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tv   Author Discussion on Race in America  CSPAN  January 15, 2022 8:00am-9:08am EST

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bookstore in washington, dc. good evening everybody and thank
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you for coming out tonight or coming on the screen tonight for this incredible event that we're about to have which we are so excited about i'm lissa muscatine kohner of politics and pros and along with my husband and co-owner brad graham and our incredible staff at pnp we welcome all of you. this is our eighth in a series of panels called on race in america and we are really the lucky beneficiaries of the great idea on the part of the one and only incredible journalists april ryan who came to us, i think it was in 2015 and suggested that maybe pnp could be a venue and a platform for discussions about race and we thought it was a great idea and we have been so honored to partner with her in the year since with the exception of covid. so we're really really happy to be back with another panel tonight with an incredible panelists with april moderating the conversation as always. we're thrilled that you're all going to join us. and i am going to turn it over
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to one of our fabulous employee staffers booksellers at pnp but sean horsley who will take care of the introductions, but have a great time tonight. it's going to be a wonderful conversation. thanks for shawn. thank you very much muscatine. have a good evening. i like to welcome you all to another pmp live before i do my introductions. just want to go over a couple quick items first at any time during this event. you'll be able to go to the chat section where you'll be able to find books from all of our featured authors. these will take you to links to policies and pro's websites clicking those links by a few copies buy them as gifts. of course, they help us to keep bringing these pmp live events and we thank you for your patronage as you do. so in addition to that if you'd like to ask any questions, which i'm sure you will have a lot. please try to place them in the q&a box. so when it comes time for question and answer we can just help us to facilitate that a little smoothly.
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i have the honor of introducing an esteemed panel who really need no introduction, but i'm going to give it a try as stated already. the panel is hosted by miss april ryan. she is the washington bureau chief for american urban radio networks and the author of under fire at mama's knees and the presidency and black and white and this is as stated again the eighth installment in an ongoing series of discussions focusing on the panelists most recent works and also current events, miss ryan will examine recent and lost standing issues with be following panelists first up in a no particular order we have mr. bakari sellers bakari sellers is the author of my vanusing country and memoir that illuminates the lives of america's forgotten black working class men and women, mr. tells me history in 2006 when it just 22 years old. he defeated a 26 year in covid state representative to become the youngest member of the south carolina state legisl. and the youngest
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african-american elected official in the nation in 2014. he was a democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in the state of south carolina, mr. sells is a cnn political analyst and has served in the south carolina state legislature. also, we have mr. d watkins who is an editor at large for salon, and he is an author of the recently released memoir for carmelo anthony titled when tomorrow's aren't promised. he is also a college lecture at the university of baltimore my alma mater and founder of the bemore writers project and archival website of original interviews personal narratives profiles music and short films created and curated by high school students from baltimore city public schools, lastly, but certainly not least we have mr. keith boykin, who is the cnn political commentator new york times bestselling author and a former white house aid to president bill clinton mr. boykin teaches at the institute for research and african-american studies at columbia university in new york and previously taught at
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american university in washington dc. he is a co-founder and first board president of the national black justice coalition. his latest book is racing against time the politics of a darkening america. without any further ado miss ryan the floor is you well, thank you so much for that wonderful introduction, and i have one correction. i am the white house correspondent in washington bureau chief for the grill go to the where you will find. all the latest on issues affecting black america race and politics they do match and tonight. i'm so pleased to have my friends with me my friends who happened to be authors best selling amazing office. how about that and tonight? we're going to talk about matters of race all of us are dealing with it in some way in our life bakari. we see him on the front lines dealing with policing and also talking about it as a lawyer and
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on cnn. i'm a fellow colleague and also keith has his new book and he is also someone who gives commentary and conversation and analysis on all things especially now as it relates to race and hawkins my fellow baltimore inn who i am just so proud of filmmaker author. journalists, he's everything and i want to delve into this this discussion tonight first of all, the world is still rotating on its axis successfully after six hours of no instagram whatsapp and facebook, so we are still here the world is okay, right every bit of clubhouse. i was listening to clubhouse the the conversation the conspiracy theories. i'm like, come on. i was wondering message, you know, do they do that when we continue to have issues in the black community college the issues right now are put to the
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side because of what infrastructure what debt ceiling but black america still feels that and black america happens to be those who are just proportional on the front lines be it nursing be it the truckers that bring you the food just frontline workers and not only that we're the ones who are on the front line when it comes to issues. voting rights we were the ones in the pictures even though we are sitting here our brothers and sisters will whipped with reins at the border, you know, and and voting rights. we're watching. being dismantled this is like 1964 not 2021 when it comes to voting and i'm gonna throw all of these issues out to you. we're gonna spend a whole hour to talk about these issues and more at a time such as this but bakay. i want to go to you. you are strategically placed you've been anointed to be so
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close to power. yes. you've been annoyed it to be so close to power. um, you're very close to the vice president to the united states. you're very close to a lot of movers and shakers who make decisions. what has happened to the black agenda? what is the state of the black agenda right now? so first, let me start off by saying that. i like the introduction that i'm close to power. my wife will say that's because i sleep beside her every night, but i am i am from the big city of denmark, south carolina where we had three stop lights and a blinking light and my mom and dad always told me the two most important words in the english language other words. thank you. and they're not nearly said enough and so before we begin. i want to thank the owner of politics and pros for allowing me to use her venue when my vanishing country came out. they didn't have to say yes. i believe i did a vent with kamala harris. so it might have been a little easier to say yes, but they still didn't have to say yes. and so thank you for hosting
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that and thank you for being intentional and purposeful and hosting events like this april and keith your friendship. it has been keith. help me get my first book deal. probably doesn't even know it through tracy sherrod over it. i'mma stop publishing. so just just thank you and d watkins. just have watched you and everything that you're doing. we need to be closer than we are so i might i just wanted to get those out of the way, you know, you you asked a good question about where we are with the black agenda and i think that many folk will tell you particularly black folk will tell you that where we are is not far enough. i think many folk will tell you that we braved a pandemic to come out and vote in numbers that were astronomical. the reason that you have a chuck schumer and the majority see or a joe manchin or kirsten cinema that actually matter is because of black voters in, georgia. and we elected this president in
