tv American Historical Association CSPAN January 6, 2018 8:30am-10:31am EST
connection to this area in that fort leonard wood is a major army installation in missouri. a number of american servicemen and women have gone through basic training at fort leonard wood. gain anthat visitors appreciation for the role that firearms have played in american history. we hope they enjoy themselves. we hope they get to see has stored guns they might not have seen. we hope they enjoy the hollywood thatthat we display, those have been moved in movies as a big part of our culture. we are wanting education and enjoyment and entertainment along with that. our cities tour staff recently traveled to a springfield, missouri to learn about its rich history. learn more about springfield and other stops on our torque at c-span.org/cities tour.
you were watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. live to theou now hotel hererkman park in washington, d.c. for all the coverage of the american historical association annual meeting. over the course of the day, we will bring you several roundtable this as well as live interviews with historians in -- and we will respond to your calls and tweets. topics include watergate and how it impacted political partisanship as well as challenges for the national parks service in commemorating the post-civil war rick -- reconstruction era. first up, a panel of historians talks about the year 1968 and reflect on the major events that unfolded 50 years ago. this is live coverage on an american history tv on c-span3.
1968 as as called -- local and global event. i am the chair today. we are missing, unfortunately, one panelist who was sick last night and cannot make it, unfortunately. we are going to go in the order that we are sitting and 10 minutes each for a short presentation. this is a roundtable. and then we open up to discussion with you guys and the four of us. ok. >> hello, everyone. can you hear me? like this? ok. not in a creepy way? better?
ok. i want to thank everyone for coming today. i'm currently working on a book manuscript about egypt, the modern history of egypt. and it operates from apprentice that the egyptian people are a people that protest. and that has been well documented over -- since the early 19th century. we have this notion of continuity in student protests over the long history of egypt's modern history. however, the reason for protests often is different. and so, what i hope to talk about today is the student and worker protests of 1968 and really what i am interested in in egypt is the conservative term which takes hold in 1967. a lot of historians or political scientists really see the
conservative turn in egypt as happening in the 1970's. there is a lot of cultural evidence that would support that it happened much earlier. today, what i'm going to talk to about is a couple of things. egypt and film. -- egyptian film. music. and the siding -- and the sighting of the virgin mary in 1968 which is an interesting art of the story. in egypt, relations with israel and britain were sour in the 1950's after the suez crisis. the u.n. troops were placed between the two nations after israel, france attacked egypt. i just want to give us some context. 1960'sout the 1950's and nasser, his tone and stance towards israel became increasingly hostile as he mounted allies in syria who for a short time were part of the
united arab republic and jordan. in 1967, he received intelligence from the soviets that israel was planning to attack syria. with mounting pressure from the palestinians, the saudi's and the jordanians ordered that the straits be closed and the red sea. israel's only way to get out into the red sea. , the only access access israel had to the red sea . basically, he was taunting them into war. , on theounting tension sixth of june, israel attacked and within a day they had attacked and egyptian town. by 10 june, noster resigned in shame as it is really forces occupied golan heights, and the west bank. he had built his political career on panera biz of that focused on the removal of israel
from the middle east. it had shamed egypt as well as jordan and syria. his campaign against western economic and imperial domination, zionism had failed miserably. after egypt's defeat in six days. shortly thereafter, amidst protests about his resignation, he returned to power and began a war of attrition against israel resulting in another war in 1973 understood.. 242t accepted resolution which i will talk about in a minute which recognized the state of his -- the state of israel under the terms of land for peace. israel would return the sinai to egypt but not the west bank or the goal line or the palestinian territories. this defeat was not only a military defeat but also ideological. this was a particular kind of
leftism that no longer seemed to be a viable solution to stave off western encroachment and did not successfully combat israel. egypt no longer sat at the helm of middle eastern politics. in 1967, coupled with the oppression of the muslim brotherhood, began an ideological shift in the region that would culminate dramatically during the iranian revolution of 1979. in february 1968, industrial workers in the -- in and egyptian delta city took to the streets and protested the leniency of the sentences handed down to the egyptian air force generals who lost the war against israel in 1967. partiallyereafter, and marxist solidarity, students polytechnic all
faculty of alexandria university also protested the decision of the government to give lacks sentences to the men that shamed the nation. egypt, there is a long history of protests but when you have real action and power is when you see labor and students take to the streets. similarly to 2011. student led protests begin in egypt in 1966 largely as a result of elite students that traveled and lived in paris. the intellectual culture of students -- of protests was carried by the students. first66 delegation was a among the elite students in the academic community to politically organize and engage the noster regime. signifiedry protests the loosening of his grip on the masses and not the
organizational power of the at least in body. while many in egypt a threat the arab world still put their faith in him, egypt's political landscape was shifting ideologically. the organization of student protests europe did in november, 1968. unlike the february protests, these are directed as part of student dissatisfaction with the educational reforms. some students claimed that the reforms targeted the egyptian working-class body that needed more time. privileged the rich and hindered social mobility. the protest turned violent at the university of alexandria. the governor of the province was taken hostage. the military drove out the students. a number ofre were protests led by students and industrial workers and there was also a massive cultural
production centering on the loss against israel in 1967. poetk singer and another began criticizing nasser and subsequent regimes through music that perry date -- that parry parodied.at thebsequent film chronicled erratic lifestyle of a group of archetypal exceptions. drug use,yle included sexual promiscuity, and frequent partners. film werewomen in the the archetype -- the film was released in 1971 and was immediately banned. on a coffeetered
