tv Race in America CSPAN November 23, 2014 12:10am-1:51am EST
is if you don't get 70%. you're running against yourself. you have remarkable people doing remarkable things. chuck, you guys are going to for some discussions with people. >> you think? >> you are. kind of not a great question to finish this. [laughter] >> i was trying not to do this stupid when do you announce? sillytrying not to do the when do you announce? how do you not run? fair enough. do you have a closer you would like to propose? >> i am for paul lepage. wherever he has. >> thank very much, everybody. these guys are great. take the abuse of a bunch of governors. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> next, and authors panel examines the state of race in america. after that, i will republican senators markley retirement -- grassleyic and senator marx the retirement of senator harkin. and then a look at immigration and the state. on the next "washington journal," francine kiefer and errands and are examined the political and legislative future of president obama immigration proposal. and patrick clawson has the latest on the iranian nuclear program negotiations which have a deadline this monday. as always, we will take your
calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. >> the answer that i say to my good from from north dakota is no. >> i would you say to my good fro friend from wisconsin. >> the acts wanted by my good friend cory gardner from colorado. >> this actually has british lineage. it comes from parliament, whereds of years ago, they say something similar, the right honorable gentleman. which is a similar meaning, a thinly veiled approach to trying to be polite to somebody you do not really care for. at least in the house of representatives, where there are 435 members, about of these men and women do not know each other are when they are saying my good friend. it is disingenuous to use another phrase from the book.
i would say indicates of the senate, there are only 100. they may not like each other anymore but at least there is a chance of them being at least acquaintances, if not actually good friends. >> journalist david on the world of political terminology. sunday night at it like eastern and pacific on c-span's "q&a. >> no a group of authors have a conversation about the future of race in america. they discussed the ferguson, missouri case and make predictions about the impending grand jury decision. they also share their personal stories of experiences with police and law enforcement. this event was hosted by the brooklyn historical society. this form contains language some viewers may find offensive. this is about 90 minutes. [applause]
>> this is beautiful. what's up, brooklyn? give yourselves a big old round of applause. [applause] like a black power fist. >> white people be careful. ,be very careful. it will be that awkward all night. [laughter] you signed up for a conversation about the conversation. i was hearing a beautiful intro. can we give it up to the brooklyn historical society. [applause] and what cal was backstage -- rochelle was backstage and she was very glad to hear how her
name was pronounced. what do you think what people call you [indiscernible] >> it is irritating. because it kind of puts me in a box. i'm very comfortable being american, i am very comfortable being latino. for me that hyphen bridges me to both. so when i hear someone say [indiscernible] i feel like you are putting mirror box and you are not open -- meet in a box and you are not open to receiving me fully. understand what i mean? if we meet outside, please don't call me [indiscernible] >> rachel. >> if you call me "rachel" i will not even pay attention to you. >> you wrote a book called " some of my best friends are black." how is that working out? >> it has been great. i have three or four now. [laughter]
>> you have increased the number sense publication. -- since publication. >> 400% increase from 0%. [laughter] >> how about latinos? [whistles] >> one. she is right here. i went on a date with a dominican girl 10 years ago. >> how can you hold on tha to tt until now? >> i do not know. it came back to me. >> wow. >> what's up, c-span? all five of you. [laughter] >> exactly. >> you guys destroyed c-span just by showing up. we are so glad to have you here. >> i want to apologize to c-span d fucks we arean probably going to say. [laughter] >> we sent a crew out there and couldn't use any footage. wasted taxpayer money. >> so the proposal we have for
this evening, we don't have a separate moderator. we will moderate each other which has worked well in american history. [laughter] we propose to address one topic which is right off the news -- ferguson. latight. real easy. will come to a solution three minutes from now. many of you will notice on your chairs cards with topics you want to discuss. we will dip into that and pass it down the aisle. enter what you have to say. -- and hear what you have to say. and then we'll share the microphone with you and verbally hear what you have to say. is that plan ok with you guys? >> when you see us on our iphones, we are listening to you on twitter. >> exactly. >> so, are you guys ready? all right. >> ferguson. about to jump off again maybe. possibly. we don't know. according to the governor of missouri.
