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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 29, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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up next on booktv, toure looks at race, concept of post-blackness at an event at busboys and poets in washington d.c. here he opens his presentation by reading from his book, "who's afraid of
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post-blackness?." this last about an hour. >> it is from the two 2008 stand up routine kill the messenger and it's about alpine, new jersey, the posh town we lived in a multimillion dollar zone. his neighbors include marriage jay bystrom and patrick here eddie murray. he are or were among the best in the world at their profession, legends in their line of work. they're also the only four black homeowners in town. then he says his next-door neighbor is the way dennis. he's the best dentist in the world brock says. he ain't going to the dental hall of fame. he's just a gangster to that dentist. he spells out the points with a devastating punch line. the black man got a fly to get something the white and can walk to. he's saying that in modern america blacks can ascend to the upper class, but they have to face a much more to get there because white supremacy remains
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a tall barriers to entry. the fact that a few incontestable cracks his way of advancing the idea that white supremacy does not exist an attempt to mask its awesome power because binet tricks doesn't want you to know it was there. how can someone argue that alpine new jersey is racist when poor black families lived there welcomed by the community and an arrest by police? this is a fake argument. extraordinary blacks to be welcome anywhere and now pentothal itself is not racist as it doesn't need to be. there's institutional systems that keep the number of blacks in alpine and beverly hills another use of community flow but not so low that jesse jackson can commemorates iraqis. it's like releasing heirs of the bottle doesn't explode. it's a slippery beast and his father or grandfather were. it has ways of making waves do not exist which can drive you crazy train to prove its existence. it's a powerful force in the
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postdoc experience that combines a sense of you don't belong here at historic racism hot with the centrifuge of the spy and create for some doubles bargain. you may ascend higher on the latter is a power previous generations and blacks could've imagined. when you >> into the glass ceiling he don't get as high as the fisher go, it will still drive you crazy and show you that your ability is not fully respected. blackness is expanding a broadening of black opportunities are improving, but we also must deal with the crushable called racism and has a pernicious impact on the modern black persona. modern racism that aren't on your ipod sets are the most mind blowing analogies i've ever encountered like the president pardoning one turkey each year before thanksgiving. in a 2004 speech at the world social forum in mumbai, india he broke it down. in ceremonial mag and enmity,
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president tears one particular bird and eats another one. after receiving the presidential pardon, the children wanted to live out its natural life. the rest of the 50 million turkeys raised for thanksgiving are slaughtered and eaten. the company that is when the presidential turkey contract says it trains the lucky birds to be sociable come interact with dignitaries school children in the press. [laughter] that is how new racism in the corporate era works. a few carefully bred turkeys come at the local elites of various countries, community of wealthy immigrants investment bankers, the eventual colin powell or condoleezza rice, singers, writers like myself are given absolute assertion in a pass to frying pan park. there many million lives or jobs are infected from their homes and have water and electricity connection cut and die of aids. basically, they are for pot.
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the fortunate dollars in frying pan park are do just fine. some even work for the imf and world trade organization world trade organization soon can accuse those organizations of being anti-turkey? some service board members on the committee silken fake turkey for thanksgiving? who can say the poor are anticorporate? there's a stampede to get into frying pan park. the post like air is a response to the rise in the number who live in or alpine new jersey, the post-blackness is no wonder drug that can cure or even significantly offer american white supremacy. the post like era suggest to me that what it needs to be black is broadening to infinity, but does not mean racism is over, the way supremacy is lain down this unimpeachable field. remains a daily fact of life for blacks and a key component in shaping who we become his people
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even in the post like era. indeed where racism in our parent or grandparent generations is plainly visible, modern racism often seems to function like evaporating smoke, clearly visible and impossible to grab onto. as a member of blacks in frying pan park slope, as the empirical data that attempts to argue racism no longer exists even though you know it does. the cognitive dissonance of that consciousness can make you feel crazy. during target as a security guard following you? you're not sure. you think he is, but she can't be certain. maybe he is commending he's not. maybe he's found another black person you can't see. that is probably following you. or is he? they were falling you in the last or you could see it, but you could feel it. maybe the card is black. but the cards boss is a black or maybe he is. maybe they're watching all the blacks in the storm are closely. maybe the guard himself feels
