Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  August 29, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

5:00 pm
to go? senator blumenthal -- >> thank you. >> -- who's a valued member of this committee, former attorney general of the state of connecticut. senator blumenthal, please, go ahead. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your leadership and senator feinstein's and other members of the committee who have joined in this cause, and thank you to all of the witnesses who are here today, particularly to mr. sorbo from the town of berlin, connecticut. ..
5:01 pm
>> you know, for me, some of the questions are much narrower. the constitutional issues that are being debated in the courts because what really matters here is the respect for connecticut's law. and mr. sorbo, you were married under connecticut law. respect for connecticut law means that the federal government should recognize that
5:02 pm
law and give it the kind of sanctity that the founders of the nation meant for the laws of our states to have. states do have the prerogative to establish the rules that surround marriage, just as they do inheritance and divorce. and so for the federal government to discriminate against some marriages in the way that it does is also disrespect for connecticut law as well as connecticut's people and connecticut's marriages. in order to illustrate some of the practical consequences here, i think you mention the effect on your ability to access collin's ira, you wonder if you can expand a little bit how you were unable and most people don't think of ira of being a
5:03 pm
function of federal federal -- u were unable to access it as fully as you would have been otherwise if doema had not existed. >> senator, i have to say i went to a bank to speak to a financial advisor about how to transfer all of the assets which we had done everything that we could to protect in terms of putting it in both of our names. yale university required collin to have that ira in his name so that when he passed away, and we tried to transfer that over because i had the right of survivorship, we spent hours and hours and hours on the phone. and it would have been almost a comic program if it had been
5:04 pm
recorded. because my financial advisor and i sat there talking to one person after another. each one of them at yale had different opinion about what needed to be done and disagrees. it took us many, many hours, many days to finally get it transferred over. the ultimate result was that i guess they went to one of thundershower lawyers, -- their lawyers, they said they could not recognize our marriage because of federal law, because of doma. therefore, we had to transfer that ira into an inherited ira. now the difference, -- i'm not an expert on this -- but think understanding was that because my marriage wasn't recognized, it had to go over as an inherited ira which i then had to begin withdrawing on the december after the year following collin's death.
5:05 pm
if i had been a woman, that would not have been the case. i would have differed until 70 and a half by law. those have to be -- you be begin withdrawing an minimum amount. that may not seem like a lot. but that's seven extra years would have allowed me to build up that asset before i began to withdraw from it. that's why my financial advisor would like to have done. in my age, i'm fairly healthy. i go to the gym, and try to keep my health up. i'm not facing large health bill, and inflation eating up my income. every retired person knows inflation is the big gorilla in the closet for us. so that denied me the ability to
5:06 pm
do what i could have done and what my sister could do is to build up that asset until she was 70 and a half. >> i think as you have testified, the practical consequence extended also in the family and medical leave act, retirement survivor benefits under social security, and a variety of very practical, sizable consequences to you because of doma, which wouldn't have otherwise existed, even though under connecticut law you were lawfully married. thank you, mr. chairman. >> anyone i can yield to, i guess? thank you very much, madam chair, and thanks to the witness who's are here today. there are events in the life of a senator that are memorable. one of those that comes to my mind, was attending the bill signing ceremony where president
5:07 pm
obama signs the law which repealed "don't ask, don't tell." it was a great of celebrate celebration and relief. the rabbi that gave the invocation that day, i remember the words. when you look into the eyes of another person, if you don't see god, at least see the face of another human being. i thought too myself this is really what the conversation is all about. recognizing our own weaknesses and strengths, but seeing in the face of another person, another human being. the woman that gave the invocation was someone i have never met, but still have not met, but have admired and told her story many times. retired u.s. air force colonel. she was a woman that served as a combat nurse in vietnam, risking her life for our men and women in uniform and progressing through the ranks got status of colonel and then answering
5:08 pm
honestly one day on a questionnaire that she was lesbian. for that, she was discharged from the service. there was never any suggestion that she had ever done anything wrong or failed at her duty to her country. but she was the victim of outright discrimination. senator grassley was kind now have mention my name in his opening statement, i thank him. and mentioned the fact that i voted for the defense of marriage act, that is true, others did as well. i don't use that as an explanation or excuse. but i recall when a former congressman from illinois, abraham lincoln was challenged because he changed his stance on an issue. his explanation was simple, i'd rather be right some of the time than all of the time. that's why i'm an original sponsor for the what mary feinstine has introduced. i believe this is eminently fair
5:09 pm
and gives to those who are in a living relationship, an opportunity to receive benefits which they deserve. mr. minnery, i've read your testimony, i wasn't hear when you are presented it. if you are truly interested in the welfare of children, and we are, it seems to me that denying basic financial resources to a loving couple who have adopted a child is not the way to help that child. in fact, i think we can find many instances, families that struggle financially have a tougher time raising children. not all the time, but many times. it just makes a lot more sense for us to recognize under the law that when it comes to federal benefits, the same-sex relationship that is recognized in the state is going to be recognized by our federal government across the united states of america. i would just close by saying i know this is an issue involved
5:10 pm
in america. the feelings that most of the majority of the people in the america's opinion about same-sex marriage have changed, and i think they have changed for the better. this new law does not mandate any, does not mandate any religion to change it's beliefs. the new law does not mandate any state to change it's laws. what it does is say that as a nation, our federal government is going to recognize the rights of same-sex couples to the basic benefits which they are entitled to. this could have been a hearing under my subcommittee for constitutional law and human rights, but chairman leahy asked, and i'm glad they came for support. >> thank you very much, senator durbin. let me thank the witnesses. we have a vote at 12:00. there's another panel coming up. i'm going to move on, i hope
5:11 pm
that's agreeable. let me thank everyone. i've been in a lot of these, this was very good testimony, and i think all of us will remember it. thank you all very much. we'll move on to the next panel and i will quickly introduce them. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
5:12 pm
>> i'd like to thank the chairman for asking me to lead the deliberations of this committee for the second panel. and first i'd like to begin by asking the members of the second panel to please rise. raise your right hand after me if you would as i administer the oath. do you sol yes, ma'amly swear to the testimony that you were about to give to the committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you god. [responses] >> thank you please be seated. let the record reflect the witnesses have taken the oath of the committee. first we welcome joel solmonese, more than a million member of the human rights campaign, it's the largest advocacy organization, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender human
5:13 pm
rights, he was chief executive officer of emily's list and joe lives in washington, d.c. and is a graduate of boston university. mr. solmonese, please proceed. let me remind all the witnesses to please limit your opening remarks to five minutes. the statement will be pleased in the record, and there is a noon vote which will require us to do a little juggling to manage. mr. solmonese, please proceed. [inaudible conversation] >> how's that? >> wonderful. >> thank you, senator coons, members of the committee, on behalf of the human rights campaign and more than one million members and supporters nationwide, i want to thank you for the opportunity to offer testimony in today's historic hearings. i also want to thank senator feinstine for her leadership on the legislation and on behalf of lest -- lesbian, gay, bisexual,
5:14 pm
and transgender people in california and all across the country. every week i have the opportunity to travel this country and speak with members of my community, their families, friends, their religious leaders, and with their employers about the distinction difficulties they face in the form of discrimination. now today i have the privilege of bringing their stories and their concerns before this committee. gay and lesbian couples work hard. they work hard to provide for their families, they work hard to provide quality health care, they work hard to plan for retirement, and to save for college. just like their friends and family, just like their neighbors and co-workers. but they do so in a country that still refuses to recognize them as equal. and for those who are lucky enough to live in states that do permit them to marry, they still face a federal government that treats their marriages as if they do not exist. so on behalf of the tens of thousands of married same-sex
5:15 pm
couples in the country, including myself and my husband, i urge congress to pass the respect for marriage act and to end the federal governments disrespect for and discrimination against lawfully married, same-sex couples. doma harms thousands of families as they try to manage the day to day issues of their lives. families from rachel and lee matthews from the bronx who are here with their beautiful daughter, norma. rachel and leigh met in college and have been together for 13 years. with marriage now a reality, rachel and las vegas -- leigh are thrilled to excited to long last thigh -- tie the not. it's tempered by the fact that doma remains in the way of true equality. reach -- rachel and leigh worry
5:16 pm
every day like unpaid work if the other gets sick, or the ability to continue health coverage for their family if one of them gets laid off. doma means the many protections the federal government provides for the health and security of american families remains out of reach for same-sex couples and their children. it keeps, for instance, gay and lesbian americans from sponsoring their spouses for immigration to the united states, forcing binational couples to choose between love and country. it deprives the surviving same-sex spouses of crucial social security benefits, earned by their loved ones through years of hard work. senator feinstine asked about the impact of doma on don't ask, don't tell. it even bars the service member of a veteran from being buried with him or her in the veteran cemetery. as you've heard from him,
5:17 pm
particularly those who felt the hardship, the impact of the law is real and unconscionable. it is long past time for the federal government to end its discrimination against lawfully married same-sex couples. congress must repeal this law enacted solely to treat gay and lesbians unequality. so i urge you to pass the respect for marriage act and ensure that all american families have the full respect and protection of their federal government. thank you. >> thank you, mr. solmonese, we now turn to mr. nimocks, senior legal council for the alliance defense. he focuses on the definition of marriage, voters right, and liberty. adf is close to funding, and earned his bachelors and jd from
5:18 pm
waco, texas. >> thank you for the privilege and invitation of testifying here today. as debates rage regarding budget deficits, debt ceiling, and jobs, i'm pleased the committee is taking time to discuss mothers and fathers, arguably the two most important jobs in our society. this legislation also gives us the opportunity to look at an important query that's over looked. why is government in the marriage business? as you are aware, congress enacted doma by the 84% margin, at bottom, civil society has an interest in maintaining and protecting the institution of heterosexual marriage because it has a deep and abiding interest in procreation and child rears. simply put, government has an interest in marriage because it has an interest in children. the truth remains today, americans agree. as evidenced by likely the most
5:19 pm
extensive national research ever conducted completed in may of this year, we know that 62% of americans agree that marriage should be defined as only a union between one man and one woman. marriage is not just a mere law or creature of statute, but the social institution that has crossed the political, religious, and historical lines. as put by the famous philosopher, quote, but for children, there would be no need for any institution concerned with sex. it is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal constitution. ungot. it's a long standing worldwide idea, marriage it a building block of describe. it doesn't prescribe conduct. individuals marry, mr. chairman, as they always have for a wide variety of personal reasons. but today's discussion should not be ab the private reasons
5:20 pm
why individual's marry, but about the policy of our country as a whole and the government's unique interest in the public institution. because the government's interest in marriage is different from the reasons why individuals choose to marry, entrance to marriage has never been conditioned upon the couples ability and desire to find happiness, the level of financial entanglement, or commitment to each other. children are the product of sexual relationships between men and women, and both fathers and mothers are viewed necessary. thus they have recognized marriage between one man and one woman to promote healthy families and societies. the studies that you've heard about over a long period of time demonstrates the ideal is family headed by an opposite sex biological parent in a low-conflict marriage. some are asking you to ignore the unique differences between
5:21 pm
men and women in parenthood. no mothers, no fathers, just generic parents. mr. chairman, there are no generic people. we are two different halves of humanity. the quote is the true sexes are fungible. inherent differences between men and women we have come to appreciate remain cause for celebration, unquote. the body should also disavow any notion that feeling is a constitutional mandate. mr. chairman, in 1967, the supreme court decided the case. it struck down a race base marriage law that prohibits whites. in so ruling, they talked about marriage as quote fundamental toll existence in survivor, unquote, discussing the timeless and procreative aspects of marriage. just five years later the supreme court in 1972 substantive upheld the decision by the minnesota supreme court
5:22 pm
that marriage laws like federal doma are not unconstitutional and rejected a claim for same-sex marriage. mr. chairman, not one single justice at the united states supreme court found the constitutional claims against marriage worthy of a courts review. marriage between a man and a woman naturally built families, and gives hope that the next generations are carry that family into the future. and while some may argue, mr. chairman, that time haves changed, they cannot creditably argue that humanity as augendered species that has changed. men and women still compose the two great halfs of humanity. men and women are still uniquely different and men and women still play important and necessary roles in the family. in conclusion, because of the fundamental truth that children are the product of sexual relationship between men and women and men and women each bring something important to the table of parenting, this government maintains a compelling interest in protecting the institution of marriage as the union between
5:23 pm
one man and one woman. thank you for your time. >> next, we will hear from ed wallen, mr. wallen is a regular contributor to national review online. mr. wallen has served as deputy assistance as the office of legal council, as well as general council to the committee. he earned his under graduate and law draws -- agrees from yale. >> thank you for inviting me to testify before this committee in opposition to s598 when is titled the respect from marriage. far from respecting marriage, the bill could empty the term of content. it would redefine marriages for purposes of federal law to include anything from any state now recognizes as a marriage. the effect and the evident purpose of the bill is to how the federal government validates same-sex marriage by requiring
5:24 pm
the marriage for purposes of federal law any such union recognized as a marriage under state law. the bill would require taxpayers in the states that maintain traditional marriage laws to subsidize provision of federal benefits to same-sex unions entered into other states. further, the principals invoked and the ongoing attack on traditional marriage clearly threaten to pave the way for polygamist and other unions, one the current projects of the left. under the bill, any union recognized a marriage under state law would have to be recognized by the federal government as a marriage for purposes of federal law. thus the foreseeable effect of the bill would be to have the federal government validate any state's adoption and require taxpayers throughout the country to subsidize polygamist and other unions. s598 would also repeal the defense of marriage act, it's wholly unwarranted.