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this administration to go in and carry the water and the mantle for and i don't want to call it a black agenda april. i want to call it a justice agenda. hmm. we were talking about voting rights. you remember how many people were in the streets for the george floyd justice and policing act? and while trust me the bill back better plan is is great. not many people know what's in it. i don't even know what's in it the investment act is good infrastructure investment. act is good. i don't can't tell you what exactly is in it because democrats stop campaigning when they get elected. that's a whole another speech, but i can say that the justice agenda that you know, myself and keith and dee watkins your panelists. i mean we stand on the shoulders of individuals who fought for many of those same ideals my father made cheese sandwiches that was his task as a member of snake during the march on washington. he was tasked with making the cheese sandwiches for the volunteers, you know, we stand on the shoulders of people who played integral roles and people
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gonna be like making cheese sandwiches was integral. yes. my daddy's rose intro that was people needed to eat it would they were hungry out there, but you know, it wasn't just the john lewis speech which he had to push the establishment people. remember jolly was a spe. they don't even remember the original speech that he wrote and how -- it was on the administration. and so i just say that we have to continue the whole power accountable. you know, this is something that i talk about with my good friend kamala harris, and i'm i think that people understand they need to do more but black folker just waiting and i think to quote one of the greatest heroines on the history in the history of this great great country fannie lou we sick and tired of being sick and tired. second time being sick being sick and tired i mean to be honest, we can say that's been going on for 42 years plus now and planning fannie.
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lou hamer said that so succinctly, but i want to go to key keith. you have been studying this you have written a book about this new book. um, when we say justice agenda, what does that bring to your mind in this moment? well, thank you april and thank you politics and pros. it's honored to be here with bakari and d watkins for this conversation. it's very important conversation. i like the way you frame the beginning of this april because you talked about us being on the front lines and i think that in reality even though black and brown people in particularly black people in this case have been on the front lines of the major crises that we face in the country our issues have been sidelined our issues are on the sidelines and the public agenda at the national level. so when we talk about a black agenda or a social justice agenda or a policy agenda, there are several components to that a lot of components that don't get addressed in real time. we're talking about
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infrastructure and and budget bills. so let's look at some of those. i mean first of all we look at the george floyd justice and policing act with bakari also mentioned already mentioned. that's an important piece of legislation. it is stalled in the senate right now. secondly, we can look at the john lewis voting rights act. other important piece of legislation it too is stalled in the senate right now. thirdly we can look at the emmett till anti-linching act another important piece of legislation it like the other two is stalled in the senate right now and yet we have now a democratic house a democratic senate a democratic president and african-american have been the most loyal constituency the democratic party historically, so why can't we get our issues to the forefront of the agenda? that's the question we should be asking ourselves and it's about accountability a policy. agenda is about holding leaders accountable regardless of party regardless of affiliation regarding regardless of our sort of team awareness and tribal affiliation or connection with
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them. we have to hold all parties accountable all leaders accountable and that's the only way we're going to be able to move forward. you know, that's that's um, very critical as hearing so many. black people african-american in this nation grumbling openly now. accountability accountability as you understand what's on the other side how far do you go in d watkins? how far do you go in to ensure that you get your rights and get your justice? without allowing the other party that in some senses or i guess in reality was just juxtaposed actually what you want. how far do you go? but first i want to say thank you for having me and i'm big fans of everybody on the panel. so it's it's honor to be here. i love everything that everyone's doing and you know,
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the population i serve is is so jaded and so disconnected from the political process that the other side never really makes it into our conversations because they almost don't even exist. um, i've i've been fortunate enough to to elevate and change some things in my life because of art and use that tool of art to elevate other people. however, the people that these young kids and schools that i'm working with brothers and sisters behind the wall that i'm working with. we have to fight to get them to feel like they have a stake in society before we even talk about talk about what that changes. so while we all have the luxury arm those of us who've had some some good opportunities to champion a lot of things that are done or have constructive conversations about what we think needs to be done. i just want to make sure when the whales start moving. we have a nice foundation of people to just to just step up and be ready to take part of
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that. so, you know, the other side is is i mean, we all follow politics the other side they've been ridiculous for a really really really long time to the point where it's almost. it's almost as it is frustrating to talk about but we have a whole lot to do in and i i think we'll get there. i might be great, but you know it i think we i think we'll get there. but the question is how do we get there and and bacari or or key? i don't know which one i think was keith. you said we're at an impasse with policing. we're not in the impasse but policing negotiations have shut down. it's it's negotiations are not even stalled they're done for right now voting rights impasse. um haley they stopped the horse patrols for right now. i think about was it two weeks ago. i was in the white house and i soft hard that happened to be in
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the president's pocket. and on the left hand side in his handwriting the top issue was policing. the next issue was voting rights and underneath. that was haiti. the question is when does that happen? i understand. everyone will say you've got to get past all of this infrastructure debt ceiling etc, and then we can focus there are still people who are hurting in this moment and then if the debt ceiling and the budget is not fixed in the next month. it will be compounded. i mean prices of bacon are sky high in the grocery store. they're now putting caps on paper goods. and those people who are in need of those items are already hurting. so the issue is do we have time to wait for all of this back and forth on pennsylvania avenue for the black agenda to be put on
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the table you finish your question. black folk always got to wait. black folk always got to get in line. black folks agenda items always got to be next up. they're always at something that we got to get on the eye of the stove before we deal with and cook black folks agenda items. the the unique thing about this country though. and by the way for everyone watching i want people to understand my perspective and my purview and i think that i get this from cleveland sellers. is that i don't believe that i don't believe that this country is something that's irredeemable. by any stretch instead. i want to challenge everybody to reimagine what she should look like. and i think that's one of the largest challenges we have. approaching these systems of injustice that we have to reimagine what they look like
