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tv   South Carolina House of Representatives Confederate Flag Debate  CSPAN  July 12, 2015 12:20pm-1:51pm EDT

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the "washington examiner," along with several other sources reports that negotiators are close to an agreement that would be followed by a formal announcement as early as tomorrow. seven countries involved have the opportunity to review the terms of the deal. the current round of talks have taken more than two weeks and surpassed three deadlines in an effort to restrict iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. on today's fox news sunday, mitch mcconnell was asked about the likelihood of congress approving the deal. >> -- enough democrats willing to look at this objectively, look at the facts. is this a good deal? is this likely to achieve the outcome we had hoped for? if they can bring themselves to do that and make an objective evaluation of it, i think it'll be a very hard sell for the administration. >> the white house had a meeting monday, a conference call with liberal groups saying -- getting
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ready for this post, saying it will be the president's number one foreign-policy achievement. but it said the white house remains confident that if congress rejects the deal, the president could be to the action and continue to move forward. >> that is what i was talking about. it would require 34 votes for him to go forward. >> is he getting that? >> i think it is going to be a hard sell. he knows that the resolution of this approval is likely to be introduced is not likely to pass -- is very likely to pass. if he vetoes that in order to sustain the veto, he would need 34 votes. which is what i was referring to earlier. i think it is going to be a hard sell. a hard sell. >> c-span gives you the best access to congress. live coverage of the u.s. house congressional hearings, and news conferences. bringing you events that shape public policy.
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every morning, "washington journal" is live. with your comments by phone, facebook, and twitter. c-span. created by america's cable companies and brought to you as a public service. >> this week saw the removal of the confederate battle flag from south carolina's state capitol grounds. the result of national debates over the flag's history and symbolism following last month's deadly church shooting. the south carolina legislature approved the flights removal with a bill that was first passed by the -- flag's removal, with a bill that was first passed by the senate, and then passed by the house. >> thank you, mr. speaker, for allowing me my second 10 minutes. i am attempting to be very measured in my comments.
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this amendment before you today removes the flag that some would say represents hatred and has been abducted by hate organizations -- adopted by hate organizations. this amendment removes the flag that is currently out front that many of you find offensive. did you hear what i said? it removes that flag. what i just sat here and heard from my friend, was that it doesn't matter what goes back of that poll because somebody -- pole because somebody could potentially co-opted. that is what i heard. the flag in question looks exactly like what is flying on
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top of the dome right now. except it has a wreath in it, or whatever it is called, a wreath. the only difference. so my question to you is, is the flag that is flying on top of the dome right now offensive to anybody in this room? if it is, stand up. ask me a question. let's be real with one another in here today. nobody in this room with this amendment is trying to disallow those of you who think the flag has been co-opted, of ducted, a symbol of -- of ducted -- abdu cted a symbol of hate, this amendment removes it. if you want the flight down, this amendment does that for you. -- glad -- flag down, this
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amendment does that for you. the flag in question looks exactly like the flag that is on the dome right now. with the exception of the fact that it has a refinished. -- it has a wreath in it. if i had not come to this podium or this amendment had not read that it was a regimental flag, most of you would not have ever known it. and in attempt to be respectful to the people who gave their lives in defense of this date from an over oppressive federal government, allow them to be honored, allow them to be respected. they fought for things they believed in. no different than veterans who died in more recent conflicts gave their lives in defense of
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this nation. please have some respect for your constituents and to those who have gone before us who lost family members in that way and still wish to respect them, just as i am respecting the fact that the current flag outside represents things that some people don't like. i have gone through a transformation within myself to understand that issue. honestly. i mean, in all seriousness, i have wept over this thing. i have been this thing in prayer. i have called my pastor to have him pray for me. i have reached out to my constituents because i have been so distraught over this process.
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we had an opportunity to allow this to go through regular order with a debate that went through committee where people had an opportunity to speak and be heard. we voted down an opportunity for a referendum to give them that opportunity again because we took away from them and didn't allow ourselves to hear from them by rushing through this. in a very, very short period of time, i have come to a place within myself that says, let's find a better way. what's more respectful way can we have today than a flag that looks like what is flying on the dome? noted you want to take it down. guess when that flag came about? in the 1860's. in all seriousness folks, i love every person in this room.
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black, white, green, yellow, i don't care. color doesn't mean anything to me. what means something to me is the fact that we are being respectful, we are honoring the facts that somebody abducted a symbol of heritage. we have lost lives in charleston related to this, who we might want to be utmost respectful to, and we have given you an opportunity to allow those who want to have respect for their heritage to have it. you cannot erase history. you can't do it. but you can't do it. the flag that is in question at this time is not recognized by any hate group, we have gotten to a place in here today where we just want to forget about part of what is happened -- what
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has happened in our past. it cannot be done. i can't forget about the wrongs i have done to people. i can't. i have had to ask forgiveness for them. i have had to go to the people i have wronged and ask for forgiveness from them. allow us to honor those veterans who gave them life in defense of the state. and let's move forward. again, is there anybody in this room who thinks the flag on top of this dome is disrespectful? >> will questions. >> i'm contemplating that. >> it is your right not to. beddingfield. >> i'll contemplate that. >> it's your right, mr.
