tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg August 22, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
♪ announcer: from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: come in all justice is increasingly the focus of national attention. the issue has attracted rare bipartisan support from leaders on both sides of the aisle calling for reform. the obama appeal for an overhaul of the system last month -- president obama: too many cases become a pipeline from underfunded, inadequate schools to overcrowded jails.
[applause] what has changed is that in recent years the eyes of more americans have been opened to this truth. partly because of cameras. partly because of tragedy. partly because the statistics cannot be ignored. we can't close our eyes anymore. and the good news -- and this is truly good news, is that people of all political persuasions are starting to think we need to do something about this.
charlie: bryan stephenson is the founder and executive of a nonprofit organization that represents prisoners whose trials are marked by racial bias or prospect real misconduct. he has won relief from death row for prisoners and secured life -- secured an end to sentences for parole with juveniles. his efforts have been recognized by numerous awards, including the macarthur genius grant and 21 honorary degrees. archbishop desmond tutu has called him america's young nelson mandela. his memoir was named among the 100 most notable books of 2014 by the new york times book review. it is now out in paperback.
i am pleased to have bryan stevenson at this table for the first time. welcome. it's great to see you. tell me what it is you think is the most important question for this country as it considers race. bryan: race and justice, how are we going to recover from our legacy of racial inequality? this history of racial injustice that has infected all of us, that has compromised all of our abilities to see one another fairly. i think that is the question we have never taken on. we have never really try to to confront the legacy of slavery. i think we need to talk about slavery. people look at me hard when i say that. i don't think we have ever dealt with that legacy. slavery was a bit that was really horrific in this country. for me to great evil wasn't involuntary servitude, it wasn't forced labor, the great evil of american slavery was the narrative of racial difference we created the legitimated the ideology of white supremacy.
and that consciousness, that narrative was never addressed by the 13th amendment. that is why i argued to say we didn't change anything. coding because of what we think about -- bryan: there is a dangerous assumption of guilt assigned to black and brown people we have never freed ourselves from. we lynched people in the first half of the 20th century because of that perception of dangerousness and guilt. we separated ourselves and we still do. now on the streets, when people see colors there is this presumption that they are dangerous. we are not going to make progress until we free ourselves. i think we need truth and reconciliation in america. charlie: this is exactly understanding by understanding
of the theme an author is writing to as well. he is reaching back to slavery. bryan: the fact my friend was gunned down can not be treated to the fact he was mistaken for another black person that was a suspected criminal. certain presumptions were made about that. it doesn't matter at the end of the day. it is a broad systemic thing. charlie: you believe this is the forward projection of history from slavery. bryan: very much so. unless there is a serious reckoning with this we are going to keep going over and over again on the same thing. i don't mean to harp on this, this question of what race, i think it is one of those sort of distractions be i think we did damage by creating a culture that tolerated the smith of
tolerated this myth supremacy. we have black people in los angeles and cleveland and new york and boston and minneapolis, and those people didn't go to those communities because they were immigrants looking for opportunities. went to those refugees from terror. they fled the deep south. if you knew anything about refugee communities they had to do with the trauma these refugees bring with them. and we haven't been i don't think we have been talking about the civil rights -- we haven't.
i don't think we have been talking about the civil rights movement the right way. we should reflect on the damage it has been done in i've heard people talk about the civil rights movement and it sounds like a three-day carnival. on day one rosa parks didn't change seats on a bus, on day two melissa king marched on washington, and on day three we changed the law. -- on day two, martin luther king marched on washington and on day three we changed the law. a lot of people went back to d.c. end refused to vote for a reinforcement of the voting right because they do not see that connection. we humiliated black people on a daily basis. we battered and beat and excluded. we told black people they weren't smart enough to go to enoughand weren't smart to vote. charlie: we did the same thing to women. bryan: we did. in ways that made it difficult
for many men to see women as capable, and we have been pushing against that narrative. and that narrative has shifted somewhat by allowing women to present themselves in these ways. we need to do the same thing in regards to race. i think we congratulate ourselves to quickly. we ended racial terror when we did. we ended racial segregation when we did pay and we are now seeing manifestations of that same thinking in the air of mass incarceration. i think we have to repair all the damage that this legacy has done. i'm not focused on money. that is not the kind of frustration that will ultimately get us to a a better place. there are generations that are white that were taught quickly or indirectly that they're better than other people. anhink that is kind of abuse. communityhelp that lie.itself from the
i would like us to mark the spaces where the slave trade was made evident. we should be marking every lynching that took place in this country. charlie: how? bryan: monuments and memorials, and force this country to engage in the sober reflection we need to engage in so that no one can be proud of a confederate heritage that actually defended and sustained slavery, so that no one is confused about the fact that it wasn't the good old days in the beginning of the 20th century, so no one can be indifferent to the demise asian of black people, because we thought about what that the demise nation represents. in south africa there was a recognition you couldn't recover from without truth and reconciliation. in rwanda there is a recognition there will not be peace. you go to germany and you can't go 100 meters in berlin without seeing markers and stones placed in front of homes where jewish families were abducted. he wanted you to go to these cams and reflect soberly on the history of the holocaust. poetry unification they did an effort to deal with the legacy of the holocaust more than we have done in 160 years since the end of slavery.