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because i think i think keith would agree with me. i'm pretty sure that every ounce of political change we've ever had in this country has been because of black blood that's flowed in the streets. you don't get the 1964 65 voting rights acting civil rights act if you have the edmund pettus bridge. if you don't have people getting beat didn't you have allyship and buy-in when white america saw that blood they bought in and that created the change that i mean, but you just said you that the premise of your statement actually proves my point when they saw the blood. in 1968, you don't get the fair housing act without the assassination of king. you know, we don't even get the confederate flag down in south carolina without nine bodies being killed. in a church worshiping on a wednesday. so i don't want to confuse the proposition that yeah, i mean they're you know i once was a little too premature in my assertion because i would follow that up and say you don't get the george floyd justice and
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policing act without georgia modern brianna, but we don't even have that. and so i think it's important to remember that the sacrifices that people of color particularly black folk in this country have made. have been the ones that have swung the pendulum in a direction of progress. and i think that we have to get to a point where we say. that you know enough is enough. so i don't i i'm tired of waiting in line. maybe that's my answer. and that's exactly why i talk about accountability. you know, i'm a lifelong democrat and i've never had any interest in becoming a member of the republican party. but the democratic party today. i think and i wrote a piece about this in the washington post a couple of weeks ago and got a lot of criticism for saying this but the democratic party today is in a very similar position to the republican party 100 years ago. a hundred years ago black voters were voting overwhelmingly for the republican party and had
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been doing so for five or six decades and then suddenly 10 years later black voters shifted to the democratic party with the fdr in the new deal now, we don't see any republican movement. today's republican party to sort of even try to siphon off black voters in a serious attempt. but what happened in the 200 years ago in 1920s, is that one party the republicans then got tired of doing anything for us. they kept giving us lip service. they didn't actually deliver anything and i feel that we're in dangerous position of a repeating that with the democratic party that the democratic party even though i'm in the loyal member as i said, it controls three three different parts of government two of the three branches of government the house and senate and the white house and they still can't get these major pieces of legislation passed nor are they giving us? i think serious answers for why we were even able to allow this this mistreatment of haitian immig. at the border in mexico with mexico and texas. and so i think what black people
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need to do and i i say this going back to the clinton administration to the obama administration and currently with the biden administration is we need to stop playing teams and start holding all of our leaders accountable whether democrat or republican whether they're black or white. we can't just sort of sweep these issues under the rug when our party or our side or our team is empowered and say we'll give them a pass with a wink and a nod we have to hold their feet to the fire. that's how other communities get things done because they don't just elect people once every four years and disappear. they continue to demand accountability from those people after they elect them after they vote for them. that's how we'll get things to change keep agreed. um d you know, i think that part of everything that he's just said is is the reason why our party struggles people just they they aren't seeing results and one of the big problems that i always have with democrats in general that a lot of us should have is is when they were things
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get accomplished and they just don't do a good enough job translating it into a language where everybody understands, you know of you think about like the obama administration and how they how they handle the flood right with the with a pipe blew up it it was like this disaster pumping thousands of gallons of oil into the ocean, right and there was there was no rollout or no campaign around. how productive that was how many people were saved how many you know what the brilliance that went into into making sure that was fixed, but then you have the guy after obama, you know, who would just sign his name on something and just be like he's so happy that would hold up. the piece of paper was his name on it. he probably didn't even know what it is. so, you know, i think um, yeah, you know, we people are frustrated because it's not enough being done and then the things that do happen or the positive things that move us forward. it's just not being talked about the way it should be talked about that. we need to work on that big
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time. we you know, our party is to bodies that we don't want to see you know, what happened with um the big switch because then it would be even more chaotic. okay, holding public officials accountable is accurate because the stakes are way too high and i say this is someone who's been in that unique perch for 24 years and the squeaky wheel gets the oil right guys. this yes the squeaky wheel gets the world when people start. complaining and marching in mass consistently persistently. that's what oh, wait a minute and they look at the poems. wait a minute. they got people we might need to change this. so yes, you're right. so guys you're so dynamic. the questions are already starting to pour in bakari. this one is for you and the rest of you can chime in we're going to start with you. do you think vice president harris is being deployed effectively in this administration. do you see any differences
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between that and how obama could buy me to work day today? that is a legitimate question. no, her portfolio is trash. i mean her portfolio is just you give someone a portfolio that's not meant for them to succeed. but she has immigration as like i'm somebody a portfolio we like we we've been down this immigration row before she's talented enough. she was the she was the she ran the second largest department of justice in in the country only behind the department of the united states department of justice. she's at a border state a senator from a border states. she was attorney general for the great state of california. don't get me wrong. she can handle it but less also go back in remember to gang of eight. right. i mean people have we got really short memories. i mean the thing that people remember about football is tom brady last night, right? that's that's the extent of our memory basically so we cannot
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forget that this is one of the most difficult and complicated issues. so she get it. okay on our plate sure. okay, that's fine. but you give her that. and then you give our voting rights. those are the two main issues on her plate, but then you don't come out forcefully and abolishing the filibuster. so how she's supposed to do that. what she's supposed to do? now she already did your bidding by going to west virginia and taping a ad and doing local tv in west virginia so that we could pass our covid relief at. and we already know that that got this in the senator from the great state of west virginia a little bit out of shape, but she hasn't been given, you know, i played basketball. i still play today and they always i play reckley i'm too old. i'm 37, so i don't play nearly it's not too. you know, they always say whatever you got you got a good put players in a position to succeed and and they just have not. and and then they don't allow her to do things like this like
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the the people who are watching this are brilliant in a suit. outside of maybe making permanent the child tax credit. there aren't too many people who can tell me six things that are in either one of these bills that adds up to four and a half trillion dollars exactly and my point is and this is d watkins brilliant point that i think probably went over a lot of people's head. this is what dee was telling you trump went out and did rallies democrats stop campaigning after they get elected. and you're like covid yes covid but i saw a hundred thousand people packed in bryant denny stadium when alabama beat ole miss on saturday and but we have to go out kamala harris needs to be on rickey smiley. she needs to be on time. join us. she needs to be on a breakfast club. she needs to be talking to the divine nine. she needs to be talking to april ryan. she needs to be talking a roland martin. she's talking to ozzy. all right.
