tv Tavis Smiley PBS May 17, 2017 6:00am-6:31am PDT
>> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you, thank you. ♪ please welcome back to actor raptist one half of run the jewels latest cd run the jewels 3 was released this year to widespread acclaim happy to have you on the program. i'm always delighted to see you. you want to do this first. i know i'm going to get some
phone calls, e-mails, texts. >> you look at the record it's the last song and features zach de locha from rage against the machine. what i meant in there is years ago i heard buddhist saying if you should walk along a path or journey meet your master kill him, as a human being you're literally born free so i get thoughts in my head and make t-shirts saying we spend most of our time fighting for freedom, you're already born free. the crcreator. the universe. whatever decided we should be here decided that a lot of times freedom is something you give up and truly your master is you. your addictions. your master becomes your need for attention. your need for acceptance. to usurp acceptance to your oppressedor and you have to kill that desire within yourself. killing your master is not about
an outpouring of violence or taking anyone down or becoming the next dictator it is to impose your will on yourself for your greater good. so killing my master is less to do against fighting against the forces of evil and a more to do with fighting for the forces of good. if you are a physical slave and someone is enslaving us it is your duty to absolutely kill them and live as you were born. >> i want to celebrate major anniversary for the black panthers they took over the state capital in sacramento over the issue of guns and who had an issue to carry in the public and ronald reagan went after the panthers. we had a whole conversation about that. i thought about you and sy said i can't wait to talk to mike in this present moment in thissera
of trump on black folks guys guns. before we get to that. i was in a conversation with an older friend years ago. i will never forget the line, this brother said to me years ago there are only two types of black folk, two types period, either you're running scared or you're running free. [ laughter ] does that resonate with you. >> yeah that's old saying. i think of my grandfather. old black people, you know he's probably a libertarian. you know, he just wanted to pay his taxes leave him alone. for me my grandfather would say stay out of white folk business. i realize in retrospect he would
think about who pave that street who our city council was, he would think above mayor, once you get above mayor that's white folks business so he would say to me as an african-american you're strong hold is atlanta and worry about the business of atlanta or worry about gubernatorial politics, national mics is white folk business. so push the fight to keep freedom. make sure your streets reflect the neighborhood you're in. make sure your police chief and prosecutors, worry about that so you're not running free and not running scared because you're fed stories from the boogie man. enjoy your strengths and strong holds and build on them and stay out of business that can't effect you and me >> when you put yourself, all
respect to your grandfather, all up in white folk business. >> yeah. [ laughter ] >> and came out and travelled with bernie sanders. there's a number of questions there. i will start with this. what would your grandfather make of you being smack-dab in the middle of white folk business >> first talking to my grandma i campaigned for democratic candidates since a was six or seven years old, whether andy young or city council, i grew up in black atlanta in a black neighborhood with black schools, good or bad that's all me, that's how i learned black politicians could be success. . atlanta is successful city and we've had all black mayors so i
know we can be great. i judge us fairly. after he heard the things bernie was saying which were in line with the things i had been taught about dr. king and his philosophy. this was the first time i saw on a national level besides jesse's run maybe, someone who acclim e acclimated themselves to the volter's right act, decriminalization of marijuana, ending the drug war, in the south that we have inorder inate amount of poor people. making sure there's a base. making sure universal income was a real possibility. those are the things i learned about dr. king so i went through a point in my life i could no longer tow the democratic line and i had to adhere to the principles i had been told all my life we were supposed to
because i had been taught these are the principles i'm supposed to stand for. >> you skipped, you went from king to jesse, jackson did you mean to skip over obama. >> yes, i did. he's been next to black jesus in swap meet '88. greatest hanging in any barber shop or household. can look straight at white people -- but reason i don't is he compared himself to reagan and there's no room for reaganite in that. i'm opposed to the policies around ronald reagan if you put yourself in reagan light i can't put you next to king because we know reagan's not there.