charlie: in germany and other places in europe there is a nazi's of the. rhinebeck there are always going to be people who hold onto this narrative, because it is the only thing they have which allows them to feel what they think they need to feel. charlie: even though it is a collectors thing, the big thing about nazi uniforms and all that, should we feel the same way in your judgment about heritage, anything to do with the confederacy? bryan: i do. confederate memorial day is a state holiday in alabama. birthday is as'
holiday. we don't even have martin luther king day. it is martin luther king day/robert e. lee day. we are celebrating those things. and you cannot celebrate those things and move forward with reconciliation. charlie: you have suggested the confederacy was only about protecting slavery. bryan: it was primarily about slavery. charlie: so anyone who fought on the side of the confederates was in fact giving his approval to slavery? bryan: i don't think there is any doubt that had the south one slavery would have continued. i mean, we can make up all of dose arguments and we try to recognize that slavery was bad. it is a false way of thinking about identity. there were white people in the
south in the 19th century who were against slavery. and nobody knows their names. there were white people against lynching, against segregation. we should know their names and we should honor them. if you want to have a state holiday, have it after them. but to engage in this false narrative that demonizes those victims by not recognizing -- it absolutely does. it would be insulting to say that people in germany were still execute people in gas chambers. tolerable.t be tolerableuld not be here. i think it is a human rights crisis, a human rights oppression that crushed millions of lives. it devastated the aspirations of an entire race of people, and it did something destructive to our moral consciousness. we have tried to make peace with our enslavement of other human beings and it has left us not as evolved as it need to be. it made us in vulnerable to tolerating lynching and tolerating segregation. one in three black male babies is going to go to prison. that is unconscionable.
charlie: barack obama, when he had assumed office, had gone in front of congress and said what you said at this table today. should he have done that and would that have begotten a national dialogue? or that have prevented any conversation about anything else? bryan: i think it would have done the latter. there aren't any shortcuts on this. i don't think we can elect a president and make the president responsible for facilitating this conversation. charlie: why can't we look at him as a catalyst to this conversation?
bryan: it can and should be a catalyst. what i don't think we can expect these problems to be solved from the top down. these need to begin in communities. that doesn't mean i don't have expectations for the president or our elected leaders. there are things we can and should be doing. the challenge this president had is because of this perception that he is black and the racial narrative is so intense, we have to worry he is only could be the president for the black people. so he had to engage in posturing that made it harder for him to talk about race issues than it would have been were he white. i think there was this fear in many parts of this country that if we somehow elect a black president he is going to prioritize the needs of the black people in ways that the rest of us should be afraid. it is that thinking that is rooted in this very narrative.
charlie: none of that was set in the campaign. none of the democratic primaries or general election come of it to prioritize -- bryan: no but you saw it in a way that he reacted in every thing that there was a racial component two. i'm not suggesting that doesn't mean you can't do things, because you can't should. but it does mean we have to deal with this problem in a much broader way. there was this hypersensitivity to any act or gesture that was responsive to the problems of racial violence. we talked about the outrage of trayvon martin. i think that speaks to the immaturity of our country's capacity to talk honestly about race. you say racial justice they start looking for the exit. what are we afraid of? i think if we actually understood the history more clearly and understood there is liberation on the other side of this issue we can actually get to a place where we all feel liberation. we are all burdened by this
history. we keep making mistakes, white people say things and create contention with black people, black people are put in positions when we don't feel comfortable. we can run, but we can't hide. charlie: who is deserving of any of the responsibility? bryan: we all have responsibility. it gets assigned to young black boys not just by white people but by young black men too. we have all been affected by the way this narrative has evolved. i think it is time for us to move forward by continuing to see these manifestations come up
-- with police officer shooting unarmed black kids in the street, declining opportunities -- and the stations, a police officer shooting -- these manifestations, a police officer shooting an unarmed black kids in the streets, declining opportunities. they are suffering from trauma by the time they are five years of age. largely because they are black and poor. ♪
charlie: lingering pervasive impact -- you are suggesting we need a dialogue. if you were in charge of the dialogue, where would you take it and how would you engage it? bryan: i would begin by getting everyone in this country to be more attentive to how this narrative of racial difference has been created. why we feel this way, why is -- why it is we are so indifferent to the plight of people who we have massacred. the indigenous population in this country. we haven't understood the way in which many of our current policies replicate this idea that we could come in and claim something and displace other people without implicating our own moral compass. we had asians on the west coast in concentration camps because we feared people. we allowed that policy to allow a something brutal and cruel. if we are not careful in our hysteria around terrorism we will do the same thing.
