« Reveal

Monumental Lies (Rebroadcast)

2019-05-04 | 🔗

Myths of the Civil War and slavery are being kept alive at Confederate monuments, where visitors hear stories of “benevolent slave owners” and enslaved people “contented with their lot.”  Plus, an artist finds herself in the middle of the creation of New Mexico’s most controversial historical monument.

* *Don’t miss out on the next big story. Get the Weekly Reveal newsletter today.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey it is your favorite host in all of pod custom. Now for the rest of the year, I'm gonna be asking you to join us by becoming a member of reveal reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads telling stories that matter for more than three years now reveal has been fighting a lawsuit. That's been jeopardizing our very existence of restore we, about an organization called planet aid. Our story raises serious questions about whether international aid was actually reaching the people. It was intended to help and what's more, our story was truthful and we stand by it. We believe it is our duty to fight attacks like this, but fighting a lawsuit comes at a huge costs, are legal fees alone totalled more than seven million dollars? Luckily we have pro bono legal support to help our in house counsel, but it still takes significant resources, resources that should be used to do more public service journalists. This kind of investigative
It takes time and it cost money. If you believe in the work, we do the absolute best way to support us is by becoming a member of reveal to do it just text. The word reveal two hundred and forty seven, four thousand seven hundred and forty seven standard data rates apply and you can text stop or cancel at any time also all new members who donate at least five dollars a month. We get our facts, t shirt again just text. The word reveal two hundred and forty seven, four thousand seven hundred and forty seven And all you who already support our work, I would offer a deep sincere thanks. We can't do this work without being willing afforded twenty twenty. We have big things plan, so, let's go to some good work together.
From the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex this is reveal a mallet dozens of kids Miller round a sprawling shield of grass on warm for day and the Luxembourg, the city they stay up at a man and Sixtys whose dressed in nineteenth century clothes, and then we go through the process or going through here packing it down to hurt it when it's packed that jump out your visit table heaped with relics from some war, satchels, binoculars, saddles guns and other doubts dressed in civil war. Costumes show the kids had a load of again be ready if wifi,
just powder still makes plenty of noise is more, must get fired, come the main event this weekend will be a mock civil war battle, part of the annual far muster, but the real fireworks coming towards the kids here the reactors and talk about all times that are definitely not forgotten. But not accurately remembered civil war is, were won by your folks Passover throws the government setting government we weren't. No, now the kids here school field trip, and they made me look confused like they know something isn't quite right here. You can especially see it in the faces of some of the african american students when a confederate flag is unfurled and held up above
we want to establish our own country, where the north. Carried on and kept going the way they were going? And that was fine with us. Just leave us alone. Let us kill their own country. This alternative version of history is coming from a man dressed like Jefferson Davis, who was the president of the confederacy. This place is Davis's. Former home of vast estate called both Y. Today, it's a monument thing. He stood for in debates over confederate sites like of why and statues like Robert E Lee and Charles will you'll hear people defend them by saying that part of our heritage, part of our history. But how is that history being told and more importantly, who's paying too but alive. That's what Brian Palmer and set Feed Westley wanted to find out their reporters with type investigations are partners on today show
Which first air December of twenty eighteen Brion said, visited nearly fifty confederate sites, including beauvoir? They pick up the story at the twenty. Seventeen far muster Brian and I decide to take different cars to Beauvoir and spend the next two days, reporting separately as a white reporter I blending here where, aside from some of the school kids, almost everyone is white It had been like that more than a dozen other confederate sites I visited for this story, but for Brian it was different. As an african american reporter I stick out. I feel that people see black before they see anything else. Reporting on our own. We can find out whether people will open up to us differently. We arrive in time for far muster. Men
