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tv   After Words  CSPAN  April 1, 2016 12:58am-1:58am EDT

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pattern so i think this has to be brought to consciousness so we can begin to unravel and change had >> thank you so much. dr. baptist, i was wondering if he could draw on the research from your book to tell us how you think america would lookeal today. >> to answer this question i would really like to have that map back. [laughter] that would really be helpful. sa do you want me to answer just about the united states or do you want to assume that the trade across the atlantic never happen? >> yes, that would be great. slavery doesn't just take place in the new world and the united states. it takes place in the caribbean and south america in every country that exist fro
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if there had been no slave tradt , it certainly possible that spanish colonization may have gone on for a while but i think that the settlements in north america would've been a lot more successful. t they were the second but the first one didn't last. the they were eventually driven back. i think something like that b would have happened in the new world. there may have been a few colonies that stuck. the advantages of labor and creating colonies but the because of slave labor made them an attractive slight for investment. d this definition of whiteness really emerges in the united states in the context of slavery
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and the advantage of it emerged there as well. in the end, the english settlement, if you had taken place of all was quite likely have failed. even if they had lasted for a little while, i think in the broader context without slavery and particularly slavery in the caribbean but also more so inin the u.s., i think in a broader context the imperialism would been a lot less powerful or a lot less lasting about force in the world because without patent slavery in the u.s. you don't have the industrial revolution. it's not the only necessary factor for the industrial revolution but i think it is a o crucial factor that removes some of the limiting factors on economic growth and it makes europe and european settlers society like the united states much more powerful. in the end, i think the map they showed, the mexican wall may
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have been even further north and east then you actually saw it. so most of what we think of is the united states would have continued to have been dominated by the people who had inhabited it first, so long before this time. >> what about the other side of the picture? what about our africa if there hadn't been a slave trade.e trae >> that's an interesting question too. there's been a great deal of debate about the long-term impact but most of the evidence is that it was profoundly negative. we know today that the areas in africa where there was the greatest impact from the slave trade are the areas where you have the most distrust of government, the most distrust of other ethnic groups. you have have the greatest levels of violence and in some of those areas you have significantly high levels of poverty.
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we don't know how things would've turned out without thet slave trade in africa if trade had not happened at all or if trade had been peaceful rather than primarily violent. if it was devoted to kidnapping people or convincing africans to kidnap other african people, but i think we can safely guess that the situation would have been better for africans in 2016 if the slave trade had never happened. >> my next question is for professor hernandez. >> i was afraid of this. i was trying to ask the question myself but i suppose i have to submit. >> you can avoid it. explain the narrative that we are familiar with of english colonization, that has been misleading. can you you explain why that is? >> i do think it's necessarilyly
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been misleading ever as a narrative, but it's been misleading narrative about how the united states came to be what it is.other it undervalues the contributions of other communities that have contributed to the making of the united states. obviously it undervalues blacks and all the communities who have joined this country relatively late but nevertheless i refashioned it and reformed it into what it is today. in my book i focus on one omission in the traditional narrative which is the community of european origin which is seen in the territory of the united states, it's the community in
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which is now designated in the senseless as hispanic because they have that territory for a hundred years before anybody spoke english within the limits of the united states. people practiced catholicism for a hundred years before anybody practiced in people followed lords based on the civil, for a hundred years before anybody introduced the idea of common law. you can't have a total picture of this country if you only understand something made in a white anglo-saxon protestant image from east to west without taking account of the fact that it's like every fabric is made
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in multiple directions with plural contributions and inn particular, you can understand the makings of the united states without taking into account the history of that making in which spanish speaking people, hispanics were the effective force, they are they makers of the entire story of the history in the united states. >> i'd like to ask question, you been documenting the political and cultural landscape through your illustrations. y i was wondering if you could comment on race relations in the united states. you think they have improved as our country is becoming more diverse or have you seen the situation get worse?
