tv Panel Discussion on Border Politics CSPAN November 3, 2013 4:15pm-5:46pm EST
writing this book and i could find it. i started asking the security guards, was the big foster dulles? no one had heard of it. it is a long process and finally thanks to the washington airport authority, i was able to discover the bus had been taken away from its place in the middle of the airport and it now on a closed conference room opposite baggage claim number three. i find this a wonderful metaphor for how the dulles brothers who at one time exercise earth shattering power and were able to make and break government had now been effectively forgotten and airbrushed out of entire his area.
>> next, from 18 to help texas book festival in austin, discussion went off there is ricardo ainslie and alfredo corchado on mexico. this is about 45 minutes. >> good afternoon. thank you for coming tonight. we are happy to be here at the texas book will. they asked me to tell everyone, please turn off cell phones to rejoin her of the conversations. with that, let me get dirty. i am shannon o'neil. i work at the council on foreign relations very focused on next month america more broadly unedited and pleasure tonight at talking with two wonderful gentleman, who have written wonderful books are really impressive impressive books about mexico. the first one on my right is
ricardo ainslie. his book is called "the fight to save juarez." this book tells the story of the border city, which many of you know i've had the unfortunate tension in recent years of being not only the most violent place in mexico, but by some accounts the most spineless in the world. he tells the story of this descent into darkness of this border city through the eyes and through the stories of many people in morris, the mayor from 20,722,010. it is a newspaper photographer who patrols the streets and shows up at the house and the grandstands. it is the mistress of a mid-level cartel operator. and finally a human rights activist that is thrown in to those trying to make sense of it and protects the people inside
for two people on the criminal side and also those who might be breaking the law from the government side. in this book, which is a highly readable book i recommend to all of you, he really brings out the complexity of the situation there. particularly in a city that usually all you see are very broad and dimming brushstrokes. so this is ricardo spoke. the other book we are here to discuss tonight is called midnight mexico. the author is alfredo corchado. this is his own glory. this is more of a memoir. and it a story of a man who was born in durango, mexico, was in his childhood in the vegetable and fruit fields of california and who then as an adult and return to next a code of became a very respect even well known foreign correspondent. and in this role, he ended up at laney in his homeland, mexico,
to a second homeland here in the united states is a longtime correspondent for the "dallas morning news." it is 25 years, working as a reporter, he covers mexico's political opening. he covered his economic ups and downs. he covered the movement of people, the migration of people from mexico to the united states and what that meant on both sides of the order. he sells a covert increase in the mexico's drug war and a result of that final part of his portfolio, has received several death threats for his deep and investigative reporting for trying dedication to the story. this is such a compelling book totality of the movie rights have been bought. so i encourage you to buy it now and read it now before the movie comes out cu can compare which one you like better. so now i'm not, let me return to
my two authors and turn aside within my purse will question before we get into the room needs in histories and stories in mexico. i will start with you, rico. let's start talking about why you wrote the book, but particularly this book. why did you write this book about juarez? >> thank you, shannon. i'm from mexico. akin to the the united states when i was 17 years old. it has been just witnessing what is happening in mexico over the last decade or so has been really unsettling, deeply troubling. 10, 15 years ago, no one would have imagined that mexico would you living what it's living today. and so that was really the hypnotist. it is sort of a heartfelt wish to sort of, part of these are really just on and what was going on in mexico because i
think it is difficult to kind of cut through the headline to get a three-dimensional picture of the reality of what taking place in communities, cities like juarez and cities on the border. i wanted to a nurse and what was taking place. i wanted to kind of make sense of it. in some way false notion some light on the aspects of this dory that include not only very dark aspects of human nature, but also include people who are really trying to do the right thing. i think it is easy, especially from the side of the border to sort of put a cost on everybody in mexico and be somehow either corrupted or colluding or not really involved in their communities in a constructive
manner. really that's not accurate. so partly my interest was to ask for a portrait of a city, where yes there's plenty plenty of evil taking place, but there are also good people trying to do good and for their community and for the nation. said i was really the essence of it. >> alfredo, why did you decide to write yours very? >> first of all, thank you for being here. i was at the texas book festival walking around. if ever write this book. i did get the time i would ever write this book. i had no idea how to write a book. i thought wouldn't it be great to be back someday. the thank you for being here. it's great to be at the texas book festival. i wrote this book because i've had a privileged progress he and the dallas news as a correspondent for them and watching some of the most turbulent times in mexico's 1910
revolution. i wasn't around for the revolution, but it's in contemporary mexico very defining times. last week we released a book in next code and someone jokingly said, you are probably the forrest gump of mexico. it's been the most important times, whether my father was a guest worker of the federal era where we left with the united states. grew up in california. i shannon mentioned, my parents worked for the cesar chavez union. they have a choice when i worked for "the wall street journal," either straight to find the vacation around a big event next to her was able to recover, and
then the fox in 2000. seven penguin contacted me, and they said we'd like for you to write a book about mexico in the last 50 years. i thought of it as a journalistic narratives. but they really wanted much more of a personal narrative. it took a while for me to get comfortable with that area. i guess the last real big event was the return of the once powerful revolution that came back last year. so it all kind of came together watching mexico defendant mr. s. because of the drug war and trying to figure out what happened to the hope that mexico, what happened -- we were supposed to go onto the first world. so in many ways, writing the book was therapy. tried to explain to myself why my mother's adamantly opposed to
