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tv   After Words  CSPAN  December 14, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm EST

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this week jason sokol and his latest book "all eyes are upon us." and at the historian argues that while the northeast enjoyed a reputation as a bastion for racial equality, mlb blacks were relegated to live in ghettos and working menial jobs until northern leaders challenged citizens to practice what they were preaching. this program contains language that some may find offensive. ..
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where southerners have all around them the trappings of slavery and segregation and something to unload, a burden to unload. worse people in the north, particularly white northerners don't think of their round paths are their own heritage in that way. in fact, they think of it as something to about two, something to aspire to. that is what i mean about the sense of history at the beginning and the first story that i start out with as you said is about springfield, massachusetts. that city is a small city in massachusetts about 150,000. in 1939, just as world war ii
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was starting, the later said that city and school superintendents pioneer plan they said would abolish prejudice and abolish racism. from the school system and from the city of large. so they adopted the curriculum and these principles with the high-minded goal of eradicating from young people's minds racism. >> he came upon it on their own or did something push them to a? >> well, they drew upon curriculum being developed by a bunch of professors at columbia teachers college, which went along with the broader movements towards teaching pluralism basically in the world war i to world war ii. >> why did they care? >> part of why they cared or in
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world war ii bus because the threat of racism from blair is not many seemed so real and tangible on one hand. this is the northeasterners in massachusetts and new york. so they saw overseas this terrible threat of fascism and nazism below the mason-dixon line or southern segregation and northeasterners pictured themselves and this is what my book is about, the northeast massachusetts new york, connecticut, the area that pictured itself as the land of racial progress and tolerance and political liberalism. i think what you are getting up by the president of around the board was the adults had, where kenneth clarke famously -- postcode your book is full of great names.
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the names that have been forgotten. >> guest: kenneth clarke come up in a social psychologist, african-american from harlem who pioneered this way of studying the effects of segregation upon schoolchildren. his most famous test became renowned during the brown v. board case where he was the star witness for the naacp and for thurgood marshall. so what clark did was he went into segregated public schools and he did a test on children where his two instruments were tossed. a white doll in a brown doll. >> host: public schools in the south? and integrated schools in the north? >> guest: the interesting thing that my book brings out is the precursor story in the north
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where clark began his test in springfield in 1939 and the idea was to pick springfield because it was supposed to be the model of the integrated school system. he was the home of the springfield plan, the program i was describing. so clark chose springfield at this northern testing ground to contrast with the segregated south. he would later talk about segregated south on the brown v. board witness, but his test in the north and so the result of the test was that he would ask black children about the dolphin he would say, give me the doll that looks like you. give me the doll that looks pretty. give me the doll that you want to be friends with her things along that line. without a doubt, a vast majority of them would associate the white doll with a positive association and feeling than they would associate -- they
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would pick the brown doll when the question i asked them, you know, something make it a spirit clark argued concluded from that that black children on a very young age authority internalized these feelings of inferiority, what he called the badge of inferiority, which the supreme court -- >> host: is there a difference between the southern black child in the so card integrated schools in terms of their inferiority based on that test. >> guest: the fascinating thing was there was a difference, but not what we might expect. the difference was the children in springfield in fact usually pick a white doll at a higher rate than the children in arkansas or south carolina. that is the northern black children and supposedly integrated schools seem to have -- seemed to be associating the white doll even more readily
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with these positive characteristics. but clark argued that didn't mean that his conclusion was not necessarily that these northern children were the more traumatized or more scarred by segregation. in fact, clark said that, you know, he used all these quotes from them with the children were clearly in torment when they had to pick the white doll and they realized that they weren't white, black child in the north would say this is me. but i went and got a tan at the beach. >> guest: or they would try to explain away the fact of their race. >> host: the southern black child would accept a black doll. he accepted the fact that he used the word, that's the
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southern black. >> guest: said this was the argument that southern black children therefore accepted fabrication with much less inner turmoil or outward torment and that the northern children were wrestling with their decisions of which doll to pick, much more expressively and emotionally. so clark took that to mean that northern children had not accepted their condition and the segregated society to the same degree that southern children had. >> host: the bottom line be northern black children in southern black children were all damaged. >> guest: they all were. this is the later psychologists would argue that when northern schools came under the light of
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court decisions and when the naacp attempted to litigate northern segregation. psychologists say look, the effect on black children in quote, unquote integrated schools or schools that just are de facto segregation was the term for the segregation in the north. later psychologists would say the damage was the same. >> host: what was the big deal about the brown keyboard of education? >> guest: what was the big deal? the big deal with the supreme court ruled that segregation was in itself unconstitutional. that is separate but equal in public schools. but i was a big deal. just go it was a big deal at the time. 1954 were southern political leaders rose up in massive resistance. they believe in segregation.