5:25 pm
approved by overwhelmingly majorities and signed by law in 1996 by bill clinton. doma defines the term marriage in provisions of federal law. legal union of a man and woman in life. second in a genuine protection, it safeguards the prerogative of each state to choose not to treat the marriage as a same-sex union entered in another state and operates to help ensure that one state does not impose same-sex marriage on another state or on the entire nation. at the same time, it leaves the citizens of every state free to decide whether or not their state should redefine it's marriage laws. it is a profound conclusion to believe that values of federalism somehow require the federal government to defer to or incorporate the marriage laws of the various states in determines what marriage means in provisions of federal law. how it's worth noting that of
5:26 pm
the eight current members that voted on doma, seven voted for doma. those seven include chairman leahy and other house members. among the many prominent senators, joe biden, harry reid, and too many others to name in the short time that i have. now i'm not claiming that senators can't change their mind. but the list of supporters to refute the empty claim that doma embodies a bigotry against same-sex couples. the benefits to the union of husband and wife reflects the judge with the relationship that's linked to procreation a deserving of support. people are free to dispute that judgment, but no one who voted can claim to be surprised by how it is operated. and while it is natural that
5:27 pm
everyone would hope for more federal benefits for themselves, no one can claim that doma somehow disrupted his or her own financial planning. doma was enacted eight years before the massachusetts supreme court first imposed same-sex marriage in the country, so there was never a time when anyone in the same-sex union had any basis that that union would entitle him or her to spousal benefits. it's wrong to assert the definition of marriage has been only a matter left to the states. our predecessors understood what too many americans have forgetten, never learned, or find it namely to obscure. they have real world consequences that go beyond individual the seeking to marry and shape the broader culture. that and the effort to combat which is recognized with democracy, that's why congress in its separate enabling acts for the admission of statehood
5:28 pm
in arizona, new mexico, oklahoma, and other state laws for polygamist in the state constitution. this would require that the federal law subdice any polygamist marriage recognized by any state. i detail how the obama administration has wrongly defined to offend, simply that the bill is ill conceived. legislators want to respect marriage should defend, not undermine it. >> finally, we welcome mr. evan wilson, the freedom to marriage, the national campaign to end marriage discrimination, and he was co-counsel that larged the global movement for freedom to marry and has participated in other landmark aids, hiv, and
5:29 pm
human rights cases, he earned his degree from yale and served in peace corps volunteer, he graduated from harvard law school, and has appeared before the supreme court in boy scouts versus dale, and was named one the most influential lawyers. in 2004, he was named one the most influential people in the world. he is the author of "why marriage matters: gay people's right to marriage" which was published in 2004. >> thank you, senator coons, members of the committee. i'm evan wilson, president of the national campaign to end freedom discrimination, and author of "why marriage matters." i'm pleased to be here with you today to testify in support of the respect for marriage act, which would return the federal government to the traditional and appropriate role of respecting marriages performed in the states.
5:30 pm
i want to thank chairman leahy for introduces the legislation in the senate. 15 years ago this summer, i was in a courtroom along with my nongay co-counsel, representing three loving and committed couples who have been denied marriage licenses, despite being together, some of the couples for decades. in the clear, cool light of the courtroom, we presented evidence called and cross examined witnesses, and made logical and legal arguments as did the states attorneys. at the end of that trial, the first ever on marriage in the world, the court concluded based on the record that we compiled that there's no gooden reason for the government to deny the freedom to marry to committed couples because of the sex or sexual orientation. by contrast, congress compiled no such record and did not wait to consider evidence or serious
5:31 pm
analysis before rushing that same year to add a new lawyer of marriage discrimination against couples already barred from marrying. doma imposes a gay exception to the way the federal government historically and currently treats all other married couples. doma stigmatizes by dividing at the state level into first class marriages and second class for those the federal government doesn't like. but in america, we don't have second class citizens and we shouldn't have second class marriages either. much has changed since doma enactment in 1996. then same-sex couple could not marry anywhere in the world. today five states and the nation's capitol have ended the denial of marriage licenses, join 12 countries on four continents where gay people share in the freedom to marry. tens of thousands of same-sex couples are legally married in
5:32 pm
the united states, as you've heard, many raising children. and as of this coming sunday, when new york state ends it's restriction, the number of americans living in a state where gay couples share in the freedom to marry will more than double to over 35 million. in 1996, opponents would conjure up groundless, but scary, about the impact of freedom to marry on children, or society, on marriage itself. those claims were hollow, but those there's a mountain of evidence and it all points in the direction of fairness. for that reason, literally, every leading public health and child welfare association in the country, including most recently the american medical association, have all concluded based on science, evidence, and clinical, as well as personal experience, that the children being raised by same-sex couples are healthy and fit and that these kids and their families would benefit from inclusion in
5:33 pm
marriage without taking anything away from anyone else. today, thanks to the lived experience with the reality of the freedom to marry, even the republican sponsor of doma former congressman bob barr believe it is should be repealed. stating that quote, doma is neither meeting the principal of federalism it was supposed to, nor is it impact limited to federal law. the democratic president who in 1996 signed doma into law, bill clinton has also called for its repeal as has president obama who has endorsed the restorative legislation. congressman barr and president clinton's journey away from doma to the freedom to marry mirrors the changed minds and open hearts in the american people. in 1996, only 27% of the american people favored the freedom to marry. today according to gallop and
5:34 pm
five other recent surveys, support has doubled to 53%, a clear national majority for marriage, younger americans across the board overwhelmingly in support, 63% of catholics are for the freedom to marry, and oppositions is falling amongst all parts of the public with momentum and bipartisan voices as reflected in last month's historic vote in new york. this sunday many will watch on television as joyous couples declare their love and have their commitmented celebrated and confirmed by the state. yet as they join in marriage, these couples will become the latest americans to experience firsthand the sting of discrimination by the federal government. they will endure the intangible, yet very real pain of once again being branded a second class citizen and will suffer the tangible harm of being excluded from the safety net of protections and responsibility that orr married couples
5:35 pm
cherish. mr. chairman, it is time for congress to end the discrimination. congress can remove the sting, eliminate this pain, end this harm, by enacting the respect for marriage act, fairness demands it, and the time has come. thank you. >> thank you very much to all of our witnesses on the second panel. and i appreciate your following the system from the first panel which have spoke personally and in moves ways about the very real harm suffered by lgbt couples through the so-called defensive marriage act. i look forward to hearing your response, i will first refer to senator klobuchar who was that the able to join the first panel and joins the second panel. >> thank you, i was at a transportation hearing. i want to thank you for being here. i was struck after hearing the first panel, just the legal entanglement, and all of the issues that have arisen, whether
5:36 pm
someone trying to be at a partner's bedside when they are dying or some of the other issues that the witnesses raised in stories that they told. and it made me think about what you were just speaking about, mr. wolfson, it's been 15 years since doma was enacted. the legal and science landscape has changed since then. and i guess i'd ask everyone in your opinion how is the issue of same-sex marriage transformed over the years? what effect has the passage of time had on the debate? if you could just answer briefly, mr. solmonese? >> thank you, senator. i think first and foremost, perhaps the most powerful contributor to changing american public opinions on the question of same-sex marriage or the circumstances of our relationships generally were perhaps best displayed in the previous panel. hard working, committed, loving americans having the opportunity to tell the stories of their
5:37 pm
lives, and more to the point, to really talk about the inequities and the injustice that we face in the absence. i think all across this country, the more opportunities that we have had to tell those stories, to help people understand the circumstances of our lives, and in particular, when i reflect on ron's story in the previous panel, the genuine inequity and disparity, i think that most americans and most americans for my way of thinking are fair minded and optimistic can't help but be moved by the stories, and can't help but be moved in the direction of understanding the need for full marriage equality, or in the case of the debate today, we should not lose sight of what the conversation is about the debt today. the real need to ensure in those states where same-sex couples enjoy the right to marriage equality, they be afforded those federal benefits. particularly things like social
5:38 pm
security survivor benefits. >> thank you. thank you. mr. nimocks, any response about the changes over the last 15 years? >> thank you. i don't believe there have been substantial changes in the opinions of americans across this country about marriage as time as passed. we know the first vote in the country recorded in hawaii in 1998, the last one in iowa in 2010. what is clear in all of the votes in 32 jurisdictions where americans have voted on the question, they have been unanimous. marriage should be the union of one man and one woman. as i alluded to in the poll, marriage should be defined as one man and one woman. that's the language that's going to be on the ballot in 2012 in minnesota. i believe the minnesotans will
5:39 pm
become the next state. the question is whether it should be the union of one man and one woman and whether fathers and mothers are necessarily. i think they have been very consistent on that. thank you. >> if you could keep it down to 30 seconds, i have question to ask. >> i'll try to be quick. i hope i can get a somewhat more extensive response. my perception, there has been a decline among young people in support for marriage. i think that decline reflects a broader collapse in our marriage culture, a collapse that i will emphasize is largely a responsibility of what heterosexual have done to marriage in recent decades, and i think what we have is a situation where a lot of folks simply don't understand what marriage is, they don't understand the systemic importance of marriage, and in serving the interest of millions and millions of children who deserve to be raised in the best possible environment and i think
5:40 pm
increasingly, some folks don't understand that when you decouple marriage from the core interest in procreation and childrearing, you create the mission confusing that disserves the interest of millions and millions of children yet unborn. >> okay. i'm going to -- maybe mr. wolfson, we can get your answer in writing. i had a quick question here at end before my time runs out of mr. solmonese. that is whether the respect for marriage act has the impact on churches and respondent's exhibit organizations to freely expressed their views? >> thank you, senator, what i mentioned before what we are here to discuss and at the heart of the legislation how the federal government treats lawfully married people in the states where marriage equality is the stand. it does not require individuals or religious organizations to do anything. as you know, the first amendment protects the rights of churches
5:41 pm
and religious organization to determine who they will or will not marry. >> i think that's an important point for some people. because freedom of religion is so important to many people in any state and across the country. i know senator feinstine made that point. you appreciate you making that. this bill doesn't in any way require churches, sin -- synagogues or mosque to recognize. thank you, i appreciate it -- i thought the panel before this, not that your panel is stupendous, i thought the way they told their stories, own individual stories was quite moving and also gave us a sense of the legal problems that they are encountering because of this law. thank you. >> thank you, senator klobuchar. if i might turn first to mr. wallen. in both your testimony, mr. anymore -- nimocks, there's a connection between procreation, parenthood, opposite sex,
5:42 pm
couples, and critical national federal policy interest in promoting marriage as being just between a man and a woman. what do you see as the rational for why federal law is silent on the up heterosexual marriage with the main of difficulty and divorce and the impact on children and childrearing, but prohibits one lifelong marriage. help me understand that. >> i think the answer to that is the same answer to why congress in the mid 19th century took action to outlaw or more precisely to condition several states on the states currently bans polygamy. it's true within the broad bounds, the general practice has been to permit variations among state laws in terms of what constitutes marriage. at the same time as the effort illustrates, there's an understanding that is some genuine course, or genuine essence to what marriage is.
