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tv   After Words  CSPAN  September 21, 2015 12:00am-1:01am EDT

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the brown act so we can only talk to one of our fellow commissioners. is that really an effective model to ensure we don't have the slippage that -- charlie's lack of transparency suggests maybe we're seeing. >> well, history has proven in los angeles that it's not effective, although, since the christopher commission, we have seen some police commissions who were effective. gary greenbaum's police commission. focused on willy william and in effect fired willie williams. i think that was right. same thing with chief parks. they didn't re-hire chief parks because the mayor, james haun, didn't want them to. >> that was exactly the point i
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was going to make. the reason why ultimately chief parks didn't get re-hired is because mayor jimmy haun in an act of political courage we haven't always seen in this city, decided that he didn't want to see bernie parks retired, and that's the -- rehired, not because the police commission made the decision but jimmy haun cost himself the next election. >> how hard was it to for you to get information? how difficult was it for you to tell some captain to do this thing and unless you wrote it down and you kept after it, you got it. it's very, very difficult, and when you're part-time, and the -- the name of the judge, federal judge on the ninth circuit right now -- yeah, line
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rhinehart, called them the masters of the half truth. has that been your experience? >> this is simple for me. commissioners need training. they nigh need training to know when they're being bull shitted, and training to know it's not a level situation. you're climbing a hill like this. human nature doesn't want oversight. human nate tower -- five more people don't know anything about law, a total of stenmonths worth of law enforcementster e d law enforcement experience? in order to make the system work you have to know how to maneuver the system, manipulate the system. i would say some police commissions may be great at that and -- depends who the police commissioners are. i believe the way to motivate and to get things done is
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through positive reinforcement. you can have a gotcha, gotcha, gotcha, or you can have -- you can try and motivate that way. so, i think it's a balance. but it's not an easy job, and i think it does take training, and i think there should be more training in psychology. i don't even think we need the law enforcement. it's psychology of getting people to want to succeed and to keep moving forward, and that's not an easy thing, and there is no better way than through citizen oversight. >> i know you don't want to say anymore but i just have to say -- >> i got that impression. >> i think it's an antiquated system from the era of good government and the -- it's designed so that gentlemen can come in one day a week and oversee the police department. that's nonsense. the police chiefs should serve at the pleasure of the mayor.
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>> a lot more we could talk about. a lot more questions, but one of my jobs is to get us back to our business, which is to sell books. but i really want to thank everyone. it was really interesting to hear. >> go to the drug store and get a swig of vodka. >> we have one -- book signing and other books to sell, and i want to give everyone a big applause. [applause] >> thank you all for coming. make sure you come their buy all
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>> host: you have a wonderful new book out called fracture. congratulations. credit over the weekend, and a fantastic, wonderful read. i think it is a must-read for anyone who loves history and politics and cares about race relations in america and maybe who just wants to know who the next president is going to be. [laughter] tell us what caused you to write it, what motivated you? >> guest: 1st of all, thank you for having me. when i 1st sati 1st sat down and started speaking about this book and was in 2013 which was a 50 year
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anniversary of the march on washington. coming in 2013, 14, and 15. i started out wanting to write a book about what it means to have the 1st black president, what that meant to the country, and how it has changed the country. i thought, maybe have a lament write about the republican reaction to obama then i decided, if i'm going to write about the political action, i'm going to start with the party that i grew up and call with the democrats. this 50th anniversary is there arc from being the party of segregation and rejectionism to being a party that produced this 1st black president. >> host: you say in the introduction that when you were a child in the 70s and 80s, and i quote, the
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democrats were our party. by that i think you mean black people's party. the republicans were their party, white people's party. you mentioned that,you mentioned that, of course, that you wanted to write about your party. the history tells us that this was not always the case. as you talk about in the beginnings of the book, talk about this evolution. how did it come to black people being all republicans to black people being all democrats? >> it is interesting. i know older black folks in the south to do this they are still republican because they have a visceral reaction to the word democrat that when they were growing up it was the democrats who were abusing and in a lot of cases terrorizing communities and parents to keep them from exercising there rights and go to school with my children. for a lot of african-americans the republican party really was the party of inclusion.