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>> guest: a lot of northern leaders on the brown keyboard of education decision came down in 1954, they believe that mandate did not apply. for instance, new york city schools certainly had a high instance of segregation. started awesome schools. they mandated brown keyboard really only apply to those school systems where the sister of segregation was on the books as mandating separate but equal board the north it was something not quite as explicit but were the result was still off in the same. >> host: but there is also something odd about brown v. board of education. declaring public schools unconstitutional. the supreme court did something. number one, the basis for this
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decision is not, but we say social science. studies about the effects for irrigation on the children. they used 11 as the basis for their decision for the clearing public schools that were segregated unconstitutional. that was a big deal because a lot of people, social scientists said what was the court doing? >> guest: wasn't grounded in the precedent of legal history soma as it was grounded in kenneth clark's findings. >> host: the second thing it did not do is provide evidence. it waited a whole year for the supreme court decision. usually they find a constitutional violation. the court said you've got to provide revenue. but they didn't do that.
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gusto now, in fact they waited until 1955 in which the court released the ruling known as brown two. that ruling famously said that he segregation in the south had to occur with all delivery speed and white southerners interpreted that as meaning of that could occur on whatever timeline they wished. >> host: as you alluded, kenneth clarke is now deceased, that he was one of my two mentors in my life. kenneth clark had great hope for brown v. board of education, but he also this was not what we say what his study said. public schools not only harmed the intellectual and psychological development of black children, but also harmed white children. but the court never said anything about that. in his other life he kept saying
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that to anybody who asked him was you could not delay any sign of delay from the court to implement their decision would be merely emboldened and encourage the opposition. just go right. the reality was particularly in the rural south public school student desegregate until 1969, 70 with alexander v. holmes county. you know, many schools in the north remained beyond the reach of brown as they thought up until the 1970s and we know what happened in boston at that point. >> host: is in springfield that they were beyond or did they have more enlightened disposition about bringing black and white children together
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quiet they thought too they were different from the south. >> guest: the interesting thing is that he thought they had a more enlightened disposition and they often did. this did not out up to integration. they pride disaggregation on the ground in the schools and in the neighborhoods. just at the same time as the city leaders pioneered the plan to radically racism for white minds. so what he found in the north, what i found in the north could have followed the people, white worker who prided themselves on a sort of racial progressivism, prided themselves on eating colorblind. at the same time, we are deeply committed in the policies to segregation in the schools and in the neighborhood. we found in springfield, for
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instance, they had to fend off a case from the naacp in 1964. the case was called arc steel versus springfield school committee. this is where the naacp, under the leadership of robert carter and lewis steele filed a suit against the springfield schools and send your schools are segregated here just as segregated as any others. it doesn't matter that you have this plan to eradicate racism and it doesn't matter that you are forward thinking people. your schools are still segregated and it got to do something about it. >> host: your book focuses on the progressive spirit talks about the differences in the attitude of the liberals. they really have good intentions that would lead to segregation and that's the way of the school. and you quote very famous
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speakers, famous to people who know history. he talked about james potter and, for example. i haven't heard james baldwin's name for many years. he used to be a social analyst and all the liberals, but all the liberals -- the north is no different from the south except that and he and i lots of love rules and your book talks about that and demonstrate that in many, many ways. >> guest: one of the things that i found really fascinating when i decided to tackle the subject of race in the northeast and my first book was on white southerners. so i started the project back in 2006 and i tried to study race in the northeast. i've found that most books on race in the north either called
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it at the south, that is the boston crisis might as well have been mississippi in the studies. they were the same the ties the gross racism exhibited. on one hand. on the other hand, you had a lot of books actually for trade the north is the land of the liberty, as a place without jim crow laws and without a long history of lynching and with a lesser history of secession and slavery. but i found that something in the middle was much more truthful, that you had to write a book about the ambiguities of northern race relations. you had to write a book that honored the northeast claims to progressivism and its realities of racial segregation at the same time and that war between those traditions, that conflict, that duality was at the heart of northeastern race relations.
