tv After Words Jamil Jivani Why Young Men CSPAN August 23, 2019 9:01pm-10:06pm EDT
up next on the tv afterwards. the rise in violence committed by young men around the world. he is interviewed by brooklyn law school professor bennett capers. afterwards, a weekly interview program with relevant guesthouse. interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> so mr. johnny. is that how i should call you question mark you can call me jamil. >> it is such a privilege to be able to sit across from you and talk to you about your book why young men thoroughly endurable, i'm just going to go ahead and say i've read this book in one sitting. it was so fascinating. to read about your journey from growing up in a segregated neighborhood to their being very close to clans and being coming a criminal. going on to community college and a university, yale law school, and becoming this
activist and traveling around the world and really is about your journey about trying to figure out why young men sort of get attracted to violence and get radicalized. i just found it fascinating. congratulations. >> thank you very much. >> i guess i start off with this. what was the impetus to this book. if you could sort of tell me about this. >> i was like most of the rest of the world, i observed this massive attack in paris in 2015, was organized by a few young men who had grown up in europe, mostly in belgium and france. they turned against europe. these were european men who decided they wanted to join a foreign enemy which was the islamic or isis. they wanted to attack their own hometown. so 500 people were killed or injured. i saw this and i was not a
person who ever thought about violence or terrorism before. but i just saw these young guys and i thought to myself, they grow up in a neighborhood not very different from mine. a lot of newcomers, they were second-generation european. they had been in and out of criminal lifestyles and they saw their friends go through all sorts of trauma. they were very much people who i could've grown up with and yet, they wound up in this place where i had such a hard time understanding. i wanted to know, what led to that. in them, i saw a lot of emotion and frustration that i think is relatable to young men of all sorts of different backgrounds and all sorts of different places. i wanted to write a book that might explain why we lose young men to movements like that. what can we learn from their experiences that tells us about the lives of other people. but they're not these fringe young men that can teach is nothing but rather their lives are the result of a lot of things that everyday people can
relate to. >> so jamil, i'm going to cut to the chase. your book is titled why young men. what is the answer? is a simple answer or is it more collocated. >> i don't think there is a simple answer. although i do think that to the extent there is an answer i can give and i can size timeframe for a los than 300 pages. i think the answer is that, we have violent movements that are tapping into a unique sort of frustration they young men are experiencing. i believe that we have a crisis of masculinity at the moment. there needs to be changing. a lot of boys and men, i am 31 years old and i think of myself as being in the middle of this generation that is trying to figure out wealth men are supposed to be the breadwinners of their family anymore, and they're not supposed to be having all of these privileges that women don't have, now we share the labor market and responsibility to earn women earned money along with women,
what is my unique identity as a man. as my generation is figuring that out, they are looking online and they are looking in the streets and they are looking to the peer group and we are finding answers that i don't think are helpful. some is a good but some answers are not. i wanted to write a book that would hopefully provide some of that answer. but also to show why violent movements are so good at trying to answer the question. in giving many to young men who are looking for that answer. >> i have to tell you that i reach a short answer but i also recognize that you give a more much more complete laid out and this is what the book is about. that's why it is so interesting. i still find myself asking and i think i find myself asking a little differently though. part of me was wondering the book is titled why young men, why not young women? because they are growing up in the same environment often segregated environments. so that might be a different way
of thinking about it. isn't about or something about the way we are raising boys and something about the way are not raising girls? do you have any answers to that. >> so young man and why just men or why not older men or the young male population is so disproportionately involved in violence. and in violent movements. so part of the desire to focus on young men is why is this group that is kind of the backbone of a lump a lot of this is a lot of this violence. looking at that group, i also wanted to explore are there things about this current generation of young men, the generation i belong to that are unique. i think introduction to social media and technology as a young man who is trying to figure out what is my identity and where do i belong and how i fit into the world around me, we are looking at with new technology that is pulling us towards violent movements. part of what makes this
generation of young men unique and what we sort of have a unique challenge. we are also living in a time where the way families have been structured, and the assumptions we made about what a good healthy family dynamic looks like. this is questioned a lot to be honest. i think in ways that are not healthy. i find it weird that for instance, politician not all politicians but some, two on tv and say the boys need the bat. i think that would be seen as controversial in some circles. if we are one of the first generations that's is a converse or audio, i want to explore why. is it true. as you know, talk a lot about fatherhood and the importance of those masculine role models and i think that cultural pushes to question the importance of that. >> i sort of want to push back a little. i find the topic fascinating. masculinity issues in feminist
issues so what is one way of thinking about this. to give little boy toy guns so we are teaching them sort of to value violence and the whole conversation around toxic masculinity. we are teaching that a young age. maybe we should just get rid of that. maybe there are too many men in the picture. >> yeah well that's another way of looking at it. i don't think that men being involved in their families necessarily have to accompany toy guns. there is another way for men to role model masculinity. whether they should be doing that differently is a different question on that they should be there in the first place. >> so i think the.that there are ways for a present father to be harmful for example. having your dad around is not necessarily good. he could be an alcoholic 80 aren't alcoholic or for your mom
poorly or badly. often my dad was around and they were unpleasant experiences. i do think that in the household and a lot of the psychological research backs this up that there is a what i call a kind of like throne of masculinity and a throne of femininity and the household. what, i mean, by that, people and children are looking for this example like what are they supposed to mimic. one of the revolving or when lame modeling themselves after. when they don't have the man in the house, a man who can show them that being a man is not just what you see on tv but also holding your mom's hand and is being a nice person and is looking after children and is paying taxes and it's going to work and is not just the glamour that we might see on television or on the internet. maybe it should be glamorous or not is another story.