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that way about the directive that has to follow because they're watching him, too. they be what you feel are his fishing sides is this the same to you a sound signal of apology from following you. or maybe now you're just looking for tylenol for migraine were not unique with teeth base. and that's one of the basic examples of racism. nothing of the constellation of anxieties that can flash their human stakes are high, when you apply for a job are competing for a promotion or pint to a school, buying a house are asking alone. when you wonder if the white person who appeared less qualified got the promotion because they were actually better than you are better at networking upper management or someone wrongly assumed you're not as good because you're black or dr. marc lamont hill said they're sort of existential angst that black people experience everyday. you walk around the store and just once in sox in the process you read about the security guard, whether he is following
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you and you either get angry or make sense of it somehow, that you haven't had to undergo some in a psychological process is just between you and no socks that it's tacking on the spirit and on the intellect. we squander so much time dealing with those issues that we miss out on opportunities to do other good stuff like expanding, growing, developing and so forth. columbia professor patricia williams told me there's nothing black people would like more than to be happy in the world and on the freedom to go through the world without being constantly self-conscious. but that's nearly impossible. neither the storekeeper is going at you because he's tired and having a bad day and it's nothing to do with you or he doesn't want as close to be seen in the world under black toddy. you just can't know. officer williams said that is the necessary nuttiness of racism and it kind of defensiveness is just a consequence of what we have to negotiate. i don't think that his victim had. she compares the necessary nuttiness of racism, but not in fun house mirror untouchability of racism to one day in my
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school in some of center bouquet of from ballantine didn't find them. i went through the entire rest of the day smiling at people because it could've been this person, could have been that person. i loved everybody. well, prejudices the same thing into negative degree. when the moment of racism occurs, especially a subtle one you find yourself walking around distrustful of their own way, wondering who else feels that way. this is often what the face of modern racism is. invisible or hard to discern, lurking in shadows or institutional inequities and even racial profiling can be hard to see a times and can be easily dismissed by dissenters. modern racism is an amorphous speech. dr. john jackson at the university of pennsylvania said this idea there is a sort of cliché vision of some of his races some of his races from the time they brush their teeth in the morning and only thinks about ending the life of every black person isn't the only way
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to talk about racism looks likely to category view are racist or not isn't useful. what is more useful is to get people to think about the ways in which we perpetuate the racial differentiations and inequality on purpose or inadvertently to reduce differences that we see every day. unless you tell me there is some biological hardwired reason by people of color and academic institutions or people serving you food or cleaning the bathroom are not necessarily in the customs teaching classes, you have to be honest with yourself about all the ways in which there is a privilege that occurs to people. one of the things we need to do is recognize racism or subliminal, racism or subject given racism are subtle and the contemporary moment. we need to find a way to articulate that subtlety because there are very few smoking gun, thank god anymore. i asked my 105 interview is what is the most recent thing that ever happened here? the response i receive most
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often was indicative of modern racism. the answer is unknowable. aaron mcwhirter said i imagine it would be a thing i don't even know of are happening. it would be the opportunity that ever manifested and i'll never know is even possible. the decision is made in a back room as some of them never see about whether or not you get a home -- homeowner jobber admission to school or perhaps you will never be allowed to note that a home in a certain area were jobs available. this is how modern institutional racism functions and it can wait on an shape a black person differently than the more oversimplistic racism of the past. people tell me the most racist thing that ever happened to them is unknowable gave me the answer quickly. it's in the front of their minds for secret incident of racism have been behind their back. they walk around constantly aware of racism is a ghost in the machine following them come and that demand even though they can't see to know it's taken away. there's the sake of monopolists
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screwing with you often out of sight, never mind. dr. elizabeth alexander but an original palmetto pumice inaugurations had the most racist thing that ever happened to me would be a continual underestimation of my intellectual ability and capacity in the real insidious aspect of that kind of racism is we don't know half the time when people underestimate us. we don't know what people are cut out of something because they are unable to see us at full capacity. i presume that happens and how it happened a lot. she pursues this racist miscalculation of her brilliance happens quite often, even though it never makes it so plain. how tragic. i can see alexander walking on the street, and were separate issue one of the day she got anonymous flowers correctly assuming anyone she's passing by or talking to could be looking at her as they cut far below the junior she is. alexander says she fights it by evaluating herself outside the
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judgment of others. how can this daily, hourly battle to constantly quit convince yourself that your ability not become an exhausting mental train. that's just a little of what i'm trying to deal with. [applause] elizabeth alexander provides a really interesting and powerful tool to try to deal with racism and we cannot solve it simply. she talks about having a private view of yourself. so knowing i am brilliant, i am capable, extraordinary, beautiful and not letting the outside world tell you that you're not. and this is very hard because we shape out we see ourselves based on how the world sees us as part of it. but we have to work to get to that place. part of the book is about my journey to get to that place, though they sort of teflon
