tv The Situation Room CNN July 20, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
hello everyone. i'm don lemon in new york. you're in the cnn newsroom. we have a very interesting hour for you. we're going to talk race. i want you to join the conversation. make sure you join me. go to at don lemon cnn or at tim jacob wise. you can send my comments -- send your comments to me or to tim wise who will join us for the full hour. we're going to talk about
everything to do with race, the trayvon martin story, george zimmerman, the president's comments, and the generation gap when it comes to race in this country as well. we'll start with this. this is a story that has captivated the nation. in more than 100 american cities this summer day was set aside for crowds of people to gather, demand justice, and remember one name -- trayvon. >> trayvon! >> trayvon! all right! >> some of the rallies were small and muted. others were larger and louder. in atlanta today people who still can't believe the verdict in the george zimmerman trial shouted and prayed together. this is sanford, florida now where trayvon martin was killed and where george zimmerman was acquitted. people carried pictures of trayvon martin there and in nearby orlando. and also in daytona beach. look at the crowd in downtown chicago today. they shouted, no justice no peace. rally leaders in chicago are joining a nationwide call for federal charges to be filed against george zimmerman. trayvon martin's father attended the rally in his son's honor in
miami today. tracey martin says he is moving forward from his son's death but that he will never recover completely. cnn's nick valencia talked with him. >> reporter: don the demonstrators have come and gone but the rally did last for two hours between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. this morning. hundreds and hundreds of showed up including the father of trayvon martin, tracey martin, a headliner here in miami at this event. it was a very emotional day for tracey martin. he teared up while he was at the microphone speaking about the legacy of his son. he said he would not give up fighting for the memory of trayvon until he died. he also said he would also fight for the sons of those in the crowd. i also spoke one-on-one with tracey martin and asked him how he felt about the support that he was receiving throughout the nation. >> it was overwhelming. it just goes to show the love and the support that our families and friends have for us here in miami as well as across the country. and it sends a message to the
nation that we're not going to sit back and let our children be killed and don't say anything about it. >> after the demonstration was done, some of those in the crowd decided to go on a march. their initial plan was to block the i-95, which is a major interstate highway that runs through miami. those plans changed. they did eventually go to police headquarters only to come back here to the courthouse. while they were here, don, the message was very clear. they wanted to strike down and do away with the stand your ground law. some of them wanted to amend that law. others wanted to call attention to this case to the department of justice. they wanted the doj to intervene in the george zimmerman verdict. they want civil rights charges filed against the former neighborhood watchman. don? >> all right. nick valencia, appreciate that. in new york city the trayvon martin vigils got some a-list celebrity support today. hundreds of people rail atd the courthouse overnight and through the afternoon. the reverend al sharpton called the national day of action and personally led the rally in new
york city. cnn's alina cho was there. alina? >> reporter: hey, don. the keynote speaker at today's rally here in new york city was sybrina fulton, trayvon martin's mother. it was hard to ig no two of the biggest stars on the planet. jay-z and beyonce were here to lend their support. they did not make any remarks but, frankly, didn't have to. the reverend al sharpton can prove they were here. he instagramed a photo of him with the two stars and sybrina fulton. today hundreds of people were here in the crowd in new york city chanting no justice. no peace. sybrina fulton said trayvon was a child and said she vowed to work for trayvon and said i will work for your children as well. don? >> thank you very much. protesters rallied in washington, d.c. as well. one speaker on the national mall today said people across the country need to make sure that trayvon martin stands not for a moment but for a movement. athena jones is in washington. >> reporter: hi, don. several hundred people came out for the justice for trayvon
rally outside the federal courthouse here braving the high temperatures. some of them even wearing hoodies. the demonstration began and ended with song and prayer. one of the first speakers, a pastor, summed up the message the demonstrators wanted to send. >> i'm sure when the system failed to be just to trayvon martin our government failed us. and we are here today again not because we're angry but to bring attention. we're asking the department of justice to continue to look at this case and to follow the evidence and bring civil rights violation charges against george zimmerman. >> now, whether the justice department brings federal civil charges against zimmerman is still an open question, but i can tell you one of the other big areas of focus here was racial profiling. one speaker got a big response when he questioned a recent column in "the washington post" that said people have a right to be afraid of young black men,
black men like trayvon martin, because black men are committing a disproportionate share of the crimes. let's listen to what joe madison a radio host had to say to that. >> if that's the case, we ought to be afraid of every white man, because the hard data says that they are serial killers. we ought to be afraid of every white man because they blow up buildings and kill people in movie theaters and high schools. >> those strong words got a big response from the crowd here at what was a spirited and peaceful protest. don? >> athena, thank you. i want to bring in anti-racism activist tim lash. you had a book called dear white america out now right? >> yes. >> let's talk about the last two comments that america has a
reason to be afraid of black men because they commit the bulk of the crime and joe madison says we should be afraid of white men because they blow things up. >> we only use racial profiling or the rationalization of it when it applies to the other. when white folks do things disproportionately whether serial killing, mass murder, drunk driving, school shootings, we don't hear people saying let's set up road blocks in white suburbs to catch white drunk drivers. in other words, we only apply this logic when it is the other who does something, quote-unquote, disproportionately. the problem with that is it is fundamentally unamerican, unethical to say that every black male under the age of 25 let's say should be considered a suspect just because black males under 25 commit a disproportionate share of crime. if that's going to be the logic then no black male is safe. they are considered guilty until proven innocent. that is fundamentally contrary to the american ideal. it is not acceptable. >> what is that? is it psychological? is there something wrong with that?