me going back to mexico, returning to mexico. so is trying to understand both sides of the border and understand more than anything my home lan, what happened to mexico. >> if you read rico spoke on me will see that while it looks proudly at the hip. , and really focus is on 2007 to 2010. these are the years when the city is really unraveling with the violin. he talks about the event and the people trying to stop it at all different levels. but it ends in july 10. in fact, the last chapter of it in the epilogue of night is really the mayor has struggled with it and tried his top the violent. him him literally getting in his car after stepping down and having across the border to el paso to the presumably the rest of his life. and unsettling now, question about whether the next mayor who
has a much murkier history and somewhat say this aloud if not actively enable some of the bad thing. him coming back as the mayor. so rico, i would be interested in finding out what happened in those three years. so do that. but in the time since the book left over the last three years, what has or hasn't happened? very sick today the disgraced dr. meredith? >> well, first of all we need to think about the dimensions of the violent than juarez. you have over 11,000 people killed in a city about the size of 1.3 million people or so. that's a tremendous number of deaths. say you have that as the epicenter of the drug were
mexico. you've got about 20% of the national fatalities related to the drug war taking place in this one city. the mexican government has deployed about 20% of its forces to the city. so it was a testing ground for the mexican government strategy. the mayor of juarez really thought this and 2010 really leaves in the context in which they are still a tremendous amount of violence. he's replaced by marquis, who had to the predecessor and mayor also. he just came in and then he won reelection and became mayor again. during the first 10 year, the man he had appointed number two for the police department, for the juarez is full police
department was all accounts and close ties to the juarez cartel. in fact, with six months of leaving office, this number two man in the police department as the rest and not half so having attempted to bring the time of the erewhon across the river. so this gives you a sense for -- and he was appointed, so that's one of the telling point about mejia and his admin is to shoot perhaps. so we have another crisis taking place at the same time that this terrible eruption of violence. that is an economic crisis of enormous magnitude because 50% of the economy is disassembly plants produce for the u.s. auto industry. so in 2008, 2009, 2010, we have an auto industry that these
companies were on the verge of bankruptcy. in mexico this leads to catastrophic economic crises. you have 80,000 people lose their jobs in one year in 2010. so you have the violence and you have economic race is. in 2012, almost 800 people are killed in juarez and that's a huge drop. 800 people think it's such a relief. at the same time, the question is would have been. what accounts for that? if you ask people in the juarez, actors et cetera seven years of this kind of unrelenting violence, or there's a tremendous amount of sin is some
about authority, some people tell you is that's why we have a drop in the violence in this community. other people will say look, 11,000 people killed? the profile of the average big to miss 15 to 25-year-old man. so if you fly spent many a night in their community, that they affect the care air. people say it's a change in the economic. the uptake with the u.s. economy picking up and so on. the one thing that is the top about, which is an important point is in 2010 the mexican government, with some foreign aid what about almost a quarter of a billion dollars in social infrastructure in a city that had been sony click did for so long. you know, many communities had
no schools, no paved roads, no electricity. so i think that's another variable in the drop in the violence. it's probably some combination of all those elements. but the fact is juarez has seen the worst. most people most places would be san antonio had 100 people killed in 112. that's a city with a lot of policy is rekeying and so on. that comes as a relief almost in tax revenues are a. real estate markets area. there's every indication the community is on a rebound. saw those variables probably had a role in that. >> alfredo, let me turn to you. if severus a microcosm
microcosm, mexico at the has had big changes in the year since you finished your book. one of the biggest is that it has a new government. as you mention in your remarks, this is a party that ruled mexico for seven years, was finally kicked out in the late name eason 2000, but was elected in what everyone pretty much everyone needs for and fair elections but elected back into mexico's white house. so could you give us a sense of how u.s. and not fair, as someone who follows mexico, as the mexican and american reporter in your role, how do you see this first year? what has or hasn't happened? >> more than anything as a foreign correspondent, it has meant a real effort on the part of the new government to change the narrative, to change the storyline from just violence to
other aspects of mexico, which is very fair. mexico also has some very precise. there's some regions like the central mexico, where you have one thing interesting. you see the types between texas and mexico. the number of times i talked to mexican mainstays who are somewhat linked to the labor market and say i'll ask them. they say your grand parents, like your fathers, et cetera. they say yes, but more out of curiosity than necessity. that makes you think about the long-term immigration trend. whether americans will someday miss mexicans. so in that sense, for the
government to change the narrative, we should try to report other aspects of mexico. but it shouldn't mean one or the other. i don't see how you can change the storyline that 100,000 people died or disappeared in mexico. that's still a very, very important story we must never forget. it's been trying to balance the two. rico's point is a great point. it's quite emblematic of the rest of the country. in some ways it is. if we look at juarez today, if we see juarez, places like laredo, if we see them as patients, is the patients in remission, her estate recovery in? i would say it is still in remission. i mean, a lot of the same
factors there's no better, whether it's poverty, whether it's inequality. conviction rate is is still very low. i'm gratingly optimistic things will continue to get better. i do agree that community has also changed. civil society has. we see a much more, much more engaged civil society. people much more interested in trying to change their authorities for their competence. the role of social media has been incredibly important over the last two, three years. the other thing that's changed is the mexico relationship with the united states. the u.s.-mexico, interagency relationship. i think during the 12 years of the opposition, the national action party was a much more
closer ties between agent to agent. when they came back, there is a sense that maybe the american had come into the kitchen and they were not just helping with the food coming in now, if you want to take but they have essentially become the shots. so there is a way to politely tell them, thank you verse service. thank you for your help, but it's time for us to take over. both sides are trying to find their footing. >> let me pick up on that, especially the relationship with the united states. you are part of mexico, lived in mexico. you feel a close tie with it. here in texas there's obviously much more back and forth. but if you are going to talk to americans for bradley. i grew up in ohio. i live in new york. what would you say to someone in ohio or new york or south dakota or other places? whitest mexico matters so much?