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but i get it i get it. i never read an article. i'm sorry, but she doing these things, but they also have to let her do these things and as vice president when people do not one of the things and this is me advocating for my friend. who's the vice president? one of the things people do not realize about are is she went into this role wanting to be one thing that people remembered very well, which was a team player. we saw a lot of headlines come out about her not being a team player, and she wanted to be a team player like joe biden was to barack obama and be a loyal vice president and i think because of that she is not been put in a position to succeed. well, so and i'm gonna come back real quick. i'm gonna follow up with that because there are so many people who say that because of her loyalty and her portfolio that she called trash. um, she does not look like she's operating from a stance of strength. she looks the opposite like she is weak. what is that portfolio? you believe that she would best benefit from and would benefit america with i think if you give
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for a portfolio that includes voting rights, but you actually actively push to reform the filibuster then you have me the president of the united states actively correct. then you have it then you have a thing. i just think you don't the reason i call it trash which is a colloquialism to describe and no win situation is because you didn't give her something where she could be successful. you did not give her something the best use her talent to improve the plight of many people of this country particularly people of color for example immigration. i mean allow her to go to the border and have a conversation or this a pretty if i was advising and what would i tell them to do? she said don't comment the border bring the president of haiti to to the naval absorption of observatory. let's have a conversation. let's sit down what president of hailey i mean i get you i'm with you. but what president haiti right now, but you're correct. so, let me back up. so bring the individual who's running the government in haiti because right now that probably
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is a clear case it was assassinated. i know that's what i'm saying. so bring the individual who is running the government in haiti right now. bring someone who can actually has a decision making authority. let's actually have that conversation allow her to lead that conversation go down to go down to the border actually have a speech talk about the ideals. i don't even know what the immigration plan looks like or is and allow her the opportunity. that out if that's our portfolio. well, i think she's i think she's in a bad position. either way. i don't think it's just a question of messaging. she's working for an administration is not aggressively pushing a pro-black agenda, and i don't think she's gonna be very successful and 2024 or 2028 and reaching out to motorist is she's tied to abiding administration is that is incapable of accomplishing anything for black people? and that's a that's a fundamental. she made a choice which i agreed with is south to line up and sign up with joe budden in his presidential campaign. i think she might have helped him to win in some respects but in the end she's now a part of the team and she wants to be a team player. that means she's a part of a
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team that isn't doing it isn't delivering for black people and that's that's a fundamental problem. she's facing i was like until they deliver. there's nothing she can do no sort of cosmetic gimmickry or anything they have to deliver for black people in order for her or the biden ministration. just sort of get any benefit out of it. yeah the kind of echo keith. i was going to jump right on the back of what bakari said one of the most dangerous things that's happened right now is we're not setting up the next play. the next play is not being set up because the messaging is are there the visuals aren't there the voices of whoever whoever the mark is if it is that black vote if it's whatever whatever a hard. why i don't know what that is, but whatever these news blacks always say, but it's hard working white people like my grandmother at 30 jobs, but i'm saying like whoever the market is the messaging and with the democrats are supposed to be doing this. it's not making it to these people. so it's almost like i'm not gonna say who's the vice
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president but i'm saying her voice is missed. um, her voice is missed for our issues for their issues issues across the board. so what happens in 2024? so let me say this. i'm getting text messages because you guys are dropping the mic all over the place. and someone said why are they beating up on the vice president said they're not beating up on the vice president. they're speaking the truth. um, they're speaking the truth. the black agenda is on hold and we have to remember that this president said equity and equality. not only that. he said the reason why he came into the campaign to run for office why because of charlottesville that was nothing but race and then he deemed it so that he said, you know, this was gonna be about equality and where is equality where we got a we got juneteen. we got the juneteenth holiday, and i've heard so many people say i want to holiday i want the rights. i want only white someone policing, you know, and then we see haley and in this the
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whipping with with the reins, i know there rains my children ride. i know it rains look like but you don't the cage. our mexican brothers and sisters were were caged and then they whip us. not haitian, but what happens to my brother happens to me? it's not even about it's not about beating up on anybody. it's about wanting the best for your team. and sometimes you have to make those tough points and acknowledge what's happening if we all want to move forward in a positive way. i think collectively i'm would never try to speak to the you know a group of people, but i do believe we you know, we all want to see her do well and if we are seeing things that it just doesn't really line up then we have that responsibility to say something or we're part of the problem too, but it's all love. yeah, i agree. i like kamala harris. i don't have anything against her. i just feel she's an unwinnable situation until the biden administration starts to deliver and i don't like the car. he said they haven't made any