>> a state of emergency. pre-declared. >> it is a pre-declared state of emergency. >> and confirmed on fox. so you know some shit is going down. >> did you see our former mayor rudolph giuliani on fox news recently? >> didn't watch that. >> or not admitting it. >> insofar as fox news can be said to represent a segment of white american society. they are all primed for the next coming of stokely carmichael to erect out of this and ferguson. it strikes me as i thought of new haven. which happened, i was reading the other day. was on trial back in new haven. there were going to be huge protests. all the white abby hoffman protesters and blacks would come to the lawn and do a big
demonstration all over the country. and the governor of connecticut and the president were petrified it would turn into what we saw in ferguson in august. but the governor of connecticut knew wisely that the first way to set off the powder keg would be to send in and prime everyone. they quietly assembled the national guard. they told no one. and they said go have your demonstration. nothing happened. they had to demonstration everyone went home. -- they had the demonstration. everyone went home. it was over. governor nixon is doing everything he can to precipitate what he said he wants to avoid, by getting everyone primed for the fact that black people are going to go crazy. >> can i ask you to speak for all white people briefly russian mark [laughter] -- briefly? [laughter]
>> i am relishing this moment. >> is he doing this for white people? i know you are nervous? i will send and guns to protect you from what is going to go down. >> he's trying to cover on his bases. the governor did in 69, should you have law-enforcement standing by in case things go sideways? of course. things could go sideways anytime people are on edge like this. but he is saying on this that we have to counsel with the black ministers and we will talk and everything will be fine and we would do everything to avoid this. but, all of you white people go buy guns just in case. that is the subtle message. the and got a hold of budget appropriation from bergson police department last month and it is just like $50,000 in rubber bullets. -- ferguson police department last month and it is just like $50,000 in rubber bullets. $50,000 in being bad guns. they are preparing for all of this -- in bean bag guns. they're preparing for all of this. >> how would they missed the
white protesters? when they unleash the military on the community. for selling out? >> who knows what is going to happen. really. >> you sent me this link. show" onsean hannity fox. he was using this -- did you see it? >> i did. >> he was using the same terminology i saw the news, especially fox five, after 9/11. explosive situation. written violence. -- threatening violence. something is going to erupt. to scare people. situations like these are not situations. they got for him that 9/11 godened because -- think
for him that he became the 9/11 mayor. he was going to be the legacy. but him talking about the situation, it was very dismissive. and it brought up for me the idea this phrase has been thrown around as of late. white privilege. and i know you despise that term. you have good reason. and i want to get into that. >> white people have tons of advantages in society. a lot of people like bill o'reilly and fox news denies it exists. and denied that what people have advantages, which is stupid. but, to me, whenever you talk about advantages white people have come here to sort them. one is things people white have the other people shouldn't be accorded also. and, so human privilege. >> we should say that instead of white privilege. >> you heard it here first. >> white people can walk about in society without fear of getting shot in the face every day by police. and some look at it as white privilege.
i would define it as citizenship. it is the baseline of how to be -- how we should be treated in society. i feel you get that word attached, that word is very popular right now and you get that word attached to something like this and we start focusing on all the things that tanner has that are bad because he has them rather than focusing on the true problem. >> well you talk about white , privilege. for me it is not really about white people. it is just a reminder of what being born nonwhite confers. >> non-white disadvantaged. >> exactly. it is just easier. white privilege. >> it allows you to project resentment on white people. rather than feel bad about yourself. >> just because you are born white, you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth. but i think we should look into it as we lack basic rights.
for example we are both parents. ,and i remember when i first held my son, wow. can't believe i had another kid. after 15 years. that was the first thought. i second thought was oh my god. he is so cute. he looks chinese. damn, i'm thing was, them going to be worried about him going to the store. my daughter is there. i had no postpartum depression. i was happy about him being born, but i have this conversation. when everybody left. i have to think about people not respecting him or loving him the i love all of my neighbors children regardless of what color. i had to think of a him going to the store and not coming back. i have to teaching him to question what he thinks what he's being taught in school. at the same time, don't go too far with authority because he could get shot in the face.
>> or in the back. >> or in the back. these are all of the things that lead to stress. it could lead to resentment. this don't shoot and what is going on in ferguson is about human privilege. it is about people, black, white, whatever being upset of what we don't have. when nonwhites are born into this world >> what i have seen, . there's so much beauty in everything terms of the creative response. the government playbook is the same. arm up and threaten force and then apply force in disproportionate measures. reinforce the status quo. but the response on the ground has been that black youth movement has been much more gender open in terms of the roles that people are playing, it has been artist driven in a way we haven't always think seen before.
-- it makes me feel old, which i have not felt before. watching some of these young people respond so creatively and persistently, whether it is the pretending to be dead and will i say, new forms of protests -- while lying in the street, new forms of protest -- i find it interesting. i do not see people talking about that. >> what is the difference between what happened with mike brown and then trayvon martin? in the response. >> i think there has been less co-opting it by traditional organizations. you have new groups forming like hands up united.
reverend sharpton is there, he is always there. i am not here to diss al sharpton because his heart is in a good place. but it is not his show. it is not the reverend show anymore. it is a new cast of people we have never seen before. rappers are on different mics. and they are starting newsletters. up, there is a startup product called launch rock which tech companies used to launch their products. if you're interested in a cheaper way for luxury cars, sign up here. right? and this is the problem of the 5% that tech is oriented towards. but these young activists were using that same platform to to build the mailing list for a new movement. it is not for the media designation.
