tv Carol Anderson Angela J Davis CSPAN December 2, 2017 4:00pm-4:46pm EST
drive going on it's running a book drive to raise money to help rebuild the libraries affected by hurricane harvey. a donation of $15 and the foundation will match the foundation. in one book therefore equals three. by being here today your investment can go a very long way to find books and helping our other mission. i like to introduce our authors this morning i live and breathe education of the great equalizer and it's really a humbling and honoring experience to spend time with two women's who have clearly demonstrated their lives. the station has that professor of history.
today, we have her own icon. angela j davis. angela is a scholar and a phenomenal woman in her own right. a professor of law at american university washington college of law and an expert in criminal law. with a purse specific a davis served as director of public service where she began as a staff attorney representing indigenous juvenile and adults. the power of the american prosecutor and editor of what we are highlighting today, "policing the black man"." she is a graduate of another
historically by college howard university and a jay d. from howard school of law. we have carol anderson. after anderson is the professor of african-american studies at emery university in atlanta, georgia appeared to assert anderson's research teaching on public policy intersecting with race justice and equality niceties. she is the author of the joão radicals naacp and the struggle for colonial liberation and today we are listing her most week recent work "white rage" the unspoken truth of our nations as i pray she's a two-time graduate of miami university in the my alma mater ohio state university. [applause] professor sanderson and davis
have too many awards and recognition for their writings teachings of scholarships. today want to talk about your books. both of these books were emotionally taxing for me. they are like a visit to the national museum of african-americanin history where someone is sad and a little bit hopeful when stretched from your cumbers on. "white rage" came out of an op-ed that was the most shared with the "washington post"ut and 2014. that's a lot of sharing. i'm going to quote you. everyone was so focused that you lift the kindling in the policies and those policies are times are to mine to undermine undercut and rollback african-american achievement of citizen a rights. each major advanced for black people which is tracked in your
book historically from the end of the civil war to the election of barack obama results and what you are calling white rage cool systematic calculated policies meant to protect democracy and keeping our nation safe. can you share with us what motivated you into turning an op-ed into a novel and how you manage the detail in your book? >> thank you. and thank you for being here and for loving books. i can't tell you how wonderful this is. what prompted me was a since when i was listening to the pundits talk about ferguson and ferguson is burning up and they were talking about it in the moment, and that now as a ferguson had no history and if black people in the united states did not have any history except that moment right then, right there. if we don't understand history
than we absolutely do not understand how we got here. as a historian i set out to craft a piece that would help frame how we got here historically so that was the first piece. the second piece was we are in an era where in discussions about race that had become so polemical, so accusatory, so fabricated that it was essential for me to write a piece that was absolutely grounded in evidence, in fact so that we could begin to have the kind of national conversation we t must have, one that is rooted in actual history and not f so that we really understand how we got here. so that made it -- that was the drive but what made it difficult
is that is a hard, hard history. because one of the things that became clear to me was that in each of these key moments of blackhe advancements massive policies would emanate coming out of the supreme court, coming out of congress, coming out of state legislatures that would undermine and undercut that advancement and that would flow against the narrative of the land of opportunity for all you have to do is work hard, go to school and keep your nose clean pick yourself up by your bootstraps and you too can have the american dream and i'm seeing african-americans generation after generation fighting for that american dream getting close to it and then watching the policies like voter suppression come through to absolutely undercutun them. >> you describe black success as the white man's bogeyman.
