University of Richmond Professor to Discuss Confederate Monuments with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes

Julian Hayter, a University of Richmond leadership studies professor and member of Mayor Levar Stoney’s Monument Avenue Commission, is appearing on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, March 11 to discuss the national debate around Confederate Monuments.

The first hour of the show airs at 7 p.m. on CBS, though the monument segment is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m according to local listings. It is hosted by Anderson Cooper, and Mayor Stoney will also appear on the program.

According to a news release from the school, Hayter believes “the monuments are part of our shared history and should stay.” He notes in the interview that we should recontextualize the statues and use their prominence against them (“we lack imagination” he tells Cooper). Stoney says “it is for me the greatest example of nostalgia masquerading as– as history.”

You can read a CBS transcript or watch the segment here.

Here’s a key bit of the conversation between Hayter and Cooper.

Julian Hayter: There are 75 million people in the south who are the descendants of Confederate soldiers. And who I am to tell them that– they cannot celebrate their ancestor in a particular way? But I also have ancestors who were the victims of the slave system, and I see no reason why we can’t find a usable way to tell two stories, or tell multiple stories

Anderson Cooper: That tell the truth.

Julian Hayter: Not a romanticized version of the truth. where people are trying to absolve themselves — from the deep inhumanities of– of what the Confederacy stood for, but people who are willing to face down history for what it is in– in all its ugliness, and all its beauty.

Anderson Cooper: do you believe the statue should be removed?

Julian Hayter: No. I’m a historian, and– I think that the statues should stay with a– footnote of epic proportions.

Anderson Cooper: Essentially you’re suggesting

Julian Hayter: I’m suggesting we do a little bit of historical jujutsu. I’m– right? I’m suggesting we use the scale and grandeur of those monuments against themselves. I think we lack imagination when we talk about memorials. It’s all or nothin’. It’s leave ’em this way, or tear ’em down. As if there’s nothin’ in between that we could do to tell a more enriching story about American history.

And earlier, more from the school press release:

A CBS News release notes that through interviews with a variety of experts, including Hayter, Cooper will examine the question many people are asking about the hundreds of Confederate monuments standing on public property across the country, mostly in the South. Some believe these monuments should be taken down because of the painful memories they represent while others, like Hayter, believe the monuments are a part of our shared history and should stay.

“No state has more Confederate monuments than Virginia, where in the Confederacy’s old capital, Richmond, there are five Confederate statues standing on the city’s historic Monument Avenue,” a preview of the segment states.

Cooper visited both the University of Richmond campus and Monument Avenue to discuss this hotly debated issue with Hayter.

“All these years later, the Civil War, in many ways, is still contested ground,” Hayter told Cooper. “Monument Avenue is not just a national tourist attraction but an international tourist attraction.”


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