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>> host: your book is very sophisticated. but it also reminded me of malcolm max. malcolm x says there is no such thing as the south. it's america. it reminded me of poly marriage and even your quote from james baldwin reminded me of the polly murray quote. the sons of slave traders still deal in doubletalk that they swap the selling block from canada when counts. i have swapped for spelling blocks from endo and guns. i wrote those words and i was quite young. those words came back as i was reading your book. how did it happen that blacks didn't come to new york as you say. blacks came to harlem. they didn't go to chicago. how did it happen?
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>> guest: in world war i, they have the second-grade migration during world war ii and the years afterwards. they come to a place like new york city. where they had relatives and they went fine that there were any places to live in harlem. harlem had comcast in a way. so a lot of them trickle down to brooklyn. that is where they met with the blockbusting realtor who is not quite late -- the blockbusting realtor with the north analogy to the southern billy club wielding sheriff. that is the north didn't have the youth old-timer types really went out with fire hoses and attack dogs in the street.
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the north has something harder to see a more insidious, which was a system of faith-based practices and housing covenants and stonewalling banks. the system of economic and sometimes politics that would corral african-americans in certain neighborhoods and keep them there. in fact come you can also see the lines of cells change over the years to envelop whatever african-americans have gone through. so as the neighborhood expanded as black people expanded to the outskirts of the neighborhood, city leaders simply change the definition of the neighborhood. >> host: some people have a different view of the blockbuster, of violence in the north. for example, there is a long period of history of police brutality and misconduct, which we would get to later on.
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don't forget we have to get to the current country. but the blockbuster you scare tac tics. they wouldn't scare the wiped off the block. the blacks are coming here the blacks are coming. your property value will go down. people who were racist or said they were racist guys scared. >> host: that was an article of faith. they thought that their real estate values will plummet if african-americans came onto their block. one thing i try to do what i tell the story come of the of how bedford became basically this ghetto as polly murray called it. it happened in the seniors and jackie robinson was playing on the dodgers. you can see right in the heart of brooklyn's vituperative story is going going on at the same time.
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brooklynites welcoming jackie robinson and birdied or him on one hand and on the other, you know, have been frightened of moving in or a lot of a lot of people no doubt in this one-day move move to bay ridge. and even to staten island across the water. >> host: a lot of people refer to as white flight. >> guest: basically. >> host: those were the years when whites were discovering blacks. and they never made any. they were destined and not changed a lot of people's minds because jackie robinson became a symbol that blacks could play baseball and had talent. blacks could see. not only just athletes. he was a scholar.
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he was an academic. he went to the colleges that were weaker is. so that is when a lot of ways, whether conservatives or liberals change their attitudes are adopted a new attitude because of jackie robbins, which was a breakthrough. except when jackie robinson makes that plain. post go he went to brooklyn on a league team, which was up in canada. montréal. he was beloved by many fans in montréal. there is a famous line where they hope the montréal team to win a championship and he was mobbed by weight canadians and the first time i does love instead of a peer that is how the story goes.
