a muslim presence in this country and i think about the norman rockwell picture that shows all those different aspect of the world and perhaps there could be a window or windows built to bring our national up to the current constituency we have here with
the history of all those different ribbons. i'm not in any way meaning to minimize african-american pain over the confederacy. i affirm that so much, but i think also that we need to have another presence. you are saying keep the windows but tell more complete story? >> hang up more windows and shine a more complete spotlight on them. i think what i found more offending was the words written on the plaques. to keep the windows, we would still have history, but to remove the plaques and sort of incorporate what i think were thatrown past interests, we show perhaps an evolving episcopal church, but we could keep the windows but again modify the plaque somewhat.
should i read those plaque inscriptions again? >> no. [laughter] mr. juarez: yes, sir. >> my name is george albert. -- i'm notor worse going to talk about the windows -- i lived in fairfax county, and for the last 18 months, we wrestling with another confederate senate, jeff stewart. i've been leading a coalition of students, alumni, community members, organizations including name ofp to change the jeff stewart high school, and i have been very impressed with .his conversation it is a conversation i wish we could have somehow in our community. right now, most of our conversations are very divisive, full of rancor, full of discord, war of refighting the civil
and whatever for everybody has with each other. in the case of some of these high schools across the south, when people go to the barricades to keep the name, it's not necessarily out of a particular love or reverence for in this case jeff stewart himself, but because they went to and graduated from jeff stewart high school, who has a .ascot there is a nickname for the team. it is wrapped up in who they were and how they grew up. do you buy that? >> no, i don't buy it, but i understand it. for me now, there's nothing new under the sun. we have to find a way to preserve the history and legacy of what is good about the school, but we should not be
commemorating and the liberating .onfederate values i'm really looking for advice, how to get this kind of a conversation going. we highly got the school board to agree to move forward with a working group to consider over the next eight or nine months if they ever started, to consider il these types of issues, but fear that it will continue to be very discordant. we have some of our opponents taking the side of traditional lost cause history, if you will. points of viewer of what the war was really about . in 1959.l was named
never really presented a plan that was approved until about 1961, so it was named in that context. so i am looking for advice, how we would get this kind of discussion going on. to you that the conversations that you are having in fairfax are very, very .aluable if this were easy to turn on a dime, it would be done by now. this is the hardest thing that you will ever do, to try to change hearts, the hardest thing . when i think of the fact that we now have a building that was born,d before i was even
-- that it will stand until it took 100 years for it to happen. i hope it does not take 100 years in fairfax, but what i'm saying is that the seeds that you are creating now -- i know it's frustrating. i can hear it in your voice, but my suggestion to you is to continue that fight and to continue the discussion and to continue to talk about it. the fact that it is difficult for me means that you are having the right conversation. how many times do we have conversations that we want you to feel good about what you are saying and at the end, we have solved nothing? you are obviously doing the right ring, fighting the good fight and fighting the hard fight. the only suggestion i have or use use this as a way to motivate you to continue the fight.
passing histories gallstones, you might think of it. >> how are you this evening? i'm a little bit different because i'm jewish. i'm a little upset because i have gone to a lot of anniversary battles and stoneware jackson marched, and i've also done the march on , the 50th anniversary when obama spoke. i was there. i did it. unfortunately, i was not alive during those battles. being jewish, i had family held
in auschwitz. jackson and lee were men of god. 150 years ago, if i showed my ankle, you could be lynched, as a woman. the representation of women in that era, you follow me? we have come a long way. i want unity. anybodyhappy about being in slave. the irish indentured servants. the native americans that were slaughtered in american history. it's all pathetic and sad. i want us to move on in 2016. thank you for all that you are saying. i want an open, fair dialogue on american history, and i want us all to love each other. -- are you happy
with the way the millennials for the younger generation are handling a lot of the racial crises that have been perpetuated since dylan roof -- dylann roof and the whole thing that happened a year ago? mr. juarez: interesting question. reverend douglas: yes, and i'm yousure which millennials are speaking up, but what i am happy about is that we are in this place, meaning not simply this place, but this place in our history where the question hopefully,lled and, we will lean into it. because if we don't -- you know, as i often say and people have pitd me say, there is a
that divides us in this country. there are several ways we can get around that pit. we can walk around it. we can jump over it. istheological terms, that cheap grace. we will find ourselves continually having that hit betweenus -- that pit us because we have not done the hard work of climbing down into it and all of the mess and the hurt where it is uncomfortable thewe all get soiled, but truth is down there, and we live we deal withand it. as uncomfortable as it is, and then we come back up the other side. that is a just reconciliation, not just reconciliation. we are in this moment, and we had a decision to make, and that decision is if we are going to tell the truth about who we are
as a nation, and if we do not tell that truth, then we are going to continue to be in these moments of division. so yes, whomever these that you'reare talking about, i'm glad we are in this moment, and the question is to us, what are we going to do about that? with a time so pregnant the presence of god and it is disruptive and chaotic, and it has to be disrupted and chaotic because god is trying to lead us into a new direction, so tearing so wehings as they are can get somewhere else is uncomfortable, but it is our toh as a church community live in it. we can miss it or grasp it.