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effort to sort of do anything about eliminating the filibuster which is a convened excuse for not being able to deliver anything but we have democrats in control of the government right now the democrats don't do it then why should black people continue to go and vote for them? that's the issue that people were people are struggling with and i'm i want people to vote for for the i want the democrats to be reelected but in order for that to happen, i need them to deliver something and the only way they're going to deliver something is we put pressure on them. so it's not like i'm attacking kamala harris. i want her to win. i'm not attacking even joe biden. i want him to win but i want them to do something so i can go back to my people and say this is the reason why you should support this ticket. and you know, there is again, there's a very short window of this democratic control with white house the house in the senate. it's a small window because once the next election happens there will definitely be a shift. okay now also we've got another question. what does it look like to hold democrats accountable and this
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polarized time? how should senators imagine and send them a be shifted? so how it holds them accountable as far as doing what d and keith and i and you are giving us the runways to do which is to actually speak our truth to power i get more tweets and more texts and more phone calls than anyone can possibly imagine when i get off tv and say that you know, you guys should actually go out and campaign like you're actually running for office on your agenda items. and it's it's kind of weird. i'm like you got to have a decent thick skin in this game and you got to be willing to go out there and take the constructive criticism that because what happens april is that when they trying to win black votes they call. they call us. and they say can you come and do this? can you go to georgia? can you go to north carolina etc? i have a unique theory about joe mansion and kirsten cinema my unique theory is a couple of words.
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cow cunningham can't stop texting. if kyle cunningham wouldn't have been texting in north carolina and wouldn't have been blown up like that then it's a whole different ball game if sarah gideon who's running against my friend in maine actually doesn't have 13 million dollars left over. she has 13 million dollars left over. in her senate race coffers joe manchin and kirsten cinemas votes aren't as important. in fact, they can go go do whatever want to do. i don't i don't put them together. however. i'm not sure kirsten cinemas in game and i know kirsten i love her. we actually this crazy thing about kirsten cinnamon myself, is that she and andrew gillum they were the they were the co-chairs of the young elected officials network because we've got all got elected nearly at the same time. she was in a state senate. i was in the state house, but i have no idea what her in game is. it looks it looks to use a
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colloquialism d will appreciate this. it's starting to look real funny in the light. no one really. it looks like it's about power versus the people. no, i think it's about money. honestly the way the way she gave the thumbs down to the minimum wage and the way that she's meeting with republican trump sponsored groups and corporate corporate groups. that looks like it's about money and joe mentioned. it seems to be inspired by this as well. that's why i think joe biden has to put pressure on both of them no more mr. nice guy, and let's all let's all get together and sing kumbaya he needs to do the lyndon johnson routine and sip them down in the room and say do this around. thank you. thank you for so this is what people ask me. they're like, so what does joe biden supposed to do he can't do like look you have a bully pulpit if lyndon johnson would have taken the same philosophy as joe biden we'd have not had the policy successes that we had. thank you for revoking that name. no, well, this conversation is
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very robust and it's real and stay tuned for more because i'm i think they give as good as they get and they're honest and i appreciate these brothers for that now. i want to go to something that. spent that percolates every now and again when there's something that's really that tugs the heartstrings allyship, you know, our allies want to know, how can we be allies and i want to give a huge shout out. i wanted you to wait for this moment to give a huge shout out to brad and alyssa the owners of politics and probes. this is the 8th race panel discussion that we've had. this is the bookstore in the nation if you will and for them to say we need to have this conversation to keep the dialogue going for people to understand. it's important now with that said thank you. listen brad for that said someone asked is a question racist whites are
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overrepresented in congress and the electoral college, which is partly why there is a lack of progress in this country in terms of racial justice. how can we convince white people to demand their elected officials to move forward a racial equality? an anonymous attendee and that's that's why i talked about allyship. there are people who don't just jump in during the time of crisis for their crescendo moment. they're people who who are staying the course with us? but talk us about that d watkins? so the greatest the greatest trick in the world is right difficult. how do we get racist to not be racist right when um america of benefits from racism a lot. it's it's a cash crop over here. i think. um, i think allyship is is can be accepted and always appreciate it when you do it from a pure place of love right like getting rid of all of the performance stuff that just
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never really amounts to nothing. anyway if i can give a quick example, my daughter loves grapes, so i went to the market to get her some grapes and you know, we're in the pandemic with masked up, but i have like a big hit at the top. so a lot of people are bottom of my recognized me, so i'm trying to get grapes. it's white lady just runs up on me and she like opens a shirt and it says like black lives matter and she was like look look at my shirt then i'm like with you congratulations. so yeah. i just wanted to show you you know that i had this shirt and you know, and i'm like that you know, she told me she got some like amazon or something and i was like, you know, you got prime like that's you know, whatever but like that's you know, so we're in this space where people think our last ship is stops at sharing the tweet stops at buying a t-shirt that says black lives matter, you know from amazon, which was probably made in china like these feel like that. is that is the way to support and it's just not you just have to show the type of love that you feel like you deserve three