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>> host: was that the thing when he went to massachusetts? >> guest: the first team to sign jackie robinson was the red? they have a chance in 1945 right after world war ii. he had his tryouts at the park. the way he got to try out was a city counselor in boston named isidore but >> said that he was going to -- well, the story is the boston baseball team in order to play games on sundays, and they needed this equate to get a waiver from the city council because there are laws against playing games on wednesdays. he was going to refuse to go further waiver unless one of the boston teams gave african-american players a fair trial. and so, this brought jackie robinson along with a couple of other african-american ballplayers to fenway park.
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he was of course great in the tryout. he last speeches to the green monster on the base path and never got a call back. and boston flopped on its face when i had the chance to integrate is filed into sign jackie robinson. it would be two more years before brooklyn sees the chance. it >> host: that's exactly what they did as i recall from the book. they try to teach tolerance. the early experiment in teaching tolerance and understanding our acceptance in terms of different races. this is called the springfield plan is the name that went by. it was pioneered by the superintendent of schools, a guy by the name of john graham red came through columbia's teacher college and try to implement this plan. so the idea was to have a curriculum that would teach
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about all races and ethnicities and nationalities in the early 1940s a public school system taught about reconstruction as a time of interracial democracy and not about some nightmare in which blacks for the south. that was downright futuristic in terms of the early 1940s of any school school system teaching reconstruction in that way. so springfield did make some relit answers that i think were important at the time. the problem was that didn't amount to integration, you know, integration school, integration the city. still, you had african-americans coming to springfield during the second great migration and ended up living in springfield version of data is in getting filtered into menial labor jobs, things like that. i would want to downplay the
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offers of the school system, but at the same time you don't want to say that ended up achieving any sort of racial justice. >> host: your book is a must-read because one of the things you point out in the book is even those who felt it was important educational effort, eventually they gather around and they even had a film about the springfield riot to teach other people in other systems how to do what springfield was doing. >> host: warner bros. release the film in 1945 call to happen in springfield. i grew up in springfield, mass. when i heard about this film blew my mind i never knew it. by anonymous small city name is springfield, if there's a if there's any more anonymous names would've had a movie made by warner bros. in a movie about its effort to abolish racism. so that was a big deal when it came out at the time. we got to remember what the time
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of world war ii was like. this is when many americans truly believed they were ridding the world of fascism and ridding the world of racism and they took their country's claims to freedom and racial democracy seriously and a film like it happened in springfield in a program like to springfield land, which many other cities started to copy the springfield plan. those were serious efforts during wartime. when the war ended, it seems like it was a balloon and all the air from that was released. the war was a time when the nation pressed together despite some obvious instances there was a race pride in harlem. there was one in detroit, so i wouldn't portray wartime at the time of absolute harmony. in relative terms, when the nation pressed together and took it seriously. >> host: one of the things you
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make very plain is the northern blacks had in the vintage over the southern linux. they had the franchise, the right to vote. >> guest: that's where i think those folks are correct up to a point. but in the north, african-americans could vote and they did so. they built their urban political machines in chicago and brooke lynn and new york city and harlem of course. in some instances, they built multiracial -- if you had a city where you voted by district as you've often did, you know, a
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place like harlem where you have the vast black majority, you could elect your own and send them to office and deputy mayor of new york often became a position held by african-americans. .. >> host: we have to skip over,