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bedingfield. >> in all honesty, i feel my face getting red. probably been that way all day but i feel it right now. i love everybody in this room. i'm thankful for the influence you all have had on my life. i'm asking you today, this amendment respects your position. please respect mine. >> representative delaney? representative delaney is recognized on the amendment. >> i just want to -- mr. speakers i want to give folks perspective about this particular flag, if anyone in here would like to compromise
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show a little grace. this will be the way to do that. the confederate relic room said this is the most significant september battle flags. this is it. >> it's also the most significant flag to me personally personally, to my family. this flag was used by volunteers, thirteen different counties. it was carried through gid tisburg and coming back to sg and was displayed. but this 1 the most significant flag and this flag has never been could opted by any. >> the riche it's important to
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me is because it was the last battle flag my family hero ever brought. a fellow from the fire field district. he was a doctor. a graduate of the met call college in 1887. his wife died before the war. he was only 25 years old. and he insists if you read confederate mill rare at this history, the evidence which involves the south carolina troops, that he helped raise the next level. and if you read the southern christian advocates talking about him in the early 1900s, it say the that he rather
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efficient. he would see him to be shocked in the forehand. the game smells at the end of the seven days battle. leading his battle there, 1862. the same as those five color bearers who carried the same flag in that battle who were killed the teenage paul bearers who were killed within the first 15 of that model. yes, they were fighting with the army of northern virginia as part of 80% of the crew does. in the army of northern virginia. they say if you want to reach a compromise. if you want to show the hair to speem, that you understand a little bit more about
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>> your ensuring this flag will
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fly beyond friday. and for the widow of senator pinckney and his two young daughters, that would be adding insult to injury. i will not be a part of it. and for all of these reasons, i will not vote to amend this bill today. we may visit this another session, another year but if we're memphis go we are telling the people of charleston we don't care. we do not care that someone used the simple of paid to slay a innocent people who worshiping their god. i have heard enough about
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heritage. i animated descendent of jefferson davis, but that does not matter. it is not about jenny koren. it is about the people of south carolina who have demanded that the symbol of hate come off of the statehouse grounds. i will tell you i do now, and i have it on good already, that the world is watching this debate. there is an economic development prospect in dorchester county that is in jeopardy because we refuse to fact. we need to follow the example of the senate will remove this flag, and do it today. this issue is not giving any better with age. thank you. [applause]
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pitts and delaney. amendment 56. >> mr. quinn is recognized. >> mr. speaker, ladies and gentlemen and of the house, i have spoken to many of you about this amendment and had good conversations yesterday. i took a group mr. gillyard tommy pope i think there were 30 people that went by the confederate relic room. the purpose of my asking folks to do that was because i wanted them to understand something about where i'm coming from and also about people that aren't racist that want to remember their history. i realize that the southern cross flag that's currently on the monument has been used by racist groups. and i understand the perspective of african-americans and others who see this as a symbol of hate. for me growing up my
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grandfather would tell me about my great great grandfather who fought. there are people who want to think about that, their deaths. in the war 50% of the male population was killed or wounded. one-third of the male population died during the war. so slavery and the civil war left scars for everyone. and those -- there are folks out there that don't see don't look at the relic room and think about racism. they want to remember their great grandfather or relatives that died. bringing folks there, i was trying to bring them that context. most of the proposals, everything i've seen has the flag going to the relic room. what i've asked is the relic room has not had the support -- i appreciate that y'all vote to go override the veto of the relic room last week. but it has not had the support of the state that it needs.
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it has been the red-headed step child of the museum and is in the back corner of the state museum. so incidentally one of the things i was very proud of about the relic room is they have the only banner on display where african-americans who fought for the union flew under the flag. it's one of the major components of the museum. and i was proud to see that. so to me one of the things i think that is essential to this is for the folks who aren't racist, who just want to remember their families who died and for the folks who are going to want to go to the relic room when the flag is retired there, what this amendment does is is it merely says january 1st of next year they have to present a plan and a budget for which they will -- how they will treat the manner that it is retired and how they will
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remember the southern confederate soldiers who died. and really all who died. and so i think this is a very reasonable request that allows for some measure of comfort for people who are worried that maybe the relic room won't have the support for them to have the idea that yes, there will be a plan and there will be a budget to display the flag and remember the soldiers who died. >> we have a question, mr. quinn. mr. merrill is recognized. >> mr. quinn just to clarify, this is just in addition to the existing bill. it would remove the confederate battle flag, is that right? >> yes, sir. >> and it would still remove the flag pole? >> i don't effect anything on the senate bill that deals with removing the flag. >> it accomplishes all the objectives we were talk building. it removes this. and then it places the flag in
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historical context at the confederate relic room and establishes a committee i think for the display, is that right? >> actually it's very interesting. i researched this pretty thoroughly. i delve into the minute knew that of things. it actually has a new commission formed july 1st of this year. it has not yet been appointed. three from the speaker, three from the senator and three from the governor. it lets the commissioners know when they are appointed we are expecting a plan and budget for how they will handle the matter. i feel, in particular with mr. hosy and others who have a military record, i feel silly talking about it myself. one of the things about this to me that's kind of a story that was told, i think mr. jefferson made a very good point yesterday, when a war is fought it's very often children that are killed. a lot of what i'm asking for is to put all of this into context
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for those folks who died. we're talking about sending it to a museum. give us a plan and budget next year so we can have that and actually support the relic room so it's done in an honorable manner. >> i understand this isn't necessarily a win for either side. but it is the very definition of a compromise to some extent. wouldn't you agree? >> for me yes. i see this as a way for the people who -- look i think this is a tough issue, y'all. everybody knows that. i was here in 2000 for this. it feels like groundhog day in some ways. to me there are -- as i mentioned, there are many people who aren't racist that just want to remember their family members. this gives security that we're not going to display the flag in a dishonorable fashion. >> they also want to show some deference to those who lost