mr. juarez: i'm glad our questioner brought up dylann roof because one of the more of this representations long-standing argument is that a mass murderer walks into a church, killed nine people, and i'm how, circuitously, this ends with ace olives ceremony -- a with an honory guard of state troopers in full dress uniform taking down the confederate flag to be put in a , for which they are building a multimillion dollar additional wing to house like it is a piece of the true cross or a relic of saint,d of a state -- and it is just a weird set of outcomes that begins with a heavily armed man walking into a church and killing a bunch of
it's almost like throwing a boomerang. you in-depth hitting some target you may be never even intended. what did you see going on with that? >> a lot going on, obviously, just the way you framed it. the charleston murders galvanized opposition to the confederate symbols. as you know, this has been going on for decades. the undoing of the symbolic landscape has been going on really since the middle of the 20th century, that removal of flags from public places. there have been some peaks and valleys in that, and it kind of reached a point of stasis after the change in the georgia state in 2000 four, but i think everyone realized it was just an awaiting something.
the taking down is one part of what you are saying. i think to some degree, it came there's political movement to do that anyway. for one thing, an election year was coming up and the confederate flag has been a divisive issue in south carolina politics for a long time, so it was an opportunity to get it off the table. the treatment in a reverential way a piece of cloth that presumably was made some plays in america -- maybe not -- that has nothing to do with the flag, the real flags carried by confederate soldiers in battle that are revered as pieces of the true cross because of their association -- they had to get their pound of flesh in order for that land to come down. the people who wanted it to remain had to be made whole in ine publicly perceived way
order for this to end well. >> i think it's called compromise, that the bringing down at that flag, which had been demanded and resisted, and legislativethe history, those who did not want the flag to come down at all, what they insisted on as a precondition for it coming down was that it be treated with respect, that a statement the company it saying that this act does not in any way reflect any dishonor upon the men who fought under this flag. that was one of the conditions that senator mcconnell and others fought for it to remain on the statehouse. it was simply what happened last year was an extension of this insomething year old fight south carolina to reach the point where we are now. honoring those who fought for the confederacy, the confederate soldiers and that heritage was part and parcel to any even in the wake of
those murders in 2015, but your point about doing this with a piece of cloth that is maybe a year old, as if it were a holy relic is spot on. it is on and underscores the difference between the actual flag, the relics of war, versus the symbol, the representation dr. coski: i think this should be a fundamental distention between historic flags used by confederate soldiers. made in chinaion in 2014. mr. suarez: does that example say -- is it a happy ending for some that is tinged with dissatisfaction? because the state is still unable to speak and say, this was not a great cause.
breakawayo defend a white supremacist republic. this was our purposes we do not revere in 2016. balanceneed to strike a something that leads you still dissatisfied, even though coming down from the dome might be a good thing, it must also come with other goodies in the other direction to make it happen. it could be my evil twin, but i think it is the old-fashioned bait and switch. i leave it here or i put it down here, but i put it back up over here. i am going to lose anything, except the accuracy -- geo
graphy. it is possible it is my evil twin, but it is also possible that the change of heart that i was talking about earlier, has not taken place. symbolthe need for that is greater than the need for healing. yes.uarez: in the back. >> i am in a biscuit billion -- episcipallion. i love this house of god. it is like the great cathedrals of europe filled with memorials, kneeling at the altar, stained-glass windows to the ancestors. our history in america is a history of oppression.
