« Reveal

Monumental Lies (Update)

2020-08-15 | 🔗

The Civil War ended more than 150 years ago, but the Confederacy didn't completely die with it. Monuments, shrines and museums are found throughout the South. We teamed up with Type Investigations to visit dozens of them and found that for devoted followers, they inspire a disturbing – and distorted – view of history: Confederate generals as heroes. Slaves who were happy to work for them. That twisted history is also shared with schoolchildren on class trips. And you won't believe who's funding these sites to keep them running. 

Plus, the story of New Mexico’s great monument controversy. In 1998, the state was set to celebrate its cuarto centenario: the 400th anniversary of the state’s colonization by the Spanish. But a dramatic act of vandalism would turn the making of a monument in Albuquerque into a fight over history the city didn’t expect.

This show has been updated with new reporting, based on a show that originally was broadcast Dec. 8, 2018.  

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.
From the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex this is reveal annihilated. It's been nearly three months since George Floyd died in police custody and the protests are still going strong In the days right after fluids, deaf many of the protests focused on one of the most concrete symbols of white supremacy, statues from small towns to big cities, dozens of statues. Creation and slaveowners can keep and confederate soldiers had been removed, sometimes by public officials, but sometimes by angry crowd.
I'll. Take you to auto alive look. This is a monument avenue. We were told that the Jefferson Davis Statue, as you can see here, has been toppled Jefferson. Davis was the confederate President His statue was one of many along a main boulevard in Richmond Virginia. The city is famous for these statues. They ve been a big draw for people who visit the former capital of the confederacy, sometimes bank, of federal flags. Now, as these statues coming down, you'll hear people including president trunk, continue to defend them. Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history the fame our heroes, eraser values, but what version of history is being protected and who's paying to keep it alive? Back in twenty eighteen, we teamed up with type investigations to answer those questions. Reporters,
Brian Palmer and safe Freed Whistler visited more than fifty confederate sites, including another place. Honouring Jefferson Davis is formed home in Biloxi. Mississippi an estate call Beauvoir it's one of the city's most popular attractions hosting school field. Trips tours even weddings as the debate over confederate monuments heats up. We're gonna rear. That story. We begin with brain and safe visiting the grounds of beauvoir in twenty eighteen during its annual for muster a marks of war bow here, Sir Brian, I decide to take different cars to Beauvoir and spend the next two days. Reporting separately
the white reporter I blending here, where, aside from some of the school kids almost everyone is why 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 fun Oster man, dressed in union and confederate uniforms, line up on either side of a Longfield field. They carry rifles and flags and push cannons into position. Then the fighting begins. South 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 care.
Confederate flags, old, bearded men, where biker vests, with these sons of confederate veterans, patches, sewn on 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 to keep my distance from that's so he can do his thing and I can do mine I made an older couple from Virginia who tell me they drove down to support the flag and celebrate their heritage. They love it here. This is the lady I mentioned, and they want me to meet someone Her name is Susan Hathaway. She is the founder
So I just remind me you're the founder of the virgin. If I well the Virginia flag, yours is a group that protests whenever they hear of plans to remove confederate stature. There's an flags highways meg about flags, Oliver Virginia anywhere a monument is being debated and for half the way this place. Beauvoir is hallowed. Ground is just kind of a wholly with confederate ancestry and things they ve done here just amazing and to be able to walk where Jefferson, Davis Do you think of it that way as a partisan loosely as a place where we can come and and express our appreciation and our our love of heritage without having any body took sit here and try to tell us what they think it's about and what we need to do and if they would just leave us alone, we would be fine
do at this point I'm kind of at a loss for words. It sounds like she saying that 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 what part of the south. The White South were proud to be southern. It's like its southern ITALY, only thing you're not allowed to be proud of anymore. You can be proud to be african American. We can be proud to be irish. American, 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. Including a cemetery in Virginia and a library in Alabama. One thing, had common, the sons of confederate veterans, which also owns Bobo the sun's as a national organisation, with dozens of chapters founded eighteen. Ninety six, only
hail, descendants of confederate veterans can join. The group's mission is to vindicate the cause that Confederates before during the mark battle. You see their version of history play off muskets crack units advance. Men fall down dead in the field. The confederates beat back the union troops The actual civil war battle took place here, but it beauvoir the confederacy always wins the next day I didn't I return to both walk, it's raining hard and the muster is cancelled, so we get a chance to interview Thomas Paint, who was then both was executive director his assistant meet us at the door.