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people to where you want to be treated and fight for equality as hard as you fight for anything else people, you know, either i just spoke it harvard and all types of places and people are like what can i do and i'm like, but how'd you get in the harvard? you know like i didn't get into this school. why did you start that business or how are you raising his family and you can't do anything and you can you have like difficult questions about having conversations about race or what you should be doing. you know what you should do. the question is if you really want to do it or not, and that's that's my whole thing with that. was like the races politicians that people in power with all that, you know, they it segregate racism is their money maker and it's gonna be kind of hard to get people in the country. oh, that's basically the capitalism to go away from things that they are allowed to benefit from and that's just a ugly truth. can i just say that is not enough. that it's been this directed. i mean, i don't need a bunch of white people marching side by side with me at a george floyd protest. what i need is those white
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people to go back and talk to their white family members. they're white church members. they're white elected officials the white people who are in their communities and organizations. those are the people who need to be talking to each other and yet we spend all this time worried about where the white people are gonna be out by our side white people have historically not been by our side, you know ever since lyndon johnson signed a civil rights after act of 1964. no democratic candidate for president has won the white vote not even bill clinton who was a southern or jimmy carter who was a southerner and definitely not barack obama, you know mitch mcconnell was talking about barack obama's reparations for hundreds of years of slavery and segregation majority of white people didn't even vote for him and they didn't vote for for kamala harris and joe biden either the majority of white people continue to vote for republicans because the republican parties become the party. white people so if we want white people to be allies don't come to this broadcast and talk to us about how what they can do go back go back to your own family
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members and talk to your family members talk to those those races who who, you know, your uncles and cousins and and sometimes your parents who were who were who were voting for trump and and spewing out races bigotry repeatedly that you don't call them out on that's that's the type of allyship. we need you don't need to come and prove to me that you're now you need to do do that work in your own community. and don't and also i was just i would add to that really quickly and if you're not gonna ask them don't come ask me at least you don't gotta hold me up. you not gonna go talk to them. don't come to me. i don't to go to ticket. but i am my response is pretty clear. appreciate the question. but i'm also extremely clear it's not it's not on black people in this country to cure racism. we have a lot of burdens to bear in that anyone. that's first. second allyship is so important. and a lot of the reason is
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because the reason that we're able to utilize this venue april and you talked about the fact that individuals and i mentioned it early. they didn't have to say yes to you. but they did. and they allowed you to utilize your platform your friendships. i i'm doing this event because april ryan called me. she caught she picked up the phone and called me. in cebokari, i need you to do something for me and i'm not going to say no to april. that's just the way we roll. but i have to remind folk. what out i ship is and let me give you an extreme example. um many people forget the role that miami university of ohio played in the civil rights movement, miami university of ohio is where many black folk went to train before they went to mississippi doing freedom summer. my father was one of those individuals my father led the search mission for goodman turner and cheney when they got the phone call that they had gone missing in philadelphia,
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mississippi. during the day they had in barnes and sheds and at night they went in looking ditches and trenches. he found the their bodies behind the home of one of the local sheriff's deputies and ministers in the town named edgar ray killen. and he found his you know, he led a mission to help find three of his friends. now i'm not asking you all to go out and end up lynched and ever being in, mississippi. but what i am asking you to do is be intentional and purposeful in your eyelashes. what i am asking you to do is to make sure that you do everything you can do in your power to push back on those microaggressions. in your own community. what i am asking you to do is make sure that you're in spaces that need d watkins april ryan and keith boykin can't be in. sometimes we have the right message, but we're not the right messenger and i need you to make sure that you're in those communities speaking up as loudly as you are here at politics and pros. don't be quiet. don't be quiet when you at work. or don't be quiet when you in
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the country club. i live on the country club. don't be quiet when you out here with us and they treating the service bad and then you don't have nothing to say what you want to come on a politics and pros, you know in prose webinar and speak up and a cost of d watkins. no, we need you in them. we need you in them same spaces speaking up speaking your truth to power stop. no, that's the alarm. sorry. connect can i just make a quick example of another one that want to point out last year during the george floyd protest here in new york. i was covering a protest started here in harlem and i was arrested and locked up for six hours and i reached out to several people afterwards and one person volunteered a white lawyer who's a colleague of mine and cnn la honig volunteered a represent me defending me against the case from the city of new york and also is suing the city of new york. so there are people out there who are willing to do the work and step up when the time comes
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for but we need people who were willing to do that work and not people who were pointing the fingers at black people and explain asking us why we aren't doing the work we majority of this country is not black the majority of the country is white even though that majority is dwindling we need those white people to speak up and stand up and do something and now i put the burden on us to solve this problem. so when we talk about allyship and people say what? can we do? we have to first let them know. the black community in the station in 2021 still has the highest numbers of negatives in almost every category. we're buying homes like we bought homes before 1968 before the fair housing act of 1968. okay, we're voting and if you don't believe it, we're voting like we voted in 1964. we are being stripped of our rights shelby beholder and the most recent supreme court decision.