to say let's go to obama and see what he thinks. the president is incidental to all of this. and i think that is good because he won't be the president for much longer. >> right. >> i am sure that the hannity's dobbs,world and the lou who i do not like. thelways talk about all of stupid shit he talks about. on the daily. [laughter] >> so what do you think will happen with the grand jury? >> well, i think he will be acquitted. >> yep. yep. >> should we poll the audience? raise your hand if you think no indictment? hands up for no indictment? hands up for indictment?
a vast minority. >> not deserves indictment, but use your psychic powers. for all americans, we have seen this play before. >> i think he is going to walk. because the problem is nothing that happened that date justifies the shooting of michael brown, but there is a brief interval inside the car we don't know exactly what happened. anytime there is a sliver of uncertainty, it goes the cop's way. so that is what is going to happen. what do we do with that information once it comes out? >> the governor stands the troops down and sends out cupcakes. actually, what i would love to see the governor do is show up open mike at the british prime -- like the british prime minister and take it. physically have -- hear the people. because he seems to have been so tone deaf and so much of what is
needed is grandiose and systemic and requires funding and negotiation. so little is the knowledge being heard. i feel like if you set in a room like this and took it for like five hours -- [laughter] right? and just your people. -- just here people. and it'd be beautiful press for him. >> i don't think he cares. i think he is a slightly less evil version of giuliani. i don't know. what is going to -- i think there might be violent reaction. on the positive side if you could glean something positive, i do see a new political movement happening. i do see what you're talking about the other day. the arians and liberals coming together. because i think this whole democrat republican crap is nonsense. i'm from harlem. my peers are from the dominican republic. -- parents are from the dominican republic. there are dozens of people with different political parties. i may not agree with that you say, so i will start my own party.
so that is what is happening. i think we need to stop looking at things in boxes. as americans, we are obsessed with cramming ourselves into these boxes. >> one person slightly agrees with you. [laughter] >> on the positive side, we are seeing all alliances. did you see that senator from kentucky, rand paul? he was saying shit i could rock with. war on drugs. >> what are these organizations asking for? vis-a-vis ferguson. >> stop shooting black and brown people. is that.re but there is also representation in terms of you see the disconnect of who the police are versus who the populace is. you see there's a perverse relationship between how the government is funded and the imposition of fines. petit finds that encourage the police to have a stop in first
type of attitude which pays for it. -- stop and frisk type of system which pays for it. that funds the court system. there are cameras on police. probably seven other things i can't remember. many of you in the audience probably know it off the top of your heads. >> they came out of staten island, the whole thing about equipping police men with cameras. >> similarly timed. we don't have footage of ferguson. >> stood there is a question of what happened. -- so there is a question of what happened. >> the main thing i have a problem is that representation angle. this town, it is majority black, but has a white city council and white police. we need more representation so we control our own destiny. to me that is a false tactic to take. because they're not questioning the basic premise underlying that. which is -- and this was a claim to me by the principle of my old high school because -- was explained to me by the princip
al of my old high school because i used to live in one of the inner ring suburbs of birmingham, alabama. the reason why cities work is because you have a broad tax base of rod services p at old people pay taxes, but aren't using the schools p review people pay taxes, but aren't using medicare health services. businesses pay taxes, but don't use the schools. not everyone is taking advantage of the services. -- inefdoms and suburbs, these towns and fiefdoms and suburbs, you have no industry. you might have light retail. some of these fees -- meanwhile, people are using some of the city services, but not all of them. everyone in the suburb is there for one reason, to exploit your most expensive public service, which is good public schools in the suburbs. it is a completely untenable system. because the only way that works is if you have extreme wealth.
the bronx dales and the mountain brooks in birmingham, these really wealthy places can afford to keep the world out and not have any retail, not have any commercial industry and support an excellent public school waste -- based on nothing more than taxes. that do not have accumulative wealth. places like ferguson, it is a completely untenable model. and yet you have black people coming in and saying, we need to run ferguson. once -- you don't think white people don't care about it -- we until it has -- wait until it has a black mayor and black leadership. once it is an all-black city with black leadership, taxpayers will pay more.
you have black police and that is great. but essentially rich white people have designed a game that is rigged. black people are saying -- we need to win that game. it doesn't make sense. the only reason why black people need to gain political control is we want to be annexed so we have access to st. louis, taxes, services, and infrastructure. these little five comes, -- fiefdoms, the balkanized city states we have organized are the problem. to say black people need to take charge of ferguson is to misdiagnose the problem. >> they cannot just be a black body. it has to be the right blackbody. look at allen west, george zimmerman. you have people that are not the right people that get pushed into these jobs. >> here is another -- you went to the system of money and , like, borders. disenfranchising people.
