tv Third Rail Al Jazeera December 6, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm EST
doesn't make sense, you say something to someone. >> president obama is accused of underestimating the threat for too long. his words are, the white house says, is about convincing americans they will defeat terrorism and keep them safe. tonight "black lives matter" has grown from a hashtag to a movement. with attention comes controversy, a founder joins me. in the panel, the push to eliminate anonymous comments online - two writers split on the issue after facing violent threats, and thoughts on why we should be proo police. pro -- propolice. i'm ali velshi, this is "third rail". chicago, a city on edge, rocked by protests over the
police shooting of teenager la quarn mcdonald 15 months ago, now officer jason van dyk is facing murder charges and the police superintendent gary mccarthy has been fired. moves credited to "black lives matter." what started as a hashtag is a movement. from the streets of missouri, baltimore, new york and elsewhere the message is being heard. >> there is a specific problem that is happening in the african-american community that is not happening in other communities. and that is a legitimate issue that we have to address. >> joining me now is patrice, founding the black lives matter movement, after the acquittal in 2013. and was one who coined the hashtag "black lives matter." good to see you. thank you for being with us. i want to start by asking you. because that slogan is popular. why does "black lives matter"
need to be exclusive? the goal, obviously, is to value lives that you didn't think were valued. so why not broaden it. do "black lives matter" more than other lives. >> i think that's a great question, a question that we often get, which is why are we just talking about black lives, from slavery to the black crouse to jim crow, to what some call the new jim crow. black people are at the bottom. >> when we deal with the issues of black people, we'll deal with the country. >> part of the issue is the targetting or what some said some people are doing in targetting police. there are people like fbi director james comey who says cops are pulling back in the enforcement out of fear. is there - some of the police officers in chicago, is there
fear that the notion that police are a leg part of the problem is creating tension for police? >> i think that the conversation has to start with who is being protected, and who is not being protected. at the end of the day police officers are largely protected by unions, city council members and mayors, and we have seen time and time again that black life is not protected. black families and communities are safe. we have to start with a conversation that seems as if many city officials and law enforcement are being offensive and not looking at the issue at hand. >> here is a bigger part of the issue. most black people that die are killed in communities by other black people. you had a list of demonstrates
on the website. one was removed. it was for - i'll quoting - a decrease in law enforce. at the local and federal level and reinvestment into the black community's devastated by poverty. >> reporter: i understand the economics of that, if you take out of policing and reinvesting. but some of that reinvestment would actually be security. outside of chicago, that's the problem. >> that's a great question. i think for us we are trying to re-imagine public safety. so the question is what is public safety. is public safety a badge and a gun. we are saying no, it is having access to shelter, food, and public education. public safety is not wrapped up in just securing people with guns, and we'll see time and time again when we go into black
neighbourhoods, folks want jobs. what we have seen in the last 30 years. is a reinvestment into law enforcement and prisons. what we are saying is we need to divest from that, reinvesting into black communities. >> i get the einvestment. if you reinvest in communities and create things that are not food deserts. if you started now, by the time the kid is through the education, we are looking at 10, 12, 13 years. in that time you are not going to do away with the crime that you see on the south of chicago. you still need policing. whether or not it's a good result, it's a valid conversation to have. we need the policing in black areas, white areas, every area. >> i wouldn't argue that we don't need policing, but we need to re-imagine what that looks like. what we don't need is policing that allows for 16-year-olds,
17-year-olds, 24-year-olds to be shot dead in their own community. what we need is public safety. we need public safety that looks like it has the community's that are mostly impacted in mind. the other thing that is important to know, is that black people have been working inside of our communities for decade to deal with harm and violence. that doesn't often get spoken about, there's many organizations, gang interventionists, working on violence, solely inside of communities that are stricken by poverty. >> let's talk about the protests. most are peaceful. there has been a few incidents. you had protesters chanting "pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon." protesters at dartmouth were chanting slurs. is that what you envisioned?
