In this installment of the Illipsis, Jay takes on the Confederate flag and considers the ways in which Southerners can take pride in their culture without celebrating symbols of white supremacy. Jay has a message for Northerners too, namely, that they aren’t exempt from the need to grapple with the uglier parts of United States history.
Carol Moseley-Braun’s 2014 interview on her 1993 Senate struggle to establish a case to abolish the Confederate Flag. The titled article includes the original video of the then Senator Moseley-Braun’s actual speech on the floor of the Senate. Riveting.
On July 22, 1993, an impassioned Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois—the first African-American woman to serve in the US Senate and its sole black member at the time—took the floor to rebuke conservative legislators including the late Jesse Helms, who were backing an amendment to secure the Confederate flag as the official design for the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Moseley-Braun said: “The issue is whether Americans such as myself who believe in the promise of this country, who feel strongly and who are patriots in this country, will have to suffer the indignity of being reminded time and time again that at one time in this country’s history we were human chattel. We were property. We could be traded, bought, and sold.”