Western Union and Confederate uniforms line up on either side of a Longfield. They carry rife in flags and push cannons into position. Then the fighting begins is in the middle of all of it. I look around to see who is here. Five hundred people maybe sit in bleachers our stand near by families with young children, Harry Confederate Flags, old, bearded men, where biker vests, with these sons of confederate veterans patches sonar two younger men, where army camouflage some people want to talk to me. They tell me stories of loyal slaves and so called black confederates. I make sure keep my distance from set, so he can do his thing and I can do I guess,
I made an older couple from Virginia who tell me they drove down to support the flag and celebrate their heritage. They love it this is the lady I mentioned, and they want me to meet someone. Her name is Susan. Hathaway shares the founder. So I just remind me the founder of the Virginia by a well the Virginia flag, or is a group that protests whenever they hear of plans to remove confederate statues and Flags make about flags. Oliver Virginia anywhere. A monument is being debated and for Hathaway this place both what is hallowed ground is just kind of the holy with confederate ancestry and things they ve done here. Amazing and to be able to walk where Jefferson Davis walked. Do you think of it, though, is a partisan losing as
is where we can come and and express our appreciation and our hour of our heritage without having any body took severe and trying to tell us what they think it's about. What we need to do and if they would just leave us alone, we would be fine do at this point. I am kind of at a loss for words. It sounds like she sang at the federal government should just leave the south alone, as I look around at the crowd its clear to me that she's only talking about one part of the South the White South were proud to be southern. It's like I said, is the only thing you're not allowed to be proud of any more. You can be proud to be african American. You can be proud to be original Eric and you can be proud, but you can't be proud to be combated american or to say you're, even from the south. This, is a message seven, I heard not just here, but at a number of confederate sites, we visited
cutting a cemetery in Virginia and a library and Alabama one thing they have in common: the sons of better veterans, which also owns Beauvoir, The sun's is a national organization, with dozens of chapters founded Eighteen. Ninety six, only male descendants of confederate veterans can join. The group's mission is to vindicate the cause that Confederates, for during the mark You see their version of history play off muskets cracked units advance in men fall down dead in the field the Confederates beat back. The union troops no actual civil war battle took place here, but it beauvoir the confederacy always wins. The next day Brian and I returned to Beauvoir it's real hard and the muster is cancelled. So we get a chance to interview Thomas Paint,
was then both was executive director, his assistant meet us at the door. How are we re supper? entertains office that rifle right there, that's the oldest thing in here in the rifle hangs in the wall to his right. Pictures of confederate leaders are behind him and a set of three flags Mississippi American and Confederate are planned, on his desk pain is a white man and his sixties, with salt and pepper mustache he's a lorry. With a Phd in adult education, he's a member of the sons of confederate veterans, but he tells us he's eligible to be one for now. He just works for them is that both was not just a place. It's a place in time. You should be feeling like you're, actually walking back in time as a witness to what took place. I want this to be an educational institution, it tells the truth, and then people will come here know that they can depend on the information that you're getting good
the ban in the ugly. We already knew what kind of information pain was talking about, because the day before interview, I shall doubt my twelve dollars and fifty cents to take a tour of the House where Davis lived in his final years. The gap the chairs, short and close to the ground. They are Donna. Barnes is the guide. She wears a fee. Gone with the wind dress and as you'll hear she's a scarlet o hara view of the civil war leaped from the wall to the sailing site. Seven, there must be uniform, clam all being rich with collar and beer say. We experienced this at sight after site places where confederate leaders who were slaveholders once lived minute details about the furnishings, but mere silence about slavery.
