tv Race in America CSPAN November 22, 2014 9:10pm-10:51pm EST
we will take your calls. you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. "washington journal" at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> a group of authors have a conversation about the state of race in america and what the future may be like. they discussed the ferguson, missouri case and community responses and make addictions on the impending grand jury decision. they shared their personal stories of expenses with police and law enforcement. this was hosted by the brooklyn historical society. this program contains language some reviewers might find offensive. this is about 90 minutes. [applause]
>> this is beautiful. what's up, brooklyn? give yourself a round of applause. [applause] power fist. >> be careful. >> it will be like that all night. [laughter] i was hearing a beautiful intro. give it up to the brooklyn historical society. [applause] rochelle was very glad to hear how her name was pronounced. what do you think what people call you [indiscernible] >> it is irritating. box.me in a
i'm very comfortable being american and being latino. for me that hyphen bridges me to both. when hear someone say [indiscernible] it is you not open to receiving me fully. understand what i mean? if we meet outside, please don't call me [indiscernible] >> rachel. "rachel" iall me want even pay attention to you. >> some of my best friends are black. >> it has been great. i have three or four now. [laughter] increase from 0%. [laughter] >> how about latinos?
[whistles] >> one. she is right here. i went on a date with a dominican girl 10 years ago. it came back to me. >> wow. >> what's up, c-span? all five of you. [laughter] we are so glad to have you here. apologize to c-span for the stuff we are going to say. [laughter] >> we sent a crew out there and couldn't use any footage. wasted taxpayer money. >> we don't have a separate moderator. we will moderate each other which has worked well in american history. [laughter] we propose to address one topic
which is right off the news -- ferguson. real life. real easy. notice on your chairs cards with topics you want to discuss. we will dip into that and passed down the aisle. will share the microphone with you and verbally hear what you have to say. us on ouru see iphones, we are listening to you on twitter. >> exactly. >> you ready? all right. >> ferguson. about to jump off again maybe. possibly. we don't know. >> pre-declared state of emergency. >> and confirmed on fox. you know some shit is going
down. >> did you see fox news recently? >> didn't watch that. >> or not admitting it. >> a segment of white american society. it strikes me as i thought of new haven. i was reading the other day. trial back in new haven. huge protests. wouldgh whites and blacks come to the lawn and do a big demonstration. president were petrified it would turn into what we saw in ferguson in august.
the connecticut new the first way to set off the powder keg would be to send in and prime everyone. they quietly assembled the national guard. they told no one. go have your demonstration. nothing happened. everyone went home. it was over. >> that is what is happening here? >> that is not what is happening here. is governor of missouri doing everything he can to get everyone primed for the fact that black people are going to go crazy. >> can i ask you to speak for all white people? [laughter] peopleg this for white -- is he doing this for white people? i know you are nervous? cover onrying to
his basis. -- bases. sid you have law-enforcement standing by in case things go sideways? of course. talk anding we will everything will be fine and we would do everything to avoid this. by a guns -- buy guns just in case. it is like $50,000 in rubber bullets. $50,000 in being bad guns. they are preparing for all of guns.- in bean bag they're preparing for all of this. >> how would they missed the white protesters? who knows what is going to
happen. >> you sent me this link. he was using this -- did you see it question mark -- see it? >> i did. >> he was using the same terminology. explosive situation. written violence. something is going to erupt. .o scare people situations like these are not situations. he became the 9/11 mayor. he was going to be the legacy. talking about the situation, it was very dismissive. it brought up for me the idea
this phrase has been thrown around as of late. i know you despise that term. you have good reason. have tons ofle advantages in society. a lot of people like bill o'reilly and fox news denies it exists. whenever you talk about advantages white people have come here to sort them. is things people white have the other people shouldn't be accorded also. white people can walk about in society without fear of getting shot in the face every day by police. some look at it as white privilege. i see it as citizenship. it is the baseline of how to be treated in society.
i feel you get that word attached to something like this and we start focusing on all the things that tanner has that is bad rather than focusing on the true problem. >> you talk about white privilege. for me it is not really about white people. >> non-white disadvantaged. allows you to project resentment on white people. >> just because you are born white, you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth. i think we should look into it as we lack basic rights. we are both parents. when i first held my son, wow. can't believe i had another kid. only got.
he is so cute. he looks chinese. -- oh my god. he is so cute. he looks chinese. i'm going to be worried about him going to the store. my daughter is there. depression.tpartum i was happy about him being born, but i have this conversation. i had to think about people not respecting him are loving him the way i love him regardless of what color. i had to think of a him going to the store and not coming back. teaching him to question what he thinks what he's being taught in school. at the same time, don't go too far with authority because he could get shot in the face. it leads to stress. it could lead to resentment. this don't shoot and what is
going on in for guessing -- ferguson is about human privilege. black, white, whatever being upset of what we don't have. seen, there's so much beauty in ferguson terms of the creative response. the government playbook is the same. disproportionate measures. the response on the ground has been that black youth movement has been much more gender open in terms of the roles that people are playing, artist driven in a way we haven't always seem for four. -- think before. watching some of these young andle respond so creatively persistently, whether it is the
pretending to be dead and will i --, new forms of protests while lying in the street, new forms of protest -- >> what is the difference between what happened with trayvon martin? lessthink there has been forming by traditional nations. you have got hands of united as a creative example. you have got -- he is always there. heart is in a good place. it is not the reverend show
anymore. it is a new cast of people we have never seen before. rappers are on different mics. their starting newsletters. there is a startup product which tech companies used to launch their products. if you're interested in a cheaper way for luxury cars, s ign up here. this is the problem of the 5%. these young activists were using that same platform to build the to build a- movement. it is not for the media designation. let's go to obama and see what he's thinks -- he thinks. he will be the president for much longer.