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self-esteem shield to wear one and it comes up in some name that is the micro-aggression or trick or stereotype threat it bounces off. i say okay, i know you are racist. but i'm not and i think of -- i'm not what you think i am. i think at the moment when i was first in the magazine and i was trying to get a contract there and the guy says to me, we know you can read about run dmc, but could you read about eric clapton? and he's dismissing my ability. you are a good over here in this hip-hop thing, but when we get to the big dogs of music, you are not wanted or valuable or capable. it's an horrendous example because i'm a journalist. i can interview anybody terra-cotta in particular comes from black music. he comes from the blues. he idolizes jimi hendrix, so it
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would be very thoughtful to other black writer cares about the blues of jimi hendrix to interview him. but i think some people may be took that moment and went wow, here's where i am. and that did not happen to me. i heard his assault and said how michael and to counter this? i can't turn you in this room. donovan asked the a question. you're just making an assertion, but i know you're wrong. so how can i change this argument and change this game later on in years later he changed again. never got attacked iraq and, but i did interview other white musicians, so i proved him wrong. >> well, good. >> so i think we've got to diary back because i think so sinister and completely covered to talk about and many, many times in the reading you just said, which goes deep into the book, you mention the phrase
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post-blackness. i think for the c-span on an window to give a brief definition of what is post-black is similar to the term comes from? >> post-black comes from the art world, thelma goldman the great dear reader and the art of scoring together to talk about a group of artists they saw who wanted to be rooted in but not constrained by blackness. they wanted to do with lacquer or tradition, deal of black people black subject matter, but take influence on other things than perhaps not deal with black subjects and traditions in black stories for some time. they wanted to get away from being defined solely by identity to being a black artist is can i need. being an artist who happens to be black is liberating and that's what they wanted. i started to see that in the real world. doing what we want to do it not
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been constrained by the old sort of ideas of this is what a black person does and this is not what a black person does and wanted to explore that more fully. being that i want to get to that in one second. define the difference between post-black and and that sort of december all in serial notion of being post-racial. >> post-racial. the post-racial does not exist. [applause] post-racial suggests race does not matter or maybe it suggests that racism is behind us, that sort of thing. this does not exist in so the word for something that's not really does not exist. post-blackness deals with the complexity of what it means to be black. i think occasionally use the post-racial and art. it does not exist in the real world, but an art. we see an example of gray's
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anatomy were black, latina, asian, white, but she can switch any characters in it wouldn't matter. race doesn't matter in that little world. but in the world like chapelle show, which is dealing much more with what the real world is all about, race matters deeply and you see the complexity of modern race at play. >> you say in the book and for those of you haven't read it, she gives an entire chapter to dave chapelle and the chapelle show and it's the clearest example of post-blackness on television. >> it's an incredibly complex show. we see the racial morphine in the real world. we see multiple ways of performing blackness within one person because a lot of times television sort of call them a preppy sort of black person and present two modes of being of the never vacillate or move
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around. chapelle show specifically in the way and radio episode, but another episodes we see one person giving us multiple modes of blackness because all of us have multiple ways of performing or abiding black nests within us. other aspects of personality when you go with your grandmother come eastward of embody one part of you. when you go if friends come you're doing another part. if your friend site with your grandmother come of it recognize you but that you're being different and vice versa. are not selling out or been entered yourself, you're just recognizing your audience. we do that with gender, race, every part of our personae. >> the wayne brady episode of chapelle show is one of the most billion episodes because as you spell out, all we knew about wayne brady up until that skit was that he was the happy-go-lucky cheerful black guy who had a television show for a little bit. last night and then serious in
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the chapelle show episode being that way rady and then suddenly it's gangster wayne brady. i mean, it's really incredible. i guess you all you always do not episode. >> they are making minced meat of this idea of here is the way that wayne brady is black or the way someone else's bike and it came from a very organic plays dewayne saw dave in beverly hills and he pulled him aside and said he really hurt me last season when paul moody said wayne brady makes bryant gumbel look like malcolm x. [laughter] and meanwhile. you know me better than not. so then they conspired to think of some end i was sort of get at those things. you see wayne cannot it be that person that we know him to be on stage. and they go to a speech or he gets gangster and his attempted murder somebody.