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forefathers in the war. this would allow them to accomplish both of the goals? >> yeah. and i'm hopeful that the members voting to keep it up on the monument see this is really to me i think a goodwill gesture to let them know that the flag will be handled in an honorable fashion. >> this is more minutia. but if someone voted for this amendment, that doesn't necessarily mean they have to vote fort bill at the end. it could stand on its own. it is doing something for both sides, both parties. would you agree with that? >> that's my hope. that's my hope. >> all right. thank you srefplt very much. >> recognized for a question. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. quinn let me, if i may, just ask you a couple of questions based on on your amendment. and thank you for allowing the tour yesterday. >> i appreciate your time doing it. >> sir? >> i appreciate you giving the
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time. >> yes, sir. >> i know we're all busy. >> did we have a conversation at the relic room yesterday about your amendment and the concept of your amendment? >> we did. we were very honest about it. >> and did we reach consensus pretty much yesterday what what you are trying to do is a very good thing and that we supported that? >> that was my feeling from you, yes, ma'am. >> did we also say to you, though, that because we are concerned of the timing of this bill and because we want, as the governor has requested, as the senate has done we wanted a clean bill so that there would be no need for a conference committee. would it make sense for us to come back in january and do not only what you want to do or our proposing to do in this amendment, but did we not also have a conversation about the
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african-american history monument and the process that was put in place there? do you recall that? >> oh, yeah. i was there. yes. >> what i'm trying to do is figure out what happened, mr. quinn, from the tour we did yesterday where all that goodwill and kumbaya was flowing freely. and now, because i was under the impression -- tell me if i'm missing something -- that yesterday we didn't have a vote or anything. but based on the 30 35 people bipartisan, biracial group that was there, did we not talk about using a process that would restore the flag to the confederate relic room with honor, pomp and circumstance, have the citadel come in and do all of that? did we have that conversation? >> we did, ms. cobb-hunter.
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you made that point. and i think your comment was there was a trust issue. >> right. >> i would say the senators i talked to i've spoken with them, i miami'm not going to name them -- >> i don't care about the national media. >> they're telling me this amendment is fine and i think it's a reasonable proposal and i think several members and maybe the whole drink caulkemocratic caucus -- >> you and i have been through this twice. >> yes, sir, i don't want to do it again. >> to handle this issue it required mutual trust. >> yes, sir. >> i think this is a moniker, a gesture, almost a -- not a commitment but letting people know that we're going to get a plan in january, we're going to get a budget.
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we have to debate it and have votes on it but it's giveing them some zreg of confidencedegree of confidence we will address it next year. >> mr. quinn if i may, the hour is late and i'm not what i used to be. help me to understand this and i meant that in a positive way. i hear my colleagues chuckling and i don't even want to think about where their mind when when i said that. did you know that? >> i have a lot of faith you're still the person you used to be. >> let me try it this way mr. quinn, the senate already said and concurred -- there is no way -- you talk about having conversations with somebody and they're okay with it. >> miss quinn, that's your first 10 minutes. i apologize, and you want your second? >> yes sir. >> i know there are others who want their time and i don't want to vo gard their time and what that word means i don't want to
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monopolize your time. >> i know. >> it's not for you but some people in here who didn't know that. >> heres a what i wanted to get at i thought weed a reached a point where we had allowed this process to play out, let everybody have their say and at some point vote up or down on an ai amendment that simply moves the flag, as the senate has done, and allowed the commission because did the director of the relic room not say to us yesterday that they are not prepare dd to sep theaccept the flag if we do it? did he not tell us that? >> you're making my point for me. >> no. if i am its a certainly a mistake. >> well -- >> on my part sfp. >> my point is i think he does not have the resources i think he does not have the human and otherwise resources to deal with this. my point to you is this is a way
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for us to show we have a commitment to handling this in an honorable fashion. you mentioned the process this is a process. as far as i know in my years of service here as i've mentioned you, i had two lives, this last one only 3 1/2 years here i've never seen a process where the idea is no amendments is the process. and i understand -- i understand there's an idea that, you know, if you have one amendment that's when things start rolling. that's not my intention here. my intention here i understand we have to resolve this issue. okay okay? i want to resolve this issue but at the same time we're going to have to -- we have to understand there are different points of view and perspective. i've heard a lot of people say the war was about slavery and, look, you can't argue that it wasn't on some level right but to me one of the things about this, and i mentioned that earlier, the 16-year-old boy that was killed, they actually had his uniform in a case -- >> are you still answering my
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question? snow this is my podium, yes. >> i know. i was trying to figure out if you were because i had just one more. >> please don't interrupt me. >> i'm sorry. i apologize. >> what i would say to you is in terms of people that want to remember their relatives who died, i think it's important we mentioned slavery as being an issue for the war. that's true. politicians and powerful people decide to go to war right? it's very often the poor and middle class that fight the war. i think, you know that 16-year-old boy, i think when whoever -- whomever his relative relatives are may come and want to see that uniform i think they're remembering his death i don't think they're remembering you know, hey, this is slavery this is race item numbers. i will agree there are some like that and why i voted in 2000 to take it off the dome. incidentally you voted against me that day. >> sure did. >> what i would say to you that war was fought for a lot of reasons. i found a quote. i'm not a very eloquent person but it's older men declare war
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but it's the youth that fight and die. what i'm asking here is just to have a plan, when the flag is removed for the pole it's handled in an honorable fashion and that the relic room, for the first time in my career i think yours as well miss cobb hunter, we're making at least a latent commitment we're going to fund the relic room. i think you mentioned bogarting my time. >> like you just said, you know, i do a pretty good job of speak speaking for myself, so if you don't mind, i do have one last question that i'd like to ask you. since you talked about death, and mr. speaker i'd like a little order because i want people to hear this question that i'm about to ask. [ gavel knocks ]. >> ladies and gentlemen please give some order so we can hear. >> thank you mr. speaker and mr. quinn, this is my last question. you talked about death.