It's interesting to me that that that's not built into the tour. Why isn't it? I guess is that you cannot say I guess, because I'd be here all day. If I told that everything about the Davis thank the Isle of Wight Donovan, I stepped out- and I asked her- how she answered questions from tourists about slavery like to tell them that honest truth that that's slavery was He put the didn't know how to take care of themselves and they needed a job, and you had been slaveowners Psych, Jefferson Davis who took care of this saves entreated her mind who took care of this saves entreated him, my family, he loved them they were not family, they were property, Jefferson, Davis,
to lead a would be nation created to defend slavery, own dozens of people, black people and this place the historic Beauvoir, Sir, was built within slave labour idea that Davis's slaves were happy echoes through his memoirs. She wrote in this very house in speaking african Americans, he said, there's revile instinct rendered them contented with their long. This idea, which is perhaps too controversial to hang on the walls still hang. In the air here and brain, and I encountered at other confederate site. We visited where, to this day, confederate leaders are portrayed as benign and beloved by those they held him Judge not only distorting history but denying the lived. Variants of millions of enslaved people, my own
Great grandparents were among those millions, both of them Matt and Julia polymer. Escaped slavery in Virginia joy in the United States. Colored troops do you. Army segregated black fighting force. Julia. Her family fled to union held territory, they, anticipated themselves like half a million others before the wars end. We wanted to know why history was It will being erased and distorted here. These requests. Since we had for both lost then executive director, Thomas Pain, enormous part of the story. Is there american partners amassed not reflected here. At all. I don't disagree with you. The large part of that is because that's where they place its one thousand eight hundred and seventy seven Do you know you know we have to stay true today? It's true both what
is designated as a state and national historic site, because Dave has lived here after the civil war pain claims at the site must stick with that specific time. One thousand eight hundred and seventy seven to eighteen. Eighty nine, when died, but on our visit stories and memorabilia about the civil war twelve years before that period were everywhere. This was not an iron gray, and you do talk about this why you got whole room dedicated and vanished Algeria? Absolutely so so almost huge tell me what are you it would change in how I should do that. Well I mean that consistently been my question to you. I do think it dont more about slavery. In he's got that was not from from of from the kids We have a lot of our young kids come in and they want to know where the whipping post was at an end. The way we handle that, since her young kids, we don't have a whipping posed
so what I hear him saying is that we cannot talk about slavery at all, because kids can't handle it But what about those civil war battles? We watched a lot of will fall downplaying dead in a field that kind of violence the glow five, the confederacy his eight okay here, The violence of slavery, Beauvoir steer clear of that we're judging alot of What happened? The nineteenth century, without twenty and twenty first century glasses so to speak, were looking through lenses of twenty twenty first century and saying: oh, that's terrible. We ve heard this before you can't judge slavery by today's standards, but we don't need to abolitionist include, the formerly enslaved, argued against, system, while it was happening for the same reason. We argue against it today. It was wrong and yet pain defended this, I think that would be an honest perception that he was a benevolent slaveholder.
There's no way to benevolently own another person's body, another person's life. Another person's future that phrase benevolent slaveholder is straight up lost, cause language. So here's a term we need to understand lost cause. Confederates, who lost the war, devise this idea of a lost cause. It's a whole false interpretation of history designed to justify their defeat to absorb themselves than any guilt for starting the war and to vindicate their pre war way of life, and this story is still being too All that Beauvoir, the larger goal of these ones. Powerful men was to end the process that was reordering southern society reconstruction. They wanted to redeem their status there. Our and their control over black lives and labour. These fantasies persist because people have to believe they have to believe that they fought for something greater
then the continued subjugation of another human being Chris. De column and is a long time administrator of historic sites and she's current The ceo of the American Civil WAR Museum in Richmond Virginia she's an Britain, american woman, center she runs tells a story, The civil war has complicated at times ugly, and it includes the perspectives of african amount, hence free and enslaved, and of union confederate soldiers, in other words the full story, it's most laughable. When I read some of these diary entries about these owners his slave holders, who just so mortified that will of gin he's been with me, since she was six years old and the fact that she ran off with those Yankees embedded at it. I just sure that they knew no over her little fragile mine. But this is the same woman
