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tv   After Words Sen. Raphael Warnock D-GA A Way Out of No Way  CSPAN  August 3, 2022 8:48pm-9:45pm EDT

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>> thank you very much for being here with me today and allowing me too talk to you a little bit about your r great book. i guess was just released yesterday. i am particularly interested in this book. more so because of its title, a way out of no way. have been born and raised in a parsonage i am the son of a fundamentalist. so we kind of know a little bit about what that means. won't you tell me a little bit why you picked this is the title of your book. >> great thank you so much for it's wonderful to be here with you. as you point out both of us are what they call pk's we are preachers kids. in the title of my memoir, a way
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out of no way. the phrase deep in the culture of the black church. and let me hasten to say but we say the black church as you know, we have never met anything racially exclusive about that but we talk about the antislavery church. or talk about the church that was literally born fighting for freedom. n and bearing witness to our humanity. you're notis in a black church, you are not in churches that raise and shaped me and you for long, without hearing someone in the midst of a service count may be the preacher, somewhat in the choir, a testimony saying god makes a way out of no way. and it is a phrase borne of suffering and oppression. and of keeping the faith even when it seems like the odds are overwhelming of hoping against hope. putting 1 foot in front of the other and moving forward,
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walking through the darkness knowing the light shines in the darkness and the darkness over, at night. the memoir reflects on the culture that has shaped me. but it is my story as an expression of a larger american story. >> that reminds me a little bit of a choice they made for my memoirs and i called it blessed experiences. and it comes from my dad's favorite hymn, blessed assurance. as you just said, this is my story, this is my song. singing his praises all the day long. that reminds me a little bit of what i read in your book. you seem to be saying in this book that you feel that you are preordained of the ministry.
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you made some choices about where to go to school, based upon that. sure that with us. >> it was pretty evident to mei early on that i was headed into ministry. although my dad, buses andas memory, was a pastor and my mom later went into ministry. there was no pressure from them o or me too go into ministry. i come from a large family. one of 12 children and my family of 11, first college graduate. but early on, i was captivated by this idea of going into ministry. as a point out in the book "a way out of no way". in some ways it started out in terms of my preaching. the first time i stood in the pulpita should preach it was on that youth sunday. i grew up in a small church where they allow the young people to really discover their
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voice. and one sunday night i have six older brothers. the one just above me delivered the message that sunday on youth sunday. i sat thereai listening to him. i said i can do that. [laughter] accent may be a littletl better. was time for youth sunday to roll around i made it clear. a couple month shy of my 12th birthday was the first time i stood and a pulpit trying to express my faith. as they went along, my parents were great examples for me. but there is a another voice that was formative for me. and that was for martin luther king jr., who absolutely captured my imagination. but, i was partt of a generation of young people whose parents
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were fighting for his birthday to become a holiday. i'm sure you will remember that struggle. and even before it became a holiday, my parents and many other parents across our city in across the country, pull their kids out of school on the birthday. i remember sitting at the main street ymca all day listening to ndthe king's speeches, watching eyes on the prize. and his voice and the way in which his faith came alive and practical ways so people had the courage to stand up for themselves, it captured my imagination. i went to morehouse college largely because that was a school doctor king attended. >> is kind of interesting. doctor king had a profound impact on me as well. i was a 19-year-old college student. when i first met doctor king, i met him and john lewis the same
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weekend. back in 1960 on the campus. and what happens in movements like that, there is always some generational approaches and there is a little disagreement that cropped up among us students. and we asked doctor king to meet with us on that campus. he came to meet with us. and a great do we get together at 10:00 p.m. and the evening about an hour. i and john lewis so that meeting 10:00 o'clock meeting for one hour, we walked out of there at 4:00 a.m. the next morning. and i called it. and so i know it had to be a
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tremendous impact for you to grow up, and go to the same school. it is appropriate. >> i just wanted to attend the school that martin luther king jr. attended. i had no idea i would later become the pastor of the church and stand in the pulpit where he served alongside his dad from 1960 until 1968. while i was a student morehouse college. her talk about this in the book also. we have an event on campus and i was president of the students who work in the chapel.l the chapel assistant they were called at the martin luther king junior national campus contract capitol. we invited some of the public officials in the community to come to this event. the only one who showed up was your friend john lewis.