just learning that masculinity looks like that is really important. because we find is when high concentrations not in the house, we find is an overly reliance on pop culture to fill those voids. for example what might be seen as entertainment to one group of people is actually philosophy to another. i use in my life example hip-hop. the hip-hop is incredibly popular massive business. multibillion dollar industry. most of the consumers are look at it as hollywood entertainment. if you're a kid where those are your clerics those are your father figures those are the icon to look up to. they take on a complete different meeting. it could be a negative one when you're expecting that to be answering all of your questions you are seeking. i do take the.that there are ways for masculine 1080 to be negative but that does not mean that we shouldn't have positive masculine role models around her
boys. >> if you go back to these role models. talking about your father. sort of as an absent figure can you talk more about that. >> so my father was an immigrant to canada from kenya. he came to canada where he met my mom who is a white canadian and he did what young people do it and heat they met at weddings and then i came along. they might try to make the situation work. i think my father is a really tragic figure he is life is incredibly inspiring up until that.he was born as an orphan than ray orphaned. he was from kenya. he pulled himself up and did what i think was incredibly difficult which was put himself in school and learn a trade and he worked his way up from getting an apprenticeship in the health and hotel in nairobi all the way to health and hotel in london. i think about that and that is wow an inspiring story.
so when it came to the family dynamics when i come along, and my younger sisters came along, that is trying to be a husband and a dad, he just falls apart. i think a lot of that stems from the fact that as an orphan, he had never seen a family function. i think people who have healthy families don't appreciate how counterintuitive it can be to sit in the couch with your wife and your kids and to feel comfortable in that space. he was a man who didn't know how to do that. i saw that. even as a kid i saw that and i see that as i look back at him now as an adult. so by the time he leaves my life, and i am a teenager and he is not around anymore, i just accept that although i have maybe good reason to be angry towards him and there are days i still feel that anger but i also kind of understand front to some extent when he was about battling just to be there. >> so have your book is about the repercussions not having a father figure.
how do we find replacement for that. and i'm thinking that obviously the view but i was writing someplace like a lot of the children in us are basically living in single family love and basically motherless most of the time. i am a matching that's just a flash of what's going on because you also have families like how you grew up where the father is physically there but not really emotionally there. so are there substitutes. i'm just wondering as i was reading your book, where there other possible male role models around. was that completely absent? >> i was thinking will i have the boy scouts, church group leaders or whatever. at the same time i was realizing
i heard so many stories from students, law students, who tell me i am the first blackmail that they were had. male figures, male figures in color other than the gangster rap and individuals you're talking about. >> that's a great question. certainly if you have a robust community services where other organizations like the boy scouts and mentorship programs or athletic programs where you can find these male role models in different places, that is fantastic. unfortunately i grew up in a place it didn't have that. it was a very new suburb that had been urbanized particularly for this immigrant population that had moved to canada so we didn't have a lot of those things. even to this day, i go to my old neighborhood i meet with some boys my old middle school they still don't have the services. this is 20 years later. so there was an unfortunate reality of where i grew up but i do think that there are plenty
of other sources for those father figures and those male role models to emerge. where possible and having them in at the school's teachers or community programs that share the space of a school so that people are saying more folks coming out of the stores. that's important. i think that having male youth workers is important, man who participate in other communities like churches it synagogues that is also incredibly important. i do think that a lot of it is about male involvement in the lives of kids. the idea that you can just work and earn some money and that's enough to contribute to your family. i think that's an old idea. it certainly doesn't work anymore. the truth is that you give a good kid a good life in a modern american in a be part of the household. if you going to download the responsibilities to look after kids to women, you're asking them to do two jobs. i think men need to play big role in doing that job with him. that is a culture shift i think.