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was the democratic president who put this rescue plan in place. a lot of compromises with southern democrats a lot of compromise. yet because of that economic rescue masses of african americans began to look to franklin delano roosevelt as someone who was literally saving their economic lives. that was the 1st time we saw masses of black people move into the democratic party and had remained loyal. but it was volatile after that. you saw republicans do very well.
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prominent black americans like jackie robinson who were open republicans and openly touted the party in support of republican candidates. when you sawhe saw that 6040 african-americans, 60 to 40 percent democratic, richard nixon. >> nixon got -- >> 30 percent. >> the the cascade of black americans with the republican party was barry goldwater. goldwater. one of the reasons i want to start the book was a pivot. black politics breaking into the democratic party and barry goldwater showing a face of the republican party that would become increasingly unacceptable to my people. do you believe it was more of an anti- goldwater, and republican thing or more of a pro lbj, pro- democratic
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thing? what caused this massive support of blacks for the democratic party at that time? but his, of course, work was not completed. that he did not live to champion. racial attitudes over untoward and that might be a party to do business with.
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consider the more radical group and said to the republicans in the democrats, we want to see what your 1964 party platform would be. goldwater became the standard bearer of the republican party, and though he was not a southerner was opposed to the civil rights act of movement, that started this cake -- cascade it took a long time above the time the messaging of the republican party became very anti-, the lyndon johnson reform, and time busing, anti- desegregation, that is a deal. >> very interesting. let's take it up to march
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2008 and talk a little bit about the presidential primary and that historic election.election. barack obama gave a famous speech on race relations. and i can remember sitting down with random family and being glued to the television set when he was going to talk about reverend wright and what he felt about race and what he felt about this primary campaign, this historic campaign. my question is, were you impressed by a speech? do you think that was one of the great speeches on race ever made? and if not what were some of the great speeches that you would champion. >> it was a speech not made on purpose, and will say that to say the campaign of barack obama and his team were running are being
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careful. ran harold washington's campaign reelection campaign. understood how to run a black candidate in a nonblack context. architecture the strategy were scaring this candidate an argument of his economic on race. there's just one america. including that hillary clinton campaign. his devices figure you may invite smear of my
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candidate. but the time barack obama gives a philadelphia speech. he's doing on the defense. if people don't accept my explanation of what happened and my relationship to my pastor so be it. a lot of speech is important on race less important enough your country you think you are.
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published in the giving and nationwide address because we shall overcome great moments of racial conversation but not a lot. you talk about racial speeches and obama making this wonderful speech instead americans yet grief comments issuing of young black males by the police
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the 1st black president to talk about race. if you want to be a national figure the progress in the genius of the american experiment is pointing out the flaws makes you a race and limits your ride so that the candidates were successful, the wilder's, barack obama's are people who talk about race in an elevated way. the way that he had comported himself in his public life after his moment of radicalism when the
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anti-apartheid protesting the economy has gone of the cliff, 7500 jobs a month. i saw no evidence that barack obama as a man came to the white house to litigate race for a lot of african-americans asis a pent-up need an expectation to have our nation to have and they waited for it to happen. he winds up stumbling into the same box exactly the way his opponent characterized him.
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breaking the bargain that they were elected on. his opponents say he really was fooling you he really is not this freshly ecumenical character. it was seized upon the instant he ever tiptoed toward it. >> and it harm and politically. almost immediately when you would make a comment yes,
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he's affirming and my coworkers think i'm crazy, but here's the president by and large americans think it was bad and divisive. >> is a president obama and others were able to talk above, talk positively about the american racial experience that help them politically with many white voters. i wrote a book called goes to jim crow when i talk about the racialized incidents that happened during the 20082008 primary campaign, and i direct your attention particularly to south carolina where it seems to really, the conflict seems to really raise between the clinton's and obama.