there is another thing i haven't heard talk about enough in ferguson. which is police and training or lack thereof. and the attitudes that are in their heads. there's a very protective law -- wall they establish around police officers. they are almost saints. .hey can do no wrong and they can do very much wrong because they have guns and badges. they can get away with the wrongs. a friend of mine who is from brooklyn, he drew this map that i which i had sketched out for you while this evening. a cop that has a bad day to get away with killing. -- can get away with killing. probably not if you look like me. >> maybe. >> their perception of your threat and their mood determines your life. flipped upreally slippe
equation, c-span. [laughter] there is this guy out of ucla, i tried to promote his work as much as i can. he studies racism. in the brain. neuropsychology and social psychology. it is tempting to think cops are racist. but they are not. not aggressively, not explicitly. it is not cool to be out hating black people. you can't walk around shouting those things anymore. the association that lack people -- black people are less than all programming that the media has done an effective job. the thing he found is the predictor if a cop will shoot a black boy or man is not their explicit racism. ir implicit sense of
masculinity. cops that are weakened their manhood, they have to flex. if you challenge them in any way, they have got to put you down. because they do not know how to cure themselves as grown men. >> if i could add one thing to that, in my community where i grew up, i saw many friends being victimized by cops. the thing we were always taught to look out for were black and latino cops because a sense of history of being emasculated. and the fact that, as a community, we have not dealt with ptsd in our memory. we are very young country. we are products, white or black or other, of the transatlantic slave trade. and we carry in our memory as a part of our dna ptsd. , part of that is with black and brown boys is the emasculation.
i heard a lot of the boys in my neighborhood that i grew up with became cops and i used to hear them in the train. i will eff someone up if they look at me the wrong way. a lot of times i've had to be careful, more so, with people that look like me and my family members. so there's a lot of things from the bottom that we are not dealing with. not only in the penal system and with cops but also just in our communities we have to deal with. and that is at the core, at the bottom of all of this, is ptsd. i think ptsd is even correlated to black on black crime. and brown & brown crime. how do you stop committing violence on other people when you don't like what you see in the mirror? how are you going to come together and coalesced as a movement if you do not like what you see in the mirror? how are you going to like other people when you do not like what you see in the mirror? a lot of this, at the bottom of this is how we're not talking about race. and thank god we are here.
more openly without being afraid. >> the most interesting thing i have seen in months involving the implicit biases that people have is that a guy in south and north carolina -- whoa, sorry you guys. i'm from the south. so i can. >> some of my best friends are from the south. is that your next book? [laughter] >> this video went viral. i am sure many of you saw it. a cop pulls a guy over. black guy. the guy hops out of his car totally like, what's up? ,officer friendly. it is a tuesday. and the officer says i need to see your driver's license. he turns to get it. and he says, hands up. he shoots him. because he reached into his car where he couldn't see his hand. kept rolling.ca
two days later, it was audio recorded the officer pointing -- officer explaining what had happened. he was like, if you watch the video, what's going on? the cop's description was, he lunged at me. and it was so terrifying and dangerous. and the question is, was that cop, a lying to cover his ass or be, was that his actual perception of what is black dude was doing? and that speaks to what that guy's perception of the experience was. it was equally fascinating, it was like the same week that incident that black actress in l.a. was detained by police because there was a report that there was due to behavior in her car. she goes -- there was lewd behavior in my car.
she went on facebook and he posted this thing about her rights being violated, she wrote a diatribe. all of these civil rights leaders get behind her. racial profiling. the way black women are treated in society. blah, blah. and then lapd releases the tape. the officer is totally civil. totally played by the book. ma'am there was a call about a , disturbance. i don't want to do this. show me your id. at one point, he says to be boyfriend that if she had just showed the id, they would be gone. but she acted like a spoiled brat. she actually said, at one point, do you know who i am. my daddy wants to talk to you. she tries to put her daddy on the phone with the police officer. at that point, her perception was she was the next trayvon martin. that she was the greatest victim of all time. the cop was, ma'am, i just need to see your id.
then i will leave. these encounters between minorities and police are so fraught and loaded. whereas i never had an encounter with police that is bad in my life. i run a red light. i get a ticket. i leave. that's it. >> i do not drive but my husband does. i get tense when we are out of new york, i start to shake. i'm always worried something will happen to my son or daughter if we step out of line. it is scary. >> it is not an unreasonable expectation. i heard a story from my sister. i grew up in a family of three. my father wasn't really in the picture. he did not live with us and he was killed when i was very much young. a handful of memories of this guy. my sister was in the car. i sister was in the car with my father. the cops rolled up. this was washington, d.c. circa 1976.