is it denial? what is it? hold your thought. tim wise joining us for the entire hour. other news now, it's been one year since the aurora, colorado shooting but for at least one victim the pain is just as intense as the first hours. his story is next. later, the story of four men who say they were held captive and nearly starved. they were locked up, locked in a garage that turned into a prison. you really couldn't have come at a better time. these chevys are moving fast. i'll take that malibu. yeah excuse me, the equinox in atlantis blue is mine! i was here first, it's mine. i called about that one, it's mine. mine! mine. it's mine. it's mine. mine. mine. mine. mine. it's mine! no it's not, it's mine! better get going, it's chevy model year-end event. [ male announcer ] the chevy model year-end event. the 13s are going fast, time to get yours. current chevy truck owners can trade up to this chevy silverado all-star edition with a total value of $9,000.
one year ago today a gunman burst into an aurora, colorado movie theater killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. people in aurora are honoring the victims today. cnn spoke to a 23-year-old man who survived the horrific mass shooting at the midnight movie. >> a shooting in the auditorium. >> reporter: the chaos and fear inside the aurora century 16 theater is what 23-year-old steve barton vividly remembers a year after getting shot in the neck and chest. >> i remember the gas line through the theater landing in the center and as that detonated there was this flash of light in the front right emergency exit and then this huge booming noise echoing off the walls. it looked and smelled and seemed like fireworks. i thought someone was playing a prank or i couldn't really see the figure behind the gun. suddenly i felt this immense
pressure against my body and my neck in particular and i knew i had been shot. >> over the past year a lot has changed. the theater where 12 people died and 70 others were injured has reopened. the accused shooter james holmes is claiming insanity. his case is slowly moving through the colorado justice system. the national debate over guns, which grew after aurora and then exploded after new town continues. steve barton joined other victims of gun violence friday to remember the aurora victims and call for stiffer gun laws. tom sullivan lost his son alex during the aurora shootings and would like to see restrictions on high capacity magazines. >> a guy walked into a movie theet wer a hundred-round drum and one second my son was watching a movie and the next second he was dead. >> she died shield herg students from the gunman. >> carly soto's sister victoria was a first grade teacher killed in the newtown massacre. she came to aurora to honor the victims who died in the theater shooting. >> from a movie theater to an elementary school to a church,
it's all different but we all share the same grief and we all share the, you know, the wanting to change our gun laws. >> a handful of gun rights advocates were also there peacefully protesting the event. police kept the two sides apart. >> why come to their event on this day? >> well, it is an event for all colorado coloradoans to remember that tragedy and also a tragedy that a fire arm was not allowed to be used in the theater that may have prevented that tragedy. >> grace macdonald age 7. >> reporter: for more than ten hours volunteers took turns reading thousands of names of gun violence victims ending with a moment of silence at 12:28 a.m. the moment the shooting started inside the theater changing hundreds of lives forever. >> there are a couple other events planned over the next few days to commemorate the one-year anniversary. one couple who was together inside the theater during the
shooting has actually decided to get married this weekend. cnn, aurora, colorado. >> thank you, ted. we want to pay tribute to all 12 victims killed in the aurora mass shooting one year ago today. they each went to the movie theater on a summer night to see a midnight premiere and suddenly thei lives were taken away far too soon.
