tv Panel Discussion on the Future of Baltimore CSPAN December 27, 2015 10:11am-11:23am EST
presented by baltimore rawlins. film commission and special events agency, please note that after you enjoy today's presentation volunteers are on hand at the festival's guest services tents and they are happy to accept your donations, thank you for helping the baltimore book festival free. we have an incredible panel assembled. i'm going to start with introductions. d. watkins, a columnist for salon, work has been published in the new york city, huff -- puff i he is a college professor and has also been the recipient of numerous awards including baltimore magazine's best writer award and the business journal
40 and under list. 40 -- under 40 list that is. tim wise, new minority. highly acclaimed memoir, white like me, reflections on race from privileged son, new minority and color blind, rice of postracial politics. the next book under the influence, shame the poor, praising the rich and jeopardizing the future of america would be released in 2016. his essays have appeared in salon, huffington post. stephen janis, senior
investigative recorder for now the defuncts baltimore examiner, killings of prostitutes. he has won three successes capital emmy's. sheri parks, sheri parks researches on public aesthetics and affect upon individuals, families and minority culture, appearing in national and local media and is in demand as a public speaker. dr. parks is active in the engagement initiatives as steering commendment and as an
instructor which classes include projects that benefit nonprofit associations. in 2008 she was recognized by the campus as outstanding woman of color as faculty of the year and lester spence, associate professor at johnson hopkins university. he received web distinguished reward for book and received 209 excellence award. spence can be showed in public radio. next book "knocking the hustle" will be out at the end of october. please, welcome our panelists. [applause]
>> what i'm going to do is starting with letting the panelists beginning with lester spence describe what they're books are about. lester. >> wow. thank you very much, sean, i knew that i was noo the right place when i saw that they had a book festival because it meant that baltimore was actually literate and i would like to be in a place where reading matters. i'm really interested in kind of the reproduction with inequality within black spaces, right, if you look at inequality from 1929 or so to the present, it takes the shape of a u, high levels in 1929, low levels in 1950 or so. we have higher levels of
inequality now than we did in the great depression. why does it take the shape of a u? largely because of politics, 30's to 60's or so you had the new deal, great society that gave workers the right to organize. it gave us a social safety net and made segregation illegal. those were gradually peeled back starting in 1970 or so and that has an effect, between racial groups but also has an effect within black communities. if you look at black communities, black politics approach as oppose to racial politics approach, if you look within black community solely as oppose to comparing to white communities, what you see is you have some black people with a lot of loop, some black people with a little bit of loop and
some black people with no loop. what you see in this modern moment are black elite kind of justifying why that loop is distributed the way it is. that is why poor black people are where they are, while black people are where they are and what i'm interested in doing with my next book that's coming out end of october is kind of seeing how that dynamic plays out in black churches, you're talking about the rise of prosperity gospel, how that plays in cities that are run by black mayors and cities to be forced entrepreneurial and how people resist that in black spaces. so basically that's what my book is about. >> dr. sheri parks. >> my what area is how ordinary people in their everyday lives
capture beauty and cultures, right now i'm start to go write on art culture and strategy because of work that we are doing around the city that we will talk about later. black women have perfected an organic leadership model that they practice every day that is often unrecognized. not close enough? okay. and what i do is start at the beginning and argue that the strong black women are the same model. it's on every continent, she's the mother of herself, the darkness is there. so i often get in trouble with people for saying this, as you can imagine.
over in oregon you see black women who are in trust, brilliant, strong and interested in other's people's problems. the best way to explain in ball mother is look around at the high number of security guards in the city who are black women and i ask -- i asked who hired a lot of them and said, why, they can do everything. she does everything. how many times have you heard those lyrics. if children get lost, so they can basically do everything all
at once instead of hiring two people you hire one. a figure that gets misplaced. that wise figure is on lockdown. sometimes and often black people positioned themselves behind men and say, well, aren't we supposed to. >> d. watkins. >> it's going to be two different things if you're two different people. it's a love story sto anyone who is going through some type of healthcare disparity, education disparity. if you're a rich white person tb side is just a guide oh to help you understand why we are the way we are and to help you
recognize that humanity exists within all of us. you can be a black person in a, you know, housing projects or you can be a top ranking ku kluz klan member, both of those guys like ice cream. [laughter] >> the b side helps you understand why america or mainstream media look at black people the way they do. if you're a black person what the b side does it shows that you are important and that you're loved and that you have a place in society that does so much to force you out. that's what i had in mind when i wrote the book, hopefully we can talk about some of those things tonight. >> tim wise. >> so most of my work as some of you know deals with addressing white institutional racism and does that focus on that under
the ainfluence connected to that an attempt economic disparity as a general class-base phenomena. when you look around, there are a lot of people talking about inequality, politicians talk about inequality but white dominated leftist movement and very little acknowledgment even within their own space not just with larger analysis. a lot of people are talking about that but they're not making a connection to white supremacy. i argue in the book and document, as many others have done the way the class system in the united states cannot be understood absent in understanding of white supremacy. it does not exist without iter ma nippulation of white workers
and white workers racism and adherence to supremacy, we don't have a pot to pis in, it's okay, at least you're not black. purpose of the book is to explore connections and to explore how inequality gets rationalized and, you know, as you heard, it's happening within black space, internal to black space, so it's also happening to white space and it happens to all of us in the country because we have been conditioned, this mechanism for justifying inequality, in the old days, you know old european systems, if you were a peasant you knew you were a peasant. you were out. you would have to have a revolution to get a better deal.