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and there were some characterizations of obama has running a fantasy campaign the black candidate who tried to put him in a box. my question to you is, do you think that this was just politics as usual, two strong candidates competing, or was this hitting below the belt with this sort of using racial codewords that we have seen many in the republican party do over the years. >> the evidence i got from talking with people in and around the clinton campaign at the time was panic. what you saw happen was the clintons plan presumes that she would be the nominee. hillary clinton when then
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sen. obama was elected and came to washington was a fellow superstar sen. she felt felt she had reached out and been supportive of them and had her pack do some fundraising and helping him. they were blindsided by the idea that this upstart would run against her when it was her turn, and they were shocked that he got in and at some key advisor they assumed would work for them. by the time they got cement new hampshire is a campaign it was discombobulated. it would be a sharp, your number and king by the way, it was lyndon johnson signed
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those laws. and they were making a factually accurate but stinging statement was meant to be a rebuke of the idea that the media was putting i young man wicked kennedyesque figure. and this really bothered this couple, particularly since bill clinton saw himself as someone who want to the mantle of kennedy. whenwhen the media and the public started to put that on barack obama, i think it enraged him and they did not know what to do with themselves. by the time the south carolina plus sizeposts idea to when they now have similar figures and civil
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rights movement same back off the clintons were just completely stabilized. stabilized. they were not used to running against not just the black men but the black community. they never thought that have to compete for it. they say at some.-- at some point whether it was i a representative for new hampshire the black community embraced him would you attribute that to?
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is aspirational to a certain degree. assure that resources and writes a kind of blow to community. the fantasy runs when it comes to the presidency. that was seen as her fantasy and not something practical for the main body of black, particularly political leaders. as the support of the black establishment. they were outnot focused on what they saw as a fantasy run by this young preacher it was still not seen as a pragmatic thing.
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we love this kind the establishment had to pay attention to it. when barack obama runs they saw that is a wonderful dream for the future. maybe he was someone who could come up with foreign politics when this young senator it was almost like a flip the switch and you see voters phone is direction.
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it is over. >> so many interesting facts , tidbits and background information. and you talk about, you mentioned shirley chisholm and said that the civil rights committee wanted stokes to run. and she sort of jumped the gun. but it's facts like that, ii just think people will read this book and be amazed. but let's talk about a fracture, the title and what it means specifically in terms of reflecting the relationship between a
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president obama and the clintons, the racial divide within the democratic party. wind in this divide 1st manifested itself, and what specific things do you attribute it to? also, do you feel it is more personal or more philosophical? is it about bill clinton, the politician, hillary post -- hillary clinton have hillary clinton the politician or is it about more personal? >> that is a great question. the 1st crack if you call this an ongoing fracture is in 1968 because this is four years after the civil rights act were in that pic of the vietnam conflict and war and you have this president who was heroic in the eyes of many african-americans putting away from the resources for the war on poverty you see him.