hysteria will cause us to do incredibly misguided inhumane things. essential ingredients to oppression are fear and anger. if you want to understand oppression, want to understand genocide, want to understand the holocaust, there is always a narrative of fear and anger behind it did -- behind it. it could be a whole range of things. we preach it and make people afraid. that is what allowed the south to violently overtake the politicians. that is what they used to put 2.3 million people in jail and 7 million people on the roster of folks of criminal arrests. i don't think any of us have done enough.
there has never been a time in america where there are more innocent people in jails and prisons. charlie: there has been a time where there are more innocent people in jails than 2015? bryan: we went to 2 million people in prisons today. charlie:, to go to your personal experiences any moment as a lawyer. there are those that would argue it is not about race, it is not economics. it is poverty, lack of opportunity, those things. bryan: those are very powerful forces. you cannot deny poverty is the element that aggravates all of these issues.
wealth shapes up. there no question that poverty is a big part of it. but we are kidding ourselves if we think race is not also an issue. if we think our consciousness about race is simply irrelevant in dealing with the social problems, it is not honest to say about poverty and race. i want to do with poverty, i really do. this generational poverty. it doesn't mean i'm going to be silent about race. it is a more honest way of engaging with our history. i believe in rights. i believe you have to protect the people who will never have political power. i grew up in a region where it was left to the political process there would still be segregation. you would never get a majority of the people in alabama to end segregation. it took the right framework to create all my opportunities, my ability to go to school, my
ability to practice law. i believe we need to have people in that space protecting the rights of people who are disfavored. the marginalized, the people who will never have enough votes to achieve their basic protection through the political process. charlie: you believe you can change law but not change politics. bryan: when you see this play out you begin to change the culture, and then it becomes possible to imagine a political system that could be responsive to people who historically have been discredited, marginalized. i think we have made progress in the space. but we are a long way away from expecting people to do the right things to protect the most vulnerable through the political process.
charlie: has alabama changed? bryan: i think every place has changed, but no place has changed enough. on the streets of new york and the streets of massachusetts you still see perceptions of danger and guilt assigned to people of color. i was in a courtroom in the midwest getting ready to do a hearing a couple of years ago. i had my suit on, my shirt on, my tie on, and the church walked in and he saw me sitting there. he said you get back there in the hallway, wait until you lawyer gets here, i don't want any defendants in the courtroom. i stood up and said, my name is bryan stevenson, i am the lawyer. the judge started laughing, the prosecutor started laughing, i made myself laugh. my client came in, a young white kid. we did the hearing and i thought
what is it when this judge sees a middle-aged black man at the counselor table it didn't even occur to him he was a lawyer. what that is is a way to his history there to has shaped these events. that is true all over this country. charlie: let's assume we do everything better. how long the you think it will take to get it out of our dna? bryan: we are at a disadvantage because we have let a lot of valuable time go by.
i think it can come sooner than most people expect. truly are really not programmed with this kind of division, this kind of otherness, this kind of tension, this kind of racial thinking area that is something we have had to learn. i think if we push people to free themselves from it we will see some amazing things, we just haven't seen enough. charlie: some of that in balkans. where you think a country has faced up to its responsibilities in a way that has cleansed itself of the implications and the consequences? bryan: i think the nation that comes the closest is germany. if you think about how horrific the holocaust was and how horrifying the nazi era was, it is shocking to imagine we now have this regard for germany, we now have this respect for germany we would not have expected to have. charlie: at the same time the
prime minister in part apologizing or all of the atrocities of the japanese government. not just against american soldiers but against the chinese population. so here is a prime minister who cannot say i'm sorry because of the politics. bryan: that is because nationalism and our national identities are too much wrapped around never saying sorry we have a songbook that is big and beauty when it comes to success and pride and accomplishment, but we don't have a pretty good song for when it comes to how we apologize. charlie: i'm apologizing suggests weakness. bryan: you and i know that if we are going to have a healthy relationship -- i don't know any healthy couples that never say i'm sorry to each other. i don't think you can be a long-term healthy loving couple unless you learn to say i'm sorry.