-- won't be the president for much longer. rio is talk about the stupid -- we walways talk about the stupid shit he talks about. >> what do you think will happen with the grand jury? >> i think he will be acquitted. >> yep. yep. >> raise your hand if you think no indictment? hands up for no indictment? hands of four indictment? -- for indictment? >> not deserves indictment, but use your psychic powers. >> i think he is going to walk. nothing thats
happened that date justifies a shooting of michael brown, but there is a brief interval inside the car we don't know exactly what happened. anytime there is a sliver of uncertainty -- that is what is going to happen. what do we do with that information once it comes out? cupcakes.or sends out what i would like to see the governor do is show up open mike at the british prime minister and take it. physically have -- here the people. -- hear the people. little is the knowledge being heard. if you set in a room like this and took it for like five hours
-- [laughter] it'd be beautiful press for him. >> i don't think he cares. i think he is a slightly less evil version of giuliani. i think there might be violent reaction. side if youive could glean something positive, i do see a new political movement had been. i do see what you're talking about the other day. this hold democrat republican crap is nonsense. i'm from harlem. my peers are from the dominican republic. -- parents are from the dominican republic. i may not agree with that you say, so i will start my own party. americans are obsessed with cramming ourselves into these boxes. party likely agrees with
you. [laughter] >> we are seeing all alliances. we see senators from kentucky. rocks saying shit i could with. war on drugs. >> what are these organizations asking for? >> stop shooting black and brown people. disconnect of who the police are versus who the populace is. there's a perverse relationship june how the government is funded and the imposition of fines. funds the court system. there are cameras on police.
probably seven other things i can't remember. men withing police cameras. timed.larly we don't have footage of ferguson. >> the main thing i have a problem is that representation angle. black, but has a white city council and white police. me that is a false tactic to take. they're not questioning the basic premise underlying that. live in one of the inner ring suburbs of birmingham, alabama. the ready why cities work is because you for broad tax base of rod services p at old people pay taxes, but aren't using the schools p review people pay
taxes, but aren't using medicare health services. taxes, but don't use the schools. not everyone is taking advantage of the services. you have no industry. you might have liked retail. -- light retail. fees -- meanwhile, people are using some of the city services, but not all of them. exploit your most expensive public service, which is good public schools in the suburbs. it is a completely untenable system. the only way that works is if you have extreme wealth. places can afford and notthe world out
have any commercial industry and support an excellent public school waste on nothing more than taxes -- based on nothing more than taxes. people do not have a joomla! to vuelta -- do not have accumulative wealth. places like ferguson, it is a completely untenable model. black people coming in, we need to run ferguson. once -- you don't think white people don't care about it -- cityit is an all-black with black leadership, taxpayers will pay more. city services will decline more. essentially, rich white people have designed a game that is rigged. black people are saying -- we need to win that game.
it doesn't make sense. people stayson why in political control is we want to be annexed so we have access to st. louis, taxes, services, and infrastructure. the balkanized city states we have organized are the problem. to say black people need to take large of ferguson is to misdiagnose the problem. >> they cannot just be a black body. -- you have people that are not the right people for these jobs. -- you wentnother to the system of money and borders. there is another thing i haven't heard talk about enough in ferguson. police and training or lack thereof. there's a very protective law
around police officers. there am also a. saints.are almost they have guns and badges. they can get away with the bronx. -- wrongs. a cop that has a bad day to get away with killing. probably not if you look like me. >> maybe. their perception of your threat and their mood determines your life. up equation,pped c-span. [laughter] i tried to promote his work as
much as i can. he studies racism. psychology. think cops are racist. they are not explicitly. it is not cool to be out hating black people you'd you can't walk around shouting those things. that lack people are less than human -- black people are less than human -- the media has done an effective job. the thing he found is the predictor if a cop will shoot a black boy or man is not their explicit racism. it is the implicit sense of mescaline 80. asculinty.
if you challenge them in any way, they have got to put you down. >> if i could add one thing to many friends being victimized by cops. the thing we were always taught to look out for our black and latino cops because a sense of history of being mass killing masculated. we were very -- we are very young country. ptsd.ry in our memory part of that is with lack and brown boys is the -- black and brown boys is the masculation. i used to hear them in the train. up if theysomeone look at me the wrong way.
there's a lot of things from the bottom that we are not dealing with. just in our communities we have to deal with. that is the core of all of this. ptsd. ptsd is even correlated to black on black crime. how do you stop committing violence on other people when you don't like what you see in the mirror? how to come together and -- asced as may movement a movement if you do not like what you see in the mirror? at the bottom of this is how we're not talking about race. are here.we >> the most interesting thing i in south is that a guy
and north carolina -- i'm from the south. some of my best friends are from the south. is that your next book? [laughter] >> a cop pulls a guy over. black guy. totally like, what's up? officers said, i need to see your driver's license. he turns to get it. he shoots him. because he reached into his car where he couldn't see his hand. the tape cap rolling. two days later, it was audio recorded the officer pointing what had happened. he was like, if you watch the
video, what's going on? cop's description was, he lunged at me. the question is -- was that cop lying to cover his ass or was that his actual perception of what is black dude was doing? that speaks to what that guy's perception of the experience was. it was like the same week that incident that black actress in l.a. was defamed by the black because policedetained by because of lewd acts. she wrote a diatribe. all of these civil rights leaders get behind her. racial profiling. blah, blah.