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away from that mentoring resources command put it into the war. you see them dying in vietnam still pushing back. and you also see protectionism in the north. so black folks really start to look at lyndon johnson sideways and king calls out falls where against the war. and then you have lyndon johnson go to that convention and 68 even after he was not going to run again. in order to assert hubert humphrey as a successor, i have a group of black freedom fighters, this party
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is not doing what you said, mr. president. be sidelined. the silent. shut up essentially. we have already done a lot for you. this is the party that left for you. be quiet. and in 72 as you mentioned, the black establishment that says we need to respond and put up our own candidate and check this party that they don't own us. shirley chisholm comes in and interrupts the plan. richard nixon wins. it is a disaster. that is sort of energy saying we will take care of that. african-americans looking to the party. helping, winning, capable. jimmy carter fell apart, and
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the response of the democratic party is to say we will walk away from things like that, adopt the crime, tough on crime message of you are and our opponent. it will be more like that. these issues we don't care about, we can talk about that. jackson wants to be on the ticket, sorry. as you see african-americans being pushed back, these fractures existed under the surface. they burst forth because now you have the southern democrat's insulin trying to repay what he saw as a debt of his. no, i was the 1st black president. you are with us. and this is a fantasy. again, he was talking about the war. african-americans reminiscing, no, it is hillary's time and he saw it
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has been years and decades of underlying fractions burst open. .. and pulled them both, hold both of their heads at the same time that the clinton comes in and one of the ways he signals to white working-class voters that
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he is their guy is he rebukes jesse jackson. the movement change the party but this incredible voter registration movement he rebukes him in his own house. he goes to his convention rebukes him. that was a message for white voters that he comes than bill clinton and because of some of the needs to do compromise because you have republicans take advantage of his altering on the issue and trying to open the military gets backlash and then he ends up bearing for the right because you have this republican congress with newt gingrich. reverend al sharpton is protesting a bit against bill clinton when the crime bill passed. it was seen as a war between police and african-americans on the streets of urban america. he he does the will for reform bill trying to get ahead of gingrich and stop and worse bill from coming through. that has consequences for the
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white in the black in the country. this clinton pass which was on the one hand a golden economic age in african-americans loved bill clinton in a lot of ways there was a lot of tension there >> host: that's fascinating. i know you talked about the urban agenda and many of the civil rights community were trying to push it in the beginning of the administration as well as welfare reform that cost the fracture as well. so if fascinating aspects in the book. let's bring it up those two 2015. it's an amazing year a very tumultuous year with respect to race relations particularly when it comes to recent police interaction, police shootings. many of them have been captured on video and much of the nation has been shocked by this horrendous treatment and serious consequences that have occurred.
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a number of movements have been sparked by the shootings. the most i think well-known is the black lives matter movement. talk a little bit about how you think this movement has impacted the primary democratic republican. >> guest: i think they have had a tremendous impact in black lives matters informally began after the shooting of trayvon martin who was killed by somebody exercising police like authority. that really sparked what was going to be the national conversation about the value of young black men's lives and politicized. when barack obama said something about trayvon martin and related to him that became polarized and suddenly have this left-right argument who was the hero and who is the villain but black lives matter's since then has picked up themes.
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it reminds me a lot of a lot of neck and of itself direct hit and it's not warm all and ordered but it's powerful because it's non-african-americans speaking for themselves about their own lives and they have forced -- force parties to go back to its mcgovernite roots. bill clinton really rebuked and rejected for mario cuomo wing of the party to great success for himself and became president and was reelected. that wing has been marginalized. the liberal wing of the democratic party is really that liberal wing of the white party. so that wing, they are really focused on economics. they are focused on the occupy wall street argument of whether wall street has gotten away with murder in the economy whether they should be reined in and income inequality is the key issue that needs to be dealt with.
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income inequality is important that we need to deal with these young black people at the hands of police. if you go back and look at the history the vast majority of the riots going back 50 or 60 years have been injuring of someone by the police and in the black community people feeling frustration over not being able to do anything about it. the black lives matter's movement is saying to the mainly white liberal democratic party he cannot bypass the issue by talking about economics and hillary clinton who said part of it will be on civic justice and her first big speech at columbia has forced bernie sanders reluctantly to talk about race on the platform and challenge martin o'malley during some of the worst periods police interaction. i think what i do find
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surprising is when you look at the democratic party in 2015 it is retro, and there aren't a lot of people of color that are showing dynamism in politics. you have almost the same sort of dynamics you had in the 1950s where you have lacked protest and largely white politics on the table. it's kind of interesting. >> host: very. i want to pursue a little bit because you mentioned the jesse jackson george mcgovern wing of the party and i guess i want to push you a little bit in the sense of do you think there's a difference between black liberals and white liberals within the democratic party, the jesse jackson and bernie sanders? >> guest: absolutely. those three figures are important in the modern mcgovern whose liberalism was marked at the war and mario
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cuomo who zeroed in on urban poverty and jesse jackson his agenda was about poverty and lgbtq writes which at the time no one was talking about but whose agendas race specific to them i think there's a difference between black liberals and white liberals in the black liberals are focused on race-based equities and binding race-based solutions. that's something that by and large white liberals coming that white liberal -- but isn't necessarily central to their argument especially now. it was very much in the sanders camp which is about income inequality broadly and if you can solve that it will lift everyone were as lacked liberals are saying no cube really have to deal with race. that has always been the divide. >> very interesting.