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>> do you want to read my hate mail? before the internet, is to get hate mail, white supremacists and they would actually, instead of mailing letters they would they would mail them and write them practically in crayon.or there were always misspelled but they always conveyed the message that i didn't belong in that i should go back to where i came from, san diego california and so, i get depressed when i look at her teams that i drew back in 1992 when we have this thing called proposition 187 and it's
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kind of like the granddaddy law to your sb 1070 here. i could almost take those cartoons, change the date to 2016 and they still apply. it comes in cycles. were at a really bad cycle right now thanks to orange hitler.go. so, they come and go so i feel yes, there's more diversity and brown people are creeping into more establishment races in hollywood, and in politics, but it's really slow. i'm just happy i made it this long to see at least one of the good cycles,. i think it's got to improve down the road because people have to deal.
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i remembered this marine recruit that got let go from the marines when he was spotted at a trump rally screaming and almost hitting a young black protester. i thought, i'm not militaristic guy or anything, but i thought good job marines. that was a good work decision right there. that guy, that kid was not fit h to protect what was going to be his diverse fellow soldiers. if we could find another young man that are qualified, i'm sure sure it will be kind of easy,,te but someone that's not ready to play with the rest of us. so that's the reality now. we are diverse and we know, i've always been diverse i always
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grew up in san diego with asian, black, mexican and white people and sometimes when i hear just comments from new zealand folks, i just wonder, did you grow up in a bubble on jupiter because the country is not that 100% white. so the answer is?esson tha >> thank you. could you comment on whether there is a lesson you think can be drawn from your book? what lesson do you hope people will learn after reading your book, the future of whiteness? t >> i think we have to start talking about it. that's what i'm trying to do., i'm trying to make it easier for us to talk about our
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differences. i think the language is universal humanism and theheis a attempted # all lives matter and the attempt to say that races a thing of the past or post- racialism, really those are bankrupt message of dealing as he puts it with the realities of the united states. we have to find a way to talk about it. i think also, i'm trying to really think about whites who are struggling in the united states and have long struggled and some who are struggling even more so today and not write those people off. not right off the legion of trump supporters who have been led to believe that he's going to change their situation and improve their economic livelihood. i think the book ends with some stories that i try to put in
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there but the book ends with the story of a klansman who was the grand wizard of the clan ins. north carolina for a number of years. he was a mill worker and he had experienced identity -based his father died of brown long in his 40s and he had been working since the eighth grade to try to support his family. he was struggling his whole life and through the experience of the 60s he came to have a conversion experience and he figured out that he was on the wrong side. he came ton realize thatt african-american kids had it as bad as his own white kids did. he had a lot in common with theo poor and he had the feel of a
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convert. when he figured this out he felt he was going to go to his clanha group and tell them what he hady learned and talk about hate mail or death threats, they wanted to lynch him. so what was interesting in thise case, there's another book about him, it's a great story to read, but was interesting about him was that he had really had no place in his society as a mill worker. he felt that he had no place or he had no respect from anybody. they made fun of him because he dressed poor and his kids dressed for and he saw that they had no place in society. they gave him a place. they gave him a uniform that would hide his close, they gavei him a title, they, they gave him respect from the political leaders who would call him secretly at night and tell him w
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what was going on. when he had his conversion and he had to give up his white supremacist view, he lost his place in the white community of durham north carolina. he didn't exactly have a place in the black community although he developed very strong friendships. he died, he got a job as a maintenance worker at you duke university. he was a constituency that was a majority african-american. at the end of his life, but he struggled, he converted and figured out the truth and then he had no place. that is what we have to address and that is what we have to change in this country if for going to make social progress. nobody's to be able to do it alone. nobody's going to be able to change the conditions of their own groups economic livelihoodih