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and all sorts of those things. and he is mimicking denzel washington. he makes chapelle's there's smoke on the breathing tube. it matters that they are playing themselves in a sketch because you see him jump and back and forth and it makes you question who really is going rady? you can see a police officer stopped than an wayne jumps from being denzel washington to back to the corny sort of byron allen sort of black. fastmac the appeaser, he even pulls a microphone so blacks are already ready to perform. and who does the same? dion warwick, who's a little edgy. if he does stevie wonder or marvin not the same. the white cop is loving it and then, he twists his neck and
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drops it to the ground and drops the mike like michael corleone and goes back to being gangster. so i can go back and forth in a hard eve. so don't test me. don't act like i'm some child. i'm bright gumbel and i'm corny and you can put me in a box because i can do this thing over here too. we all have that ability to modulate. >> as you were reading the chapter focusing on racism, it made me think about another chapter in the book, which throughout the book is about this whole prison of sort of real. and it made me think -- i wrote down here come the racism versus keeping it real, whereas races in your self conscious as you call it the white with toure last week. so with racism coming your self
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conscious at the white days, with keeping it real you are self conscious of the black. am i getting this wrong? >> i think that's right. i started dealing in haskell is some of the people started dealing in high school that responding to the weight is one level of maturity for a black person. when you get beyond that, you say i'm not going to respond. i am going to do what i want to do with my life and my persona. there's no response. i'm not flipping them off. i'm not appeasing them. i'm doing what i want to do. that's one level of maturity. the next level of intellectual development of personal development or maturity is when you say i'm going to do what i want to do, i can not flipping them off or try to appease my brothers and sisters, but i will live life the way i wanted some of the things i do will be valuable or interesting to them and maybe some things will not.
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i'm sorry it wasn't interesting to you that i wanted to go skydiving in moscow and i like sushi and i like ballet or opera, but blackness is portable. it goes with the those places and comes back. >> one of the things that gave rise to this was in college when someone came to you and said, toure, you ain't black. tell that story because he says this to you and you have done all these black things. >> yeah, i was living in the blackouts were only three people lived here you had to fight to get in the blackouts. we were standing in the blackouts on this happen. i was a black studies major, dating a black med school student. i was the founder of the black student newspaper i was out of step shows and all the parties, taking sacraments every week in the whole nine. but you know, i wasn't even
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exactly right for him. and maybe was something in the way that i spoke or maybe because i had some white friends or i just wasn't a recognizable black person to head. and he didn't know me. we had never spoken. i didn't even know what his voice sounded like when he rose up to strike me down. so what is the whole question of how you judge me as a bit bizarre. but it was about 2:00 a.m. saturday at any going into sunday. and consistently everybody sort of left and that's what the actual residents of the house to clean up. were not supposed to be janitorial service for the black community and the blackouts. can you help us clean up? a step in the trash because it wasn't even a heated argument at all. and this guy comes out of nowhere and does shut up, toure, you ain't black.
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i mean, we were talking about cleaning up the house. he must've been drunk. >> i would assume. i'm actually waiting for him to jump out but one of these readings. let me tell you another thing. >> you heard about wayne brady? but it was an extraordinarily painful moment. i think a lot of us in this room are beyond the stage of forming our identities so we know who we are. we are comfortable with who we are. but when you're in college, you're an emerging adult and you are still at italy for your identity. for another black person to say to a roomful of black people he went black evenly to these other things, it's very painful and i had no retort. i had a witty response, the argument for him.