5:43 pm
marriage cannot simply be defined to mean anything. i think what we see here and what is 84 of your predecessors in the senate understood in 1996, the union of one man and one woman is at the core of what marriage needs to be in order to serve the interest of children over the generations. >> thank you, mr. wallen. if i might, mr. solmonese, your written testimony notes correctly that doma harms more than just gay and lesbian couples. one of my areas of focus have been participation and in support for the it gets better project that uses the internet to share messages of hope. there's been testimony by several witnesses about public opinion. i'm not sure what the relevance of is whether 60% support today or yesterday. in my view, doma to the extent trying to expand, has negative secondary impacts, not just
5:44 pm
immediately on the couples from whom we heard previously, but also more indirectly, symbolically, in terms of encouraging discrimination and harassment, can you speak to the experience and views on how doma might have secondary on lgbt youth and the culture as a whole? >> certainly, i think there are number of ways. certainly we heard from the previous panels ways in which individuals in our community faced genuine discrimination in the absence of the right to full marriage. one the things that i think is important to point out, and i see this and i experience this as a travel the country and i travel to places where it is, for lack of a better term perhaps more difficult to be a member of the lgbt community, and people that face much more
5:45 pm
sort of discrimination on a number of fronts. one the things they tell me that's important to point out, for instance, when they walk into a hospital emergency room, you know, they are even in a place where civil unions, perhaps maybe the law of the land, there is a sort of process that that admitting person goes through as they evaluate the circumstances and the individual family in front of them. you are not married, and so while you are not married, you know, there's a sort of societal disparity there and you need as an admits person in the emergency room to understand what is different about you and what is different about the circumstances of your particular life that i need to be aware of. parents tell me they send their parents off to school from the household of a civil unioned family. what sort of beyond the tangible, perhaps, benefits disparity that we talked about here today, you know, what is
5:46 pm
that mean and speak to to that child and the experience that they might encounter as having been sent to a school from the same-sex couple family as opposed to have a married household. this is societal understanding of what it means to walk in the door of an emergency room as a married couple or to walk into a pta meeting as a married couple. and what that means generally. that's something that i think is important to point out. that's sort of -- beyond the sort of tangible benefits that we heard about, something that i heard a great deal of as we travel across the country. >> thank you, mr. solmonese. i want to testify. i am committed to the co-sponsors and i'm hopeful that the remainder given there's a
5:47 pm
few minutes. i will yield the gavel and microphone to senator schumer who will close out today's note. >> when i recruit members, you'd be amaze how quickly you move around here up the ladder. i want to thank our witnesses on this panel and the previous two. i'm going to give an opening statement. i think the powerful testimony of the witnesses that we've heard today speaks volumes. so mr. chairman, i want to just say a few brief words about the importance of repealing doma. not long after this hearing concludes, in less than 100 hours, gay couples from across my home state of new york will be lining up courthouses and clerks officers to officially
5:48 pm
tie the not. many of those plan to say i do have been together for decades, they have raised children, battled illnesses, build loving, lasting lives together. on sunday, our state of new york will recognize that, that love, that life, that commitment until death do the part with the marriage license. personally i support marriage equality, i believe one the defining qualities of america has always been our drive to equality. as the french historian when he visited the u.s. in the 1930s, it's the quality that distinguishes the united states from all other countries. another issue of bringing equality, the purpose of this hearing and i want to thank chairman leahy is to examine the same-sex married coupled. it's a fact that when new york
5:49 pm
beginning to same sex couples, the federal government will not be able to give the married couples the same benefit that is straight couples who receive that similarly pledge in the eyes of the law to spend their lives together. instead in the eyes of the federal government, these couples will remain strangers. with none of the responsibilities or privileges of mat -- matrimony. there are over 1,000 benefits that married gay couples are denied because of doma. unfortunately, they are most acutely felt in the times of vulnerable. they are denied family medical leave, social security survival, estate tax exemption, and many other vital rights that their heterosexual neighbors and friends enjoy. this isn't right, it isn't fair, and something needs to be done about it. in one way that doma enacts gay
5:50 pm
couples, the health benefits, the straight married man wants to add his wife he can do so without tax or expense. it has been for decades. now let's say you are gay, legally married, and your employer is kind enough to offer the same-sex health before thes with that's incoming common, 83 of the fortunate 100 companies offer them. because of doma, gay employees must include the cost of insurance. we all know that health care isn't cheep in the taxable income. that means that even though they are married in the eye of the state and the company is being fair and generous, the government,al government hits them with the tax burden every april 15th. we're still the employers required to pay fica taxes, that's right, because of doma, major employers are forced to pay looking at the side of the room. extra taxes. i have a bipartisan bill with senator collins to change that,
5:51 pm
it's called the tax parity for beneficiaries, needless to say, were we successful in repealing doma, there'd be no need for the legislation. our tax parity bill addresses one of a thousand federal benefits that married gay couples can't receive under law. so i hope we will repeal doma. cbo came to the following conclusion in 2004, if doma were repealed, revenues would be higher by less than $400 million a year in 20052010. i want to say this. there are three fundamental prince pals at state. it makes good fiscal sense, respects states rights, and treats all married people the same. it's fair, it makes sense, and it's time. i would say to many in the audience that have waited a long time, that one of my favorite
5:52 pm
expressions was what martin luther king said and what i was proud to repeat over and over again at the gay pride parade in new york a few weeks ago. that is the arch of history is long, but it bends in the direction of justice. the hear is adjourned. [gavel] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
5:53 pm
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> here's what's ahead.
5:54 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
5:55 pm
♪ ♪ >> next, a look at the history of race relations in the united states and where we stand today. from sunday's "washington journal." this is about an hour and 20 minutes. >> now for the next hour and 25 minutes or so, we'll have a round table discussion on race relations here in the united states. our two guests, michelle bernhard, president and ceo of bernard center for public politics.
5:56 pm
thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> and we say good morning to leonard steinhorn. co-author of "by the color of our skin" we appreciate you being here. >> thank you. >> host: we invite your questions and comments. we'll get the phone numbers on the screen. but the history of ration relations up to present day in the united states, separate lines for the eastern and central time zones and pacific and mountain. two separate lines. we look forward to hearing your voices. it's too bad the weather has gotten in the way of the monument event, but here we are to have this chat anyway. michelle bernard, assess race relations. >> after the election in the 2008, i was one the people that was yelling we live in a postracial america. we have finally gotten past race. since 2008, it appears that race
5:57 pm
relations may have become even worse. some people ask, for example, the advent of a tea party is it because a black man was elected president of the united states, maybe not. but for example, the member of congress who yelled out during the state of the union address to president obama you lie. you can't help but ask yourself would anyone have dared do that to any other president of the united states but for the fact he's black. people are agitated, and things were better than the 1960s and prior to that time. there seems to be quite a bit of agitation throughout the country. >> host: leonard steinhorn, to the people there was a recent poll done by gallop and usa today. few american see race relations and all 35% say they think race relation haves gotten better. that's down from 41% in 2009. how come?
5:58 pm
>> well, i think there's the tension that michelle speaks of. i think we have to look at the satisfactory a larger historical context. one of them is things are far better in so many fundamental ways. the new generation coming through. it's the most inclusive generation in the nation's history. the glass really has to be half full in that sense. but it's also half empty. look at wealth statistics. still get the subtle form of jim crowe that happens, still look at the fact that we have desegregated, but failed to integrate and reach the promise land that dr. king had talked about. i think to a great extent, we have seen progress over the last generation. the next generation is going to be better than anything we've seen in the cross racial and cross ethnic and interaction and experience. we still have the problem that is continue to drag us down.
5:59 pm
>> host: michelle, want to pick up? >> there's a lot of hope. young children, they don't see race. i have two young kids, that makes me excited and happy for the possibility for the future. look at, for example, different polls, different studies that have come out in terms of what some people will call economic injustice, education injustice, the black-white divide, for example, in term of income and in terms of education status, and in terms of health. there are still enormous disparity that is we can segregate by race. look at the education system, it's still at the public k-12 level, still fundamentally separate, unequal, it -- where you fare, what type of education depends on what zip code. for the most part, people that live in low income, urban areas, rural areas who are fundamentally quite often african-american and hispanic getting horrible education. we know right now in the 21st
6:00 pm
century, if you don't get a good education, the whole -- this whole question of the american dream is really a nightmare. >> before we get to calls, how about this monument that was to have been dedicated today. it will come soon enough. what does that mean? >> it's beautiful. i think to have this monument so close to all of the other monuments in the beautiful place. we've got, i believe, it's called the stone of hope, mountain of dispair. you see dr. king emerging from the mountain of dispair. it's a beautiful tribute to dr. king, to his theology, as well as to the politics, the politics of social justice. it is an enormous tribute to the all of the african-americans who shoulders i stand on today who will able to mix theology, christian briefs with politics and say this is what we need to do to make our country better. >> host: to the title of your
6:01 pm
book "to the color of our skin" speak to that elusion. >> again, it's some extent what michelle was talking about. we want to have the ideal, and we want obama to symbolize what america is all about. yet, blacks and whites continue to live in separate neighbors, continue to socialize in many ways, instead of different context. that's why i do have some hope for the younger generation. : ultimately end up in the same patterns. but we still intersect a lot, but we don't integrate. we are desegregating, but we haven't fully come together. the question is when america is going to take the next step that barack obama did symbolize of an inclusive, whole america in which people working together, locking arms together, doing what dr. king talked about throughout his life. that's where we're not at yet. but we have the ideal to get there, but it's a long leap from the reality to the ideal.
6:02 pm
host: first call comes from david in eugene, record record. welcome to the program. cape thank you. i really appreciate this discussion. mr. steinhorn is correct in hope of the new generation. but i've been an advocate for racial equality absolutely almost all my life, because out of six kids, i'm the only one that acknowledges that we're biracial. when mr. obama was elected, i got calls from all of my brothers and sisters and my mother, very sarcastically saying, well, we hope you're happy now. and that kind of attitude still permeates, even out on the streets. when i was working for the democratic party during that election, people would wake up to me on the streets and just be very mean-spirited. i literally had a couple of
6:03 pm
80-plus year old women walk up to me and almost want to thump their bible in my face while they spouted hate at me for supporting democrats and mr. obama. host: let's hear from our guests. guest: i think we can't mistake partisanship for racial animosity. bill clinton faced enormous partisanship in his time. my hunch if hillary clinton were the democratic nominee, she would face that as well. i don't think race is absent from that partisanship. in fact, one can argue that ever since richard nixon created the southern strategy in the late 1960's and early 1970's that the racialization of politics, particularly of sort of the way the southern part in particular, the republican party, has looked at politics, has been very careful and has brought on some of those attitudes. in fact, given the ok to some of those attitudes, that it's ok to be angry based on the sense of white victimization
6:04 pm
over "black advancements" in society. so i think there's some of that, but we can't get away from the fact that it's partisanship. people disagree f. you're a democrat and republican, you know, your oil and water might not mix. guest: i didn't understand if the caller was saying his siblings self-identify as being white, and he self-identifies as being black because they're biracial. i would love if the caller is still with us just to hear more about his family background and the partisanship he's seen within the family. but i think what he's telling is the larger story behalf we see in america at large today. people are still very, very much splintered on the question of race and on the question of equality and on the question of who deserves a piece of the american pie. host: san diego, priscilla, good morning. caller: yes, good morning. thank you for the opportunity to share. i just want to speak about the racial point in our history,
6:05 pm
that it appears that the division is growing even wider, especially with the leadership in congress. our senators are feeding into this division of i hear you often talk about the partisanship with clinton. there's no comparison what he went through or any other president compared to president obama. this is the first time in history with an african-american president. to see how the flames of racial hate has risen -- guest: what do you see or hear? caller: when i see united states senators feeding the fuel of hatred of not working with this president on anything, if he says the sun is shining, they will disagree with him. and that's purely based on hate and racism. we know -- i mean, the news try
6:06 pm
make it just partisanship between republicans and democrats. i mean, anyone with common sense know that the u.s. senators, for them to be put in the position of leadership in this nation, to divide the nation as they have been doing through the tea party is just outrageous to me. host: give and take with this current president, police ale is alluding to. leonard steinhorn? guest: again, i think part may be race, but i also think part of is he was elected as a very popular president and the republicans have been determined to block him in every way. he had 60 votes in the senate, and he couldn't get things through because of the threat of filibuster. pretty much mitch mcconnell, the republican leadership has come out with a strategy to block him, to make him seem feckless as a president, in effect, also undermine the democratic party ideology, which is the democrats say government can be on your side.