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unfortunately, a lot of stuff in your book and a lot of history, putting the racial riots that scared america and frightened everybody, and led to the report of which there were two african-americans. they were ed burke and roy wilkins was the executive execue director of the naacp, my other mentor. but something about the report that was acquired by lbj that suggested that there was something about the civil disorder in terms of the explanation for them. roy wilkins summarized along extenze report and he said white americans had to learn that racial justice cannot be defined and being a kind to the black cooks. i thought that was a devastating indictment on white racism in american society. but it also said that roy
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wilkins wasn't as he was being portrayed by many blacks. they regard roy welcomes is not black enough and uncle tom. same thing to bring out a new book was ed burke who was criticized. he was appointed by black voters, and by white voters. he was a senator from mostly white massachusetts but he was criticized for not being black enough test make that's right. and burks had a remarkable political gripper choose the first african-american ever elected to the senate by popular vote. and he was the first african-american to serve in the senate since reconstruction. and so advert was first elected in 1966 to the senate by massachusetts which was 97% white at the time. and he was a republican, a liberal republican, and also a protestant in a state that was overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly democratic and
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overwhelmingly catholic. but he pulled it off winning and 66, and he won again in 72 and he was the only, you know, the only african-american to be reelected to the senate until cory booker i guess. so he had a remarkable political career it as you suggest relied upon white voters because massachusetts, 97% white, and because he was a republican there were many african-americans of the more radical ilk who thought of burke as to moderate. and so when the commission was formed after the urban riots of 1967, a lot of people said hey wait, the only two african-americans are wilkins and works, to moderate. but the irony was that the conclusion that the commission came to was as a damning come as damning of white americans, as
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damning of white institution come as any radical would have offered. himself or herself. the commission said the responsibility for the urban riots lies at the foot of white america, white american leaders. it said america's moving towards two separate societies, white and black, separate and unequal the. and so he actually -- throughout his career in the senate. at the same time he sort of had to perform this balance where he had to keep white voters voting for him while he worked in the senate. he worked hard for school desegregation was dear to him, open housing was dear to him and, of course, his work on the commission. >> was this the same edward brooke who came from the same liberal state has ted kennedy? ted kennedy was white and catholic and irish.
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>> guest: i think that's part of the. ted kennedy was also part of political royalty. the kennedy family, you know, and being a kennedy in massachusetts -- >> host: what does royalty have to do with the chappaquiddick? what does race have anything to do with the liberals in massachusetts? >> guest: right. >> host: i found your book laboratory in a sense he had, because you have gone back to the '70s, wow, america was really in a racial tinderbox. there was an uproar in the nation about busing. blessing, busing. and here you had a brooke standing up because to a republican president, by this time you at richard nixon who had run on a campaign of law and order, and what did they call it, southern strategy. he felt it wasn't time to change
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the united states supreme court. to put people on the court, segregation. >> guest: the thing was that broke supported nixon for president in 1968 as a republican. broke supported him. he thought that nixon would be a little more progressive on immigration than nixon ended up being. but nixon showed that the southern strategy for him, which was his strategy where he plays -- plated to white racial fears, that was not a temporary electoral strategy get elected it is also way of the governing for nixon. he showed that with his first supreme court nominee, where he nominated haynesworth who was infamous end i decided with the leaders of prince edward county in virginia and the leaders of prince edward county decided to shrek. >> host: officials?
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a close the school rather than integrate them. >> guest: and haynesworth sided with them in a judicial decision. and then go after haynesworth's nomination was defeated, nixon offered an even -- >> host: in great part due to ed brooks. >> guest: ed brooke standing on the senate floor and saying, this person does not have a record to equal rights, a record in terms of equal rights that's respectable. that's why we should vote him down. the senate did vote down a haynesworth, and then -- >> host: who is also a mediocre judge. tragedy was. and the second one -- >> host: mediocre because his views were not held up. >> guest: and the second one was harold carswell who even his supporters called him mediocre. they use the term mediocre, and they said nevertheless, he should pass muster.