you're poor today but you're going to run this tomorrow. you can be president, you can be ceo, you can be a millionare. billionaire. everybody thinks that they're going to be the next bill gates and donald trump. if you made it, good on you and if you didn't make it, shame on you. we don't have to have any solidarity and think about relationship to one of other, we just have to double down on 60 hours a week, work 80 hours a week and not take vacations. white folks who are struggling your social benefits just got cut too. your safety net doesn't exist. your labor unions are being
weaken, all the stuff that provides substance for working people is being quicked out by the way all of that was racial ized, bewe will never need it. the economy goes into the toilet and people are looking at where is my healthcare, exactly, where is my housing, exactly. led to a situation where poor working-class white folks are feeling the pinch and unless we address that we are going to be at the mercy of one tenth, one hundred of one percent. >> stephen janis. >> my books were dealing specifically with crime, pain and the violence seen through the eyes of homicide detective,
african-american homicide detective and i was trying to think how my book would be relevant at all. some of the things that i witnessed as a reporter covering crime and policing in the city which i guess in a lot of ways, i examined some of the specific that is people have already talked about and the idea of the past is profound idea in the world that i lived in deserved and wrote about, there was no path forward, this was the psychology of this idea of limitations. limitations of space and limitations of people, you know, i wrote about the zero tolerance policy in the city where a hundred thousand people were arrested year over year. you know, i think it is a -- it is a difficult topic to get to the individual sometimes because it's such a profound affect on the psychology of the city, the psychology of the people who work in a corrupt police department and the psychology of people that are executing
policies and how it affects their lives. i think -- before the uprising, we did a lot of writing about it and it's certainly something that hangs over the head of the city still, you know, what we have done in the past. we are a city to me as a person who writes about the people here that, you know, a lot of people the way ford is certainly not the main focus, a lot of times we are dealing with things that have happen in the past and the pain of those policies and inflicted things and neighborhoods, that's what my book is about. >> so the name or the title for this discussion is baltimore the path forward, the future of baltimore is diverse communities and what it takes to unify a city. i would offer this to kind of start the conversation. may 15th, 1911 baltimore mayor sign into effect the first law
in the nation that directly created segregated housing for baltimore owners. housing segregation amongst all the great things that we have done, we invented segregation. many of those lines that were made distinct and in somewhat inmovable have remained. have we ever been truly unified as we look forward trying to seek that type of unity. have we ever really been unified as a city? >> well, i would say the most that i have seen as a reporter was during the uprisings. there was something that i think a lot of people who cover baltimore didn't think was possible. but certainly during that period of time that was the most unified that i had ever seen the city in terms of having trying to solve a problem or overcome
something. i would say that's the closest but generally in covering the stay it's small neighborhoods, small villages, collection of 250 village that is are sometimes connecting. it is very difficult to cross those lines. >> i would add this caveat, we were unified when the ravens won the super bowl and outside of the spectrum, uprising in april, i guess the point is has the -- have we ever been in that kind of place where there was really unity to speak of. i'm having difficulty kind of remembering a time when that was actually true. >> definitely the super bowl but what i think -- what i think the up rise did was, you know, because it got so much media coverage, i think, that so many people who didn't believe these types of things happened or weren't aware, are forced to read about it and see it and
they felt energized. i had never so many white people in my life. [laughter] >> all of the different wild things was going on that one thing that i took away from that was what do we do with this energy now. none of these people are aware of the situation but for camera phones, a lot of people didn't believe these murderers were really and existed. the biggest question is how do we move forward. baltimore is super segregated. i know white people and black people who will never meet each other under circumstances just because of the structure of the city. the bigger question for me is to go along with what you ask, how do we -- now that we have this moment how do we capitalize this moment. >> i want to piggy back on that
most black people that are privileged jump back and forth. i think that's a social reality that most of our particular white friends did not know about. after ferguson, but before freddie gray, a presbyterian church asked me and what people of faith could do and one of the things i said in passing was that it was baltimore, this could be baltimore, that it had been baltimore and they were shocked. i was shocked that they were shocked. they were absolutely shocked and they went around asking other black people who got back to me, sheri parks said this, yeah, yeah. this is a difference that post freddie gray nobody is asking that question. i do think that besides sports, it's important that we are talking about entertainment that baltimore is unified within any other spaces within art and culture. i think that's important.