6:07 pm
well, if you can make washington seem like a mess, then effectively you are making government out to be ineffective, bottled up, and something that people can't support, which would then move them toward a republican ideology that, you know, we got to get government out of here. so i think there's far more than racist. i think it's pure out and out power on capitol hill, and the very fact that he happens to be an african-american, i think in this case is more incidental than influential in terms of the political gamesmanship going on. host: michelle bernard, plug the economic part of all of this into this, unemployment. guest: unemployment nationwide is hovering at about 9%. in the african-american community, the unemployment rate is 16% in certain pockets of the nation, where it can go high as 50%. so the job problem and the economic problem is going to be very, very difficult for president obama going into 2012. but i want to get back to a point that leonard made.
6:08 pm
if you look at intent versus what it feels like from the perspective -- from an african-american perspective, and i will say that most people that i know that are african-american do not see race as the boogeyman around every corner, but this feels and looks like something very, very different than what we saw, for example, when president clinton was president of the united states. if you look at the nation, sort of take a step backwards and look, and you have to ask yourself if you are a person of color, kwlfs it, for example, when we were asking the debt ceiling negotiations, why was it so important to almost bring the president to his knees and risk the debt -- you know, risk the economic standing of our nation as a way to bring him down? is there notch anger that the leader of the free world is a black man that many members of congress would rather watch the nation fail economically i think that's what many, many
6:09 pm
people feel. >> i think there's something larger at stake. he represents a new america, a changed america, a more urbane and cosmopolitan america, an america that's not divided, sort of only according to race. that's very threatening to people who want to dial back america to the 1950's, such as the tea party folks. insofar as he happens to be african-american is incidental to what he represents as an emerging political culture in our country. which reject the new way he represents. i think there's a larger cultural shift going on. to some extent you did see these things. but the tea party really does represent this very partisan side of the republican party. they're very angry their country is changing, and they don't to want let it change. guest: if you look at rush limbaugh, who we want on his
6:10 pm
radio show and said he doesn't want the president to succeed. we all have a mobile obligation . it's how you say i don't want this president to succeed, it's beyond explanation. host: we have ken on the line. caller: thank you for c-span. i want to get the comment on martin luther king being one of the greatest americans for using -- for doing what did he in bringing about change and being nonviolent at the same being nonviolent at the same time. they're going to suffer with their voting rights because of the partisan publicanof the partisan i guess my final
6:11 pm
question what he rick perry, mi romney, and michele balkman to see their birth certificates? thank you for having my call. guest: i have to say to the caller thank you very much. again, i know for many people who are not people of color, you probably get tired of the same question over and over and over again. but turn things around and put yourself in the position of a person of color who hears that large swath of the american public want to return to the 1950's. what does that mean if you are a black man or a black woman? you're a housekeeper? you live in a racially divided country, separate but equal? different bathrooms, water faucettes, everything. when you see people so adamant in saying i want to you prove that you are an american citizen and that you deserve to be in the office that you
6:12 pm
inhabit, you have to ask yourself, does not a large part of this have to do with the fact that people are so angry that we have somebody black who's leading the nation? guest: well, i can't deny that. the birth certificate thing is absurd. but most americans rejected it. i almost felt very sad for president obama having to dignify those objections. guest: i agree with you. guest: he should have said, you know, go stew in your own anger and obsession. guest: absolutely. guest: the caller brought up the voting issue. i think this is a really serious issue, something we all ought to be speaking about. it is a new form of subtle jim crow that is breaking through in terms of laws that are being passed predominantly in republican-driven, governed states for voter i.d., photo i.d. cards. according to a statistic that i have seen, approximately a quarter of all blacks of voting age do not have government-issued photo i.d.'s,
6:13 pm
and therefore, that would prohibit them from voting in those states. some of those have had voter drives, reach hispanics and black voters, ok? you put all this together, and in effect, you're seeing the potential for a suppression of the minority vote on behalf of the republican party which does not want minorities and young people voting in such large numbers that they voted in 2008. if this is not stopped or fought, that could have serious consequences in our american politics. host: is it being fought strongly? what's being done? guest: some people are trying guest: some people are trying to fight it, but what we actually see is that is this issue is not raised a critical level of public awareness so that people understand exactly what's happening. we're beginning to see the voices emerge but we need a
6:14 pm
critical mass of americans, particularly people of color, around the nation to explain. there's a t-shirt you see come out during election time that people wear that says black folk must volt. the increase in black turnout for president obama put him over the edge, particularly in a lot of states that went from red to blue. if you see any voter suppression, it's going to be very difficult for president obama to get re-elect. guest: alabama is one state to pay attention to every four years. i've seen a statistic that said more than half of the black voters in florida voted early, yet the new law wants to limit the number of hours available in early voting. that really tells me that what they're trying to do is to limit the turnout of the african-american vote. these laws are being passed. it's not getting news.
6:15 pm
you don't hear it a lot on the talking heads on capable tv, but this stuff is important because it goes to the heart of our democracy and everything that dr. martin luther king stood for. guest: absolutely. host: we have more time with our guests, just under an hour, with michelle bernard, president and c.e.o. of the bernard center for women, politics, and public policy, also a political analyst for msnbc and a member of the women's forum. we're also joined by leonard steinhorn, author. leonard steinhorn is also author of the "greater generation" and is a professor of communication at american university here in the nation's capital. next call, willie, dayton, ohio. thank you for waiting. caller: yes, good morning. i've got two quick points. the race issue, it kind of leads african-americans, and what i mean is, as we keep
6:16 pm
focusing on blacks and whites, i watched africans, asians, i watched indians come into the country to integrate, get the skill sets, they either get advanced degrees, and they're competitors. we're stuck in 2011 still discussing issues that were prevalent when i was born in 1968. second topic, or second point, if you can complete a request for public assistance, you can also complete an application for a state i.d. to allow you to complete an application for a voter registration. and two, you're able to be empowered by the vote, your voice is not going to be heard, and i will leave the balance of my time for the panel. thank you. host: michelle, first to that first point, he thinks we're talking about the same issues as in 1968, but there's a little bit of perspective at the table earlier in the chat. you want to add more? .
6:17 pm
we've got many, many members of congress who are african-americans. facing african-americans in the united states than it. we've seen african-americans as joint chiefs of staff, secretary of state. so there has been a lot of change. but what i actually quite frankly feel is very sad is that we are still talking about the state of race relations all of these years and it does not feel as if things are quite frankly that much different. >> host: when we use the term race relations come a step back a moment. what does that mean to you? >> guest: for me personally, reflecting on martin luther king, race relations means, do all others feel equal? does every person who lives in the united dates feel fundamentally they have access to achieving the american dream?
6:18 pm
if they achieve the american dream that they are not looked at as an outsider or someone who has stolen a piece of the pie from someone who is quote, unquote more deserving.on >> guest: well, two things. one, we should continue to talk to other nations history hundreds of years but now abouts race relations because it was untry.iginal sin of the country. the way the world shouldpeople n continue to talk about the and holocaust. we should never forget what people can do to each other andt how people with power can things enslave or segregate other people and abuse that power. cl promised land. but i do think if we do reach the promised land it's going to be at a point where race becomes descriptive and but not defining. it becomes incidental but not influential in the way we deal with each other. it means that my kids can describe my skin color or your skin color or your skin color and it would have no value attached other than this is
6:19 pm
just how somebody looks because they are of equal value in society. but we're not going to reach that point of equality until we do begin to deal with some of the economic disparities that have been brought on by those hundreds of years of enslayment and segregation. you just look at the wealth statistics and a typical house. the average black wealth in this country right now is 5,677 and one third have negative wealth. >> how has that changed in recent years? >> it's gone down a little bit. wealth numbers have gone down with the decline this housing and the people who got hit the most are the most recent home owners in the most vulnerable areas where home prices collapse add great deal. insofar as a lot of americans have their wealth in homes or inherited money from parents during that great time of housing inflation blacks have fallen behind once again because of that leg sigssy of
6:20 pm
segregation and race relations. so we are living with that every day and it reaches into the very bank accounts of the american people. >> we have frank on the line from long beach, california. good morning to you. caller: good morning to you, sir. i am a 70-year-old white former marine and i was going to talk to my peers and they seemed the main problem they have with barack obama is the color of his skin. no matter how else you phrase it. and no matter how else you put it. but i still don't think that's the major problem. some of the problems we have people are going around using the n word are things of the past. but the discrimination on a higher level, on a company level. take washington journal identify been keeping track since the first of november. you have 90 guests a month approximately every month on your show but uff never
6:21 pm
exceeded more than six african american guests in any one month in black history month you only had three. now, i think that's an issue that we dealt with because that's institutional racism. and as long as we continue to have that kind of a racism we're going to continue to have these kind of problems. and i would like to listen to your comments on that. thank you very much. and have a plessnt day. host: anything either want to say? guest: a very interesting comment and you go back between comments of institutional racism versus on an individual basis versus what the previous caller talked about which is a little bit of personal responsibility and self-reliance. one of the things that i can lie to do when i'm talking to people particularly impoverished or people of color before you get to the issue of institutional racism is the issue of what you can do and what you will do for yourself. and you will hear me continually harp on the same thing over and over again.
