tv Discussion Focuses on Islamophobia CSPAN October 21, 2016 7:13am-8:44am EDT
expressions of islamohphobia, what is the point? no matter what i do or how i much i tried to prove i am french they will never accept me for who i am. these actions for me because everyone in the panel said it they have a reaction and we are all part of it. it is not an extreme group of people this is all of us. there are groups who are trying to do something about it. trying to have dialogue, they are hosting it, i am part of the problem because i may have contributed to islamohphobia, we need to know we are all part of this and having these dialogues to have a safe place to ask the question.
to open and demystify the market and afraid of it, with the highest wave of attacks and built in the communities, so the muslim community needs to demystify, there is nothing happening here this is what is going on. muslims at large, i am generalizing all of them need to go on this issue. it is not about us and them and we are stuck in this dynamic. we need to own it. whatever one may be, some are religious, some are practicing, at the end it is a collective so all of us need to cohen the issue. i have nothing to do with it.
and part of this issue, we need to cohen it, taking more actions in defining what we are seeing. >> to the audience. >> i don't see a quick solution to this but we do what we can, always initiatives are going on. we have to join up some of these initiatives. good work being done here and everywhere. where things are happening, let's join up these as it becomes more of a moment and we need to step outside the box, try to think of more imaginative ways of dealing with it. it is a bit old-fashioned
really. the young you mentioned, i never thought i would say the following words that i really like what the poster is doing at the moment. >> wants to share the formal profession. >> when i was a none no one told me to take off my veil or my habit. what he is doing, he does make suggestions. this is a world of pictures and images, everyone taking photographs, you take a picture, and image on social media and it
shifts. attitudes, much more basically. and this is very much their culture, we need to think of new ways of attacking or dealing with this. attacking is the wrong word. dealing with this problem before we are overwhelmed. >> quick further intervention. i see someone here. if you could identify yourself and to whom you would like to ask the question. >> wonderful conversation. i would like to address my question to vali nasar. what is the impact of islamohphobia on muslim societies themselves in the sense that we all need to question ourselves and we all
need to question our system of practices practicing our own religion, we are a little bit behind in the muslim majority countries, what kind of impact does this phobia have on muslim majority society, freethinking and moving forward with our own practices? could you please also relate that to the backward progress of secularism? freedom of religion basically everywhere and in a more and more diverse society really can only, comfortably practice, people can comfortably live together if we have secularism. if the religions are one part of our life and governance is another and we should be secular and not atheist but secular if
you want to have that diverse city. >> good question. to dana's point, if there is any diversity here, muslim societies are engaged in this conversation or reacting in the same way. in most of the muslim world the perception is the problem is not with islam culture but foreign policy and they don't encounter in a major way what is described every day challenges to identity, having muslims in cairo or not confronted with challenges to their religion. i don't think the debate is impacting on the ground the way it impacts in the west. as a result i think larger intellectual voices in the
muslim world, could be trendsetting whether it is an important intellectual -- voices are not as engaged in this conversation as they should be. that is one of the reasons this is not moving as quickly as we think. it is easy to talk about terrorism but i don't see clerics trying to resolve the problem in the middle of -- are you allowed to do certain things to accommodate pressures going on? there is a dominant view the west is a colonial power, and the last way to get populations outside the united states if you direct them to do it, the dynamic, if you exhort people to
extremism, to join terrorism. there was not a promise of paradise. defeating government on the ground, capturing cities, keeping the us, and scriptural exercise of power. a feeling at a gut level, humiliated day in and day out on an everyday basis. and a single battle on the battlefield, a single confession that is meaningful to muslims, there is a reason you become secular. >> a couple responses here. >> talk about secularism.
a lot of people believe the extremism of secularism in france is leading to this crisis. it is a statement of that, when you ask french muslims, we want to be accepted as we are and secularism is a rigidity in france, rigidity, the definition of it, you are like this or not. how do we have -- how can we develop an acceptance, this is an issue being forced to re-examine the meaning of secularism. maybe these are two paradigms, too extreme.
there is more fluidity rather than rigid identity. it is okay. >> a lot of questions, i see one here. to the back and left please. >> i am a writer. and intriguing conversation. to come back in 1997. in all the countries have a unique name like saudi arabia, indonesia, so different culturally and historically, to one aspect which is religion.
that is religion which has so many different interpretations to one aspect. we are glad you brought the point there are many interpretations as there are. don't you think it is about time we really -- so my grandmother -- my mother -- they were both -- who is to say? one criticism i have of media and i would like to know how you feel about this, we are not used to that one aspect was when people look and see me
criticizing the islamic republic and imposing one interpretation of history, culture, people upon the whole society they tell me you are western. how do we do that? >> they are feeling the same way in america. do we not want that? >> would you like to comment on that? >> i would like to leave it -- >> take a shot at that. >> i take your point, a strong and valid comment, the muslim world is being put into one
definition, very different and important to recognize it. i take your point and agree. >> i am sorry. >> i will change and ask you a question. >> among practicing muslims there is a sense of belonging to a community but you are right in the sense westerners have lost the balance in terms of how to look, there's a balance in the middle understanding in terms of the book, prayers, practice, connecting someone in indonesia with someone in turkey or nigeria but these differences of belonging in one community has
hurt the muslim world. many practice diversity in practice, has begun to erode in favor of a single author. everything in moderation and balance, that is a balance not only the muslim world has to discover but in looking at the muslim world we have to observe. >> europe is the same. who is european? there are different answers, secular, scientific, christian catholic, europe has lost -- i don't think we can get rid of -- we have to be conscious about diverse city. you have to do something in terms of plurality.
a social phenomenon but you have to do something in terms of politics. >> we are running out of time so let me pick up two questions. i know there are many people -- we want to come back to the panel for one minute of each to close. >> thank you. this is really thought-provoking. as someone with a jaundiced view of world religions including islam let me say the following. people were complaining that the west sees itself as superior to islam, every religion sees itself as superior including islam. the jews the greeks, the chinese and the rest, the indians and the un-pure the muslims, the best nation that
i think what we have here is an era problem more than a muslim problem. all these are in addition of be a radical islamist groups in the 20th century were arabs. they were not from indonesia or malaysia or nigeria. all right? [laughter] from osama bin laden. as long as you have a broken arab world you're going to have this problem. the problem of radicalism -- you don't find too many turks. so my words are that toxic? >> let's take the last question. last question here. let's have one question and they will come back to a final round.