i think it's really important that art and culture that is been working very hard. >> i'm not interested in unity, i don't really care much about unity. what i agree a way which black populations have power, if you look at the wealth distribution, when is it pushed or broad, there's moments where there's more wealth, any more wealth inequality than we have now. there was a moment where we had more working class power than what we had now. this is a way to think about it. 1990. every time i mentioned it kills people, in 1990, the city of baltimore spends $45 million on policing, 2014, we spend $445 million on policing. the two-three year period we address more citizens than there are people in baltimore, right,
and we can say that that's a bad look, that that's a bad thing and that we can point to moments where that didn't happen. so what is it that differentiates those moments from this moment? i actually argue that what differentiates those moments where we have more equality from this moment is the presence of unity. right, we have a present, up until freddie gray it was pretty unified among black elites and white elite and every elite that you can articulate. poor people are poor people because of their own actions. that's unity. right, the solution to the city's problem was downtown development. it didn't matter whether you talked about this mayor t last mayor or the mayor before that, that is a black one incident a black one and the white one, they gave the same answer. that's unity. the question isn't -- that's unity now. who wants that?
right, who wants that? so the way forward is actually unpacking what that lookses like, what the false unity looks like and how we destruct that but political organizing. [applause] >> all i'm going to add is that and nothing that. that's it. >> let's remember that just two years ago the tax break. you could see harvard point which is not 1 -- 100 million revenue tax rate. a corporate giant, this was done without much deliberation other than council man stolks.
mr. spence is right. we actually spend 2-300 millions on post retirement benefits. if you look at our property tax intake, it covers public safety. nothing really much more. when you talk about giving tax breaks, which you know the city has multiple all over the city and passed a tax rate of people that built department of 20-30 units, did not pay taxes for 20 years, the long-term commitment to the unit you're talking about is going to cost pretty much most of our resources for the rest of our lives here. to turn that around would be very difficult. but that type of plan, that sort of policing and spending on policing, pretty much define it is plan that we all live with right now. we do have one point where we might be able to change that. there's going to be a historic
election, i think, in april for the mayor and, you know, there are some candidates that are talking about changing the policy. i think it's going to be crucial, whether or not you agree with it or not -- >> let's drill down on policing. we constantly heard from leaders i've had conversations with the mayor over and over, we know how to deal with spike in homicide. we know how to deal with it. talk about the militarization or the police state in baltimore and how it contributes to keeping groups separate and apart. >> i mean, i can just say this, i am sorry i talked twice, i apologize, but really quickly what mr. spence we as the city arrested 100,000 people a year under martin o'malley as mayor.