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john lewis is troubling us first or second term in the congress. and that is when i met him. honestly, i do not remember what he said that night. he gave a speech at our events, it was a long time ago. it was the ministry of his presence alone, the fact that he took the time to come and spend time and after words i remember him standing around and spending some time with i had no idea that later on i would become his pastor. i will be the pastor of ebenezer baptist church. it was just kind of courage, the courage of the john lewis and amelia. one of the women, we do not lift those names up nearly enough. she was gas on that same bridget. i later met her. o hosea williams cross that bridge with john lewis. it is the faith that people like
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that who really did not have any reason to believe that they could win. we look back at the civil rights movement. and too often we speak about these victories. the voting rights law. t as if these were inevitable victories. they were improbable. quite improbable. >> out just improbable but as you point out is for people to understand. did not all happen in one fell swoop. when i think about the work try get your civil rights act past but when it passed the didn't have housing in it, and really the part dealing with
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discrimination, only applied to the private sector. did not even apply to the public sector. when you look back on that, you got the civil rights act of 64, you've got 65, the housing lot and 68, and another to thela public sector until 72. over an eight year period and people look back on as if it was all happening in one fell swoop. when i looked at your book and think about your journey, thesee incremental steps then live to be the perfect of the enemy of the good, that is exactly right. that the american story is such that there are moments when the democracy expands. and we brought an hour view one nation under god.
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there are moments when it contracts. >> maybe it's the preacher in me who remembers contractions are remember for a new birth a new possibility. and so you keep moving, you keep bending that arc through fits and starts. and i am a product of the work that you all did. i am a head start alum. >> i did not know that. >> me and ben are the two members of what we call the head start caucus of the united states. >> that's great, that is great. and i'm glad you pointed that out.t. his so-called great sociy program and i don't have to tell you you a native of georgia me of south carolina. we know the history of the states and the fact is that a lot of people talk about even today?
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that lyndon johnson's great society programs failed >> lyndon johnson great society programs fail. nothing to be further from the truth paid the great society dii not fail and you just mentioned that was a great society. and is still going on today. >> to you in the saturday the new president of south carolina state. [inaudible] it did not fail. >> the folks you may not know it ensures the poor children to have access to learning and literacy will be three and four years old when the blame is glowing in the move on the firing and if you don't engage parts of the braids enter braint during that time, the science is atrophy, it's really part of how you change the world as you
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invest in young people. particularly in the very, very young. along with my parents expose mea to reading and a love for learning and i like to say to folks all the time with all these sophisticated folks who have degrees and credentials in position i hate to share with you, as smart as you are young never be as smart as you are when you were four years old. >> that's where the real magic and power happens. not that it can't happen in other places but that's an important place to invest. then in high school i had a high school principal who invited me to become part of the program which was upward male, part of the old programs of pork in the grip of public housing on a
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college campus. if you can put a kid on a college campus, he or she can imagine themselves there. ice that my summers engage in academic enrichment. my saturdays in university when it came time to go to college will did not have the money on a fullface scholarship. but the other part of that story is pell grants, low interestn student loans. i sit today in the united states senate as a senator who knows the difference that good federal public policy can make. >> we talk about our backgrounds and ptas, hbcus, in universities. when i did that in the earliest the program youed just mentioned was number one.