shop with the same name. it was released in 1975 directly attacking nasser's oppressive regime, the failure of 1967 and illustrated graphic into irrigation is. art, critique focused on a theme of centrality and void. it left the door open for religion to re-center the political, cultural, and social space. i will talk about the virgin mary. 1968 was the year that social unrest in protest plagued many
parts of the globe. rioting and radical leftist political ideologies clashed with western governments. while protests dominated with students also appeared in the middle east and the third world, the ideological divide did not exist in the same way. eastogues in the middle did not carry the same baggage with marxism and communism as did the u.s. and its allies. marxism was not inherently inular nor did it manifest monolithic understanding of the soviet union as the center of leftist gravity. andhe middle east, marxism its manifestations emerged to combat sectarianism in various forms. and as a rejection to western imperialism. capitalism dictated and uneven power relationship in which middle eastern nations remained economically dependent
on the west as postcolonial subjects. as a west continued to plunder them economically and support their greatest enemy. manynoster is some -- began to look at other forms of political resistance to the west, mostly religion. in the same year that students protested and industrial workers rallied against the government, the virgin mary appeared on the outskirts of cairo. he first witness believed saw a young woman who was about to commit suicide. hundreds of thousands of people gathered at the church and witnessed the event including nasser and other government officials. people reported being healed by the virgin and some heard her speak. she appeared as herself based in light. and people witnessed her appearance from 1968 until 1971. newspapers covered the event from around the world. the multiple versions of her
began in 1968. garnered a myriad of interpretations from secular and religious communities. although many disagreed about the authenticity of the apparition, most agreed that it civilized a significant shift. the intellectual community length ands at great there was a lot of assessment as to why this happened. a side note. it is the only recognized apparition outside of the west by the catholic church. what i want to leave you with is that one of the things that was associated with the virgin mary was that supposedly she said -- you can come here and see me in egypt because you can no longer see me in jerusalem. it appeared that the virgin mary had taken a stance on the war in 1967. coming tohat her
egypt at that moment illustrates that something was changing. leftism hadser and failed the egyptian people and they needed in some way to reclaim who they once were but in moregion complicated ways. the virgin mary's appearance repositioned cairo as a religious center for christians and provided a legitimate space for muslims to openly worship. on the operation to articulate their interpretation of the event. some articulated that she had come to save egypt, particularly the youth. the questions i would like to address in the question-and-answer. . is how do we understand 1968? in egypt, it is a time when a
lot of things are possible. when we have different forms of leftism, leftist activism. what we'll so have the beginnings of islam as a viable political alternative. thathistorians have placed much later. that it does not happen until the 1970's. that is largely influenced by the larger global cold war and an american -- and in america centric understanding of the .iddle east i would like to really flesh out those ideas and think about student movement and protests as being part of something much larger than just leftist politics. t why. you. [applause]
>> before i begin, i would like -- for putting together and the presentations that are rolling from this morning through tomorrow. her row a quarter. work.oic i will talk a little today about my work and my angle on this question. argument in my first book, was that an approach to postwar and 1960's history that began with attention to small groups of playful and radicalized artists would allow us to see otherwise familiar touchstones of the postwar era in a new and different light. it would identify political contention at the level of
everyday life and the complex relationship of art and politics to such contentions. that is the approach i am continuing in in writing my second book, "the art of revolution." i will be talking from that work today. taking new work, i am and intensified interest in the question of a global 1968 as part of a global 1960's. i wish to offering argument about how there can be diverse participation and local particularity within the phenomenon that is nonetheless global. that means a claim that goes 1968d noticing that it is everywhere across the planet at the same time like people get a calendar with the your circle. rather, it is a strong claim that there is a politics in 1960 that might be glimpsed a diverse phenomena. part of my approach to comparability turns on the question not of what might
typify a time but rather on dissent, and on the untimely. something that doesn't seem to progresse narrative of and redemption. and as it turns out, on the question of the political, of the eventful, it is bound up with such issues. of a film was shot from june through september of 1968 and was an attempt to give cinematic form to the dense mix of politics, sex, theory and history coming together in an explosive combination of tokyo. over snippets of political speeches and gunfire, the opening sequence displays the 24-hour world clock times in eventful locations around the
world. the 3:00 rented standard time, 10:00 p.m. in your, 11:00 in then asnd beijing, and the title turns to announce japan's standard time, we see a wall clock. rocklass is smashed with a in the hands are stolen. the film begins by framing the president as a moment of urgent simultaneity as a moment to be seized and rewritten. ofpoint in the beginning this film moment is to highlight the way in which people at the time, 1960 eight read as a moment of profound immediacy and of profound interconnectedness. instead of a globe separated by , there was aances
perception of a shared and even help presence to which all might lay claim to political agency. the tables had been turned by colonial struggles including the third world and africa as sites of foam and with profound connections for everywhere else. and i suspect favia will have something to stay about -- something to say about the status of maoism and china. it is this connection to engage in political action was to as some parteself of this transformative energy. defined one's daily life replete with eventful miss and potential and to see new possibilities from the loosens -- from the loosened grasp of the social determinations.