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okay, they have totally gutted the voting rights act. we are voting without the full protections of the voting rights act policing. where are we we are being tried and convicted and killed on the corner where other communities are getting to court so we know and and we don't have access to capital, um education, but we can go on and on and on and on but now the question is for all my great panelists here. jill biden is president kamala harris is vice president and we've got donald trump wanting to come back in any other person who wants to come. what is the mandate for them each one of you when it comes to fixing beginning to fix these centuries old ills for black america keith i'm going to go to you first. well, i wrote about this in my book. i talked about the goal needs to shift. we've been focused i think for the past 50 years or so since the civil rights era on passing
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laws that eliminate basic discrimination, which is important. i agree with that. i support all those different pieces of legislation emmett till lynching anti-ledging on george floyd justice and policing act the john lewis voting rights act that support all that. but that's not going to get us to equality and i i argue that we need to focus on equal outcomes and not just equal opportunities and we have to shift our consciousness about race and racism in america until we eliminate those persistent racial disparities. we're never going to have full equality or equity in this country. we're never going to have a system where black people are treated equally in this country. you mentioned an employee mentioned unemployment in jobs, i think and that's one of the best examples to illustrate the disparity because the i can employment rate has never in the history of the labor department records ever been as low as the white unemployment rate. it's usually almost twice as much or higher as it white unemployment rate and yet we have people in this country
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still complain or client rather that there is no structural racism in this country if you look at every indicator in an employment and jobs in healthcare and education housing in criminal justice and climate and every possible indicator, even the coronavirus pandemic last year even the attack on on democracy. it was targeted a black cities like detroit and philadelphia and atlanta, georgia in every possible respect black people are second-class citizens in this country still and that's not going to end by passing another few laws. all those those laws are important. it's only going to end when we change our consciousness and our mindset to focus on equal outcomes that has to be the standard when we reach equal outcomes and assuming that every that black and white people are all equally able incompetent. eat there's no reason why we shouldn't have the same number of black doctors and black lawyers and and black psychiatrists and black teachers. we have in new york city. we have a white mare who got elected now last election not
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one even talk about the new merrill canada, but we have a white mayor who got elected in our last election with his black son and this big afro was part of his campaign for why he was going to focus on criminal justice issues, and he appointed three different police chiefs during his two terms in office. all three of them were what they were all white irish men in the city is diverse as new york city the democratic mayor the progressive democratic mayor appointed three white irish men to be our police chiefs, so i have to wonder that there must be some black people or latino people raising americans are indigenous people or some people besides white irishmen who can leave the new york city police department, but we continue allow these these structural inequalities to continue. we continue allow that this sort of imbalance to persist. we never really challenge it and just take it as we assume that just the way things are until we challenge it and start asking. why is it the white men are 29% of the population, but every one of our presidents united states except for one and still we
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start asking and still wait until we start asking why is that women of the majority of the population? we've never had a woman president until we start questioning the the predominance of white male power in this country will never gonna be able to undermine that and challenge this structural racism that prevents us from moving forward. so, you know when you say equal outcomes three things came to mind one thing you're in a city new york city, that's still grappling with decisions on eric garner flow. he cried out 11 times. i can't read then you also have an issue how to cocaine sentencing versus crack cocaine sentencing, right and the most recent issue that i hear the white house wants to deal with after all this infrastructure thing is gone the issue of if i live house, and i'm black. my outcome of what i get for what i want for my house when it's sold is different from my white neighbor because my house value is lowered for the sake
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that i am black. so these are real things guys if you don't believe me look it up go google it bakari. what what should? this president this administration and the next person who wants our vote. due to correct begin to correct the problems the ills that have plague the black community. abolish the filibuster i mean in a tangible policy. like i the filibuster is a weird creation. it's a it's a racist relic of a past. jim crow area it's usually used and notoriously used to stifle. coming from south carolina is someone who served in south carolina. we have one of our great united states senators strong thurmond who in the civil rights act. so eloquently recite it the i mean i say recited. what is it when you just read i guess you just read it read the
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washington phone book in his filibuster of the the 1964 voting right back. i i am someone who believes that that is a step in the right direction. um, but then things like voting rights. we still may not even have 50 votes keyboard. you know, it's but this administration is funny like i'm a huge joe biden fan. period it's really interesting though to watch joe biden govern. for example we could deregulator deschedule marijuana tomorrow. and joe biden won't do it. now the question is why i own five dispensaries in oregon a
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manual kitchen and and in arizona i own a manufacturing and a dispensary manufacturing. i grow 40 to 50 pounds a weed and oklahoma, and i'm building something in new jersey right now. it's going to the tune of about 4.8 million dollars. we're trying to build a consumption lounge and a dispenser. and i also represent people diva deal. appreciate this i represent people who get enhanced on the criminal sentences because of their underlying marijuana convictions. and i support in what a vote for somebody keith who won't can i question you on this bakari? because i think instead of asking joe budden. i think you should ask joe ask barack obama because joe budden never supported joe joe like a joke. just you know, i can't that's barack obama. oh wait, let me finish this stuff, but joe budden never supported legalization the marijuana barack obama smoke marijuana, he knows he knows that there's no like that. he knows there's no reason why
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shouldn't change medical marijuana and and recreational marijuana you going so many different places. it's regulated more. so now that it is why is marijuana, why is marijuana federally still scheduled the same as heroin and cooking? exactly. why didn't president obama do something? i don't disagree with that's about what happened with the prohibition with alcohol. let's go back there. so asking i don't i literally do not disagree with you. i mean time we are repeating the same mistakes all you have to do and this is gonna probably get me in trouble with this audience. but all you have to do is look at stephen breyer making the same mistakes that ruth great again his birthday. all right, why didn't ginsburg resign when barack obama was president? i totally agree. so so here we are so i don't know. that's my truth april and i'm sticking with it. okay, and i appreciate you you for sticking with that bakari said that so they um until you have been very open with your