6:22 pm
education, education, education. the previous caller talked about people that come here as immigrants from other countries for example and they all know that the key to achieving the american dream is education and they will get educated and they will work one, two, three, four, five, six, seven no matter how many jobs they have to work in order to make it to the next level. and fur the best in anything you do the barriers that we call institutional racism have to break down. host: give us some more perspective. we do read that college, admitance and college taundance and graduation is up. is that true? guest: true. and we're still dealing with racial separation in schools. and when your caller brings up the issue of the number of people in washington journal, it's sort of a metaphor for what goes on in the rest of society. which is that if you're surrounded by sort of white people in your schools and in
6:23 pm
your communities because we don't necessarily have integrated communities, the people you're going to call up for jobs and sort of say hey this is open or why don't you apply for this are going to be people in your network. and so it may be the same reason why people in a particular network get called on for particular shows and the media and all the rest. and if you can't break sort of that network and find something to counter act chits really what affirmative acks was designed to do, then you're going to perpwut the continual hiring of people based on the network of people they know and who they seem comfortable with and who they say is a good fit for their organization. this is why integration really has to lean because if people don't begin to see the humanity of their neighbors, irrespective of the color of their skin, they're going to sort of continue to use that as a block to how they create their networks and who they hire. one other point that your
6:24 pm
caller gid mention. he said he's over 70. the older generation is really the most conservative a and has the most racial issues on all of this. and it's the older generation that votes in the highest numbers. if you look at the 2010 vote which brought the tea party in, the under 30 voters represent about 22% of the population. but only 11% of the voting public. the over 65 voters represented i think 17% of the population but 23% of the voters. so if people at the younger end don't go out and vote they will be disenfranchised their values will be disenfranchised and the olders values will continue to dominate our society for a far longer period. guest: every four years we continue to see what we call a gender gap in voting. it's not just older people. i think probably the most effective voting block in the nation quite frankly is women voters. whether we call them mortgage moms, soccer moms or whatever the term will be in 2012, women
6:25 pm
by and large vote in the highest numbers in the country. whether they are young women, or middle-age or older. and it is women quite frankly who put george bush back into office for a second time and largely put barack obama into office in 2008 and so it will be quite interesting to see what concerns women going into 2012. i believe it will be the economy and quite frankly regardless of what we see in the republican party right now the candidate who can most effectively say to women voters that we understand your pain, we understand that large numbers of your husbands are unemployed and that the economic crisis has reeked havoc on your household, that is the person who is going to get the women's vote and win the next election. host: resounded around the globe from northern ireland to
6:26 pm
south africa to teen men square. that's today's editorial in the baltimore sun. georgia now on the li, ahea david come you are on with michelle bernard and leonardke s when yrn. >> caller: one point i was going to make grandmother was a typical white pesh, what is that? is that racism? also, if there's a black woman, a black man recently represent ed west from florida he becomes a nonblack person, women become
6:27 pm
nonwomen when they're conservative or republican. national organization of women, any of these organization of women, your organization you don't speak up. and another point when the representative stood up and said you lie, obama said all the health care was going to be posted on the internet and everything was going to be hunky dory and you can read it and of course that wasn't true. it was all done in the back room. whenever you have any kind of representative giffords when she was shot saying you've got to cut this rhetoric out you conservatives, you're tea party you're making this happen. and when the tea party spoke their mind on the road for the debt ceiling they became terrorists, gun to the head, holding hostage all the these. and every single one. it was probably put down in an obama e-mail because everybody is using hostage, gun to the
6:28 pm
head, terrorist, so there you go. i mean, what is that? what are those? my points? host: thanks for your contribution. guest: interesting point that the caller makes and i'll hit on a couple of them. with the a vent of sara palin for example and michele bachmann i remember in 2008 when sara palin announced that she was a feminist and talked about what made her a feminist we did see a lot of traditional women's groups that absolutely went applectic and all of a sudden we saw the rise of what many people called the red state feminist or women and to many groups those women could not possibly be feminists because there seems to be a check list of what it is to be or not be a feminist and to many people if you don't meet all the criteria on the check list you are no longer truthfully a feminist or truthfully a woman. and i think there is a problem with that. in the african american
6:29 pm
community we see many republicans, many african american republicans who have quite a difficult time with their left of center brothers and sistwhorse are involved with politics, involved with policy and it's unfair. it is wrong. we are not a monolithic voting we are not a monolithic voting group whatever the case may be. people have different values and views. and i am someone who firmly believes in the african american community until republicans and democrats both feel that they have to court you and have to fight for your vote we will continue to see the status quo. guest: your guests are pushing the racial divide. we are all individuals they write. guest: well, i honesf honestly don't want to push any racial divide. i would much prefer an integrated society in which sort of race becomes descriptive and not defining and it does, we are all
6:30 pm
individuals treating each other. but it's not us pushing the racial divide. the constitution when it was first written pushed a racial divide. the first settlers when they brought african americans here in chains pushed a racial divide. the laws of segregation and jim crow pushed a racial divide. we are living with the consequences of that racial divide and the continuing fallout of that racial divide and so how one processes that in terms of the values of equality and freedom under our society is what we're trying to discuss here. i don't think there's anybody except sort of the outliars in society who would like to have that racial divide. but it's a historical fact. host: that tweet, pushing the individual. guest: i agree. i wish that the tweeter could understand what is actually i believe in both of our minds one group does not have and
6:31 pm
should not have more rights than another group. and i think when we talk about race it is that, it is not pushing the racial divide. it is having a conversation about the state of america today because ultimately that's what we want to see. we want to see a nation where all people are equal. where someone who is white does not have more rights than someone as black and where a man doesn't have more rights than a woman. we're not there yet. we are close but we are not there yet. and that's not pushing something negative. it is frankly just an anest assessment of where we are as a nation. guest: if we didn't have this history sort of random distribution of wealth and blacks would have equal all the of whites and black unemployment would be the same as white and educational lels would be the same if we didn't have that history. but no country can erase its history. how you deal with that is one of the continuing challenges. host: comment now from tracy. caller: a hundred years from now. host: you're on the air.
6:32 pm
caller: good morning to you. host: i'm going to ask you to turn the sound down on your set. caller: i'm turning my tv down. all right. ok. it's down now. host: perfect. go ahead. guest: i want to talk about the immigrants who come over to the country and settle in and they really don't settle in and integrate well. >> integrate well. they might come over here and be successful. what they do, they come hispanics tied up, that's why you have a little chinatown or haiti, they have not been stripped their their language or religion. they come here with a language, when off language, you are united. they don't have to deal with americans, because they go integrate with other hispanics, they go integrate with other asias. >> host: tracy, besides language, what else are you expecting? >> caller: when you have a
6:33 pm
language, you have a community. i don't see many asians working at mcdonald or too many indians. they have their own store and their own product where people like them and speak their language do that. >> host: integrations, further expanding the chat to asians, hispanics, and others beginning with language. any thoughts? >> i'm franklyerer -- frankly perplexed. when you brought black africans into the nation that somehow that is why we are still in the state that we are in today and still talks about the same issues or if it was a complaint about how immigrants integrate into the country. i am a child of immigrants, and i will tell you that most immigrants that you look at from whatever nation that they come to to the united states, they come here because they believe
6:34 pm
this is the greatest nation on earth, and they understand that you must get -- educate yourself and you have to work hard if you are to get ahead. and some of the values that some people look at disparagingly, more people that don't come from other countries need to look at our own cultures, opening a store, getting an education, having our family stay together, stay in tact, and more forward towards the american dream. it should be replicated and honors. it makes us a wonderful country. >> two issues. one is that when people make a comparison between immigrants and african-american. >> there's not a comparison. yeah. >> blacks are not and for the most part have never been immigrants. came to the country not out of choice, but slaves in chains. but the question about immigrants has to again look at the larger historical context. you dial back 100 or so years.
6:35 pm
people if there were such a thing as c-span and people could call in, they would have talking about the italian stores or newspapers or russian and polish communities they speak their own language. the first generation comes to america, tends to hunker down within their own cultural framework. and then the next generation starts to acquire the language and, in fact, one the unique things about our country is that young people have always been so dominant. one the reasons, it's been the young people, children of immigrants who have taught their parents the customs of this country, the language who adopted the language far earlier than their parents did. so what happens is that each generation of immigrants comes through, they become more and more integrated and assimilated into the merging melting pot that we call the mainstream. we can't look at the snapshot of today's immigrants and suggest they are always going to be stuck in the old first generation mode. their kids, their grand kids
6:36 pm
will widen the definition of what it means to be american and fully join that mainstream. >> host: california on the line. mike in laguna woods. >> caller: good morning. thanks a lot for a thoughtful discussion this morning. i have a libertarian perspective. dr. king's dream speech. it strikes me that as a libertarian that his dream was not 50% increase in the size of the social welfare state. the reason in the speech he used the word more than 20 times and just in case there isn't -- there's still doubt, explicit declaration that all people are free at last and in the context of the ending the legacy of slavery which they are still suffering and especially an important point that they actually have a meaning. if the legacy is something that
6:37 pm
has shown up in the huge incarceration rate in the young black men and in the state of public education for in black children and freedom means, and it strikes me that you own your own body. it's not a public/private partnership. if you see it that way, you can see all of the drug laws and produces the huge incarceration rate among the young black man and that they feel their education, freedom means that the parents have the power to choose a school for their own children and vouchers, i believe, what actually empowered the adults, the parents who are the customers, the educational service, to be able to choose a school that really works, and the scholarship program towards the school children was working and the results of reading schools produce one the first
6:38 pm
things that the democrats produced out of their taking the house in 2006 was a repeal of the d.c. scholarship program. may i have your comment please? >> host: thanks for weighing in. professor steinhorn. >> two comments. one is dr. king is often misinterpreted. what he did believe in in his book why he can't wait. if you read it, he talks about the dysfunction of the bill rights for the under privileged in america. government does have to serve as a partner to rectify all of those years of injustice. i quote him for it is obvious if a man is entered at the starting line in a race 300 years after another man, first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with the fellow runner. what he was really saying, you can't only ask the individual to
6:39 pm
perform that feat. that society does have an obligation to rectify the injustices of the past to deal with it. now the question is what's the balance, how much, what types of programs and how you do that. i think that's where the political system really needs to engage. i mean there are certainly arguments for and against the voucher system that are equally legitimate. there are certainly arguments in favor of poors a lot nor money into school systems and community support programs and community is theres that will provide sort of the middle class trappings that a lot of people in inner cities don't have. i think that's something for the legislators to figure out what is in the best interest. i don't think we want to leave government out of this. because we have a history in which government imposes the bad values. now let's see how government can help us midwife the bad values. >> i want to thank the caller for calling in. i pretty much agree with everything that the caller said. there are many people, myself
6:40 pm
including, that believe that presence i have education reform is the civil rights movement of our time. it is an extension of dr. king's work and braun versus board of education. i prankly have not seen any good arguments has to why a voucher system or system of school choice around the nation is a bad option. if you are poor, under privileged, orb if you live in a poor area, every parent should have the option to put their child in any school they want to, any school they believe works for them. i think quite interesting, the question that i would love to pose to americans across the country, look at the state of our k-12 education system and look and see how separate and how unequal is still is. what is the largest problem with the k-12 education system? we sort of looked at dr. king's approach to doing things, which was marrying theological belief to public policy. what would dr. king today actually say about the role that teachers unions have from a
6:41 pm
theological perspective on the public k-12 and the ability of all children to advance forward. >> if you look in the "washington post" outlook section, here's the photo of the leaders of the march, august 28th, 1963. young john liu wise on the right, current congressman from georgia. he writes a piece, what would king say to obama. we'll read a little bit from that and drop in a couple of passages. john liu -- lewis writes that he -- the president -- would have the capacity to bring us together as one people, one family, one house, he would say a leader has the ability to do so, -- >> host: missouri now. hi, mike. >> caller: just a quick
6:42 pm
background. i'm a marine corps vietnam veteran. when i was in the corps, there was no white, black, yellow, whatever. everybody was green. here's my issue, i find this discussion this morning and your two guests so racially bias and skewed it just defied imagination. >> host: caller let me jump in. what was the one thing or two things that you've heard that got you going? >> caller: i could go for hours. i've narrowed it down to one. let's go to the statue of martin luther king, 30 feet. lincoln, washington, jefferson, they aren't exactly, you know, -- they did a little bit more in any opinion. martin luther king was never elected to an office, et cetera, et cetera. then it was sculpted by a chinese guy and shipped here to the states. are you telling me there's no black sculptors that could have done this? >> host: michelle, start with the 30 feet that set him going.
6:43 pm
30 feet. >> you know, there are rules and regulation. it was made to scale. congress would not let this been build or sculpted in the way it was done unless it was appropriate to do so. i don't think find wrong with it. martin luther king was a towering subject. it was taken from parts of elements where he talked about a mountain of dispair and a stone of hope. i've never seen a short mountains. there's a reason mountains are called mountains, they are high, statuesque, i find absolutely nothing wrong with it, or that the sculptor was chinese. again, we are talking about equal opportunity in the greatest nation in the world. and frankly, it just doesn't matter. >> host: madison, wisconsin, give us your name please. >> caller: good morning, sir, ma'am. >> host: go ahead. >> caller: i wanted to know this is about mr. king's day and true story.