>> a major professor of economics. great panel. i would like to say something which will show my, you know, disagreement and then ask questions all panel members. begin i'm an economist so bear that in mind. i don't think this is something that we can call secular failure. i am from turkey. i came to this country 20 years ago. i grew up in a secular country and never felt oppressed or anything because i'm not even for. america's actually very different from europe in that sense. i'm very well educated. i came to high point in this country because the way this country the united states america works, so the failure is the politicians say the to response to globalization. ms. armstrong said that at the
beginning. this is about globalization of economy, capital markets, labor market. the winners and losers are out of that. for politicians it's an easy to use islamophobia, many of these things. so this is about the failing of the politician and the policy towards that phenomena that we went through the last 10, 20 years, right? in that sense not probably the failure of secularism. this country the public education is a very secular one and we all know the ones are educating their children in this country it is very multicultural. and i believe this is the solution to none of you said anything about the role of government in education. not only multicultural but also about secular education. secular definition about not having religion and politics and the education. not working.
i fully agree you cannot agree with how people dress and a people worship and pray, but it should definitely the case religion is no place in politics and the education. if you do that which is what does country to i think this problem can be easily solved. this has to be solved in the context of the politicians and policy failures as response. so my question to you is, how your view in terms of how can you separate the failures. defined about religion not being in talks. >> as i think we can see through this discussion, not only is this conversation needed, but there are a lot of people in the audience hungry for the conversation. so we are really at the end of time, this panel. not the end of time in general.
[laughter] and i just want to go down the panel from my left and ending with vuslat, one minute or less any final observations would like to make. >> a book about violence talked about miniaturization of identity, and to think that what's coming up all over the place. once you miniaturize and identity it is possible to attack it. because we are daily with complexity here. and religion as you pointed out and i said earlier in my book, that religion permeated all activity. it wasn't something -- as soon as we got, a french book, but of religion as a thought in france as a revolution, in which the first secular state they beheaded 17,000 men, women and
children in public. it would seem as though secularism will be tremendously nine. but they created a new religion in the nation. and the nation, lord acton pointed out, into a come to miniaturization. lord acton in the late 19th century, a british historian said the new nation-state, is it, with the emphasis on culture, ethnicity and language in the nation-state would make it very difficult for people who did not fit the national profile and with accuracy he said with in some cases they could be enslaved or even exterminated. and we've seen that and it's what we've been thinking of and what we dread. so let's be triumphant about either religion or secularism. we are meaning seeking creatures. we try and discover meaning of
the also miniaturize, specially of the world gets more complex perhaps the more we need to miniaturize psychologically let's be aware of it. >> mr. minister briefly. >> if we are to determine another meeting, another conference another phobia something went to talk about secularization of islam as well. because we complained about politicization of islam. we have been discussing this issue for almost one century. but, unfortunately, islam itself has become a topic of an issue of secularization. so what are we going to do with religion? or what are we going to do with islam and the west, or what of it going to do with islam in european countries? as you said for time being, i was minister of some parts of foreign affairs.
i attended more than 10 meetings the subject with islam and security in europe. islamophobia really contributed greatly not only to the summarization to the politicization of islam, now the problem has come to the point of securitization of islam which is extremely important. we have to deal with it. >> vuslat. >> three points. one is muslim world, i dislike refer back does not see itself mr. as the muslim world. when we need each other, he's ironic, i'm a rocky, we fought with each other but now we are friendly. we don't see ourselves as all muslims not united. we see ourselves and our nationalities of point of differences. a muslim does not see itself as it's been referred to. that's one thing.
does that experiences up and awake with we love each other. hate each other. we know each other. second, maybe going back to the french, i mean the crusade and the spanish occupation is too long, but the goal force and the syrian war indeed does have an impact on islamophobia, so yes politics is having an effect to what's happening. maybe not that historical politics but the current one. when we look at iraq, it is destroyed right now. it is utterly destroyed, and you cannot separate that destruction and america and the western world in that destruction from the anger and hurt and the pain that is the major islamophobia, or that discussion at the attention. so it is indeed and related but i would argue and push for more immediate politics of what's happening right now, rather than
historic '01. and i do think this whole, we all need to reflect on ourselves ourselves. the western balkans to reflect back to current point about its own meaning of freedom and its own meaning of liberty at its own meaning of all of that because the saudis are being threatened right now by the west within the west. i do believe muslim world does need to be forced, not forced, needs to reflect on the south as well in its point of identity and as to the point of secularism and religion. the dusty to be a self reflection and how to become out of it. it is a point of tension right now and we're all part of this co-creation of it. what's going to happen i don't know. i'm going to leave it to vali. >> i would say taking away from this conversation, i would sit islamophobia is not just about religious dialogue or historical understanding. it's a problem of identity.
and it is a problem for muslims living in the west. i have children growing up. added you worry about their future. i didn't use to but i do worry about their future. it's a problem for this community, a problem that is partly internet and partly has been basically landed on them in recent months. it's also problem for the united states and european countries, because within our lifetime, before very long islamophobia can change the political map of europe as we know it. and even in this country it can play a very important force in terms of the kind of politics that will dominate. and there's no easy solutions to it, largely because it is not just about religion and history. it's not just about understanding. it's really the bigger political problem, and in some ways i think we are at a point where
these kind of identity politics is a problem for everybody. and it requires a much bigger solution going forward. so if i were to say, hopefully may be taken after last night you can think that there's an opportunity january 20 for the u.s. to turn a page, i think having a serious conversation about the direction of identity politics in america which we are a part of it is very important. and we all have essentially responsibility to contribute to that. >> thank you. vuslat, final word. >> many things have been told about islamophobia and many different aspects of islamophobia. but in the end it's also a reflection of the polarization in society. polarization and radicalization, and being intolerant to the other. so we have to talk about
plurality would talk about islamophobia as well. there's a program wildly made about the failure of secularism, which i would love to have discussed for a longer time because i really do think that language is important, and secularism for me is the division of state and religion. it's not attacking, not wanting your cultural, not dislike liberty. so it's about coexistence. but when we come to islamophobia, i think we should also be thinking about how this radicalism is going to come to a page where we can really talk about issues. otherwise it's, today it is islamophobia but there are many phobias within the cultures.
