Our New Lives

  • My Body Is a Confederate Monument


    Writer and poet Caroline Randall Williams joins Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss how her ancestry influenced her new piece in the New York Times, why it’s “fundamentally inaccurate” to refer to Confederate soldiers as American heroes, and how she’s “interested to see what it yields beyond” just taking down the monuments.

    Per Caroline Randall Williams, When the Times published my essay, “You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument,” I hoped that it would open, or even change, some minds.

    I have always known there were and are thoughtful Americans from every corner and every color, but I have been staggered by their willingness to speak out on behalf of and to engage with the ideas of a stranger. What I have seen in the response is that there are Americans who are ready to be on the right side of history and fight for it. They understand that acknowledging the hard truths of history is part of that movement.


    Major issue to discuss and continue to uncover.  We commend Caroline for her brave reveal of the grossness and shameful reality that we must address. Most African Americans and enslaved people can trace their lineage to Caucasian ancestors where there was rape,  sex exploitation and murder. This conversation must be faced and continued. How did the wives of these men accept the atrocities of casting out their husbands offspring, and selling their own flesh and blood? This is America's shameful history. America needs to face these facts to move forward to heal.