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alone, not in coalition with others. we have to find a way to makeet that coalition, even with. can i say something about that because i'm actually from durham north carolina.ina, >> i know of him and i've probably worked with some people who are in the union with him. i grew up in the 70s and 80s in north carolina and i went to the majority of black schools and most of my teachers were black which is part of how i ended up writing a book about how slavery shaped american capitalism. if you go back far enough to my early teachers. i remember an incident in 1979 when i was in fourth grade.n and in 1979, in greensboro north carolina, there is an anti- klan
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rally and clan in american nazi parties descended upon it andso there was some confrontation and shouting and they went out and got shotguns and rifles. when they got done shooting, six individuals from the anti- klan march word dead. the m several of them were from durham some had gone over to join us march including the mother of one of the kids in my class. i said i believe the march was on a sunday. and monday he was back in class. she survived the march but she was really upset at the fact i that her mother had been shot. she was so upset that she put up a poster from this anti- klan march in the bathroom that was attached to a classroom and this caused one of the students to become very angry and he talked to me about it and he said my
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fathers in the clan, my uncleses and the clan, this girl would be so scared of them and i remember thinking remember thinking in my head, this person is insane. i talked to my parents about it and i said well, this is wrong., surely the people who did the shooting are going to be punished. in fact they were exonerated. they felt their lives wereur threatened in sort of an early standard round type of ruling. eventually, they all got off but i remember this event and they bring it up now to say that i agree that we have to address
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the legitimate economic grievances for all americans who aren't part of the four or 5% half because we know that median incomes for most people have not risen in real terms, adjusted for inflation since the early 1970s while the cost of many u other things have gone up in real terms, college education, a house to live in, the cost of retirement and healthcare have all gone up. most of us have legitimate economic reasons and grievances that have to be addressed. we also have to address racial and political violence. we have to address it. we have to do so because otherwise we cannot actually solve the problems that we have. we can't solve them together and that's this particularly frightening moment. today in talking points memo, i don't know if you read this, it's great open source reporting site, josh marshall wrote somebody's going to be killed by the trump rally. it's just a matter of time. that poisons our discourse.
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that poisons our ability to come together and actually solve our problems. this is not to disagree with anything that the professor said but to remind us we have to say no to this kind of political violence. >> at this time we will start taking questions from the audience. if anybody has a question for our panelists you can make your way up to the microphone on either side. >> you can just line up at the microphone i would like to give my personal thanks to you for being here and letting me go on a little bit more and learn about race in america. an i'm a 60s child and i thought i knew quite a bit about race. i had been happily married to an african-american woman for 49 years. i paid my dues. again i want to thank you for
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being here. i want to read the list of names hamlin very lewis gates, bell cy hooks, coates, holder congressman lewis jesse jackson toni morrison, that's only a que partial list that i brainstormed for a couple minutes. h the reason i'm reading the list is to ask you a question how come they're not here. [applause]. as a person when ranged and invited all the authors, good>> question they once said, as an author of nine novels and a
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memoir, i've just written an be article which hasn't been published yet. it says how exhausted i am, how totally exhausted i am the every every time i have to go from the bottom to try to prove myself up that i'm a writer and i'm going to write the best book, the publishing industry is totally white. i mean on every aspect of it. the publisher, the editor, the o agent the marketing person the distributor. i go very often to big literary organizations and see all of these people from the publishing industry and you can count on one hand the people of color. now if these are the gatekeepers of books, just right here, i've been here for two days just going around, i can see the isults. how then do people learn aboutou
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the black experience. how then are you exposed to the black experience? bernie sanders, he's a well-intentioned man but he mads the mistake to think of african-americans only living in the ghetto. it's not his problem, it's the problem because we don't have st access we have stereotypes running around in the bestlege,t intentioned people. i found myself, i'm a distinguished professor, i have a phd, i have written many, mang scholarly books as well as novels, but every time i go to pick up my granddaughter from her school the parents, the teachers, everybody thinks i'm the nanny. so i have taken to using props.