whether it's about contributing to the lives of children's or any other roles. this response will be that many to fill. especially as our economic role is changing because that's inevitability right now. >> as i read your book, you didn't really have those other men around, you turn to gangster rap's. can you talk a little bit about why gangster rap is so big in your life. and also it seems like being in the life of of your friends and. >> gangster rap is so popular around the world is because it is the same reason we have gangster movies. we love these outlaw anti- authority characters. this world that's going to boss you around until you need to do this or that, you don't have to listen to them. you can be your own men. you can stand on your own. so when you're a young person, i think it's natural to those sort of characters compelling. the difference though is that for me and a lot of my friends, we looked at those characters and thought you know we didn't
fit in at school, we didn't think we are going to get a good job when we were older we didn't really understand what getting a good job would even look like. so the idea of being outlaw, was especially appealing to a young group like that. we don't think this world is designed to cater to us. he didn't have to do things that seem hard for you to do. characters on tv look great. gangster rappers represented to us. that is, that what they do really well which i think a lot of by the movement dues well. they echo the energy of the young man. so if you are frustrated because your dad's not around and you can't get a vacation like disney world and you're frustrated that life is not what you wish it was. you see a guy in tvr you hear his music and he's angry too. he is yelling about things he is frustrated, he feels like he is speaking your language. that's a hard language for most adults to speak because the truth is that most people don't
feel that same frustration that young men feel. we are particularly angry group of people. where high antistress room and we are high in risk-taking, we are on this pursuit of admiration and respect and when we don't get it, we are bad. we hear someone also met, you're like yeah i feel that. and you feel me. we are at the same frequency. >> what was the answer. with the respect to gangster rap. i could read that section of your book and think that you are saying what we need to do is police gangster rap more and sort of not let young impressionable teenagers or teenage boys listen to too much gangster rap. is that what you were trying to convey or what were you trying to give a question mark or no matter what, it could be something else maybe not
gangster rap but something else. >> it could depend on the way in the situation. should we be making laws that bar gangster rap, no. should you as a painter parent maybe discourage your kid from listening to violent music, yeah i think that's yes. on a cultural level, i think that we should be mindful of what those messages are. one of the things that.out a lot, you might work is that when we talk about other forms of violence, so say when a white supremacist attacks. neri does not credit card rhetoric. the politicians are saying this and that's why someone hates muslims or other people and survey pics of a gun and shoot them. if that's the case, then a billion-dollar industry is that is built on young black men talking about guns, is that rhetoric not relevant to the homicide rate in the country. when a young man is killed in los angeles, may be that the fact that he talked about death and killing and his blue
bandanna and being equipped for his entire career, maybe that is relevant. i wish that we granted that forum of violence the same respect and what, i mean, by that is equally philosophical. that the young man in inner-city america who is picking up again, even if it's to vince ben himself because he scared someone else might shoot them first. that man hamza philosophy behind that act. it's not solely attributable through to gangster rap certainly. but he surrounded by echoes of that. it doesn't help either. this mostly what i want to get across when i write about gangster rap and when i talk about it. look at him at a.in my life now where i can listen to it who omar to talk about when to grow up in a gang ridden neighborhood. i appreciate the sociological analysis but when i was 17 years old, that's not how i looked at it. i thought he was a prophet. not him, he's a motor but the
equivalent too. i thought they were showing me how to live my life. if that's what you think is happening in the life of a young person, and i don't think you should say he's making a good. maybe to you but to a young man it mean something else. >> i have saved one reason why offender were so provocative and fascinating is because so many of your arguments found are conservative. it you can easily be on fox news. [laughter] take that gangster rap away and spend more time with that soldier and that's the problem. but at the same time you also made for more progressive argument. interesting balance. >> i do think that one, you are absolutely right debating on the piece of my book that someone focuses on, i could ask below absolutely be considered a right-wing evangelist or
considered a progressive pro- immigrant and i think that part of that stems from the fact that i really spent my time with young men. i crafted these arguments and i wrote this around the people that i'm talking about. so when you're around this people, you don't easily get a.on box because reality is not designed to be on one end of the political spectrum. the truth is that trying to solve these problems is being very humble lysing about what we do know how to do well. i am pretty disappointed i think with the state of commerce conversation around these things. from all ends of the political spectrum so a lot of what i have to say recognizes that i don't think the democrats are doing a good job in any of these issues. i don't think republicans are doing a good job either whoever is the most willing to hear me out to me maybe make a change, i want to talk to that person. >> on ask you one more question about role models before i move
onto the next one. i think you said you're 31 years old. >> yes 31. >> i was to imagine what life must've been like around a specific time you were growing up. you kept saying there were no real mail role models of color. you had all this gangster rap. get think you wonder how different your life would have been if you grown up in when obama was president. in your formative years. i think that would've counterbalanced sort of the gangster rap. >> i think you're right. especially because president obama by the time he came along, i was like this is another half white half kenyan viewed and i appreciated his example a lot. and it came in a time for example, i'm not sure i would've gone to yell law school without someone like him because i never
thought about ivy league school. and then when someone like him came along and said he went to harvard, it so that crazy to think that i could go to a school like that. so yeah i think that's a great. i do wish and i think that president moat obama had moments where he was delivering messages to young man that i really strongly applauded. like the initiative and he talks about the importance of fatherhood and culture and community strength. but he also can sometimes have a mixed message where he is telling a group of young men that oakland for example and then he is taking selfies with jay-z in the next moment. not that jay-z is a toxic figure necessarily but i don't think perhaps for political expediency president obama was as clear about the morality of these things as i wish he was. i think it is post- presidential, i think he's been a bit clearer because i guess the endorsement.