♪ ♪ the dodge summer clearance event. right now get 0% financing for up to 72 months and no payments for 90 days on all dodge vehicles. well, that was just one of the rallies seen all over the country today in response to the not guilty verdict in the trial of george zimmerman. i'm joined now by tim wise, a writer, and antiracism activist. let's talk about the president's briefing to reporters yesterday. caught everyone off guard here. a really extraordinary,
unexpected moment. let's listen to the remarks he made about history and race in america. >> some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country. and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history. >> so i know obviously you think this is an important conversation. i think it's an important conversation that can be had where both sides actually learn something. do you think that the president, i mean it's obviously very difficult for him to talk about race because people see him as why is he talking about race? he is the president of all people and not just african-americans. >> right. >> do we often ignore our own history in this country when it comes to race? >> i think we always do. that's why when a president actually tries to speak to that history people accuse him of
being divisive. but it's not the conversation that's divisive. it's the history that's divisive. if racism and racial discrimination had been part of the history that's the problem with division. it's not talking about it. it's not discussing it. that's sort of like blaming the speedometer on your car for the speeding ticket. it just lets you know what you did, it is a method of communication. what the president has done in a sense is said this is real. the thing that scares me most about white reaction to the verdict, i think honest people can disagree about the verdict. people can think that the law says what it says and george zimmerman is not guilty but when you go from that to saying in effect that race had nothing at all to do with his suspicions that night you are stretching cr credulity to the point -- it is insane to believe his suspicions had nothing to do with race. when you say that to black folks you're saying you know that thing you think is happening? it's not. that is fundamentally racist and
incredibly disturbing. >> i want you to listen, i had left work yesterday, i was down covering the verdict. so they were trying to get in touch with me. i was taking a nap. i finally looked at the phone and they said the president is speaking about race. can you come on and talk about it? and i said sure. i watched the president. i had never seen him speak that way. here's what i said yesterday and then we'll talk about it. >> this is very personal for african-american men and you could see it was very personal for the president, who spoke from the heart, and it is, let me just -- i'll tell you why. i have this ritual i had with my mother that every single -- when i lived in atlanta, i'm in new york now. i don't drive home. when i lived in atlanta, this is about a month ago, i drove home from work and i called my mother every time i drove home. and until i got into the house. because she knows of these situations. she raised me to -- with these
situations in mind and informing me of what you should do if the police stop you. i need to know where you are at all times. every time i -- if i didn't talk to my mom on the drive home, i would call her immediately when i got into the house. and so yesterday after anderson's interview, with trayvon martin's mom and dad, my mom texted me and said, she said, that interview with trayvon's mom and dad reminded me that i have always feared for you as a male person of color, even today, and you are an adult. still fear for your safety. you would always wonder why i would always want to hear from you when you would get off work late nights. i could go to sleep once i heard you say, we're inside and i heard your house alarm. i'm a 47-year-old man and my mom is still worrying that someone is going to mistake me as a criminal. and that's why it is important for african-american men and that's why the president spoke as he spoke. i have been profiled. that is something an african-american man grows up
with learning and not -- you raise your voice when you're speaking to people. oh, yes, sir. you don't speak in your normal, deep voice, because you don't want people to be intimidated by you. sometimes you don't get on elevators with people. sometimes you don't, you can't get taxies. it's all well and good. you learn to accept it. but it's a reality. and for people to deny that i think is insulting not only to the president of the united states but for people who helped build this country. >> incredibly powerful. i think if white folks can learn nothing else from this case and from this conversation, that is the most important thing to learn, that people of color are experiencing this country that we share and that we ostensibly love in a fundamentally different way. if we can't hear you when you tell that story as a middle aged man still having to sort of prove to his mom that he's not