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i told a friend how humiliating it is that i go there withot a props. i go with the new york times. if i'm reading the new york times i'm not a nanny.y. or i go with the new yorker. if i'm reading the new yorker i'm not a nanny. but the minute i put those things down, i'm a nanny. >> think you so much. would anybody else like to comment on your own experiences? >> i would just like to say that i've never been handed the keys to valet parker car while i was at any place in the hood but in beverly hills it has happened a couple of times. so but we all, as mexican-americans, every, every
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nail mail has that experience o. being asked if you're the gardener of a beautiful home, how much do you charge, their clich├ęs and we have all of those stories. s latinos i think sometimes go shopping, i did a comic strip about this when my female character go shopping and every white lady is asking if she can help with bad and where's the rest human can you help with this. it's just like it still happens today. anxie >> i just had a slight anxietyor that there's a tendency, to take the tendency to substitute a discourse. i would be very proud to be mistaken for a nanny because it
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represents a payment and a skilr set which i know is beyond, i wish i could do it. it's the same, i absolutely sympathize with the question and i kind of wish that i couldty share these humiliations although i've suffered plenty of my own.n't i
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you can't imagine it. you can't imagine the humiliation. every time i think that's a but- result. >> i just want us to be aware that there are two problems here.we both of which we have to address and we mustn't take an escape route from racial prejudice.
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>> i think they're connected very to be seen as a nanny is a figment of the labor force as racialized and has a class identity both. that don't put so much weight on the eight examples pretty think they issue is that you are seen as not necessarily having a phd when you stand in front of a college classroom. were seen as not having as smart an argument when you give a paper at your scholarly conference. the bias that works on the bits of racism in class and gender and other sectors of identity under man mines the perception of the merit of our work and tho quality of our ideas on a daily basis. it has to be addressed in a serious way. let's take another question. we'll go here and then come back. >> my name is john and i'm a
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native californian. i've lived in the san francisco bay area. one thing i wanted to ask the panel or have comments on, we have tremendous sectors happening on the west coast and in our high school district we see more more students who are being encouraged versus having german and they're now having mandarin. the impact is becoming higher and higher for someone professional in the 21st century to learn mandarin or be knowledgeable in mandarin. thank you. >> does anyone want to comment on that? >> as the only mandarin speaker up here, i'm just kidding. [applause].n,
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let me just say one thing. i think we devalue spanish and if you come into the classroom with the french accent or you come in with a german accent. students strained to understand what you're saying and give you an enormous amount of credit but if you come in with a caribbean accent, forget about it you get bad evaluations. clearly it's an advantage to have more than one language for every language and we have to stop ranking the hierarchy of languages that are worth having and those that aren't worth having. >> my name is mike and my comment, my conversations. welcome.
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say that as a public comment this is where my brothers and sisters, we need to revisit thaa because it is a form of colonialism. you name it, you claim it. i think, i've had this discussion and they have to revisit and challenge this is our land. if we agree, as your map shows,
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what does it say about us? as native people? that doesn't show that at all. maps reflect the borders of the monarchy. >> i'm talking sir. >> you're completely missing a fantastic entity. >> may i finish. there's a form of imperialism that i'm talking about. you see the color of my skin. >> that's intellectual superiority, obviously obviously. respectfully, we can disagree, but i think we have to have that discussion. >> i also agree that was not intended to be the map.