they worked to make visible the limitations and strictures of the normative categories of social life. the usual forms of belonging were found to be wanting for indeed, to be connected to andgs, both near at hand distant, and the vietnam war was a major figure for that realization including a places like mexico where the connection was far from obvious. politicization was simultaneously intensely local and global at the same moment. it was also multidirectional --aratchik and disk in 20 and discontinuous and its political solidarity. in japan, moved by such concerns, so-called ordinary people, typical students, citizens, the nonpolitical, all found cause to engage in activism and sought new understandings of the moment.
they offered a flexible, horizontal coalition. could adopt the principles of peace in vietnam and opposition to the japanese government's complicity in the vietnam war. each group would be responsible for their own policies and communicating across the network. groups like this formed the basis for the explosive spread of the nonsectarian all caps is joint structure -- joint campus committees. in these groups emerged 1968. proliferated across hundreds of university campuses. more than 67 campus seizures. it was in kyoto -- they called
for their own self negation. two and its furtherance of domination. this 1968, in the sense of a global movement truly begins in the space of restraint policing and daily eventful miss, diminished state legitimacy and intensified concern to the wrongs such legitimacy perfectly concealed your and far. this politics inaugurated new personalts with reflections to bring forth new actions and collective identification. at this level, i think we should consider the questions of comparability of how such politics become thinkable and of the proper approach to address
the nature of this politics. thatld finally argue grasping such a phenomenon requires particular care with our analytical categories. we could talk further about these problems. first, if the phenomenon in question is typified by what kristin ross has described as a flight from social determinations, then, as she cautions, if we reinstall it back within normative social categories like students, workers, and the like, we will effectively erase its essence. demonstrations, which it typified this era, are often treated descriptively and on the basis of numbers. -- i think analytically there are a lot of people on the street, it must be politics. we need to go further if we are going to think about what it is that might've led people to
political action. how yout another way, go from an empty street to a full tree. -- to a full street. my research has led me to argue for the importance of small groups. as well as the dialectic of force, violence, and legitimacy the joint and agents of the state. since the beginning of the political action involved if from normal social roles, we might pay particular attention to language, to the representation of violence and groups,ity, to abject media panics and the like for formsgns of such nascent of new perceptions irrespective of numbers. finally, and conversely, we might set aside the usual narrative traps for aligning
this politics, particularly in the figure of a declension is to argument that involves a handful of people whether it involved manson or the red army that somehow concludes or ends political possibility. >> good morning, everyone. it is an honor for me to be her. think those who thoseould like to thank who organized this series of panels. i feel honored to participate. to think about, to remember, to project 1968 specifically as we are marching into 2018. to my fellow panelists, to those of you coming to listen this early morning, i thank you.
we are talking on this panel about 1968 as a local and global event. how do we as historians negotiate 1968 as a global and local event particularly on it's a 50th year anniversary? in this time and place? we all know what is happening in this time and place. the best way to negotiate 1968 from the prevailing global perspective of the american mind, and i should say that a lot of my work deals with intellectual history, so i think the best way to negotiate 1968 from the prevailing liberal perspective of the american mind which is this a their prevailing global perspective of the white american mind, which is to say the prevailing global preset up of the racist american mind, is to recollect the blockbuster film that was released early
you're going to be politically in contrast to those arguing we are pro experience, racist progress over the last 60 years. in your mind you are only seeing progress that exploded in the and continues to this day. briefly, how ery ctivists remember what strategies worked in the '60s. determinedre largery as the strategies that they use today. any american activists of many strides believe that marches in the '60s were effective at change.g about social and so that is why marches are so popular today. actually believe it actually led to change '60s.entally in the
> i don't have much to add a ept that i remember when france's ago when president was elected, part of ending aign was about 68. t was an entire thing about ending 68. one could make it 68 and he was just being an idiot. is i think a problem of not simply 68, mbering or evaluating but how to remember and how to way that's not simply as they were saying days when or the old progress was made and how we can
way.progress in the same dentifying specific, you know, specific quests maybe for certain sense, specific problems. i'm actually kind of surprised surprised, but interested. stephanie pointed out 68 as a of turning to the right. >> yeah. moment at which the opposite we think of 68 sort of cuts out. about it, you think is not particularly surprising. we don't think about. i think the problem is pecifically, especially maybe now, especially, i don't know. long trajectory and pecific moments to think what kind of politics was embodied in of 68.lection
what failed, what didn't work? withoutlexities, again, nostalgia specifically. directly aboutis the concept of the global in the 1960s. historians and especially for people who are maybe younger cholars or coming up through the system. what do you find utility of the dea of looking at a global context in terms of these terms? of cially in the context what is being deemed as resurgence of masculinism politically. so when we talk about transnationalism in 1960s how do we reconcile the sort of return to a sort of we're list politics when looking at historians about things that don't necessarily boxes?national
thank you. >> who ever wants to go first. briefly k i can say hat it seems that the argument resurgence of nationalist politics in the united states is a little overblown. just to give one example, many of course, point to sort of one n as a of the forms of evidence to make the case where there's similar sm or even western merging in europe among far right parties. and i think what we don't there's an under lying global dimension to the slogan. makes america great has always been a global phenomenon. and i think that we sort of lose that.nd we forget about
that america is no longer the so-called free world because, how could it be the leader of a free world if it has a black person who's in that position? sayi just wanted to sort of that very briefly. and then secondly, i think as it relates to '68 in the '60s more broadly, i think as historians, think there were certain ovements that were fundamentally local and global. jobi think it's our sort of to sort of show that complexity. talking e an example, about now. just causing me to think about as many of k party, you know race, some of its early irms from selling the red book in berkeley. that's clearly an obvious the local andween the global.