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he should -- >> host: because he was nixon's choice of. >> guest: right. he had a worse record on civil rights and desegregation and haynesworth had. and -- >> host: cause well was the guy, the federal judge whose rulings were overruled on civil rights matter 13 times. >> guest: right. out of 15 out of 15. >> host: exactly. >> guest: i think a lot of senators could believe that that was nixon's second choice was carswell. because he was just come he was trying to call the senate to block. nixon was saying your vote on what my nominees but you're not going to vote down the second nominee. ed brooke looked through carswell's rulings and ed brooke was so prepared of weeks about the carswell nomination, which angered, ed brooke's silence a
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good many into congressional caucus that he eventually came around and he stood upon the senate for and he said this guy is a segregationist, and he showed all of carswell's declarations, personal declarations, and his rulings on the bench. eventually carswell was voted down as well. in no small part due to the work by ed brooke. >> host: no more russian how he valued blacks, brooks was. >> guest: when he came into the senate there was a lot of question about what kind of african-american is ed brooke. >> host: the interesting thing is what your book reminds me of is the closeness, the proximity of the civil rights movement and the race movement to the expansion of liberty and civil rights to other groups. for example, who did nixon the point when both haynesworth and
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the carswell went down? who did he avoid? >> guest: so haynesworth and carswell were both voted down, and nixon nominated harry blackmun from minnesota and one from minnesota who was a conservative. >> guest: was a conservative and he was supported unanimously by the senate and who then wrote the majority opinion in roe v. wade, which nixon did not see that coming. andcome you know, this is also a problem for brooke after roe v. wade was decided in 73. brooke came out for women's rights to choose. he supported roe v. wade in this heavily catholic state, massachusetts. that was 73. in 1974 is when school busing began in massachusetts. and so brooke had to do with being a liberal on both of those issues and being an african-american in the senate. >> host: he had to stand to the electorate.
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he had to be confirmed to the electorate. and let's go to the title of your book, "all eyes are upon us." and i kept saying to myself, what is this title about? i finally found the evidence to support your title. so talus about "all eyes are upon us" in terms of -- tell us. in terms of ed brooke and the massachusetts law that presided for racial equality in the schools. >> guest: right. so "all eyes are upon us" is just a quote from the puritan. let me rephrase that. "all eyes are upon us" is a quote from the puritan leader john winthrop who said all eyes are upon -- we shall be a city on a hill and all eyes are upon us. >> host: the governor of
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massachusetts. so later on -- >> guest: during the civil rights struggle, leaders of massachusetts would look to that lofty heritage and try to live up to the lofty heritage. so massachusetts in 1965 passed a law called the racial imbalance act which was the first state law -- imbalance act. which basically said that if a school is segregated, which they defined statistically a certain number of black children and white children, that no school could be racially imbalance. that is, no school could have segregation. the school systems had to rip that out and achieve immigration. so that law was passed by the legislature in 1965, and the two cities in massachusetts that had a large number of african-american schoolchildren, those two cities were boston and springfield, they didn't lift a finger. >> host: springfield?
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>> guest: they didn't lift a finger in terms of abiding the law and in terms of integrating. and this is why we finally got busing in boston. it's not because some judge decided to just order busing. it's because for nine years, and more, the city counselors and the school committee of the city of boston decided not to comply with the racial imbalance act. and so this sort of pushed the judiciary along to where 1974, well, 1974 is when you had of this battle in the legislature where state legislators were trying to repeal the racial imbalance act and this is what you're getting at, the republican governor, frances sargent, stood up and said he was going to repeal the. he kept vetoing the repeals and he looked to the john winthrop heritage, and he said all eyes are upon us.
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>> host: we have to be the beacon, he said to the nation. >> guest: we are the model. we are what people look at. john f. kennedy use those same kinds of words. all that, invoking that history in terms of massachusetts obligation, historic obligation to lead the nation for the civil rights. >> host: then what happened? >> guest: and then what happened, indeed. so that was governor sergeant vetoing the repeal of the racial imbalance act. sergeant finally ultimately -- >> host: he collapsed. >> guest: he repealed. just after it was repealed by legislature, judge garrity of boston, federal district court,
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ruled that the boston school committee had indeed segregated into schools and di did not only sacred schools by accident, by some accident of housing, geography, but had done through a series of intentional decisions over many years, transferring students from one school to the other, we drawing district lines and intentionally keeping certain -- >> host: lawsuit brought by the naacp. >> guest: and garrity ruled the boston schools had to be integrated and had to do it by sending white children on buses to rock prairie which was -- >> host: the black ghetto track and not only any white student, but white students from white boston. >> host: wow. >> guest: and sending students from rock very to south boston. a race struggle at the same time and there was great outpouring
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explosion of racial violence throughout the city, mostly this started out as whites attacking african-americans. there was some retaliation. but basically you had a city on fire for a couple of years. >> host: when i read the history of that, because i'm quite young but whenever the history of that i remember the civil rights community saying the phrase was it's not the bus, it's of the most busing in america was done for purposes not for integration. getting people instance to school for convenience. but when they put blacks on those buses to go to the so-called white schools and a white kid from -- that's when all hell brooke loose. that, we've got to get to ed brooke and joe biden. >> guest: so you had joe biden rode the bus.