How are we lay our supper entertains office that rifle right there? That's the always thing in here in old, rifle, hangs in the wall to his right. Pictures of confederate leaders are behind him and a set of three Flags Mississippi America in an confederate are planted on his desk pain. Is a white man and his sixties, with salt and pepper mustache he's a lawyer with a p de in adult education he's not a member of the sons of confederate veterans, but he tells us he's eligible to be one. He just works for them is that both was not just a place. It's a place and 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 indication of the institution that tells the truth and then people will come here, know that they can depend on the information that you're getting good bad 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 has shorten close to the land they are done. A Barnes is the guide. She wears a fool 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 therefore 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 needed that that's not built into the tour. Why isn't it I don't know? I guess is that you cannot say I guess, because I'd be around day, if I told that everything about today. Thank you out there, like Donovan, I stepped out, and I asked her how she answered questions from tourists about slavery. I want to tell them that honest truth about that's lay re was that it was good for the people. They 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 him, my family, he loved them.
They were not family. They were property, Jefferson Davis, who led a would be nation created to defend slavery, own dozens of people, black people and this place. The historic Beauvoir state was built within slave labour, the idea that Davis his slaves, were happy echoes through his memoirs, which he wrote in this very house in speed about african Americans? He said there, Survival instinct rendered them contented with their lot. This idea, which is perhaps two controversial to hang on. The walls still hangs in the air here and an I encountered at other confederate site we visited where, to this day, confederate leaders are portrayed as benign and beloved by those they held in bondage, not only distorting history, but denying the lived experience of millions of
waved people my own great grandparents were among those millions, both of them man and Julia polymer. It slavery in Virginia, Joy in the United States, colored troops. Do you s army, segregated black fighting force, Julia and her family fled to union held territory, they emancipated themselves. Like half a million others before the wars end. We wanted to know why history was I will being erased undistorted here. These are the questions. We have for both lost an executive director, Thomas Pain, but I do think we need to know more about labour and the reason I got that was not from from 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 absence or young kids, we don't have a whipping post. So
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 people fall, downplaying dead in a field that kind of violence that glorify the confederacy is a ok here, but the violence of slavery or lost It is clear that were judging alot of what happened the nineteenth century, with our twenty and twenty first century, a glass is so to speak. Looking through lenses, twenty twenty first century and saying: oh, that's terrible. We ve heard this before. He can't judge slavery by today's standards, but we don't need to Abolitionist, including the formerly enslaved, argued against system, while it was happening for same reason. We argue against it today. It was wrong and yet pain defends Davis. I think that would be an honest perception that he was a benevolent slave
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 a 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 absolve themselves that any guilt for starting the war and to vindicate there
pre war way of life, and this story is still being told at 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, their power 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 than the contained subjugation of another human being Christie. Com is a long time administrator of historic sites, and he's current the ceo of the American Civil WAR Museum in Richmond, Virginia she's in Africa, american woman and the centre she runs tells us story of the civil war is complicated at times ugly, and it includes the perspectives of African Americans free and enslaved. And of union and 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 at at at just sure that they know overwhelmed her little fragile mine, but this is the same woman that you ve had whipped. Sarah times, because she has run away on our own long before the war. There was just this cognitive dissonance related to it. That is really stoning. You have a narrative that makes people comfortable for the spaces. Therein we sought a lot about what Christie had to say that these places are set up to You dont people's ignorance and make them feel comfortable about America's violent and racist past comfortable with a false history of America, one
as the confederacy and everything it stood for by now. We'd been digging for months and to exactly who runs these sites, but we had another question who's paying to keep them open. We filed dozens of public records, requests an sifted through piles of tax filings to find out where the money was coming from and we were stunned by what we were starting to find taxpayers money is keeping these places open and both law is a huge beneficiary. We tallied all of them. Monies Beauvoir says it received from two thousand seven through two thousand sixty in added up to more than twenty one million dollars more than twenty one million dollars, often taxpayers we checked, and that money continues to flow. Today, when we back safe and Brian, explain where that money is coming from and how
its being used a beauvoir and other confederate sites across the country. That's next on reveal from the centre for investigative reporting and p r exe. Are you tired of the wave media tiptoes around the subject of race? Well courts which doesn't do then? The weekly podcast from NPR has been talking about how race impacts on all aspects of american life for years now it's made by journalists of color and makes all of us are part of the cost.