>> what is important is the movement is broad, it's big, and decentralized. the "black lives matter" which is what i co-founded, we have 31 chapters across the country and internationally. happy work in a de-valized matter. one was in st. paul. they were chanting the expletive that you named, and i think the reality is people have the freedom of speech, people can shout and say things that some may not agree with. that's the country we life in. people have their rights. >> i totally agree with you. as a member of the organization, calling police "pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon", it smacks of violence and sounds kind of disgusting. >> no one in the network would
chant the chants. it's not a strategic chant. i don't condemn the people who use that chant. >> okay. let's talk about strategy. you said it's not strategic. i noticed that a lot of the emphasis when it comes to politics tends to be on democrats. you had protesters interrupting bernie sanders, and the question - you know, when arrived the response was that you said the point of the disruptions was to challenge white liberal's inability to see antiblack racism. there has been protests confronting hillary clinton rsh, martin o'malley. republicans, are they getting a pass are have you decided they are too far gone. >> they are definitely not getting a pass. there is a bit of they are too far gone, we know what side they stand on. but we have confronted bush and trump in alabama if you remember
last week, which was dangerous. >> someone was injured in that incident. >> essentially people disrupted trump and were beaten up by the crowd. so the stakes are higher when we go after someone like trump, and obviously our team safety is top priority. but i think who is important about challenging the democrats is because for so many years they received a free pass in the black community, and milked the votes, and not giving many results. we want to change the party that is supposed to be the party on our side. when historically they have not been. we want to the push them to become better advocates for the black community. >> again, i credit you with making it so effective. let me change the strategy. if i'm the democratic party. you have been milking us for
votes, my verbal response, while i may not say is it what are you going to do, support the other guy. you are stuck with us, unless you take black lives matter and make it into a political party. >> as an organiser and someone working on strategy, you have to change those closest to you, especially when they are not showing up in the most respectful ways. so i think part of our tactic is to push the people who say they are - they are for us. and if they are not actually - if their policies and practices don't match-up to their lip service, you have to put their feet to the fire. we have seen it be effective. we have seen hillary clinton come out with the reform package. i mean, all of our tactics are pushing them to be more honest about "black lives matter." >> interesting conversation, you and your colleagues put a lot of
thought into this. and you started a very, very important national debate. >> thank you for doing that and being with us. >> thank you the "third rail" panel is next. >> anonymity emboldens people. >> people ought to be free to comment. that's fine. >> folks are receiving threat. i have a police detective on my case. >> if i want to be a troll, i can set up a false identity. how will you stop that?
welcome back to "third rail". we'll shift the conversation from modern day race legs relations to how america is reconciling its past. >> protesters want the name woodrow wilson removed. >> it has to do with his racial past. >> all our forefounders are flawed, products of their time. >> if wilson is removed. where does it end. >> joe watkins is a republican strategist and aid to george h.w. bush. richard wolf a "new york times" best-selling author. his latest book "the message, the reselling of president obama", and britney cooper, an assistant professor. this is complicated. when he was princeton president. black students were not allowed at princeton. >> clearly not. >> are we burying history in an
attempt to get rid of wilson's name or correcting it. >> students are right to be outraged and angry about whether or not we know about wilson. that's what universities are about. i don't think you change the name of the school or get rid of a message. you will keep that. you have to say he was governor of new jersey. president of the united states, and started the league of nations, a forerunner to the united nations. you have to say that he was a racist. someone who didn't believe blacks were equals and would not have admitted blacks and would have fought it. but moving forward. he would have said what do we do to make sure it's a great institution, we do diversy training to make sure people of colour are honoured. >> if you take white men in power in 1920. many would have held similar
views. do we forgive wilson because of the time in which he lived? >> absolutely not. when we think about the moment, we are seeing a public discourse ripe with the overt racially antagonistic views. donald trump is a fronted runner on the republican side. so i think that we - the challenge - we like to think the good liberal values abdicate or show ab solution. what the students are pointing to is that is not the case. for them, his racism is not zintal, it's critical, important. if you larch in those movies, that's a contradiction, and what we often arriving white people to do is reconcile the contradiction, to deal with it.
>> where does one erase the history of blacks in america. >> it's a complicated question. we are so interested in br it stops, we won't do the work to figure out where it begins. they are asking to figure out the conversation. >> it's a good pint. point -- point. >> i don't know that it's about doing right by woodrow wilson. history is not past, it's the present. the question is what does that community need. these would not be issues if it was about someone in the history books. it's about how that community feels integrated and valued today. and what the opportunities of colour are saying is we feel excluded, there's a problem today. and this is a symbol in naming a building, are you placing someone on a pedestal. clearly you are, the names are etched into stone, and are part of the scheduling and the
culture there. where it ends is where you have a community that is at peace with itself. that's where it should end. >> there were incidents, and this is one of them where the media are not allowed to cover the protest. unless they declare they were with the students protesting. there's a point at which it becomes on ground hard to reconcile. that my need for a safe space and your need for self expression were conflicted. it is a mark of a hostile circumstance on the campus that you would end in that position, where outsiders are classified in that way, members of the press are classified in that way. however, the way to deal with it is to say what does it take to be the right kind of citizen we wants here. part of that is accepting alternate views and not expressing views that destroy the community.
part is saying the press is free to come in here, whatever the press is. >> to suggest black students are against constitutional rights, conceived without black students in mind, means we have a fundamental problem. meaning we don't know how to build a society, in which everyone can express a review and keep the citizens safe. especially when we talk about a political environment. we are talking about this a few days after planned parenthood. we know plate call rhetoric leads to violent consequences. when i walk through campus and someone drives past using the n-word to refer to me. that's an act of violence that might conceive of more violence. >> how do we nurture the speech we need and make sure everyone is safe. an exciting time to be at a university. >> internet comments sections
are vicious, especially from anonymous posters. should they be forced to reveal their identity. >> the internet is a place where people go to vent and post comments. >> it gives people cover to say things that they don't own up to. >> anyone reading the comments section nose how wishous human being can be. >> more and more sites are moving towards verification. >> is that the way to go, not to allow anonymity. >> britney cooper, you have written and been subject to comment. >> absolutely. >> should people be allowed to anonymously post comments. >> absolutely not. i would love it to go to non-anonymous policy. i get death threats. bodily threats, and women colleagues that get copyious amount of rape threats. addresses of people writing were posted.