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>> host: to the united states senate. >> guest: that's right. you had to parallel busing struggles going on, and one was a struggle going on in boston when judge garrity had ruled busing had to occur in that way. and then you also had on capitol hill for many years beginning in the early 1970s after the supreme court had ruled in the case of, the supreme court ruled in the early '70s at school systems could use busing to integrate their school, well, there's all sorts of anti-busing sentiments on the floor of the house of representatives end on the u.s. senate, and house members would enter one anti-busing bill after another saying it's illegal to bust a child passed the closest school. anyway, they could get an anti-busing bill on the books, they would do it. these bills often passed the
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house but for a country they were often stalled in the senate where people like ed brooke would filibuster them, or people like philip park for ted kennedy or other liberal senators could stop, right. and they did this throughout the early 1970s. but in 1970 for busing hit in boston and white americans started to be the issue of the differently your they started to worry that their children would have to go to black schools. the anti-busing sentiment became the dominant one among white americans. >> host: and how one to -- some people got elected through congress. >> guest: that's right. certainly in massachusetts and all of the midwest and the north. this was a hot button issue. >> host: delaware. delaware. get to joe biden. >> guest: and so for many
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years ed brooke had been one of the last lines of defense against the anti-busing issues. and usually he could derail the anti-busing legislation. because it was often offered by southern segregationist, jesse helms for instance, offered, offered a anti-busing in them and brooke said this is another ploy have a lot of senators agreed. in 1975, however, the freshman senator from delaware and joe biden was the freshman senator from delaware. he was 32 years old in 1975. he had big sideburns and yet almost full head of hair, a liberal, a liberal voting record. very liberal. that he was from a border state, delaware. and he started to offer anti-busing amendments. and when the anti-busing amendments were offered a young liberal from delaware, rather than an old conservative from
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the south, there was an image stored to get much more nationwide appeal. >> host: a unity of purpose. the south wasn't so different anymore. >> guest: a lot of senators jumped on the anti-busing dash thy do want to say train. the anti-busing buss. >> host: the white liberals abandoned the black liberal, the only one trying to enforce the constitution, according to him. >> guest: that's right. and so brooke tried to stop the biden amendment's and he was unable to. he was basically voted down. and well, i had the chance to interview brooke and asked him about busing. he insisted he was no great lover of busing. he was no great defender of school busing. but he waited the issue and his conclusion was that it was the best instrument available at
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that time. he was a defender of desegregation and he's going to go down fighting for an integrated america. and at that time, places like boston school committee had simply rejected every other kind of effort to integrate the schools, the only kind left of the were trying to put kids on buses and put them into different schools. brooke said this has to be done to remedy the constitutional wrong for black children. >> host: the only thing left. the massachusetts racial imbalance act, once they got repealed, that's not all that happen. massachusetts stripped the state board of education. i'm reading your book. they stripped the board of education of its power in terms of redistricting and busing that you know longer have the authority to buss. >> guest: that's right.