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talent search was number two. special students concerning program. i ran the program in south carolina. >> rreally. >> absolutely. >> i did not know that. >> i did not know you were part of the program. >> there's a pretty big trio. especially in the house side about my colleagues were in one of the trio programs. >> a big testimony to find you well and you know the benefit of these efforts. that's what you been so engaged in programs like what can we do about student loan debt. what we can do for instance i'm interested on the senate side in a little bit on the house side in the cost of insulin and what
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that means and what the government ought to be doing about that. tell us about your priorities in the senate. >> i been focused on the work particularly around the healthcare long before i would run for office. my track is been ministry in my decision to run for the senate and served in the senate is an extension. i been fighting for healthcare for years. right now i have a bill on the senate side that we cap the cost of insulin to $35 of out-of-pocket expenses per person. i'm going to remind our viewers here today, you working on getting that passed in the senate. >> absolutely weirdly passed in the house. >> a fairpoint. >> i'm doing everything that i can to make sure we do our part. >> let's try to get this done in georgia one in 12 people is a
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diabetic, one in 12. in our country one in four spent on healthcare system is people with diabetes. period part of power of this focus on insulin which by the way the price gouging. >> take about one in $4 and i hope your. you think about the cascading impact of diabetes when it's not managed or the things that can happen, dialysis, kidney failure and needing to go on dialysis, amputation. the doctor shared with me that the number one cause of blindness is diabetes. it makes sense for the people that were trying to help but it makes sense for our overall
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health ecosystem. >> before dealing with your ministry i came along i was going to follow my father into the ministry we talked about it a lot. in a nomination. >> on state campus. i had a lot of these things that in my head but always a great call to the ministry. i kept listening. i went over to my dad and my dad said to me. that defines what it really means of the black community.
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something about your efforts in healthcare. looking at you said one in 12 sitting out there has got diabetes needs. i lost a 25 year battle to four shots a day of insulin. i saw what that cost was $1200 a month project that's been around for a hundred years. and it was around $35 a month. long before i entered the senate you they do look at it through the lens of b a pastor i have bn
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with families as they wrestled with the struggle that you described and you know very personally and intimately. it is the reason why i've been fighting since 2014 to get georgia to expand medicaid. of course south carolina is another state refusing to expand medicaid as politicians are playing a game focusing the bottles of ten years ago. so i've gotten arrested and civil disobedience again informed by that movement. again the state capital in georgia fighting for medicaid expansion. i came to the united states capital. >> you and i talked, the day i got arrested. trying to fight for medicaid expansion and resources from the children healthcare program. i was with doctor william barber and others and barbara told me
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it was my turn to get arrested. >> absolutely. >> we were all fighting. >> now my office is down the hall from the rotunda where i got arrested. in the capital police who were kind and polite and professional doing their job had to take me to essential booking that day. nowadays they help me to get to the capital. that's what i mean when i say my way out of nowhere. the journey, the work were
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trying to do, a the progress, it comes and starts. the democracy expands and contracts. america is a great nation because there have always been people that would've laid it all on the line for the country. he was a preacher but not with the credentials that i been able to gain because the sacrifice and the. my dad born in 1917 had an older father and he served during world war ii era allstate side for about a year. he used to talk about how he was on a bus and asked to give up a seat while he was in uniform to
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a white teenager and he obliged but he never forgot. but the thing that was remarkable about him. he would tell that story but he never allowed anger or bitterness to overwhelm him pretty deep in his resolve. he was part of a generation that loved america until america loved him back. it is his patriotism, his dream of a country that would embrace his children that inspires me to this moment. my mother much younger than my dad grew up in georgia and as i say sometimes the 82-year-old hands used to picks a s buddy else's cotton and tobacco picture younger son to be the united states senator. that is the great and wonderful complicated story at family
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history of america. america like all family has a complicated history. >> absolutely. you're talking about your dad, my father is 19 years older than my mother in minus 21. it's kind of interesting. my dad had the same kind of demeanor about him. a lot of indignities. that puts me where i am today. i think about that a lot and i'm sure you do as well. one of the things i wanted to mention, you mentioned your father in uniform and being discharged in georgia i will home to south carolina in
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uniform and was right off the bus and not a blind man but because of the incident harry truman saw that and heard about it, that's what caused him. >> i'm never innovated by the congress, it was the president finally in executive order. the congress came along but these and delta and south carolina and even though about to the state. another thing we have in common. john lewis and you were his pastor. >> it was really hard to serve john lewis. i met him when i was a college
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student and later when i became the pastor of ebenezer church, i became his pastor. in some of my earliest memories are surveyed not only him but his wife who was quite old when i came japanese or church. i did a number of pastoral visits with lillian lewis who is a strong abominable spirit in her own way later from time to time i would spend some time with him in dyads i was preparing to preside over his funeral which happened while i was running for the senate. >> i was sitting there and i remember asking myself as i was thinking about john lewis, what was he thinking when he was crossing the bridge and nothing
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with thehe backpack on trenchcoat. i don't know but here's what i know, i know he was not thinking but at my death there will be three american presidents at his funeral. on both sides ofhe the aisle because we all respected john lewis. he was not thinking one day he would be the recipient of a presidential medal of freedom. i think he was just trying to stay alive that day so he could fight the next day. >> get by some stroke of destiny mingled with courage and human determination. he built a bridge that became a bridge to the future. he built the ark a little bit closer to justice. it wouldn't think about him in relationship to these difficult times that were going through the forces of division that are
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emerging and speak with an embarrassed audacity. we cannot afford to give up, who am i to give up having known john lewis. he didn't have any reason toay keep fighting but he kept fighting the good fight and told us to stand listen good trouble. that's the worker tried to do even now as the legislature. i'm in the congress and the senate but it is the spirit of the movement in the face that is always center of justice and compassion and mercy and the level of humidity by god's my word. >> they got to be great friends.