why should they care about this country? >> well, i think there's so many reasons why we need to care or need to because you topple about what's going on. first of all, the obvious as we shared 2000-mile border. secondly, most people inc. that china is the second leading trade partner for the united states. actually, if you look at this in terms of who buys american products, mexico is the second most important trading partner, not china. those are two reasons. then you have the cultural reasons. everybody knows that there's been a tremendous migration in the united states over the last couple of decades. and so you had these cultural and familial linkages. so there's all kinds of reasons why this is an important relationship and needs to be thought about. but also picking up on the point, i think in about a
comment to current mexican ambassador to the united state said, made the statement in may i think. he was at the wilson center. he said in terms of the definition of the relationship between u.s. and mexico, he said in now, it is no longer our top priority to fight the war on drugs. and he said, we do not control all of the variables that are involved in that war. and i think that was really a very clear signal, basically saying here in the united states we have to deal with the role of our consumption in the problems of mexico is having. and if we don't do with that, it doesn't matter how many people you send to mexico to the
overbought for us in the military, whoever you want. at the end of the day, this is not a law-enforcement problem. i think that's another reason why we should care. he has we are part of the relationship that is created this problem in the last this problem to endure and it's not going to end until we deal with that fact. >> so when you are pitching your editorial board, why should the mexico's tory to you so well researched beyond the front page? the same question. >> it's not that difficult if you live in texas. we did have a bureau at 1.12 people in a bureau. were down to one. i'm at the texas book festival here in aust, not in mexico city. but i challenge all of you to think of what other country impacts them on a daily basis and mexico.
whether it's food, culture, music, bloodlines, politics. sometimes when u.s.-mexican when you're talking to them, and they say i don't care why we are not that important to the united states. is that we don't have a bomb but people in the middle east. i want to go back to being a journalist for a second. we also have one of the premier experts. why should mexico matters much to the united states? >> curious. >> i would say in researching and writing my book and looking very close yet the united states but then also mexico that their shows no other country that affects us as much on a day-to-day basis. so from the food that is on our
table to the parts in our cars, to the castling in our tanks come in to the consumers for a product coming to the drug center st., mexico is part of our daily lives. wherever you live in the united states. that is the reality to you may recognize in texas. i'm not one that i hope with more and more people would realize that. i want to ask you one last question. i would open it all to you. i'll turn to you first. the reuse you this, not about the book is much, but more about you. how has writing this book -- how has it changed your? >> that's really an excellent question, shannon. i think for me the almost two
years i spent in juarez to research this book and really seen first hand, not reading accounts even though there's many excellent accounts in the papers and so on, but seen first hand what can hop into a society, to the community, to a city deserted dissents in to this kind of chaos. you just can't imagine living in the city where there was no one to turn to. there was no police you can turn to. you're at the mercy of the forces that are around here. the forces are efficient on of them are organized crime forces. it doesn't matter. no one else protect it. no one feels that they have a voice. that seemed the day today in juarez, the number of fake guns.
i hung out with a lot of juarez, so that meant i had the opportunity to visit a lot of crime scenes have been because these guys all travel with police scanners in their cars and they are just can't see anyone for the friend that people show up half the time. but just to see the carrot or about violent than the impact of the violence is sort of like tearing off the veneer that we had. we think this sort of life that we lead we take for granted. we think it stable, reliable. i can guarantee you 10 years ago, no one in juarez could have imagined their city would evolve into this chaos. so that's the thing that changed were the most is. into this a bit. i've never seen any thing like
it. it was powerful personally because this is the mexico that i love. i still have friends and family. this is not really heartbreaking. i think to me that was the most profound impact upon the sort. >> i think more than anything, it changed me in helping me embrace my fears. in many ways, the book is kind of investigating this stuff for that was made and that is kind of the backdrop of the book. so his numbers and name, embracing fear. it was appreciating the courage of many of my colleagues and mexico. people don't have the protection. my colleague -- if you think i'm brave, imagine going into these border town. the thing that changed when the
mouse was really understanding that in many ways this book is about death. it's about life. it's about hope. it's about the universal search for home. and it's coming to the realization that in the end nearest you some of the darkest moment in mexico. but i also walked away seen the best of mexican, the missing credible, resilient spirit that is they are and understanding that we are there. we are still standing, you're changing, some others have told me over the past few years, we are building community with the blood of our children. i think in the end it made me understand just the importance of the resilient. while not being. you are looking for homes throughout the whole process. the united states, mexico.