this happened to a friend. she had a young son. it was to insight people to come to her house and do bodily harm. >> you are okay with there being comments. >> sure. i'm increasingly reading sites where they don't have an active comments section, if we have comments, it's fine for folks to way in and have dialogue, but anonymity emboldens people. i'm in favour of getting rid of it. >> i'm sorry i completely disagree. with anonymity. publishers need toen gage with the audience. in a social media world, you can say i'm not listening to you, my audience, users, customers. you are going to die, right. as a publisher you will die. anonymity, if i'm determined to be a troll and throw abuse at
you, i can set up a false identity. how are you going to stop that. the real problem is that publishers do not spend any money, do not put people against mooed railing these and saying -- moderating and saying value the contribution, and we'll police it and put rules by it. if there are abusive comments, it's unacceptable. as a community, this is not who we are. >> i'm not sure what anonymity provides to people. if you want to comment, spokes can weigh in. they should own what they are doing, if they are abusive, that's where the moderators come in. >> let me give you a scenario. you sign in with facebook, that's your real name and comments are there. maybe you are friends with people that don't agree with you, people you work with, you don't want your political comments exposed to everyone.
>> don't post them in an online venue. >> people can be hurtful sometimes, and that's - i read about myself. and i read stuff that is not very flattering. . >> you are an african-american conservative, and that bothers some people and they comment about that. >> people make a judgment about everything i think, as opposed to what i may be doing politically, and as a pastor, they make assumptions that may not be fair. it's not bad to hear criticism. if it's mean spirited it's not bad to hear it. >> you can learn a lot. >> but you do draw a line between criticism and abuse, harassment, threat, intimidation. >> of course, there is abuse, harassment and intimidation. i have not had impinge harass or interim date me online.
i don't know that i would be afraid of that. i'm an african-american man. i face danger the moment i take off my tie. i'm not afraid of that part of it. people ought to be free to comment, if they want to do it anonymously, that's fine. i'd like to know what they are saying, even if not flattering to me. >> how do you square that? >> this year i had a commenter making a block post about how i was fat, ugly and a terrible human being. it's pain. but his right to do it. what i liked he did it under his own name, he knew who he was. the problem is when i get anonymous emails - i have a committed police detective staying on my case at my job. they had to install more security cameras, because people were harassed and whipped up by what i write online. we have to do something to curb the culture, folks are receiving
actual threats. >> the physical threats i have, they were prompted, triggered by a radio figure, rush lim ba. he came after me in traffic terms because of something i said on another channel. well, you know what, that translated into people taking action. he can build an audience around that, that's gin. i'm a big boy, i can take it. but if you create a space where people come together, you can't stop anonymous emails, if you create a space, you better make sure it's a safe space and you, as a publisher are responsible for the kinds of things published in it. >> interesting discussion. i'm sorry the people say unkind things about you. we love having you. jo watkins, richard and britney, thank you for your time. >> ahead, why we should all be propolice.
before we go i want to share this final thought. i began the programme speaking with a cofounder of "black lives matter," focussing its energy on highlighting bad policing. she made a strong point. we cannot and should not stand for police that kill unarmed black kids. i will continue to shine a light on bad police, negligent police chiefs that enable them and governments that protect them. police must be held to the highest of standard. i'm not antipolice. the media are not antipolice. you cannot be procivilisation and antipolice. as citizens, we pay for and deserve good police. that's what we get from most of the more than 6,000 law enforce. in this country, they are good at what they do, and respect the
law and the public. unlike most of us, they leave their homes with a chance they may not return at the end of their shift. 3 moneys local, county state and federal officers responded to the scene of mass murder. and minutes after the first shots are fired. they got the wounded, the care they needed it neutralized the threat. we saw the same thing at the planned parenthood shooting when a police officer sacrificed his life to protect others. these are the police all of our kids deserve. if we don't dedicate time to praising them, it's because what they do is not newsworthy enough, because they are doing the jobs they are sworn to do. but it is heroic, and we should thank them for our service. i want our law enforcement to be safe and well trained, and feel valued. acknowledging we should all be pro police, especially in light
of a relative few bad actors. well, that's really "third rail". announcer: this is al jazeera. hello, welcome to the newshour. here is what is coming up in the next 60 minutes. venezuela's wait for election results from a key poll that could change the country's leadership big games for france's far right party in the first round of regional elections. a breakthrough agreement for libya as political rivals reach a deal to stop the conflict in their country. >> calls for