6:44 pm
this happened to rodney king and happened ten times worse to a young man like me to the state of florida to the attention of flowing the circumstances of police brutality, and miss misct with law enforcement officers and the department of jail county and transit through the county and lee county. they literally tried to kill me to stop my testified against my arrests officer through discrimination, through my spurt chill belief as a christian, i mean in the circumstances, i've been through so many. i've relieved to my mother's home in madison, wisconsin, to the arrival back home. i wanted to know how it would be in the situation to handle this and knowing the circumstances through the state of florida and now arriving back home in the state of wisconsin. >> sentiment there about relations with the police. >> host: you know, the previous caller talked about the military. in the military, i think it's one the most racially
6:45 pm
progressive institutions in the country. one the reasons why they don't let any bias or bigoted attitude stand. it's questioned, turned inside out, people's assumptions are washed out in front of everyone else and people are expected to deal with their own inner demons on this. i think that type of work would be really quite helpful in other institutions in our country. one of those institutions certainly are in police departments around the country that deal with these issues. because you can -- you can have police officers who just see black and assume bad trouble or criminal. and if those attitudes do exist, those have to be dealt with, washed out, and changed. >> i mean, i absolutely agree. you know rodney king, can't we all just get along? i thought to my myself when the last caller phoned in, i think it's important to also bring about the fact and make sure that people understand it's not always just white, for example, police officers who see somebody
6:46 pm
black and assume they are engaged in criminal conduct. sometimes we see that with african-american police police s as well as. so it's a real -- it is a real problem within police forces. and we have to find a way to deal with that. but it's not just a matter of whites always been the aggressors. it happens with black police officers as well. >> and it goes to how so much of our country is internalized those attitudes. >> and the stereotypes. >> and the stereotypes. there was a study done 15-20 minutes ago, in which they showed a television report of a crime happening. there wasn't a perpetrator shown. afterwards, they asked people what the memory of that tv story was. and, you know, i think it was 2/3 of the whites who did see a perpetrator thought that that perpetrator was black and half of the blacks who did see or remember a perpetrator thought that perpetrator was black. there wasn't even a perpetrator in the story. people assume there was. most of the people, white and
6:47 pm
black assumed that the perpetrator was black. people have internalized those attitudes. that's why our educational system has to do more. that's why our institutions have to do more. that's why we have to do more in each of the families to try to root out the issues and prejudiceses and the subtle assumptions that people make that ultimately guide our interactions with others. >> half an hour left. couple of calls here. james, green castle, indiana within you are on the air. >> caller: good morning. it was a long time ago when we started having slaves on this continent and it's only been 150 years since they were abolished. usually it takes centuries and centuries for two groups of people to get along. how much progress can we expect to make in a century and a half? >> host: john on the line. >> caller: yes, i wanted to comment. it's easy to see the political just by the expression of your guests on your show this
6:48 pm
morning. but i want to go back on the race, i think it's really evident to see that the democrat party courted gays to put clinton in office, and blacks to put obama in office, and now latinos to get the 2012 vote. >> host: any thoughts from the table? >> quite frankly, the caller is correct. frankly in the system of politics, we have a representative government in the united states. all of our politicians, republican and democratic have an obligation to go out and seek to represent all of us, blacks, whites, hispanics, asians, women, men. that is what part of our political system is all based upon and quite frankly, i personally would be very happy to see republicans working as
6:49 pm
hard as democrats to open the republican party and do everything they can to bring in as many voters as possible. >> let's face it, again, it's not all african-american, hispanics, not all white southerns vote and think the same way. there's a value among the groups that are consistent with the base, that political party is going to try to go and conduct visit. if they go and try to track the african-americans, the republican party tries to get white southerners and fundamentalist christians and evangelicals. they believe that provides the base of the votes that's going to build the support.
6:50 pm
we would prefer that everyone treats each other as an individual. let's face it, the reality of politics, you try to cultivate the base. if the base happens to be racialized, that's part of our history. >> can you add if you are fundamentally disenfranchised, it seems to me as an observer, where we have a republican or democrat, things do not change. you are still disenfranchised and fight the for the dream. my question would be for the truly disenfranchised, why not put yourself and making sure that both party haves to fight and apply. it's a reason why we are seeing many, many more african-americans who are identifying because they say
6:51 pm
neither one the house parties are doing what we want. you have to fight. >> of course, you have to deal with the big issue that ten, or 12, or 13 states in play. nay know california is going to go into democratic or speak to people in harlem, because they know new york is going to go to the democratic party. if there were a way to change up where politician had to go. republicans candidate this is to go and steal, and pry away 5% of the voters in harlem, because they are going to reach them and they have an opportunity to speak to them, that might change up the politics. we don't have it that way. >> more of the words in the congressman in the outlook section of the post. what would king say to obama? as a minister never elected to any public office, dr. king would tell this young leader it is his moral obligation to use
6:52 pm
his power and influence to help those who have been left out and left behind. he would encourage him to get out of washington, to break away from the handlers and advisors and visit the people where they live. he would urge them to meet the coal miners, take the hands of the working poor in the large urban centers, juggling multi. jobs to try to make ends meet -- >> host: caller, you are on. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. my name is lucy, i'm originally from nigeria. it's beautiful to come to the
6:53 pm
united states. i was taken back when i came to the united states to see that racist segregation with them in the united states of america. because we don't know that in africa. we don't know that in such a thing. and what bothers me a lot about these is why. why do we promote the idea of black and white? why do we actually have that? why do we promote? because we look at an idea. you see it is promotion of the ideology, ideology look at the easier. they don't promote the interracial relationship and promote any of that. and promoting is integration. you cannot in any society, the
6:54 pm
minority is always going to be oppressed. you can go to africa, but in a country as beautiful as the united states that accept it and know that mainly humans as opposed to integrate. not to integrate because we are social beings. animals are not to act separate because they are nonsocial beings. i don't understand, my question is why do we promote black and white in the media all the time? >> host: lucy, thanks for taking the time to call in. let's hear from the guests. >> in the sense the caller is correct, we should not be promoting black and white. i believe our moto here is out of many, one. that ises kind of nation that we are trying to build. we are a nation of immigrants. i don't think it's the media that's promoting the idea of separateness or black and white or each race being the ideal. i think what you see by and large in the media and in
6:55 pm
commentary, people discussing and reflecting what we see out in the country. >> and sometimes if you want to reach the ideal of color blindness, you have to have a certain degree of color consciousness. it's through color consciousness that we can address a history that was heavily color consciousness that did bring us enslavement and segregation. you know, integration would have been a wonderful idea. we had opportunities in the country, and we lost them. for example, after world war ii, when the suburbs were created. listen to william cravat, if you open the houses to black people, nobody white would want to come. we had housing policies that kept integration from taking place. in the rise of the subup ban, you had segregation.
6:56 pm
had we been able to adopt that and integrate, we could have written a different hit. we didn't. we are living with the legacy. that's how we create. >> host: on top of the point, there's a tweet. perhaps there's no easy way to answer, are whites more likely to think of themselves as superior regardless of education or wealth or neighbor? >> i have absolutely no idea. i don't look at whites as being the boogy man. i think all races and ethnic background have the ability to do good and some have the ability and prepencety to be evil. i don't think the race determines that. >> good morning. thank you for taking my call. >> host: sure thing. >> caller: i disagree with
6:57 pm
both of your guests. the reason that i do, i don't like the fact that michelle is using black education or blacks working hard as a lack thereof of justification for racism. that's wrong. we should not be making excuses for rakism, white supremacy, or black self-hatred. i disagree with the concept. if the solution to the race relation problem is to eliminate the black race by having the black race up doored by the white race, that's racist too. why can't the white race accept the black race? why do we have to be eliminated or destroyed in order for some kind of equality or race relations to improve. we should be able to exist as a separate but equal race. >> i don't understand how he drew some of the conclusions. i don't say that education
6:58 pm
excludes. i think the point that the caller made, we agree. we want people to be equal. you should be able to be black and be equal. with are looking for all americans to achieve the american dream. my point is in order to do that, you have to have a superior education. there is no excuse for racism. >> i think you end up in dangerous territory about separate but equal. that's what brown versus board of education over turned. no one should look at inferior or equal. >> where it's because of my hair
6:59 pm
or skin color, they are descriptions, but we are equal. we need to move to where race becomes descriptive and not defining. i think people ought to be able to live together and not have restrictions on where they can move. there's the typical example of what happens with integration. some people say integration is the time between when you have an all white neighborhood and an all black neighborhood. what they have found in some white neighbors, the minute black people start to move in, when more black people move in, it becomes a tipping point and why people start to move out. that's unfortunately, because it denies that humanity, that personhood, that individualality of your neighbor and just assumes that your neighborhood is going to be all one way or all of the other. >> host: twitter writes.
7:00 pm
>> host: anything to add to the chat here? >> there are discussions over and over again about the disparities in how people are sentenced for doing crack versus cocaine, my philosophy on this is a little bit difference. this is racial in terms of the sentencing. personally, i believe don't do the crime period. using drugs, or illegal drugs i should say is a crime punishable by, you know, in different ways depending on the state that you live in. if it is legal, don't engage. then there wouldn't be an issue as to who is getting unequal treatment. thipping. it hits rural america. the whole methamphetamine epidemic is so thoroughly tragic. if that were taking place in the inner cities people would be talking once again about the dysfunction of the black community when in fact this is a white rural and often suburben thing.
7:01 pm
so it happens i think law enforcement has tended to focus more on drug crimes in urban areas and therefore have incarcerated and imprisoned and put through the criminal justice system more african americans when really this thing is pervasive all throughout america. so i think in some ways again this goes back to how these crimes are identified and who is ending up in jail for them. host: john calling in from florida. good morning. caller: good morning. i've got to agree with the couple previous callers i think both of your guests are out on the left. obama was supposed to be the great uniter and he is curning out to be i think the great divider which is evidenced by the so-called department of justice led by eric holder who refused to prosecute the black panthers for voter intimidation. a d.o.j. lawyer who became a whibblor said they have a slam dunk case against him but hey
7:02 pm
weren't going to prosecute black on white crime. so how is this supposed to foster any racial harmony? this is only going to foster resentment. and you talk wage disparity because we have a welfare system that was created for the black community and it destroys their incentive to get an education and a job or to start a business. why bother when they can get a check from the government each month? host: a little about president obama's approach currently. guest: look, let's be clear one of the greatest success stories has been the rise of the black middle class. so stop talking about this welfare system and diminishing african desire for education. guest: or ignoring the number of white people on welfare also. guest: it's substantial. these are sort of mends that go out in politics that are really unfortunate and people need to go against them. and in terms of barack obama being a great divider look i think we're living in a very partisan era and again i go
7:03 pm
back to bill clinton. he was impeached and he wasn't convicted but impeached. the divisiveness the partisanship exists. so barack obama walked into it. he i believe sincerely tried to bridge it and was blocked in every possible way. he came wup a health care plan that was probably more republican than it tended toward the republican version of what was being offered in the 1990s when bill clinton tried to move health care along and that was rejected out of hand. so i think people have to see the larger dynamics of partisanship and how that's affecting barack obama's presidency. host: a little more from john lewis.
7:04 pm
jack on the phone from new orleans. glad to have you. caller: listen, i don't know where this sister lives she must be on mars. she is most educated black women men once you go to harvard, pribston they lose it they start thinking about what it could and should have. let's talk about what it is. there's nothing wrong with welfare. the legacy of slavery is not over. and we're all affected. the black race is affected. there's no way that the japanese would hire black man to make a statue of their hero. it does not work. and the reason why we're in a weakened position economically. that's what's really happening for the black man. integration did not help black folks. it destroyed the communities
7:05 pm
because it took them out. the busing was a trip. all they had to do was rebuild the schools and build the communities the way it was not bus them across the town to say that mix them with white people. white people have superior, white people have superior, even obama on the street if he's white he really thinks he's black. so these are some of the thing that is the common folks are facing. so sist gert your head together. host: anybody want to respond? guest: you know, as one black person on the panel today and the caller talking about black people wanting to go to harvard and prince ton i did want to point out that i am a very proud graduate of howard which is a historically black university and probably one of the great ufertes in the country. in terms of what is afflicting african americans that are really faring very poorly during this economic downturn again we have to be realistic
7:06 pm
about where our country stands today. we live in an era of globalization. we live in an era where the jobs that the nation produced in the 1950s is very different than what we see in 2011. and it is going to be very, very different five, 10, 1520 years from now if we are not educated to be able to compete in the global economy, nothing will change. it will be the status quo. that is not a matter of me coming from mars or inn else coming from a different planet. it's the bottom line. you have to be able to compete in a 21st century economy. guest: i agree. education is one of the greatest gifts we can give our society. but i do think there are other issues involved. for example, the creation of wealth in our society and the disparities of wealth. we have seen such an increase in the amount that the rich have versus the poor have and the middle have. the rich really truly have gotten richer over the last two or three decades. that wealth has to start moving its way down to the rest of
7:07 pm
society because if it doesn't it leaves people without a sense that they're making progress, it leaves people making feeling as if they're treading water, as if they can't make progress to move ahead. so if the jobs aren't there, if the good paying jobs aren't there if the communities aren't supported in terms of their schools and the quality of their schools and if we end up with this sort of third world approach to a very wealthy small corner of people and then the rest of americans we're going to be in trouble. so look at the wealth statistics in america. that's one of the keys, toward one of the issues that we do have to address. host: a couple mourcals for our -- more calls for our guests. maryland, richard, good morning. caller: good morning. look, i just want to say that the commentary that we've heard so far is excellent and thanks for taking my call. but i think the media, the television and radio media has a lot to do with the problem of separation of the races today.