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you and i were a part of the foundation several weeks ago. and to really remember. john lewis was a little bit different for me anyway, you may internalize what he did. we practice nonviolence. john internalize nonviolence. i don't know. but watching him and having to lie to him for about an get to 218 in the house side and if you go to john you probably knew the content of the measures and you could talk to john about that. there's certain things about him and close to i've ever met. in the cancel war and peace john
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was always on the side of peace in the defense bill the whole time because there is always something there. it must've been a great experience to be his pastor. it was. let me ask you a little bit coin forward. i talked about the past and they said if we fail to learn the lessons of the past, do you think we learn those past lessons sufficient enough from the current divisions of the privacy in the country? >> i certainly hope so. we have to remain vigilant. i think we have to anchor
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ourselves in the story of folks that fought the good fight and i think we have to be willing to stretch ourselves to create unlikely alliances in order to do good work. one of the things that we got done in this congress was the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. i mentioned that because that may seem odd that i bring that up but for me infrastructure is about more than justor brick-and-mortar, absolutely. >> it's more than roads and bridges, is more than broadband. it's really about the spirit of the country. it's about the recognition that there are some things in some spaces that we have to share that is our shared house, the house that we live in. if you think about how broken infrastructure has been and for
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how long in the wealthiest country on the planet. i think i broke the infrastructure in the reflection of the brokenness of our politics, there is a breakdown and a lack of attention to the covenant that we have for one another for schools to bee crumbling. for us not to have this derail in the kind to embrace it. i think i've seen this is a pastor, sometimes in a family is struggling and you're having conflict in your family, all families do. you can't always solve the problem, you can sit here and argue about this issue and that issue forever or sometimes the best thing you could do while you're working to the issues rather than working at each other, find something to work on together, to dream and to build and while you're building and working and perfecting the space that you share together that provides a context to work
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through some of these fault line and divisions that folks are trying to stir up right now. we passed infrastructure bill is strange thing happened that i never would've predicted. it's called the cruz warnock amendment, ted cruz that is. ted cruz and i disagree on many, many things to be sure. he and i are both on the commerce committee of the senate and as it turns out he had something that he wanted to get done that i also wanted to get done in the night we passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill we had to do it as an amendment we cannot do as committee. he made his argument for why hep thought this should happen and i stood up and made my argument and i heard my folks say words i never thought i heard my cell say something along the lines i
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agree with the senator from texas. the chamber burst out in the past overwhelmingly. twitter began to fire up. folks on my side and i suspect his side. my staff was showing me what was going on on twitter. folks were asking what is the cruz warnock amendment. it's very, very simple. i 14th and interstate he wants to see built out in texas and t name the priority quarter so we can get the resources to build it out. the interstate that runs through texas also runs through georgia. absolutely it connects blue and red communities. chocolate cities of vanilla suburbs, all of the things that we think divide us and if we can get the highway built out, all. kinds of folks can get on the highway to get to where they need to go.