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the conversation in the cartoon in the one that trump has been making between the international issues between the u.s. and mexico, as they are, are, we can have a discussion all day long about whether mexico should exist because there's a lot of indigenous nations there that have obviously been colonized so, it's a snapshot. >> forgive me, but i do have hae reaction to the gentleman's comments. ins one doesn't advance by offering those types of childish insults. when you make a mistake, that is not imperialism that is rational
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discourse because unless we have discussions on the basis of fact, we will never get anywhere [applause]. >> let's take the next questiont from this woman right here. >> actually want to thank all of you on the panel. i'm the daughter and to those who don't know what that is, that's when my father was invited to come to the united states to work. his hands were hired. i found in love with a beautiful woman in arizona. they went to colorado. they lived in the railroads. my mom created the very first potato chip. i'm also a documentary filmmaker. what i find really disgusting is the type of moves that we have today, i was in denver for about 12 or 15 years. a our stories were special stories about
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they were about art, culture, language, politics sports and it was a coalition through that time and that movement and they were saying look, we don't have any representation here.o get all of that, that was in the late 60s, 70s, 70s and i'm still trying to get my documentaries on film or television. what i'm finding is social medig , i can have 11,000 hits in in three days. what is wrong with media, you're on tv and i think think what helps a lot of people in this country is actually two things i think music and humor. when we can laugh at each other and laugh with each other, i think that's the most powerful medicine here. i'd really like to applaud, and i'd like for you to just discuss a little bit about what you are discussing at the other, the
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whole idea of humor and how we look at each other, but. >> we have about a minute left a comment. >> from an essay if you want to see some political satire that'h medical and current and funny and vital, watch my show that i work on called border town tonight at 7:00 o'clock on fox. it's the funniest animated show you're going to sightsee. >> thank you. unfortunately we are going to have to end the session. i want to thank all of our panelists for participating today. [applause]. do not forget to become a friend of the festival. i'm sure that our festival remains a free audience members are asked to
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continue on with your day. thank you very much. >> the former israeli ambassador to the u.s. will talk about some of the challenges facing israel and the middle east including the palestinian conflict. there will be live coverage at ten eastern here on c-span2. later discussion of new privacy rules proposed by the sec to cover broadband service providers and what those rules might mean for consumers and businesses. that's why from the congressional internet caucus at noon eastern. >> the media teaches us that democrats and republicans are supposed to be at odds with each other. i think that people need to recognize that we need to be respectful towards each other we need to understand that senators are respectful towards each other and that will be more conducive to "getting real"
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policy done. the truth is, these people and these people that we see on television are c-span and they're real people. when we saw president obama, perhaps the thing that stood out to me was he had bags under his eyes. he was tired, he was a real person dealing with real things. i thought that was most interesting. >> sunday night on book tv, high school students around the country talk about their experiences in the weeklong government and leadership programs and the plans for the futures. they met with members of the government and media representatives. he came to talk to us and i really loved the insight he gave us about the outside shores, reporting back to us in the electorate about what's going on in our country.
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ruth bader ginsburg was one of the biggest inspirational speakers this week. >> i think it's important that politicians go to their state capital with their eyes on the goal and they're determined to meet that goal instead of sacrificing it in the light of money or bipartisanship or whatever it is. we need to get back to respecting all americans the matter what their background into making this country a more respectful place where people are welcome to give their opinion. that sunday night east 80 string on c-span q&a. he talks about his book democracy in black. he spoke with mark of the national urban league. >> i'm mark i'm president of the
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national urban league. >> i'm honored to be here. we've got some time to talk and of course you've written a new book that we want to talk about. we also, i think it's always fascinating to viewers and certainly too many about how you got from mississippi, a great community down in the gulf coast all the way to princeton university. just talk a little bit about yourself. >> i'm a country boy who made it big. that's what i like to say. my dad was the second black postman. that was a big job. he moved us from one side of town to the other side. we were the third african-american family that moved into this nice
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neighborhood on the hill. we went into a better school system, it was a lot different. it didn't have as many distractions. it was an integrated school. it was a residential, predominantly black area. he had to deal with periodic layoffs, but i had some wonderful teachers. my sister graduated valedictorian of our high school. i wanted to leave home because i had a very contentious relationship with that man called my dad. he had tough love, but everything i am is a copy of him
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i went to a summer science program and i said i wanted to be a doctor. this shows you how beautiful these are. i went into this office machines i sat down and i said i'm in the convince you not to send me home for 30 or 40 minutes i sat there and told them why they should admit me and i walked out of that office with a scholarship. my mother put me on a bus with a powder blue suitcase. from that moment on, i found my way. >> when did you know that you wanted to be a scholar. when did the idea of teaching and being a scholar really grasp
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you? did you get there after a long winding road or is it something you focused on from early on? >> my mother told me i was born to push a pencil because i didn't like manual labor. i asked her one summer if i could get a job at a shipyard and she said you're not going to embarrassed me. i realized i wanted to be a professor. i forget, where we were. he just took an interest in me. i remember i would say something and he would put his head on the table. >> relationship with the faculty member who becomes a mentor and i'm sure a friend. >> oh he's a close friend.