going to be hurt, when i don't have to worry about that as a middle aged white man who, you know, has plenty of problems in the world. we all have struggles. that isn't one of mine. the fact that i don't have to worry about how i'm going to be seen, even when i was a young man in a hoody, i was wearing hoodies before we called them hoodies. we called them sweat shirts. right? it was a sweat shirt when you and i were in college. >> your school made them. >> exactly. >> and i wore them probably from late november in new orleans when it finally got cold to about early march when it stopped getting cold. no one would ever have thought to say, well that's a thug. that, to me, if we can't understand that, then it seems to me we'll have a very difficult time. >> and to hear people say white men, you know, keep bringing it back to ben who i like but i think ben is very naive on the subject. when he says, you know, white men are profiled, what about white men across this country the way they dress? i'm sure they're in some ways maybe young people are profiled but you can always change purple hair. you can always change the way -- not that you should have to. >> right. >> that is a whole different thing. >> listen, i've been in spokane,
washington when there have been at least three skill neers on t loose. no cop has stopped me and said where were you on wednesday? might you have been killing three people? that doesn't happen. the idea white people get profiled, we don't get profiled even when there are crimes we commit disproportionately. it's nonsense. >> here is the thing. people say, don, you have a better chance of being shot by another black man. no i don't. i am not -- i'm just going to be honest. for many african-americans in this country i don't live in a neighborhood. >> right. >> where another person is going to shoot me. if another person is going to shoot me it's probably, when i lived in atlanta, it's going to be a white person because all of my neighbors were white. i was the only black person on the street and in the neighborhood. >> right. >> and i hear that from people who work here at cnn. my kid is pretty much the only black kid at school or at soccer practice. >> right. >> so my concern is not that he is going to be caught in the cross fire. by saying that, you are essentially ghettoizing every
single african-american in the country and stereo typing every single african-american. not every african-american in the country has that particular background and experience. >> it's not a legitimate rejoinder to the concern about racism. >> right. >> to say black folks should stop talking about racism because of black-on-black violence which is a horribly messed up term. we don't call white-on-white crime, white-on-white crime and there are two and a half times more white-on-white crimes per year than black-on-black but we don't call it that. that is another discussion. to claim black folks talk too much about racism is like blaming mothers against drunk driving for not having a campaign to get you to wear your seat belt. >> right. >> both are good issues but the fact that more people are killed from not wearing their seat belt doesn't mean we don't deal with drunk driving. >> one doesn't negate the other. >> exactly. >> stand by. i want you to listen to something else president obama said in his very personal briefing yesterday about his daughters and how the younger generation looks at race. >> when i talk to malia and
sasha, and i listen to their friends and i see them interact they're better than we are. they're better than we were on these issues. >> this guy is wondering at cnn how does our youngest generation, what do they think about race? are they color blind? do you really want to be color blind? don't answer that. or do they think the same way about the way things have been or should be or should have been or should have been? you know what i'm saying. we're discussing that. that's next. you don't want to miss it. hey, buddy? oh, hey, flo. you want to see something cool? snapshot, from progressive. my insurance company told me not to talk to people like you. you always do what they tell you?
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book a great getaway now and feel the hamptonality here as question. is there a generation gap on racial relations? on the witness stand and in media interviews she says she and her friends use those words conversationally. jeantel is 19 years old. president obama got emotional when he talked about race and how he was racially profiled as a young african-american man. the president reminded us, though, that we've made lots of progress on race relations. i went out and talked to a few generation y, generation xors about their views on race. pay close attention to this. >> i think that the older generation is more connected to a lot of different things that were occurring because they went through it. and i think our generation kind of takes for granted a lot of things that went on. my generation is more progressive in terms of race.
you definitely see more interracial couples and i think the same stigma with certain races doesn't really exist as much. >> barack obama being mixed race, bringing a lot of mixture, cultures and people are more willing to accept it now and it's more normal. >> i think we think about it differently. but i don't think any one generation thinks of it more or less. i have a ton of friends that are like white and hispanic and chinese but as my parents look at it they may think, oh, well things aren't fair because you're black or because you're white and things may be different. but for me and for my age group i feel like it doesn't matter. >> i feel there is a little less racism now than there was back then. older people seem to be, there is a lot more racial tension. as a young adult i feel like there is -- i have friends of all races and all types of different people.