great politician from the republican an side, absolutely we got the king holiday thanks to him. can i follow that to the highest office of the land, i can't. is he in my house next to black jesus, yeah. okay. >> how are you navigating this trumpian moment given we all know where you stood with bernie sanders. >> how have progressive black people been dealing with it most our lives we've been making concessions and dealing with devils most our lives. that's how we characterize nixon, reagan, how you have to characterize nixon in particular but lyndon johnson. we've dealt with this character before. if you have been in the south you dealt with politicians he's
pointing, sessions didn't just pop up, newt gingrich has been in georgia most of my life. so for me when you talk about these people further up the east coast it becomes boogie man but if you are from the southeast you know these people, you know their moves, which i think makes it easier to organize against the moves they're making, if we use it as an opportunity to organize not an opportunity to name blame. do you see organizing or just protests. >> i see plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize.
let's make sure we organize and have an agenda. our allies have agendas our allies we fight for they have an agenda. we know the immigrant population, gay and lesbian population, they have agendas we have to develop a real agenda has nothing to do with african people what they think. if public schools are not working for african-americans, boy in particular and we make sure girls are graduating higher rate than any other group of people. conservatives said send your boy into trade immediately. my hvac man lives next door. you know he came from panama. with $10 in his pocket. now has 20 trucks and employees.
he got that because everybody understands trade. nobody has time to be worried about racism when the air goes out, your boys should be highly competitive in the trade. we should demand that black colleges reinstitute two-year trade as well as having four-year program. we can do these things ourselves if not when you have 70 to 80% of schools for black educator yet you don't have a black education rate you can't compare to charter schools. we are not producing the excellence we need. we don't keep the dollar in our community over six hours. the our dollar doesn't stay in our community for six hours. atlanta is not perfect but can type in black atlanta restaurant
and bar and get 50 selections i need to see it in new york, come ton, watts bought then you alleviate the need for government. >> for the white folk who see that as reverse racism you say what. >> if you're a good white folk you can't see it as reverse racism but economic survival. i was in chicago and first time i went in january i got knnot known this time i was hella known. a lot more people knew me. we circled around and pictured with the owner. when you recognize you didn't call me out she said what are you doing here, i know what you're doing, we're supporting black business and we are too. that's what i need.
i don't need someone on the side line talking about what about my feeling i care about your feeling that's why irshop at a lot of white stores but i need you to be supportive in more ways than to march with me. march your dollar to a black bank. when i did black banking with usher about a year ago what surprised me most was seeing hordes of black people coming in. we challenge businesses to do the same and white and asian business owners also opened up citizens and trust white business owners would hit me and say i opened up a bank. that's an aliot only a vested in spirit but out there for real. i encourage them to watch jane
elliott speech because you may hold in things you may not have got rid of and miss elliott does excellent job ridding yourself of it. >> i read a piece in the new york or new yorker, not sure which one, if you go online you can find it, a piece came out that was really doing analysis on the black folk in this last election. i was waiting on this piece because i knew it was going to come. nick rose at some point was going to get blamed. i saw the piece and said it's just a matter of time. so the argument in the story was that negros didn't turn out in 2016 like in 2012 or 2008 and if they did many hillary would have won the election. it's not about hillary it's about james comey it's about negros didn't turn out to vote so we're the reason the democratic didn't win the white house in 2016.
i expected at some point once they looked at the data they would put it on black folk. >> if we're that important why don't you treat us better. the democratic party know when high numbers turn out they win and have greater chance of winning. i was asked after sanders was no longer campaigning, i was asked would i support hillary i was like absolutely what do you have for black people, everybody's like why ask for something, why wouldn't you, i vote for my city councilman because i think you can pave my streets if you don't pave my streets you're not getting my vote next time mayor. next time i will probably vote for senator vincent fork who stepped out and supported bernie in atlanta. one of the first thing they put
out was -- need common sense made all the sense in the world. if i'm that important why don't you treat me as though i'm important. i say i will come out and a young lady challenged me said i'll get behind sanders if you do that. later found out soul sister. i said this is all around. the but see her challenge resonated with me in respect to the democrat party. we've given you 60 years of loyalty and all we've got from you are silly asses like we gave you government funding, we do for women and children which is important but wouldn't it better
to grow strong men i don't want you to be picture but we always the one you dragging up. just shameful. i want to say thank you all but no thank you all. the vote is currency if this party or any party is not willing to dowil willing to do something to contribute to the 238-year wealth gap. when king died he was talking about land grants, farms, talking about subsidizing those, someone doesn't want you to get economically powerful. they need to get your vote to stay independent.