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let's talk about the recent campaign, hillary clinton running in the democratic primaries are in a sanders. at the end of the book on page 320 u. quote of voting rights activist bertha lewis who you talk about throughout the book. she i think worked for bill clinton's campaign in 92. she became a leader in the acorn movement which registered many minority voters. you say and i quote from bertha lewis or prospect of a woman president is an exciting and fundamental way as barack obama's candidacy was in 2008 end quote. you believe that most african-americans being all voters feel that way about hillary clinton's campaign? are they ready for hillary? >> guest: she sounds like
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surely chisholm because that's what surely chisholm said it's important for me to run as a woman as an african-american. so when i've been out of the campaign i spent a lot of time covering the clinton campaign, there are a lot of particularly of -- over certain age and i find women over 60 are my benchmarks black or white or latina are very excited about this idea of a woman as president. a lot of women feel the country has ticked that box of having the first african-american president it's now time for the next big step forward in our progress and that's for women to have an opportunity. i think that's a powerful message for women across the racial divide. i do find pockets of black women in general black women who still have some feelings about the
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clinton 2008 and i find occasionally where you have people say you now after the way it was run and after south carolina i don't know and i do hear that. posted you'd think it can be overcome? >> guest: i think the smart campaign can overcome it because hillary clinton still has a tremendous overwhelming advantage with black voters over anyone she is running against. farda where she's the most popular candidate for african-americans and it's the reason she -- over bernie sanders. even though he's coming up his base is not very diverse whereas she has the majority of black and latino women. it's a heated -- huge advantage for her. the question or hillary is not if she is the nominee for she would get the vast majority, the question is will she get the incentive. with people line up for the
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opportunity the way they lined up for barack obama? that's the question. >> host: i will ask you to put on your predicting hat. what do you think will happen? do you think that she will be able to get the obama coalition to be as excited for her candidacy as for his? >> guest: i think you'll be hard for any candidate to get that same level only because "the audacity of hope" which was the name of his book this idea that you could take a one term united states senator, a young man with a name like that whose middle name is hussein whose first name rhymes with osama that you could take that improbable of a personage put him in the white house i think with such an emotional catharsis
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as an unlikely improbable thing that sets up expectations of this president that were so unrealistic and for a lot of young activists were involved in a wait for a lot of liberals, barack obama had not even been president for a year when the liberal part were fighting him and critiquing and attacking him for not doing enough and not being liberal enough. for not ending "don't ask don't tell" fast enough so i think that makes it hard for people at the same level of hope that you could have miracles works by politicians. outside the bernie sanders sanders moment rio people having bad attitude toward the candidate i don't see that happening. i think this is going to be a much more cynical cycle but a lot more pragmatic cycle. i think hillary clinton can win that fight demographically.
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democrats have such an advantage. they have such an advantage. >> host: in terms of electoral college? >> guest: the country is becoming more brown and less weight every four years and that increases democrats national advantage. republicans have such a high bar. they have to win such a high percentage of white voters that it seems harder and harder for them to convince the white house. it's hard to win the white house with better than 10% of black voters and when you are losing 2% and 3% of asian-american voters it's very hard. >> host: that leads to my neck's question which is ongoing to ask you to switch sides now and go to their party. let's say reince priebus is the head of a republican national
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committee or one of the republican candidates for president retains you and says look i want to increase my support within the african-american community. what would you advise that candidate for reince priebus to do? >> guest: i think what republicans would need to do is to find someone with the credibility and the strength and a the voice to repudiate not just the messaging of some of the media of the conservative establishment, the very hostile russia limbaughesque right-wing world which is really shrilled and right now the moment is about latinos. african-americans have felt liberated very long time as well. the republican party has a big issue in that they have become
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the home of what used to be the seven democrats. that is now their base. in the south it's hard to find a white democrat or a black republican. if you meet a wide politically active person they're probably republican. they're welcome party is to look their base in the eye and say we are not going to disparage racial groups as a whole and we need to talk this way because if you look at what jackie robertson said he said this is made it impossible for me to talk to my own people about my party. the great jackie robertson whose picture was hung in there -- he couldn't even speak up for his party with goldwater as the standardbearer. i think republicans are in a dangerous -- if they hired me which is highly unlike they would say things have changed.