>> thank you. before i ask you to applaud our panelists, if this is such a rich conversation, we know we are just scratching the surface of something we will have to talk about for some time, you are going to applaud them. we are going to move stage right. we are then going to pull down a screen for a three-minute sneak preview of a video we have been preparing as part of our effort to debunk islamophobic in the united states. you have the hashtag which is beyond islamophobia. this will not be distributed yet broadly except for the television cameras that are in the back. and we are still going to make some changes to this so we would take your advice, make this an interactive conversation both about the pain of which averted a but also any additional ideas you have for this three minute video of things we ought to be saying about muslims in america and the world.
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ideas for what i could film. i would come up with an idea that would be a great shot. i would think about that and that we give me a new idea of something else to focus on so that i do research about that. the whole process is about moving on other things as an scratching what doesn't work and you keep going until you finally get what is the finished project. >> your message to washington, d.c., help us what is the most urgent issue for the new president and congress to address in 2017? our competition is open to all middle school or high school students grades six through 12 with $100,000 awarded in cash prizes. students can work alone or in a group of up to three to produce a five-seven minute document on issues selected. include c-span program and also explore opposing opinions. the $100,000 in cash prizes will be awarded in should between 150 students and 53 teachers. the grand prize, $5000, or go to the student working with the best overall entry.
this year's deadline is january 20, 2017 so mark your calendars and help spread the word. for more information go to our website studentcam.org. >> a group of policy and others looked at the role of money in politics including the effect of the supreme court citizens united ruling. and how young voters can be more involved in politics. representatives from public citizens democracy alliance and the campaign legal center were among the speakers is after this event hosted by the american constitution society. it is one hour 15 minutes. >> what we're going to be talking about today as both attorneys and organizers, folks involved in the field is how millennials are uniquely situated to tackle the issue of money and politics. money and politics has long been a problem people could argue.
we've never had a perfect democracy but in the advent of the sage like citizens united and mccutcheon, recent supreme court jurisprudence is made all the more difficult for folks to equal voice and a vote in our democracy. so we are very lucky to be joined a dream team of young la linea up and comers in the democracy space. on the far left is brendan fischer. next to him is dreadful, director of the youth engagement fund for the democracy alliance. and right next to me is allie boldt, counsel at demos. so a couple things programming wise to start off on, acs has a couple events coming up next month. were getting attorneys in the area were able to volunteer their time on election day, or a couple days preceding to do something called election protection were called election protection forward megaphones and try to answer questions folks around the country and collaboration on election day to
make sure buddies vote is counted the we also have an event on the 17th of november, a voting rights training. there's an organization that is part campaign legal center, part american constitution society apart georgetown university. i training for how attorneys can help a pro bono basis to make sure everybody so is counted and it will be illegal similar for that. so today was going to talk about five big topics, talk about what the current legal landscape is what the supreme court has given us, how they can't do. will talk of what's been possible under the current rules and the current rubric. will talk will look at a little bit big picture, how millennials have engaged in a progressive movements. what kind of success is millennials have been able to get behind and other areas of the law and policy. then we'll take a look inward and talk about what the democracy field is good at doing and where it has some deficiencies, how it can be, more inclusive, better position and especially sub millennials lead the next phase of movement.
finally, we would end on a little bit of optimism and talk about what's possible now that we have a supreme court vacancy that could result in a progressive supreme court majority for the first time in 40 some years. we will be doing what it new democracy agenda could make not just a millennials as we go up, but for folks around the country. let's start off. my name is scott greytalk, free speech for people, a legal organization that started taking ideas into action to promote and reclaim our democracy and to go from the defense to the offense in order to get and initiative of the second of build an inclusive democracy for all. speaking of the legal landscape and what we are looking at now i will turn to our resident attorneys on the panel which is branded an alley to give us an idea of where we're coming from, where we're at and how we got here. >> can you all to me and to
relocate? so first things to scott and acos for having this important conversation and to be there with these panelists. in terms of a legal landscape, public and most well-known and politics supreme court decision is citizens united which was decided in 2010, and citizens united really unleashed spending by corporations on our elections. the reasoning also paved the way for super pacs which are of the vehicles that wealthy interests can use to spend any elections. said is united really made a lot of people mad and it sparked a lot of great activism around the country that we are going to hear more about, but at demos was a problem in the legalistic is actually going back farther to a case called buckley v. valeo. that case was decided in 1976. it was after the watergate scandal, at around the time the
congress to pass a fairly comprehensive package of money in politics reforms. some of the provisions were challenged and for the subject of this buckley litigation. so some other provisions in that package were upheld and the remaining part of our legal landscape today, and that includes contribution limits, so there are limits on the amounts that individuals can give to a particular candidate or party but on the other hand, the buckley court struck down limits on spending. and that includes limits on how much individuals can spend of their own money on elections as long as they do so independently of candidates. so we've never really gotten a chance to see how this comprehensive package would have worked together, but probably more problematic is the reasoning that the buckley court gave us in that decision.