it made me appreciate both countries. i don't think i would've written this book had i lived in mexico. it made me understand the importance of the united dates and take advantage of the opportunities that parents sacrificed for. >> let me up and enough now to your questions. please use the microphone here. let me please ask you all to ask questions. you have wonderful authors you can turn to. >> i'm from austin, texas. i want to point something out and then ask you what you feel about it. i think the texas book festival is a good example of why low are not thinking of mexico or mexican-americans is very important. it is very, very few latinos here the book festival and i don't think there's any latinos on the staff, the board, advisory, better for the
festival. so it seems like there is a nod to doubt their general that latinos don't read. so what do you feel about the lack of latinos here at the texas book festival? >> well, latinas gone they read, they. [laughter] [applause] >> we talked about the changing narrative from the mexican and industry should towards the war. have we seen a shift in the strategy? or is there still a great deal of continuity between previous administration and not in kenya. if you're still relying on the army, you know -- i mean, i spent some of last week and last month in d.c. asking that very
question. how has the strategy changed? people keep telling me, give it a year, maybe a little more. so to be fair to the admin is haitian coming in now, where scott tagore. but i think maybe we should wait. i personally haven't seen much of a change in strategy. it's kind of the same name. i do see less information coming up about the violence. in other violence in general has leveled off. there are places like laredo where people tell you things are better, not perfect. as far as an official strategy, don't think we've seen that i could they change. sheena from your pickax print on that, too. >> when you look at what president calderon did come he can criticize and for not doing
enough for not doing it fast enough or in the right order. many of the basic things he did are really the blueprint for how to improve security and mexico. so you invest in clean of police forces. you begin to reform the justice system so you can clean up your course. you do socioeconomic programs to help youth separatists to keep people from going down the path the first place. by the campaign was about changing what you're going to do with the security company what can you do to make mexico safer? a lot of the things that are even tried it and maybe different emphasis under this government, but i don't see it being us a real change because there are a lot of other options out there. >> i think there are conflicting messages and it is a matter of time. for example,
[inaudible] -- the interior minister talked about the security collaboration the fusion centers used to have a lot of american participation have stopped bad as still as of now they started february. so that is one message. but on the other hand, one may brought down one of the top leaders of the cartel, that was clearly an operation that involved close work, and american drone to track the sky and so on. so they're sort of mixed messages on that. >> i read recently that some of the emphasis from the endpoint of the cartel's or other underground forces have switched from maybe carrying the drugs to kidnapping and threatening
people in catholic mafia did or does with extortion. i have heard that it's really a growing problem and i have friends in next coat. my question is, can you speak to that? you know what going on in that realm? >> one of the things we've learned over the last few years this kind of inaccurate to call them drug trafficking organizations because it's really organized crime. i think the paramilitary group has really been the big lesson from them. they are sent to piracy, the prostitution kidnapping, controlling immigration routes and mexico. they operate alongside 35, san antonio and austin, dallas. he came of age as a criminal in
north texas. but it's really change the whole dynamic is simply saying they are moving drugs. it's really organized crime. >> i would only add that i don't think it is that of the drug-related operations. this shows that they diversify their business plan. the other source of income. they now extort people and kidnap people, et cetera, it better. that's become a source of revenue. that's why i think it is really better to think more accurately as organized crime and drug cartels. >> you mentioned the importance -- just how important it is the memory of mexico.
they are all just very much information all. my question then is in regards to the art, as then the word of playwright, the words of musicians, poets and speechwriters who eventually capture the heart with the madness anymore artistic way, what do you consider to be more representative for more significant of these years that you were married? >> i'm going to say with a new movie coming out alfredo corchado spoke. >> i do know that i can site-specific works, but i can tell you a moment that speaks to what you're addressing. i happen to be in juarez when this was launched. there is a complication that is
common to hear the reports of the various committees. they go through the various committees and they're about to wrap up. this meant dan. like when someone jumps into the bowl ring and tries to fight the bull. this guy jumps up. he says, mr. president, okay, let him have the word. he says they represent the art. all of these committees and groups may be very important. without the air come you don't have spirit. you don't have hope. you have a future. the place was just captured by this man. so i think you are seeking to something essential, vital. without that, no society can function.
>> hi. i've been enjoying this hit television series the bridge. it is about a serial killer operating on the border in el paso and "midnight juarez to soe crime. it's been a great show. i was wondering if you seen him in like it. and thought it adequately conveys what is going on in your book. >> i've been wanting to see it, but i haven't seen it. >> u.k. should see it. it portrays latinos in an interesting way. >> will put it on your list and treat our responses. >> it's organized crime. it's not just her trafficking. i would just like to know.
i'll chop first of all i don't think is the one running it. at the first time that the soviet submarine in the gulf of mexico. so what i am saying is how are we supposed to control some of it has so much money and so much influence that they spread to other countries? >> so what is to reach? what is the organized crime group are or aren't? that's an interesting question. >> clearly they have tremendous belief. they are busted in france and so on. the amount of money, even though nobody can really put -- get a fix on just what the true amount of money that's being generated and where it is being coming in now, managed, and battery. it's a very murky reality out there. i think there's no question there's a tremendous amount of
money and in that fact complicates any effort to address it. because billions of dollars are a very sweet thing. >> i mean, it's global. i was in west africa about a year ago and it took me out to show me where planes are landing from columbia with the help of next 10. it's important to understand just the death of corruption that there is. you know, in places like mexico. government corruption and how they work hand-in-hand oftentimes with the cartels. that's not to say every mexican is corrupt. there were people trying to do the right things. but corruption is such -- the collusion between organized crime and the members of the government is such that helps you understand, explain why the truth national. stuff doesn't magically appear enough. it did not work that extends all
over the world. >> finishes down onto that. the worry we have for global reach. they are here in the united states. we have the biggest drug market. the most money is here, but we don't have a crime problem the henrico's book. we have the violent. so i don't think all of these people are in the bull. we found a way to have this crime, to have this money, but not have it affects the dissent on a day-to-day basis and the way it does in other places. so if we have these markets, we may never get rid of organized crime or smugglers or whatever you call them. but there's also ways to make it so you can live a safe and prosperous life alongside having a legal market. >> this is the last question. >> i have a question about perception. as a texan trying to understand
more, n. as a texan trying to understand more, the border and everywhere else. i want to know if you think that it's a legitimate distinction or not benefited mexico is also that distinction there about the economy or not. >> well, i'm sure he can speak is better than i can, but first of all, as other areas of mexico that are profoundly affected. the archbishop reselling it just that ours dated some governable. you know, is after years of this effort. so there is that. also, there's broad swaths of the country have all intents and purposes are no different than they were 10, 20, 30 years ago. so that is important to recognize. the shift in terms of where the
clear that when i write a book called "midnight in mexico," i'm not trying to scare the bejesus out of people in not going to mexico. there are still many, many places in mexico that are safe. and i think it's a matter of, you know, having common sense and knowing when to take a drive here or there. but the perception here is that everything in mexico is up in flames, and it's not. in fact, "midnight in mexico" is really about believing in the promise of a new day. >> good. well, thank you. i want to ask all of you as we leave here to remember that mexico is right now transforming. there is many good changes. it's becoming more democratic. its economy has started to grow again. it has a rising middle class. but it also has these incredible problems, and one of the biggest here being security and the rule of law. and i would like to ask you all to join me in two things. the second one is please join us all in the book tent where we'll
be signing our books and the first one is, please, join me in thanking our panelists for all their comments. [applause] >> you're watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs. weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events, and every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our web site, and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> in light of major league baseball's 109th world series, booktv presents portions of author talks on the history and politics of baseball. over the next hour, you'll hear from larry colton, author of "southern league." former national labor relations chairman william b. gould iv, author of "bargaining with baseball." author of "playing america's game," and columnist george will, author of "bunts."