decide theyl up and will go full force and he is doing something to do not like, principally talk back. they grabbed him out of the car. beat the crap out of him. take them away. and leave my seven-year-old sister in the car alone for hours until a random lady rolls up and convinces my daughter to roll the window down. are you ok? she remember something about her address and she was able to get home to my mother who was livid at the time. so yeah, your concern about your small child is not misplaced. >> to protect and serve. that is what they do. >> not to belabor this, but you brought up another memory. when i was actually labor with theaughter, i was living in bronx and we took a cab to the nextel -- two olympics hell. hill.linux
the cops stopped us out of the blue. they wanted me to prove i was in labor, even though i had my belly out to hear it my husband said please don't touch her. get the eff out of the car. i had to get out and follow my knees and beg them to stop. without telling them, i'm a writer -- they didn't care. they were white cops. they had their badges covered and the license plates to the vehicle was turned down. i was really young. so i wasn't thinking about -- what next what next. i am to do about now. -- i am thinking about now. finally they took my overnight bag and searched it for drugs with a baton and threw it at my husband and said have a nice night. when i got to the hospital, i almost lost her because of stress. so that is what we live in day in and out. it doesn't matter. what the hell you do. it doesn't matter if i was in "12 years a slave." it does not matter. that is what i think people are getting fed up with.
think people of all backgrounds and races should be fed up with as our country and your grandchildren are becoming more and more non-white. by 2023, it is over. [laughter] >> we will still have a lot of money. in 2043. >> is at a promissory threat? -- a promise or a threat russian mark [laughter] >> it is a fact. >> we still have a lot of money in it will take time for that to go out the door to >> especially with the voter id laws >> that was not my idea. >> the thing about the police it is a cultural problem. i have a friend who is a cop. he explained to me how it works. the nypd was notoriously corrupt. all of the franks or picoult -- years, eveno
through the crack years, so many cops on the payroll. when these guys came in under giuliani, as bad as they were for the racial element of policing, in terms of corruption, they went in, arrested the top corrupt people and marched them out and took out their badges. and said anyone else does this, you're fired. course, there are still corruptions in the police department, but that systemic deep corruption was largely rooted out because leadership said no tolerance. if the leadership of the nypd said tomorrow and you and who a civile who commits rights violation is suspended without pay for the first one and fired for the second one, it would end rather quickly. because it is the same. whether it is steroids in baseball or corruption in politics, when there is a cultural change at the top that says this isn't tolerated, things change. especially in a paramilitary organization like the nypd.
>> i think if you -- yes and. at?e are my improv people front and center of course. if it is paired with training. because we make broad statements that are not backed up by our intrinsic behavior. we say i don't see color, but we do. i see it. i don't want to, but i'm trained by the same stimulus that has trained the rest of us. and so i'm also racist against me because i have been conditioned. >> don't do that to yourself. >> and i don't want to. right? i look in the mirror. you would be so much more handsome. there is a level to your point about ptsd. there's a mass therapy. we skipped steps. we got great words in america. really beautiful, florid language about equality and the rights of men and women. congratulations, ladies.
from time to time you get heard. but our nature and socialization and habits have been bill up -- has been built up across generations. this statement this won't be tolerated needs to be supported with some psychological retraining efforts beyond conflict resolution. and diversity training. our heads are messed up. we have been psychologically violated. all of us. the oppressor and the oppressed. and that will take some doing. i thought about this. i made a chart. i like charts that you will not see. i got frustrated. we expect so much and so little time in the great sweep of just american history. several hundred years of legal disinvited -- disenfranchisement, segregation, dehumanization and then socially acceptable forms of that. 300 years, 400 years.
we are post that and we still have a deficit of goodwill, equality. with your project out to -- we have to project out to maybe by the year 2300 we could talk about post-racial and equality but it takes some time , investment. time is part of the currency here. >> when i was researching my book, i came across i think it was in time magazine. >> perfect segue. time magazine. nice. >> why there were no black executives on the board of fortune 500 companies. and it was 1982 and because we are 17 years out from -- the end of legal apartheid. that is why there are no blacks in the boardrooms. when i think about my own life in relation to america's racial history, i'm just poor white trash. my great grandparents were actually southern louisiana sharecroppers.
so there you go read my grandfather got to leave the farming to a job with the works progress administration and got some va benefits after world war ii. we build up and build up and now i'm a upper-middle-class white guy in 2014 who kind of gets to do whatever i want. i'm not rich, but that is because i chose not to be rich. i chose to do something that doesn't pay me money. but i could've chosen to make money. and so, but that process, start to finish was about 80 years. , if it takes 80 years to get from sharecropping to upper-middle-class and total freedom and opportunity and privilege as some people would say, it takes 80 years if you are a white man. onlye only, like you say, 15 years out from the end of legal apartheid. my family was incredibly lucky and worked hard. and did everything right.
