Ronan Farrow Daily   |  April 04, 2014

The world of the ‘Confederados’

Ronan Farrow presents a Vocativ story on the mass exodus of Confederate soldiers to Brazil following the end of the Civil War – and while things have changed over the years, Confederate culture remains prevalent in many parts of the South American country. Craig Melvin and Melissa Harris-Perry join to discuss.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> all right, we are back now with our panel extraordinary today and we're going to look at the surprising american export. there's a town in brazil where the flag of the southern confederacy flies high. immediately following the civil war some southern americans fled to brazil, the last country in south america to outlaw slavery. the community there has grown and changed but it has maintained its confederate heritage. through our data mining collaboration we're going to introduce you.

>> translator: my name is robert lee ferguson. my name comes from the great general of the confederate states during the war. we are very proud to descend from such brave people. in the u.s., if you put pictures like this on facebook, you would get a lot of people angry. in brazil, it's a common as football and samba, for the upcoming world cup and olympics, they found photos and fan pages that looked like they came from south of the mason dixon line , not south of the equator. two hours away, there's a small vanishing community that has a direct blood link with people in the south of the united states . they call themselves con fed rals. families with last names like thomas, strong or williamson are living proof of the american immigration to brazil that started with the civil war . this is the only moment in the

>>> this is the object moment in united states history that --

>> they have tried to start a new life here.

>> reporter: at the time, brazilians weren't very knowledgeable in agriculture, like the americans were. they created a revolution, because the americans were great farmers.

>> cotton, we know that was the key.older nation.

>> translator: our cemetery is the only one as far as we know outside the u.s. to be an exconfederate soldier cemetery. here is a portrait of my great grandfather, he was the fourth mayor of this town, first the c confederate flag . for me the flag means so much, it's the our confederate story here.

>> the goal is not to offend anyone.

>> translator: we bring people to celebrate the culture that has a lot to do with the origins of rock and roll . it has nothing to do with racism.

>> i do not agree with any kind of slavery.

>> we have no racist ideal connected with the flag. the flag is simply a symbol of the honor of how it was used in the past. and we would like to be a part of the current history of the united states .

>> what? back with me here on set, greg melvin and melissa harris perry , questions, here in the u.s., you guys, okay we have some guests. stay tuned for that. but first, this is such a lightning rod in america. and growing up, you know, my sister is black, would have her friends bring in confederate flag manicure jobs and say this is offense to me. is it possible to communicate to them how electric the flag is?

>> we see the flag, the flag is part of our life experience, right? you have to encounter it, you don't necessarily like it, but you also recognize the multiple meanings that it had. i was watching that entire segment with my jaw dropped in part because it is a reminder that just like race is a social construct , the changes across time and place, and context of the u.s., if you fly a confederate flag over a government building, you are saying that states have the right to nullify laws, and those laws could be around human enslavement.

>> one of my first assignments as a local news reporter many years ago with was to go down to the state house and cover the confederate flag being removed from atop the state house dome, it's still on the grounds. i have always felt that the flags should unite, the flags that we celebrate in this country, the flags that we raise, the flags that we honor, those are flags that --

>> if you could have seen the look on melissa 's face, you would have known --

>> this is for a lot of folks. but not just folks that look like us.

>> it's a flag of rebellion against the union. take race out of it. this is a group of states that suceded from and attempted to destroy the united states of america . i grew up watching general lee . "the dukes of hazard" and i had feelings about the confederate flag .

>> there are folks who try to lump them together, part of the south is the confederate flag .

>> its extends all the way to brazil. all right, well, we have had running around on the set someone who has been wreaking havoc for our cameramen and i want to explain who this is ronan pharaoh. he's a brooklyn dog. he is available for adoption through bad ass brooklyn animal rescue . we rescue sweet, adoptable dogs from high kill shelters in the south.

>> the dog is not going to comment on the confederate flag . but it raises an important issue, there are a lot of dogs that need homes. they said ronan pharaoh is always excited to meet new friends, he's a little bit chunky right now, but he still fits in a bag.

>> ronan is about four years old. and he's a wonderful dog. and we rescue from pounds that have over 90% kill rates and if anyone would like to learn more about rescue and what we do at our rescue and the other rescue rescues.

>> is ronan pharaoh on drugs right now?

>> just water.

>> the staff is very excited to say sit, ronan pharaoh.

>> that was melissa harris perry and craig melvin. you can catch melissa harris - perry on saturday afternoons. and you can check out craig at 2:00 on saturday. thanks so much for joining me, you can catch this show at 1:00 p.m . eastern time right here on msnbc. for now, stay tuned for the reid report, with my colleague joy reid, it's excellent, you won't want to