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history in baltimore and talk to us about what you think. the next president should do even going from this issue and beyond. i think the next president needs to be honest. um, we need to go ahead and and begin to dismantle this whole idea of american exceptionalism because there's too many problems. here. we are not perfect. they're a big issues. we can't even get politicians to say that policing is a fail institution in this country. so many people are like what there's a few bad apples, but they work hard tell that into the people who are you know a lot of disorders probably don't know but i grew up in whether the worst neighborhood some of the worst housing projects in the history of america it american history, right and i say here today as a college professor in the new york times the best selling opted three times over so i know the idea of the american dream is i know it can happen but just because it
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happened for me doesn't mean it's gonna happen to the 40 or 50 people. i started out on the plot with right and we need to talk about that. we need to talk about our social mobility it falls and on some people. it's almost impossible. like i just got my first job on writing on the television show and that came from not just my skill setting me just trying to audition a try out but like 200 relationships i built just to get to that moment to be in the right place at the right time and say the right thing. it's almost like making a million dollar shot. i wouldn't miss one meeting one foundation one giveaway. i wouldn't be here and that is crazy. and isn't it? that's not a knock on hbo or anybody else. they're pulled me in. this is not cool how the systems in this country works, right? we act like america works for everybody. we act like it's fair. we act like people are getting beat at the border. we act like being black and water down the street is not enough for you to go to present and we i've never ever ever in my life got a chance to celebrate a politician who
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really really stuck to those hard truths and how do we ever solve these problems if we can't get past them? it's where we'll be. we'll be having it somebody, you know, the people who we you know, we work really really hard to elevators be growing out careers. we'll be having the same conversation 5 10 15 and 20 years from now. saying the same thing because our leaders don't acknowledge the problems. they won't say it. they won't say policing is a racist institution in america. they won't say police officers treat the white people and rich people one way and then black people and dense urban areas. oh a completely different rate. they just won't say it. it's always a hero, but somebody who's working hard to protect us our brave men and women these cops. they know i'm not even brave so, you know my expectations. i don't expect you to do a whole lot with policy. i don't expect the next administration to cut reparations checks that none of that. i just want you to tell the truth about this country so we can fix it so we can move
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forward. i want black people in power to utilize our resources just like any other people in power that utilize our resources to to help us all. 8 and we'll never do that until we not saying it's our responsibility, but i'm just saying as a collective will never get anywhere as we're not acknowledging the problems. yes, we've done well doesn't mean everybody's gonna do well, that's america, but we but it doesn't have to be like that. wow, guys, can you believe we've been here for an hour? i know look he right. i go so much longer with you guys. i respect each and every one of you for your strength. for your outspokenness and for your love of a community. that needs to be lifted and i thank you with that said i want to go to each one of you and ask you for your closing thoughts and thank you again for being a
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part of this great panel discussion. um, this is our eighth panel discussion. we've had some great panelists in person, but i don't think we've had as passionate as this one. i mean, i mean it the car you dropped some you dropped some you dropped the mic you drop some gyms and you drop some bombs, so i know you're gonna make some news tonight. so but i want to start i want i am i am dedicated to this mission of kind of believing and then what lincoln called the better angels of our nature and call me. i call that youth when i even say or whatever it is, but you know, i still believe and not what this country was or what it is, but it can be. and you know, i that just that that sometimes puts me in a hundred and eighty degree difference than where my some of my brothers in the fight are but i want to keep my my hope and
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the reason being is because i have kids to raise in this country. feel this house with love because we know is the soliloquently put that when they leave this house. it's a country that doesn't love them back. and so, you know, my dad taught me this proposition that you have to love your neighbors even when they don't love you. and so that's what i'm dedicated to. wow. poignant key i like what bakari said. i'm hopeful person believe it or not after all that, but i think my hope relies on our ability to use time constructively, you know, dr. king said that time itself is neutral. it can be used constructively or destructively and his fear. he wrote and letter from birmingham jail was that people of ill will had used time more constructively than people of goodwill. my fear is that we who are of a
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particular belief in african-american community who want to advance our communities goals will assume i hope not but it will assume that the change in demographics will inevitably create the change that we want in this country and i'm not convinced that that will happen unless we work and fight to make it happen. so i encourage people not just to sit and wait for history to unfold but to go out and create change to create the history to make that history unfold and to use our time constructively to make a real positive difference in this country. um people who know me know everything i do is from the bottom up direct services my thing i worked directly with people of so you i don't get the opportunity to address crowds of like 5,000 people, but you know a working with like the same 10 to 20 people who can hit my phone whenever and as they elevate they're able to get their own 10 and 20 people and i'm i'm just a firm believer in
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that and i think both of these words go hand to hand. so what i will say is um, don't sleep on the change in how impactful you can be to the people who you around because they need you in in the words that are the late great maya angelou when you get give when you learn teach and i just try to live my life like that, but thank you april for putting this together of extremely honored and and happy to to be on this panel. all of you guys are just a brilliant and thank you. you're brilliant all three of your brilliant. but what we heard tonight. were words from people who love this country? he believed in the pillars and doctrines of this country who believe that we are still forming a more perfect union. who believed that we are still forming a more perfect union in the midst of growing pains and those growing pains happen to be about matters of rates that touches every segment of society
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race and money touch everything. believe that i know that for a fact i've watched it. i've seen it you have to if you're honest with yourself. i want to thank bakari sellers the best selling author of my vanishing country. i want to thank keith boykins the best-selling author of race against time. it's a new book out guys. hold your book up key. hold it up. hold it up. yes promote that book and d watkins the author of the cook-up we speak for ourselves and the b-side you can get all of these books here in politics and pros. please go online and purchase all of these books. and of course me april ryan your moderator white house correspondent in the washington bureau chief for the real go to the real calm and get a lot of great stories about these very subjects. i'm the author of the book the presidency in black and white at mama's knee and also under fire, please support these great authors and support politics and
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pros to continue to bring this kind of information to you in programming. this is our eighth race in america session. thank you, lissa and brad. thank you politics and pros for all you do for us and thank you honestly for your allyship. thank you.
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hello, i'm stephanie trussell. i have the pleasure of introducing charles. love charles love is the executive director of seeking excellence. i'm sorry seeking educational excellence a non-for-profit whose mission is to empower disadvantage students to


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