black people have been unlucky in a lot of things. and, you know we continue to do , many things wrong. that retard that progress. >> i think that nonwhite people in america should do what they're are doing in the caribbean, which is get together, have conversations, and sue the former colonizers. [laughter] even though we all know no one is going to win, the good that comes out of it is conversation and dialogue. and when i actually read in the paper that we were talking about ptsd. i just could not believe it. seen, before iot set it so brilliantly, that ptsd was something we carry in our memory as people regardless of what color we are. who are new americans. i also think because we are so diverse, especially in new york city. there is another word we need to come up with. >> awesome. >> if there is any word that can take the place of diversity, say
-- please tweet it to me. i hate using that word but anyway we are so -- , >> colorful. >> colorful. we should be looking at our community as larger than just north america. we should look at ourselves as americans. if you are latino and if you feel like public enemy number one, for example, pat yourselves on the back. america started in the east of the dominican republic. it was the first, quote, successful european settlement, the first place there was indigenous american slavery and the transatlantic trade slave. that is why we are so racially ambiguous, it will. you have to start seeing what -- you have to start looking at ourselves and start seeing what people are doing and start that dialogue and start popping -- talking. was that a little new agey? sorry, c-span.
new agey. -- >> for those of you who wrote things down on cards, if you could send them to the aisles, we will collect them -- and bring them up here and try to dive into some of what you have been asking. lost track on that one. we riffed hard. i don't want to talk about taylor swift. one person tweeted -- i feel what is missing from the national race conversation is the dramatic paranoia experienced by the offender and offended. we talked about a little bit but i appreciate you tweeting that in. because also the idea of chasing
victimness, especially on the conservative side where we are victims too -- but not in the way you think. in your book, did you come across -- >> to call people victims is to be ridiculous. >> but what is the burden of the offender? >> what i think is we are all products of the same system. and therefore we are damaged in different ways. for people in color, ptsd. these feelings of inferiority. sown through the culture. to be white and a product of a society is like growing up next to a lead paint factory and you are kind of like dense. you cannot see. you're a little slow. it is amazing to me because i have gone through the looking glass. i'm no expert or genius about
race. but i know what i do not know and i know a few things. i was listening to a podcast, very intelligent political commentators. and one of them mentioned that she read an editorial by a black filmmaker that there is a renaissance of black film and tv in the early 90's with "in living color," and it died off and turned into malcolm and and "friends.pn "seinfeld" and "friends." they're back to getting a cultural voice. i can't believe that. is that true? >> and you said data. >> i don't fault them for that. i understand. i look back. you don't see that? how can you not?
but they don't. with the parodies in the "dear white people" thing, these white people having black face and ghetto parties .n the fraternities and black people on twitter saying they are deliberately trying to offend us, but no, they really are that stupid. [laughter] they just don't know better. they are my people, i come from that place. >> can we send you to talk to them? >> and there is this fear of approaching this issue. i love my wife, she is a lovely person, but -- >> what? t? bu
be very, very careful. this is on c-span. >> i wrote this book because we had a black president and i did not know any black people. what is with that? i'm introduce myself at parties. i'm writing a book. about why i do not know any black people. this would make people uncomfortable and we would start a conversation. when my wife would introduce me and explain what i do, he's writing a book about racial integration. [laughter] and she would never read a book called i don't know any black people. she was nervous. about being the forthright and dumping it out there. and i see that, and i singled out my wife. but all my friends do that. they read my book and they like my book and it is informative. whenever it becomes their turn to talk about it, they seize up and clench up. they have a difficult time. what they do not realize is the first phase of dealing with race
, you go one of the two ways. you either become bill o'reilly and you get angry and defensive. what are you asking for? haven't we done enough for them already? they just need to shut up. when people do not have it that great. -- white evil do not have it that great. or you get into the hard-core you make a youtube video. all the while picking advantage of everything about being white so it is disingenuous. when people don't approach it because they don't want to go there. because it is a very uncomfortable place to be with the anger and denial or the guilt. what they do not understand is if you go deep and long enough, you get through that to the other side. talking about racism is like whether or not you like this a beer. and you get used to it and comfortable with it. all of that guilt and anxiety is gone. and it is so -- >> is this the white promised land? [laughter] >> it kind of is. >> i have been to the white
promised land. it will be ok. [laughter] >> you know what? honestly? i saw "dear white people." it was off the hook. loved it. i especially like your beautiful face. you are like the hottest thing in there. but, i wrote it down, three mentions of latinos in passing. and so many of the expenses were things that i identified with and i felt like invisible. kind of, sort of, not really. we have to have a conversation. barack obama being president would open up a dialogue that was binary. the first time he was running, people were [whispering] who is that? i was excited.
everything existed in a gray space. we have it. everything is black and white and that is not how the world works. the promised land is gray. >> it is both. in terms of the racial dynamics, you are right. there is a multiracial dynamic along the spectrum a race that needs to be dealt with. it is also true that there is some shit to settle. >> but it involves [indiscernible] >> that is why it takes such -- shouldn't be a binary number station. but black and white defines the continuum. >> but latinos are black and white. you're staring at the solution. you don't see anything.