first up is former pitcher larry colton whose book, "southern league," looks at baseball in the deep south in the 1960s. >> i'm going to read just a little bit from the book about, about how i first thought about it. in 1966, two years after the story in this book takes place, i was a 23-year-old pitcher for the macon peaches in the southern league. a california boy experiencing the south for the first time. the idea of becoming a writer, let alone writing this book, never occurred to me then, not for a nanosecond. i was a ball player, that's it. baseball defined who i was. and i'm not on steroids. [laughter]
i could easily, in fact, when we played, we used anti-performance-enhancing drugs. [laughter] jim beam, yeah. [laughter] i could easily decouple baseball from the civil rights movement. i was not in macon to observe the onerous habits of jim crow. my job was to blow the ball by any son of a bitch who carried a louisville slugger into the batter's box. like the players in this book, i was singular in purpose; have a good season and get called up to the show. i played against some of the players written about in this book including blue moon odom. i am almost 40 years removed from the game, but instinctively and emotionally once you've lived in the land of baseball, you're a permanent resident. as a player in the southern league, i never took notes or
recorded my thoughts into a tape recorder. i would have been laughed out of the locker room. but over the years, a few distinct memories have stuck stubbornly in my mind. details of specific games are long gone. the memories i do carry, however, were the seeds from which this book would emerge four decades later, and each of those memories had to do with race. perhaps my most vivid memory of my season in the southern league springs from a road trip to mobile, alabama, somewhere along u.s. 31 between montgomery and mobile. our bus stopped for lunch at a small greasy spoon café nestled in a clump of pine trees. i took a seat at the counter. a heavyset waitress wearing a hair net served me a glass of water in a plastic tumbler.
watching the rest of the team struggle in, she spotted leroy reames. niggers have to eat out back, she instructed. an old school, barrel-chested, tobacco-chewing native of west virginia who once caught a world series game with a broken wrist and was the philly catcher the day jackie robinson broke into the major leagues, glared at her. then you don't serve none of us, he proclaimed, signaling the team to head back to the bus. his response surprised me. i never thought of him as a champion of civil rights, yet when i thought more about it, his stance was consistent with his constant preaching and the importance of being a team. we're in this together, he repeatedly said. you've got to jump on 'em with both feet. back on the bus we all returned to our seats, nobody trying to analyze what had just happened.
the card games, chewing and spitting continued. we were a team of 20-year-olds from all over the country, not freedom riders. neither leroy, nor the other black players said anything. so the third, perhaps, genesis for this -- is it possible to have three genesis? [laughter] the third push towards this book happened about three years ago. i had always wanted to write fiction. i once wrote a column for the -- [inaudible] it was called "pillars of portland," and it was a fictional account of what went on here in portland, and the main characters were like wes hills, grant parks, buster powell. and so i thought i can write fiction. i had this idea for this book, so i'm going to try it as
fiction. so i wrote 150 pages. you know, everything i've written or published other than that has been nonfiction. so i showed it to three people here in town. one of 'em was john strong and another one was katherine dunn who was nominated for a national book award in fiction, so i figured whatever she said or whatever john said i'd go with that. and i won't tell you what john said, but i will tell you what katherine dunn said after reading my 150 pages. she said, march -- and she is is the sweetest, nicest, most supporting person i've ever met -- and she said, larry, well, it's not the worst novel i've ever read. [laughter] and, thus, my fiction career came skidding to a halt. [laughter]
so it was with that that i started doing the research to make this nonfiction. and in the process, at the time i didn't know about the 1964 birmingham barons. but i learned about them, they were the first-ever integrated team down in the deep south. in birmingham in 1963 when the police dogs were turned loose by bull connor who was the head of the police force there and it raised outrage across the country at what was going on down there, and the person in charge of the police and the person behind it and became the public figure of segregation and racism in america was bull
connor. bull connor, as jfk called him, did more for integration in this country than abraham lincoln. because he so turned everybody, i mean, he affected me way out in california. but his history with baseball in the city of birmingham, he rose to popularity. he only had a elementary school education, and he rose to popularity because he became the announcer for the birmingham barons. he just sort of backed into the job. the guy didn't show up one day, he did it, and he became one of the most well known figures all over alabama because he was the radio announcer, and he parlayed that into a political career and a very powerful political career. and he also was the enforcer of
a rule that was in birmingham on the city books at the time. it was called the checkers ordnance, checkers rule. and the checkers rule was that no blacks and whites can play any sport together -- football, basketball work baseball and including checkers. and it was strictly enforced by bull connor. he would send out his police force to keep kids from playing an integrated sport. so the checkers rule came up in 1962. they decided -- the major league baseball told the minor league teams integrate or you don't get a team. and rather than integrate, there was such force from the ku klux klan not to integrate the team
that the owner of the team, the local owner of the team -- this guy here, his name is albert belcher -- he folded the team. birmingham, which had had over a hundred-year history in baseball, was out of the league, and then the whole league collapsed because he would not, albert belcher would not go up against the ku klux klan and another group called the big mules which were the business leaders of birmingham. and the business leaders were if not members of the ku klux klan, they were certainly out front segregationists. in fact, in birmingham the police department was allegedly 75% of the police department, none of whom were black, 75% of them were members of the i ku klux klan -- of the ku klux
klan. so birmingham had become known as bombingham because over the last 20 years there had been 44 up solved bombings, always of black churches or black homes, and with bull connors as the man to investigate, nothing ever happened. and those bombings all went unsolved. well, they were solved, but nothing was ever done about it. but in 1964 belcher went to the major league meetings, and he met charlie finley who was the controversial owner of the kansas city as, and charlie was also from birmingham, it was his hometown. and they were -- he did not like what had happened and all the negative publicity in birmingham, and he said let's put a team together, and let's go against the checkers rule. let's defy that, and let's have professional baseball back in birmingham. so with albert belcher facing