one st maybe to underline of the things you said. national is global. are, they're able to make rhetoric about internal hings because they're in a world of nations and defying against each other in the same nativists and even fascist movements are intensely could not be more global. maybe the larger point is part of why you have to think about '68 in terms of a global perspective is that the act actuality of it. you'll get conversations or forms of direct connection, right? then you've got many mediated things -- this is a where there's, for the first time, satellite communication. images and tv and and all kinds of things are
happening. but the other thing that you and it's widely recognized, is if you read or study the of different places in '68, you will come across actors saying very, ery similar things who have no idea about each other. and that's a deep kind of level. have to pay attention to as well. his is a reality of the situation. >> just one thing i want to add particularity of the middle east context. '68, or '67 and '68 is not over. on.s still going trump just declared jerusalem the capital and people went crazy. why? because '67. okay. bernie sanders said i want to return to '67 border, people freak out. so for the middle east context, it is something that is unfinished. of returning to this idea of the global being in the case of egypt.
by western, global is a new term really.re, so it's important to discuss particularly because it's not just a place over there where things happen. part of the global dynamics of politic, geo political realities that are today.ing and it's something that's unfinished. so it's part of a continuum of something longer. lot of people right now, it's very cool and hip to connect '68 to 2011 in egypt. oh my god, of, these oppressed muslim people are like demonstrating. always have, you just weren't paying attention or cared. right? it's really important because it's something that's still going on. is a continual story that absolutely unfinished. >> yeah. another connection nationalism nd which is the fact that '68 comes
end, but kind of a specific moment in the process, long process of in onal determination anti-colonial global anti-colonial movement. if oesn't make much sense ou take it away from that in pretty much anywhere. long termther sort of relationshi relationship. sorry, i missed part of the global thing. i would say also to young with rs who are dealing global, as i think our panelists indicated.nd the global can't be an homogenizing temporality. soon as you start to
hemonogenize, just because you can say 1968 is the same year doesn't mean anything. that's just -- but i think all you have spoken very eloquently to that. know, what's come out here nd it's very interesting is this problem of a global simultaneoushat is but not homogenizing. 1968 historians think of as a moment of rupture as a sort of a particular -- and i think stephanie talked about how, the moment where you the conservative reaction setting in. about how it's a real continuity. a s a moment that shows continuation of themes that have already been long established into and continue on
that we can continue to see for today. wondering, again, how we as historians, you know, we time, because we have to. we all deal with chronology to.use we have and yet time in the chronological sense, time in linear sense says something on its own. do we historians make temporality signify, okay? that's a hugely abstract idea. think 1968 is a really ood moment to allow us to -- you've all started to think about this. continueif we can just thinking about that in its both is, oftness because time course, quite abstract. but, of course, it's also quite realities. its more er if we can think about how that -- i don't think
adjudicate to whether, you know, 1968 is a moment of openness. closure.ment of it's a moment of continuity. a moment of rupture, of repetition. of whatever, which is my favorite version of history repettiveness. it's about repetition. just wonder if you have anything more to say about that, of the problem of temporality and history. >> do you want to start? >> that's a difficult question. for '68, not continuing it marks a t to me very visible political o-evilness in terms of
temporality. across a of people different parts of the world are same thing.he again, it's not homogenizing at all problem. but they are sort of potentially, they can see each an recognize each other's a entially involved in political things and issues and battles. exactly to be contemporary. o that it's possible to think of, you know, timeliness of the problem everywhere. know, whether you are, you know, a student in or, you know, working in hunter in black africa. whatever. there is a possibility of
sharing a set of problems. thinking at the same time about the now of the present, reason shared.me which i don't think is a natural thing. happen all the time. doesn't. should, but it in '68 you have perceived, at temporality, which is politics. again, i don't know if it's just it's there, butd that's one thing that sort of unto me. particular -- in not as anything many ways the study, if you want o look into the issue of temporality of politics. >> do you want to say something?