from the very beginning, the oppression of native peoples, of enslaved peoples, the oppression of immigrants. we erase every trace of that terrible history, what do we have left? let's be like the europeans, just move on. [applause] mr. suarez: yes, in that way back. there is a hand. no -- there we go. hold up your hand. stand up. >> good evening, my name is joy rutherford and i am a member of the cathedral. i have a comment and a question. it is uncomfortable for me to come into this space that is a sacred space, a place for me to come and pray and be at one with
god when there is representation of the injustice that has occurred to people, particularly black people. you, why is itr not enough, the data you have given in regards to stained-glass windows and there are a richer nation -- origin ation, why is that not enough to remove the flag and place it in the crypt? those who arer not up to speed with the state of play, the windows are there, but the confederate flags in the windows, they have been removed and replaced with colored glass. exist inimply cease to
the window, isn't that enough? >> yes, thank you for answering that. rev. douglas: i think what is important is that we engage in these conversations and i do think it is important. there is a part of me that very easy,ays that it would be though it is obviously not very easy. but it would be easy to take the windows down and place them somewhere else with the confederate flag in south carolina, and move on with business as usual. easy toit would be leave -- to nothing. i think part of the work is to engage in these kinds of conversations and confront the multiple meanings of those windows and when i talk about
the multiple meanings, i made the things we have talked about here. and to compel the community. community,are as a to confront the complicity of the church, the church in general, the cathedral community, etc. slavery.egacy of and then make determinations about what that means and what we are going to do. i guess for me i do not want to take the easy route out. i really want to do the hard work of becoming a different kind of community and pointing a way to how we can become that. [applause] mr. suarez: yes? >> i have a question. did you particularly mean to leave out the rivaled brutality,
the sexual abuse of african americans, the murder, the selling of children? this is what these people fought for and robert e. lee and his compatriots were traders. i have not heard you mention these words and why the flag sets in a national cathedral. that dr., but i would like to hear from the other two. clearouglas: i think i am on all of that and with they stood for and i think that that is the honesty and truth of our history that that must be told. no pun intended, it cannot be whitewashed. into real brings us conflict, we must ask what we stand for and who we are. withf those are discordant
the we claim to be. dr. coski: this is a core part of the argument. dr. coski: i am trying to answer sufficiently. lee gave their services to a nation that pocked to preserve -- fought to preserve slavery. that its purpose for being was to protect slavery from the interference of the federal government. can everyone hear me? there is a that inevitable stain of having fought for, using their military expertise to fight effectively in fact,
whether it is celebrated, for that very noble cause. so to talk about the brutality and those two men, you need to separate them by a couple of degrees because they did not do it personally. there were accusations about lee whipping his slaves. but it is, i can see other people getting up and the direct charges of these men being responsible for that and i do not think it is helpful to talk about robert e. lee and stonewall jackson and brutality, but i can hear people talk about how jackson talks his slaves -- taught his slaves to read. there is a book about stonewall jackson, the black man's friend. you can read it and see if you find it persuasive. -- there is this other
[indiscernible] [indiscernible] i am losing my concentration so i will plow through. and i will continue on that. whether or not they are traitors is open to debate. i will accept that as they did violate their oath at west point and delete himself -- lee himself, you should find in the book, lee the man, talking about things that we can learn about him and his slavery and african americans and race. the author learned things about lee and how he valued his own family. lee was, according to those that revered him, he did not like slavery. he professed not to like it because of the effect of it on the white man. but yes, he clearly wanted to
preserve his own fortune and his family's fortune, by keeping the slaves that his father law -- in law had freed in his will. he wanted to keep working those people, so he would not impoverish his family. so jefferson and of those before him, regardless of hating slavery, whatever gesture they had made, they were part of a system that clearly valued white fortunes over the freedom and liberties of african-americans. and property. and the fundamental problem of slavery, people tend to overlook it, because we think about django unchained kind of brutality, but it was treating people as property and that this was the most profoundly immoral
parts of slavery. [applause] there is a conversation we 2008. the museum back in mobley called the director of the museum and she said they are disrespecting and of my son, the cast emmett till. i would like you to consider bringing him to the museum. we have never thought about it woulds as an item that we collect. but the more we talked about it and considered it, the more we realized that it was an iconic object that was important, and the story about emmett till was important.