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nobody said anything. i was crushed and i turned around and walked away and i said i never cannot talk about this again. i'm never going to think about this again, but i couldn't stop thinking about it. and i stayed up all night thinking about it. what i had to do with soul-searching to get into a place where i understood that may be correct for him, but it is not and i get to define what ian black is for me and he does not and that was the beginning of me saying i'm going to reject this lack gaze and say i get to define it. and because you don't understand this not mean you are right that i'm not black because there's many different ways to be black. it could be there's 40 million black people, 40 million ways to be black. >> i'm just going to open this up to questions from you guys. should they go to the mike's? what do you say we give the audience on stage a first crack
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at it? anybody over here who wants to be first. >> just make sure that your questions are indeed questions and that they are short so as many people can ask a question as possible and for warning because i've given you to warning, i will cut you off if i think you're giving a speech or going on too long. first question. >> i hope this reaches. >> my question relates to keeping our vows -- [inaudible] [inaudible]
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[inaudible] >> i mean, i think that's a really interesting question. we do need to pick our battles because there are issues of racism that will hurt you and their issues of racism that will destroy you and change the contract. their life. when we encountered the foam encountered the foam is where like rick. on some property, where the word maker had was once written in crudely painted over, it just shows his ignorance. i kind of want to roll my eyes. now when we encounter a moment like troy davis getting executed when there's a mound of evidence that same maybe he didn't do it, and maybe we need to think twice about it for going to execute somebody. that is a moment of racism that
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we need to militate against. do we need to deal with the moments that have power behind them to change our lives and not excise every time someone says the word. because most of the stories that people are telling me about what happened to them, they are doing the something more than someone said the word. they couldn't say someone wrote up and called me to add word and rode off. it's annoying, but whatever. but then we don't get a job that you deserve and you know that you are better than jail and you know you've been working there longer than jail and you are like, why did she get the promotion? i know i'm better than her. you have a smoking gun that says this is racism? no you don't, i don't have an answer for you fight that in the workplace because you cannot put your boss and say this is racism because that ends the
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conversation use out. that's not a tactic you can use, but you have to find another way to battle that. >> one more question from the stage. we're going to come to you guys next. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> she's very adamant that they don't care who's white, who's black, his agent, they just don't care. do you know if that's a good thing or bad name? do think it's unrealistic? do these things manifest later? do you think it's on the way to
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this post racial thing? it sounds ridiculous. i [inaudible] >> it is little interesting. one of the things the sociologist, is that the denial of racism is raised as a minion of itself. that is a form of micro-aggression or perhaps macquarie aggression in some cases. look, 12 to 14 of the bitterly to really have that label of racial identity. you know you are black communitywide another people are asian or what have you, but they haven't fully begun to assign things and they also have no power. so i am like they'll catch up. i mean, i know that they are aware of phrase. i had an extraordinary moment. i sent it via a half now. i don't type to him about being black. he's amazing. we are tied to stay in bed i
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haven't not dealing with race and racism. we took him for one of those playgroups that they have when you try to get into a school and all the kids are playing around. he doesn't even play with dolls. other neighbor dorothy began and gained impetus for this action was, but there's for dolls on the shelf that had to re-she get them. and then there is a black dog. he reached out past the white house in grabs the black. i want to play with this one. and i was like wow. that's my boy. [laughter] wrote that story at the baby diary. so i know that there is a consciousness of racism that extraordinarily early age. i don't buy this idea that she's perhaps not even aware of how they are aware of phrase. who else wants to get involved?
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>> you have to come to the night. i [inaudible] [inaudible conversations] >> remember, questions please. >> were going to come back here. i [inaudible] >> array. >> your turn. >> a question from a different era. you are saying that racism still at this. it saint anne come you say we are now in an era where we permit people to have the luxury of liberation to the people individuals. i am trying to understand how you can have that luxury at the
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same time we record nice in our history that the only way racism was defeated was because we had to collect and identity and a really kind of gave his values and vision and to help you define our actions kind of behavior en masse for us. i wanted it done at the individual is in individualism that characterizes america, but at the same time american culture as i understand as much or communitarian and not individualistic. >> i think we can be individually take an communitarian at the same time. i would take issue with the comment that racism was defeated, but i think you're talking about the very specific incidences of racism. i'm writing a piece about some of these issues now. you're talking about the montgomery bus boycott where we banded together and they said no one was not part of that, that would screw the whole machine. okay, we don't have that sort of
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racism anymore. i mean, like what would constitute something? the basic human and civil rights they thought were on, we have now. we enjoy now. so what would be something that we would ban together for that would have a legal force or even moral force that we would need that the unity alone would allow us to supers he? the battles are different now and unity alone is not going to superseded glass ceiling, stereotype threat, even troy davis. even a 40 million of us had marched straight, they still would've done what they wanted to do. so there's two different sorts of things going on here, two different sets of possibilities. the battle now cannot be one with attack takes out before. you know what i'm saying? >> that's all right.