entitled ast book i struggled ginning, i with this very question as it specific history. nd what i found through studying and conducting the way we havethat the established sort of racial temporality, for lack of a has been sort of racial us march of progress. so, but over the time activists have continuously made things are getting worse. and so how do you account for that very moment? like one person saying that it's etter than it was a generation ago. another person saying that it's
worse. r even the same person saying both. and i found that it's actually both. narrative ote a howing the simultaneous progression, racial progress and the simultaneous progression of racism. and so each now and each moment, you're '68 or 1978 or have people on the ground experiencing both racial progress and progression of racism. the way this simply works is of you would imagine when activists have broken down have broken down racist power, racist power or did id not go home in go to their sunny estates palm beach, florida. no, they actually remained and figure out new and more
sophisticated barriers. the realm of t in voting over the last 50 years. probably most obviously. >> maybe i'll say something, too. i wanted to touch back on co-evilness. about asically the sense that people equally around the world seize ime could be at the same time literally and not be somewhere kind of along the racialized developmental gradiant regardless of where they were. but that, you know, and that, in leading e of the focuses for action could be in africa or china or cuba or on and on. , t there's a sense in which
nd i think this also has an effect on how we speak again about '68 and about categories. there was a really intensely personal way which activism was constructed in the sense of temporality. is the ense that now moment in which at the same time social these sort of determinations are starting to people, that your oment now is when you will either continue practices that epeat and re-enact forms of domination, obscure and something or you do different. and, you know, this was, you mean, it was fell and articulated by all kinds of locationsall kinds of very differently. ut the sense of a shared presence was really i think
profound and one of the ways in which the temporality counts. >> anybody else have a question? don't duck down. you can just stand and speak. pointed l have clearly out that these different movements are paying attention other. but i was oftentimes when we're trying to teach this, it's like the world.ing around i'm wondering if you could talk about collaboration or modelling possibilities of the people to people exchanges that and ned crossing borders crossing movements. if you think that's a useful way asteach this for under grads way for them to perhaps model alternative past or future. if you could maybe give us thoughts on that.
thank you. >> i think that's a useful question. some ways i guess i would the kind of -- there's a nominalistic approach connections i kind of imagine batons being passed rom one person to the other as the only form of circulation or exchange, maybe with more media, batons or they're moving faster or something. whether we think about really have that we heads aroundap our solidarities.ider there's identifications. a sensing of sort of
without litical aging being able to assume that you is what this other person experiencing and you really have can somehow, you know, coop their experience. moved by it and can move in parallel. most k that's maybe the profound form of connection. say there's all kinds micromovementsge there's this ple artist yoshio, who goes from he's a goddess in high school. he's poor. to the ow makes his way continent. hitch hikes to europe. sort of ing these strange street performances hile selling paintings in places like antwerp and
amsterdam. out, his weird performances are historians are days came now a together with some other weird street activists who were doing anti-smoking things and so forth to give the kind of green light provos, the provo movement. these little catalysts floating about in ways impossible for us to catalog entirely. movements of people in all kinds of ways. e're probably going to be frustrated to try and put a net around it all. we can find some of these examples. i think that helps make things too.kable as well, >> can i just answer really quickly? i'm glad that you asked this question. something i think students grapple with. like, what do you mean? i start with a very basic that's going to sound
very novel which is, the world is connected. okay? operate from that assumption. you have to look at the world bathroom.saic tile all these blocks form together to make bathroom. at the pgrade from that very beginning and try to make global connections over time, which are very easy to do, frankly, it doesn't become so daunting. if you operate from a place that instead is connected, of, okay, now we're going to talk about the 60s where everything was connected, but we never talked about that before, it's difficult. story i'll use about sitecook. leader of the muslim brotherhood who was called. cook came to the united states because he really believed that american ideals school in p going to ohio. because he was classified as black,ly experienced segregation. it really put him off on the united states. is a horrible is
place that sells democracy globally, but in reality is one places i havecist ever been. i don't want anything to do with that. then he radicalized and became the head of the muslim brotherhood. this story is something that i tell students. and they say, okay, i can understand that. right? so i think the way to do it is to operate from a place where world is connected. use vignettes to help people something that's a very novel concept. >> good morning. my name is nicole gibson from manchester.f my research deals with homelessness in washington, d.c. from 1960 to 20th century. that the inding is
african-american poor were forgotten within the african-american community and political expediency. i'm finding that class muddies waters. not only for race, but also for study of inner city policing of the homeless. have developed nuance ways of dealing with frican-american poor in the public square. my question is, how important is 1968? in the study of saying it is quite believed also paris 1968 was very much a and ent certain social
political capital. that's my question. class in 1968. wants to stphart. >> i would say that i think that it's important for us to think about the intersection of class race. nd so when you're dealing with a racial class, as the black poor are. n other words, the racial component and the class component, then you're dealing with a group, you're talking about a roup of people who are both affected by racist, as well as policies, as well as racist and even elitist ideas. so, in other words, one of the we can understand it from is deological standpoint
people in a nation where believe that poor people are lazy. in that very same nation people believe that black people peopley, then black poor are going to be con figured as elites.han black just as they're going to be con figured as lazier than the white poor. those ideas, those racist ideas going to be believed by the white poor, but they're also going to be elites.d by black black elites who consume those black poor.the the certainly over the last 50 had a scenario which, because of the gains of rights and black power, oft has led to the emergence the first black middle class. lack middle class that largely
consumed ideas that the reason into the black middle class was because of work. own hard was because of their own prowess.al sort of specifically, stating that in blacks who didse not move into the black middle class. eliteerefore, those black were gullible to racist ideas black people are -- black homeless people are doing s out of their own and therefore they were more likely to support policies that the black homeless population. ut i think to say in sort of closing, i think what black elites did not realize, and i elites sort what of middle become elites don't in general, is that very racist policies that were