>> so let's talk more about race and a generation gap. i want to bring in now a writer for "the root" in washington. >> i was formerly for "the root." i wrote a piece in 2008 called gen-y for "the root" about the fact i don't believe gen-y is color blind. i'm happy to talk about that. >> thank you. also charles gallagher the chair of lasalle's department who joins me from philadelphia and tim wise joins me here in new york. we'll go to tim first. so did my interviews with, did anything surprise you? to a tern, no matter whether white, asian, black, whatever they were they did think the george zimmerman verdict, trayvon martin story had an element of race, these young people. 17 to 23 is what i interviewed. >> right. i think young folks certainly are more attuned to the reality of race and racism than perhaps our previous generations including my own and yours might
have had. i want to really caution something. there have been an awful lot of studies on college age students and high school students and their own racial assumptions on the degree to which racist incidents take place on college campuses. i speak on college campuses all across the country and have for 18 years. every single year there are blatant, over the cases, not just subtle, but blatant cases of racism on college campuses. i think young folks on the one hand are more attuned to seeing racism and being able to call it out at the same time they're so bought into this notion of being color blind and being color mute not talking about race. but i think sometimes they end up perpetuating racism without even realizing they're doing. >> all of them did say in some way they had experienced racism. all of the men, the african-american men i spoke to, the younger ones, actually i spoke to 14 to about 23 and they all said, all the black men said they had been profiled before and none of the white people said they had. >> right.
>> okay. generation y sometimes uses the "n" word conversationally. does that bother you? >> me personally, yes. i am bothered by the "n" word and hearing it during conversation. in fact, the piece that i wrote for "the root" in 2008 was brought about by an event that happened to me where at a party i heard a peer who was white say the "n" word and i stopped him in his tracks. he was very blown away and even offended that i would stop him and say that that wasn't okay. that was essentially the point i was making in the piece that because the social terrain is so complex now we've come a long way and had so many advancements and yes there are a lot of interracial couples and a lot more diversity but it's also making it a lot more difficult to speak on issues or to go, to pierce jokes to the point where we're having serious conversations. >> charles gallagher, i spoke a short time ago with leonard
pitts who said he feels that in many ways african-americans, the older generation, has become complacent when it comes to race relations. what do you make of his comments? do you believe that? >> well, i don't think it's complacent. i think that, you know, if the word, you know, a lot of this conversation seems to be if the word cracker and -- are linguistic equivalents. tim talked about this before. they're not. the "n" word is being used as a way to blanketly always point to a racial hierarchy where blacks were always subordinate to whites. so -- but i think that is a red herring and i think you're getting at it. what do young folks believe? i've been interviewing whites around the country and studying white racial attitudes for almost two decades and i think for much of white america they are both delusional and schizophrenic. they're delusional because they have, they believe honestly that we are now color blind nation and that anybody can make it. anybody can bootstrap. if you don't make it, it's your
own fault. exhibit a is barack obama. and so they start -- i think white america has a vested interest in wanting to believe that the color blind -- we are color blind because otherwise it means they've been given advantages. i think they're schizophrenic because if you look at the polling data white americans, a majority now, believe that the civil rights movement, all the goals of the civil rights movement have been achieved. they believe that discrimination and racism is no longer an issue. a lot of whites believe that they are more likely to be acted upon in a discriminatory manner or treated in a racist way now. so, you know, we could talk about language, but we don't get the kind of institutional racism, which still defines american society. >> you brought us to a very interesting point. that was my next segment that i wanted to talk about. since we are here, i'm going to ask tim wise. i said, remember in the tease earlier i said, what is it, psychosis? i don't know what is going on. is it denial? he says there is a sort of schizophrenia going on. >> right. >> what is actually happening
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back now with my guest writer and film maker saaret yosef and also the chair of the sociology and criminal justice department professor gallagher and tim wise joins me here. before the break mr. gallagher said some white people in america were suffering from schizophrenia when it comes to racism and the denial of racism. >> right. well, the denial has been a long standing thing. there is sort of a schizophrenic element to it. on one hand i think what really, you know, we look at the history of white denial and we find that white folks even in the early '60s before civil rights laws were even passed were actually telling pollsters from gallup that black people had fully equal opportunity in housing, education, employment. now, in retrospect we can see that as delusional but honest, decent, white people really
believe that. by 1969 there were polls that found that white folks already believed that black people had equal or better opportunity than they did so, in fact, this whole notion of reverse discrimination is not new. people have been saying that. the supreme court actually said that in the 1870s after certain civil rights laws have been passed in the wake of the end of slavery. >> what is the upside for white folk as you say? >> i think the upside is we continue to remain in denial, if we continue to deny the problem, then we don't have to deal with the implications. if we're honest about the history of racism and what it has done to this country and the opportunity structure then decent people say we have to do something about that and create equity. what does that mean? that is frightening for a lot of white folks to deal with. >> before i had even seen -- go ahead. then we'll talk about that. go ahead, mr. gallagher. >> i was going to say, one way to do this is just demonstrate clearly through good social
science how much racism is part of america. we had great studies, people sending out identical resumes and incomes and send them out to get apartments or housing. lo and behold what happens? blacks are rejected at a higher rate. the stop and frisk going on right now is a very good example. brown and black populations being targeted. i live in a first rung neighborhood in philadelphia. if the police were to put their energies into these communities, it is white and middle class, they'd have thousands of white kids, college students, high school students, with their pockets filled with ritalin and ecstasy and marijuana in jail. because we know that whites and blacks do drugs at the same rate. it doesn't happen. what happens is that all these stop and frisk things do is confirm in a lot of people's heads, well blacks are criminal, drug users. why don't we start policing in white neighborhoods? you'd see the same outcome. >> the people at this -- as far back as college and even some of the younger generation i know now, white kids have far more access to designer drugs like mali and cocaine and prescription drugs. >> or just weed.