[laughter] >> thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> a pile of youthful and somewhat legible props -- beautiful and somewhat legible -- do think there is an anxiety of the changing demographics in the u.s.? rules are changing so fast to allow certain powers to amass influence that they don't care anymore. you mentioned the demographic -- but also the global nature of shifting power and were capital is happening and people getting educated in different ways. what is anxiety? >> we so busy sending our children to war and not looking at each other as human beings.
we are falling behind. i think scandinavians will rule the world. i think so. they are investing in their children. no, they are into -- because they are vikings. [laughter] crime rates are low. >> i don't think it will be scandinavia. they are too small. i do think i agree with you on a point in time, a binary conversation -- >> it is our inability to deal with it as an internal problem that leaves us unable to deal with it without. >> we needed to stay young,
technically america will be like italy, italy is old, physically old and the young people cannot support the old people because they stopped having sex and the pyramid is inverted and they became anti-foreigner and barred the gates. what sustained the u.s. through all this drama by force or by luer's people kept showing up. lore people -- lure people kept showing up. now we are threatening that. we are risking sending amazing talent and ideas away and people with your brilliance would not be welcome here because we have the short game view. >> my read in 2042 is it will not go the way we think it is. people will only be half.
that is a lot of white people that we can contain them. we will build more suburbs. [laughter] white people still have all whole lot of money, all of the valuable downtown real estate, white people own all of it. we have a lot. but what percentage of mixed-race and minority people will be assimilated into the middle class and identify with the power holding majority then minority populations. i think what will happen is whiteness will split in two. two kinds of white people. old school who hang everything on being white and they are scared and nervous and
retreating further into idaho and west virginia and the mountains. they will be healed people. -- hill people. and then myself, i don't see integration as a threat, if my son marry someone with a different race and i have a mixed-race grandchild i do not care because i am in the upper middle-class and historically working middle-class people are petrified and the upper class feel like you can't be threatened because i will be ok and i know my kids will have access to these social and financial capital to remain in power -- >> you are assuming stability, you're assuming this imbalance persists for 30 years and i think at some point the system breaks. >> it is going to break and you will have a break which is one portion of white people break off and d assimilate and go to themselves and
go to idaho and another group that will partner with the more assimilated and educated branch to be a new beige majority. part people of color and part white people who are fine with that and then a rock fashion of every immigrant group who will be in the corner and being very angry. beige will be the new white. >> we have so many quotes tonight. >> should we keep it going? >> up to you. >> i don't necessarily agree with that even if race is a social construct maybe even before beige-light skin latinos become the next white i guess the next white man is the black man. >> how so? >> you're talking assimilation and out of all the groups that are immigrants we are -- what is happening is immigrants are -- they are selectively acculturated.
they are taking what they like about the old country and what they like about being american and fusing that together. there is no such thing as assimilating to what? what are we assimilating to? we have to redefine that. >> white standard will not be the gold standard of assimilation but there are white people of a lot of money and a lot of job opportunities. to the extent that you want access to those industries that's why i say beige is the new white. >> i disagree but we will save it for a future forum. >> is jazz toilet in the house? riffing on the toilet.
awesome. how do i have a meaningful conversation about race being a white liberal friend with a black friend, do you want to clarify? >> [inaudible] >> they think having a black friend gives them license to be a grant, like a racism insurance -- being ignorant? like a racism insurance card. [laughter] [inaudible] >> because they lean back on that friend as an excuse? they think they know everything because they have one person in their circle, is that it? ok. >> tell them never to say that and be that it is not true. i don't know your particular friend --? [inaudible] >> is it you? [laughter]
that is an amazing costume. >> i just think white people who are like i already know about this and i took ethnic studies and read all the articles, we do not need to talk about this. there is no conversation. >> the thing that pops into my head immediately based on no studies and fake science, shift the category. would this person say that about north carolina versus south carolina? would they say this about scandinavia versus norway? baseball versus hockey? you can know one thing and somehow make it present to them that that doesn't mean everything. i had a hot dog, i know how hotdocs taste, i have the net chilli -- eaten at chili's so i know how mexican food case.
-- taste. this is true like that times 1000. i think there are people in our lives whether it is agenda line -- a gender line if they know one homosexual than they know gay people, if they know one woman they know all women? if there is an opportunity to not make about race but it is perfect for reminding them that there is uniqueness and a spectrum everywhere. that is my fake science got. -- gut. >> peter a. holden? i love your tweet. instead of diverse, how about amalgamagical. that is awesome.