we think about racist policies in the united studies show that the igher black people rison the educational ladder, the more racist policies or i should say racial discrimination they're likely to face. discriminatoryly policies are then justified based on racist ideas about the poor. and so these black elites were basically hanging themselves this.t knowing same way we have white middle ncome people who are basically voting for people who are essentially hanging themselves the asically squeezing out white middle class. to say that i e think class is a central category and it's something americans, because of the baggage of the cold war, you ask anybody, what social class are you in? middle class. we don't like to think or talk
but it's clearly missing from the discourse. it's how donald trump got elected. class, t talk about right? so it's something that needs to with erjected intersectionality, i agree, with race, class and gender. hese things are imperative to really understand the complexity of the human being and how they move throughout the world. other reason i think it's important is because this category of student is kind of monolithe. we think about student activism or worker. ways to provide nuance on working class students poor industrial workers. this gives us more complexity and a richness to the story that be realized without it. from hink people speak their locations and is antanding what that is important beginning. nd i think it's also true that many times the economic
'60s is erasedthe from martin luther king jr.'s and we forget all these moment, ese important you know. or on the other side, things economic attack by the white citizens councils across the south. but, part of what is of interest the ways in which these locations people acquire a voice. particularly people who aren't supposed to have a voice. orkers aren't supposed to say things. they're not supposed to express things. they're not supposed to have apart from tivity official union location and so forth. nd so part of moving to
politics and the ability to peak in the '60s in some ways s an assertion of the ways in which one political subjectivity emands more than the little boxes they're in at the same time without forgetting what that is. if i can have the very last word. don't think it's particularly ew to say that '68 represent a moment of pride in class. in that -- that quite the contrary. but that class becomes more and part of what bill was saying in my own studies., you look at china world classes name of peaks in the the working class is a huge problem. who belongs in the working class issue.ssive what defines belonging? belonging.
in france, in europe in general. who represents the working class? speaks for the working class? what are working class demands? sort are all problems that of break open massively. they've existed before, but they spirit.k open in the and one of the ways that the described in sort of a reaction a reactionary pause is by the end most '60s class becomes important because other identities are emerging. rights, civil rights, lgbt. i think that's kind of silly as an explanation. but, i have seen indirectly, if you look at it indirectly, sort crisis of what class means. which again doesn't mean we have to discard class at all. means we have to think of
lass as sort of a more complicated way. that in china class, articulated that class was, exists in socialism and that it was of particular issue. to say that mean class, socialism did not cknowledge classes, but reconfigured them. momentously extraordinarily difficult and contentious topic. say that the culture revelation was launched over that question. puts the -- it question of class into real crisis. radicals, we can
taking place in washington, d.c. just off connecticut avenue in northwest washington, d.c. of cspan 3 live coverage on american history tv. oming up in just a moment, we will be joined by a history professor from american university in our nation's capital. take your questions. we'll be focusing on the civil protestsvement and the of 1968. 202 is the area code. 748-8900 for those who live in the eastern or central time zone. and 202-748-8901 for those in the mountain and pacific time zones. we'll be taking your comments on our facebook page at history.com/cspan again our phone lines open at 202-748-8900 in the eastern and time zones. and for the mountain and pacific 202-748-8901. some of the sights and sounds, back with our live interview in just a moment.
and your first here at american university. here. you for being >> pleasure. >> let's go back to 1968. why was that such a defining the civil rights movement? well, i think keen fascination i think led us to two different things. first, you had people who really turned the page on civil rights began embracing sort of black power, notion of black notions of forcing america to end racism. nd then, of course, you had others who double downed on civil rights and doubled down on martin the ideas that luther king and others were utting forth, who tried to continue the poor people's campaign. you really had this ideological ultimately became, flowered into what became known as the black power movement. there was a year the civil rights movement ended, it was probably 1968. > you don't have to travel far from where we're at to still see
some of the devastation caused raoeu kwrots and the demonstrations. dr. king talked about yet his ce, assassination led to violence in detroit, washington, d.c., chicago. our home city of new york and elsewhere around the country. why? actually the fourth straight year, really fifth straight year of urban rebellions that were happening the country, in which people were upset. people were angry. were angry at the violence in their neighborhood. they ere angry at what considered to be exploitive businesses in their community. angry that they felt their government, their local and federal governments were not speaking to their concerns. they were angry, of course, ab police brutality, which was of ally typically the cause many of these urban rebellions. following they were king who had, as you stated, preached nonviolence throughout career suffered fatal
violence. other movements in 1968? dr. king was first and foremost. other.ere were >> i think by '68, carmichael, sort of the personification for the lack of a better term of black power course, uttered black power in mississippi in 1968. leaders like h. brown who was also a major black power leader. course, you had some of king's aides, like jesse jackson. people like e, had roy wilson, naacp. course, a whole group of people who were trying of make the case that racism was certainly a problem. different making strategies as to how it ended. >> it's ironic. 1965, president johnson outlined his state of the union address great society took place january
4th. and yet now, as you look back at tried to accomplish, lot of the focus is on the civil city.s movement and inner how did he do? > well, i think johnson simultaneously launched the society and was, of course, in the ly involved launching of the vietnam war. two very costly initiatives. historians have focused on how it became untenable for americans to support both. johnson, partly of the protests, decided that certain people were not people were tain not worthy. hat people were not impoverished. that it was their own doing and term erefore, by '68, the law and order became popular in the american political scene the vietnam war
accelerated. >> our phone lines are open. area code. 748-8900 for those in the eastern or central time zones. 748-8901.or pacific, live here on c-span 3 american history tv. studied this generation of americans, your predecessors, what questions do you have? i like to sort of ask, so what thinking? my work, my most recent work, of history of n the racist ideas, anti-racist ideas. i'm fundamentally concerned they thinking? how were they trying to understand their nation, their world? nation in a world of inequities everywhere. explain they looking to this. you had some americans who were inequities, these protests, these rebellions on the people. with was something wrong people.