Station, because because all all part of the story find it where you get your podcast enjoying the conversation on NPR codes, which. From the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex this is reveal analysis before the break. We visited Beauvoir former home of Confederate Leader, Jefferson, Davis, the property, our houses, a museum of misinformation about slavery and the civil war. Reporters Seth freed Wesley Brian Palmer of type investigations visited Beauvoir and more than fifty confederate sites back in twenty eighteen then covered how public money is keeping them open. Brian starts us off by running through the numbers. Both. Why gets a hundred thousand dollars every year from the Mississippi state legislature to take care of the historic buildings lawmakers approved the same
this year in the same period that they also voted to remove the confederate emblem from the state flag, the biggest windfall came after Hurricane Katrina in two thousand five feet, and the National Park Service sent more than seventeen million dollars to Beauvoir. But that money didn't just go to restoring buildings. Almost half of that money went to creating a new museum in library from scratch, and that's where you hear this lost cause version of history of benevolence, slaveowners and heroic confederates. We found that over the last, gate. At least forty million dollars have flowed to confederate sites in 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
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, I recorded on a tour of a historic site dedicated to Stephen Dealey Confederate lieutenant. They got thirty thousand dollars from the state when it was started. Allotted widows were being taken advantage of and thrown off, and if it thinks it there, 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 have 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. We found that a big chunk of public money goes directly to confederate heritage organizations, the United Daughters, the confederacy and sons of confessed.
Veterans. Some of that money goes to maintain specific sites. Like a confederate cemetery, I visited here in Virginia and 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 and three states, an unofficial holiday and other southern states, including for and its seventeen thousand confederate soldiers buried here,
and we want honour on our ancestors. I salute the confederate flag, went the faction, reverence and undying devotion to the cause for which a stance- that's Susan, Hathaway, the founder of the Virginia flag, is she's. The woman's have met earlier, who called Beauvoir a holy place. She dance in front of a small crowd on a patch of the well tended lawn her back to a memorial arbalist erected in eighteen, seventy one and if you'd all, join me in singing our state song, because it is still our state song, carry me back to all virginity Kill me too grew Juny, where the car, the corn, and to grow the warbles we in the spring
is where this is too long to the areas where we saw for all I am standing here listening to the song, which hasn't been the state song. Since nineteen ninety seven by the way, with lyrics like Darky and Massa, I'm a great grandson of enslaved people in a cemetery that borders and african american neighbourhood. All of this is so I understand that cemeteries were and are memorial sites places of mourning, but right after civil war. These burial grounds, as well as monuments, became central to the politics of those white southerners. Trying to rebuild their pre war power another way, they reclaim that power they stripped black people of their newly one right to black people headlong
we've driven violently from the poles Very, very few black people could boat. That's Abraham Ex candy he's director 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 The Commonwealth of 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 monuments, we all support what they stand for: investing single dollar and consider monument is essentially investing dollars in racism in slavery, in white supremacy. So how much
when he has the public invested in confederate cemeteries and Virginia. We 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 to nineteen o too we found that Virginia taxpayers have spent about nine million in today's dollars to fund organisations 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 your ancestors bring well with way we look at the real like, after course, all of them that we can, but that happens to be a cousin. Yes, I'm here with five