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and congressman would put forth bills saying you can keep statistics in terms of race and school children to if you don't have statistics of him don't have statistics about matt white joe discoe, how many black shown in a school, you don't know -- >> host: be faithful to your book. the whole notion of the liberal was it would be a colorblind society and, therefore, you cannot use race. you should not even look at race. we don't need to know racial statistics. the liberals came forth with a colorblind strategy as a response, as a reputation to those civil rights folks who said you need racial remedies to racial discrimination. the only way to remedy segregation was to use of race-based remedy. so that was the context at your book brings out, brilliantly. >> guest: this ideology of
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colorblind this was one that white militants clock to time and again and through the years. this ideology of color blindness allowed white northerners to vote for black politicians, like ed brooke, later on like david think it's, like deval patrick, even like barack obama come white voters would say i'm colorblind when i go into the polls but i'll just pick the best candidate. and they probably chose and the content is at the same time they said communicable i'm also colorblind when it comes to redistricting students are not going to look at the race in that context. leaving a segregated school system for leaving a segregated neighborhood. >> host: that's were i kind of lost you in your book, because i never saw ed brooke and david dinkins in the same sort of way. david dinkins, the reason why he got elected in new york city was
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not the reasons why ed brooke got elected in massachusetts. new york city was completely different situation in terms of racial tensions and it wasn't racial progress but they were trying to calm those intentions, and like others, i won't name names on c-span, but like others it was a situation where david dinkins was incompetent or unable to do the kind of things he promised or wanted to do for all kinds of reasons. so you had david dinkins was thrown out of office by the likes of rudy giuliani, and you had ed brooke was thrown out of office who was doing the right thing and was acting competently according to your book. >> guest: right. brooke lost his next election in 1978, which was his reelection occurred in 72 which was right before roe v. wade and right before the busing crisis.
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the next election cycle came along in 78, and brooke had, well, he had problems with his tax, sort of tax returns and financial scandal. he was getting divorced, but he also defended busing for many years. and i think many voters in massachusetts no longer saw him as the colorblind candidate. and this is how he had sold himself, packaged himself into 66 and 72 as colorblind candidate. and after the fires of the busing crisis, that kind of packaging -- >> host: it's interesting the way you put it. the way i get that feeling, the voters themselves were no longer colorblind as opposed to ed brooke being colorblind. >> guest: right. he was a conundrum in 70 because you know whether to go with his colorblind sort of thing again and then in 78 he started to use this to come on the only left in the senate and tried to tug on
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massachusetts liberals, tug on heartstrings and say, do you want to go down the only african-american left in the senate? so we actually did start to rethink the colorblind strategy. and as you say, the voter started to rethink whether they did so for colorblind as well post that i was so hopeful reading the first half of your book. by the time it got to more recent history, because you really did suggest that the northeast was different from the south. and malcolm x notwithstanding, baldwin's indictment within, they traded the selling block for data and guns, not within all that it was a sense of hope in your book at the people who are liberal minded, people who would say all eyes are upon us to they want to do the right thing, and virtual by the time the end of the book, everybody
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collapsed. even the blacks collapsed. they didn't believe in integration and desegregation. by the time unbridgeable, he must be turning over in his grave. >> guest: what you had to the 1970s and '80s and into the '90s, so something like the school busing crisis really battered the north entrance of its claims to racial progress. and then what you had in the 1980s were a lot of these northeastern cities, like hartford, new haven, these places becoming very poor and very littered with racial minorities. and then of course actually two in new york city, the ways of racial violence in the 1980s and the crown heights riots in the '90s. my last chapter is called the
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north rises again, where i tell the story of deval patrick being elected and reelected in massachusetts. and i tell the story of northerners as barack obama's base of support come where if you look at the voting stats, how white southerners voted for and against barack obama and how white northerners voted for and against barack obama and i think you can find some hope for the north of there. what you can find some hope for the nation is perhaps more of -- >> host: on that hopeful note, to be continued. >> that was "after words," booktv signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policymakers and others familiar with their material.
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"after words" airs every weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday, and 12 a.m. on monday. and you can also watch "after words" online. go to and click on "after words" in the booktv cities and topics list on the upper right side of the page. >> as the year comes to the close, npr has released their list for the best books of 2014. here's a look at a few nonfiction titles that made the list. ..
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there must be something absolutely event that people certain mindsets cannot tolerate. >> deborah hicks sat down with booktv at duke university to discuss her book, "the road out" appeared in the book, mr. entry talks about her love of learning and literature to a group of poor girls in cincinnati, ohio. the 30 minute interview as part


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