lapd releases the tape. officers are civil. the book.ayed by man, there was a call about a disturbance. i don't want to do this. show me your id. if she hadnd said -- just showed the id, they would be gone. but she acted like a spoiled brat. she actually said, you know who i am. wants to talk to you. she tries to put her daddy on the phone with the black -- the officer. her perception was she was the next trayvon martin. the cop was, ma'am, i just need to see your id. then i will leave. the encounters are so fraught and loaded. i never had an encounter with police that is bad in my life.
like.a red i get a ticket. i leave. -- red light. i get a ticket. i leave. i'm always worried something will happen to my son or daughter if we step out of line. it is scary. >> i heard a story from my sister. my father wasn't really in the picture. he was killed when i was very much young. a handful of memories of this guy. my sister was in the car. with my father. the cops rolled up. washington, d.c. circa 1976. the cops decide they will for talk back. grabbed him out of the car. beat the crap out of him.
take them away. leave my sister and the car loan for hours -- alone for hours until a random lady rolls up and convinces my daughter to roll the window down. are you ok? she was able to get home to my mother who was livid at the time. your concern about your small child is not misplaced. >> to protect and serve. >> not to belabor this, but you brought up another memory wearied when i was in labor with -- brought up was another memory. when i was in labor with my daughter, the cops stopped us out of the blue. they wanted me to prove i was in labor. please don't touch her. get the eff out of the car. i had to get out and follow my knees and beg them to stop.
without telling them, i'm a writer -- they didn't care. they were white cops. covered their badges and license plates to the vehicle was turned down. i was really young. i wasn't thinking about -- overnightey took my bag and searched it for drugs with a baton and threw it at my husband and said have a nice night. when i got to the hospital, i almost lost her because of stress. that is what we live in day in and out. it doesn't matter. that is what i think people are getting fed up with. i think that people of all that asunds should be fed up with our country and your grandchildren are becoming more non-white.
by 2023, it is over. [laughter] >> we will still have a lot of money. [laughter] it is a fact. 0.1%? >> the thing about -- the thing about the black -- album.it is a cultural i have a friend who is a cop. he explained to me how it works. the nypd was a taurus the corrupt -- notoriously corrupt. all of the crack years, so many cops on the payroll. when these guys came in under giuliani, as bad as they were for the racial element, in terms
of corruption, they went in, arrested the top corrupt people in march them out and took out their badges. anyone else does this, you're fired. there are still corruptions, but that systemic deep corruption was largely rooted out because leadership said no tolerance. the leadership of nypd said tomorrow and you and who commits a civil rights violation is suspended without pay for the first one and fired for the second one, it would end rather quickly. whether it is steroids in baseball or corruption in politics, when there is a cultural change this isn't tolerated, things change. think if you -- -- ront and center i think we expect -- we make
broad statements that are not backed up by our intrinsic behavior. i don't see color, but we do. i see it. i'm trained by the same stimulus that has trained the rest of us. i'm also racist against me because i have been conditioned. >> don't do that to yourself. >> i don't want to. i look in the mirror. you would be so much more handsome. there's a mass therapy. we skipped steps. great words in america. beautiful language about the quality and the rights of men and women. congratulations, ladies. get heard. nature and socialization and habits have been bill up across generations. this statement this won't be
telling made it needs to be supported with some psychological retraining efforts beyond conflict resolution. our heads are messed up. we have been psychologically violated. that will take some doing. >> i thought -- see.e a chart you will not i got frustrated. we expect so much and so little time in the great sweep of just american history. several hundred years of legal does in segregation --umanization and then 300 years, 400 years. deficit ofve a goodwill, equality. maybe by the year 2300 we could
talk about post-racial, but it takes some time investment. time is part of the currency here. >> i think it was in time magazine. perfect segue. why there were no black executives on the board of fortune 500 companies. because we are 17 years out from -- when i think about my own life in relation to america's racial history, i'm just poor white trash. my grandparents were southern sharecroppers. got a job. va benefits after
world war ii. upper-middle-class white guy who kind of gets to do whatever i want. i'm not rich, but that is because i chose not to be rich. i chose to do something that doesn't pay me money. i could've chosen to make money. that process was about 80 years. if it takes 80 years to get from sharecropping to upper-middle-class and total freedoms, it takes 80 years if you are a white man. we're only did two years out from -- 50 years out from -- my family was incredibly lucky and worked hard. black people have been unlucky in a lot of things. we continue to do many things wrong. non-white people in america
-- get together, have conversations. even though we all know no one is going to win, the good that comes out of it is conversation and dialogue. paper that we were talking about ptsd. ptsd was something we carry in our memory as people regardless of what color we are. solso think because we are diverse -- >> awesome. >> if there is any word that can take the place of diversity, say it to me. we are so -- >> colorful. >> colorful.