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do you know almost two three weeks ago exactly this time on a wednesday night, that dillon roof sat in emanuel church and contemplated killing nine people simply because of the color of their skin? did you know that? we are almost at the hour where that occurred. >> miss cobb-hunter. >> wait like you said let me -- don't interrupt me because i don't want to interrupt you. >> i'm supposeing you will speak too. >> i am, but here's my final point. did you know that i personally am so offended by the references to us showing inging inging grace to this amendment and compromise, did you know that i am offended by that because in my view for this body and the people in this body making that request to say to those of us show some grace like
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those nine families did toward the shooter show us some grace by agreeing to a compromise. do you know your intention and i say your not meaning you personally but to all of those people who have come to that podium and said that whether they are aware of it or not, there are some of us in here who are extremely offended by that comparison. we believed did you know, compareing apples and oranges and that we would really -- i would -- i'm not going to speak for anybody but me i could ask you, mr. quinn since you're in the leadership, if you would please share with your caucus, to please not take the podium again and ask us to show grace in this effort like the folk who were so generous and forgive inging
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of the shooter in charleston, thank you so much, mr. quinn. >> i understand this is a very emotional issue. for me, it was emotional. i met him when he was 19 or 20 as a page. i shared tears with mr. smith and talked to mr. rutherford about it. we got in the car the next morning and went there. it was horrible, one of the worst experiences of my life. >> recognized for a question. >> we talked about your proposal and you speak of the relic room but you also spoke about nameing veterans in the war that died. >> yes sir. >> are you talking inside, out side? can you expound on that? >> they don't have a commission yet. i purposefully tried not to push any particular proposal. i'm not trying to mike manage the commission. micromanage the commission. what was discussed was have a wall with the names of all the
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folks killed within the war somewhere around 22,000 people, as i mentioned earlier. to me, i want to give opportunity for people who want to remember those relatives to have something where they can go and do it in a way that's not racially motivated. these are folks that want to see the names of s ofs of the folks that died in the war. that's my hope and what i hope the commission does. and i think where the staff is leaning but they haven't been appointed yet. it will be up to us to decide whether to fund it when the time comes. >> mr. san dossandofer, mr. gomez is recognized for a question. >> mr. speaker, i'll get straight to the point and make mine simple. i've had opportunity, did you know, after reading the senate bill that was passed over that based on the language in there
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that it allows for what you're trying to do in this amendment? >> it merely references the rel relic room. that's the issue. we obviously all understand that the national media and all this coverage has made this a very tenuous situation. my intent with this is to give comfort and give some direction to the new commission as to y'all need to get back with us january 1st so we can see what your plan is give us a budget and we'll debate that issue here and fund it or not fund it. >> but, mr. quinn would you not agree that with the language that exists in the senate bill, that it accomplishes the same thing? >> no, i don't agree. i don't. it basically this ref repses the relic room. it doesn't say anything about how to handle it. i think it's important that we handle this in an honorable fashion. so that's what we're asking them to do. >> well, mr. quinn, do you know that of course we were both here in 2000 and we went through this entire debate before.
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of course, there were amendments offered up in terms of what to do about the situation then and thanks to some crafty amendments and what not we ended up with a situation that we have today that we have gone back to revisit some 15 years later? >> i'm sorry. were you in the house then? i forget. >> i've been here since 19- -- >> did you vote for the bill? >> yes. >> did you vote for the bill? >> look, it was the toughest vote i ever took in 2000. that was the best we could get at the time. there were two tie votes. my point is we need to make sure we do this in a way, she talked about trust with me in the relic room. trust is a two way street and let folks that aren't raceist have comfort we will have a plan how to handle this in january and we will debate the money as to how we will display the flag
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at the relic room next year. >> mr. quinn that's your second 10 minutes. mr. neil is recognized to speak on the bill. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i sat and i listened all day long with great interest and empathy for what was said. i, too, would point out that when we begin to talk about grace, we really need to evaluate what that really means. grace is not something that we earn earn, grace is something that comes to us unearned. when we talk about this situation with that flag in front of the statehouse i would
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point out to you that in all the conversations that we heard today, they all focused on one side of this situation. it was all about the confederate dead dead. it was not about others who suffered and died, too. i even heard conversations about african-americans who fought in -- fought for the confederacy. i did a little research and what i turned up was this. did you know that in south carolina there were no blacks who fought for the confederacy because the confederate congress did not approve black soldiers fighting in the confederacy until a month before. if you look at your timeline, you'll find that sherman marched through and burned columbia two months before.
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so what i want you to understand is this. when we talk about grace and this issue we really ought to be talking about the whole ball of wax here all of us. i find it interesting no one brought up the fact there were a million plus africans here who were suffering under the weight of enslavement and it wasn't really mentioned and no one talked about what they were going through. and they went through it for almost 400 years. i think that when we talk about grace, we have to extend grace to everybody. not just one way grace, but universal grace. what do i mean by that? that flag that stands out has stood as a thumb in the eye of those families in charleston who lost loved ones.