i appreciate the moments. i thought he was hopping into a wealth of wisdom about how much potential exists in black boys that we often don't see and reminding them that it's to some extent, their responsibility that they show that to people. >> one thing i wondered about and i don't know if you have any comments on this maybe if barack obama had even more influence to simply showing what fatherhood is like. he models himself as a father. he he will be causally seen with his daughters. that is probably had a tremendous impact on especially black men. all of a sudden fatherhood is cole. >> i think you're absolutely right.
we talked about technology and creating opportunities from negativity with violent movement. technology also created with wonderful opportunities for president obama. he was on facebook and twitter and instagram. we saw him sitting at a fast ball game with his michelle and we saw him with his daughters. he was so visible and i think so powerful. a lot of it is taken for granted. we didn't appreciate it until they are present now who is certainly far removed from that i would call traditional family value and how he is conducting himself and how he speaks in his checkered history. now we look back and say maybe that was a part of the obama era we should have appreciated more is that he was spinning sending a message out to people and certainly might admit something unique. all boys need to see a president standing beside his wife and in love and standing beside her. >> so much of your book is sort
of exploring young men and radicalization. i want to get to all of that in more detail but first i want to talk even more about you. and your experiences. you tell this interesting sort of story about your life and you really claim close to you know, joining the other side. you are the brink of and actually came close to buying a gun, at one point if i remember in fact, you sort of describe that as a turning. that was a turning.if i would have you read. i just marked out the bottom of page 44. i thought that was such a moving passage. >> so this is from a chapter titled capacity to aspire. in the passage goes like this.
i went to one of my closest friends at school and asked him to locate a gun for me. a few days later he confirmed he could get one. he quoted me a price and told me that i need to make sure i was serious. as it would take some more from us friends to get it. i told them i would get back to him. that day i went home from school and cried. i'm not sure why i cried. although it crying wasn't rare for me in those days. but i was scared, i knew i was about to cross a line that would be very difficult to return from. i was close to trapping myself in a life that would make owning a gun normal. it was a decision that would have justified the way the place already treated me and people who look like me. it would've also betrayed my mom's trust. it might've caused her to lose faith in me altogether. she was the only good thing in my life. again never came up in conversation with my friend again. i assume he forgotten about it. maybe he didn't really want to help me get one in the first place. possibly, he knew how bad a
decision it would be for me to cross that line. i was relieved i never asked him about it a second time. >> such a great passage. tell me what did the gun or why is the gun so important. what does that then civilize. the gun. >> the gun represented seriousness to me. that i had spent a lot of my time in high school talking about wanting to be against her and wanting to be like these hollywood figures that we looked up to and saw on television. i wanted to buy this gun to show people i am serious about this and i want you to welcome me into your network. i want to earn money like you guys. i want to be one of you. my best man at the time was in and out of jail and i thought this would be a way to maybe show him that i'm not just a young kid anymore. i'm beginning becoming a man now. what it meant to me though at the time was that i was actually
having to decide whether or not to get the gun, i'd seen what owning a gun does to people. it's a slippery slope. yet again, you have problems with people and guns. the year carrying a gun just feel safe. the likelihood of being caught with it is incredibly high. i've seen that run people's lives and so when i see that i was scared, of buying that gun that is what i was feeling. i was feeling that sort of that at both represented seriousness to me and i thought a mate make me seem like a real gangster. also seriousness of it you actually want to be a real gangster. is that the actual life you want to commit yourself to. i remind myself and my people of the time because it also shows to how close it came from i like to be completely different. if i got caught with it the next day, i could be imprisoned and maybe never become the man who i am now. i may not have gone to
university or lost or anything. i am reminding people of how close the loans are. it's important. the idea of second chances that young men make mistakes and especially those who are in cost are serrated in the united states. there are a lot of people. a lot of people and what i consider dubious circumstances. what, i mean, by that is, in neighborhoods that are full of place and people are sentenced differently and someone you know that is happening and we know how much potential can be lost with these kind of split second decisions, you better create a system that creates second chances because it could be a whole lot more people like me in this country if we gave people the chance to live up to their potential. >> if i recall, is also hard at a time. that you take a test, maybe in tenth grade and there like you are illiterate and that's almost