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the thing that was so beautiful about it, i didn't have to navigate and negotiate how i got there or that i should be there. i walked in to the hall and everything around me just affirmed who i was. even though i was coming from a working-class family, the post office was a good job back then, but still, my mother clean toilets for a living. she had her first baby when she was in the eighth grade but my dad stuck in there and they made a life with their family. but something was put in me, even as i was struggling and they tried to kick me out three or four times but there is something about this race thing, something about this dedication to the justice and something about martin luther king from over and the king chapel. giving us a charge to change my life. i always say wherever i am i'm
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supposed to be. i'm a morehouse man wherever i go. it transformed me. so you would say to those young men who are looking for a college experience become a morehouse man. >> absolutely. they play such a crucial role, but the challenge, and i say i say this in the book, challenge, and you know this in your work, is that many of the institutions that were so essential to us, they were crucial for our salvation, they provided a free space to imagine ourselves. many of those institution are struggling to keep their doors
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open. let's talk a little bit about this. the truth is, our institutions and those who may look at these institutions from the outside may sense a remark ability about how in the days of reconstruction and during the days of segregation you had 100 plus institutions of higher education that were historically black. next to that, you had dozens and dozens of voluntary associations , whether their religious organizations civil organizations, professional organizations which gave
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african-americans who are excluded an opportunity to organize themselves for the betterment of the community. so some would say, in the age of post- civil rights, these institutions have outlived their relevance and usefulness. how to respond to that? >> that is as wrong as to left feet and the reason i say that is the presumption as is folks, but you know by the way of the work that you do in the places that i teach in the places that i navigate integration isn't really a reality in many other sectors in the united states. more importantly, in addition, i talk about something in a book called the value gap. value gap is gap is something that i think is fundamental.
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of the achievement gap in the wealth gap but underneath it all is the belief that white people matter more than other people. who believes that? >> i think it's not about individuals, but i think it's about the way in which the country has been built. what i mean by that, let's go back to the example, we move from one side of town to the other. when we move from the east side to the west side, i remember when my dad was moving all the stuff in the house. i was eight years old and the police drove by and my dad got the keys and said yeah i own it. then i hear my neighbors daddy san stop playing with that nager so i grab my truck and i run inside. i tell my daddy who's a vietnam vet and worked hard his eyes
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darkened and he runs outside. now typically, that is the story of american racism. the child has to work over and against that word. the interesting thing is that it eight years old, i knew we were moving from the black set a time to the white side of town. >> when we went to school, my sister and i in the mid- 60s, just as the schools the schools in new orleans integrated, the school we went to was about three blocks past the dividing line of the black neighborhood where we lived in the predominantly white neighborhood one day when i was in first or second grade, the white kid
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invited several of us black kids to go play at the playground. that was about half a block away but it was the predominantly white place. he began to play and after we were there, about 15 minutes, a mother came and ran us off. she ran us off by saying you know you shouldn't be here. you don't belong here and if you don't go home you're going to be in trouble with your mother. of course at that age you interpret it as i was doing something wrong, not understanding are really knowing that she was basically saying, black kids don't belong on this playground. >> so it's this whole civil act. years later, you get the realization that you were being
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run out of a place that you had every right to be. those experiences are sometimes tough. what did that say to you. did you harbor a sense of anger or a sense of disappointment? how did you reconcile that. you move into this neighborhood and you find out maybe the boy i'm playing with is not such a nice person. in fact he might be a racist. the thing that came out was my dad, who was a really strong personality, he wasn't happy and he always made it clear to us that we were valued. that whatever these people said it meant nothing. his rage in response to it signaled to us that we should
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not abide it. i remember when we moved in and the neighbors in the back shot the back windows out with a pellet gun. my dad was shot spotted with a gun and shot back again. that was the model. what we think of racism, we think about this moment of injury and what i'm thinking about is much broader. i already knew something was different about me as a child. that was by the environment that i grew up and when we moved. every time it rains, our neighborhood flooded. then we moved to the west side. our sidewalks were paved. our baseball fields had high grass. the schools weren't good, the houses were smaller.