Edwin Ray is a long time, member, the sons of confederate veterans, and until he retired he was a research librarian at the library at Virginia people talk about a lost cause like we're, adhering to some sort of myth or something. That's not the case, we are remembering the way things were supposed to be, and if we lose, this style of government was handed down to us. Then it is a lost cause. These men draw on carefully constructed nets about the confederacy, about slavery and, fundamentally about white innocence. A grand, I'm sure is a few plantation owners are treated it people bad, but the great joy unbidden. Would you go by a brand new car and take it home and beat it up with a hammer? You know with the boss, back then was like buying a car today costs a lot of money. That's can't Morris here
is 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 in Virginia in Alabama in Kentucky and MRS City. 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 use confederate sites as rallying points. If you let it inanimate objects like a piece of granite, marble or whatever. If that hurt, your feelings you got troubles Morris tells me that if African Americans dont like confederate monuments, they should just build their own. Do the same thing that our ancestors did get up enough money find a place to build it and 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 at when re tells me that losing their memorial sites could lead to violence our preferences to fight these battles in poorer 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 we're half the men they were, it may come to a time when we have to do that as well. That warning about violence came in twenty eighteen. Certain Brian originally reported the story. Things have changed a medically since then, in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody Brian lives, enrichment and he's been reporting on how bad city whose identity is intertwined with the confederacy, has responded in the last few months,
a long time more than a century, really removing these monuments seemed impossible there. Resolutions, protests meetings and commissions and little came of these, but then the killing of George Floyd and the movement and emerged put history on the fast track between June forth when Virginias Governor Ralph, nor some announced the Robert E Lee statue would come down to July. First protesters had already toppled for statues from Christopher Columbus to Jefferson Davis, also, on July, First Richmond, mayor love, our stony stepped in and invoked emergency powers to order, the removal of all city own confederate statues,
the four on Monument Avenue and others across Richmond as a matter of public safety and as the right thing to do, the great weight of that burden has fallen on our residents of color. By removing them, we can begin to heal and focus all our attention on our future that same day, stony sent the crew. Instead, the iconic statue of Confederate General, Thomas J, Stonewall, Jackson, the crowd waited for hours through hot sun and then a torrential rain storm, but when the last bull that held stone wall and his horse to the pedestal was cut the thousands of people who remained cheer. Some more.
A hundred years, these statues of towered over a city that has always had a large african american community. I thought to Anna Edwards along Time Advocate for protecting african american historic sites. I asked her what she says to Confederate monument defenders. Who accuse protesters of vandalism and meant we have people who have shown their extreme. Restoration in their displeasure on in objects on property, right That's not attacking wise, because in fact their whole call is for the defence of human life pay attention to them, For now, Robert E Lee makes a last stand as the only remaining confederate statute on Monument Avenue enrichment. Its defenders are fighting the statues removal in court The scene around the monument reflects a city influx at night,
people in camping out here to watch over the space police shut it down after recent violence broke out at another demonstration and a different part of Richmond, but during the day, people added life to the space dancers and musicians perform people play basketball at one folks of wheeled in and parents, particularly black parents, our children to pose on the heavily tag, monument in the region. Does have done more than re purpose. The circle around the monument every day, people every christened the site, Marcus David Peters Circle, for a black man who Richmond. This offers is killed and twenty eighteen while he was stuff, from a mental health crisis, but even as the word, changes the money, still flows, taxpayer dollars
two other monuments and memorials to the confederacy across the south I want to thank reporters. Brian Palmer set freed whistler of type investigations. A pardon on today show Fernanda com arena. Do the original story can achieve a mean produced are update when we come back another debate over monuments that pits neighbour against neighbour. This is revealed from the centre for investigative reporting MP, are eggs. hey it Ah, here someone, you know that one of my biggest passions in life is comic books. I've read them since I was there.