like another turning. you're like a metal buckle down and study. you graduated high school went to community college and transferring to a university. then, there's also all obviously, dozens of things are happening at the same time. you also sort of talk about your things going on. >> i was considered literate in high school. thankfully, that didn't hold me back. as much as it might have because i had a mother to make sure that i didn't give up on graduating from high school but that was a very discouraging experience and frankly, if i live through that ten times none of the ten i might've dropped out of high school after that. it was very devastating. so my friend lucas, who is this
i say in the book i sound like my father passed me on to him because he introduced us and then my father was gone and i have this older friend who is kind of like this older male role model enough. that he was not living a life that i think we would want anyone to mimic. he was in and out of jail having a hard time himself. when he was incarcerated, my first year of university and after i kind of had a turnaround where i was able to reengage with school and had to get good enough grades to get into community college and eventually progress academically. going through that experience meant that i was seeing my life changed very rapidly and my friends lives were not. i really was trying to figure out how to help someone like lucas because i'm in school and
my life is getting better and i'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. yet he is doing the exact same stuff that i was doing when i was 15 years old. i think about him as one of the people who i wish at that.in my life, i knew what i knew now. because i wasn't able to help him. in fact my efforts in trying to reach him when he came out of jail didn't work. he took it as me criticizing him and judging him. and he threatened me and and we got into a fight and we never talked again. now i go and try to find young men like him and hope that i've learned something in the last 12 years and might able to teach them something or at least inspired them to believe in themselves and not take people as people trying to judge them. not say that. some equities is think think the differences. do you think your friend lucas could have ended up like you and you could've ended up like lucas. chains, what were you able to happen that he wasn't or vice
versa. >> the biggest thing working in my favor compared to lucas was that i had not dropped out of school. despite the challenges of having and being called illiterate, i was still connected to something. by the time i'm ready to change, and lucas had these moments too. he would come out of jail and he would have sort some sort of problem with his child's mom and he would say to get my life together but he was just out. he didn't have any institutional connections. he wasn't in school and he wasn't working and where to someone in this situation find support and become a different person. it's hard. unless you have that in your family i think. whereas i had that support is school. even a school that i was mad at and didn't like me, the fact that i was there and i could get a diploma and i can move on to a community college, that was the biggest difference between us. those moments where i said i need to change my life, i don't like what i'm doing, i had support.
someone to encourage me to be that better person. encouragement is an idea that i think we don't exploit enough because we take it for granted but being able to say to someone like you don't know how great you are yet. you can be a better person than you think. even though you might not see it, i see it. and when you're ready, i am here. that goes a long ways. i had people in community college say that to me. i had people in university say that's me. that has been the biggest difference maker in my ability to have the confidence to try to do things that no one in my family and done and no one in my community had done. you place trails in part when people are showing you the light. having people who show you our ego next i think as long ways. >> is like the capacity to aspire. >> the passage inspires as a concept through nyu professor
and a lot of his work in the context of poverty in india where he is trying to explore some kids born into poverty make it out of poverty and some kids don't. so i applied that in my life because i think that there are some rich cultural insights there. you can have two people identical families and identical economic wholesomeness as is and know that what we know that even in neighborhoods that are stigmatized across the united states as being high crime, most kids don't commit crimes. most of these kids are doing what they're supposed to do. then you mark some more support than they are currently getting, their living life the right way that minority of kids who are participating in it. that explains understanding those cultural differences and how intersects with those in environmental circumstances.
you do some teaching at oxford, law school, you get involved in with youth as soreness a activist. cnet good question 11 never felt deliberate it just felt kind of and i would assume that at yale i was in some sense almost like second. sickened by the privilege of being an ivy league student. i think it was very hard to adjust to that life of saying we go from being someone who is fighting for a chance to prove yourself to having obviously you are a genius and so a lot of what i and the natural reaction i had to that was to take what i was learning as a law student and as a lawyer and apply that to the lives of people who are struggling. it's partly i hope that was to make a positive impact in the lives of others but also to be real with you. way to cope with my privilege.