we shouldn't be looking at our community as larger than just north america. we should look at ourselves as americans. if you feel like public enemy number one, at yourselves on the back. america started in the east of .he dominican republic there wasplace indigenous american slavery and the transatlantic trade slave. that is why we are so racially ambiguous. a start seeing what people are doing and start that dialogue and start popping -- talking. was that a little new agey? sorry, c-span. new agey. >> for those who wrote things down on cards, if you could send we willthe aisles,
collect them and tried to dive into some of what you have been asking. lost track on that one. we raced hard -- riffed hard. i don't want to talk about taylor swift. is -- you tweeted -- a dramatic experience by the offender and offendette. >> the idea of chasing victims -- we are victims too -- but not in the way you think.
in your book, did you come across -- >> to call people victims is to be ridiculous. offender?out the >> we are all products of the same system. we are damaged in different ways. for people in color, ptsd. this feeling of inferiority. and a product of a society is like growing up and you are kind of like dense. you cannot see. your little slow. -- you're a little slow. i have gone through the looking glass. i know expert genius about race -- i'm no expert genius about race. intelligent political commentators.
one mentioned she read an filmmakerby a black that there is a renaissance of black tv and it died off and turned into malcolm and eddie & filled and friends -- and se infeld and friends. they're back to getting a cultural voice. i can't believe that. is that true? data. i don't fault them for that. i understand. i look back. you don't see that? how can you not? but they don't.
these white people having black face and ghetto parties and black people are deliberately -- saying they are vividly trying passion they are deliberately trying to of finance, but no, they just don't know better. -- they are irreverently trying trying toberately offend us, but no, they just don't know better. --ov eme my wife, but >> be careful. c-span. is on >> i don't know any lack people. what is with that?
i'm into deuce myself the parties. .'m writing a book -- i introduce myself. i'm writing a book. when my wife would introduce me and explain what i do, he's writing a book about racial integration. she would never read a book called i don't know any black people. she was nervous. wife.led out my .hey like my book whenever it becomes their turn to talk about it, they seize up and clench up. they have a difficult time. what they do not realize is the first phase of dealing with race is you either become bill o'reilly and you get angry and defensive. what are you asking for?
haven't we done enough for them already? hard-core into the you make a youtube video. is disingenuous. when people don't approach it because they don't want to go there. it is in a comfortable place to be with the anger and denial or the guilt. if you go deep and long enough, you get through that to the other side. likeng about racism is whether or not you like this a beer. you get used to it and comfortable with it. all of that guilt and anxiety is gone. >> the white promised land? [laughter] >> a kind of is. is.t kind of >> i have been to the white
promised land. it will be ok. [laughter] >> it was off the hook. loved it. you are like the hottest thing in their. -- there. three mentions of latinos in passing. invisible. we have to have a conversation. barack obama being president would open up a dialogue that was binary. the first time he was running, [whispering] who is that? i was excited. everything existed in a gray space.
we have it. and white is black and that is not how the world works. the promised land is gray. >> it is both. in terms of the racial dynamics, you are right. there is a multiracial dynamic along the spectrum a race that needs to be dealt with. it is also true that there is some shit to settle. >> but it involves [indiscernible] such --is why it takes shouldn't be a binary number station. but black and white defines the continuum. are black and w hite. you're staring at the solution. you don't see anything. [laughter] >> thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me.
youthful and somewhat legible props -- beau --ul and somewhat legible do think there is an anxiety of the changing demographics in the u.s.? rules are changing so fast to allow certain powers to amass influence that they don't care anymore. -- mentioned the demographic but also the global nature of shifting power and were capital is happening and people getting educated in different ways. what is anxiety? >> we so busy sending our children to war and not looking
at each other as human beings. we are falling behind. i think scandinavians will rule the world. i think so. they are investing in their children. -- becausee into they are vikings. [laughter] crime rates are low. >>i do think i agree with you oa point in time, a binary conversation -- >> it is our inability to deal with it as an internal problem that leaves us unable to deal with it without. >> we needed to stay young,
technically america will be like italy, italy is old, physically old and the young people cannot support the old people because they stopped having sex and the pyramid is inverted and they anti-foreigner and barred the gates. what sustained the u.s. through all this drama by force or by luer's people kept showing up. now we are threatening that. we are risking sending amazing and peopleideas away with your brilliance would not be welcome here because we have the short game view. 2042 is it will not go the way we think it is.
people will only be half. that is a lot of white people that we can contain them. we will build more suburbs. [laughter] white people still have all whole lot of money, all of the valuable downtown real estate, white people own all of it. we have a lot. but what percentage of mixed-race and minority people will be assimilated into the middle class and identify with the power holding majority then minority populations. i think what will happen is whiteness will split in two. two kinds of white people. everythingwho hang on being white and they are scared and nervous and retreating further into idaho and west virginia and the mountains. they will be healed people. -- hill people. and then myself, i don't see integration as a threat, if my
son marry someone with a different race and i have a mixed-race grandchild i do not care because i am in the upper middle-class and historically working middle-class people are and the upper class feel like you can't be threatened because i will be ok and i know my kids will have access to these social and financial capital to remain in power -- you are assuming stability, you're assuming this imbalance persists for 30 years and i think at some point the system breaks. >> it is going to break and you will have a break which is one portion of white people break off and d assimilate and go to idaho and another group that will partner with the more assimilated and educated branch to be a new beige majority.
