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tv   Iraqi Member of Parliament Vian Dakhil Speaks Out Against U.S. Travel Ban  CSPAN  February 24, 2017 7:45am-8:41am EST

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>> my fear is republicans going off on their own in their own directions. i'm worried about the congress. i'm worried about people who don't understand, people in the republican leadership who don't understand the political battle. >> and sunday, harvard history professor provides a history of civil wars throughout the world. >> civil war has something atrocious about it. its fraternal war because it is conducted within a common political unit and because both warring sides at the same time absolutely affirm and absolutely deny this common unit. >> go to for the complete weekend schedule. >> the lantos foundation for human rights and justice presented on iraqi parliament
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member vian dakhil with her 2016 human rights prize. ms. dakhil was awarded the prize for efforts to defend against genocide by isis. in her remarks she spoke about president trump's refugee and immigration executive order. the lantos foundation is they perform a california congressman and holocaust survivor tom lantos who died in 2008. spirit think everybody. would like to ask you to take your seats if possible. it is my honor today to welcome each and every one of you to honor the courage and commitment of vian dakhil pic where all conspireinspired and grateful fe unvarnished vision you have demonstrated as you stand up to fearlessly -- help your in battle people. grateful that you and your sister are here today. while your sister has been exhorting the world remember her people, her sister has been
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working to help rehabilitate the girls who escaped after being brutalized, raped and abused by isis. we are honored to honor you. today we take a moment also to remember to past recipients of the lantos prize to move forward on their eternal journey this year. their words, their very relevant words, on a similar than we ever could. they both had so much wisdom on the subjects that confront us and i would like to share a couple of their thoughts with us quickly before we move on with our program. she observed the opposite of love is not hate. it's indifference. the opposite of art is not ugliness. it's indifference. the opposite of faith is not heresy. it's indifference. and opposite of life is not death. it's indifference. it was observed that the most important thing in life is to
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dare. pick the most complicated thing in life is to be afraid, and the smartest thing is to try to be a moral person. we are so grateful that you, vian, join the ranks of these great men. man. we hope we can support you in bearing and not being indifferent. and we thank you all for being here with that purpose. thank you. [applause]
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>> so my good friends, what was -- [inaudible] simply to say we don't talk about our own suffering. we talk about other peoples suffering. we don't talk about what hurts us. we talk about what hurts the other. it is the otherness of the other that makes that other a human goal that needs protection and friendship. >> so for me, the jewish people are the greatest in history.
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nazi is the greatest crime in history and the united states is the greatest hope in history. [applause] good morning ladies and gentlemen. my name is tomicah tillemann and on behalf of my grandmother at the lantos, it is my privilege to welcome you to this years presentation of the lantos prize. we have come together this morning to honor the heroism, the leadership and the moral clarity of vian dakhil. her words and actions helped shock the world into action and saved tens of thousands of her people from genocide at the hands of crisis. perhaps because this is a moment when the world is the need of heroes, we are joined today by an extraordinary collection of lawmakers and leaders, representatives from the
quote quote quote quote
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diplomatic corps, and other distinguished guests who want to join with us in recognizing your work, vian. we are honored to have leader nancy pelosi with us along with other members of congress including jim costa, eliot engel, l florez, alcee hastings, jim mcgovern, jan, frank wolf and alan lowenthal. we're honored to be joined -- [applause] >> we are honored to be joined by many ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic corps, including ambassador robert king, the impassioned accident, the represent of kristen, former ambassador david saperstein, ambassadors from
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unesco, bert walker and the ambassador of iraq. please join me and recognize the ambassadors. [applause] >> we would like to extend our gratitude to the individuals who have worked to make this event possible. among them, jared, for his work to get vian here, and we are so glad that you are here. [applause] former recipient of the lantos prize rejoined just today, taking. [applause] >> kate came from the lantos foundation advisory board, and john as well. thank you all. [applause] >> vian, we are here because of
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you but we also hear because in your story we recognize our own. we see the story of my grandmother who had to swim a river on christmas day 73 years ago in the hopes that those on the other side who were not of her faith and not of her heritage would welcome her and give her another chance of life. i see the story of my wife's family that came to this country to flee religious persecution many generations ago. and we know that anytime your story could become our own. so we are here today because of you, we are also here today because we share in a common struggle, and that is a struggle that we must continue together. the principles that unite us are not unique to democrats or republicans. they are not the domain of liberals or conservatives. they are not unique to any sectarian group or demographic. they are the common inheritance of humankind. and today we work together to