to say i don't know what to do with this. i just want to share with as many people as i can. i don't notice to do. it was very difficult to stick in a classroom at yell and feel comfortable. and feel like if you have the chance to connect with people, with resources and make sure people in positions of power understand the needs of people who are not in power, then you should be doing that. why are you sitting in a classroom reading about contracts and from the 18 hundreds. that was my and how i felt in the way to deal with that and reconcile those feelings was to become i guess what you might call a community organizer or youth activist and just get out the neighborhoods and say i've learned how to be an empowered person in our society let me try to help other people do the same. that is different from being a lawyer. i never really wanted to be a lawyer. once i learned that it's not necessarily the best way to
empower people. we need good lawyers, i'm not denigrating the profession at all. what i mean is that i want to be someone who can help people understand how to even talk to a lawyer. what a lawyer does. what is the broader kind of context that a lawyer is operated in. that was the kind of apartment that i got that i wanted to help more and more people get. >> i'm tempted to ask you about the city of new haven but i will save that if we have time. [laughter] i'm going to go ahead and sort of talk about how your interest in how people get vandalized radicalized. they do that through gangster rap or to ices or to anything else. you eventually travel to brussels where you sort of are trying to figure out the lives
of the two guys were in 2015. we're going to get there but before you could go there, going back to a time in toronto, you're hanging out with friends and members of the nation of islam, you go to the beach, your five. can you talk a little bit about the time period. do you see similarities between the nation of islam. you conclude that is being radicalized. that is a radical group. that's a. >> that's a great question i think that raven colonization is on the spectrum. you have radical ideologies, some of which can be helpful. there were times where the idea that being a black man and a white man that you are equal and deserve the right to vote was considered a radical ideology
right. but on the spectrum, you have radical ideology and you have ideologies that lean towards promoting violence. that's a way of acting on those ideas. so the nation of islam is an example where aside from the assassination of malcolm x, you can say has not produced very much violence. in fact, lewis has gone out of his way to discourage violence. that said, it is promoting an ideology that could be easily activated towards malcolm x's death where you would our promoting hatred, division, using very devices language. it's easy to see each other as enemies. an overtime that boils over. what islam has in common with ices for example is that they both use islam's to promote their version of political conflict. they've attached themselves to a brand. a brand that one and half
billion people in the world believe in to some extent. but the really not interested in promoting the moral aspect of islam or what it means for you in terms of your duties to other people or the fact that islam like other religions is mostly a colorblind fate. it's not telling you there is different moral expectations deepening on what your skin color is oreo ancestors are from. but it is telling you that you should identify islam because they want to make quite islam is anti-western. to the extent that radicalization in the way i use that is to say in this context, to make hating the world around you and acceptable idea. then to fill the voids when you reject the world around you with a visions of a utopia that if you join this group somehow your life is going to become perfect. that to me is what these things
have in common. >> i have said i found it fascinating your description going with a close friend and his friends and literally like you almost come back and you will see different beaches. [laughter] your drinking the kool-aid and [laughter] >> what did ices preacher say to these young muslim boys in europe. or even what is a white supremacy on the internet to a group of white ways. the message they are trying to get across is your unhappy, that's a given, unhappy with their life and unhappy with your treated and unhappy with people you identified with are treated and you should blame the world around you, blame america, blame canada, blame europe and be mad at these countries. almost find this like completely fictionalized alternative
reality where some how these don't exist anymore. that is the promise. similar between me and my friends in islam, we were both angry. we are both unhappy with how things were going. i just didn't buy into the alternative reality that they were selling. i don't think it's all that different from the alternative reality of the nicest or the white supremacist that find these guys on the internet. with kind breaches whatever you unhappy with somehow disappears if you just described my ideology of five for some alternative future where people of your particular faith or race are on top. then if you're on top, then these problems don't exist anymore. that all of the tensions between human beings and prejudices that we have in the class divisions that we have in the biases all of that somehow disappears. when your people are on top and that is a fiction. of course.