part people of color and part white people who are fine with that and then a rock fashion of every immigrant group who will be in the corner and being very angry. beige will be the new white. something? -- do you want to add something? >> i don't necessarily agree with that even if race is a social construct maybe even -light skin latinos become the next white i guess the next white man is the black man. >> how so? >> you're talking assimilation and out of all the groups that are immigrants we are -- what is happening is immigrants are -- they are selectively acculturated. they are taking what they like
about the old country and what they like about being american and fusing that together. there is no such thing as assimilating to what? what are we assimilating to? we have to redefine that. >> white standard will not be the gold standard of assimilation but there are white people of a lot of money and a lot of job opportunities. to the extent that you want access to those industries that's why i say beige is the new white. >> i disagree but we will save it for a future forum. >> is jazz toilet in the house? riffing on the toilet. awesome. >> how do i have a meaningful
conversation about race being a white liberal friend with a black friend, do you want to clarify? >> they think having a black friend gives them license to be a grant, like a racism insurance card. [laughter] [inaudible] back onse they lean that friend as an excuse? they think they know everything because they have one person in their circle, is that it? ok. tell them never to say that and be that it is not true. i don't know your particular friend --? [inaudible] you? it [laughter] costume.n amazing i just think white people who
are like i already know about this and i took ethnic studies and read all the articles, we do not need to talk about this. there is no conversation. >> the thing that pops into my head immediately based on no studies and fake science, shift the category. aboutthis person say that north carolina versus south carolina? would they say this about scandinavia versus norway? baseball versus hockey? know one thing and somehow make it present to them that that doesn't mean everything. howd a hot dog, i know hotdocs taste, i have the net at chili's so i know how mexican food case. timess true like that
1000. i think there are people in our lives whether it is agenda line if they know one homosexual than they know gay people, if they know one woman they know all women? if there is an opportunity to not make about race but it is perfect for reminding them that there is uniqueness and a spectrum everywhere. that is my fake science got. -- gut. >> peter a. holden? i love your tweet. diverse, how about amalgamagical. >> that is a mouthful but it has a healthy sparkle. i see a rainbow with sparkles. >> it is really dreamy.
like a promised land. >> thank you so much for that. >> was her question there? >> we're just giving love. >> for the balance of the evening we will use amalgam agical in lieu of diversity. >> is the race, gender and age diversity in this audience what or would expect concerning is it in the way of real progress? people --say you [laughter] peopleimpressed by those because i was expecting it to be a little more like -- like girls on hbo. >> she was dissing brooklyn 30 hard to -- pretty hard. >> i had a conversation with
raquel the couple weeks ago and she is to live in brooklyn and she said i got tired of it and had to leave because it is getting to white. i said when did you leave? she said 1997. [laughter] >> i lived in brooklyn heights i was expecting older, white, not new not cool not hit. -- not hip. please stay. amalgamagical than what i am seeing because of where brooklyn has gone. >> if you identify as mail raise your hand? if you identify as female raise your hand. >> ladies night apparently. discount, tuesday
night at the brooklyn historical society. if you identify as neither male nor female and want to raise your hand? female by my fake math. expectations to directly answer this, remember and ig around the corner just thought, wow there is a range of hairstyles. better than giving a talk about race in vermont. [laughter] phenomenondistinct whenever i do these things, this is better than being a white guy explaining how racism works, but if i have a
good mixed-race audience and make black people laugh and the white people relax it will be fine but if it is majority white and there are three black people the black people are not feeling of the white people will have permission to enjoy themselves at all and everyone will sit there [laughter] it is horrible. i have never died as a standup comedian but i imagine that's what it feels like. >> i don't know why you look at me when you say that? >> i read about it. >> it is a painful tragic experience. >> i give this audience a thumbs up. >> i give you two. i feel a queer not talking about intersectional oppression.
all right then. i feel like someone busted out some fans on that one. well. preach. so it is interesting, why have we failed? >> do i define it? >> there is no single -- fake science coming at you, not the wikipedia definition but the intuitive definition, race, gender, origin these things are inseparable and play out in different ways depending where you are in those statements so you cannot have a solo conversation about race if you cannot take gender into account or class. i think we did talk about blackmail and brown male bodies -- black male and brown male bodies. being bornbout
white, i soon if you're born you are either a woman, male, or somewhere in between. i link we did but maybe not in depth. --i really feel like this is it is difficult to have these conversations because -- this is there aread topic -- so many intersections of this you can or that, that never please everyone and part of the reason people shy away is -- i wrote a 2000 word article for slate and i got a barrage of tweets that you did not talk about this or -- i had 2000 words and i picked one thing to talk about and did not talk about the other 90 because i only had 2000 words. hang around long enough we will have beers and get to intersection alley.
-- intersectionality. >> were going to talk about white people, this is a two page comment. [laughter] someone actually wrote page one. [laughter] pagescratched out all of two. people notke white surrounded by people of color they are unaware how much whiteness is spoken about when they are not around so it would be good to make the idea of whiteness more deliberate and not be afraid of it in mixed company. i hope that makes sense. >> the tone just jumped off the page. hope you don't mind my interpretive license -- i almost said interpretive whiteness. [laughter] you, racquel, spoke out clearly about feeling invisible in this lack-white conversation but there is also another line drawn
between people of color and what is that and instead of asking questions i get to throw out my own thoughts on this i think we can talk about whiteness. maybe we don't call it a privilege and some of you have a problem with that word, but it anows us and escape hatch -- escape hatch to walk to the world as if color doesn't matter. did the whiteness project a documentary film in buffalo, new york with white people in front of cameras and let them think out loud and there were some thoughts there. a lot of resentment and why are we doing all these things for the black people, the resentment is book of earlier comes up clearly, intersecting with class , i would love in some ways to pass the baton or share the baton on what the race
conversation is and that is part of why you are here, because you get some of this work a solo. >> what i have found is the power of white -- white supremacists understand light mist -- whiteness the least. they're bad with grammar, history, culture, economy. [laughter] white supremacists are these rubes who bought into the promise of whiteness as a pure white race that is endowed with ,uperiority which is nonsense but they bank everything on the purity of the white race and keeping it your of contamination and i don't think that is where the power of whiteness comes from, the power of whiteness comes that it can mean anything. as thomas said on his blog,
whiteness is very protean in nature. today is completely changed. that is why i think what i do --ut the year two dozen 42 2042 and beige being the new white, white will be whatever it needs to be to stay where it is and that is the enduring, underlying power of that idea. it is pernicious and we can admit why it is bad but let's acknowledge white it is so powerful. communism is dying, fascism is gone, why is that? it is so infinitely flexible that it can be anything. you hadrench revolution 40 families with all the money and you said that is the aristocracy, let's kill them and then we have a new regime. white people are the ruling class in america, who is why people? -- white people?