we were arresting the entire city on a two-to-three-year-old cycle. i was witnessing as a reporter and i couldn't believe what i was witnessing and truthfully as you pointed out, there was a great silence between the political leadership on both sides. i mean, all the mayors were there in some form of political capacity and they said nothing and it changed, it changed the city. it might have been bad before but that was something, people we literally lived in a city where a van could drive into a city and what would call jump out boys and we lived in a city where there was something called a walk-through. it didn't get a lot of coverage. it wasn't in the wire, it was real and still has an effect
today. >> i think we have to talk about the importance of survey lanes, we begin to talk about it and actually most of you probably don't and i don't live in a neighborhood where there's blue lights. if you've ever seen what that looked like, you can see the footage, live footage from a cameraa, it's very clear and you can see in people's houses. so i think we think, oh, this is kind of thing that blinks and keeps people awake. living under survey lanes is living in a police state. by the time i was done with incarceration rates and if you're a young black in baltimore you do not leave the house without your id, you don't. that's a passed law. day-to-day ordinary life which is what i'm most concerned
about, it may have sound today you like an outrageous statement, but if you look from a top down it doesn't look like the top state. if you look at the day-to-day people's lives it's much a police state. we know what that does to people. we can talk about draum attic trauma -- dramatic trauma, and it doesn't lead to people who are bold and bright and willing to take chances because those people in those situations don't survive and the idea that if you're a young black man in baltimore and to some degree young black women, but it hits the man harder, the idea is that you're being told that that's only way to survive is to submit
. >> the current system needs to be gutted. [laughter] >> if you look parts, you're 100% guarantied to never have any positive interactions with police officers. they are not there to protect and serve and not there to change flats and get the cat out of the tree, honestly, they are there to put you in whatever situation they want you in. that's what they are there. if you go to more other areas, so even if we talk about the officers who were charged in the freddie gray incident, yeah, lock them up, fire them, get rid them of them but there are 300-400 more being trained right now. until we accept the culture, we are going to face the same thing over and over again. >> right, we can't be shocked that this is happening. the function of law enforcement
has always and ffer been only one thing to control the have notes for the benefit of the haves. there's no other purpose for police. police [applause] >> they're not. they would be locking up employers, employers rob their employees, not paying overtime, prep time like if you're a line cook. employers steal three times more money every year than are stolen by all the street criminals knocking you over the head and robbing the liquor store. you steal $100, you go to jail for ten years, you steal 12 and a half trillion dollars and
nobody is going to prison. so cops are not there to protect us from the greatest harms to society because then they would be locking up the folks at johnson hopkins that made the decision of lead story where they took poor black children and used them as guinea pigs in apartments and the ones that they had no lead abatements. so cops -- it's not even about individual cops, that's why we said it's so important. it's the culture of police. the mentality, it's not individual officer who are the problem. you can get rid of the handful of bad officers the culture will guaranty that they'll create more. when you try to speak out, you get run out of policing which has happened in this city and we
have seen at least one person who have gotten in the news and talking about the fact that he was run out because he acknowledged that his buddies in blue were beating the crap of suspects without criminal suspect. if you want to be a good cop and if you try to be a good cop, then you're not going to be a cop anymore. they might kill you but they will certainly not allow you to have a career. this is like having a sausage and then being shocked when you stay at the end of the conveyor belt and say, look at the sausage. if you're expecting it to give you chicken nuggets, it's a sausage factory. it's supposed to give you sausage. when it gives you sausage, don't be surprised. you don't want sausage, build another factory, step on the gears, flip a switch, but you're not going to get chicken nuggets out of a sausage factory.
[cheers and applause] >> what's more frustrating is that so many fixes can be so simple, make police officers who work in baltimore live in baltimore. why do they live at pennsylvania. [cheers and applause] >> all of the different things that are good for the city. they had something called league, an officer named graying who used to take us to play basketball that. was a relationship. and he lived in the neighborhood. it worked. it worked. so many people were able to go and do the right things in their life because we had the exposure and connection, i'm not going to lock this kid for doing something fact, i'm going to roughen him up. they took that away. >> so the larger question is if the police aren't there to reduce crime, what are they
there for. spence was talking about this. they are doing the same work as their government there. >> baltimore city, statistical reference had about 1600 police officers, presentee today there's about 3,000 in a city with about half of the population. you talk about policing, the last statistics that we are been able to get we are one of the most heavily nonpatrolled, we put in specializes unit, a unit that went around the city, you know, sort of taking zero tolerance, a unit that was responsible for the most aggressive tactics and a lot of the lawsuits featured in the story. i had personal experience. i had a friend of the baltimore city department, moved down and told me before he went that he didn't want anything to do with