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we all know it. and the response that this body should give is a moment of grace to those families. not just grace to the confederate dead but grace to those who are suffering right now, who are still alive. the grace this body can extend to those families right now is to remove that flag, remove that flagpole to not delay this process, to do it as expeditious expeditiously as we possibly can, to make sure that that family, those families understand that this body understands what's happened that we grieve with them and we extend to them grace. once we've extended grace to them, maybe it's in god's providence to extend grace to all of us individually and collective
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collectively. but grace is not something that's cheap and it's not something that ought to be used as a political maneuver. it is something in the providence of he who sits high and looks low. what i would tell you attitude this moment is that those of us who care about what happened in charleston, who care about the pain that this state has suffered as a result of it we ought to be extending grace to those people in charleston those families and that grace means let's remove that flag, rates let's do it now. that doesn't mean we don't respect the confederate dead and the things they fought for, if that is your heritage, i understand you loveing and supporting your heritage. but grace means you ought to also love and support mine. it's not a one way street.
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my heritage is based on a group of people who were brought here in chains who were denigrated, demagogue demagogued, lynched and killed denied a right to vote, denied the right to even have a family. let me tell you a quick story of my family. my family was taken here to south carolina. there were four brothers. that much we know. they were purchased by a slave owner by the name of neil. he brought them to sumter county and one of them was taken to kershaw county, that much we know. we know that two of them immigrated to richland county and one remained in sumpter. we know that their original name was not neal, that the family
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name at that time was devoe. they were from a french speaking colony in west africa. we know those four brothers never saw one another again. we know that their children that were born on the plantations in sumpter and richland and kershaw county, they were never able to have their children because their children were sold away from them. i want you to understand that these are the kinds of stories that exist in our community stories of pain and suffering that i ask you to consider as you ask me to consider grace on this issue. when that flag stands out front, the entire african-american community feels a pain and that pain is intensified when things
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happen like charleston and group groups like the klu klux klan and conservative citizens council and other groups use that flag as a banner and use it as an excuse to hate and to kill and to burn and doto bomb. we talk about grace, let's give grace where grace needs to be, not just one way but for all of us. i know i need grace. and i think you do too. in fact all of south carolina needs grace because at this moment we've got some hard decisions to make and the whole world is watching us. the whole world is asking is south carolina really going to change or will it hold to an ugly tradition of prejudice and
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discrimination and hide behind heritage as an excuse for it? you need to understand that if south carolina really wants to extend grace to those who are hurting in this state over what happened in charleston, now is the time to do it. this is the hour. this is where each and every one of us ought to be searching our souls about what we need to do on this amendment, this amendment does one thing, in my view it delays the removal of the confederate flag. that's what it simply does. and if it is a strategy to do that, then shame on us. i spoke with several members here who i know who are proud of their heritage and i've said to them, i'm in support of you in honoring your heritage. i think all of our heritage
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heritages should be recognized. i may not be able to celebrate your heritage with you, but i can recognize your right to celebrate it for yourself. you ought to be able to do the same with me. all of us are part of a tapestry. ourhistories, our lives are all part of a seamless tapestry and that tapestry involves some things that are very good and very bad but we need to recognize that fact that we're all part of the tape tapestry. finally, i want to mention this as i finish. this body has the potential to set a course for south carolina into the future. we have the ability to set a new image for south carolina in the
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world world. my hope tonight is that we will do so. by mutually respecting one another, by mutually respecting one another's heritage and one another's history. now, i want to end by simply say saying this. someone got up here and said well, you want to move every con confederate monument? i'm telling you that's not even on the table. nobody's talking about it. i don't know where that's coming from. what i am in support oá ó is telling the whole truth. if truth be known, i think it would help south carolina to tell the truth about hour history. that that's what we need to do not hide it, not erase it, not water it down but tell the truth about what this state has gone through through, about what its people have gone through, what
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significant figures in this state have done and let the truth educate us so we don't make the same mistakes we made in the past today and tomorrow. >> mr. neal, that's your first 10 minutes, sir. you request your second? >> i thank you for your attention. mr. govan. you're recognized. mr. govan is recognized to speak only a minute. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker, members of the house. like many of you, i realize that it's been a very very long day. and, actually i had not had any intention of really coming up here today. i thought that we would simply
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debate this issue and out of respect for those individuals who wanted to be heard just like we did back in 2000, people would have had a chance to voice their opinions their feelings and we would allow this process to work itself out. now, for those of you who don't know, i've been here since 1993. served in the house, i'm the vice chair of the statehouse committee, which is responsible for many of the items on the grounds. was involved in the flag debate back in 2000. but i want to -- i took the podium because i want to share a story with you and talk about something we really haven't touched on. ladies and gentlemen, we've heard a lot about heritage my good friend eric, we talked
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about that yesterday. and, you know, since 2000, there have been some changes with me. i'm in ministry. i'm a grandparent wasn't that when i came up here, mr. clyburn clyburn, and some other things have taken place. but i want to share with you a very brief story about my relationship with this whole issue, in terms of with the flag. i'll make it very brief. when i was about between 5 and 6 years old i was raised in a little small town called roseville, south carolina. and my aunt and her friend, missmays, we'd go on cat creek road, i think miss knight, you know where that is and go fishing. it was a two-way road. as i stood there as a kid play
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playing on the side of the road while they werefishing in the pond on the side a pickup truck came by with white youth in it confederate flag in the back, and they called out to us the "n" word and flung a bag of nails that hit me in my face. that led to an infection under my eye and every day since that time, when i get up i see the remnants or scar as a result of that particular incident. now, many of us here grew up in a very difficult time in south carolina's history. i'm 57 years old so in orange orangeburg, south carolina, i saw both sides of segregation
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and integration. but i share that with you not to rant and rave about that, because i've had to grow as a result of it. again, it's not a day that i can get around when i look in the mirror to shave myself that i can't see the ramifications of a time gone by. but as i grew older and got involved in politics and took an interest in government, i said, i wanted to be about changeing south carolina. so mr. howard, when i graduated from south carolina state university, and this is why you see me so passionate about it, i learned from some great people in orangeburg and at south carolina state university that instead if you really want to make change in something you've got to put forth the effort and make the commitment. so instead of leave ging mr.