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affirm and uphold that comment inheritance. we are joined by an incredible group of speakers who will help us mark this occasion, and help us affirm our commitment to the ideals that have motivated vian in her work. we will first year from ambassador david saperstein, united states former ambassador at large for religious freedom. ambassador saperstein. [applause] >> vian, i know i speak for every single person gathered here when i say how happy we are that you are here. [applause] >> we give you this, we present to you soon the lantos human rights prize bearing the name of one of our nation's greatest champions of human rights, and
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of religious freedom, a legacy carried on so ably the entire family. and i took a want to honor my friend and colleague katrina lantos swett who does such an extraordinary job in this same field. [applause] when it appeared you might not be able to enter the u.s. due to the recent actions of our government, a bipartisan effort to ensure that you are here immediately ensued. i remain hopeful that a situation in which a courageous human rights hero such as you should not be easily welcome to our country, will lead decision makers to make changes in how we go about a legitimate goal, concern providing security, and to rethink the broader implications of how we do it for this proud nation of immigrants as president kennedy once called america so fiddling. over two years ago when isis
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launch this genocide campaign against the yazidi people, it was just at the point that i've been nominated as the ambassador at large for international religious freedom. and it was immersed in being fully briefed on everything that was taking place. i was proud as i know all of you are, of the action of our president to prevent this potential genocide. i was proud as well as extensive network of contacts that the international religious freedom office had cultivated with yazidis and other minorities both in iraq and in a diaspora communities here, contributed significantly to those very early efforts to get aid to the people on the mount and to halt the pew -- brutal massacre. it is hard to fully convey just how influential and the pivotal the call to action before the iraqi parliament was too rousing
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and the different world to act. truly, your words that day were incontrovertible evidence that one voice can make a difference. i as so many others here will long remember the impact that you had at that crucial moment. when you spoke out on that fateful day, vian, you would not only defending her brothers and sisters and pleading their cause to a heedless world, you're also defending some of the most important universal rights that we as americans have cherished and defended. the right of freedom of religion, conscience and belief. the rights of minorities to enjoy a full and equal rights as citizens. when we speak of freedom of religion we are speaking of the center-right of all of us to live our lives according to the dictates of our own conscience. to be free to live lives of integrity and conviction, whether we are muslims, christians, yazidis, buddhist.
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when cystitis robustly protect that most basic right they are not only doing the right thing, they're also doing one of the most important things in the country can do to build a tolerant, stable, healthy, prosperous and decent society for all their people. but we celebrate today not only your courage at that given moment, but your work and your messages since. in our meetings you and i have discussed at great length and effort you make these arguments in public forum compellingly that for iraq to succeed it must empower its minorities including the yazidi timidity to contribute fully in shaping the future of their nation -- yazidi community. you have not let the world forget the plight of the yazidi women still held captive nor the desperate need of release captives pick your challenge the international community to ensure that the massive amounts
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of aid being supplied to this -- displace communities reach the people it is saying that in ways that are effective. you should know that this has helped shape the way we are trained soldiers now with the iraqi army to go on rescue missions as soon as the opportunities arise, and the way the united states government is delivering aid at this time. in the cycle of the annual holidays of my faith tradition,, the jewish tradition, the next holiday just weeks from now is that of forum which commemorates the story of queen esther in the bible. she was perhaps the first woman lobbyist in history of the world. [laughter] and she used her power in ancient persia to literally save her people from genocide. vian, when you stood up that day defending yazidis of iraq, the
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proud ancient religious community, you stood as a modern queen esther. for your courage in doing so we honor you today and we pledge that we will stand with you and for you and for your people in the coming days and years. may we also act and soon see your dreams, indeed, all of our dreams, the safety and well-being of the yazidi people fully realized. congratulations, my friend. [applause] >> thank you. we would also like to recognize another very distinguished guest who has joined us, the past recipient of the lantos prize. [applause] >> our next speaker will be the
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democratic leader of the net states house of representatives, nancy pelosi. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. what a glorious morning it is when we all can come together in memory of great champion for human rights tom lantos, to be with his family, which is carried on a great tradition of respect for the dignity and worth of every person whatever those persons are in the world. rabbi saperstein has made the case so clearly for our distinguished awardee today. i want to talk for a moment about tom lantos, because our colleagues who are here in a bipartisan way notified that he is made. i know need on the wii with your company not sure if she was acknowledged, our top democrat on appropriations committee. and what you should really know is that she has been a champion