You ve had whipped several times because she has run away on our own long before the war. There was just this cognitive dissonance related to it. That is real stunning, you have a narrative that makes people comfortable for the spaces therein. We sought a lot about what Christie had to say that these, This is our set up to feed on people's ignorance and make them feel comfortable about America's violent and racist past comfortable if a false history of America, one the honours, the confederacy, everything it stood for by now. We digging for months into exactly who runs these sites, but we had another question who's paying to keep them open. We filed dozens of public records, requests and sifted through piles of tax filings to find out the money was coming from and we were stunned by what we were starting to find
Spare money is keeping these places open and beauvoir is a huge beneficiary wheat. All of the public monies Beauvoir says it received from two thousand seven through two thousand. Sixteen, it added up to more twenty one million dollars. t one million dollars, often taxpayers. So how does that end up happening it? How many other confederate sites are we, the taxpayers paying for? become bang type investigation. Reporters Seyfried, Whistler and Brian Palmer follow the money that supports this loss caused mythology of the twenty first century. That's next reveal from the centre for investigative reporting and p r eggs from the centre,
or investigative, reporting and p r ex this is reveal a malleson. Before the break we visited Beauvoir former home to Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Biloxi, Mississippi, weird harvest at their distort the history of slavery and civil war type investigations. Reporters Seth freed Westland Brian Palmer also told us that Beauvoir. Has received twenty one million dollars and taxpayers money money. That's helping tell these historic lies to the public, including schoolchildren, so Brian can you explain without money came from above gets hundred thousand dollars every year from the Mississippi State Legislature, the state says the money should be. And only on the building, which is a national historic landmark, but the Hurricane Katrina Beauvoir got a huge infusion of public money. The storm damage the buildings. There remember it's right on the Gulf of Mexico and FEMA, and then
Snow Park Service sent more than seventeen million dollars to help out, but that money didn't just go to restoring historic buildings, almost half went to creating a new museum and library from scratch, and that's where you hear this lost cause version of history of benevolent slave owners and Roma Confederates. So millions of public dollars are supporting this loss caused mythology as told at Beauvoir, but you guys also found that a lot of taxpayers money is going to other places around, so both private and public sector. How much money we talking about We found that over the last decade at least forty million dollars have flowed to confederate sites and organizations. We visited dozens of these places and we would often hear some version of this myth that
slavery wasn't so bad in Georgia, for example, I heard this on the tour of eight Stephen State Park. Stevens was the vice president of the confederacy. Mr Stevens was real good, his servants,
a trade in them like family Georgian spent over a million dollars on this park in the last decade, and then there's this in Mississippi, recorded on a tour of a historic site dedicated to Stephen Daily, a confederate lieutenant. They got. Thirty thousand dollars from the state when it was started, a lot of widows were being taken advantage of and thrown off and different thing to their their idea was they were going to be like a militia to protect people. She's talking about the coup clucks clan, she told me that the kick a k had been misunderstood, that the group was formed to protect widows after the war. She left out that nineteen people were launched in the very same county. Where we were standing,
ok, so down in each of these cases. We hear this warped history of places supported by public money right. Where else you seen this happen out, we found that a big chunk of public money goes directly to confederate heritage organizations, the United Daughters of the confederacy and sons of confessed, veterans. Some of that money goes to maintain specific sites like a confederate cemetery. I visit the Un Virginia I'm entering the confederate section of Oakwood Cemetery here in Richmond, Virginia and there's a gentleman who is looks to be directing traffic. Can you tell me what you're doing here today and why we're here to do today is its confederate memorial day. Not to be confused with actual, or your day Confederate Memorial Day celebrated in late April, is an official holiday in three states unofficial holiday and other southern states, including Virginia,
its seventeen thousand confederate soldiers buried here, and we want to honour our ancestors. I salute the confederate flagged. What the faction reverence and undying devotion to the cause for which it stands. That's Susan Hathaway, the founder of the Virginia flankers she's, the woman, said, met earlier Above, why a holy place. She stands in front of a small crowd on a patch of the well tended law on her back to a memorial arbalist erected in eighteen. Seventy one If reviewed, all, join me in singing our state song, because it is still our state song, carry me back to old virginity, Me too Virginny, as well. The cause of the corn and grow those were warbles. We in the spring.