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>> absolutely when you think about that i-95 maine to miami, how many states does that cross, bringing all these communities together. when you check with the i-95 corridor midst defined by what state you're in. it's gotta be interesting. >> in a larger sense my point there is a highway that runs through our humidity. >> larger than race. >> you mentioned earlier, how do you do that. >> that's how you do it getting people with infrastructure that we don't usually think about that's really there. >> i want you to share this little but, this book in the title one my favorite
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scriptures. uni operating on faith-based. >> something that we are hoping for and we don't see yet. you running the senate and a lot of us realize what happens in the senate. tell me aboutom your hope for se of us. >> we got some things done i' this congress and i think it's important to point that out. we passed the american western plan which helped us to get this virus under control so we could reopen the economy. we supported municipal government cities and states so they didn't have to lay off municipal workers, firefighters and police officers.
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that deal provided resources or schools could reopen safety, be retrofitted in response to the pandemic. we help farmers and we passed the single largest tax cut for middle and working-class families in american history. i'd hoped we would extend it to expand the child tax credit but we did pass it. we passed the bipartisannf infrastructure bill. now were working on the jobs and competition bill which would help ensure that america remains competitive and continues to lead into the 21st century. we need all of our taliban in order to doo that. we need to invest in high attack hubs and colleges and university in research and development. despite of all of that people are in pain. >> the glass half full requires
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that we focus sometimes on the things we need to fill up the glass. there are so preoccupied. we lose and everything else. >> i'm glad you meant to those things. >> the appropriation bill, that was huge during these times i've seen that happen and were still working as you mentioned. >> he keeps me up at night right now i'm thinking about the pressures that ordinary families are feeling. they go to the gas pump nacbu record prices for oil and gas companies are experiencing record profits but we've got a deal the price gouging, the ways in which also prunes were is not helping with pressures around
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that. one of the things i'd like to see is pass a federal gas tax extension as we make our way through these difficult times. i'd like to see to cap the prescription drug and get the bill across the prescription line and the cost of insulin capped and continue to invest in the future for all of her children. >> today as we were sipping this program the house passed a pretty significant piece of legislation that would lower the cost of fuel and food. working to say hello to the senate. [inaudible] >> unfortunately i'm going to be doing everything i can in considering the concerns of the
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american people. >> there's a lot about inflation, $5 a day in summa six and eight and some other countries. they often think whether or not we would allow the price gouging. so much of this cost of the public is suffering through had nothing to do with this administration or the congress. it had to do with whether or not everybody the perfect sector slipped up.
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i'm glad you mentioned that. we came here to talk about your book. i'm not sure what all this iste about. it's my life's work in your life's work and i'm deeply honored to be able to do it on behalf of the people of georgia. >> let's talk about going forward. insomuch of what this future is about and use. the campaign which means and won't get into policy and politics. simply is important to show people exactly a little bit more
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about you today we know of what you've come. but what your vision, not just future but your vision for this country's future in the world. >> when you see me you see someone that knows personally the difference of the federal policy in the head start, low interest student loans. i've been pushing the president for leading with student debt cancellation and the holiday coming back to georgia there is a few rows ahead of me and theyl had their young son with them and he looked like he was-year-old or so.
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in the asked for my autograph which is a strange thing to me. i don't think about myself in those terms. and then the mother handed me an airline ticket and she had written a note on it. she said can you please do something about student debt. she would have to say the little no nightcap and now i look at it that she borrowed $35000 getting through college to make your alife better and borrowed 35000 to the college graduate and pay back the 35000 and she still owes 30003 she felt like she was in a government sanctioned loan
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debt or debt trap. a lot has happened since a 37 years since i graduated from college. too many of the young people now have a mortgage before they even get a mortgage. student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt in our country. it has surpassed automobile loans in our country. that has huge implications. when young people in their 20s and 30s and 40s way down that candidate. it makes a very difficult to buy a home, very likely to start a business because you shackled by this thing. so would gotta get control over the cost of college which is outpace inflation significantly for a long time now. we got a deal with the fact that over the last 30 years or so state governments have shifted
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in a college education to families and their borrowing t this money and a lot of structural issues. in the meantime i would love to see the president give people some relief of student debt cancellation. he's been good on this in the positive payment. i would like to see us do that. i would like to see us cap the cost of prescription drugs capped the cost of insulin. i would like to see us invest in the future which is what this competition bill that we're working on right now is all about. >> that's another thing that we began to think about. i just raised today because of the history i'm surprised there's people that don't realizeas this. this is really important with social security.