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for women's rights and leadership throughout the world. mr. wolf was introduced as a member of congress, the always will be, his legacy lives on, a republican member of congress, one of the best people in the world. it was an honor to serve with him and he worked with tom on the human rights issues so relentlessly. and his legacy lives on in the congress, in the country as well. and so when chen was introduced, it was with great pride we welcome him back to the capital as a former awardee of the lantos award. so here we are. we didn't really even know that much about the yazidi people until this attempted genocide took place. we were very proud of president obama for the quick action that he took to bring relief and show that we were associated with your plight. your voice, so strong in the
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parliament, was a voice heard round the world, and taught people about your people, your faith and your plight. and here you are today to receive the tom lantos award, and award that was given, the privilege of giving it to his holiness the dalai lama in 2009. you saw that two of the people who left us this year, simone perez, i had the honor of going to visit funeral with president obama in israel and also had the privilege of being indicted by his family by elie hi family to speak at his memorial service. so as members of cars we are afforded many different kinds of honors, but to be associated with the lantos foundation and the work that they do is an association of values. of good spirit, and of making decisions. so tom used to say we have to
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support human rights wherever it is. whether come some people say because of the strategic location on a particular country we can't say this or that, but he helped us on the armenian genocide to address the concerns of those people. because of the size and the commercial relationship we have with china, if we refused to speak out for human rights because of geography or because of the economics, we lose all moral authority to speak out for human rights wherever they are violated in the world. tom also said, he said of this and i remembered conversation forever because we all celebrate it so much when he became the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, a dream for him, right, to become the chairman of the foreign affairs. it was a glorious day around the world because people knew of the values that he brought to that position. i said i just don't understand why people are all not doing
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what you are giving us the lead to do. he said remember this, nancy, nancy -- [laughter] the path on human rights is a very long one. it takes time. you cannot give up. you must always persist. and it was good advice, because being politicians would like results. diplomats take a little longer, and human rights even longer than that. but i'm so glad that jim mcgovern is carrying on the tradition on the tom lantos commission. we all know, because tom lantos taught us, that the path is a long one. i hope it's not so long for you, communications and the rest of your shorten the distance between what was inconceivable to your oppressors, and inevitable to you, that you
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would prevail and be here today. sorry for some obstacles that came out, the rabbi address of those i won't go there. but didn't he make a wonderful case for our recipient today to receive the tom lantos award? wasn't that a beautiful, beautiful presentation cracks. [applause] so it is my honor today to join in the presentation of this award, the 2016 lantos prize to vian dakhil. and to say this. so many distinguished people. i know they would all be honored to know that you also are a recipient. they have brought luster to the award. you are bringing luster to this already glorious award. the lobby have of my colleagues here, past and present,
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democrats and republicans, congratulations to you. thank you for your courage. thank you for teaching the world that with strength and with an important courage and message that you put forth, you've made a tremendous difference and greatly as i said, shorten the distance between the inevitable and inconceivable to some. so congratulations. we will have a film now on this, but let us all once again rejoice in this wonderful presentation. [applause]
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>> earlier this week, one iraq he in every cry to the world. there is no one coming to help. well, today america is coming to help. i, therefore, authorize a targeted airstrikes if necessary to help forces and iraq as if i to break the siege of mount sinjar and protect the civilians trapped there. american aircraft and began conducting an imagining
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airdrops, food, water.
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>> i'm not thinking about my life. how can we help those people, those poor people. how can this small girl may be nine or 10, and they raped her?
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what i'm thinking about that, i say my life is nothing. >> it was my privilege to fight against nazism, and it was my privilege to fight against communism. and it is now my privilege to fight against islamic terrorism, determined to take us back 13 centuries. [applause]
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[applause] >> if we can invite members of congress to please join us on stage. [applause]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. i would like to give my speech in my national language, in arabic, because my native language is carter's, i think maybe you can talk kurdish? i don't know.