whoever we say it is. how do you extend that aristocracy? jews,l include and expand or whoever to say you don't belong anymore go to idaho, when i get rid of that. >> i apologize to the people of idaho -- [laughter] >> i will come to it from a gray in thend transnational, northeast whiteness and blackness is defined differently than what we even think. theyu listen to skip gates are sending you down the wrong path -- the way we look at it has to do with economics. for example, i ran into a doctor or dentist who typically looks like a shorter version of michael jordan and one of my mentors said you know the guy right there -- i said yeah, they said he is considered white
here, all slight in brazil if ,ou look at pele soccer player he bought his way in and became white and people stopped referring to him as being black. >> in the dominican republic it haiti, way, also in where the ruling class is considered white and that ruling class is close to the ruling class in the dominican republic and so they look at power, race and fina typical looks has nothing to do with it, it is how much power and money you have. i look at the caribbean and where america started when i want to gauge where we are going in north america. maybe it is another way of saying what you're saying, whiteness-blackness is fluid. >> i don't know if i wonder or simply hope for it instead --
whiteness, ince of feel like that is temporary. i wanted to be temporary for sure and i am looking at people who are so bored of the program that they have to leave -- have a great night. just kidding, i know you have to go. you talk about transnational, someone mentioned india and , there are things that have to change in such dramatic ways that i think are happening outside the bubble of this conversation. the power of culture as we have white powerwithin a structure but jazz, hip-hop -- all these things of black phases and black movements are sold in america around the world but what happens when the area is , and whatdarin happens culturally when the
world tower keeps shifting -- >> china is huge and will challenge us, a friend of mine is a linguist and the interesting thing about english, whiteness and english rose up in the world contemporaneously, and the interesting thing about english is that it sort of took our -- took over the world in a rested just and advantageous world in technology. english come along with the ,ypewriter, with the internet with the computer and all the technology and english has the advantage of being flexible. the french are very rigid in their language but the english language, like whiteness can absorb -- >> they put omg in the dictionary. >> english is a language that can expand infinitely to be whatever it needs to be where is mandarin in chinese is very
difficult -- they are trying to change that now and make mandarin easier so it can be more international. to that extent, is whiteness going to be like english were it will continue to mutate and expand and adapt like a virus? i don't know. [laughter] that is not to advocate for whiteness but i'm trying to predict what it will do. >> you talking about american english? exactly,s my point there is american english, british english, international, it can mutate and spread it is not a rigidly defined thing. her in threeell on different ways -- honor in three different ways. we don't have a plan exactly. [laughter] it is 8:00 and save room -- [inaudible]
thing, -- stopc where you are this problem with the hat and scarf -- are you cold? very zipped up. politico, let it go. go.et it go, let it >> i just want to maybe expand on why and would not think that sexuality -- i asked that question in the question the privilege, but if we could maybe talk about why you would not think it is important to have is the and intersectional conversation? because knowing that you had mentioned race is a social construct, why not include all other social constructs that equally affect our perception and protection of what is race?
news -- i willhe give you a quick answer, ferguson was in the news. we picked that. >> for some of us if not most of us this intersection alley is onality is- intersecti baked in. to give you a quick background on why this happened, which we words were printed in books, i wrote this book "how to be black." "someend wrote this book of my best friends are black." and i said what would a dude named tanner know about race and i turns out there were a few things.
we did a live event and thought about going on tour together but , that wea lot of work did do one live event a year ago in manhattan, you are a much better audience than they were. experimenting with the format of can we talk to each other and to a group. rachal and i had met on cnn many years ago to talk about obama and we wanted to continue this conversation and expand it, so we reached out to rachal and said are you down for ,unches and a lot of e-mails and so this came out of an attempt to expand the conversation that we were having or to expand on the region holing we had been put into --
pigeon-holing, we had been put -- this was the second iteration of that live event, there was no comfort -- conscious effort to avoid i want toonality, but accept with openness that it is part of the conversation. we have been called upon and chosen to some degree to explore race as a primary variable as an identity. we wanted to talk about the podcast? >> we are trying to do a podcast to see if this can be a test thing, do we fight all the time? >> we will actually bark at each other the entire time. >> the shirt man with the hat. question, the first the reason i put that question
together is thinking that it seems like we talked about obama and the election and what to that is we came together and elected but it is a process that we took to elect president obama andar as little to nations it seemed like the whole community got together and as soon as you came to the white house, citizens united in the supreme court just took that power away from the americans. smaller, richer, foreign donors coming into politics and to really relight the direction where america is going -- i wanted to -- because we are talking about race and there is a lot going on that is really taking away our definition of what being american actually is. >> here here.