That is where it is oh good, ere long to go there as well. I saw Bore all mass I am standing here. Listening to the song, which hasn't been the state songs, since one thousand ninety seven by the way, with lyrics like Darky and Masa, and the great grandson of enslaved people in a cemetery, at borders, an african american neighbourhood. All of this is strange, I understand that cemeteries were and are memorial sites places of mourning right after the civil war. These burial grounds, as well as monuments, became central. The politics of those white southerners. Try to rebuild their pre war power? Another way every claim that power they stripped black people of their newly one right to vote black people,
had largely been driven violently from the poles Very very few black people could boat. That's Abraham Ex candy he's dead. Of the Anti Racist research and policy centre at American University. Very simply black people, did not have the ability to vote out of office people who, were advancing public policies to bill Confederate monuments, money from the Commonwealth The Virginia has continue to flow to these burial grounds and monuments, and they become pilgrimage sites for confederate sympathisers and white supremacist. Professor candy says: when public dollars go to confederate monument, we all support what they stand for investing single dollar and considered monument, is essentially investing dollars in racism in slavery in white supremacy. So how much? when he has the public invested in confederate cemeteries in Virginia
went digging in the state's official archive the Library of Virginia We read through more than a hundred years of legislative reports all the way back. Nineteen o too, we found that Virginia taxpayers have spent about nine million in today's dollars to fund org. Nations set up to take care of confederate graves, Some of that money is channel to the sons of Confederate veterans south met up with members of the group at the same cemetery I visited. How are you, sir? This is Europe ancestors bring well with way. We look at the real, like the cause. All Then we can, but that stability occurs in yes, I'm here with five men Edwin Ray is a long time, member the sons of confederate veterans and until he retired he was a real rich librarian at the Library of Virginia people talk about the lost cause like we're
hearing to some sort of myth or something. Well, that's not the case we remembering the way things were supposed to be and if we lose this style of government handed down to us, then it is a lost cause. These then draw on carefully constructed myths about the confederacy, about slavery and fundamentally about white innocence. I am sure, is a few plantation owners are treated it people, bad, but the great majority on didn't. Would you go by brand core and take it home and beat it up with a hammer. You know Slave Baghdad was like buying a car today costs a lot of money. That's can't Morris here wearing a white bandanna and a White T shirt with southern heritage defence team logo on it Brian and I have met a lot of sons of confederate veterans.
Virginia in Alabama. In Kentucky in Mississippi, they make a point to distance themselves from white supremacists, but white supremacist including the k, K, K and more recently unite. The right have used confederate sites, as rallying points you let it inanimate objects like a piece of granite marble or whatever it got hurt. Your feelings you got troubles Morris tells me that if African Americans dont like confederate money, They should just build their own. Do the same thing that our ancestors did get up enough money find a place to I didn't build your own, but one way his ancestors got up enough. Money was by using their political power to channel taxpayer dollars to confederate cemeteries and other site to cross. The south african american leaders have tried to stop that flow of public money from the start in motion
recently enrichment where Brian lives in these centres, our heritage than your heritage is heat and himself at its best. We attended meeting of the Regiment City Council councilman my J Jones introduced a resolution to bring five confederate monuments under city control. It's a symbolic effort. Virginia is one of seven states that has passed laws pudding. The fate of monuments in the hands of the state. We have the right to have discussion, but then the authority to do what we want. Do and not some one that I know hated Lightfoot, wrote legislation councilman no one's joints, a long tradition of african american Resistance in Richmond and across the south way back in eighteen. Ninety, other member of the Richmond City Council, John. Junior tried to block city, Think of the Robert E Lee Monument in his city Mitchell lost that fight.
Hundred twenty five years later. That monument to Confederate Robert E Lee is one of the five. The Jones wants to bring under city control. He has a suggestion for people who plain these monuments as part of their heritage. If they want only heard it they're they're fine do it doesn't make it right doesn't mean that is worthy to be lifted up for everyone, men, taking that your house put him in your backyard, neutral fact: Ethic Confederate Cemetery,
add when re tells me that losing their memorial sites could lead to violence. Our preferences to fight these battles in port than we have at the ballot box. We don't want to go to war with anybody, but her ancestors had to do that and if, where half the men they were, that may come to a time when we have to do that as well. For now, those confederate statues aren't going anywhere Mister Jones, most Robertson. I missed Listen now. That paper has not been adopted. Michael Jones lost his beard to bring the confederate statues under the control of Richmond in a six to three vote, but throughout the Fight Jones was confident that eventually everything will come two ahead enrichment is go here right here. Right here arisen. Why percent of this was the capital the confederacy, so
he's got in here, there's an improper that says you know it. Though the lion murders right the hunter. What always be the hero, cake and so therefore, ignore her right now and Not only do we know how to write, we not a right legislation, so the lines will run as we ve been reporting a story visiting these sites brain- and I have been thinking about these claims that confederate sites are just history and everyone. History deserves to be preserved. Those arguments fall apart when you go to a place where Brian spent hundreds of hours over the past four years. My Jaeger, I'm in the middle of a huge forest not far from the Centre of Richmond Virginia with my life, Aaron and other members of the