>> did i say back? [laughter] and you call it a quiet truth and until the truth was shattered with the obama presidency white race seems to have reared times reared up in ways that we haven't seen in decades. has that truth shattered once again in your aspiration that provides protection for black people? >> absolutely. it's so clear that in multiple ways the obama presidency just shattered so many of the ceilings and the narratives that we have in america and there is a moment in november 2008, oh so long ago. and there was this kind of euphoria you saw coursing
through the land about we have finally w crossed the racial rubicon. but if you look underneath, no we haven't. you saw although obama received a higher percentage of the white vote than john carrie did in 2004 since 1964 and the passage of the civil rights act the one where the federal government is now putting its power behind saying that african-americans are actually citizens of the uniteded states and therefore he rights, since 1964 and you'll -- note democrat and lbj, since 1964 no democrat has won a majority of the white vote in any presidential election since 1964 and that includes barack obama. so we are seeing where we are
right now is the backlash, is the white rage that has led to the regime that is in power now. because of massive, massive voter suppression like we saw north carolina where the fourth circuit said they targeted african-americans with nearly surgical precision. so that's where we are right now. >> challenges and inequities in school funding continue to plague various states including texas. you touched on two examples in your book that are close to home and that would be the edgewood neighborhood and san antonio and in texas the war on drugs. can you share those? >> i will talk a little bit about texas because i'm in texas. remember we had brown 1964,
brown 1965 and then you had massive resistance in the south that dug in and were like over my dead body. we are still fighting to implement brown by the time we get into the early 1970s. there were two landmark decisions in their early 1970s have absolutely other brown. one of them was the rodrigues decision. coming out of san antonio texas you have the neighborhood, the edgewood district that was 96% mexican-american and african-american. and they taxed to their i propey at the highest level possible, the highest level possible and because of that what they were able to do was to generate $21 per student in terms of funding. $21 by taxing themselves at the highest level for the property because as we know schools are funded via the property tax and what we also know is the way public policy has a lot to do
with the value of our property. where the city chooses to put a landfill, where the city chooses to put, to have certain kinds of zoning so you have certain kinds of businesses and where you can't have certain kinds of his misses. that kind of public policy has a lot to do with property values. meanwhile, in alamo heights which was a predominantly white neighborhood that was wealthy they did not tax themselves at the highest level and they managed to generate $307 per student so the highest level $21 level $21, not nearly anywhere near the highest level, $307. appearance and edgewood screamed foul and it went all the way to the supreme court. the supreme court ruled that there was no right to education and the disparity in funding did not necessarily mean that there was going to be disparity in
education. i'm just going to say these are learning journeys because you and i both know they would not have their child in the school district that could only generate $21 per-capita. we know that there is a fundamental disparity there but the supreme court ruled that you did not need to have equitable funding in order to not breach the 14th amendment which dealt with due process and equality equal protection under the law. the rodrigues decision was absolutely stunning for what it meant for the gains of around because of systematically undercut around a generation later. the other piece and i think this segues beautifully is the war on drugs. the war on drugs started coming into being during the nixon years which toward the end of the gains of the civil rights
movement. in the civil rights movement we have the civil rights act of 1964 and we have the voting rights act of 1965. richard nixon started talking law and order in the wore a on drugs and then it came with the virulence and power during the reagan years. whenau he launched the war on drugs they are in fact was a decline in the use of drugs in america so he needs to be really clear about the motivation here. the war on drugs was targeted at black people who actually statistically used drugs at least in many of the categories of drug usage. in texas the war on drugs went crazy. july 23, 1999, 46% of the town's population was arrested. 46% of the town's black population was arrested for dealing drugs to this one
officer named outstanding lawman of the year. 38 of the people were convicted with prison sentences from 99 years for having i think it was two ounces of cocaine to 434 years for having an ounce. just horrific prison sentences because one of the ways the war and drugs work with punitive drug sentences. then it started coming out that some of the people that he had used of selling him drugs couldn't have done it because they were like 300 miles away at a bank cashing a check at the very moment when he said the drugs were being purchased and they had video proof of that. as all of this started coming out it was case after case after case, then it turned out there was absolutely no proof whatsoever. there were no fingerprints on
the bags of drugs except his. there were no wires worn. there were no witnesses. there was no cash in the homes of the people who have been locked up. there was no drug paraphernalia. there were no weapons. there was just nothing that spoke of drug kingpins for the people spending 400 years in prison. then he said i did have evidence. every time i had a drug purchase i wrote it down on my leg. [laughter] lord, you can't make this stuff up. over m an 18 month investigation you wrote down each drug purchase on your leg and you just happen to wash it off when you are showered for 18 months? houston, we have our problem. it was on the basis of his words that 50% of the adult male black population in texas had been incarcerated.