this style of policing anymore. he tried community policing where he forced the officers to get out of the car and walked and he walked himself and crime was reduced but more importantly the community for once felt that they had somebody who understood them. i think arguably we have more police, in fact, baltimore city has the second highest per capita police department in the entire country. the more city that has more is washington, d.c. it's a huge institution with a tremendous amount of money and political power, so we have to change the culture. >> the jails employ more people than uber. we imprison than any other nation in the universe. there you go. a system that work and you take it away because it doesn't fit the agenda that the can you couy
can't move forward. >> his family actually sued and won for lead-paint violation. he suffered from lead poisoning himself t neighborhood he lives in has three times the lead paint violation rate at the city at large. maryland spends about a billion dollars in incarceration, i'm pretty sure sent more prisons than any other neighborhood. 440 folks, they spend about $10 million incarcerating the folks. that's -- >> pardon me? >> one of the top in the city? >> yeah. we take the welfare state and we basically we place it, right, with a welfare state that has a primary purpose of incarcerating
and enshaming the resident. >> law enforcement reform is obviously one of the biggest issues facing as far as the next election is concerned. let's change the conversation a little bit. d. watkins i want to ask you specifically, in your book you talk about your evolution from dope boy to a college professor to award-winning journalist and an author and you essentially said that reading saved you. how do we make reading education more viable alternative for young black men who are caught up in thety? >> first we have to acknowledge the problem. we don't acknowledge the problem. there are so many people sitting back and thinking that everything is okay. i've worked in the school system and i'm college professor now and speak in schools all of the time. i'm sure some of you can speak to it too. most students or most parents thing that public schools are
responsible for educating your children. one we have to break that. schools -- [applause] >> school is not supposed to be responsible for 20% and then your home life is 80%, if you're barely getting that 20% of school and you're out in the community -- when i talk about my own personal story, i wasn't really given books that could peek my interest as a kid. i'm living down the hill, i'm going through all the wild places and with all these wild people and fun efnlgts and i get to school and all you have is ben carson's memoir, what am i going to do? [laughter] >> part of my own personal mission is not only use my story to ignite and show other people that reading can be cool and interesting and it could be relatable, but also get other people to tell their stories, your story is important, your stories that you never know it
can help and inspire and we need that. >> yeah. >> sheri parks. >> you can go ahead and ask me. >> your book fierce angels, little black girls are drafted into this army of fierce angels. black women are security guards because black women can do anything. i mean, is one of the premises of the book, in a few years ago we had -- and baltimore received a lot of attention because of this. dixon was the mayor, joan was comptroller and pat was state's attorney. and you know, a lot was made of that nationally but at the same time i remember and i'm sure all of us remember that on the front
page of the sunday newspaper there, martin o'malley went into a meeting with pat and commanded her to get off her fat lazy, a-s-s. black women can do anything and they have this kind of expectation of selflessness and nurturing but on the other hand the woman in the state attorney's office, speak to that. >> this is the role that many women have played in any culture but black women have perfected it because of their social position.
and i argue that that image has been coopted. i explain drafted into an army, i would call people up and interview them and say i think you're a fierce angel. they would say, yes, how did you learn to do this, and dna became the reframe. i don't remember ever not knowing how to do this. often black families are tougher on girls than they are on boys, and so they are raised to be -- to not to worry about themselves but to worry about everybody else in the room to the point of even middle-class black women. there's a study that black women even when they have stressed-related disease, their blood pressure is going up, they don't perceive because they have
to go through exhaustion. they are trained to be -- there's a chapter called, you know, become and being placed behind talented black men. you deserve this but we are going to put him forward for this award and that became the frame. she got in a way i'm telling culture stories that people shouldn't be saying. what black people need to know that they are worth the same amount of effort of everybody el. the authors of a book about the nonviolent movement said if you can't convince black women to
come together and work, it will not only be important for black america but revolutionize the country. black women are working. look at any black church, look at -- look at black lives matter. you see black women who are not necessarily pushing themselves forward but are doing the work. the girl scouts did a thousand girl study in which girls of all races and they found out that black girls intended to change their communities but they did not intend to leave their communities, that they had the factors of leadership, they were resilient and smart. when i say black women can do anything, i don't mean that in a flip way, i mean, that they are being trained to do it all and have managed to do it all because of survival. i asked, why don't you stop if you're tired, they say i can't. there's nobody else to do this if i don't do it.
that's what the selflessness means. and yes, black women have been coopted by power structure in black culture and outside of black culture and that's the examples that you used, so that if he had turned around and call ed army of women, that story would have been differently. >> i wonder our community, our response of what happened when martin o'malley was allowed, if you will, for a lack of a with ther term, to refer to her this way. this is a woman who grew up in the mississippi, segregated south. i'm wondering about our community, the black community's response and specifically the black men of what transpired. i wonder if we had any special responsibility to come to her aid for lack of a better term.