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[laughter] [speakinspan. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: i came to you from baghdad from the house of peace, from civilization. not from harvard university as a tourist. ladies and gentlemen, my best regards, and thank you for this valuable opportunity to be among you today. and i thank you for lantos foundation. as they work to protect human rights and social justice. i came to you from my country iraq, from curtis dan, iraq. the country that is intense with
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suffering. a people that were struggling for decades under dictatorial regime. and suffer displacement and wars and oppression. after the positive role that united states played in to liberate us from the dictatorial regime. our people suffered from al-qaeda. which the whole world suffers from. and now we are suffering from isil. that you are all standing with us to eradicate them. there is no component of order a
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people that they didn't suffer oppression. shia, sunnis, the kurds, the christians and the yazidis, turkmen. the 1700 murders, of course for those who don't know speicher, it's an american soldier that was killed on that day. therefore, they named after, they named the base after his name to perpetuate his memory. speicher said martyrs, kidnapping, extermination of our tribe, displacing christians, thousands of murders, all of
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these are witnesses and prove as they were targeting all of us. despite the ordeal that was passed to us, the yazidis tragedy is still the biggest and the most horrifying. it's a true disaster and it's the genocide. against our religious component. it's true, it's one of the minorities and iraq, but it is the original iraq. and one of the oldest people inhabited that land. more than 3000 yazidi men were killed during the invasion of
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isil to our cities and villages in 2014. more than 6700 women, girls, and baby girls of the yazidi were kidnapped. they were raped, tortured. they were sold as slaves in the market. children were taken away from their mothers. little girls were sold in the markets at the cheapest prices. the little yazidi girl was sold for a few dollars. nine year old girls were raped in front of their family members. and among them, some of them were gang raped.
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there is a sharia court in mosul to sell and rent yazidi girls and women. it's true that we are with help of curtis dan regional government we were able to liberate 2800 yazidi women. but still there is more than 3900 yazidi women and girls in captivity. 420,000 yazidis living in refugee camps in curtis dan. -- artist in the 80% of all of our villages and cities are completely destroyed.
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tens of mass graves that contained the remains of women and children. this is our tragedy that still keeps going until now. it didn't and. we need international, we need international community to get over this ordeal. we need your help to retake our captors. to provide the psychological care that the captives were suffering and they were tortured. the children that they forget even their names and they forget their family members here the orphans lost all of their
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families, they need to be taken care of. we need to rebuild our cities and villages. before that, we need to build bridges of trust between our communities to be able to live. i believe in the united states roles and protecting human rights. and the influence of united states and united nations security council. that's why i'm calling for the united states use its influence in the u.n. to consider what happened, the kind that happen to the yazidis as a genocide. to preserve the rights of those who suffered the injustice and oppression from this terrorist
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organization. after all what you have heard now, would you be surprised just the way i was surprised? of the united states presidents decision and order to better wreckage of entering the united states? it is strange the president of united states will equalize between the victim and the executioner. in the beginning i am agreeing with any of any country to have its own policy incentives to preserve the country security and safety and its people. but iraq, the terrorism on its
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land, on behalf of the world, and paid thousands of souls and wounded as a price for this war, thousands of widows and orphans were left behind. iraq his soldiers blood were mixed with the american soldiers blood on iraqi soil. we appreciate that there was exception for the minorities, but it is unfair and unjust to list iraq with the countries that are considered as terrorists. iraq represents the front lines of the fighting isil
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organization and fighting terrorism in the world. the united states itself is taking the leadership to fighting terrorism on iraqi soil. and now iraq is classified as a country that's banned from entering the united states. we were and still looking forward to have a stronger ties of friendship with the united states, but we were shocked with the united states president later ordered. now by this decision with this order we will fight with the
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terrorists. and i'm standing here to receive your appreciation for defending the yazidis writes. this minority was prosecuted by isil, a terrorist organization. without the exceptional efforts of our friends i wouldn't be able to stand here and talk at you now. but what about hundreds of families that are stranded on the borders? that they escape the terrorism. these families were looking forward to find shelter and safety in a country of human rights and democracy.
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those poor victims, they have no one to help them, and the united states is closing its doors in their faces. at last, finally, our dear friends, mr. president donald trump, iraq is not a terrorist. iraq his are not terrorists. we are friends and allies. and we're looking forward to have exceptional relationship with all countries, especially with the united states of america. with the people of the united states of america. we wish that the united states administration will reconsider this unfair order against iraq.
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thank you so much. [applause] ..