50% of all adult black males in tulia texas thrown under the jail and tulia became known as the -- the way it works is when you have a felony conviction you are stripped of so many of your rights coming out of the civil rights act in terms of housing and in terms of a education. you are also stripped of your voting rights so in florida 25% of all african-americans are unable ton- vote in florida because of permanent felony disenfranchisement. this is what the war on drugs has done coming in the wake of the civil rights movement. >> before we move to angela j. davis for "policing the black man" raises such a difficult and complex topic. in my travels of reading the
book i saw people look at me because i was holding a book called "white rage"." i wanted to know what has been their reaction to your book as you have traveled around the nation. >> some of the reaction has been vitriolic as you can imagine and somebody telling me to put my pipe down. i might? why can't i via matt? [laughter] and i had another saying, we need to lock you need grow criminals away from us the way they did in apartheid south africa but on the other hand and that's the hand i like i have had so many people write to me saying i'm a 70-year-old white man in st. louis. i knew something was wrong.
i just didn't know what it was. thank you. i had a man say i'm a police officer in new york. i knew something wasn't quite right. i read "white rage" and now i understand, thank you. that has been the response. the other people who are really hungry to know how do they make this nation better, how do we create a just and humane society? they are reading the book because now it's giving them the facts because its evidence-based and it's giving them the language. >> thank you. angela. [applause] angela carroll contextualizes
the institution of slavery and lynchings and vote times buck and then comes the horrific phenomena of the killings of michael brown, eric gardiner tamir rice walter scott etc., etc. some of the names of the unarmed boys and men killed by police officers. this is not a new narrative as detailed in "white rage." your book has been described as relentlessly informing and disturbing. can you tell us what was your trigger to write the book of what inspired you? >> so first of all again thank you to the texas book festival and thank you to all of you for being here. when i was approached about an anthology that would attempt to conceptualize many horrible
awful killings and you mention just some ofbl them i jumped at the opportunity because really there's no issue that is more important to me than the end there treat than the black and brown people in the criminal justice system in this country and every step of the process through sentencing. i'm eager to take on the project. i reached out to the people in the country who io know are the thinkers, writers, authors, educators, agitators who are out here writing and teachingho abot the issues and in many instances living this issue and i was so fortunate that so many of them said yes. what we have to do in this book is to talk about this in a broader sense. the killings of all of these black men and boys that served as the catalyst for the book but then we begin to think about the issue in a broader sense about how black men are treated in process allf the
the way from arrest through sentencing and it's important to highlight a point that you mentioned. and that is although i think the intention of the country to focus on when trayvon martin died in 2012 and that's fond of black lives matter movement which by the way is the most important social justice movement of the day. [applause] kids out there on social media plain? no, this is an important social justice movement that should be taken seriously byha everyone. and i will say if you look throughout history when some of these killings have taken place so the trayvon martin killing started the black lives matter movement but after maker evers was killed and after martin luther king was killed you saw
this resurgence of the social justice movement. i will say that these killings did not start with trayvon martin. the killing started from the time that we were brought here and enslaved in 1519 and they have consistently from 16192 today from slavery to the lynchings of the 23rd century to the present day. we have law enforcement officers and vigilantes who have taken the lawn there on hands killing black men and boys and not being held accountable in any meaningful way. also the difference however is that today we are seeing it with their own eyes. technology, social media, cell phone cameras now have allowed us to actually witness these killings with their own eyes immediately. we saw eric garner being choked
to death on staten island. we saw walter scott being shot in the back like an animal as he ran away from that cop. we sought 12-year-old tamir rice playing in the park being murdered by that police officer and not one of those police officers to date has been held accountable. many of them were never even charged. eric garner's killer and tamir rice's killer were never charged. terrance cruncher had his heirs heirs -- had his hands up in the air. we sought to cameras at dash cam and a helicopter we saw his hands up and the officer shot him down and killed him. she was charged as she was found not guilty. not one has been held accountable so these killings served as a catalyst that they began -- began to think of how our hoar blackmon treated in the criminal justice system in general so hence the subtitle of the book arrest imprisonment and