>> i wouldn't argue that black and women had responsibility to come to her aid and we didn't. >> no. >> can i ask a question as to why? >> you're asking me? [laughter] >> i didn't know about it. maybe i was a kid. >> you probably were. [laughter] >> by them, we don't stand up for ourselves, we stand up for everybody else. >> tim wise, the notion of definition of whitens has been challenged for a long time for generations. james baldwin, being white and other lies. give us a sense in 2015 in the context of this we've got to take our country back and on one
end of the spectrum, what whitens is in 2015. >> well, i'll -- i'm done with rachel racial, i won't even bother, she has her own stuff to deal with, but for the rest of the white folks, the other 200 million approximately, i think it's really important, it's important with regard to baltimore and issues of police racism and violence, it's really important for us to get clear on what baldwin was clear on. the problem with white poll --
folks, as long as you think you're white, there's no hope for you, i think that's what he said, what he meant by that is when you allow yourself to believe that there's this thing call it had white race and it's real, and maybe biological or scientific or even cultural then you're lost because there's no such, there never was such thing genetically or biologically. at least not historically, there is now. the white race didn't exist as such. european people spent most of our time killing each other, right, before we decided to kill other people and we were good at doing that to ourselves. [laughter] >> the idea that there was this team called white people that european belonged to, northern italians would never have believed that those in the south that weren't considered their
nation italian let alone anglos were the same group. the idea was created in the united states. that term was not used in any way, shape or form. in fact, during the period when shakespeare, the term was used to generally, people who had various diseases. it wasn't seen as some amazingly positive thing. so they didn't call themselves, they might have called themselves christians, englishmen.
working-class peasants with nothing and say, you have nothing but you do have this and so you're on our team and you're sort of at the end of the bench, we are not going to actually get in game unless we are winning by 30 and you're wearing a uniform, it's a little raggedy, so we don't like you a lot but we like you enough, what they did is took four europeans and i get a badge and a whip and a gun, well, goodness. ..
the labor base for low income working class quarter called white people. there's has been a trick. if we don't understand of the trick then it becomes possible to look at something like baltimore as an uprising of irrational dark skinned folk as opposed to a rebellion wounded in the oppression of economic oppression of working class and low-income people which is the stuff that once upon a time working class white people engaged in on the regular. go back to the colonies, akers rebellion was that. look at west virginia and the west virginia and the money boards were you at black and white miners walking with the guns, 1000 people deep ready to kill the national guard, not the national guard or the militia. did you come out and start shooting people in order to break the multiracial coalition because there was a time when
people didn't identify it in this way but increasingly those of us who are called white actually believe that mean something. we'll see the solitary that has existed always among working and oppressed people and that's something we have to move through. [applause] >> that's like the crux of the question because what you're saying as wages is completely true but why does it persist in something that has troubled me as a reporter when you write stories like lead poisoning. lead poisoning in baltimore, nothing is more probably more damaging to our education system than lead poisoning in children. it is a fixable problem and we spent a couple million a year on lead abatement. so that idea that you're talking about process and it still seems to have this psychological force to keep implementing these policies despite the failure
because -- >> that's it. it's not a very. it fails -- it succeeds at what they want. i'm assuming, i don't assume their goals are the same. this is like after katrina. everybody said spike lee himself, i love the film but spike lee said katrina was the system breakdown of on gentle approaches. that was the system the guy did it broke down and was a fairly quickly that if you thought poor black folks in new orleans like normally was good for them. then the storm came and he got bad. but actually this is what producing exactly the outcome it was intended to produce. this is tough for those of us who do antiracism work i want to be allies, what does it mean? it means the idea that like what we are defined as success and with the success and with a system defined as success are two totally different things. it's so rooted in a hostility to blackness, a hostility to indigenous people, hostility to people of color that we will
sacrifice our self interest on the altar of white supremacy. i don't know for sure how to move do that but i do know those of us called white who see the problem have got to begin standing up and steering resources and attention like the people in this community so they can solve those problems. [applause] because it's very clear the majority of us are not going to see. we are programmed not to secretly programmed to do the opposite. those of us who do see a cut to make sure that people who live it and diet have the power to make the decisions that will alter the conditions on with or without our involvement. >> there sometime even so digging this just that might, i don't know it'll happen enough and big enough but when we've we been having these revelations of racist videos and racist songs and racist e-mails, these are things that other people did know but happening among white people. what's happening is somewhat people announced earnings somewhat people announced a recall of other white people. we wouldn't know these figures
exist for those e-mails existed unless a white person had called out another white person. i think that's the beginning. rather it ever gets big enough we don't know. >> salon to push back against a few comments. if we work under the assumption that what our issues are teaching black kids how to read, like that's the fundamental problem like the reason we have a crime problem because black men are not reading books a lot. we cut in this, pulling tibet, i'm a political scientist, i'm willing to bet that the people who are doing the most reading addiction is a young black kids are wanting dexterity in their language. what we've got is an economy problem. if we focus on black kids learning how to read, what we're going to miss the intimacy like baltimore we've only got three high schools who routinely send