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there are republicans who get it. colin powell bruce bartlett the former breaking guide when he heard the language of the old republican party, but not with the edge. you've got to get the agenda there but if they do that they are taking a risk that they will lose some of their base. some of their base won't like it some of those anxieties and negatives. some, not all but some in their base. >> host: i agree with you. it'd be interesting to see a candidate like colin powell who is a moderate republican and there are very few of those around. that would be the interesting race, to see a moderate republican like powell, to see how many african-american votes he could get.
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but i guess we are not going to see that. >> host: >> guest: i think a lot of republicans presumed that ben carson is that person but then carson speaks a lot of the same language. i think if you have then carson rising in the polls but the presence of care overhaul to nazi germany that's not going to attract much support from african-americans. republicans would be disappointed with what ben carson could do for them quite frankly or some other latino candidates. the language of have to change. a person of color can't just be coming out of a person of color's mouth. i think that's going to be hard for the party. the leaders to understand this by the way. they did the autopsy and they
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understand they must diversify their party to survive. i think they have to figure out how to confront some of the elements of their base and their media. >> host: that's exact way what the democrats did with the dlc, right? they wanted to keep their base but spread out, reach out more to working-class whites, two moderate republicans to independents. so do you think the republican party could be as successful by keeping their base as the democrats have been over the last several elections? >> guest: it's a great analogy because what the democratic party they sidelined the liberal part of their base and they still voted for them.
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there was a lesson that liberals have bitterly followed for years the dlc solution was to silence the last and one of the things that is a truism for politics and i think it is true is that democrats have established their base and republicans fear they are so republicans are less likely to repudiate or to burn their base than democrats are. liberals are the base of the party and we see now a lot of the blue dog new democrats have fallen away in terms of electoral politics. they are few of them left in congress. you see the liberals coming back leading the party ideologically. they were sidelined for 40 plus years. >> host: is it more today and anti-republican that the
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republican party is somehow hostile to minority interests? is not accepting of diverse groups or isn't more of a pro-democrat, the democrats have delivered. the democrats have you said supported the voting rights act and 65. the democrats delivered civil rights. which is a two-day? >> guest: it's a combination but i think it's more the former. i think for a lot of african-americans there is a recognition that the party has not always delivered on some of the promises that have been made and there is a taking for granted that the community that has voted 90-10 in their favor. there is a resumption among democrats that the black vote will be there as a matter of get
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out the vote. souls to the polls can be united and there isn't a lot that one has to do in between. you are seeing a lot of black lyrical class starting to question out and say to the party that's not good enough and i think the confrontation between black lives matter's and the santos campaign is one example of that but i do think as we are experimenting with open primaries i would predict that you are going to see more movement of the african-american vote. only because there's a sense they black political class is conscious of the way power works. we hear a lot of people saying we need to spread out but very little you sure people say spreading out in the republican party pretty think that's the vibe that the party is offering
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now. it's not welcoming but i can tell you have spoken with republican operatives who are actively working specifically to reach out to african-americans and hispanic voters and try to recruit them into the party. they are fighting a two-front war against the presumptions people make about their parties and the words coming out with their mouths. i feel for them. the tough job. >> host: is often said that black liberals in the democratic party really have nowhere to go. do you see perhaps an independent candidate running from that wing of the party? or perhaps a third party being created? >> guest: i think the united states has set up such a rigid two-party system that is hard to imagine a third party candidate winning the white house.
