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Minister-Political Analyst says Take Down the Monuments to End Distraction

Minister-Political Analyst says Take Down the Monuments to End Distraction Read Transcript

E. W. Jackson was the Republican nominee

for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2013.

He's also a nationally syndicated talk show

host and a Christian minister.

He joins us now for more on the Charlottesville

protests and their aftermath.

Bishop Jackson, the push to remove Confederate statues

is growing stronger.

What's your view of this?

Well, first of all, this ought to be

done in a decent and orderly fashion.

But I do think the time has come for us to take

the Confederate monuments and the relics of the Confederacy,

move those into museums, into historical parks, places where

people who want to see them can see them,

but those who feel they are symbols of hatred

don't have to be confronted with them.

Because this is a distraction from major issues,

like violence in our inner cities,

the poor education that many of our children are receiving,

and the need to come together around some common vision

for our country, as opposed to being torn apart.

So you're one of the people who

are in the camp of taking them down from where they are now,

and putting them in a historical area, a museum?

I would say so, yes.

Look-- I live in Virginia, obviously.

I've been to Richmond.

I've been to Charlottesville.

I've gone past Confederate monuments,

never gave them a second thought, to be very honest.

But we don't need this we don't need a cause

celebre for white supremacists to come and stir people

up, or for that matter, for leftist militants

and extremists to come and confront them,

and create a problem that then engulfs the entire nation.

So I would say the time has come to, yes, put them

somewhere where we recognize our history,

but we don't have to put it in the face of those who

really don't want to see it, or may want to use it

for their own political ends.

But a lot of people are wondering, where does this go?

Where does it stop?

I mean, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson

were slaveholders, after all.

Should the Washington Monument in Washington DC

or the Jefferson memorial in DC be taken down?

Well, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison

also gave us the longest running constitution

in the history of mankind.

They also gave us the majestic words of our declaration,

"We hold these truths to be self-evident,

that all men are created equal."

They brought together a nation.

The Confederacy was a different historical event.

It threatened to tear the nation apart.

Our founding fathers sought to bring the nation together.

They are unifying figures, even though I realize

there are some who somehow think that because they owned slaves,

they should not be recognized, that it should not be honored.

I would simply say to them, you ought

to thank God that people don't hold each of us

to the same standard we're trying to hold them,

which is absolute perfection in the context of your times.

I think they are heroes.

They are flawed.

They were imperfect people.

But nevertheless, they should be honored as an important part

of our history.

Without them, we wouldn't have a country.

So you turn on the radio, get on the computer, the TV--

the voices are so loud right now,

and the people are so angry in the media.

But how do you think ordinary Americans, black and white,

see what's happening right now?

I think, Lorie, ordinary Americans

think the same way I do.

Can we please get past this?

Can we please do whatever we need

to do so that we're not confronting

one another with the ongoing racial tension

and the racializing of every thing?

Look, slavery ended 150 years ago.

Yes, it was terrible.

Jim Crow ended 60 years ago.

Yes, it was terrible.

But they are things in the past.

And we have to ask, are we going to still

be having these fights 50 years from now, 100 years from now,

150 years from now?

I think most Americans are weary of it,

and just want to get on with the business of living

together, working together, and trying to build a better

future for our country.

Well, you're a minister.

What role do you think the church should be

playing in this conversation?

And do you think people will listen?

Well, I think the church has a critical role,

because the church is the repository of truth.

The church should be saying to America,

we've got to get beyond merely tolerating one another.

We've got to love one another.

That's what Jesus taught us.

The church has got to say, we need to acknowledge the truth,

confront the truth, learn from the truth,

but not try to sanitize the truth.

Because that's what totalitarian governments do.

And I think the church needs to say,

we need to fulfill the promise that Dr. King had

of where our country should go-- not judging

one another by the color of our skin,

but by the content of our character.

Let me add while I condemn white supremacy,

I condemn the Ku Klux Klan, I condemn these people who

are stirring up all this anger, look,

we have a highly racialized climate in which we are seeing

white people being told, we don't want you

on our campus for a certain period of time,

or we don't want you at our meetings,

we want a separate, segregated graduation.

We've got to deracialize this whole discussion

about the future of our country, or we're

going to continue to go through the same cycle over and over


Well, Bishop E. W. Jackson, it's great to see you.

Thank you so much for your time and your insight.

Thank you.


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