for those that do not know his inry, august my 1955, he was mississippi. he was 14 years old and he was from chicago, but he was visiting relatives in mississippi. cousin day he and his went to a local store and he was accused of whistling at a white clerk at the the store. that night, her husband and his brother went to the home where emmett till was sleeping, dragged him out of the house and took him away from the house with his cousin laying in the bed and his uncle downstairs sleeping. they took him away into the never saw him again until his body was floating in the tallahatchie river, with a fan
him around his neck to drag down so his body would not come back up. destroyed was so about what they had done, she said, his face was unrecognizable. and it looked horrible. she said, i want the world to see what they did to my boy. displayed it,ne it was something that shocked the nation. rosa parks and if so many others said that is the reason they went into the civil rights movement, because of that event. we decided that it was important for us to tell that story. even though we put up signs and let people know, this is history
at its most wrong, we decided it needed to be a part of the story we tell at the museum. that is what i mean by examining and talking about the good, the bad and the ugly. you have to see it all. you have to argue with it all in order to have some healing. you cannot overlook the violence, because that was a part of the story as well. placealing cannot take until the truth is there for all to see. rev. douglas: that is what i mean when i talk about going down into the pit. you have to tell the truth and all of the brutal facts. >> i think we have one more. mr. suarez: thank you.
you will not give it to me? you think i will steal it? >> i will hold onto it. anyway, i did want to thank you all for this interesting presentation. i have been involved with this wonderful cathedral for about 50 years. 87, older thanow you. [laughter] >> i think we need to celebrate also while we are talking about difficulties with racial injustice, we need to celebrate the fact we have made significant progress, racially in our nation and in this cathedral. in our nation, we happen to have a black president that i voted for a couple of times.
it at allt recognized tonight. the great progress. also in this cathedral, we had a workedean, with whom i for decades. so we have made very good substantial progress, indeed. i think while we have this window that offense some people, it is part of history. and we cannot just go around throwing away parts of history that we feel offends us. if we did that, i would be very busy, because there is a lot of history that offends me. once we geted that through with this window, the next person is going to go into the memorial chapel and take a look at the windows where we are
blowing up people and blowing up tanks and everything else and say, we cannot have that kind of thing in the cathedral. to givelieve we have thanks for what we have and we have to accept the history of this place as we accept the history of our nation. because this place represents the history of our nation. thank you very much for being here, it was an interesting program. [applause] mr. suarez: that gives us an excellent opportunity to get final thoughts from the panelists and say good night to you all. you will take us out, the three of you, with your response to what you heard. think the gentleman
is right. we are not where we were 30 years ago, but there is still a good deal of work to do. i congratulate the cathedral it all of those that planned this event. i hope it is not the last event. i hope the conversation continues, because the work must continue if we are going to that thise dream young lady talked about when she said she wants us all to get along and be better together. i think we can do that. but it will take work. i congratulate you and all of you that put this together. and thank you for inviting me to be part of the conversation. first, i think everybody for being a part of this conversation and i echo his comments and my responses that we are not where we were and we are not where we are supposed be.