A kid even done some of my own. That's! Why I'm really excited about our latest series. It's called invulnerable. It's got all the our of our investigative journalism transformed into comics withheld from our past pushing partner the nib and illustrated tabling the series: captures the courage. The pandemic has inspired and some, but also the echo I make and social disparities that have grown even start the vulnerable and the invalid. You can the series out on reveals, Instagram or on our website reveal news, dot, Org, slash comics, that's we'll lose dot. Org slash, comics from the centre for investigative reporting in peace. RX. This is reveal I'm the monuments that active. Have targeted in the last few months. They have all been confederates. Protesters have also gone after statues of Spaniards who first colony,
North America, hundreds of years before the civil war in twenty eighteen, reveals, stand out reported on some of these monuments in New Mexico. We're gonna bring you that story, and then tell you what's happened since you stand when nor a neuron home more Scott, the call to help make what would the most controversial monument in New Mexico history. She was in the place she's most comfortable, studio where she makes her art. I mean who would want to be here right in the studio with a fireplace in the rain, one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven and the public art for the city of Albuquerque was on the phone asking if you want, To be part of a try, 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 was a public art projects. I'd never done public art. Really. This was with other people. I had been working solo, and did you say yes right then? Or do you remember how the fine 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 four hundredth anniversary of the states, first spanish colony, and of its founder one day on ya. Think, I knew it. I knew it nor a new and not a printing company. She driven down
on the street there's an equestrian staff You have only at it in full armor on the side of a highway near her house what she remembers: actually learning about andreotti, the historical figure from her middle school, social studies teacher, but just ass. He was a kind of spanish founding father and by the time I was in junior high now seeing this stuff, I thought it was ok to ask questions What was the questioner war where the Indians he got so to 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 such as the Spanish called native american settlements. Not only are they encountered in New Mexico the year after he founded the first colony. Some of his men went to Acta, demanding food and thirteen of them were killed. In response, only Otto declared a war of blood and fire. His soldiers killed hundreds of Acta, men, women and children, and only to 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 wary Callaway columnist at the Turkey Journal. I was sort of a combination of a press release a ransom note and of a photo the photo, was a Polaroid of bronze boot and spur that had been chopped off. The on ya taste, at you near Norris House, Gunnar read the note, and it said we took the liberty, of removing only uptake right foot on behalf of our brothers and sisters that come up weblogs. We will be melting, this foot down and casting small medallions to be sold to those who are
Fourthly, ignore it then went on to say they done it for the four hundredth anniversary of the quote: unasked for exploration 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. See concrete aloof. Sarah was one of the founding members of a group that would fight for the only item statue as the New Mexico Hispanic Culture Preservation League and for them on ya take filled a different kind of gap in the history books. When I was a child at ten years of age, I asked my grandmother who was a schoolteacher. I was reading the american history books. He said that our people do anything
You know, that's how I felt all consider New was that her family had been in New Mexico for centuries wave hunger than the anglo classmates who called people like her dirty Mexicans. But it was. Until many decades later after she retired and joined we'll genealogical society that she started learn history by studying her family tree chief, some native american ancestors, but she was most exe, about the ones who came from Europe way back in the sixteenth century, like one of only out his captains, it start finding your family members and you are going well. I never knew that but all this did it change. How use saw yourself? Yes, I I never argued that one person wasn't as good as the other, but sometimes you were made to feel inferior and at that point then inferiority
Left and so when the court percent 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. Was it 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 of rests 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 report. So we give us this, keep that in mind. Ok, but it's not just a tourist attraction.
Most of New Mexico's Pueblo disappeared after the Spanish came, but ACT survived. Of the six thousand enrolled members would lead the resistance to the Albuquerque, The item memorial like This was so who goes by tweedy. What you know about the history of your people in that place: but we came from the underworld on the back, grandmother, spider. We wander the earth and when we got to wear a coma was we were told this for worse post me. That's for I knew you know that We ve been there, for 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,
they was later banished from New Mexico by the spanish crown for reasons including his cruelty to the innocent, had Acta. That was everybody's. First awareness and at the 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 back a boring, mollusk actual it still mind boggling 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 to tell the three artist They had to include not only on your day but the settlers he brought and then native peoples who'd been there for centuries, but when Nora showed up to the first meeting, the other two artists wielding a mile they had 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 could tell a story that was true, for it brought her back to that middle school social studies, class asking the uncomfortable question. But she was able to get the scrap this idea and start over and then He started getting calls from other pueblo people. They were asking her to quit in protest. I didn't do that. I'm when I refuse 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. They had 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 so was the land of try cultural harmony that it claims to be, but as the year of the doesn't than area? Ninety ninety eight came and went Nora and the other artists stop speaking to each other, and the project went from one artwork too, to a series of on sculptures of spanish settlers, including on the outer and land art installation that was Nora's response, the whole thing
would take up most of a city block and cost over a half Billion dollars now the question was: did the city wanted? This is GEO, be fourteen and now from government centre in downtown Albuquerque, the Albuquerque City Council The council chambers were packed the bubble seating was divided. Like a pipe rally Congress, we will move to public comments now on the promontory side was a group of older hispanic men and women John to settle like computer and her husband, John those of you that her have spanish ancestry, should be angry. This is a personal attack on new your family in your heritage, the anti the other side. Gonna next was a lot younger
any means in our city, council, members and more diverse. Allow me to introduce myself I'm at China, and I want to express a jewish perspective. I am amnesty set of mixed people or not. Not represent the best. My culture, you are not represent in 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, dozens 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 and our, whereas the only things that matter in this new- maybe you don't do this to my people, don't hurt him, It's not right. They government last speaker. I Sanchez 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.