7:08 pm
that is at the level that it is today. freedom means being able to speak your mind but i don't believe freedom means being able to collaborate to put out half truths and untruths. and what i'm hearing a lot today is a number of sound bites that skew a particular instance, situation, et cetera. host: is there one thing you heard in the last couple of days, couple of weeks that struck you? caller: not necessarily in the last couple of days but i can give you a situation where a person on the radio said that the number one thing that they wanted to do was not let barack obama get anywhere near the white house. and then start explaining why. and i think that the reason that he gave for enticing
7:09 pm
people to think a certain way, which of course you have your freedom to speak what's on your mind but a lot of the information that was given is not true. so doesn't the media have a responsibility to speak the truth when they're speaking to so many different people around the country? host: thank you. and we know the media is a very big thing. obviously the difference between what's reported and what's other people are allowed to say in this world that we have. but any thoughts on media in general? guest: i was listening to the caller and i was thinking about that great black and white movie mr. smith goes to washington. and you think about the vast majority of the american public that watches television, radio, reporting listens or watches to quote/unquote opinion journalism and i think all americans are sit back and they look at the media and they say can't we just get the truth?
7:10 pm
or could you at least report just report the facts and let me draw my own conclusion. i think all members of the media actually try to do their best but we're living in very interesting times with 24 hour a day cable television, radio, and the mass growth of opinion journalism today. host: we have a professor of communications with us. let's hear from him. guest: it would be nice if much of the media would be able to replicate conversations like this and have that on all day. but unfortunately most of the media is a profit-making business that depends on viewers and how do you attract viewers? often through conflict, controversy, drama and anger. and sometimes it's those angriest voices that get rewarded with a platform in the media because it makes for good television. so that can tend to distort what people are thinking and people tend to think that the extremes are more prevalent and more pervasive than they really are. a lot of people in america just want to sit down, break bread
7:11 pm
and have a conversation and scuts thing in a way that rational americans can sort of talk with each other. i don't think most of the media afford those opportunities. host: if we were sitting here five, ten, 20 years from now having these same kmbingses, what do you suspect at this point we would be talking about? guest: i think we would be talking about all of this in a historical context. i gratly believe that we will see more african americans as president of the united states, president of the united states, we will see more women, we will see women as president of the united states. we will be probably very close to being able color blind society and will probably be looking back and saying how did we ever live the way that we did? i think america will still be the greatest nation on earth and all of this will be behind us. guest: i would hope so. but i think we will see significant progress. as i said earlier i think this next generation is the most inclusive generation our nation's history and i think as they move through and as they
7:12 pm
exercise their own voting rights, as they help to shape institutions, families, schools and communities, we will see us moving much more toward that promised land that dr. king spoke about. but i don't think we'll ever be free of our history at least in the next 20 or 30 years. the next 20 or 30 years. we still live with sort of a legacy that can be manifested in unemployment and wealth statistics, in scoot, in some angry voices in the media. i don't think we'll be free of that but we need to continue to have these discussions because again this was our original sin race and slavery. and as a nation we always have to be conscious of it constantly talk about it and constantly hold ourselves accountable to the ideals that were undermined by that original sin. host: our guests, leonard stine horn coaudsor of by the color of our skin. also professor of communication at american university here in washington. also michelle bernard, be
7:13 pm
7:14 pm
henry kissinger
7:15 pm
next a portion of the recent association for unmanned hinkle systems conference in washington, d.c.. in this segment you will hear from the chief of naval operations admiral gary roughead among others. it's from earlier this month. it's about 40 minutes. [applause] >> thanks, john, for the introduction, and i'm also here to reclaim our national honor. as many of you who may know followed world cup soccer women fought valiantly but lost to the women's team of japan, our great friends and allies, but the uneasy sponsored soccer team
7:16 pm
defeated japan yesterday so i think we are even in that regard it's good to be here. i was so pleased to see the response this generated and the number of people who had signed up for the week and it's indicative of the interest and the promise that the unmanned systems of all varieties portend for the future. the last time i was with you i talked about how i believed unmanned systems would continue to move into the spotlight, and today i would like to spend a little bit of time addressing our view and the approach we've taken and the expectations that we have on our plate there's no question those of you who follow
7:17 pm
the national security issues defense issues that were fighting and fiscal realities i believe are going to drive us more rapidly and in a much more focused way beyond our traditional platforms and to the inclusion of unmanned systems. a clearly in the navy's case without the work and the commitment that there were office of naval research has done over the years has kind of kept the pot stirred if you will we wouldn't be in the position we are today but clearly it was that sustainment of the zero and r and then in the last couple of years in the case of the navy where we have reorganize ourselves and we have looked at how we wanted to come at the unmanned systems and how we can move from many of those programs into our m to six or director of information dominance. i don't believe that we would have been able to achieve the
7:18 pm
things that we have done. but it's also important to acknowledge the contributions, the interest and the confidence of the technical community of academia and how they have been able to bring that intellectual power to bear in the world of unmanned and there is no question that industry deserves great credit for continuing to pursue many of the initiatives that we see operating in the battle space today. but i would like to touch a little bit on how we see the unmanned systems operating in what you've been referring to during my time as the chief made alterations operating in that we that we can provide the nation with the best offshore options that are available to the commander-in-chief and those offshore options active today.
7:19 pm
very busy today and i would submit for a pivotal a few months ago i was getting some remarks and someone asked me about the maritime strategy that we had issued about four years ago. was it still relevant, did it still a matter in the world in which we live today. that was on the eve of our operations into libya. i knew we were going into libya, it wasn't in the public domain but as i try to formulate the answer i just have this vision of our navy at that moment in time. as some of you in a way of our maritime strategy we said that we would be a force that was forwarded. we would be a deterrent force would project power, we would control the sea and the areas where we needed at that moment in time. we would conduct maritime security operations and provide humanitarian assistance and
7:20 pm
disaster response and on that particular evening our ballistic missile submarines were on patrol as the nation's most survivable deterrent force the two aircraft carriers were in the middle east as the changes were sweeping through that area. in every ocean of the world and on every continent so those were checked. we were moving ships and submarines into the position to make the initial attacks until libya that took on the air defense system with our ships and with our submarines. the ships and submarines were also providing the seek control of the area in the area if you and further east you were able to see the united states navy working with friends and partners in the somalian basin attacking piracy in that area. maritime security. and then there ronald reagan on its way to the combat deployment
7:21 pm
in the middle east within 24 hours shift over and was providing humanitarian assistance to the people of japan in the wake of the tsunami. so my answer to the gentleman asked me the question is yes it is relevant, it is active it is viable and it does provide those offshore options that the nation will need in the years ahead and is able to be done without any footprint at short. as often complimented for the navy because of how fast we are able to respond and we are able to respond quickly because of the great skill and confidence and initiative of our sailors who are deployed today about 65,000 of them. but the key to that speed of response is also the fact that we are always there.
7:22 pm
we are present in every ocean of the world we are standing by in those areas where conflict or disorder is likely to occur in the sat presence that gives the nation this field will be increasingly important. but in all of those things i just talked about i think it's important to recognize that and all of the operations that we conducted a hour communications were not challenged, the command and control our forces were not challenged and there was no real threat to our ability to access those areas. and so we in a way were never challenged and how we wanted to operate and what we wanted to do in those particular circumstances. those days are not always going
7:23 pm
to be the case. there will be challenged. there will be systems that will be a raid against military forces that want to be little to come into an area that will challenge the command and control that will challenge our ability to gain access and for that reason i believe the unmanned systems will play an even larger more critical and more crucial role in the years ahead, particularly in those contested environments. that's not to say that what we're doing with our unmanned systems today is not important, is not relevant and is not having an impact the bans, the aircraft demonstrator that were sent to the middle east a couple of years ago just to see how we would work has yet to come home. it's not broken it is just that no one wants to let it go because of the value that it provides in sensing the battle
7:24 pm
space there. with the flyers got on mant helicopter we deployed that for two years ahead of its initial operating capability. it's an important step that i will talk about leader and in fact also that system for the navy was procured to operate off of the ships it is operating at the shore and afghanistan and there's an additional demand for the fire scuds to support the operations there. and without those initial the planets, the early deployments we wouldn't have been able to get those systems in the hands of our operators and in the hands of our sailors so that we can learn operationally help to use unmanned systems we've made good use of the shallow water mining systems in the vicinity of iraq and the waterways there as we participated with our
7:25 pm
iraqi friends in opening up the waterways and harbors that are absolutely critical to their economic viability. and we've also used them extensively and all under water searches for example in the helicopter of the case of san diego and i also have the great pleasure of going to the oceanographic institute and see the work they are doing there and how they use the leading edge technology to find the data recorders from the air france flight from the mid ocean without any specific location information we were able to use the systems in that regard and of course the oceanographic community is using the gliders and extensive ways of increasing awareness of the underwater battles based. but even with all of that i think that it's true to say, and i won't sugarcoat anything, that
7:26 pm
many of the systems still operate on the periphery of the naval operations and i would say of all of the unmanned systems operate on the periphery of all the operations in which we conduct. they clearly are not optimally integrated into the ship's into our squadrons and to our concept of operation but the pace of development, the culture that we tend to have within the military in deed with any large organization and the need to this point or why we have not seen that optimal integration those are three things that in my time in doing this have seen as the impediments. but i do believe as i alluded to earlier that the growing antiaccess area denial capability that we see coming on the importance of the activity and the undersea domain will cause us to have to focus and
7:27 pm
put more energy and purpose into bringing the systems to their because quite frankly, we don't have time to let things language along and find their way into our operations at a comfortable pace. and we also can't allow the work that we do, the experimentation that we do, the research that we do with unmanned systems to be viewed solely as an unman the problem. that is one of the reasons, the main reason in the white we push the early deployment of some of our systems. we look at technological means that we need and a look at how the system itself works it is so important, so important to me that we get these systems in the hands of the operators so they can blend them into the operation and the environment and learn from that because there's an operational level of
7:28 pm
learning that has to go on in addition to the technical level of learning. i also believe we don't have time to treat how we think about and how we move information around as an afterthought to the system. that has to be part of the architecture and which we envision and of the imagine how the systems are going to play into the battle space. and from the outset that i have always believed that it's not a question of unmanned systems and mant systems and how we program for and body in the development of research in those two individual lanes for me it has been an issue of looking at the battle space in which we will operate and then looking at the often all blend of man and unmanned and how they complement the author and not take away from the other. those are the things we have to sink about. and so our approach has been one
7:29 pm
that has looked at the unmanned systems that allows us to move forward with systems and concepts and ideas that have a great deal of commonality that then we can take some of that and tayler gaddafi and perform a certain mission, and whether that is in the large diameter, the persistent underseas surveillance system and the work that we are doing i think that allows us to take some of the systems, the broader commonality that then we can also parse them down into the needs of the operators. i also would say that we have pressed quite hard on bringing the x47 into our thinking in the navy. my staff knows the first flight of the s 47i was like an expectant father as in all cases
7:30 pm
when systems like that or feel that you may get ready to fly in there will be a little glitch that he will want to check out that may delay the flight a few hours or a day. i was on pins and needles and i have no idea why it was that particular event in the tour as the chief of naval operations that causes me to be so focused, so excited and so enthusiastic. probably because in my mind it truly doesn't portend a significant change in the of vintages and the power and versatility of the naval carrier aviation because if we can blend the a man on an aircraft carrier and the man on and on command aircraft carrier we change the naval aviation in a wave but that hasn't happened in decades.