threats from the ku klux klan, they brought back baseball in 1964. the night before the first game the grand dragon -- is it dragon or wizard? and if you know the answer to that, you shouldn't. [laughter] anyway, he showed up at his front door at 10:00 at night and said, don't play. but he went ahead, and they played. and the first game they had a bomb threat. and it was right before the first inning, and belcher got the phone call at the ballpark that he, that there was a bomb threat, and he, he looked at the long queue still waiting to get tickets, he was a businessman. he didn't want to bring baseball back because he was an integrationist, he saw it as a business venture. he was already a millionaire in the timber industry. and he thought about it, he
looked at the long line, and he decided to not report the bomb threat. which would never happen today, but he saw those ticket sales going, and he also thought if we have to call the first game in two years here because of a bomb threat, the national media will jump all over this, and we've already had too much negative publicity here in birmingham. and so he went ahead with the game, and the bomb did not go off. now, they hired -- charlie finley hired to manage this team this guy here. his name is haywood souther lambed, and he was from -- sutherland, and he was from alabama. he went to an all-white high school. he then went to play football,
sec quarterback at the university of florida can which had no blacks. in the whole sec conference, there was no blacks not only on the teams, but in the whole school. then when he made the major leagues, he played for the boston red sox which is the most racist organization in baseball. they are the last team to have a black on their team, and it was like ten years after jackie robinson. so, and he grew up in dothen just down the road from birmingham. so you think this is not the right guy to be leading the first-ever integrated team. but it turned out, despite his background, he was an amazing manager, and i've interviewed all the guys on the team, and every one of 'em black, white, every guy, they all loved this guy. he is also the only guy -- well, first of all, he's so damn handsome. [laughter]
if i was pitching, personally, i'd try to hit him in the face. [laughter] >> we now turn to another aspect of baseball, labor relations. earlier this yearbook tv sat down with stanford university professor emeritus william b. gould iv to talk about his book, "bargaining with baseball." in the book professor gould, who was chairman of the national labor relations board during the 1994 baseball strike, talks about the strike and the history of player/owner relations. >> and now on your screen is william gould iv. he is an emeritus professor of law here at stanford, and he's also the author of this book, "bargaining with baseball: labor relations in an age of prosperous turmoil." mr. gould, why are you writing about this topic? what's your involvement? >> guest: well, my involvement really is in two different levels.
one is as someone who's played the game as young man, as a child, followed it throughout my life. i suppose been passionately involved in it as principally an observer and as well one who has -- someone who has written about it, teaching sports law, talking a lot about baseball in both labor law and sports law and, finally i suppose, the role that comes up in this book in particular is my involvement as both an arbitrator and most particularly as the chairman of the national labor relations board during the clinton administration when we were involved at that time in one of the greatest strikes, the greatest strike in terms of duration and kind of serving as
a landmark for the development of baseball as a business in the entire history of game. the season was shut down at -- >> host: that's '94? >> guest: '94. the season was shut down beginning in august, that's the first time since 1904 the world series was canceled. and in the spring of 1995, my national labor relations board -- of which i was chairman in the '90s, in the clinton administration -- intervened to obtain an injunction. once we got an injunction before then-judge sotomayor, now justice, the players returned to the field. the owners accepted them, and the parties negotiated a comprehensive collective bargaining agreement. and there has been peace in baseball. and i dare say a good deal of prosperity ever since that
period. so this book really comes from all of these perspectives; as an observer, as a player and someone who's been involved both as an arbitrator and a government official. >> host: how did we get to the point where your national labor relations board had to intervene? what occurred up to 1994? >> guest: well, until 1994 we had what i call in the book a 30 years' war really resulting principally out of a decision by an arbitrator in 1975, peter sykes, which created free agency for baseball players. many people, many of your viewers and many others throughout the country will know of a man named kurt flood who was an outfielder for the st. louis cardinals who brought an antitrust action which went to the supreme court. he lost, but others -- andy
messersmith and dave mcnally -- won before peter in 1975. as a result of that arbitration award, providing for free agency for players, a series of agreements were entered into between the union and between the owners. the owners always deeply dissatisfied with what sykes had done and attempting to cabin and limit that decision and to reverse it. well, they decide to take the players on in the mid '90s in the last of these 30 -- this 30-year war, and this is what produces this substantial stoppage. we intervened not because we had a particular view as to who was right and wrong on the substance, but rather under our
jurisdiction, the national labor relation board's jurisdiction in the so-called unfair labor practice arena. we found that the owners had not bargained in good faith. they had not followed the proper procedural rules at the bargaining table. and they had unilaterally put into effect their own position without bargaining to the words of lawyers, to the point of impasse. and so we intervened, and we got a so-called injunction which required them to rescind the changes that they had made and to come back to the bargaining table and bargain anew. and that convinced the players that they should give up the strike, and it convinced the owners that they should accept them back and to attempt to bargain with them. until that point the owners had
talked about replacing the players, something that they had never done. it's been done in other sports, in football, basketball, hockey, but never had been done in baseball. and one of the by-products of that would have been something that was not only calamitous for the game, but cal ripken's consecutive game played streak would have been stopped. those weren't the reasons that we intervened, but nonetheless, those were by-products which could have caused serious harm to the game. >> host: did you view the major league players' association as a traditional union? >> guest: well, i think -- yes. i think we viewed it that way, and i think that most obvious servers of collective bargaining and baseball have viewed them that way. they are a traditional union, but they perform many functions that a union in auto or steel or
lek -- electronics, construction would not perform. because what the union does is simply in baseball and other sports bargain minimum standards on salary, a minimum wage. but as we know, the owners frequently do negotiate -- sometimes to their a everlasting regret as is the case, i think, with the yankees now with rodriguez -- amounts of money, sums which are considerably above the minimum. and as well they negotiate the pension. one of the things that -- as well as health benefits. one of the things that i talk about in this book is the fact that the year that i fell in love with baseball and began to play it as a kid was the year that the players first became interested seriously in a union