kids to hopkins were i met. that's a structural problem with to do with the economy. the other thing, we are missing that that's not just a psychological way to whiteness. there's a material way. so if you look at those, so the fundamental issue the baltimore and other cities have, is the problem on the red line. that's a redline that hogan got rid of. it's the redline, that technology used to determine who got housing money and who didn't get that was started in 1930 and funded by the federal government. if you take every single problem baltimore as an player that 1930 redline up on top of it, every single problem is concentrated in the redline. every single one. there is a material way -- wage that people get when they actually are outside of that redline. so the challenge to the reason i talk about mittry lake as
opposed to psychological wage is there's a way we transition where the transitional result of a psychological wage of whiteness argument is not always this but a lot of times it's what we need to do is we need to teach white people about themselves. we need to teach people to check the privilege. we need to teach people like know, it's a political problem. you need therapy, yes. we all need therapy, right? but we have two separate that therapeutic dynamic from political organizing. those are two very different projects. [applause] >> i agree with almost everything you just said, but i spent a lot of times with a lot of rappers in this city. you listen to the lyrics. it's not happening. [applause] when i think when we talk about that as the issue, i think when
sean brought the question of them i was reading is the only energy. answer. i think that's it works for me. we push these kids to the school system but we are not creating thinkers. recruiting people who don't think. that was the tool that helped me as a thinker i just want to post another question, take you back some of the things you're just talking about, the whole idea of if i'm a poor white person in america and out of money, resources, t. for the ability to dance, the only thing i have is white privilege is to be able to be white, the only thing i have. why would you want to acknowledge privilege to come off of the bat? >> that's a good question. >> you brought up hip-hop. i was, on the way in i was listening to black on both sides, and he says we are hip-hop. if you want to know how black people were doing, let's give hip-hop has been.
if you want to know how hip-hop is doing, ask blacks. how are we doing if we think about what hip-hop is in 2015, what are your thoughts on where we are as a team unity if that equation is accurate? so that's a loaded question. what i'm going to do is take a piece of that. so when i talk about neoliberalism whether it's staring at the darkness or knocking the hustle, it's this idea that we have to become increasingly entrepreneurial. a perfect person is not the citizen. the perfect person is the entrepreneur whether gospel and the bible becomes a self-help guide. if there's a phrase that communicates that, the phrase, just one phrase is not, i'm not a businessman. i'm a business came a man come watch me handle my business. that's jay-z in puff daddy's,
not puff daddy, kanye west, the remix. so you've got, you've got more hip-hop and more we are hip-hop than ever before largely due to internet and other spaces but if you look mainstream, what you've got is this in the thread that articulates the same type of political message that a number of us are fighting against. this political message that the whole thing is about getting paid, the politics is about personal development and if you're on the wrong in your on the wrong end a ghost it's your fault, not because of something systemic. [applause] >> you probably don't expect me to comment on hip-hop. [laughter] >> go ahead and get down. >> but if you look at hip-hop, specific wrap which is a component of hip-hop, and other places in brazil, in lebanon, in
in lebanon, and pull in and of the places you see it fulfilled its political potential in ways that it has not at least you said in mainstream, at least in the mainstream in the united states. and the reason we have to look at that is that it has been commercialized and completely co-opted. >> and i would go ahead and plug a show on wp at a which talks about hip-hop in a global kind of perspective which i think alludes, goes back to what dr. park was talking about -- wda student look at black fielder hip-hop started as a voice of the people. now is on the mainstream way the voice of capitalism to the same thing like when they got ozzie davis end of the people to make those 31st black films, when melvin van peebles made sweet back, he tricked them. data is going to kill the revolutionary and input into the getting away. they saw it energy and a people reacted to the film.
the black panthers made the film required doing if you want to be a black panther. the energy was there. they took the hero away from corporate america when they started dumping money into this. to stop the revolution it from being the hero and made a new hero the pimps and the dope dealers. when corporate america sees the way you can make money, it's easy to get stripped from people because they have the ability to distribute everybody. they can create a message. [applause] >> let's talk about, we kind of alluded to it earlier in the conversation. let's talk about the election coming up in april 2016. the mayor is not running for reelection. i guess my question is a bit of a broader question. can we continue on operating within the infrastructure, political and structure -- political infrastructure we have
operated, can we continue and be successful going forward in 2016 and beyond? >> as a reporter covering city hall, i don't think so because i think come as a talked about before just some specifics, the unity is not sustainable fiscally, but also its almost impossible to change it appears, regardless of the facts compete successfully has adopted those policies and the expenses and heavy hitting police experts have consisted despite plenty of evidence that they're going to work in the long run and evidence we see right before us. i really think at this point a candidate has to come out of nowhere or change the political alliances they have created, the machine that existed before. the machine must in order for the city to change it's pretty much it's dry just be dismantled at some level. the very simplest form.