7:31 pm
i will also see as an organization and i would to this earlier the culturally we are often slow to about we tend not to want to pull these innovative solutions and to the way that we do things we struggle to answer the needs and new ways even though we know that there is a compelling argument to get the systems out there, and that's why i believe the approach that we have taken, the reorganization and the great young leaders, some of whom you see here in the audience today are the ones that we will carry us forward. if an industry doesn't bring new ideas to us because we don't ask for them i think that there reveals an acquisition system that doesn't accept failure and isn't eager to learn from its
7:32 pm
mistakes. which i think is a huge shortcoming of our system. failure is not bad. not learning from the failure is bad but failure is not a bad. resistance getting to like to speak to fleet. and in the time that it takes us collectively to get an idea into the system and get it out into the fleet i think represents again a risk of the first culture and an old set of process these that are not geared to the age in which we live but it's also worthy to note that even though we have had the fires out deployed be deployed to the usher in afghanistan to the troops they're using it that is an item
7:33 pm
that a fire scout was shut down in combat. all of the positives tend to be glossed over. all of the lessons that we are able to learn by playing two years earlier to shape our thinking for the future that seems to be minimized and i believe that that is indicative of thinking and process these that are not helpful to our future we also have operational tests and evaluation regimes that from time to time more often tends not to be able to deliver the integrated and the interoperable systems that were going to need. again, come devotee stovepiped look at how we are bringing the systems and to play and not being able early on to determine the interoperability issues and
7:34 pm
solutions and the integration challenges that we know that we will face. we have to think differently about how we do that because if we fail, what happens is the systems did put on the backs of our sailors and if we can struggle through the process they are the ones that have to fight through the inability for systems to work together a think that more of those in uniform and those of us who are in the department can do a better job of our articulating requirements, stating those requirements and working closely with the research community and with industry to make sure that we get those systems delivered quickly and can work our way through the rapid fielding. because it's so important at this time because i really do
7:35 pm
believe that in the few times in history have we been presented with with the technological opportunity and the we that we are today particularly in the area of the unmanned systems and the operational construct and we have to get our heads around that and make sure that we are addressing that in the right way i think to close with a couple of points with great importance for me you all were their last year when i cast the net likely to continue the pursuit of high-density underwater power that clearly is something that would be a danger for us and i encourage and speech read all of those that have been part of bringing options to the navy so that we can look at what the best way ahead is and just in
7:36 pm
the short time that we have been advocating for increased power we have seen the times rise remarkably and we need to continue to do that. i think that there should be increased attention paid on the use of the open architecture and how we can take advantage of that began to increase the rapid fielding of the systems. and as i have always said from the very beginning, there is no such thing as an unmanned system. that there will always be people in the loop and the process as in some numbers in some way, and the environment in which we are going to be an whether it is the risk environment, the nature of the antiaccess strategies for the fiscal environment that we are going to be an, we cannot afford to simply take an operator out of the vehicle,
7:37 pm
declare victory when we put 50 additional people in the back room. the cost of people in the future will only continue to rise, and we have to make sure the systems that we are putting together, the integration, the interoperability takes advantage of how do you bring down the number of people associated with operating the systems and i did on for the future. but with all of the shortcomings that i have highlighted i do believe we in the navy we every imagined our future, we have restructured our selves, and we've put the right leadership in place to take us there. and again, i appreciate the work that is done in all dimensions of this exciting area that will help us deliver on that promise
7:38 pm
of technology, the promise of technology that is not an end onto itself but the technology that must be integrated into how we will take our forces into the future, how we will take over forces anywhere on the planet where we want to go for the good of the nation and operate in an integrated and in a safe and effective manner with our friends and partners wherever they may be. so thank you very much for your time and efforts and what i would like to do now was open up for a few minutes for any questions you may have. thank you very much. [applause] at the beginning of your speech you said you think that the
7:39 pm
climate will drive and the development and the systems i wonder if you can elaborate on that particularly in light of what you said at the end of their having to make kind of a business case reducing the number. >> getting the budget environment will drive the development as long as we see them as an integrated force of the unmanned systems for example and i will use the underwater world as where i put a lot of effort and a lot of false recently i believe that unmanned underwater systems become extensions to the submarine can become extensions of the manned or unmanned sensing the battle space and if you were to ask me if you can extend your sensing
7:40 pm
areas with unmanned systems my initial reaction is we can get their cheaply that if i have to buy many of the more mant systems but also reduces the risk to the personnel and the cost of the personnel that we may have to have out who have limited duration unlike unmanned systems that can be more persistent in the battle space. and so that's why we look at how we want to structure how would we want to build the programs that i believe we can get more bank for the buck by integrating the unmanned and manned networks yes, ma'am. it's such a wonderful history of the disaster related particularly with the supply where we see the will of the unmanned underwater vehicle for
7:41 pm
the disasters. >> for example, you can use the unmanned systems to sample water in the event of a disaster not unlike what we saw in fukushima where there were the concerns about the contaminants. there is no question that as you conduct a major humanitarian assistance operation whether it was the tsunami of indonesia i've recently returned from chile where i spent some time with the office for and as you're trying to close and bring in a significant amounts of and yet, the bottom is like any more with the deaths are. they can sense the bottom and
7:42 pm
can at the bottom and the information tells us where to go, where not to go, so i think that can be. and i would say those are some of the areas that show great promise and quite frankly the technology is there today to be able to do that. yes, sir, in the back. >> thank you for coming to speak. my name is gregg. we've developed autonomous rhode craft and i'm interested in your thoughts on the shipping board aircraft, the trade between the larger and more capable costly aircraft versus the more plentiful and less costly more autonomous aircraft. 64. i think that is one of the other areas where a couple of years ago we made another decision that is reflected in our programs that you see today.
7:43 pm
there was early on i believe in what i would call the explosion of unmanned air systems that everyone wanted to get into the game of the most active system at the time i was looking at our budget and at the capabilities that we had, and i began to look at the future that we would encounter. for me it became important that we in the navy focused on our strength which is coming from the sea. and so we were investing in the airborne systems the required us to the shore that required us to have additional manpower structure to be at the short that required us to be able to train those people and how you live a sure we are pretty good
7:44 pm
living at the sea. we've been doing it for a while now and we are kind comfortable there as well and the systems we would pursue with the exception of the man's would come from the sea because as i mentioned in the beginning of my remarks, that offshore option is going to become increasingly important. it's going to become increasingly important for two reasons. the introduction of the antiaccess area of denial strategies and systems where there will be an effort to keep the military forces out of a particular area and the naval forces option allows you to move and change to the different access but it's also going to be important politically because i believe the future will be one
7:45 pm
where the sensitivities of the sovereignty, the nation's desire to control its own land to be able to focus on that which is theirs the idea of the large footprints short, basis of short-term improved facilities assure may not be a guarantee as we have become used to over the past years. and so the ability to have these mobile u.s. sovereign bases whether you call them the aircraft carriers or in the case of the rotorcraft whether it is a small destroyer that allows that kraft to use as its landing field just a small spot in the ocean i think that is going to become increasingly important. the question on the different sizes and the cost relative to the size is will be one in my mind of payload and endurance
7:46 pm
and that is how we will look at that future. but the fact is that we have a lot of airfields in the navy that have a very small landing areas. that's where the voters aircraft comes into play. can we get more payload, can we get more range, can we get more speed and that's where we have to go, but the vertical landing and takeoff will continue to be important to us because of the large number of landing fields that we feel in the navy have the sovereign u.s. territory that we don't have to ask for the flight rights or ask for the basing rights, we don't have to ask for access. it's there, we can put it wherever we want. >> yes, sir?
7:47 pm
>> i've been an operator since the early and the players over the last 20 years you have by far been the most impressive and motivational when it comes to the employment of unmanned systems. >> i will ask a question or two. >> first of all, from your perspective how would you like to see the acquisition process in proved to expedite the development and fielding of the unmanned systems, and on a fielding side can you share with us your thoughts on how you mentioned the fire scouts we do the scanning on the ships but what are your thoughts about how we could expedite more forward deployed forces. >> thank you. first off, i would say that we
7:48 pm
really need to take a look at now this is in the acquisition system. i think that we need to take a look at how we can better engage with can't collaborate with the industry early on and we sense ourselves away my experience has also been even our friends in the industry may say we would like to collaborate more when i say i'm going to bring the companies into the room along with the company via den av and the industry gets a little sensitive because of the proprietary information and the like and i understand that the fiscal environment we are going to be in we have to figure out a way to be able to do that, and we have to take a look at the constraints, both official and cultural that inhibit that from happening. i would also say that we should look at ways to work our way
7:49 pm
through the operational test and evaluation process faster, with less cost. i don't for a moment to get cavalier about safety issues for people or effectiveness, but i really do think that we have bureaucratize that process fairly well. and we have to think about how we move things more quickly. i will cite the example of what we wanted to with the next role of the amana carrier aircraft where we put a challenge out and to depart from that large and indeed the industry where we said that we would deploy a squadron come squadron yet to be defined as the far as the number goes on an aircraft carrier to
7:50 pm
operate by 2018. there was a time in our country when we elected to put a man on the moon in ten years and it became a passion, it became a matter of national pride. in the case of putting a squadron of unmanned aircraft on a carrier and eight years it was deemed too fast. and i think we have to get ourselves out of that mind set of too fast to conform to a process as opposed to saying we can do this and then we mobilize the resources we have in the intellectual power that we have in the industrial agility that we have to do it. but instead, we have retreated to the bureaucratic process that in my mind is an inhibit if.
7:51 pm
i will stop there because i can see myself getting pumped up here. [laughter] >> good morning. >> good morning. university of washington political science. >> you are right at home, here. >> it's very interesting. i was wondering in addition to this the nation is spearheading what sort of efforts does the navy engage in to provide the new guidelines for the creating of legal and ethical framework for integrating unmanned systems and to the new battle states? >> one of the things that we have done and i don't want to inflate this bigger than it is, but when we created our way ahead and what we are calling information dominance, the restructuring of the staff and the navy to the director of information dominance, the activation of the fleet for the global operations and the
7:52 pm
organization of all of our people in the navy who deal in the world of information into an information dominance core, those are the three things that tend to be the main points of this strategy of our way ahead. but there is an obscure thing we did that many people are not aware of, and that is that within the office of the judge advocate general, we created another element that deals with the law, and from that how we deal with rules of engagement which really get to the essex and the escalation, the escalation mechanisms, and the conflict to be able to begin to think our way through that because i think whether you are
7:53 pm
talking in in the unmanned systems or in terms of cyber activity, we are putting a lot of effort, a lot of talk, a lot of money into the technical side, and we are not looking enough of the policy side which gets to your question. and so, by creating and in educating people in this new area for fair and the rules of warfare how we can act that i think the more complex of the two is the cyber dimensions simply because of the body of law we deal with and how do you work your way through that. i think in many cases that we are making a bit more out of the ethics of the unmanned than i can see, and i look forward to having more time to explore that
7:54 pm
on my own, but life and that -- but i think that we are making a little bit more of that and probably should be at this point. over on the right. thank you for a much. >> hello, sir thank you for taking the time to come and talk to us. i have a question regarding the object as the chair of the council and with the navy and the challenges we see taking the opportunities for the unmanned assistance it's getting a lot of attention especially for the energy background. >> thank you very much. i would also see that in the arctic is getting a lot of attention and the navy about
7:55 pm
three years ago we established a task force on the climate change and not just to address the arctic but the changes the would take place around the planet and how does it affect the maritime domain, where would induce, where will it provide the potential areas of cooperation, but the arctic is one that we have had significant focus on the past couple of years, and i think that initially as i see it, the first press seven that region will be for fishing as the fish followed the water and go up there and this will then lead to questions of how do you monitor and how do fun nations enforce their rights in their regimes and the arctic areas. there will also likely be increased search and rescue
7:56 pm
activities, so to the question posed earlier can you use unmanned systems to enhance your ability to respond to the search and rescue as you get into the next step, which i think is going to be the exploration and mineral extraction and oil and gas extraction how do you make sure that you are able to monitor the environmental issues and on a thing of the unmanned systems can provide great information so that we can better understand what we are doing to the environment as many of these activities are taking place and then our estimate is about 25 years you will have a viable and profitable transportation route across the top of the planet like all the opening of the ocean and what sort of communications to you
7:57 pm
need, what sensing schemes do you need and i believe that even as we look at an open architect, the conditions there are still going to be harsh and challenging and it's still going to be quite cold which will challenge the human dimension to be able to offer it up there for any great length of time. and again, i think this is an area where the unmanned systems can play not necessarily as a system of military capability, but one of sing sing and information and communications that in that environment will be the optimal way to the problem. but clearly a very focused area for us, and i appreciate the leadership and the intellectual effort that is taking place on behalf of your country and what is going to be an extraordinary moment in the history of mankind
7:58 pm
as that ocean opens, the first to open since the end of the ice age which i consider to be a pretty big deal. so, well, thank you very much. thank you for the work that you do and i will look for to fall when the great work of this organization and all of those involved in the amana systems. thank you. [applause] thank you. ♪
7:59 pm
♪ ♪

51 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on