so the court said the government has had an important reason to pass campaign finance reform. and it told us that the only reason that's important enough to justify having finance reform and limits on big money is to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption. the same time the buckley court said government cannot act to enhance political inequality or level the playing field among candidates your so since the '70s course of asking this really narrow question of whether a campaign finance reform is necessary to prevent corruption. and the effect of this from is that we haven't been allowed to do some of the biggest problems that we face in our political system. that includes things like barriers to entry. candidates are not taking seriously unless they can raise a lot of money and that leaves a lot of people out. it also means that we can't talk about the vastly unequal political power and political
boys in this country in these cases. we know there's elected officials are a lot more responsive to wealthy interests and the donor class. that's a problem for many reasons, not least of which the donor class is disproportionally are very white, also male wealthy and, frankly, there were not a lot of millennials in the donor class either, given that we just don't control that much of the wealth and we are burdened by student debt. >> thanks for having me here. so one point i want to emphasize is that it's not only is green card that's to blame for the broken campaign finance system that we are living in. it also rests in large part with the federal election commission which is the federal agency charged with administering and enforcing federal election law. a six member commission, enacted
after the watergate scandal requires four votes, four votes to take any action to take, promulgate new rules, for an enforcement action. and no more than three members can be part of the same political party. so there's three republicans two democratic members, one independent. and the probably the fec is not so much that it's a partisan split is not republish what a forceful against republicans, or republicans want a forceful against democrats, and democrats want a forceful against republicans. it's an ideological split and currently the three republican members are ideologically opposed to the enforcement of campaign finance laws. but even the laws that exist after citizens united are not currently enforced. so, for example, as alli described is citizens united said that because indigo expenditures are independent their sole risk of those
expenditures crafting a candidate. and the first mini bike independent groups like super pacs cannot be limited. but it's been is not independent but does put the risk of corruption, under federal as contribution to a candidate subject to a $2700 limit. and it falls to the fec to preserve the independence and uphold the laws and regulations guaranteeing that independence enforcement laws and regulations regulations. the fec has has interpreted this law to allow presidential candidates to appear at fundraisers for super pacs. the fec has declined and for even its week rolls on coordinated spending reducing both presidential candidates this year taking a closer to their support of super pacs to undermine the idea of any sort of independence. and again citizens united, the reason rested on this notion that independent expenditures are genuinely independent, it is the fault of the fec that we
have single candidate super pacs. citizens united also endorsed disclosure of donations, that disclosure would help limit the opportunity for corruption from unlimited independent expenditures, but dark money from undisclosed political spending, has exploded in recent years and that's the fault of the fec, the fec under the existing disclosure laws by narrowing interpreting it to only apply to what a nonprofit spends on elections, that they'll have to disclose contributions made for the purpose of funding those particular as to any nonprofit can assert that none of the contributions that were made to it or give it for the purpose of funding those particular ads therefore no disclosure, therefore dark money. so the system, the political system, the campaign finance system would not be great after citizens united is the fec enforces the laws but it would be a lot better than we have right now. also looking forward, it's
important to keep in mind that critical element in any campaign finance system, in any campaign finance regime is administration and enforcement of the law. even if we successful overturn citizens united, congress enacts new laws, those laws would not be worth the paper they're written on it cannot effectively administered and enforced. this can seem disconcerting but in some ways this is an opportunity because fixing the fec is a lot easier than overturning citizens united. the commission could fec are appointed by the president. the next president could appoint new commissioners to enforce the law. one of the things we've been calling for is for the president to appoint a blue ribbon commission of nonpartisan retired judges, non-partisan retired judges, nonpartisan retired law enforcement and they could come up with a list of the president could appoint commissioners off that list and we would see the laws that continue to exist after citizens
united effectively enforced. that's one thing. has also been bipartisan legislative introduced to reform the fec and make it a more effective agency. so that i think is one thing that can happen legislatively or by the executive branch would make a big difference in improving our campaign finance system. but after citizens i did there still plenty of room for proactive legislation in the realm of disclosure, in the realm of coordination, and also public financing. i think we will talk more about that but you've seen congress is hopeless. congress is not going to pass any proactive legislation on these issues at jesse many states and cities really advancing proactive legislation. south dakota has a ballot initiative currently pending that would improve disclosure. seattle recently enacted a
really innovative democracy voucher program where every voter gets $25 vouchers they can give to a candidate other choice. california has improved its coordination laws. those are just a few things that could still happen even short of overturning citizens united, even short of confirming a new justice on the supreme court. >> so over all it's not good news but there's reason for hope. we focus on the first two branches a lot right? the legislative branch and the executive branch, and a lot of the work the american constitution society has been focus on is how our finest system is affecting our judges picks our judges are elected in 39 states across the country. 95% of all cases that are filed in the nazis originate in state court state court judges hit on a ton of major policy issues in the environment to labor criminal justice, voting rights. we will talk later about report
we but recent talk about who makes up the state court benches and author reflecting the communities that they serve. it's important to keep the money the same time super pacs have come to dominate legislative elections, the same story for judicial elections. using more spending in and judicial elections across the country than ever before are special interest groups are having a larger role than they ever have before. we will get into that later. let's turn to what has been possible, a little bit of right lining to this. we will go to austin with the democracy alliance. 78% of americans oppose citizens united. it's been a good rallying point especially for young people. can you give us a sense if there is any good news what is that good news? >> thank you first of all for having me at acs, having all of us in the conversation is going to be rich because there's a couple points brought up i think
we could have given a bit of debate about the developed friends. but i will say it's kind of change having some from the democracy alliance which is a network of wealthy liberal donors talk to about getting money out of politics. a little paradoxical. but the truth is there's a big difference between liberal donors right now and conservative donors across the country. it's a bit of good news to at least point, which is traditionally the donor class has been pretty conservative in its use of some of his legislative issues but you have millennials who are inheriting a ton of wealth, entering the donor class. unlike their counterparts, are spending a lot of the resource they got how to get dark money out of our politics which may seem like a self-defeating thing but many of them know that over the long haul the interest of the 1% and interest of the 99% in terms of an inclusive economy at the democracy that works for all, there's a lot of