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by being called that word when we moved over, it was was just the icing on the cake. when we talk about where is the value gap and who believes it, it's built into our society. how does it manifest itself in 2016? >> so if one said you're absolutely right, this is in fact, what, what and how does it manifest because the concept is institutional. issues, challenges, their hard for people to grasp because it can be in front of them and they don't see it. but how does it manifest question marco give you two example. one is a story in one is a tragic reality. start with my son. my son is now up brown university. he is in urban studies.
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he had an assignment where he had to study old rich neighborhood. he's doing his part in a police cruiser drives by. he hits a quick u-turn and pulls up on a sidewalk. he jumps out and gets in the seat with the flashlight and hits him in the eye and said who are you and why are you here. my son said i'm a student at brown and i'm doing an assignment. the police officer the park closes at 930 and he said yes but it's only 730. the other officer comes around with his hand on his weapon and they both lean in and say the park closes at nine. my son puts his hands up and said officer we don't want any trouble. i was in 2015. the other stories flint michigan you have a community devastated
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by the industrialization and by the loss of manufacturing and now they're dealing with the fact that their babies have been poisoned because of bad water and lead. what does that mean? somebody made an economic decision not to upgrade the pipes and to get water out of the river. they made a decision because they view these people who live in that community is somehow less or valued less. so from policing to who has access to opportunity, for everyone opportunity a white person will get four or five opportunity. we know in terms of social networks in the united states. when you talk about the value judgment, talk about the book in
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the context and why you wrote the book. >> i read the book. let's talk more about the book. what's the take away that you want a reader of this book. >> the first thing i want is that we have experienced the extraordinary joy and significance of the first afghan american president but as you know, the reality is that you have these young folks who come of age and they're trying to figure out how they're going to make away. so we have all this economic devastation that happened over the last two or three decades. i wanted to write a book to say
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that we need to really fundamentally reimagine our politics because the stakes are so high and were in the territory that we've never seen before because were coming off eight years of the first african-american president. we will have to speak to black suffrage in a way that is really different. and the fact that her babies are being shot down in the street. >> i want to take you back to january of oh nine. there was a self-congratulatory narrative being created that the country, because of a failed election on a single day had somehow transformed itself into
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this post- racial america. >> it manifested itself because there were those who said that organizations can now close their doors and discontinue their work and their no longer relevant because your community has one of its own in the white house. at that point in time, what was your reaction to that narrative? >> i remember this very well because remember watching cnn and i remember them saying, on election night no more excuses. i said, oh my god. were going to have to be diligent. were going had to be alert. we have to be more politically mature.
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at that point, i remember saying this to my wife. even though we were experiencing a joy of watching president obama in chicago at hyde park i said were in for some dark times they're not only question hp use , but they're going to question any attempt to speak to the suffering of black communities. what we've witnessed over the last eight years and you've seen this in your work is how difficult it has been to give voice to the suffering that has taken place. >> at the time, i immediately believed that the post- racial was a spin move being infected


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