it is our ability to apologize. that is how we get to mercy. that is how we get to compassion. if we don't practice that as a nation we will fail to be the great society we claim to be. learning to say i'm sorry something we are going to have to do. it is something we are going to have to do if we want to be great. marriage, the relationship between nationality. saying i'm sorry and saying it without fear that you will be
acted against because you do it. take advantage of, ostracized. bryan: absolutely. bryan: because i represent people on death row, i have learned something about it. i believe for every human being, if someone tells a lie, they are just a liar. they are something, not just a thief. charlie: each of us is better than the worst thing we have done. bryan: if you kill somebody you are not just a killer. and a nation that lynched isn't a lynching nation, a nation that -- but we have to own up to the things we have done. and i think there is a freedom on the other side of that and we can't be afraid to acknowledge the things. it is like every relationship. when the church makes mistakes and puts children at risk, they have to apologize. when the military doesn't treat women appropriately, they need to apologize.
there has to be some accountability. charlie: and institutions that allow discrimation of any kind, gender, race, they have to apologize. bryan: when you are trying to to create a brand in business, you make mistakes and there is accountability. our mistake shouldn't put that faulty part in that car. we're sorry. there is a conscience, you cannot be respected without that. charlie: who pushes back against what you say? bryan: not direct, but kind of indirect. this habit of just never doing uncomfortable things that we have all inherited. trying to own up to our history of slavery, that is uncomfortable. nobody is going to take that on or exercise leadership. dealing with the fact that we have marginalized people unfairly that is hard. i got a man off of death row who spent 30 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. 0 years. anthony ray hinton spent 30
years in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit. solitary confinement, locked down 23 years a day, witnessed 53 execution. complained about flesh burning. we got him released in april of 2015 and not a single prosecutor's office said i'm sorry. they are silent. charlie: how many supported his release. bryan: when we were working on the case, very few. charlie: didn't want to acknowledge their own mistakes. prosecutorial misconduct. bryan: you have prosecutors and judges possibly executing a innocent person rather than acknowledging that the system failed. that speaks to the larger problem and dealing with that honestly.
you? a profileguy we did of. on.inutes did a profile "vanity fair" did a profile on you and speaks to your values. what made you the way you are? bryan: my grandmother was the daughter of people who were enslaved and my grandmother had this wisdom that was profound and impactful. my grandmother would squeeze me so tightly that i could barely believe and she would say, do you feel me hugging you. and she talked about her father who learned to read as a slave and how brave that was and risky and dangerous that was and necessary it was for him to be free. and didn't have formal schooling. and she told me you have to fight, fight, fight, but fight with integrity and heart and mind. i made a huge impact. huge impact on me,
and i have been shaped by a lot of people. i didn't meet a lawyer until i went to harvard law school and immediately decided i didn't want to be one. charlie: why was that? bryan: i wanted to deal with racial inequality and nobody was talking about that. i found a community of lawyers who were doing that and energized me and afffirmed me. but being people around my grandmother, a poor segregated black community and people were hardworking and wanted things to get better and understood the power of taking care of the people you love. i have been moved by this community of people who are incarcerated and the people i serve, the poor people, the poor people we are trying to educate in the deep south and hard for me to see people struggling with these burdens if we engage in a different way. that's what motivates me. charlie: was there a movement, if your grandmother's hug was a moment, was there a moment in which you said, i can't take the easy way out? bryan: when i was in law school, i was trying to persuade myself to accept a career as a lawyer. and i had the opportunity to work with the human rights in atlanta, georgia and they provided legal services to
people on death row and sent me down to meet a man on the row and said, tell him he has a year and doesn't have to worry about being executed in the next year. i was so nervous and that i thought i would be a disappointment to him. when i met him and he told me i was the first person he had met. he was excited because he was going to see his wife and children. we fell into this conversation and kept talking and talking and the guards were angry and very rough with him and pushing him out of the room, he looked at me and said don't you worry about this and he said just come back.