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gilyard, south carolina, when i got old enough for college i came back and i've dedicated my life since then to make a difference. one of the proudest moments in terms of making a difference is when i got elected to this body in terms of the house of representative representatives. and so since that time i've tried to conduct myself in such a way to make a difference. now, let me tell you why all this is important. particularly to me, in terms of what we've been talking about. we talked about heritage today and mr. neal has made i think a passionate argument saying we all have a heritage in this state. i'm a proud southerner i'm a proud south carolinaian. that's why i'm still here. jim clyburn was someone that i looked up to when i was a kid, dick riley, all of them said, listen, don't leave south carolina carolina, that crowd, a lot of good people. i serve in this body over in the
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senate as a page, was here when quincy newman became the first black senator to serve since reconstruction. south carolina has done a lot of things right. i stand here to you tonight, ladies and gentlemen, my fellow colleagues colleagues, because i'm asking you respectfully, to do something right. you see this is not about heritage or hate. we talk about those things, an yes, those are factors and we've been talking about those two things. i submit to you something a little bit different. brother hodges, this is about the future. you see i mentioned mr. quinn that i'm a grandfather. i know you're a proud father. but you know it's not about the burdens we carry from the past, ladies and gentlemen it's about what is the groundwork that we lay for the future.
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you see, i have three grandsons and a granddaughter. and what i heard after what happened down in charleston with the charleston nine, let's not forget mr. scott what has happened is we now have an opportunity to move forward, being men of good will and women of good will. you see, we represent or supposedly the best of south carolina. ladies and gentlemen, i'll tell you why i didn't support the public referendum, because the people expect us because that's why they sent us here, to do the right thing. so i submit to you that this is a defineing moment, ladies and
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gentlemen. in our state's history. it's a defineing moment because we have an opportunity as the chamber of commerce has pointed out, to support investment and job creation opportunities that can level the playing field and open up a new avenue whereas south carolinaians regardless of their race, creed or color, can step beyond the ignorance of poverty and build bridges. it's about expanding markets of opportunities for south carolina's good and services. as the chamber has said because this is important. because i will submit to you, if we do not have job opportunities for individuals in south carolina, when you consider the situation with mr. roof, i'll
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tell you what i saw. an individual without hope without taking advantage of the opportunities opportunities. something's wrong. i submit to you, as an educator, when you look at individuals who have turned to violence, to express their opinions you can trace it back to a lack of hope. so for those of us who want to enhance our opportunities for this state who want to move forward -- and i believe part of the grease that was the grace that was extended by those familyies of the charleston nine and others who suffered as a result of some of the things that have occurred in our dark past we can turn the page by create agnew day for south carolina.
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so this amendment, ladies and gentlemen, this amendment if it succeed succeeds, we do not need to do anything to jeopardize the momentum that we have here tonight. we need to do the right thing. so many times that they say the african-american church, it's not about us it's not about us us -- >> mr. govan that's your first 10 minutes, sir. >> i'll take another 10. >> granted. >> our children and our grandchildren. i'm just going to ask you i'm going to ask you as you sit there and as you contemplate this vote -- i have a great deal of respect for my friend rick quinn. we've served many years together, and he knows that. we have such a great opportunity here tonight.
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it's not about black and white it's about an issue of the heart. let's pass a clean bill and we'll work together to make the other part, what he's talking about right because again, ladies and gentlemen, it's not about us. the time is right the need is great, and the reasons are compelling that we do the right thing right now. thank you, mr. speaker. >> yes, sir. mr. merrill is recognized to speak on the amendment.
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>> mr. merrill is recognized. >> i will try and bring this back around real fast. when i say fast i actually do mean fast. i heard my friend, gel dada talk and she talked about a clean bill. we keep going over the idea of a clean bill. we laugh a little bit and we talk about clean bills from the senate and we don't like clean bills. what's good for the goose is good for the gander scenario. that's different. she's saying that's different right now. as far as joe was talking, i'll leave grace to my friend, joe i don't know shinola about grace, as you know. whatever we're talking about grace doesn't have much to do with this, doesn't have anything to do with this. finally, whatever jerry was talking about, i went to sleep.