Only Otto would not be named. He would not be on a horse and the alternative not building anything if they did that they be saying this whole multi cultural, historical commemorative experiment had been a failure, so they voted almost unfavourably signified by saying I, by those opposed to know they voted. Seventy two to build the memorial. The motion we workshop art 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 educate it. It just didn't matter The memorial was quietly unveiled five years later it 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, looking 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. 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. It 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. Then the buildings then the ATA himself until finally
the center of the center place. If you sit down, all you see is desert and water trickling across a rock, and I 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 your day 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 coming here, looking nor the stoplight 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 And 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 reveals: Stan Alcorn corn broadest. That story twenty eating. If you visit the monument now because today, you'll see something different here stand again, Nora. It started on a Monday in June with an email,
about the equestrian statue down the road and I'll call them, and you remember what the message said: it's happening now I'll call day. Oh yeah, I think, and I knew exactly what they were talking about, but I'm she pulled up in her pick up. There is a small crowd on the side of the highway people watching and recording with their phones the video it's some historic gretna. They watched as county workers drove a four cleft under on ya to his horse, is coming down. The FARC lifted came in good, come just drove off the road with them, the county said they took the statue down to protect it from our protest plan for that afternoon, but it was
Its larger protest happening that night two hours South and Albuquerque, where on YA tea was still standing. I could tell it had the potential to be it. The Albuquerque protest started with people sitting on blankets in a park. Listening to the speeches from people like Tweedy Swaziland, Have you knew on the neck of indigenous people, but a group of younger activists stirred gathering across the street? around, the statue, ammonia, where they were confronted by a group of men in camera, carrying rifles, a militia founded by a former NEO Nazi that calls itself the New Mexico. Civil guard. This protest need National NEWS, thinks lest the
Militia, then to a man named Stephen Barca. Video shows him throwing female protesters to the ground and then, after being chased from the crowd prosecutors say he took a handgun from his shorts and fired. Wounding protesters, Scott Williams, shots fired shots fired the next morning. Albuquerque did what the county up North had done the day before this, workers with heavy equipment to remove Sonia TAT saying was for public safety risks. He put up a survey online asking what they should do next with a statue of YA and with the statues of settlers and soldiers that were left behind, and people ask Nora what she thinks to end.
It's not by ordinary, because for me not that simple she's already thinking about what happened. After the statues are removed or replaced or contextual lies with a plaque and how this piece of public art about history could still work. If people learn about it, history, protests and all the now whether that happened through not that you know that's another story, but we can always hope. That story was from reveals stand outcome I show was produced. Fernanda Katharina stand out, corn in Juba, meaning executive producer, Kevin Sullivan, edited the show, along with Genji and an Esther Kaplan thanks to type, investigations are partner on today show where research up from Jasper even air in Holloway, Palmer and rigid salami and thanks. The lady hall and Hannah call them for their work on the ground. In New Mexico, our production manual
but in a host are sound design, team is the dynamic. Do a J Breezy Mr Jim Briggs, Fernando my man, Yo Aruba, who also compose the original score for this hour, that help from deplored guarantee domain and Caitlin bans are senior supervising Eddie. There is talk you telling me this are C oscars sharper. Miss Thompson is our, learn chief free music my comrade lightning support for reveals I find it by the Raven David Logan Foundation, the John D in Kathmandu, Macarthur Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the hiding Simons Foundation, the democracy fund and the ethics and excellence in German. Foundation reveal is ago. Production of the centre for investigative affording MP are I'm outlets and remember. There is always more to the story,
Transcript generated on 2020-08-15.