intersecting. that's one silver lining that i think people should think about. and why for the democracy alliance the issue of money in politics is front and center for the community. so there are a ton of movements we've seen over the past few years, post citizens united, which have been able to tap into the consciousness of a new generation and put a lot of momentum at the legislative and other strategies that the money and politics folks have been working on for a long time. and there are three principles, crosscutting kind of strategies or trends that you can see in these movements. movements like occupy wall street which i think at the end of the century you will see almost historians talking about the era before and after occupy wall street. when you think about the consciousness of change or movement for black lines or other movements. so here are the three things that i think, three trains we should be excited about but also
look at carefully if we're talking about we invigorating a democracy movement in the country with millennials. the first is the movements i mentioned a second ago that are stepping into this gap and challenge the role of money and politics are other issues, there are national movements not local. so it looks the way our news cycle, c-span is in the room and usher album lenders at home are watching right now, but the reality is that local news outlets have left the landscape. most of the information that young people, millennials are getting our come from national news outlets. this is a big deal for the money and politics site because a lot of the narrative that you all share with the national. and that's what these movements have tapped into. that's an advantage for us i think as we look at this. the second trend that's happening among millennials that should give us hope and optimism about getting money out of politics is about millennials are not gravitating around organizations per se, but
networks. and so in the past year people who are a member of the local union or a church or a civic association that was based geographically defined but i think that made it difficult to reach scale anyway were you could take on somebody's big problems like money in politics and have large leaves of progress but that's no longer the case because of the internet. now young people in particular are using networks to get to a scale and able to also mesh together the role of individuals and organizations. been a third trend that's happening, i think is an opportunity for us but some people may see as a challenge, which is that millennials have been mobilizing post citizens united at the margin and not at the mainstream. that in some ways the dissatisfaction as this verges between rising inequality and
shrinking political opportunity has led to a radicalization of our generation that cuts across party lines. we have seen it play out in the primaries, of course with bernie sanders and his campaign but i saw some recent polling that showed if you look at jill stein support base for hillary clinton's support base across the board, millennials are staying at the are saying they want radical social change. so at the margins, not at the mainstream. so these three trends together a national movement energy, and networks that are emerging, and in this kind of radicalization of how people are thinking about the role in our democracy are great opportunities that should make us hopeful. the final thing i would say as we can think about how do we channel this energy and bring it into the democracy movement is, are we building a teddy bear or are we building a grizzly bear? what the millennials are saying and all these movements, they
don't believe we can take on the problems we mentioned with the fecftc or the supreme court over the presidency with a teddy bear come with the old incremental solutions with kid gloves on. they think we need a grizzly bear. they think we need to build on both -- movement that is dangerous enough to shake up folks are i think that the current movement we need your support and talk about today. >> wonderful. our fourth panelist joins us, talking about fair courts. to take a look at things that have been successful while all around us, other areas have been falling apart in the world of campaign finance, not a lot of people realized the u.s. supreme court has had three consecutive positive decisions when it comes to fair and impartial courts. the biggest one was in 2009 that effectively said if someone spends too much money affecting a judicial election, then that violates the due process clause and that the constitutional principle that the legislative branch and executive branch
don't have intraoperative frameworks. this only applies to the judicial branch. we had a victory a couple years ago in a case, the first time chief justice roberts has upheld a restriction on the candidates the ability to raise money. this is about judges going to people and saying hey, can you give me $10,000? i'm running for judge. the state of florida had a restriction. the supreme, -- the supreme court upheld a. this summer there was a toshiba about whether a judge or so the policy of the defendant, when the decision came up to as a member of the supreme court, he had to recuse himself. that is good news. perhaps you can speak to us about local movements that have seen some success or some areas, whether it's pushing that considers unida with resolutions or local organizations, how they've been able to respond to the violence that is created and see some positivity.
>> i apologize to anyone for being party to us confused about where we were holding this event. so much apologies. i'm with public citizen, we are a 45 year old organization committed to representing people's voices and also of congress and the health of the supreme court, the halls of power. i want to briefly comment on my experience working with peers, organizing to take back and stand up for our democracy, and then drill down a little bit if that's okay into how that's happening and how it can happen. me so folks are pretty frustrated, and i'm sure we talked about that, because the game is shifted and we haven't seen as many movements really succeed where people rise up. a lot of media coverage and then you see congress pass laws to address the outrage. i think a lot of millennials are feeling like, so why movements? how does that work?
is that what we need to be doing? and then there's another group of people who i think feel like navy we haven't had the right idea, and if the right person for the right idea at the right way to market that idea would come forward, then we could fix the problem. but i think our perspective and the perspective we've seen in movement over the centuries in the united states is that we have to really shift power. we have to reach people and be willing to get away from our phones and our desks and our beds and wherever we are engaging online, and also not to exclude those things, but also get up on the streets and talk to people with power, figure out how to influence those people. if we don't have enough people working face-to-face with others to build stronger relationships rio face-to-face relationships. so i think part of the reason people are looking at ideas and marketing instead of movements
come and to think there's a lot of millennials that get movements, i'm not saying that but there's a big chunk of folks are like if we just had an app then poor people in africa might be able to access water. i've heard that. and maybe that's not what people like access to water. we've given power to corporate entities and it's in a very intense attack on government as an institution democratic of a supposed representative of in this room. it's ours and if it screwed up and messed up we have to fix it. the entities that are gaining power our multinational corporations. cannot even american corporations necessarily. they are corporations that have a profit motive the very many different markets at once and they are interested in more control than government because government sets limitations that might limit their profits. so we are seeing a shift and attack on government and seeing a group of people who are
extremists who do not represent most people willing to shut down the government and shutdown and break the system that is supposed to protect us, supposed to protect us from outrageous student debt, that is both make education accessible so every country of equal opportunity, a reality not a dream. and so when we break that government from enforcing those laws and providing what we set it up to provide, the status quo runs the show. congress isn't making the laws, not doing the job, then the corporations that provide transportation and our food are doing what they're doing. they are already in our so they will keep the status quo. i think it's important for millennials to find our own ways of organizing and i think there's so many different ways to communicate and build power through technology but also to take back our government.