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the difference of opinion is what i'm talking about. >> obama was elected primarily because black people got together. and south carolina -- [inaudible] >> i wanted to know how you define -- how do you define likeness because based upon a quote that i read on an interview that you did with km, basically -- i guess my question is how do you define blackness? it sounds like you define it based upon what i believe is a stereotype, but blackness is like people say you're not white. when i think of true blackness, it's a cultural identity based upon who we are not, basically degradation of blackness.
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so what is the black as you say no longer exists? >> what i'm saying is we all have the ability to define it for ourselves. before there was a multiplicity of visions of what he meant to be black and now there's the multiplicity of multiplicities. part of what we are grappling with intern with the issue is one of the questions they asked everybody is what is the centrifugal force of black mass? what is the theme that pulls us together and unites all of us and not specific to us that breaks us apart from white people? the experience of racism. he en masse, we don't share a culture and certainly not as tautly as we are parents and grand parents. >> but it's because we are an extension. >> one question and one question only. >> i mean, asking people what is
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the thing coyness altogether? nobody had an answer. the question is falling apart and we had to abandon it because no one had anything close to an answer. i think there are a broad set of biological terror or is takes by which we signifies but. but there are some people we know who does signify is black but they are but. there is a shared sense of history, but we all have a different relationship to that and a different relationship with how much you actually know about it. and then we all had the experience of racism. so what has become difficult to say this is something that connects us and this is because of the rapture from africa and the rapture from that basic national culture that we should have had, that we would've had that italians and germans said in jewelry. >> okay. i follow you on twitter and i
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know your tweets. i think you're a credible in your mind is very expansive. i noticed during musical journalist in gc is when your your favorite artists. my question is, how do you feel about international superstars naming their song and word in paris. in other words, saying how do you feel about international black americans superstars using that word so freely and then get upset when other people mock them and say the same thing? >> that's a good question, ask a question. i love that song. it's one of my favorite songs. i actually think the title is brilliant. here's the thing is that when you step on stage and being in a studio is equivalent to being on stage, then the rules change. while i've made a personal decision to not use the word colloquially and jesse jonathan,
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whoever, i don't do that anymore. i did that up until two years ago. when obama came into office i said i don't think this fits anymore for me to be using it, but i'm not proselytizing and telling my brother's not what but when you get on stage as an artist, there are other things that come into play. and i thought in particular, they does in paris was actually really brilliant because he's dealing with i am from the projects. i am from the hood and i ended hair is. and if you came from what i came from, you be in paris, to. and it's extraordinary -- and it's extraordinary -- >> my question is not really that. my question is is their responsibility for international superstars not to use that word? i don't use it.
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i don't want anyone around using it. i know you can't say to them you can't use it, but don't you feel like a son hiding your career that she don't use such an ignorant word? >> i think that the shot value of the word that we still feel is part of what he's doing as a performer, as a person onstage she's trying to get a rise out of the audience. look, i see the value in the word is a performer as an extraordinarily powerful word. look, you know, if i see some white guys are latino guys on the street saying that word, i'm going to check them. you know, what are you talking about? like you should not be playing now. the people onstage come as a a whole different mass. [inaudible] >> you know, you wouldn't have it check those white guys at
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latino guys using the word if their favorite artist wasn't using it in songs of their own. >> you're right, but they should have the intelligence to know that's not for you. and many of them do know that. >> true, but that's a mighty high bar for a lot of folks. >> as i took little bit deeper. i come for me to culture background, both of them black and my connection is ghanaian african-american.x so i have always struggled with what african-americans define as what is being black. one thing i'd boiled it down to invite to get your take on this story is the notion of permission. it's what i've broken it down to. ics is like people, especially men asking permission a lot to
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be men, to be heads of our families, to be in charge, to be who we want to be as a manan first. and then you just happen to beql black. so i think we waste a lot of time asking permission inq, various ways, various ways, some subtle, some over, to be who we want to be in who we need to be for our communities, forq( families and for ourselves. >> i'm not totally sure that i understand the question of the concept of asking permission to be men.qn i see lack men being extraordinarily masculine.q. we talk about the feminization of the american male. you know, i seem asset black egos as a sort of armor against the world that will beat us down and tell us -- that's what iu(q.