arrest prosecution and imprisonment. racial profiling and policing in the killings. there chapters about prosecution. there are chapters about imprisonment and about the laws that were mentioned before and about how they systematically permit a lot of these things to happen. that story really tried to do with this book, educate the public about this problem in general and hopefully inspire people to want to do something about it. >> the sa boys to men, i love that name the rule of policing and social is this enough -- socialization of black boys, there's another when times one making implicit biases explicit, black men and police by catherine russell brown. two examples of how it creates
suspicion. >> that chapter boys to men by christian henning who directed the clinics at georgetown law school and were the one of the top experts on juvenile justice these are issues i've been thinking about writing about for years. i've learned more that i didn't know about and that is black boys are treated worse than black men if you will. she lays it out so painfully quite frankly with so much evidence in her chapter. also implicit bias and how black boys and focusing on them their mere existence. they are criminalized by their mere existence. black boys are not allowed to be boys but you know kids because they are kids they play around, they joke around and do things
and we can see it in some kids. it's just kids being kids that wentnt black boys play or when they do nothing when they are just on the street corner and she lays out the examples so well in her chapter they can be hanging out on the corner but police officer see black and they see crime and they are going to go over in their hands on them and they are going to throw them on the ground. are going to press times first them and humiliate them and anyone who is treated like that, if you are treated like that if you were doing nothing wrong what would be your response? you might fight back. once they begin to resist in the slightest way suddenly they are assaulting a police officer or they are disorderly. there is a crime now and now have probable cause and i can arrest you. this is true for men as true for boys and it's just a painful reality. you mentioned implicit bias. implicit bias is something that
catherine talks about. i don't know if you've heard that term but is something that all of us suffer from. it's those subconscious views that we all have that we are not even aware of that stem from the stereotypes we are faced with in the media and around this that cause us to respond in a certain that we are not even aware that we are responding that way. jesse jackson many years ago got in a lot of trouble because he was talking about how he heard somebody behind him and he turned around he was relieved when it was a white person. jesse jackson said that pay love jesse jackson but he said that. when they seem laxly see crime so police officer's and prosecutors in times and other people are acting on it it has deadly oftentimes deadly consequences and if not deadly,
devastating and unfair consequences. when you are treating people differently based on the color of their skin and you are not even aware you are doing it that you are creating these awful racial disparities that we have in our criminal justice system that's where the problem lies. there are some people who are directly racist but a lot of it is implicit bias and unfortunately our two courts did not thereby to remedy. they say you have to show intentional discrimination. what do we do when we have people that are acting subconsciously and treating people of color unfairly? we have to look the owned providing us a legal remedy for that kindal of racism. >> one more question before you open it to the audience. in her book the prosecution of black men ended many of her presentation to focus on the .rosecutors i've heard you use the term discretionary decision so why
focus on the prosecutors? >> one of the things that i found fascinating in an area the news that i didn't understand is how is it that the prosecutor and the people who should times should make the charging decisions why do whether they have so much power and discretion and they were making decisions that were sometimes fair but there was no way to hold them accountable. it's very important we stay focused on all law enforcement. police officers we should be holding them accountable but police officer's, they only have the power to bring a person to the courthouse door. they don't have the power to charge a person. it's the prosecutor who makes the decision about whether that person will remain or become entrencheded in that system. the prosecutor decidesey whether that person will be charged with a crime what that charge willcie
in that decision as well as the plea-bargaining decision whether to offer a deal or a plea bargain to the defendant, the prosecutors who in essence control the criminal justice. the judge has no control over it and the combination of those decisions and i would just mention by the way people think there are all these trials going on and everyone has a right to a jury trial if they are facing six months in prison. if you watch law and order one, two, three, four, five or how many law and order shows are on their there are a lot of guilty pleas going on. 95% of all criminal cases are resolved by way of a guilty plea. people are pleading guilty and it would be fine if it was a
fair process where people were feeling they were doing it freely and voluntarily but that's not the way the system works. prosecutors can bring charges so easily. they only have to meet this low standard called probable cause so they can pile on charges. it's so easy to make out that standard. and a proof beyond a reasonable doubt that they have to prove in trial. you can see how the defendant facing a long list charges that might carry five or 10 mandatory years in prison even if that person might plead e guilty. a happy ending to the story was naacp with an educational fund came in and free them. but innocent people, right?