very compelling to an angry and frustrated young man. >> what did you learn from your triple to brussels. >> a lot of what, a lot of things, in immigration and integration in europe is an abysmal failure. i think that there are specific policies that have been in, under the veil of secularism. for example if you think people who where attire to look as teachers or police officers. that was sold as an idea that promote secular's. we don't want to mix church and state. but what that does is if you're from the jewish community are muslim community, even if you're a christian who wears a cross around her neck, and signaling that you can't participate in your society like everyone else. this is the kind of ideas that have just been so destructive in europe that i think people don't
fully appreciate that sets the tone. says the tone for someone else i do because rate coming in and seeing your country is not wanting you here. they want to embrace you. and my movement, where we going to get revenge on your country. that set you up and eyes grievances. i think that europe has had a really hard time with its own national identity and the consequence of that is it's almost like they're building an identity that is based on exclusion. if we exclude all of these other people, that means that we agree with that. that's one thing that i learned and also what i meant is that the intersection of heavy crime and radicalization is very powerful. prisons in europe are breeding ground for janice. the lot of the jihadist who join the ices had a background in any crime. they went to jail for stealing a car or selling miller wanda to
go and they wind up being kind of consuming this propaganda. i think that intersection is important because part of what i am trying to get people to understand is why would a young man who is appealing to or drawn to gangs and intercity america for example, what can he learn from the experience of young man in europe. during this parallels is important. part of what i'm trying to challenge is the idea that either somehow like pathological traits in particular subgroup. it's a very dangerous idea operated under the surface of a lot of this conversation is somehow black americans are muslim people are predestined have these problems because of some people even say is biology but some people say culture or whatever the case. and while culture is relative. it's also created by wider broader factors that everyone is
connected to. this is your problem, we don't have to worry about it. >> that's why love how you bring it together. so i think radicalization is not happening anywhere. part of it that i struggle with is you do a great job of here is some of the ingredients that you see across the board. it is sort of facilitates radicalization but at the end of the day, part of me is still thinking is such a small fraction of the people who actually get radicalized. reading your book i kept thinking, have family witnesses who are jehovah witnesses. they knock out a lot of doors. most people shut the door. a few people open them.
it's just like why are some people opening the door. why some people open the door and some don't. >> i think a lot of it is about timing. so for example, a lot of the young men who wind up in the most far-flung places ideologically are young men who in the time they interacted with the recruiter or propaganda store an older man who wanted to mentor them into a criminal network. they're going through some sort of trauma, the loss of normal or their sister or had a falling out with her parents or something that kind of made them particularly distraught. then vulnerable to someone who is selling them in on a utopia perfect world. i think in terms of who opens the door, sometimes is just about what happened to you that day. do you need a friend that day. if you open the door, the
jehovah witness might be friend you need in that minute. hopefully let's be clear, jehovah witnesses are not promoting edgy ideology. [laughter] i'm just using your ideology of people opening the door. i think a lot of it is about examiner hard to standardize. a lot of it is about the personal circumstances. it's probably why efforts to solve this problem i'm trying to offer in the bigger scale, like some sort of national or international response of these things, i generally think that work because of how localized and specific these issues are. if you want to push back against radicalization and a lot of it is about the relationships than in the community and when you see it or when someone opens that door do they have the support to make sure that they're not kind of fully bought in and immersed in that world that's on the other side. or, are they subject to such little support that whoever opens or is on the other side of
the door that is everybody or everything they were looking for. >> 's was all up to having more youth leaders and people working with young people especially young men. i'm going to ask you about that but i have to ask you about black lives matter. brave of you. [laughter] >> is funny because that's part of it the book that i probably received the most pushback on. >> there another radical group. >> they are a radical group, yes and i think they would also self identify as radical to be honest. but they say radical in a good way. [laughter] i suppose that's in the eye of the beholder. they also think of themselves as being radically good way. the challenge though that i try
to post to black lives matter or people who support them, is how they actually are helping resolve any of the problems that i described. i take issue with kind of all forms of what i would call a centralizing people. one of the kind of common threads and everything where talk about is a lot of these movements rest on being able to say to a young person there is an authentic way to be a muslim or a white person or a black person. what you claim that sort of authenticity, you are claiming a lot of power because you're trying to define people who they are supposed to be. black lives matter by the nature of invoking race in the they do in their activism, then waking that to what i would say a pretty french political idea. honestly the policy platform they came out in 2016, would make bernie sanders look like ronald reagan. it's not mainstream politics. especially i would say not representative of even the black
democratic people. by a large a very moderate and socially conservative group of people. the idea that you're going to take this identity and sort of a whole bunch of baggage into it, and then think that black people who are affected by that box, like this black police officer i read about who is out here trying make changes that i think any sensible person would say are better than the status quo. might not be perfect but better than the status quo. he is now operating in a world where he seen as los los authentic by news media and criticized for it. because he's not operating in the black lives matter box. as a person in the public square, i'm a writer and i'm talking about these ideas, i do like that i get criticized because i'm not repeating far left talking points. they're not shared by most black people but yet somehow that impression is this very well-funded, network of black