friends of east end, its a group we volunteer with where reclaiming history from nature. We make our way through weeds dead, leaves and fallen limbs Erin spot the tiny patch of white stone beneath thick ivy, I attacked with pruning shears. She slowly removes layers of dirt from the stone. A name appears: DORA Pilgrim, died, October twentieth. Ninety ninety, this is east end, an historic black cemetery, once a beautifully manicured source of pride for which black community it's been destroyed by nature, vandalism, trash dumping and neglect if you look down on the spot from the sky, all you'd see the tree tops but if your eye wanders noise, just a bit the forest practically touches another graveyard, it's all neat
tidy rows of headstones in markers, the special section in awkward cemetery, where confederate soldiers are buried at this cemetery. Watts had been maintained for all these years with the help of public dollars by groups that count you to sell an antiquated and wrong version of american history, Jim percent of money where you expect to these white cemeteries, confederate cemeteries, and you can trains and statues across the south more than hundred fifty years after the civil war and fifty years after the end of Jim Crow rule in the south. That money still flows, I want to think reporters Brian Palmer and set freed whistler of type investigations a partner
they story and reveals Fernanda Cover who produce the story. Brightness F wrote a stunning As for the Smithsonian Magazine about Confederate Monument called the cost of the confederacy, find a link to it at our website revealing is that or when we come back The debate over monuments that pits neighbour against neighbour this is revealed from the centre for investigative reporting. Mp are ex from the centre for investigative reporting and p r eggs. This is revealed a malady and with an episode we first broadcasts in December of twenty eighteen and this last story. About a fight over a monument to american history centuries before
civil war way back in fifteen. Ninety eight. When the place we, I'll call. New Mexico was colonise for the first time by the spanish and this fight. Wasn't about tearing a monument down. It was about how to make one in the first place reveals stand, eloquent, grew up in New Mexico and has been following this story since middle school. He takes it from here, When nor in more Scott, the call to help make what would become the most controversial monument in New Mexico history, she was the place she's most comfortable stewed, where she makes her art, I mean who? Would monetary here right in the studio, with a fireplace in the rain ninety ninety seven and the director of people. Guard for the city of Albuquerque was on the phone asking. If she wanted to be part of a tree, cultural collaboration. There'd be a hispanic artist. An anglo artist and hoped Nora.
Taylor, indian artist from Santa Clara Pueblo, the call was so out of the blue. This is a public art project. I'd never done public art really. This was with other people been working solo, and did you say yes right then? Or do you remember how to? I said? Yes, I said yes right away because I opened my mouth and I said yes and then afterwards I thought. Oh, I wonder what this is. Gonna be like the assignment was to create a memorial for the court. Those sent an audio celebration of the forest, drift anniversary of their states? First spanish colony and of its founder, Juan DE on ya, think one year on a new nor a new and on printing company. She driven down
on the other extreme there's an equestrians, You have only at a full armor on the side of a highway near her house. What she remembers actually learning about own yacht, EVA historical figure from her middle school, but all studies teacher would just that he was a kind Spanish, founding father and by the time I was junior high- and I was saying this stuff- I thought it was ok to ask questions. What was the questioner well, where the Indians is he got sort of be read and he told me to be quiet and sit down. I never forgot. It was one of those seminal moments where I realized. Oh, I can't ask these questions because they'll make somebody in a place of authority, uncomfortable
You can't answer Norris question without talking about Acta, it's one of dozens of Pueblo as this I called native american settlements that only attain countered in New Mexico the year after he founded the fur colony. Some of his men went to Acta, demanding food and thirteen of them were killed in response. The otter declared a war of blood and fire. His soldiers killed hundreds of Acta, men, women and children and on the other himself, sentenced the adults to twenty years of slavery and the adult men to have one foot chopped off? This was the history that Nora and I and anyone in New Mexico who followed the news, was about to learn in detail because, within a couple weeks of Norris Phone CALL, an envelope showed up on the desk of weary Callaway columnist at the Albuquerque Journal. Sort of a combination of it
s, release a ransom. Note. And a photo The photo was a Polaroid of a bronze boot and spur that had been chopped off. The ammonia statue near Norris House. Read the note, and it said we took the liberty of removing only artesian, right foot on behalf of our brothers and sisters that come up level. We will be melting, this foot down and castings. Nah medallions to be sold to those who were historically, they know it went on to say they done it. For the four hundredth anniversary of the quote, unasked for export of our land. In other words, the point was to spoil the party that Nora had just become
part of and when Larry story came out, it was picked up by NPR and the New York Times. That is exactly what happened. I still don't see. The storm was common. It was still an unseen can't you tell? Sarah was one of the founding members of a group that would fight for the union to statue as the New Mexico. Hispanic culture preservation league and for them on ya take filled a different kind of gap in the history when I was a child at ten years of age. I asked my grandmother who was a schoolteacher Sweden, american history books. He said that our people do anything. You know, that's how I felt Consider new was that her family had been in New Mexico for centuries way longer than the anglo classmates who called people like her dirty Mexicans. Until many decades later after she retired and joined we'll genealogical society that she started.