it's our government, our democracy and it needs to represent everyone's voices. if it's not doing that and we have to reclaim it. we can put it away some of the so how are we building powerquest the democracy movement is focused on making sure we get big money out of politics and also protects voting rights. we need a constitutional and that would allow -- we need small donor public financing to replace the privately funded elections we currently have. if the government is the dinner table and the election sets the table, besides what again is, who funds the election to help fight the laws? so we can get money out of politics and make sure people are setting the table if it were taking people's rights to vote, then they'll not get to sit at the table at all and maybe they're on the table depending on the group or so we need both. how are we doing that? we've had a sweeping movement all over the country. people have gone to the states in state legislatures.
it got to the county legislature's and said we are tired of big money and politics are we see congress is moving but we'll take action we can take which is pass a local resolution, a county resolution calling for passage of of the amendment to overturn citizens united and related cases. 700 cities and towns have done that. in 17 states have done that and it's on the ballot in washington state and california. so that's really, really exciting, and that happened because people decided to get together face-to-face, think about u.s. power and how to hold them accountable and build their own power as a collective. we are doing public financing all over the country. there's a camping in the district of columbia. i'm going to pass around a petition that you can sign if in the district and you can support changing the way that elections are funded so that we are not you know, in the district of columbia the people who find d.c. government our contractors
and people who have construction projects in the district are the biggest don't is an asphalt company but they make off the road into a pretty good job but there's also been a number of scandals with them when they get 20, $25,000 they have millions and millions of contracts from the district, and they are a monopoly actually. so they make a small investment and to give millions of dollars of our taxpayer money back. if we have a different system or what the candidate chosen for their series and they get small contributions from district residents, public funds can match the small contributions so we reward candidates that are serious and have public support but we also don't have fort myers and some of the biggest construction company names that you see all over the district literally running out of elections. they own our elections effectively because they provide 40% of funding. you can bet they will be careful. i know we're running low on time. and then the other thing is
howard county, south dakota and washington state and they all have public financing and transparency bills that on the ballot. there's a lot moving and it's really people driven. i'm not going to take too much more than that we took the thunderclap, if you sign up addition for dc-4 elections will also share a thunderclap that literally lives all the different measures that on the ballot for democracy on november 8 so you can help spread the word and help us score some serious win for democracy all over the country. thanks. >> perfect. we are talking a little bit about issue intersection of the because millennials get a certain issues. we were really cute into the marriage equality movement. we been engaged with things like the fight for 15. we been put on may the recognizing citizens united but a lot of the stuff is pretty dense. it's difficult to understand campaign finance reform. but a lot of intricacies even
for the attorneys among us. at the other end of the spectrum there is a work session called the she wondered you get money out of politics you can fix issues. there's financial interest in there. what are some issues that have been able to provide pathways for millennials to keep this on the writer, to move them from just maybe outrage into engage and to get them plugged in. austin, do you want to start? >> sure. just a couple, one response i wanted to say to what's been said so far as i think policy change is really key. but i also think that it can't be seen as the sole goal of how we evaluate progress. abraham lincoln had a quote that many of you know what he talks about the shaping of public sentiment as the most important kind of role. when we talk about the role of
millennials and how they intersect with these issues, a lot of the ways their intersect with the issue of money in politics is about shifting the narrative, changing public sentiment. it may not end up in a local policy victory in some ways it's putting the wind at the sales of some of the reformers or work at the local level. just some examples of that i think, one is around the issue of transparency. there's been a lot of discussion post citizens united about disclosure and some of the policy illegal work that needs to be done. but who could match the explosive energy of the most recent wikileaks.com outcome of the panama papers, where you see young people on the internet demanded radical transparency. these are libertarians progressives conservatives who are seeing transparency as an issue that's front and center in how they're thinking about the agency in a democracy, money and politics folks.
se&i we talk about is this a tactic everything a lot of the more traditional campaigns are not as comfortable with but it's really, really important in taking off the most melinda's which is bird dogging. that's we fall a kid around when they're running for office and you do a direct action aimed at the candidate and then force them to respond. one example of this is the fossil fuel movement who's been going after campaign fundraisers from big oil and fossil fuel and doing bird dogging actions get candidates in getting them on record saying you no longer take fossil fuel money as, in support of your camping what it is doing is lifting up the conversation about money in politics but through fossil fuel assessment when. the second example which is key right at the country is having a national conversation about race in america.
and color of change which is a nonprofit organization working digitally iraq issues of race and inclusion organized a campaign to bird dog candidates were taking private prison money and then getting candidates to go on record and say we do not want private prison money to its lift up this conversation about money in politics. i think the choice for us is they didn't leave out front with money is politics as the peashooter they let out front with fossil fuel investment and climate change. they let out front with racial injustice and in equity. it's really about money in politics and that's what we have to figure out is how do we find opportunities to bring more folks into the movement with a much deeper and field issue frame. >> we just saw a superb not accept a 103,000 ask occupation from a private prison company out of for a couple days ago supporting donald trump. allie, we talked about intersect no to a lot of folks are aware
of economy, occupy wall street income inequality has been at the top of the agenda at least for the democratic candidates for president during the primary. is there a way we can use this issue to try and democracy? >> absolutely. i think that the economy and economic inequality is very much linked to big money in politics. the economy that millennials are inheriting is really a web of policies that favor the donor class. we know that the donor class particularly in areas of economic policy tended to have different views than the 99%. and just one example is on the federal minimum wage. we know that general public opinion support is a very high for a federal minimum wage in
which if you're working full-time at the federal minimum wage you should not live in poverty. i think 80% of the general public supports that belief. up-month the donor class, the affluent in the united states, the support for that level of minimum wage at the federal level is much less, about half of that. and yet we have seen congress be very stagnant on the federal minimum wage even though we have incredibly high national federal support for increasing the minimum wage. and i think other areas in our economy are also impacted. think about student debt and the burden of taking on student debt to go to college. something like 78% of the general public think that the federal government should do more to make sure college is affordable, and yet again we have seen congress be really stagnant on these issues.