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i don't really know what jerry was saying either. the bottom line is this. i'm jokeing, jerry come on get that scowl off your face. the bottom line is this. this bill does not do anything that we did not want. this bill -- this amendment rather removes the flag from the grounds, it removes it eradicates it, reevesleaves it, takes it away. when the governor signs it it comes down. it provides instruction to the director at the relic room to figure out and appropriate place for the flag and then to come back with a budget. that's it. there is no reason to oppose this bill other than the wanting of a clean bill. well, the last time i found out the house doesn't just automatically abvocate its right to be the house of representatives to review a bill and amend things because we want a clean bill and the senate wants a clean bill. the only thing that will happen is if we put this amendment on here the senate who worked a
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grand total of about 15 minutes to this stuff has to leave club med, come bakck here, approve the amendment and then we will have the rest of the bill and it will be done. the governor will sign it and we'll be done with this thing. this is a non-entity, a red herring that gives a little bit of not peace but solace to both side sides. i encourage everyone to vote for this, be done with this argument and then move along. >> miss horn is recognized for a question, mr. merrill. >> mr. merrill now, you and i are both members of the charleston delegation, correct? >> i think you have some i'm not totally sure. >> can you tell me, if we amend this bill, how much longer and how many more day ss that flag will continue to fly in the face
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of the charleston nine? can you tell me how long that will take to get this flag down? >> i appreciate you treading on a motion continuously, but the fact of the matter is that it won't be more than a day or two. >> how do you know that? >> because the senate can call in whenever they want to. they can come in this minute we pass this in third reading and agree to it and be gone go to the governor. actually, if you studyied the rules you would know they can do it even faster. >> if they non-concur, what happens then? >> if they non-concur we'd have trouble and go to a conference committee. >> how long would that take? >> maybe no longer than it would take mr. pitts to keep going on his 400 amendments if we don't get an amendment like this. >> so would you agree with me, mr. merle, it would be more expedient for this body to adopt what the senate has done and then come back in january and deal with the other issues that are addressed in this amendment?
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>> no. i think it will be more divisive. >> i'm sorry mr. merrill but i want to know what are we going to tell the people in charleston, when we go back to charleston tomorrow? what are we going to tell them? >> tell them you amended the bill so that you had a good -- that you didn't do anything, you removed it from the grounds that you also were at least somewhat sympathetic to people who have some historical attachment to that and to what's happening, that nothing has changed in this bill whatsoever and the house did its duty. >> but we will not have removed it in fact, it will still be flying when we return. >> you can vote whenever you want, it won't be removed this minute anyway. there are still a number of steps to go forward. let's say the gfr has for that flag to come down now. >> and mr. bamberg, did you
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know -- >> he's walked away. >> thank you. >> ms. cobb hunter. you're recognized to speak on the amendment. >> did you recognize me? yes, i did. >> has my time started. >> ms. cobb hunter you're recognized to speak on the amendment. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it's been pointed out, i'm not going to take a long time to share with you what i came to say. but just know that the gig is up. i think right now we see what the real deal is. so for any of you who were confused about any possible progress that would be made here you're seeing evidence
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that we are in a posture of delay, delay delay. mr. speaker and members quite frankly, it is embarrassing to know that in this chamber, with all of the conversations we've had about goods will, grace, mercy and all of that that we could not get enough members in this body to put their money where their mouth is by simply voting to allow mr. ott's resolution to be read across the desk. i ask you for those of you sitting there thinking that i am not accurate in what i just said, then explain this to me.
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if you indeed are of the opinion that it is way past time for us to move this -- >> excuse me ms. cobb hunter. a little order. thank you. quiet please. some members can't hear. continue please. >> mr. speaker you're a little soft with that gavel. >> i can be a lot louder, ms. cobb-hunter. >> at this hour and with this crowd, you're going to have to be a little louder baby. >> well the speaker pro tem, mr. pope, he like to break the hammer. >> pretend you're him and try at least breaking it. >> amen. >> thank you mr. speaker. mr. speaker and members here's the point i'm making here in all seriousness. all mr. ott is asking for is a chance for us to have something other than what mr. quinn has before you.
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if question i have for you is simply this. you have heard comments from this podium that if we amend the bill it will add to the time that it can be considered. that is on the record. those of you who were in your caucus meeting this morning from what ms. horne said from this podium heard your speaker tell you that senator leatherman has said the senate will not entertain any amendments from the house. now, it's real hard for me to understand how you expect us to believe that you are serious about moving this flag a timely manner when all you are doing here is delaying and stalling
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and trying to gum up the works. mr. speaker and members, you don't have to listen to me. but i will tell you one thing. there are a whole lot of people outside this chamber who are looking and listening to you. mr. speaker and members, let me be very clear with you. this is a seminole moment in our history. this is not a joke. there are nine families who will never be the same because of actions of a man who used that flag to justify taking nine precious lives. now you want to be important. you want people to bow and be
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all on whatever it is. you got to understand that this is serious. if indeed you're not trying to stall, mr. linehouse, then what's the problem. if indeed you want the flag to come down and mr. merrill has taken the podium to say we're on board with the coming down but we want to be able to have mr. quinn's amendment on there, that is disingenuous at best. what i believe you are doing -- mr. speaker i understand there are some questions. so i'd be happy to stop if you are back there and paying attention and yield for any questions that i think my colleague, mr. mccloud, has. >> mr. mccloud is recognized for a question. >> thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, ms. cobb-hunter. i wanted to kind of return to some of the comments made by mr.
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bamberg. we've heard comments about the big time political operatives who support the senate bill two united states senators, the governor, all but three members of the senate. i'd like for you to help me with the big-time business people who support the senate proposal. >> you know, mr. mccloud, i'm so glad you asked that question. representative tink her came up here, he's from charleston, she read a letter from the chamber. we're always tauting our chests and talking about how probusiness we are. and here we have letters not only from the state chamber. we have letters from individual chambers of commerce. we have the manufacturer's alliance out there. we've had the cream the cream of business in south carolina say two things.
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take it down, clean bill. now it's amazing to me that people like mr. sand fer who chairs the lci committee and all of these other business, pro-business members in here are just pretty much, it seems to me to be thumbing their nose at the chamber and all of that. and i will say to you, mr. mccloud i hope the business community out there will understand who is supporting their position. and my hope would be, mr. mccloud, that the business community would start looking more at people's position on issues rather than whether they have an r or d by their name. if i were a business person who wanted this flag down, i would be taking a look at this chamber, particularly over here in the gated community, and say, you know i need to rethink some of the support i've been giving.