Earning history by studying her family tree. She some native american ancestors but who is most excited about the ones who came from Europe way back in the sixty. Century, like one of only outweighs captains its Finding your family members in Euro going well, I never new. They did all this change, how you saw yourself. Yes, I I never argued that one person, wasn't as good as the other, but sometimes you are made to feel inferior and at that point then inferiority left and so when the equitable sent an audio rolled around, she was in the group that met with the Albuquerque Arts Board to discuss a posse. The bronze statue of unreality the man they called the Father of the Hispanic culture and our state, was what happened in Alabama brought up now. And was it on your mind. No,
This is something that you knew about. I wasn't as versed in it, as I have become. A calmer today is a place where tens of thousands, Tourists girl tat by pottery and visit houses built centuries ago, out of mud and sandstone on top of a four hundred foot Mesa if you happen to fall over the edge. This is the end of your tour, and no reports will be given to this. Keep that in mind. Ok, but it's not just tourist attraction. Most of New Mexico's Pueblo disappeared after the Spanish came, but ACT survived and some of them six thousand enrolled members with led the resistance to the Albuquerque. Only attain memorial, like a leader, swallow who goes by treaty What did you know about the history of your people in that place
We came from the underworld on the back grandmother spider. We wander the earth and when we got to where I come, a wise, we were told they were supposed to be. That's, for I knew you know tat we ve been, there forever She knew that when the Spanish came, they done terrible things to our ancestors, but it was when this statue foot cutting hit the news that she learned. It was this one day on Europe day who gave the orders and that on ya, hey was later banished from New Mexico by the spanish crown for reasons. Including his cruelty to the innocent, had Acta, everybody's first awareness and same time. She learned the city of Albuquerque was considering building a new monument to him. He had been cast out of New Mexico for ever,
and now you want to bring him back. Forty mollusk actual it still mind. Boggling. The city could see that another andreotti on a horse would be a bad luck. Their solution, was to add nor to the project to make it a try. Cultural collaboration and EL the three artists they had to include not only on your day but the settlers, he brought an native peoples who'd been there for centuries, but when or I showed up to the first meeting, the other two artists wielding a model they already put together. And it was only. Today on a horse. One of them.