he closed his eyes and threw his head back and started singing. and then he said, lord, plant my feet on higher ground. hearing that man sing and hearing him being pushed down the hall and you could hear him singing, i knew i wanted to help condemned people get to higher ground. that i -- but more than my journey to higher ground was tied to his journey.
if he doesn't get there, i'm not going to get there. that wasn't overwhelming or burdensome or scary, it was liberating. it was energizing. charlie: you knew what you had to do. bryan: i did. that is wonderful. to know what you have to do. everything just else clears the way. i know where i have to go and i know what i have to do. and if i don't do that, i won't believe that my life didn't matter as much as it might. bryan: positioning yourselves in places where there is difficulty. when you get approximate to the things you care about. when you don't do what is convenient and comfortable all the time, you have those moments. they don't happen quite as readily. i think they happen, force ourselves to do inconvenient things. charlie: what does solitary confinement in death row do to the humanity? bryan: it is an assault on all of your senses and it's hard to
hold on to your dignity when you are locket down like that. a man i represented who just got released from death row -- charlie: what does he say this bryan: remarkable sense of humor, smart, committed, but he has been traumatized and hurt by 3 -- and hurt by what we did to him for 30 years and will take a long time to recover from that and he won't fully recover ever. no one does. i have a client in florida, 13 years of age sentenced to life without parole and he was so small.
so small that the judge had to make the decision to either put him in general population where he will be sexually assaulted and put him in solitary confinement. the rule is you have to go six months without speaking loudly or talking back or doing anything wrong or we will not let you out. for a 13-year-old boy isolated from human beings, no touch, no opportunities to get outside your cell, that was torture. he could never go six months without cutting himself or getting mad. he spent 18 years in solitary confinement. charlie: what did it do to him? bryan: broken. it broke him, menaced him, undermined his ability to be a good decisionmaker. we are working with him and making slow progress but something we didn't have to do. you can't be in that experience without experiencing all of the trauma and the disability that comes with a traumatic experience. and, it is tragic. the combat veterans coming back, you could make the argument that
we had to fight the war, i don't believe that. you don't have to isolate people in this way where we make them less human and torture them or traumatize them. charlie: that's a hard question in terms of asking if you knew that bit of information could somehow save a larger group of people. bryan: american prison system, there is no debate. we aren't imagining anything. anything. gaining this is a completely misguided policy that we tolerate because we haven't really -- we talk about victims' rights and i'm sensitive. we have horrific crimes, my grandfather was murdered when i was 16. i don't want to be indifferent to that. that consciousness of victimization is important but we have limited it. we aren't mature in how we think about helping recover from being
victimized and because of that we end up victimizing other people. charlie: how do we recover? thinking yourself as a victim isn't healthy either. bryan: we commit ourselves for getting people healthy to recover. we don't say, if you victimize me, i get to victimize you. that is not a strategy of getting to a healthier place. charlie: that's the same thing about torture. bryan: because you victimize that person we get to victimize you. that creates another kind of victimization. what is death penalty. it is biased. not in the race of the offender but in the race of the victim. 22 times more like ily to get the death penaltyy if the victim is white than black. thanlue those murders more
we value these other murders. bryan: in alabama, you are 11 times more likely and went to the united states supreme court, 11 times more likely to get the death penalty if the victim is white than black. 22 times more likely if the defendant is black and the victim is white. and that was subjected to all varied analysis. race of the victim was the great or not youf whether penalty. the death white victim cases typically did and black cases did not. 65% of all murder victims are black, but 80% of the people on death row are there for victims
who are white. that consciousness of whose lives matter has shaped our ability to do justice and we don't think the lives of people who are respite matter. we don't think the lives of young black and brown boys matter. we don't think the lives of women who have used drugs matter. charlie: no matter what you have done, your life matters. bryan: absolutely. a just society, that has to be true for everyone. germans didn't think jewish lives mattered. in south africa, the white majority didn't think black lives mattered. in rwanda you had the notion that some tribes don't matter and that leads to horror, to genocide, to oppression and inequality. charlie: and in the balkans, too. bryan: we have a way of saying
their suffering doesn't matter. you will see all the problems. charlie: interesting in bill gates has said a number of times and especially in conjunction with his wife melinda gates. the initial beginning that sort of caused them to make the resources they made was the notion that all lives matter, equally. and they were doing it not on race or economic circumstances, even though they contributed, they were doing it in the con tech of global health. we have to wake up that all lives have equal value. bryan: i'm trying to make that argument.