i think it got ratcheted up after president obama's election , i think that rewrite has been ongoing from the glorious statements in the founding documents were were never -- which were never intended for most of the people in this room to benefit from, it has lured a lot of people here and investors and resource extractors like i can get mine and keep it? that sounds good. but talk about equality a little bit, the promise has never been matched and we try to get closer , but i think the hyper reaction to the president, i underestimated and i got all caught up and i was knocking on doors in texas and pennsylvania and virginia and open-source democracy in our writing this campaign and we will write the rules and just got slammed in the face with the reality that the sport does not get played
down here, the donors were always there, the lobbyists were always there and the fear of people who had power the very concerted and collaborative decision to make sure that whatever this president said was never going to happen. it was never going to happen and so much of the time we heard them say that out loud. for, weng that we are are not four. that is what the whole political party did about the heritage foundation that mitt romney successfully implemented. treaty, theytion said, we don't believe in that anymore. electoraly that the system work seer, the deflation of voting, the lack of persistence that a lot of us have for the midterms, the follow-through is not there. we stayed up for the big game but not the scrimmages in between.
don't know if we say we came together to elect obama. the beauty of his campaign as far as getting himself elected and hee and change -- ran -- >> and as not president bush. >> did not vote for the iraq war. barack obama presented himself as hope and change and we could fill that nestled whatever we aspire to and that was part of my inspiration, writing the book. people andack hispanic people supporting obama but we are all doing this differently and for different reasons. he isk that you saw that, a galvanizing figure and we all saw what we wanted to and i think that was there a deliberate. his campaign was marketing campaign washat
genius, from start to finish, as a phenomenon. and so, he has almost been an anomaly when the city came out that said that america is no longer a functional democracy, we are an oligarchy where the interests of the middle class defined by polling and everything else are not timewing with us, all the and when your interests coincide with the top 5%, we set a democracy is being responsive, you just happen to approve the top 5% on that issue and you feel that you are getting what you want but we are no longer in that functioning democracy. and until you get the money out of politics and everything else. >> i was cautiously optimistic from the beginning. making a lot of lofty promises about immigration that i just knew that he was not going to follow through on. got, evenr they
though i voted for him, i cannot live in a country where sarah palin and john mccain were running. so i voted for him but i think i kind of, i think hillary clinton had been a great president as well. she has shown that she has and she hasn't -- and he hasn't, to my lament, is balls, or cut own ace -- cajones. --ryone else went against bush went against what the democrats wanted and said, whatever, i will take the hit, i will stand for mine, whatever. obama has not done that. he not done that or has been as much as he can? >> he should not be making these lofty promises around things like immigration, and just be
like, i cannot do anything without congress. you knew that you would be fighting an uphill battle all time. >> i think he was shocked. this is purple america, there is america,erica or blue this is purple america. he believed in it, and the first thing he said was, how can i work with you, and they said, go -- yourself. they yelled at him during the state of the union, calling him a liar. anger anda level of disrespect, that was totally unprecedented, even bill clinton who was accused of murdering his friend, did not deal with the kind of things that president obama has. i think he just got extra dirt because he is the first. they will test him and remind him, there is no or you can go without us.
where is the microphone? >> thank you for this panel. millennial, i feel like for me what is important about the conversation about race is justice. because race is one of the biggest markers for how justice is delivered. with education and health across the board. how 96 point 1% of the 1% is white, and among the 5%, 80% of that is white. of us are not even visible in this conversation of the blacklight binary, which includes huge numbers of different kinds of asian-americans, who are running many of the tech companies that does -- determine the futures of black and brown people and the role of white supremacy on their community which goes back into
chicano history. all that was mexico -- so how do we -- how are we affected by this conversation, with race itself and the story of race. thinking about solutions and moving forward. that is what my generation cares about. we are tired of being beaten cannot dotold we anything about it and there is something wrong with us. >> there is an interesting moment. >> thank you. there are two things going on here. there is an incredibly complex multiracial reality, and race and white super miss it affects all of these groups and the discussion needs to be had but when affirmative-action first the ills ofdiscuss slavery and jim crow, that was seen as programs for blacks but
the minorities got access and -- we talked about diversity and it was no longer about justice for the people who have been victimized -- it was about promoting diversity, because diversity was good for companies. selling point to the all-black establishment was, white people are tired of hearing your complaints so we will take black concerns and make them a trojan horse, with gay rights and women and all these other ethnic groups, we will slip black people in there with them and everyone will get to go in together and we will make this big pitch about how diversity is good for companies. and all these old institutions that have been victimized -- that is great for all of our asian and brown brothers around the world but this is about us because we were the ones who
were victimized by slavery and segregation. you just got here and chose to come here, you are an immigrant, get in line behind the native americans and the blacks because this is our conversation. that conversation got hijacked and turned into diversity and as a result of that, many communitiesther face, asians are doing ok, indians are moving up, this promise that diversity was going to help everyone including the adjudicated victims of slavery has not come true. they skimmed the top thomas of the asians and indians and other communities, and low income blacks just fall further and further behind, and company say, look at all of our diversity. and blacks who suffer the degradations of jim crow
continue to fall further and further behind. we do need to have this conversation, there is a black -white conversation that needs to be had. all the conversations about the conversations about race. we have to wrap this because we are getting tired. gettingll because i am tired. and people like you are. we're going to move to wherever the book signing thing is happening. is that here? at allnot going to move but you'll be able to move soon. i am wrappings this, as the half-moderator, i want to thank you two for being here, thank you all for showing up. we learned a lot. thing, -- complete >> to be continued. >> we will let you all know.