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think. >> no, what i am talking aboutqh is being in a multiculturalqñ holding backqh back here,ewhereah maybe i don't feel like ims high on the man totem pole as the other race of men. and i see it a lot in our black men, no matter how much or they. may be. >> i don't know if i fullyq. understand or i definitely don't agree that black men think we are left on the totem pole. a psychologist talk to me that we understand this black people at the outside world sees us as lesser, but we know that's a lie. so we are not fooled by that fallacy. last rebuttal. >> quick example. divorce or baby mama situation, can't go see my child because the man has a border out and i
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have two adhere to this and that. the man -- this is my take. the man, go see her son, go see your daughter like men do. do you all need to ask permission to do what men do? i just wanted your take on that. >> okay, okay. >> young lady. >> so you discuss how black art, particularly black music contributes to a class of identity and no one can deny what michael jackson and jimi hendrix has contributed to a mainstream idea of black. as you've also discuss how music is not consumed the same way today it was 50 years ago. there is no if you turn mafic musical moments that really defined an era. so do you think that music has the same impact on racial
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identity now than it did 20, 30 years ago? >> she's referring to an essay i just wrote on salon.com wideness the monoculture. i'm talking about as far back as the early 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, the systems of distribution of culture allowed there were fewer artists in front of all of our eyeballs at one time. so somebody could become a massive celebrity and a massive icon. and think about the moment when trailer came out and it was like everybody white and black was listening to these at the same time. i experienced the same thing when nirvana's nevermind came out and almost everybody was listening to nevermind. dr. dre's the chronic did the same thing. there's other albums we can talk about. james brown has this massive impact on all of us. the system of cultural distribution now has changed because before you were born, there were three television
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stations. [laughter] said the next day, everybody would talk about what was on johnny carson. now there's a list nations. if everybody watching the same thing? now, you're watching the show from last night because you have dvr what have you. so it's harder for culture to connect to. and that's absolutely happening within what cultural identity. not just the sort of presentation of what it means to be black but we talked about, but also the fragmentation of culture in general. so we think about a james brown figure, who is a massive figure speaks to all black people have an opinion on james brown, probably almost all loving james brown musically. michael jackson doing the same sort of thing. who's doing that now?
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there's beyoncé to a certain extent, but jc is certainly not. very fragmented. so kong is very polarizing. playing connie for my grandmother. and now, so who can do that now? who can bring all black people together on a cultural level? i don't think that person exists. it's for both the reasons about that in a culture and black culture in particular. and the problem and trying to do with his theories to be generational touchstones. so we look in the 60s that what motown did and we are all like we bonded over motown, went to parties and they played motown. we talked about motown music. but what is that for now? i mean, my typical musical sharing experience would be a jonathan, what are you this into? you name three artists i've never heard of.
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and there's nothing for us to bond over on a cultural level. so we are missing out on the chance to have artists who bring us together culturally. that's not just happening for black people. it's also way people as well. >> so, would you say that the consumption of pop culture is facilitating this post by identity? it allows us more freedom to find their own way because we don't have the seminole icons that are setting the tone? >> perhaps. i mean, i think it's being driven more by the regional diversity, educational diversity, class diversity within the culture, the sort of things and how that is allowing ice. against my parents and grand parents areas, segregation, the classes live together in a janitor lived near the dock your peer black people live together, so we understood each other and we had a cohesion that's not
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possible now. the janitor -- using your example. >> the janitor lives -- where was that? southeast. on the top your list where? >> somewhere up there. [laughter] so those are the themes that are dividing us. i find it interesting that the biggest argument when i put i.t. out on twitter that there is nobody connectedness málaga james brown michael jackson to court. the number one name that came up with beyoncé. it was not to challenge my assertion, i stay in this room. it was true, you would say that. and i don't hear people say that. >> you are watching booktv and c-span 2, 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend.
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>> tell us about what he is and what he does. he said he is the most complex individual you have written about inanity of books. take that, mark zucker burke. [laughter] tell us a little about about him and what mainly attracted you to tell his story. >> zero, sad robert came from a very hard background, the fundamentalist and he was kicked out of his house at 18 for admitting to premarital that. and then he decided he wanted to be an astronaut and he changed his whole life in the king james bonney majored in geology and physics and astronomy the university of utah and learn how to fly airplanes and scuba dive and spoke i said, five languages. many got into nasa's johnson space center. it's a co-op program for college kids, but it's really a feeder to the astronaut training program.