you weren't wrong when carmichael told you to do it or when killer michael told you to do it you're olynnly wrong if y don't vote in your best interest. if your vote doesn't do something for you, you're wasting your vote. >> on a personal level how are you navigating the trump era. every day you wake up and get another alert, how are you personally navigating until you get a chance to do something about it. >> first i talk to old people and have very honest conversation, i mean like old like filled with wisdom. my father 61 years old his wife the same age i asked her what was it like in louisiana i asked reverend james wife and all of them said this is far from the worst thing we've been through.
i've seen worst than this. don't you worry about it. you need to worry about your money, yourself, your community. you need to maybe stop watching cnn and fox and start watch walter williams. three or four c more conservative blacks. learn to become many financially independent. making sure i'm banking, dealing with small local businesses that are black businesses. making sure to create a network. baltimore now should be owned by rappers and athletes. should dump as much as they can into buying baltimore. we should be buying same way people bought up detroit. street dudes who managed to make it out and got a construction company or own their own
company. people are telling me during the depths of community they knew some were not failing smrks grew, some fished, if we don't start doing it we're going to continue to be the miss stress of any political party. i'm tired of that position. when i know our community is strong enough to be self-sustained. >> a lot of those black folks you referenced did not give up their guns. donald trump gave a free speech to nra. and talked about the right to carry. what do you say to black folk about their guns in 2017. >> google robert f williams he inspired the panthers to become panthers. he was in the 50s the person nra
gave a charter to if north carolina so that blacks could defend themselves. he also sold them ammunition. when they couldn't buy it locally the nra did. so the nra has a value to me. my father's been a member. i'm a member. it's been a value to me my entire life. i personally think 1 million black men this week should go get a year's membership and see how you like it. they held that in atlanta because they don't have a problem with you having guns. >> you believe that? >> absolutely i do. >> i'm not sure i buy it. >> you don't have to buy it. he here. >> here's my point if we want to could something about gun control issue give every negro in america that problem goes away. >> let's many do something about
it. >> i'm all for it. >> as long as they have their rights, you get your rights to side line, white men don't want to give up your gun i'm with you, if i have that right too i'm standing on your side of the room. simple as this. you don't have to be my friend to be my alley but if you are going to pretend to be my friend vote with me if we just going to be allies make sure a million black men join nra. show up like nra spokesman who say part of the problem is every time guns are described in reference to black people are talking about gangs and drugs. most gun owners i know are black responsible home owning men who own rifles for sport and shotgun to protect their wife and
children that's most the black guys i know. we need to normalize that. what we cannot talk about is pwhen guns are talked about we o shrug silently in the corner. we need these service people that are coming home to form shooting clubs. this ain't, hey, they're coming to kill us. this is because guns get accidentally picked up by children. your children need to know how to walk away from a gun when they see one. your son should know how to load and unload a pistol. we need to be cognizant this is not everywhere. i had been asked the question for years, can you own a gun for year. i think we are remiss not to
enjoy though rights in this country >> killer mike has spoken and we're going to leave it right there although i could talk to this brother two or three nights in a row because the wisdom is just flowing. good to see you. glad to have you on this program. that's it for tonight. and as always keep the faith. for more information on today's show visit tavissmiley @ pbs.org. >> next time a woman who michelle describes as a modern day harriet tubman. that's next time. see you then.