when you get to that place, it's a better place to be and constantly trying to defend and justify why those people deserve that, why these people can't be for the other things. charlie: if all the victims' families, people who suffered enormous pain and loss, you can make the easy examples, someone who in their home were brutally raped, tortured and killed and you say all those people that do that, their lives have value, that's what you are saying. and until we get there, we can't deal with these issues. bryan: when my grandfather was murdered, the question we were asking, why, what would make it
possible for these young kids to do this act of violence. charlie: what did they do? bryan: broke into my grandfather's home in south philadelphia and tried to steal a tv and stabbed him to death. what can we do to stop that happening. there were all kinds of things shaping choices and behaviors. 12 and 13-year-olds don't expect to be. i don't want to victimize other human beings, but i care about their futures. all lives matter. i think our capacity to take care of people who have been injured, assaulted, who have been victimized, is going to be enhanced. charlie: there's a difference in all lives matter, that all lives have equal value. is there a difference in that? bryan: i don't think so. when it comes to whether we treat you with respect, whether we care about your opportunities, whether we give you equal access to the things that are basic, all lives have equal value. somebody who can generate a lot of attention or generate a lot of money, people have enormous musical talent. there are going to be these characteristics, but when it comes to your basic obligation to treat people with respect and dignity and recognize their humanity, all lives have equal value.
charlie: in the end when you analyze every possible reason for taking another's life and you reject all of them, is it primarily because the system makes mistakes? bryan: uh-huh. charlie: or no society has the right to take somebody's life because they are at their best, better than the worst thing they did, so therefore, no matter how atrocious, hitler, you wouldn't take his life, even though the state took a lot of nazi lives after the war. bryan: for me, it's both of them. i start with the first point.
i don't need to persuade people of that second point. advance our commitment to the rule of law to show that killing is wrong and don't rate -- rape is wrong. i don't think we should torture is wrong. we compromise our own dignity. we can people in a way that doesn't implicate us in a way that raping people would. and we allow that to happen. charlie: you know a lot of people on death row. bryan: yeah. charlie: if none of them, i'm saying, all the people you have known on death row, whether they were there because they did an act or not, committed a crime or not, and maybe there is a difference between the two, if any of them had known they would likely to be executed, would they have committed the crime still? there is no deterrence?
bryan: we have poor kids, poor people in the margins, people in really horrific states that expect to die. they don't expect to live a long life, they are preoccupied of when their end is going to come. it's not going to change their behaviors. some hope, some possibility that things can get better. some life experience gives value. on the death penalty question, i don't have to make that moral argument. it is not whether people deserve to die for the crimes they committed, but do we have the system to kill. and all of this bias and bigotry because of your poverty or wealth, that makes as many
mistakes -- charlie: should we apologize to the nazi leaders we killed? bryan: you don't have to apologize. apologize to the other people that you have failed by not creating a just system, a system that actually responds to the injuries that are still alive. i think it would be misguided to think about apology in that space when we have so many living victims of inequality. charlie: do you have people that love you totally that say you have a bigger soul, a bigger heart, a bigger comprehension than i do? bryan: no. charlie: you are a special person. there are exceptions to my compassion? there are exceptions to my -- bryan: what amazes me, i have people who don't even know me that well and who don't claim to love me, but who feel exactly as i do about this need to get to a better place, this need to affirm our humanity and affirm.
charlie: other than what you are doing exactly at this moment and other than doing what you are doing in a courtroom and other than doing what you are doing in lobbying congress and make sure we adhere to these values, owner that, what else is necessary to accelerate change? bryan: i think we need to change the landscape and we have a new project we are interested in the visual landscape and visual history and we are putting up these markers. i think there is something important. i think because that's how you cope with collective trauma. that's how you manage it to create spaces.
charlie: i believe in part the idea that you have to have, you have to clearly show this is where our values are. you can see it here and see it here. and this is what we do and at the same time, we have to reward moral courage. bryan: absolutely. i think there is something important. i go to the vietnam war memorial in dl d.c. and it is powerful and makes you understand something about yourself that you will not understand until you are in that space and we need to do more of that and create pathways for people to get out of this racial indifference and animosity and into a little more helpful.
charlie: what promises have you made to yourself and your grandmother and what promises have you made to a larger community? bryan: i'm going to keep fighting. that's the promise i made to the community. i think justice is a constant struggling. tass not a burden but a privilege. i feel it's a privilege doing what i do. charlie: thanks for coming. this paperback called "just mercy" and incorporates the values. a story of justice and redemption.