>> i think we have to work also outside of the political sphere. we've been talking about segregation as a bad thing but look, there used to be a very rich black public sphere during segregation and i think we have to find ways to retreat the public sphere that takes a lot of the functions, i mean, i was, took care of a lot of those functions that we have now offloaded to the state. the state isn't doing it. something quick to recruit those functions outside of the -- >> because daddy show i encounts with the criminal justice system decrease civic engagement of tikrit huge civic engagement deficit in baltimore and it's going to be difficult to replace what you're talking about. and also the other big problem is that mayor is so powerful, such a powerful me your rates.
i think it's going to take something really radical just to be able to shift the perspective of this in a way will facilitate what you're talking about. >> so the one benefit and so we have a strong mayor system. with a strong mayor system to the mayor controls most of the power in the city. they are structural dynamics are quick to change the city charter to work with that and that's the figure closer to the that but it didn't go the hard. i think what we've got now with a combination of the freddie gray uprising from the politics around the and then they occupy baltimore which occurred a few years before that, we've still got a couple of really powerful radical tendencies that give us the opportunity to do something this election. the best thing i think that the mayor could have done was decide not to run. because what that does is it creates the space for more
competition. and sheila dixon's case some would argue that she would've been, she basically had the election unlock because all she had to do was talk about what mayor rawlings-blake didn't do. now the rawlings-blake is out of the picture just to run on a record or a record is kind of shaky. that gives at the candidates a possibility that kind of rot on their own record the event to give us the latest folks who are interested an opportunity to connect and check this economic violence or do they think is going to be the most important argue that we need somebody to take hold of. >> i want to agree with that and add something because, i may get in trouble for saying this. the money candidate is out of the race. shed huge bankroll and watauga a strong mayoral backward look at who is backing the mayor and where the power is coming from. so that creators, that creates a vacuum that come into a vacuum
it's almost impossible to do it. my answer on what i think is again we have to acknowledge these problems. i don't even tell student i don't even talk about school reform in order to talk about the skill set. how do you take the crappy resources that are offered, figure out what a win is in your own idea of success and an aggressively attacking the to a politician not going to do it. [applause] >> the reality is that most of the money for most of these races comes from downtown coalition government and lawyers and organizations like that. if you want to mount a campaign you are going, if you going to be in control of that -- i don't think there's a bernie sanders type of model yet for baltimore that would work that i can see. that's actually true. >> there's no way you'll be able
to raise substantial money because that's what the money flows back and forth but it would be difficult to stage this insurgent candidacy without some source of money other than those normal places. >> i think we are out of time. i want to ask the audience to thank our panelists for a really lively discussion. [applause] do you know what? really, really quicke quick thes want to give a shout out. before freddie gray was murdered there were a number of incidents of police brutality that resulted in death and there' anp of folks have been organizing for approximately 820 days or so about the death of tyrone west. they been organizing every wednesday something called west wednesday. if you're interested, my man mike is over to my left. is taking up, they been organized for weeks. that's high west family. i think what we have to do is space like this is not only, is
talk to the extent we can't about people who are actually doing activist work and organize on the ground. and right now they are. >> much respect speed talk about sisters doing work. wanda jones has been doing it out of her own pocket. >> it has much to do with mostly being elected. [inaudible] >> they will be right back there as you leave. >> all right. thank you all. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> tonight on q&a, tyler able, steps in of the late washington merry-go-round columnist drew pearson talks about the second line of mr. pearson's diaries which give an insider's take on washington, d.c. from 1960-1969. >> it was just remarkable all the things that he did. and sometimes he would criticize himself in the diary if you present a carefully. you must have come across different places where he said i should do that quite that way, or lending is going to get mad at me for the way i wrote that column. but it needed to be told. what i wrote and i'm glad i wrote. >> tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on q&a. >> this is a booktv on