>> and weed. >> when i was in college the biggest drug dealer in uptown new orleans lived right next to me. he was a white dude from long island. he would drop quarter ounce bags of weed in the hall. we very much appreciated living next to him but nobody ever thought to arrest us. >> what were you buying? >> i didn't buy anything. he would just drop them. >> the interesting thing to me as we were coming up with this segment and i was doing the "n" word segment and by the way charles gallagher just said the full n word a white man on cnn. he dnchtsid. >> it is not a problem at all. tim wise said, did he just say the full n word? >> i wouldn't. but that's, you know --. >> i think, again, back to -- i asked a friend, we were talking about race, out having wings one night in atlanta and beer. just a white friend. i said if you had your druthers, if you could pull a ticket and say, which -- i can come back as a white person or black person which would you pick? he said, finally, after some
scuttling around he said i'd come back as a white guy. >> yeah. >> i think that says a lot. >> there have been studies that actually, you know, professors who have done this in class where they asked their class how much would it take if you had to come back as a black person what would you ask as compensation? and the average answer was a million dollars. >> yeah. >> if black folks really get all the goodies in life which is what white folks say, oh, black people get all the goodies, the reverse discrimination, you would not need a million dollars to be black. you would actually pay people to be black if it was such a great deal. that's not what we're saying. >> why needily after the president made his remarks, obviously he went through great pains to do this. it was probably a very -- it was a very personal moment. i felt it when people say i feel you, why immediately do some people have to come out and say that, your experience is not valid? that does not happen. this also happens to white people. i am a white guy and people are afraid of me. i'm profiled. why does that happen? what is that?
>> yeah. i think this is part of the color blind ideology is that we're all -- we're all equal which means i can equally be discriminated and profiled. again, getting back to science, it is just not borne out by the data. tim was talking about this earlier. i had never been profiled in my life. i grew up in a working class neighborhood. i lived in major cities before. and my skin color has never been a tax for me. as we talk about it, it is the wind on my back. so i think what happens is a president, this president in particular, has quite honestly been i think very weak about talking about race. he finally comes out. personalizes it. you know what hannity said. i think people don't like barack obama because he's black. let's remember that a majority of white americans did not vote for him. they voted for mccain. we talk about this kind of new place in american racial history, but i think if anything
what the media has done, i'm not blaming you, young people today have been raised watching multi racial, multi ethnic shows so they think because they watch these shows that the world is equal. you know, all these shows now have the almost obl ga tri asian character, black character, white character. and i think it creates a reality that's false. most white people live in white bubbles. they go to white churches. they live in white neighborhoods. they go to white schools. that's the reality. they learn about race from television and television is quite honestly not real. >> yeah. i have to end it here. i'm sorry i didn't give you more time. i promise you i will have you back. >> we'll invite you back for a conversation. >> i will. i will invite you back. i keep my promises. real quickly, where do you live in philly? >> i live in a suburb of narbert. lived in atlanta for 11 years. >> monroe between second and
third. i was just wondering. i lived in atlanta. and virginia highlands just so you know. >> that's where i live. very good. >> a dare. not there anymore. thanks. appreciate it. my conversation will continue now with the family of dr. king bernice king and dr. alvita king both join me live. t have come at a better time. these chevys are moving fast. i'll take that malibu. yeah excuse me, the equinox in atlantis blue is mine! i was here first, it's mine. i called about that one, it's mine. mine! mine. it's mine. it's mine. mine. mine. mine. mine. it's mine! no it's not, it's mine! better get going, it's chevy model year-end event. [ male announcer ] the chevy model year-end event. the 13s are going fast, time to get yours. current chevy truck owners can trade up to this chevy silverado all-star edition with a total value of $9,000. thto fight chronic. osteoarthritis pain. to fight chronic low back pain. to take action. to take the next step. today, you will know you did something for your pain.