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>> and that's my mother, mrs. annette lantos. those who know, know she was always the heart, the soul, the inspiration. [cheers and applause] my sister and i are so proud to be her daughters, and every day we try to live up to the incredible, incredible legacy she has bestowed upon us of tighting for decency -- fighting for deeps city and rights for justice for everyone, so so we are really grateful you're here today. [applause] i want to thank all of you for
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joining us today for the human rights prize ceremony. it is always our hope that our guests will leave these gatherings inspired, and i have no doubt that will be the case today. but even more than inspired, i think that today each one of us should feel challenged by what we have seen and heard. i know i do. every time i watch the video of the remarkable speech before the iraqi parliament, i am rivetted by the passionate, sering appeal she is making to arouse the conscience of a callous and indifferent world. i don't know if you listened carefully, but if you do, you can hear the sound of an unseen voice attempting to shush her. in effect, saying calm down, don't make a scene. no one wants to hear you. i am so grateful she would not be shushed, would not quiet down. that the cause of her people was
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more important to her than the niceties of parliamentary decorum. when i see her speech, i am challenged to be braver and more impassioned in my own defense of the defenseless, to be willing to take more risks to stand up for my fellow human beings and their most basic human rights. when i revisit that powerful moment, i find myself asking what if. what if vion had not spoken out? what if her words had not broken new the smug and -- through the smug and distracted indifference that so often characterizes those in positions of power and influence and, quite frankly, all of us? we can never fully though what the alternate outcome would have been, but we can say with a assurance that tens of thousands more lives would have been lost, and this proud and ancient faith community might have been lost
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to the world. we find ourselves at an interesting and challenging moment in our nation's history, a time when many important voices are questioning the value or the validity of america's moral leadership in the world. some are counting the costs of such leadership and finding it too high while others question our claim to the mantle of such leadership at all. so i am compelled to ask again, what if? what if over the past century america had not stepped up i to shoulder the responsibility of leading the free world in the only as a defender of its security, but even more importantly as the defender of its principles, its commitment to democracy and universal human rights? i have no doubt that we would all be living in a darker and
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far less decent world. for all her faults, i believe it is indisputable that america has been a force for enormous good both at home and abroad. and so that leads us to yet another what if. what if our country now chooses to step back from its leadership role? what if we now, indeed, think only of america first? if we walk away from our duties and responsibilities to our own heritage and, yes, to the world? in the ancient nineveh region where the yazidi people and others as well, we are engagedded in a crucial battle to defeat isis and restore peace to those troubled lands, and and i am confident we will win that fight, but it will be a short-lived and etheric victory
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if we are not ready to shoulder the bigger task of helping rebuild these communities on the firm foundation of respect for the human rights and dignity of all people. we owe that to vion. we owe that to the yazidi community and to the millions of others in that region who have suffered unspeakably at the hands of terrorists and governments alike. and we owe it to our best selveses. i pray it is a debt that we not leave unpaid. my late father, tom lantos, is remembered for his el wasn't words that the veneer of civilization is pipe paper thin -- is paper thin. when he spoke of guardians, he meant you and me. and so my challenge to all of us
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guardians is leapt us not fail -- let us not fail, let us never rest. thank you very much, and thank you for joining us for the lantos human rights prize ceremony. [applause] we hope to see you all again next year. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> president trump will speak at the conservative political action conference today. our live coverage starts at 10:10 a.m. eastern on c-span. we'll have more live coverage there cpac in the afternoon.
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we'll hear from nra executive vice president wayne lapierre and former republican presidential candidate and business executive carly fiorina. that's also live on c-span. >> sunday night on "after words" -- >> our focus was to try to get justice for trayvon, and so all of these obstacles were placed in our path, you know? i mean, what parent do you know that has a 17-year-old that if something happens to them, they wouldn't want answers? >> since it's been thrust on us, we understand that there's a bigger picture, there's something more important than just the death of our son. there are other lives out there that we're trying to impact. >> on the fifth anniversary of the death of trayvon martin, his parents, sybrina fulton and tracy martin, talk about their
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son's life and death, plus their experience with the judicial system in their book. they're interviewed by a washington post national reporter covering law enforcement, justice and race. >> five years removed, what do you think of the legacy of your son's life and of his death and of the activism that has been birthed because of it? you look at, again, groups like the dream defenders, the group black lives matter and the phrase black lives matter written in the sons of the failure -- in the response of the failure to convict george zimmerman? what comes to mind? >> first and foremost, we definitely hi of trayvon as a young hand who galvanized this country. >> i think that the name trayvon martin represents not just who trayvon martin was, but all young black and brown boys and some girls as well that have been killed and nobody has been held accountable. >> sunday night at nine eastern
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on "after words." >> next, former florida governor jeb bush talks about leadership lessons he learned as governor. afterwards, he sits down with his son, texas land commissioner george p. bush, for an interview. this event was held at the bush presidential center at texas a&m be university. >> howdy. and welcome, everyone, to thege george bush presidential library center. i'm david jones, the ceo of the library foundation. it is my honor to welcome you ask to invite you to join me in welcoming the 41st president of the united states and miss bushe [applause]


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