spin does anybody else want to wait in on this? >> i think one thing to ago what both have said, one thing to emphasize about the way that millennials and other people have approached this issue is that this is united has come to have symbolic value well beyond the actual, what the decision actually said. the decision was about corporate independent x. expenditures that allowed them to make expenditures in elections independent candidates but it's taken on this huge symbolic value. when the issue was dashed when the decision was issued, the technology about the growing economic inequality and in the u.s. and the world as a whole. and the broken campaign finance system, the amount of money that flowed into our elections after citizens united really showed that economic inequality being transferred into political inequality. citizens united has come to
symbolize these broader issues of inequality and much broader issues about corporate power. and also to echo what allie said to the people who have this power, the people of this power partially as a result of decisions like citizens united are older, whiter, more mail than the country as a whole and particularly older and wider than millennials. and it's not a surprise that government is acting, and as a result of economic inequality being transferred into political inequality it's not a surprise government is acting in the interests of the donor class and not in the interest of the rest of us, and particularly not in the interest of millennials. >> given a disposition we think were on the right side of history. so our issue ties in with a ton of different issues that have the moral force behind, big
sweeping values like economic inequality what we can do about that. let's talk about what's holding the field back. i want to prime you all with some work for the american constitution society put out last spring. acs put out a national court called capital gas. what they did for the first time in history is a look at state courts all across the country and to look at the racial and gender makeup of those courts. so much approach all with just a few numbers. nationally women of color make up 19% of u.s. population. state courts its 8%. men of color 19% of state courts 12% on the other hand, white men, 30% of the population and the united states a whopping 58% of all state court judges. so they're able to trace where opportunity falls off, going to law school and becoming a judge. but what does this have i been said about the field, we fill it with a lot of the wind at our
back and get the current makeup of the democracy isn't that too dissimilar to what the study was able to find. aquene or austin, you want to jump in on this? >> i think that nonprofits, the power structure and the fundamentally racist background of our society as a whole, and i think the type of people who get the education and have the ability to do unpaid internships in particular to access these positions is a definitely a huge problem. we have to be able to pay people who are working their way school, taking on an incredible amount of debt come if we want to gain the skills mastered to do this work professionally. on the other hand, i don't think most movements are only professionally staffed. we should be a tiny, tiny minority in terms of people working on this issue. the washington ballot initiative
which is 330,000 signatures that were gathered over a nine-month period, 88% of those by volunteers. so does not need to be staffed but certainly if we want lower income folks of all races to be in this movement, there needs to be a funding aspect much bigger than what we have right now. >> i would say in addition to kind of the structural barriers that you mentioned, there's a trust gap, and the trust gap in particular is happening with communities of color. we all know that the preamble of our constitution starts with we the people. but yet generation after generation the calling of social movements have been to expand that to include more and more folks. because the framers of the constitution look much like unfortunately the structures of today look to the been this
psychological distance as a result almost communities of color and the fundamental institutions of u.s. democracy. including representative civil society organizations. and so this trust gap, this psychological distance, it plays itself out as a third party of both our democracy by communities of color, see government as a day or they might even see some of the organizations in the fighting around money in politics as they. it's not just more diversity. you could have more diverse voices essentially keeping the system as it is in people's loving this psychological distance we need to move from talking about diversity and equity. and how do we build a more inclusive we? one way we do that is starting with trust. that we need to be in conversation with communities of color who may have different
theories of change about how it gets done. they may not see inside strategy at the local of all being the most productive way to get change. are we open and willing to listen to the voices and be in dialogue with them? if we can close that trust gap with community stuff, i think we will get more than diversity. we will get a more equitable and more influential movement. ..
.. >> one example of this in the money in politics space is the victory 20-21 fund which is where you have donors coming together who are wealthy individuals and bundling their money to support some of the ballot initiatives and other campaigns that were talked about earlier. and so there's success there. that, in fact, there's a book that i recommend to folks if you're interested by david callahan called "fortunes of change." and it's an older book, i think it's 2008 or '9 published version. there's an updated copy, but what it goes through is that there's a fundamental demographic shift not just amongst millennials, but within the donor class itself. donors in tech, donors in science and research, donors on
the west coast or in new york city who went to liberal universities, and they're hearing acs talks like this one in their most formative years. to me, that gives -- that's an example of one of the strategies that we should have, is how do we engage directly the donor class, particularly millennial donors. >> yeah. >> i would just say on the local level i think it is very, very specific. like, here in the district we have an affordable housing crisis. nobody on the council is very serious. they all care, i think they actually genuinely care, but we're not seeing the level of serious policy introduction that would actually change the problem, and it's partly because of the funding system here locally. so that's an issue that really matters deeply. the bleeding edge of gentrification in the district is the most african-american part of the district, it's scored seven and eight across the river and in accost ya. -- acostia.