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he was achieving his dream. he was a big star, became a social leader of all the co-ops and the interns and then he fell in love with the young intern that was all done something out of love. well, he stole a 600-pound safe full of moon rocks from his professor's office. as a fed can spread them them on a bad, sex with his girlfriend and then try to sell them over the internet to a belgium gent dealer and his name is ask undermanned. you couldn't have invented the skype. he's never been out of antwerp in his life. he collects rocks and trades them every monday night were all these guys trade routes. his hobby is popinjay, which i'd never heard of coaches and support for there's a wooden bird on a 100-foot pole in all these men stand around and shoot at it with cross roads. this is a real sport i'd never heard of. so he sees this at on the
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internet. i've got moon rocks for sale. he's a big believer in right and wrong so he immediately called the fbi. he e-mailed the fbi in tampa and it became this big sting operation and he was taken down -- i always give it away, but you know he got arrested. >> don't cross that line. you obviously have come off of enormous success of not only the, but also the fact they are converted to movies which helps in terms of notoriety. >> there was change the title. the sex on the moon is the first one i feel they have to keep. >> certainly said you're working on this at the time that the social network was being filmed, so there is some kind of overlap. but i've always thought in the way that is the mattresses are only as good as the roles they choose, writers are only as good as the stories they pay. so what was that? all of that, of all the stories
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you could have told, what was it that attracted you to this particular topic? >> for me come in the stories come to me. ever since bringing down the house i get 20 or 30 e-mails or phone call to recount every college kid who does something crazy will call me. i always wanted to write about nasa. i think it's amazing. you think of the 60s. you think of tom hanks and a silver cup so. in this let me get into nasa today. pat roberts contacted me, was on probation. it was weird because i never met someone who has been a decade in prison for it. so i arrange to meet them in a crowded post how loudly. but he was the nicest most charismatic good-looking smart guy who did something. >> the nicest that one you'd ever met. >> he really was. no one had written about the story. there is one article in "the
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l.a. times," but i've not seen anything about this. i couldn't believe it. the first thing i did was filed freedom of information with the t.i., which is thousands of pages. when the fbi agents took him down, they were wearing buyers a night at the transcript of everything set on the wires. the first thing you said when he walked into the restaurant if you're wearing a wire and screwed. so that's on tape. yeah, so it was wild. it was a year-long interviewing everyone i could. >> is one section the book which i think is just great, whether it's a correspondence between fat who goes by the name or if robinson >> word over 10 was a geologist at turns out. >> everyone is excited i wrote this book.
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nasa gave him as a gift for solving the numeric caper. they named an asteroid after him. he's floating around the sun somewhere. everything in the book is reprinted throughout late and a lot of the dialogue is actually straight from the transcripts and everything. so i do get attacked a lot in the press for my style, which is a very dramatic cinematic way of telling a nonfiction story. the reality is everything in here is from the files. >> well, you brought that up and that's something i wanted to visit about a little bit. certainly that came out a lot in bringing down the house. i'm wondering if you could talk about the technique you employ as a writer. your controversial technique. but how you employ that and why have to say in "the new york times" review that came out yesterday, she hated you. you said it. i think that's part of it.
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so tommy as an editor -- >> it's been like this my entire career. the very cinematic stinker and this is the stuff i like to read. it's a form of journalism, but i get all the information and interview about everybody, all the fbi staff and i said down and tell the story in a very visual way. and they were going to be journalists who do not like it. but you know, i don't necessarily write for johnny masland. i write for me and the people who like this kind of book. the reality is it's a true story. you see a biography of cleopatra, right? nobody knows anything about cleopatra. >> qc, you know, obama's biography. it's a process. you have to take the facts and
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then write it in a certain way. i choose to write it in a semantic way. the other kid who is fair, this guy court in his reader in the book. so i know there is a conversation that took place 10 years ago between these people in a noaa site, but i don't have the exact words. someone journalists might say they talk about moon rocks. that to me that is a very worried and weak way of telling that scene. i know they talked about moon rocks. i know what they did with the moon rocks, so i describe what they did with the moon rocks. there's some journalists who loved it and some who don't. it will be a controversy forever in terms of certain journalists will never like it. the social network inaction on billionaires, mark zetterberg said it wasn't true when he called me the jackie collins of silicon valley, which i loved actually.

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