activists who are not representative of one's who have never been elected never been voted by news media prop them up as if their voices of the community. i think it's incredibly frustrating. >> i would love to sort of see this as you are debating light black lives matter. i'm just going to go out on a limb. i'm like i can imagine what response to criticism to their not elected. an elected official isn't going to represent the community anyway. >> my challenge. [inaudible conversation] smacked i'm not assuming are, the question becomes what is the termination of representation. who gets to walk around saying this is what's in the best interest of black people or this is the best interest of women or
men and even in a book like mine, i invoke young men as an identity in the title. i'm at risk at repeating the exact same mistake that i'm criticizing black lives matter for. i think if you read my book, i know you have, it would be hard to going there and say that i'm prescribing any sort of political ideology that men are supposed to have other than don't hurt people, look after your family, you're responsible for the people around you. whether that means you're a democrat pratt or a republican or socialized healthcare are free-market. i'm i'm not telling you to believe any of that. that is up to any young man to make up his own decision. there's a universal morality that i'm trying to promote. what it means to be a good person. every good movement that this country has put out. civil rights movement, the corpsman bigger than the definition of what good means and whether black or white, when he to be good does it matter if
you're black or white. a black identity and then trying to chain and boo and push people around who don't echo your political priority is that if somehow makes you los black. that i have massive problems with. i'm sure there are individual black lives matter. that's over there trying to do. i'm sure that's not their intention but that's exactly why identity policy is an issue. you are claiming to be the people who knows what looks like to be black in the black lives matter. so i disagree with you, but as a make me. i don't think that they anti- israel is in the best interest of anyone. that's an example that they promote. i'm not anti- israel. i think a lot of people are not. so doesn't mean to be anti- israel is to be lead black lives matter, no so maybe don't avail your or my identity in your
policy. that's the message i am trying to get across. it puts those of us outside of the box in a vulnerable position to be criticized as los authentic. the cops among us, the teachers the politicians, the conservatives, the preachers, who don't share the black lives matter agenda in many cases. they are somehow and now they are thinking we don't think black lives matter, of course we do. >> activists [laughter] i just want to be a fly on the wall. we talk about zero we have one about one minute to go. so i'm going to wrap up. going to turn to why we eat what we can do. and sort of, at least try to stand or understand radicalization. excessive violence, gang members to ices but white nationalists all of this, what can we do. so parents, what can parents do, what can society do. our politicians do, i know i'm
asking a lot and one final question. you went to yell law school, what can law do. there's an absent of law in your book it is that because law is hurting much into mint mint in this area. what can the rest of us do? i'm assuming impotent. >> clear law policy answer. it can harm in some cases it cannot it can help in some cases. laws like the first step back and other reform efforts are really important to reducing the negative effect of the justice system. so any politician listening, i would say these partisans push has only begun. i hope it continues and goes much further. especially when it comes to supporting people are coming out to prison. i think any a lot of how to deal
with the trauma that that system creates in you. and since a lot of those people are fathers, there's going to be multiply generational effect in all of that and that is a really important policy area that's what we're looking at. it's something i write about in the book because i think it's really important. . . you can see the adults in the young man's life. we had no idea what he was doing on the internet, we did not know he made these friends or on
instagram try to buy guns. we did not understand what he was up to. that's a shame because internet matters more to hell young man sees himself in his. group and the impersonal communication. and make a practice to talk about what is going on online. when you see your child, regardless of age on the phone, on instagram, on twitter have a conversation about the paired what are they reading, what are they talking about and make sure they're helping them make sense of what they're seeing on social media. that is a world that is full of a lot of horrible stuff as much of good stuff. and being able to understand how do we put value into different things, which of these influences should be carried about and who should i not be listening to. that is an exercise that my generation is starting to become parents and having children who are looking at these things, we need to take that seriously because we understand that well. but the parents who are in the generation between mina my moms, i think that's a problem that
they may not feels important but they need to take seriously. and i wrote about the way social media and the internet is affecting these things because i think that is a key element to what makes the young men today different than the young men of previous generations. >> the customer trade this is been incredible, again i love the book and thank you for talking to me. >> thank you. >> this program is available as a podcast, all "after words" programs can be viewed on our website a booktv.org. >> saturday on book tv at 7:00 p.m. eastern, in the latest book women on the ground, she looks at the challenges female arab and middle eastern journalist face while reporting. >> one of the authors were able to push through whatever buyers
they had an open the struggles, one of the essays that comes to mind, it's such a role in an honest account of grief and loss and it reflects the arab world today. this is an uplifting book. >> sunday at 7:45 p.m. eastern, princeton university professor on race, gender and class in america. her most recent book is brief. >> the reality is, i have to arm them, not simply with a set of skills and intellectual tools that allow them to flourish and schools and ethics and values but also a way to make sense of the hostility that they encounter every day from people
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words", anuradha bhagwati reflux on her time in her efforts to overturn the ban on women in combat. she is interviewed by retired marine corps officer kate germano and author of fight like a girl. "after words" is a leak under weekly interview program with relevant guest host and to bring top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> i want to start by what a pleasure it is to have this opportunity. i have to let the audience know, when i was having a lot of trouble with the marine corps they did to gender issues, you were one of the first people who reached out to express concern and good solidarity. from marine marine to enter perspective, that was a meaningful expense that i had. thank you for being here. >> thank you and thank you for doing this with me. >> let's dive right and if that's okay.