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>> so let's get down to brass tax tax. ms. cobb hunter let's get down to brass tax. >> i thought we already were. >> is it correct to say that boeing in charleston is strongly supportive of the senate bill? >> i would think they are. >> is it fair that provide for a host of jobs and the berkeley charleston dorchester area? >> well they say they are. >> what about mitch land? plants in greenville anderson lexington, about five of them. >> right. >> it is correct to say they strongly support the senate bill. >> yes, sir. >> what about our friends in greer, bmw, they've issued a statement that they support the senate bill. >> and mr. mccloud, it's interesting you would say bmw because again in the gated community we've got the i-85
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corridor, all of these upstate members here. i don't know. maybe they didn't get the letter. i'm not real sure. maybe -- i'm not sure what's going on with that. what about so no ko products? they've issued a statement. >> you know i love you dearly and i don't want to be -- i don't want to deprive colleagues who also want to come to the podium. >> well it's correct to say that bluecross blueshield and the state commerce all support the senate bill. >> yes, sir, i think it would be safe to say that. mr. mccloud i appreciate the question. i would just end with this. y'all let's just get real here. if you don't want the bill, then let's skip all of this delaying and automatic of the stuff that y'all are engaging in right now. why don't we just move forth right to a vote up or down on the bill let's call it a night and you all can go and spend this any way you want to spin it. you've got all of this national
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press here. you can practice on them about how and perfect your spin. because i'm here to tell you that you're going to need to perfect a spin to explain how you have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. you're going to need to be able to do that. and you're going to need to be able when we talk about economic development to respond to some of those potential people, businesses rather, out there who may have been looking at south carolina may have wanted to locate here, who in their right mind, would want to >> after rejecting several minutes, the south carolina house went on to approve the bill to remove the confederate
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lad. it happened shortly after her 1:00 -- remove the confederate flag. it happened shortly after 1:00 a.m. thursday morning. governor nikki haley went on to sign the bill. governor haley: you know, it is hard for us to look at what is happening today and not think back to 22 days ago. it seems like so long ago. grieving has been so hard. but at the same time, we have all been struck by what was a tragedy that we didn't think we would ever encounter. nine amazing people that forever changed south carolina's history. having said that, i have to acknowledge the series of events that took place through all of this because it is the true story of south carolina, the actions that took place are what
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will go down in the history books. nine people took in someone that did not look like them or act like them. and with true love and true faith and true acceptance, they sat and prayed with him for an hour. that love and faith was so strong that it brought grace to their families. it showed them how to forgive. so then we saw the action of forgiveness. we saw the families show the world what true forgiveness and grace look like. that forgiveness and grace set off another action, an action of compassion by people all across south carolina and all across this country.
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they stopped looking at each other's differences. they started looking at each other's similarities because we were all experiencing the same pain. so then you take that compassion and that compassion motivated action. that compassion motivated people wanting to do something about it. so the action was taken by the general assembly. what we saw in that swift action by both the house and senate was we saw members start to see what it was like to be in each other's shoes, start to see what it felt like. we heard about the true honor of heritage and tradition. we heard about the true pain that many have felt, and we took the time to understand it. i saw passions get high and passions get low but i saw
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commitment never ending. so what we saw was another action, and that action is that the confederate flag is coming off the grounds of the south carolina statehouse. [applause] [cheers] [applause] so tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. we will see the confederate flag come down. we are a state that believes in tradition. we are a state that believes in history. we are a state that believes in respect. so we will bring it down with dignity, and we will make sure that it is put in its rightful place. but this is a story about action. this is a story about the history of south carolina and how the action of nine individuals laid out this long chain of events that forever showed the state of
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south carolina what love and forgiveness looks like. and i will tell you that now this is about our children because when they go back and look in the history books, while we are still grieving, and the grieving is going to last for a long time, when the emotions start to fade, the history of the actions that took place by everyone in south carolina to get us to this moment is one that we can all be proud of. so 22 days ago, i didn't know that i would ever be able to say this again but today i'm very proud to say that it is a great day in south carolina. [cheers and applause] so with that, we don't want to wait any longer. we are now going to sign the
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bill. i want to say it is with great pride that i am surrounded by members of the emanuel nine family. i want to thank them for taking the time to come. i also am surrounded by former governors who put their name on paper that said yes, while we have been part of south carolina's past we want to see south carolina go in the right direction for our future so i want to thank everybody that's with me today.
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with that, i am proud to say that the bill has been signed. i do want to also acknowledge these nine pens are going to each of the nine families of the emanuel
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nine. [applause] may we never forget the actions that those people took to get us to this point today. and then i have got a couple of other pens. many people have talked about the courage that took place by so many across this state, but one person started this almost two decades ago, and that was governor david beasley and the last time i saw him i said you started it. he said well, i need you to finish it. [applause] and the second one was someone who also understands what this can feel like, what the tensions can feel
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like, what it means to do something, he worked very hard and it is the person that brought the confederate flag off the dome. i want to thank you for all you have done in terms of support and all that you have been done for south carolina in the past. governor hodges. [applause] >> thank you governor. >> these two are for me. so with that, i will tell you, thank you very much. thank you for making it another great day in south carolina. we are now looking forward to the future and the future of our children. thank you very much. god bless. [cheers and applause]
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>> that bill signing was followed one day later i is their money on capitol grounds where governor nikki haley and others watched as the flag was removed by state highway patrol officers. this is about 10 minutes. >> ma'am -- over here. [indistinct chatter]
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[cheering and applause]


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