new congress and how the majority may face issues like immigration and spending. newsmakers, on c-span. for the new congress and how the tomrity may face issues>> iowar harkin is retiring at the end of his term after serving 30 years in the senate. on wednesday, chuck grassley took the floor to mark senator harkin's 75th birthday. to reminisce about iowa politics. this is about 20 minutes. >> mr. president, i rise today to celebrate the 75th birthday of my friend and longtime colleague from my home state of iowa, senator tom harkin. mr. president, senator harkin will be retiring from public offices in just a few weeks. at the end of the 113th congress, senator harkin will then close a chapter on public service that spans more than a half-century, including four decades in congress. he also served 27 years in the united states navy and u.s.
naval reserves. ten years in the house of representatives and 30 years here in the united states senate. now, i think anybody looking at that would say that is a remarkable and distinguished record of public service. after 40 years of representing iowans in congress, my friend tom soon will leave behind the halls of the u.s. capitol. he also will leave behind a legacy of fiery floor speeches, passionately delivered on behalf of individuals with disabilities. also for iowa farmers. also for the elderly. also for child laborers, and for many causes that he championed, such as early childhood education, nutrition and wellness, conservation, renewable energy, and the
environment, and probably lots of others, but those are things that everybody knows that he has worked hard on. throughout the years tom and i have served side by side in washington for the good of our home state. for three terms we worked together in the u.s. house of representatives. it was here in the senate our shared commitment to give rural america a voice at the policy making table was sown. and for many years we worked together on the senate agricultural committee looking out for the millions of americans who choose to work and earn a living in rural america. we worked together to advocate for rural infrastructure and investment, access to health care, housing technology and transportation. for the last three decades we
have served alongside one another here in this distinguished body, the united states senate, an institution that both of us hold near and dear to our hearts. although some of our silver tongued critics over the years may have described tom's views as a bleeding heart liberal or mine mischaracterized as that of a wholehearted conservative, we both -- tom and i -- know that our hearts have always been in the right place. neither of us was born with a silver spoon in our mouths, and we learned early on to appreciate the work ethic of our parents and grandparents. each of us raised our families with the hopes that our children and grandchildren would achieve the promise of america's prosperity and grow up to enjoy
the pursuits of happiness. as iowa's u.s. senators, we have worked to keep alive the dream of hardworking iowa families. now, of course, it's true that we have vastly different views on the government's influence on america's ladder of opportunity. however, we do wholeheartedly agree that it is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of our state. for some reason our respective reelections every six years have actually confounded political observers. many couldn't seem to square the notion that iowans would continue to elect two u.s. senators from opposite sides of the political spectrum for the last three decades.
so, mr. president, to explain, i think i don't have to because it is widely understood that iowaans aren't casual political observers. our electorate takes pride in retail politicking and it's first in the nation political caucuses. we certainly have given iowa voters a night-and-day choice between these two u.s. senators. so while we may not see eye to eye on politics and ideology, we do see eye to eye when it came to working for iowa's best interests. although our voting records may reflect night and day positions on some public policy, you wouldn't see the light of day between us when we worked together on matters that are
most important to iowans, including but not limited to natural disasters such as the tremendous floods of 1993 and 2008, and iowa farmers and agriculture notably recovering from farm crises, renewable energy and rural infrastructure has been our mutual interest. we have also enjoyed welcoming economic development leaders and constituents to the nation's capital, between the famous sioux land steak dinner here in washington and the harkin state fry in indianola, there is no doubt tom will mistaking out iowans po discuss politics and policy. however, i have no doubt that my home state colleague will continue championing the causes
for which he has devoted a lifetime of public service. in fact, i read in the news media about his retirement of what he intends to pursue, and so i have no doubt that he's going to pursue out of the senate what he's pursued in the senate. to his credit, my colleague's legacy reflects the priorities that he set out to achieve decades ago: to make a difference for those on the down side of advantage. so, mr. president, my wife barbara and this senator extend our warmest wishes to tom and his wife ruth and, of course, to the entire harkin family, as you start life's next chapter. and i see my colleague is here, so i can look at him. as you start life's next chapter, may you enjoy the
blessings of hearth and home, health and happiness. although tom is retiring from public office, i'm confident he's not retiring from serving the public interest. from one constituent to another, i thank you for your lifetime of public service, and i wish you good luck and godspeed. i yield the floor. mr. harkin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, first let me thank my friend and colleague for his characteristic lifetime casket -- lifetime characteristic of him being gracious and very generous in his remarks. chuck grassley and i have served together since 1974. i like to tell people that in 1974, that was a big wave of democrats came in.
they called us the watergate babies. we came in in a big wave, won a lot of elections and things like that. and in fact, in iowa that year elected a u.s., democratic u.s. senator, and every house seat -- i think there were six at that time, six house seats all went democratic except one, and that was the seat that chuck grassley won that year bucking the trend, bucking the tide in 1974. so it's kind of a funny thing, chuck. i speak to my friend across the aisle here, that a lot of times people this year have said all you watergate babies are gone now, you and max baucus and chris dodd and then on the house side george miller and h
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