so there's a lot of work and deep trust building to do there. and thankfully, the d.c. trust can coalition is already a pretty diverse budget. d.c. fair budget coalition which represents a lot of the service organizations but also people's organizations in the district has been a partner from the beginning, and i think there's continuing work to have as many conversations in community as possible. but i think one shining example of where we're trying to go in the democracy movement is democracy awakening and democracy spring which happened this past spring. the naacp and sierra club and public citizen and many, many other groups, demos calm together and we had about 5,000 -- came together, and we had about 5,000 people protesting for both voting rights and money in politics. unfortunately, money in politics up to that point has largely been a white grassroots-based supported issue, so we've been working very, very hard to mobilize our majority white
members to work on voting rights as well as money in politics. so, but it is a long journey for sure. >> there's so many issues in the district, you name a few that are high priority for people of color. you talk about the work that's been built around democracy work, how is that created and how is that supported, and what resources came to be that this was able to be something that this is now 40, 50 organization oggs behind? trends that folks can pick up on? >> again, showing up in perp. like, i've -- in person. like, i've gone to probably a half dozen african-american churches, i've showed up after service or sat through service and worked with members of the community that way. i think we have to be willing to go in person and really talk to people and show you're committed. show you're willing to go anywhere in the district where people want to organize and not, you know, across racial lines. unfortunately, that still exists
in our very segregated cities. so i think that's one piece. but also here, i mean, the corruption is so blatant, you know? ted lie knew sis, who is a billionaire, is having the district spend $60 million to build him a new practice facility. that's not where we want to be spending our money when we have an affordable housing crisis programs that have not been fully funded for our youth to help those who don't have friends who can get them internships and a chance to get them experience and get some work. >> great. so one thing that's been a real highlight for me working in this field is some of the work that kemos -- demos is doing, and allie's been working for them, a lot of your work has been putting out research and studies
and drilling down and naming names and putting numbers and facts behind how our political system operates and disenfranchises certain communities. talk to us a little bit about the work that you guys have been doing in relation to that. >> yeah. well, i think i'd recommend everyone checking out our report, stacked deck, which really talks about the link between big money in politics and racial injustice in this country. i think, you know, it's important to keep in mind that you know, austin talked about the trust gap, and we also have a big racial wealth gap in this country because of a history of exclusion, of people of color not just from our democracy, but from our economy as well. and this matters because the entrenched donor class -- hopefully, this'll be changing but the entrenched donor class is a lot heads likely to -- less likely to prioritize people of color. so in this context and in the
context of the trust gap, we know that candidates of color are less likely to run for office in the first place. and when they do run, they raise less money. and i think these are patterns that millennials should really seek to interrupt. scott, you've mentioned that we are the most racially diverse generation yet. and in terms of fundraise, i think this is an area where white people have an extra responsibility to show up and support candidates of color and groups led by people of color in a way that we probably have not historically done. and i think white millennials could be leaders on that. another thing that i wanted to mention is what's called our inclusive democracy project which is a coalition between demos and grassroots organizations, leaders from grassroots organizations around the country.
and these are not democracy orgs which have been traditionally very white. these are orgs that are working on different issues like racial justice, immigrant rights. and the purpose of the idp, the inclusive democracy project, it sees democracy reforms as a tool for building political power. structural reforms like public financing of elections automatic voter registration, restoring the rights of people to vote who have felony convictions. these are all ways that can facilitate our broader platforms and the changes that we need in this country like racial justice, gender justice, economic justice. members of this idp cohort helped draft the movement for black lives' policy platform on political power which i definitely recommend checking out if you haven't yet.
>> great. okay. so we're going to move to the last part of it. this is the optimistic, brighter day tomorrow portion of our talk. so, you know, the prompt is given that we have the opportunity first time in over 40 years to have a progressive majority on the u.s. supreme court which sets so much of the policy that we live under, campaign finance and voting rights, you know, what could be possible with a different orientation? what could be possible with some different rules? so cover the fair courts angle quickly. imagine a new jurisprudence where you have such an expansive appreciation for someone's right to a fair trial. that is a person in the case of party gives the judge a few thousand dollars or spends money on an independent expenditure in support or attack of that judge during election season that, you know, with an expansive due process mindset and jurisprudence of the court you'd be able to limit the amount of money that folks could put into that which would compromise the creation of
judicial bias or, you know potentially compromise a judge's ability to remain fair and impartial. so let's go, again, to our resident legal experts, brendan and allie. talk to us about your vision the if we have a progressive supreme court majority in 2017. >> well, maybe i'll do two things. first of all, the organizing strategy, the strategy on the ground is linked to but distinct from the strategy in the courts, and i think we are at a -- as everybody has just explained, we are at a real moment where people are engaged with this issue, others overwhelmingly bipartisan support across the political spectrum for campaign finance reform. there's overwhelming recognition that citizens united is a problem, and people want it overturned. and historically the knock against campaign finance reform was that it was something that people cared about, but it was not something that people voted about. the intensity wasn't there. but i think that really is
beginning to change, especially among younger people. and as often said, there's this question of building a grizzly bear or a teddy bear, what do we want this movement to look like. and on the ground it should be a grizzly bear, and to a certain extent the broad public dissatisfaction with our campaign finance system will have some influence on the court. but the appointment of a new justice on the supreme court is an opportunity, but we don't, we don't expect the court to reverse course overnight. even the liberal justice -- i shouldn't say this. the court as a whole is concerned about its own legitimacy -- [laughter] and it's not, it's unlikely that any justices are going to want to entirely reverse themselves. so for the immediate term, the opportunities are expanding -- are looking for opportunities within the court's current jurisprudence. so, for example, going back to the buckley decision that allie
mentioned earlier, the campaign finance restrictions can be justified based on, as a means of combating corruption or the appearance of corruption. but the appearance of corruption is not a fully developed theory, and that presents an opportunity. justice breyer, in his dissent to mccutcheon, explained how campaign finance laws can actually further first amendment interests, can further be -- further people's, the public's interest in self-government. and getting the court to expand on that and recognize that first amendment, that campaign finance restrictions can advance first amendment values, can move us beyond this balancing test where any campaign finance law is just balanced against the supposed infringement on first amendment rights. and the legal strategy is also distinct from the school desegregation legal strategy for example. we're not challenging existing laws.
we're not trying to knock down desegregation laws. we're really trying to defend, defend good laws. so any successful case will probably result from a challenge to an existing law, and any existing law is more likely to be upheld if it's narrowly tailored to a strong, to a localized record of, localized record of corruption. so those are the general principles that we're looking at and thinking about moving forward as we, as we anticipate the court's jurisprudence changing with this new justice. but again, that's distinct from what's happening on the ground. at best if we do achieve the new jurisprudence that we're hoping for, that's going to create an opening for new legislation. it's going to create an opening for new ballot initiatives. and that's where the importance of really having people and continually engaging with these issues and organized around thes