these people were lazy, these dangerous. then you had americans who found who felt the problem was policy, was structure. the problem was american. sort of see and i continuously ask questions about between the split problem as policy. still see that split in america today. >> why was there, why is there america?n >> i think when we think about it, from the beginning of this racial we've had equality. of course, the beginning of that manifested in ty its way. when we think about it in its have to lest form, we ask the question, why does this racial inequality fit? only two answers. either racial inequality exists wrong there's something and inferior about particular groups of people and that's why to be in re likely
prison. that's why they're more likely to be unemployed. likely hy they're more to be poor. they're lazy, more criminal-like. r there's something wrong with american policy. there's something about -- something persisting like racial discrimination. that's why we have racial inequity. americans refuse to believe their nations have racial iscrimination, that it is pervasive. so the only other explanation racist inequality is ideas. >> how significant was the election and re-election of barack obama to this issue? >> well, i think it was significant in that for some signified for them, that america was certainly no racist. how could a nation that lected a lack person to its highest office be racist? so it's been, for them, caused hem to believe this nation was post racial is a whole idea of this nation being post racial many quite prominent for
americans. so what that then means is racism didn't exist. discrimination didn't exist. and when a nation still had you say equity, when racial discrimination doesn't simultaneously saying why those inequities persist is because of people. ecause there's something wrong with people. >> your work has two bi-lines. kendi and before that rodgers. explain. grew up in queens. at the time there was a on inent children's show called mr. rogers. always be kid for, will you be my neighbor and let me get your sweater. really had an affinity skwrers.t name ro in the african-american community there's somewhat of a tradition for changing your name. particularly because frican-americans, their names were typically bestowed upon
them by slave owners. so i decided that it was best to sort of change my name. so i changed my name together we wed.wife when >> tell us about your work at american university. university, i an recently founded new anti-racist center. nd this center is based on a fundamental idea that there really is nothing wrong with groups of people in this country. there's nothing wrong or inferior about black people or any asian people, about group of people. and that then we still have inequities.l so that means that we have racial inequities because policies.cist and so we, at the center, are teams of e organizing people to uncover discriminatory policies, to figure out policy,
ways to out disseminate policies to make people aware of them. engage in to campaigns of change because those policies. >> as you know this year marking 50th anniversary of what happened in 1968 clearly a many icant year on so different levels politically, the vietnam war and, of course, rights movement. 50 years later, how are we doing, especially in regard to civil rights? >> well, i think we've oferienced simultaneous sort history. we've experienced a dual history. history of enced racial progress and, of course, obama as can look at one of the signifiers of racial segment of certain people of color, of the african-american community. ut the nation has also experienced the progression of racism. the progression of racism that i argue was critical in the
election of our current president. >> let me stop you there. you mean by progression in racism? > that means racist policies continuously get more sophisticated. and so what i mean by becomes more it difficult for people, for you and i, for concerned americans, to identify, to counter ct policies that are discriminating to particular groups of people. discriminating and targeting african-american voters with, quote, surgical a north carolina court stated is a lot more voter icated form of suppression than a grandfather clause or a poll tax. what i sort of mean by the racist progress. >> let's get phone calls. is joining us from jackson heights, new york. we're live here in washington, at the american association annual convention. dan, good morning. ahead, please. >> go ahead.