in that her of 946 -- in that summer of 1946 when a former nlrb, national labor relations board, lawyer tried to guide the players and give them advice. well, they rejected that. but out of that came a really what we would call today a company union, an organization which created the first pension plan, something that's always vital for athletes who have such an abbreviated career and are concerned about what's going to happen to them beyond it. >> host: who were some of the players active in 1946 in pushing this so-called union? >> guest: well, some of them, one of them was dixie walker, they used to call him the seem's choice -- the people's choice who patrolled the outfield for the brooklyn dodgers. johnny murphy of the new york
yankees. marty marion, the shortstop of the world champion 1946 world champion st. louis cardinals. these were some of the pioneers. of course, the players that year, that first year of 1946 that i fell in love with the game, were trying to protest their conditions and not simply by negotiating new pension schemes, not simply by trying pointedly to be involved with the union, but also some of them were going south of the border down mexico way to join the mexican league which was enticing some of the outstanding stars south of the border. and i talk in the book about what we as kids saw and observed as some of these fellows went down there. they were disappointed. they tried to come back and
reclaim their status, and they initiated antitrust litigation. antitrust law and labor law are two important legal avenues in this, the players have used beyond the collective bargaining process itself. >> host: so, mr. gould, why since 1995 have we not seen a baseball strike? >> guest: well, i think -- >> host: what did you put into place, or what did you help put into place? >> guest: well, i think that we, we see no -- we've seen no baseball strike since 1995 for a number of reasons. one is as the result of the settlement, the player and owner settlement, revenues have escalated enormously. at the time that we intervened in 1995, the total revenues per annum for baseball were $1 billion.
at the time of the last collect i have bargaining -- collective bargaining agreement in 2011, those revenues had increased sevenfold to more than $7 billion per annum. so in an era of prosperity, the players and the owners had something to share. and the bad boys of sports who had all the strikes and the lockouts became the paragon, became a model. now, this is in sharp contrast to football and hockey and basketball where there have been a series of lockouts. and i think that this highlights another feature, and that is that the players were smart. they realized that they had something to give the owners. the owners were very concerned about keeping down the costs not only for the veteran,
experienced players, but also for the newcomers, for the guys coming out of stanford here who were claiming big bonuses. i talk about one of our players who got one of the highest bonuses ever obtained by, in major league baseball. so the owners were concerned about suppressing those costs and suppressing the costs of so-called international players, players coming from far beyond. the book talks a great deal about globalization. and now we're at a stage where major league baseball has negotiated agreements with japan and korea and is attracting players from latin america in large numbers. and concerned about holding costs in those areas. well, the players have been giving a kind of quid pro quo to the owners. which i describe in the book.
they have said, look, we want more free agency, less unencumbered mobility for players who want to choose new teams. and the owners have been conceding that. and in exchange, they've been getting some kind of control, some kind of limits on the costs associated with the newcomers, and this is a matter of great concern to the owners as we see cuba about to open up. cuba in ways along with japan is the greatest player market in the world. and already we see the cuban players on an ad hoc basis commanding princely sums from baseball, and this has been the subject of negotiation since that 1995 settlement. ..
family in new jersey had a great interest in breaking the bar of baseball. my father said to me, as i just write in the book, the day robinson came up with the dinner table, robinson knocked winning today. really? you know the robison had an rbi here? he knew all about it. well, we were very excited that jackie robinson's pioneering efforts in 1947 in people at damping kit and mary doe v. laura campanella who followed them. but you see, what has happened is this. we've made great advancements in integrating the game. but those advances have asked. events go provide for a variety
of reasons, which i talk about in the book. the number of what players in the game today has diminished appreciably from the 1970s. from the 40s to the seven days, a system was in effect, in which only the black superstars were able to get in the game. i began to diminish in the 1970s and you got it. where more than 20% of the players in based on were black. that's been going down systematically ever since the 1970s. we've moved down 3%. this is true for a number of reasons i discuss in the book. one of them is the lack of
equipment, the great competitiveness that exists for kids to were younger. when we were kids, there was no adult supervision. we had no uniforms. we had the umpires. that's unheard of now for young people. the these things, particularly travel teams cost money. i was still young enough to want to go into the batting cage. there were no batting cages in washington. there's no equipment. that's an important fact here, which i talk about in the book. another factor as well is the fact that it's become the ave. for more than 50% of players are professional ranks. the only give a small number of scholarships for baseball as
opposed to football and basketball. baseball said locks are not interested in baseball. they're interested in in football and basketball. well, there's 80 scholarships for foot tall in the kid who needs a complete free ride and the poor kids who's more likely to be black, with athletic ability is going to choose that sport and not baseball. there are no scholarships in baseball. the reason is because there are no -- you don't have comparable revenues. well, we have to overcome that barrier, just as we overcame with regard to bring in sport, where women were denied full scholarships in their sports
because there were no revenues. they've got to be more full scholarships in baseball. there are not now so that we can track young kids who are black as well as white into the game who don't have the economic resources that so many in the suburbs process. >> host: as chairman of the nlrb, ditching the more controversial decisions when it came to the baseball decision? a well-known decision? >> guest: i think we made many decisions that were seen to be controversial. and no, we hope, for instance, undocumented workers. the supreme court had already said their employees are entitled to backpay. that drew a great deal of attention and controversy to us. but i think no decision at the attention of the entire nation
as much as our involvement in the baseball's drake on hundreds of reporters were camped out at headquarters all we can, lining the street, where the national news thinkers were talking about us and where the national labor relations lord, unknown to probably most of the population suddenly received a great deal of attention. >> host: if you want more of the inside story, here's the book. william gould is the author. former chair of the national relations board. the book, "bargaining with baseball: labor relations in an age of prosperous turmoil." >> historian adrian burqas talks about the history of latino baseball players in the u.s. mr. berger spoke at the national archives and washing in d.c.