you feel like oh my god if i go to trial spend the rest of my life in prison and you don't know what a jury will do so maybe i will plead guilty w to one. it gives the prosecutor and advantage and people feel compelled to plead guilty. if it were a fair process where the prosecutor opened their books and they only brought the charges they should bring in people were doing it voluntarily that's not the way it works in united states of america. i argue we need to be paying close attention to the prosecutor. all the states except for in the district of columbia district attorneys as they are e called n the state and local level are elected officials that most people don't pay attention to that. a lot of times there's one person who runs unopposed and they serve for decades and if anyone opposes them people don't
really know. i urge people to pay attention to your das because these are the people that control the criminalth justice system. ask them questions about how their policies are increasing racial disparities in their policies are increasing the mass incarceration problem where we have the highest incarceration rate in the world. ask them those questions. they will be shocked and they might say but asked them because that's how we hold them accountable. this is a democracy and to whom we grab power we hold them accountable. we haven't done that. that's why i focused on them. i urge people to pay attention to the district attorney. >> we have a few minutes for questions from the audience if you have any questions. [applause]
there is a mic here if you have a question. >> we had the biggest mass shooting in american history in las vegas and there was comment about gun control of course but my question is why didn't anyone have a discussion about rage after that event? that is exactly what that event was all about, wasn't it? >> yes but the way that i am defining white rage is not through the kind of violence that we are used to or through charlottesville or the clan or even through a mass shooting but it is through the very clinical policies that are coming out of state legislatures and out of school boards where they are
redrawing voting districts to dilute the power of so many americans where they are making choices about where school districts will be and where they won't he and those sorts of things. that's the kind of white rage that i'm talking about. as a s society we are really drn to the flames but we miss the kindling. we even see las vegas but we are not paying attention really to the a way these gun laws came to beac and the impact of them and where they are racialized. that is a very different kind of discussion. >> the first thing i wanted to mention was a guess we should mention and give thanks to the texas observer who broke the
story. [applause] that was a really good a thing. in any case my question is about this. when i think about issues that affect african-americans and hispanican americans and white people as well in this - countri can think of some things that would make things better. for instance a 15-dollar an hour minimum wage makes sense economically for white people and african-americans and hispanics representative in lower wage still wants. help them as well. i think of things i'd utter suppression. that's a relatively new n phenomenon since it was set free by the supreme court overturned by the formula that was used to
decide which places -- the one thing. >> we need to get to your question. >> that sorry about that. the thing that stumps me about it is the thingt a a about shoos of young black men by usually white police officers and i'm kind of stumped by what to do about w that. i don't know how to get to a solution about that. it's against the law already to shoot people unless you are a cop so that is my question. >> let me with that question even higher. people asked what they can do. how would you respond to that when people say what can we do? >> i believe one of the things that both of us are talkingin about is we have to fully engages in a democracy.
we must hold our elected officials accountable. too often we are lulled into complacency by the sound bites on law and order, tough on crime crime. he was a thug and that's all you have to say and it's not enough. it's not enough. i look at tamir rice where you have the police who lied about how they killed a 12-year-old toy and then when the videotape comes out that they didn't know was out there you see in fact they shot him dead and within two seconds they are rolling up on him. you have obstruction of justice and lying. if nothing happens, we have to hold these officials accountable so who is appointing the police chief? who is appointing, i mean how
are we looking at who the d.a. isis because the d.a. says thers something really wrong with tamir pavlich w parents. this seems to me like they are just trying to get paid. when you have the d.a. that's looking that greedy parents and you don't even allow grieving parents to grieve but in fact when they are demanding justice as the district attorney you are casting aspersions on the grieve because you are just seeing them as hustlers trying to makest a lock off of their dead son. he needs to be voted out. >> i agree with that. [applause] like carroll i believe in this thing called democracy. i want to say something about the cop killings. unfortunately the law permits police officers to use deadly force in a wider range of circumstances.
in a series of supreme court cases reasonableness standards i was in fear when they said they are in fear even if it's not reasonable it permits them to use deadly force and that's a problem. we don't have much time left but a lot of solutions in a lot of different ways. mayors and police chiefs, we vote for mayors. one of the things that brought das to the forefront of so many das refused to charge a police officer. many need to pay attention to das in their lack. also equally the protest had been going on in the black lives matter movement. that's important too. we need people protesting and we need people legislating in litigating.
i tell people this, everybody can do everything but everybody can do something. the things you canhe do, do that thing and you'll make a difference. [applause] >> we have time for one more quick question. >> the police have been so oppressive for so long in so many different ways. are you aware of any effort either in the united states or elsewhere where people want to reduce police budgets and find other ways of maintaining order of times other than so heavily relying on militarized police? >> yes, there are movements out there appeared people who are in their communities saying we don't have to turn to the police for everything. the bad thing is they don't want to turn to the police. in the interest of time i will just say there are various
communities and individuals looking t to ways not to be vigilantes and take and take go on to their own but to address it in ways that don't involve people being put in the criminal justice system. i say to people all the time we can hold people accountable in other ways besides putting them in a cage. they find other ways to hold people accountable for things. i don't know about police budgets but there are movements to change and trained police officers. there is a lot of work being done. >> carolyn angela we thank you for being here. [applause] [inaudible conversations]