The Reverends Emmett G. Price III and Irene Monroe joined Boston Public Radio for their regular Monday segment, "All Revved Up." They talked about the re-envisioning of a character in Harper Lee's new novel; what's next for South Carolina after the Confederate flag was taken down; and Pope Francis' junket in South America.

The Rev. Emmett G. Price III is a professor of music at Northeastern University, and author of The Black Church and Hip Hop Culture. The Rev. Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist who writes for Huffington Post and Bay Windows. The following questions are paraphrased, and answers are edited where noted [...].

The news about Go Set a Watchman — the new book from Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird — is that Atticus Finch may actually have been racist. Is that a big deal?

Emmett Price: It was a big deal because if you don't have that white person who's going to stand for justice, you don't have anybody. [...] He was a hero, which is why this new revelation is really disturbing.

Irene Monroe: I'm not disturbed by it at all. I make the distinction that I just like Gregory Peck. I need to say this: both books [highlight] our dis-ease with race in this country, and particularly it shows the limits of Southern liberalism. [...] It fits within a literary trope of the white savior, similar to The Help.

Price: I liked [The Help].

Monroe: That novel — similar to this one — really feeds into white guilt. It makes this assumption that we are not agents in our own revolution. [Tom Robinson] is an example of quiet grace and dignity and my favorite hero of the book, really. [...] It's the 1950s, thirty years later, it's Brown v. Board of Education. The thing about Atticus Finch is that he's a good guy, but he feels that blacks ought to stay in their place. [...] Would he be flying a Confederate flag?

Price: Here's the point. Adults mess up the world with our perspective. Scout's perspective is the perspective that we want to hold onto.

Monroe: I think it's a great novel. [...] He's not about changing the system, Atticus Finch. He's about justice within the constraints of a [racist] system.

We now have a clearer indication of who Bill Cosby is, and was, as a person. There have been many accusers who have come forward accusing him of sexual assault. He admitted to buying Quaaludes to give to women before sex. But what about the man we knew Bill Cosby as before this, when he seemed to be lecturing some African Americans?

Price: One of the issues with Cosby [...] was this notion of respectability politics, and I'd call it the 'Rosa Parks syndrome.' [...] Rosa Parks is celebrated for being the African American woman who didn't give up her seat. But there was Claudette Colvin before, but she was a single mother, and she didn't fit the profile. [...] Cosby always played to white comfort, and white guilt. [...] That has created so much castigation early on, even before all this stuff.

Monroe: We've seen this narrative played out various times. I think [when] the supermodel Beverly Johnson came out, I think a lot of people began to question [him]. He has an illness called 'somnophilia.' This is a guy who gets off when he sees people sleeping. [...] I'm sorry the statutes of limitations have run out.

Emmett, you wrote a piece for the WGBH News site. What was the gist of that?

Price: We we can't get back to things as normal because we've still got this huge, huge issue going on. [...] If we're going to talk about equality and justice for all, we have lot of work to be done. The fact that the [Confederate] flag is done, we're gonna slap five, but we still have a lot of work to do.

Pope Francis is in the middle of a big South American tour. How successful has the trip been?

Monroe: I'm loving him today, so much. So, you know he even cussed! Yes he did. He talks about global capitalism — he said it's the 'dung' of capitalism. That is his 's' word.

Price: I'm loving him. [...] He talked to the people, he roamed amongst the people, he even stopped in a Burger King this week.

Monroe: This really shows an embrace of liberation theology. Sort of the tenet of preferential treatment for the poor.

Price: He also apologized for the Roman Catholic involvement for Spanish colonialism!