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take the next step. talk to your doctor. cymbalta can help. and didn't know where to start. a contractor before at angie's list, you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. no company can pay to be on angie's list, so you can trust what you're reading. angie's list is like having thousands of close neighbors, where i can go ask for personal recommendations. that's the idea. before you have any work done, check angie's list. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. i love you, angie. sorry, honey. two people with a unique perspective on this. the kings of course. bernice king the youngest
daughter of the late martin luther king jr. and alvita king is a niece of the late martin luther king junior a minister and civil rights activist and former member of the georgia state legislature. thanks to both of you for joining us. bernice will join us in a second. what do you think of the president's remarks? did he strike the right tone yesterday? should he have said anything in your estimation? >> i believe it is a good time for the president to begin to talk about the issues of race. we must have that conversation. i hope it is not for political reasons but out of genuine sincerity. >> bernice, how will the president's remarks have an impact on this discussion? do you think it'll have any impact at all? >> certainly. i think it will have both positive and a perhaps negative impact for those who feel like he probably should not have commented. but for those of us who know the
importance of a president set go-to tone in a nation, i think it will have a tremendous impact on us dealing with race relations in america. we've put it off too long and now is the time it really address it. >> alvita, you wrote a column about the zimmerman trial this week in which you said, quote, reasonable doubt was established and thus human justice was served in a human court of law. yet was everyone so concerned about serving man's legal system that we forgot to serve god? what did you mean by that? >> i mean we need to serve god with giving compassion to trayvon's family. his dreams died with him. his dream is in the grave. if there is anything that can be done to help console this family, i believe that should be done. justice is imperfect when humans do it. nobody won as far as i'm
concerned. >> yes. no one won especially i don't know if i want to qualify this as winners and losers but at least one family. when people say it's equal for both families, both families suffering -- >> not equal. trayvon is dead. >> yes. you make the point. bernice, next month marks the 50th anniversary of your father's "i have a dream" speech so famous for the lines about his children. you one day being judged by the content of your character not the color of your skin. i want to play something the president said yesterday about race relations improving through the years. listen. as difficult and challenging as this whole episode has been for a lot of people i don't want to lose sight that things are getting better. each successor generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it comes
to race. doesn't mean we are in a post racial society or racism is eliminated but when i talk to malia and sasha, and i listen to their friends and see them interact, they are better than we are. they're better than we were on these issues. >> bernice, your father's dream coming true? >> well, i certainly think that for some people in america it is. there are those who have certain privileges and opportunities to be able to be judged by the content of their character. when we look at i think the average, every day african-american in particular, i think we still have tremendous work to do. in fact, depending on whether or not you're in middle class america or as we call it working class america or you're impoverished in the black community, when you look at some
of the statistics in our society, there is still a tremendous racial gap. it's not really even about how far we've come in terms of people's racial attitudes. we have to begin to deal with some of the systemic and institution institutional situations with racism in our society. >> thank you. we appreciate you coming in on a saturday. the ooth anniversary coming up and i'll be covering that and i'm sure speedwaying to both of you as that happens. >> thank you. >> quickly, tim wise, what do you make of what the president said and the two ladies? >> i think they're right. there is a lot of work to be done. this work for freedom and justice and racial equity is a long distance race, not a sprint. the idea we were done because enslavement was ended or we were done because segregation was ended misses the point. the racial drama is the drama of this country. we can either deal with that honestly or keep running from it. we keep running from it, we'll keep having this conversation ten, 20, 30 years hence. >> thank you for coming on. >> thank you. >> thank you for watching. we want to continue this
conversation. we're not judging each other. we can disagree. i disagree with ben ferguson. we're still friendly. we'll be right back. ♪ [ male announcer ] you wait all year for summer. ♪ this summer was definitely worth the wait. ♪ summer's best event from cadillac. let summer try and pass you by. lease this cadillac srx
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