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i saw, let's just say a member of the senate now putting forth the motion. >> what is that about when social security first came on my mind in 1935, it did not cover people who farmed with us, it did not cover domestic workers and black people in this country with the fields of employment. social security did not apply to them. over time all these people in social security to now he did not talk about social security is not a good thing. i'm sure that that is somethingt we need to have a discussion about. what do we need to do, a thing
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thatre we began. there is a lotki of people that worked in jobs that were not allowed there to have 501 whatever we call, the things i don't know. i'm not a stock market person. my social security. it's a big thing we gotta stop. >> we have to honor our mother and a father. >> the scripture says her days will be long, we have to protect our seniors and we also have to honor the pack that we have with our veterans, georgia is one in ten people interstate attached to the military and we seen a new generation of veterans post
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911 veterans who have been exposed and had toxic exposure in afghanistan and iraq and other places and they've had a hard time getting t the benefits as a result of their service. they literally go abroad and fight for us and come back home and have to fight with us for the health benefits that they deserve. with honoring our pack across the finish line it'll make a huge difference for about 3.5 million veterans. >> absolutely. >> we work for our seniors and people in our golden years to be free of the anxieties that they are currently caring, i do know the importance was to stay focused on making their way out of nowhere and sometimes you
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gotta have time as long as it's a time to unite. >> you looking pretty good. >> i seem okay but the fact remains that there is so much that needs to be done and once again i think the scripture says recall the elderly. >> young man i call you because your strong old i call you. >> there's gotta be a balance. in another way that you'd be able to rely upon those of you who are much stronger and thoses of you who are so strong should benefit. perhaps that's what this book is all about. >> about your faith is all about. >> i say all the time faith means so much, not just in the
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black church but it means so much in the american way. that's what democracy is all about having faith in each other is dependent upon each other. making it better than what we found it and makes it so important. and what we should be doing for children and c grandchildren. >> if i would asked you to tell us in political terms. i know what the future holds what would you advise young people today about the future. some of whom are wondering whether there is good to be anything for them, what would you say to a youngster. >> dreaming about whether or not
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they will be able to go off to higher education. and i say that because they goo beyond college. i think it's very important for electricians. >> and community college. >> what would you say. >> there is a great graduate named howard thurman. a great thinker and howard thurman said ask not what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive. i would encourage a young person who has seen your story, heard my story to connect to that thing that gives you passion in the thing you would do even if you were paid except you got to make a living. the thing that captures your
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imagination. you can connect with that and then prepare yourself and perfect your craft, whatever that is. you will find a place and you'll find people who will help you along the way. ibm credibly blessed. i gripping the family when we were short on and long on helping allow laughter my o family. part of this journey is not taking yourself too seriously. even though we living through serious times. it is certainly well and i lovef to represent the people of georgia in the united states senate. it is difficult but a lot of the scripture continues to import my journey, and the darkness has overcome. the times are difficult and there's a way to penetrate the
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darkness. >> i'm glad you mention two things. i've said to them over and over again, you supposed to earn your pay. one of them with your campaign. >> so good about that. >> a friend of mine said to be what he going to do now,. >> i said that the base he's
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going to realize the baseball world but i would say to young people today just remember noe matter how many times that you tried the next time may be the time. never give up despite and thank you for not allowing the life in which he started with vina berdin to put you where you are today. i'm convinced that we are gathered by our experiences in those experiences that you had in public housing struggling to get through college and getting a terminal degree and one of the famous culprits in america in serving the great dome of the united states of america as a united states senator, this is the first time i said this
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african-american to represent the state of georgia and the united states senate. definitely. all of that was because you kept the faith. >> you made the way. thank you for that. >> thank you. >> here's a look at what's coming up five on the c-span networks. at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span fbi director christopher wray appears before the senate judiciary committee for an oversight hearing. later at 3:00 p.m. coverage from london as britain's party leaders participate in a debate to be the next british prime minister. after boris johnson announced his resignation in july. at 4:30 p.m. we take you live to


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