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we do not have a parliamentary system that allows third birdies to get much oxygen. occasionally you will have the one of governor like jesse ventura or a bernie sanders in a state where you can be nonpartisan, neither democrat or republican and when. it's hard to manage than that on a national scale. the system seems stuck in place so for african-americans you bring up that point in the early 1960s african-americans understood democrats were incredibly hostile. they did not want them around. there was nowhere -- no other party with any power. republicans almost didn't exist in the south so if you wanted power you had to register as a democrat. african-americans registered as democrats and the democratic party. the mississippi freedom democrats who went to that convention.
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african-americans have always pragmatically chosen the democratic or the republican party based on -- of tomorrow colin powell was the nominee for the party i would wager colin powell would do quite well with african-americans. i could see him doing 30% to 40% better because he respects the figure whose attitudinal presentation is welcoming. it's not because he's black only that's part of it i'm sure. one loves the idea of one's own person becoming successful but it's the way he talks about politics and race. he's a great man. >> host: very persuasive, very persuasive. you have a chapter called the first black president and it talks about bill clinton.
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who is the first real black president? is a bill clinton or barack obama? >> guest: it's clearly barack obama but what's interesting about toni morrison why she said that it was around the time that bill clinton was attempting to because he had that unique vision of a former southern governor where you could talk to both of them and be understood and welcomed to have that advantage that white southerners have been politics. he comes in and he tries to use that same language to talk to the country and the attempt to say slavery is wrong when he was in africa got huge reviews are and then to see his sexuality which was the other thing that tony -- triggered toni morrison to say that. here you have this man with --
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single mom it difficult upbringing and the responsibility he took on as a child. he had this aspect in his demeanor he could go into a black church and get on the pulpit and sound just like the preacher. one said had he been black and jesse jackson white bill clinton would have been a pastor and jesse jackson of president of the united states. if think people felt comfortable with him but clearly he didn't have to face the slings and arrows and bill clinton didn't have to deal with that. >> host: it was often said that during obama's first run was emphasized that he was bi-racial. how do you think that impacted his electability?
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>> guest: it's interesting i think everything about barack obama made him tailor-made to be the first black president. his demeanor and the fact that he was brought up about white family so he had a convergence with white american white anxiety. one of the thing that made that speech sobriety is heap perfectly committed white anxiety experienced by white people. he could explain that in a way that didn't feel like a taxation but that like familiarity and he could explain the black context because he personally lived it. i think barack obama partly because he is bi-racial has that conversant -- that made them perfect for this job. as one person said the first black president had to be the least angry black person in america. you have to be a little angry to get elected. >> host: i don't think i've seen barack obama be angry ever. >> guest: i have this image of
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a little girl jumping up and down on the furniture. but he socom. i don't know how he does that. >> host: it helps him a great deal manipulate the political scene. anything you want to add? we only have a few more minutes left so is there anything that i haven't asked you that you would like me to ask? >> guest: the questions have been brilliant. the only thing i would add it's important even though i think sometimes we have two different ways of looking at race as black and white americans. african-americans want to indulge in this conversation about race because we live race every day. if you see a police officer that feeling, that not in your stomach. lacma's follows you wherever you go where is for white americans whiteness had a meeting -- and meaning and an embrace of
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whiteness. most white americans don't live their race and reject the idea of living racially but there's more reluctance to talk about it and the feeling of accusation when it's brought up. we really need to get past that because we have to come to a happy medium where we can discuss some of the things of the past and have truth and reconciliation to have progress. otherwise that fracture if you will remain in the country forever. this is a country which founded on the notion of being free and white were black and i might have a meaning. that was written into the constitution. >> host: how do we do that? clinton had the race commission that didn't work out too well and obama hadn't talked that much about race. how do we have this conversation that seems that many people want? >> guest: president obama said it needs to happen on the individual level.


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