>> host: play in america's game: a small, latinos and the color game. the critical premise of the book is really to reach hank how we study the story of race and baseball and particularly how the color line worked, by shifting the focus. often times we look precise we at the story of black players in a major leak in organized baseball. what i want to do with this book is shift the focus to this or a partial inclusion. and that is this your hip out it league organizations justify their inclusion in the 19 team for the 20th century of latino players? how did they explain a? how did they differentiate latinos from african-americans? how did they differentiate cubans, spaniards, however they describe them. to me, what did this story do if we shifted the focus?
would begin to learn about the multicultural context of the battle against jim crow. what do i mean by that? look at how african-americans and latinos participated in the leagues began to challenge the domination that jim crow segregation habits and the professional baseball. at times,.net are players like monty irving, josh gibson's say i'm not going to tolerate this and i went head to mexico. i want to play this summer in mexico. i'm going to cuba. and in so doing, when they look at their voice, we see they are challenging the power of jim crow, too often when the story of the leak is told and owners are looked at, people say it's because the owners didn't have a reserve class to dominate the players and keep them in one place. so let's look at it from the players mindset.
i don't want to deal with jim crow this year. the mexican like it's going to pay me more money. they pay manpower with any player based on my talent. so again for what is important for my look at the story of african-americans heading down to latin america, latinos into north america come you begin to see a different picture of what the fight against jim crow was and how the color line worked. indeed what we begin to see the contribution that offer latinos and other latinos made to the process of battling against jim crow ultimately integrating america's game. one term i like to use in the book and i think it's a very important service integration pioneer. it was a generation of pioneers. jackie robinson was the pioneer. he was the first to begin to dismantling. speeten as well that the success of jackie robinson in 1947 did not speed up the process of the
facts. that didn't make the process of workplace agreement through the entire year. others had made it through, but no one had made it through the red socks. but what began to understand if there is a generation of ballplayers who had to confront these ideas about race and what we academics often referred to as institutionalized racism that was very much part of the culture of baseball. finally, we recast who pioneered integration, get a broad appreciation for the generation of individuals who participated. the analogy i like tonight is when we think about housing and integration, just because of northern philadelphia neighborhood integrates, and doesn't mean that the neighborhood in detroit is going to accept that dr. marvin into their neighborhood in the
1950s. integration was a process in a series of localized cocos of factors throughout. again, this is where we can begin appreciating an individual at many minoso, and others went through with the wrinkle that they had to deal with cultural differences as well as racial difference. that is much of what i highlighted this tory. part of what i thought to do in this project is to begin to look at the entire history of baseball to locate the position of latinos along the color line. one of the things i found quite amazing was that many of the same sources that my other baseball historians have used or are quite useful for me to once again be reacquainted for these latinos are people from spanish-speaking americans were. here you have in 18951 of the early african-american payers who got into work and its baseball and the very smallness was bounced out of work and its
baseball, not because he? the talent, but because of the color of his skin. you're in 1895, at the end of his career, he began to reflect on the reality of race and the color line. he said, my skin is against me. if i had not been quite so black, it might've caught on comest hatemonger as a spaniard or something of that kind. he possess this knowledge about how the calling function to baseball such that if it had been a spaniard, it might've been perceived differently, treated differently and give them different opportunities. the story of the 20th century really captures how it affected the team knows. wp two boys was quite correct when he acted the problems of the 20 century but the problem of the color line. i think we have at times faltered and appreciated the complexity of its argument and that we as a focus on the polar
and of the color line black and white, that we began the category in the broad category and yellow category complicates how reese works in various moment and how different individual actually sought to use racial knowledge to further enhance their individual opportunity for in the case of baseball, the opportunity for a more profitable team by integrating latino players. before you have a picture of the 1908 new britain connecticut baseball club. they were a team that played in the connecticut state. there is a class b. lee, which is the equivalent of a aa minor league. what's fascinating about this team is that it has four cuban players who had come on to the cuban leagues. you're not on top level the third player to your right. i would be your last, raffaella
olmedo. next earnest released the drone. to him is armando rafael murrieta and the lower-level you have the second one right here is pedro cabrera. so you had for almost every club. out of four, three of them would appear in the major leagues. cabrera, raffaella may not nren are some nice. most interestingly, perhaps the best of the poor are the ones who never got to play in the major leagues. in the 1908 season, he was the club's second-leading hitter. he won 19 games as a pitcher, c. was both an outfielder and a picture and he played up positions at the club and was one of the leading players. however, there was a royal among the owners executive said the team after the season because some suspected there were players on this new britain club. they didn't