so i hope that we continue this hard work together and this is indeed the first of many conversations. dr. coski: thank you for inviting me. it has been a privilege to be stage, this and on this a very profound experience. and very profound what my co-panelists said as well. from my college days and before that, starting at the turn of the 20th century, woodrow wilson, an integral part of this cathedral, talk about complex history. the two presidents and the difficulties they present. we think of the civil war as the messiest and most diverse -- divisive part of our history, but you look at theodore roosevelt and woodrow wilson,
and their histories are difficult and they were divisive chapters. through the pits wen's point, the are talking about, it is all messy. the way to confront it is not to debate, not through some sort of jerry springer show adversarial panels, because all you get is argument, very much like the election. but the way to counsel it is through discussion like this. we are in it together, whether we like it or not. we are all trying to figure out how we can live with our history and the only way to do that effectively is by always getting together and realizing that we need to work together for the sake of understanding. we simplyver agree,
need to understand as best we can. we may agree to disagree on the fine points, but the effort to is theand our past, that direction for all of us to go. mr. suarez: excellent points. thank you. please thank everyone. [applause] mr. suarez: and let me remind you this conversation will be posted and streaming on the cathedral website and also c-span was here tonight, so watch c-span and find out when this is scheduled and tell your friends. we will be having first discussions in this series and can watch the cathedral website for those as well. thank you very much. [applause]
>> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, tonight at 8:00 -- >> the only difference between a not a mob -- nazi mob coming down on jews and an american mob burning in mississippi, one was encouraged by the national government and the other was tolerated by the national government. >> talking about world war ii and its impact on civil rights. at 10:00, the 1958 film on the black panthers, founded 50 years ago. community,ce in our not for our security, but security of the business owners. quoalso to see the status
kept intact. >> sunday afternoon, findingsgists on their in saratoga, new york and the expiration for the book "the 1777 battle of saratoga." >> she was at the time she died, five feet tall, at least 60 years old, and she was a battle casualty. what is going on? >> and during american artifacts. >> the wings cut down. and for the second training flight, you get more wings and he would hop down the field. and he would talk to your instructor on the big day, and he would pat you on the shoulder and say, wash off, get in the airplane and make your first solo flight. >> and a tour of the aviation
museum in virginia, one of the largest collections of world war i and world war ii aircraft. learning about aviation technology during those wars. for our complete schedule, go to c-span.org. 1921, anember 11, estimated 100,000 people gathered at arlington cemetery for a ceremony honoring the unknown soldier of world war i. the signal corps created a silent film documenting the journey of his remains and the procession through arlington through the streets of washington dc. >> how did this concept of the unknown soldier be an honor to come about? >> it goes back to the beginning of the mechanization of warfare expanding during world war i. you get more identifiable remains -- unidentifiable
remains in people were struggling with the fact that they could not figure out who these clash of these -- c asualties were. it is so each country would take them and to bury them. and the u.s. wanted to do something similar. started with legislation. and i believe -- through the streets and it is adjusting to see, to me, how many people turned up, not just the army, but the civilians showing their honor and patriotism toward the americans. and really supporting the role the americans played in helping to liberate france. >> and now we are watching the casket being carried on board a ship >.
>> it was a naval ship famous during the war. it has a storied history. >> there we actually see them disembark from the navy yard. >> and in the u.s. capitol rotunda, this is a platform that was used to but president lincoln's coffin. >> and that is president harding and mrs. harding lane the wreath on the casket. >> yes. he will give the keynote speech.
>> here the casket is carried down the steps of the capitol, a scene that modern americans will be familiar with with ceremonies in our time, and put on the horse-drawn carriage that will go over through the streets of washington and to arlington cemetery. let's watch for just a minute. >> there is an interesting group of people that participated, you can say military groups, and also you have a lot of veterans, female veterans as well, women that serves volunteer during the war. >> there is a reviewing stand in washington dc. i believe those women are from
the army, it is hard to tell. >> or maybe the salvation army. >> they could be. some of the uniforms look at similar. >> with donald trump elected as the next u.s. president, melania becomes the second foreign-born first lady. learn more about the spouses of the presidents in the book, first ladies. it is a companion to the well-regarded biography tv series and features interviews with 54 of the nation's leading first lady historians, biographies of first ladies and archival photos from their
lives. dies," is available wherever you buy books and now available in paperback. next, author gay talese talks about his book, "the bridge: the building of the verrazano-narrows bridge," recounting the design of the longest suspension bridge in the u.s.. it was originally published in 1964. -- this talk was in new york city to mark the 50th anniversary of the building of the bridge. mr. suarez: -- gabrielle: let me introduce into writers that have been influential. sam roberts