allowed to be present this as i see it. what's happening to black people could be because -- not because they're black, but they're americans who can be identified by color. therefore, they become attempts to behe counter to racism. is, just to y that cite one example. merican education as compared to european education puts the emphasis on higher education. european education puts especially the tactical of onent in the first years school. so by the time you get to high school, you're doing what be icans are supposed to doing in college. americans realize that blacks are denied opportunities
schooling, they start to do things like, well, we will ave open admissions to the colleges for them so they can get in. question, well, if you gave them a lousy part, howin the first are they going to do in college they have to do? >> let me stop you there. we'll get a response. thank you very much for the call, by the way. relates tothat as it education, i think certainly raised the point about ensuring equality in children, but in particular to black children. and that was the point that many parents in the '60s made. even certainly by the late '60s you had this movement emerge, in which you had black children being bussed to what considered to be better
white schools. you had some black students you improvehy don't the school for the majority of black people are sending their kids to? isn't that a solution? as opposed to bussing white kids other schools?to equalizing ution of the school and not viewing a hite school as fundamentally superior to a black school has certainly never been a major on the american political table. that's one of the ways in which we can equalize the schools. say equalize the schools, i'm talking about equalizing the of the school. that's what it will be focused on. not assuming somebody in a resourced school is intellectually superior, but they have less resources. is your background? >> of course, long time professor. i guess somewhat long time. i actually was trained a journalist when i was at florida
a&m. eventually i realized that i'd to write of autonomy and think as a professor, and so ph.d. in to pursue my african-american studies where i received it in 2010 at temple university. started my career in academics. >> let's go next to anthony oining us from york, pennsylvania. good morning. morning. i'm a long time resident of the u.s., throughout the u.s. quite fortunate to hold high government positions as well as political person. one of the complaints that i leadership is in ecent years, we have joined up with the war on drugs and blacks middle classworking in law and cement and drugs audience. participated in the
instruction of millions of black class s, mostly working and poor. there's no accountability for it. talking about the black families. we have been fully into that. more blacks, in these capacities. there's no reason we should be participating in trying to change that. of black families, in many case have grown up in middle class, these men could successful. now that we have the problem in whites in a bigger scale, doing reconstruction. many of these black people were continuing to do that. even though some have been destroyed. blaming the tantly white people.
it has to go from the federal, this cities and towns of country, participating in that. i'd like him to comment on that. thank you. anthony, thank you. >> i write early in my book in that the only thing wrong with black people is that we think something is wrong with black people. and so i go all over the country black ypically hear people saying, no. the problem is black people. caller's point, here certainly has been judges and politicians who have devastated families. not only black families, but families.e i guess what i'm talking about, over the last 50 years there has been a growing divide from an economic standpoint. e're talking a lot about economic inequality. that economic inequality is not the black ng in community. not just black politicians. also other politicians.
you've had judges and oliticians who have devastated families. clearly, if you are the lower structuralety from a standpoint, and all of these families in the middle are being devastated, you are going to be devastated the most. that doesn't necessarily mean being amilies aren't devastated. that doesn't also mean that black politicians in particular problem. politicians generally were the problem. >> part of that problem is the cycle of poverty. more black men in prison than there are white men in prison. how do you change that trajectory? >> i think first and foremost we understand that a more effective way of fighting crime is not through locking people up. police onputting more the street. but by providing jobs and for people.s we can actually see the relationship between higher evels of unemployment and higher levels of violent crime. black people hat
and white people typically consume and sell drugs at similar rates. people who have been locked up in the last few decades have crimes.ked up for drug but black people are far more likely to be arrested an crimes.ated for drug so we, of course, have to eliminate that discrimination. a large extent do like many states are doing, in which hey're legalizing drugs like marijuana, that a drug that is ess harmful to the body than alcohol. so i think for me, the focus should not be on thinking that in a general sense, people.listic sense is for us to see the ways in which by providing jobs and people, that for that actually will lessen crime. conversation with ibram here in washington, d.c. next caller is from indianapolis. go ahead, paul. on the air. >> yes, dr. kendi, it's an honor
talk to you. i have been studying this since retired about ten years ago. i have come to the conclusion that racism doesn't have much to slavery. slavery was ancient and universal, where as what we racism now actually developed, started developing in called s with so scientific racism, where the whole idea that somehow you gradiant whereh a white english men were on top on the k africans are bottom. somehow that was the natural science. but then -- that was taught in actual accepted science in the early 20th century. woodrow wilson was a perfect example of that. but owned, i just got through a very strange interview fuller a british author on
hitler. he said it was stupidity. t's just a useful way for politicians to stir up people. so i'm really wondering what is actual nature e of racism. from?did it come our current, what we now call racism. you, paul. >> sure. so i think what's important for define racism. racism is really the marriage of and racist policies. and racist policies are ssentially policies that yield racially unequal outcomes. disparity.s racial racial ideas are really any idea hat suggest the racial group superior and inferior to another racial group in any way. actually begin the story of racist ideas and in 15th century
portugal. decided to tuguese die verge and divert from other region and s in the slave trading ly in african people. you had slave traders from the to the o the dutch british who began focusing on this transatlantic slave trade. simultaneously they had justify whyt how to they were exclusively slave trading in african-american. defenses, those rationalizations were, of kourbgs racist ideas. were worthy of slavery. that true the slave trade were civilized again. moment we're going to another live panel looking at the current commission. this is the report that came out. an extensive report on the civil rights and civil disorder of 1968. two of the questions we focused on what happened. the second question on the title book is what can be done?
so from 50 years ago to where we today, what has been done, what needs to be done. >> i think the carter commission laid out one of the most xpansive series of conclusions and recommendations to eliminate in american they viewed the prs racism. as racist policy. therefore they put forth a series of solutions that would racism by providing opportunities, housing, jobs. that is the way we eliminate this problem. fundamentally what races and results in is groups of people having less opportunities than other groups. those with more opportunities thinking they are more successful because they are superior, when they have