Suggested, Nora could work on the pedestal beneath the horses hoofs. I felt insulted, I felt hurt I felt marginalized. I didn't think I could do that, although in myself I was thinking that there was a solution that art tell the story that was true, for it brought her back to that Middle school, social studies, class, asking the uncomfortable question she was able to get them to scrap this idea and start over and she started getting calls from other pueblo people. They were asking her to quit in protest. I didn't do that. When I refused and people were disappointed, but I realized that arm
by me, staying in the game. I would at least be able to fight for that voice that I think the sole important, not just my artistic voice, but the voice of these people that have gone through this incredible experience that change their culture completely, and I kept going back to those things. The memorial had become this very public test of whether New Mexico was the land of try, cultural harmony that it claimed to be, but as the year of the doesn't tenaya. Ninety ninety eight came and went Nora and the other artists stop speaking to each other, and the project went from one artwork too. A series of bronze sculptures of spanish settlers, including on the outlay and land, art installation. That was Norris response, the whole thing
take up most of a city block and cost over half a million dollars now Question was: did the city want it? This is GEO, be fourteen and now from government centre in downtown Albuquerque, the Albuquerque City Council, The council chambers were packed. The public. Seating was divided like a path rally Congress. We will move to public comments now a pro boneyard to side. With a group of older hispanic. Men and women John to settle like computer, her husband, John those of you, better. Have spanish ancestry should be angry, The personal attack on you, your family, in your heritage, the anti on the other side. Garages next was a lot younger. Any means in our city, council, members and more diverse
Allow me to introduce myself I'm its economy, and I want to express a jewish perspective. I am amnesty set of mixed people. We are proud people and that price does not come from denying what has happened and how we came here. Yet this does not represent the best. My culture, you are not representing me, and I just want to say that I am sorry that you and a small group of Hispanics in this room feel like they have to slam another people's culture in order to feel pride, dozen of people spoke, but at the forefront leading the movement were women from Acta. Hello everybody. How are you like Tweedy swore? So I didn't know that the awful things that happened to my people happened to my people. Until this statue became an issue. I'm tired of being used of tourists
are wearing through the only things that matter in this new. Maybe you don't do this to my people. Do this way? It's not right, fast, bigger I'll Centres David. This fight had been going on for three years People on all sides were demanding a decision the memorial was a compromise. The city councillors kept saying but I would not be named, he would not be on a horse and the alternative not building anything if they did they'd be saying this whole multi cultural, historical commemorative experiment had been a failure, so they voted almost in favour.
Please signified by saying I those opposed they voted. Seventy two to build them The motion we worked so hard treaties, water and the aid it is. Is it didn't matter it didn't matter what we said it didn't matter. What we do it didn't matter that we educated it just didn't matter. The memorial was quietly unveiled five years later. If you go there today, see more than two dozen life sized bronze figures, men and women, oxen and sheep trudging up a sandy hill and at the front you'll see only outlay in a cape and helmet. In the general direction of a security camera that may or may not be pointed at his feet,
and then next all that is what looks from above, like a huge dirt spiral, you kind of have to experience it which is why I met nor a neuron home Morse there to walk into the artwork she's titled NIMBY Haji our centre place. When you come down on this path, its symbolic that you're coming into your own central place, you're coming as the dirt path spirals counterclockwise you walk down into the ground The street disappears behind the hills of desert, shrubs on either side the buildings. Then own yadda himself until finally the centre of the centre place. If you sit down, you see as desert and water trickling across Iraq, and like that very much, because I think that's what it was like a long time ago. That's how I interpret the past.
It's a glimpse of a world before on yachting arrived, but it's also intended as a confrontation between two totally different world views, because, as you walk back out of the spiral, this is what You see the telephone lines, the sculpture of or not they coming here. Looking nor the stop light it's all there, and so you see that some ways when they came. They brought us great opportunity, but at such a high cost the brutal colonization was forever affecting to us, and I think we should never forget that she hopes that some of the people who come to see on your tea in the spanish saddlers will step into her artwork too
and see what she sees that story from reveal stand airport Ali producer this week was Fernanda Cameron. Our executive producer, Kevin Sullivan edited. The show along with Genji, thinks it S. Esther Kaplan of type investigations are partner on today, show where research, health from Jasper even air in Holloway, Palmer and rigid labour support for reveals, provided. The reason David Bogan Foundation, the John Dene Cavity, Macarthur foundations, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the highs, Simons foundation and the ethics and exploits in journalism foundation reveal physical production at the center for investigative, affording, p r x amount lesson and remember. There is always more to the story.
These are last few shows of the year, and let me tell you in twenty twenty we are bringing the fire launching some of our most ambitious projects we ve ever done. I can wait for you to hear them reveal is all about going deep, pulling on threads, Telling stories that matter and this kind of investigative journalism? Well it takes time and it costs money. These are the final weeks bar end of the year membership campaign. We depend on listeners like you to help make this work possible to support us just text. The word reveal two hundred and forty seven, four thousand seven hundred and forty seven state of data rates apply and you can take stop or cancel at any time again just texted I'll do for seven, four, seven, four, seven, let's go! Do some good work together.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-19.