>> that is a mouthful but it has a healthy sparkle. i see a rainbow with sparkles. >> it is really dreamy. like a promised land. >> thank you so much for that. >> was her question there? >> we're just giving love. >> for the balance of the evening we will use amalgamagical in lieu of diversity. >> is the race, gender and age diversity in this audience what you would expect concerning or is it in the way of real progress? >> when i say you people -- [laughter] >> i'm impressed by those people because i was expecting it to be a little more like -- like girls on hbo. >> she was dissing brooklyn 30 hard to -- pretty hard. >> i had a conversation with raquel the couple weeks ago and she is to live in brooklyn and
she said i got tired of it and had to leave because it is getting to white. i said when did you leave? she said 1997. [laughter] >> actually 1996. >> sorry. >> i lived in brooklyn heights i was expecting older, white, not new not cool not hit. -- not hip. please stay. a little less amalgamagical than what i am seeing because of where brooklyn has gone. >> if you identify as mail raise -- as male, raise your hand.
if you identify as female raise your hand. ladies night apparently. you got a discount, tuesday night at the brooklyn historical society. [laughter] if you identify as neither male nor female and want to raise your hand? it is like 3/5 female by my fake math. i did not have expectations to directly answer this, remember looking around the corner and i just thought, wow there is a range of hairstyles. the very concerted and
-- i have a good mixed race audience. it will be fine. if it is the majority white audience and three black people and they aren't feeling it, none of the white people will have permission to enjoy themselves at all. [laughter] i imagine that is what it feels like. >> i don't know why you look at me when you say that? >> i read about it. >> it is a painful tragic experience. >> i give this audience a thumbs up. >> i give you two. i feel a queer not talking about -- feel we are not
talking about intersectional oppression. all right then. i feel like someone busted out some fans on that one. well. preach. so it is interesting, why have we failed? >> do i define it? >> there is no single -- fake science coming at you, not the wikipedia definition but the intuitive definition, race, gender, origin these things are inseparable and play out in different ways depending where you are in those statements so you cannot have a solo conversation about race if you cannot take gender into account or class. >> i think we did talk about blackmail and brown male bodies -- black male and brown male bodies. we talked about being born white, i soon if you're born you are either a woman, male, or somewhere in between.
i link we did but maybe not in depth. >> i really feel like this is -- it is difficult to have these conversations because -- this is such a broad topic -- there are so many intersections of this subgroup or that, that you can never please everyone and part of the reason people shy away is -- i wrote a 2000 word article for slate and i got a barrage of tweets that you did not talk about this or -- i had 2000 words and i picked one thing to talk about and did not talk about the other 90 because i only had 2000 words. hang around long enough we will have beers and get to intersection alley. -- intersectionality.
>> were going to talk about white people, this is a two page comment. [laughter] someone actually wrote page one. [laughter] they scratched out all of page two. it seems like white people not surrounded by people of color they are unaware how much whiteness is spoken about when they are not around so it would be good to make the idea of whiteness more deliberate and not be afraid of it in mixed company. i hope that makes sense. >> the tone just jumped off the page. hope you don't mind my interpretive license -- i almost said interpretive whiteness. [laughter] you, racquel, spoke out clearly
about feeling invisible in this lack-white conversation but there is also another line drawn between people of color and what is that and instead of asking questions i get to throw out my own thoughts on this i think we can talk about whiteness. maybe we don't call it a privilege and some of you have a problem with that word, but it allows us and escape hatch -- an escape hatch to walk to the world as if color doesn't matter. on my show did the whiteness project a documentary film in buffalo, new york with white people in front of cameras and let them think out loud and there were some thoughts there. a lot of resentment and why are we doing all these things for the black people, the resentment is book of earlier comes up
clearly, intersecting with class heavily, i would love in some ways to pass the baton or share the baton on what the race conversation is and that is part of why you are here, because you get some of this work a solo. >> what i have found is the power of white -- white supremacists understand light mist -- whiteness the least. they're bad with grammar, history, culture, economy. [laughter] white supremacists are these rubes who bought into the promise of whiteness as a pure white race that is endowed with superiority which is nonsense, but they bank everything on the purity of the white race and keeping it your of contamination and i don't think that is where the power of whiteness comes from, the power of whiteness comes that it can mean anything.
as thomas said on his blog, whiteness is very protean in nature. today is completely changed. that is why i think what i do about the year two dozen 42 -- 2042 and beige being the new white, white will be whatever it needs to be to stay where it is and that is the enduring, underlying power of that idea. it is pernicious and we can admit why it is bad but let's acknowledge white it is so powerful. communism is dying, fascism is gone, why is that? it is so infinitely flexible that it can be anything. in the french revolution you had 40 families with all the money and you said that is the aristocracy, let's kill them and
then we have a new regime. white people are the ruling class in america, who is why people? -- white people? whoever we say it is. how do you extend that aristocracy? it will include and expand jews, or whoever to say you don't belong anymore go to idaho, when i get rid of that. -- whiteness will get rid of that. >> i apologize to the people of idaho -- [laughter] >> i will come to it from a gray space and transnational, in the northeast whiteness and blackness is defined differently than what we even think. if you listen to skip gates they are sending you down the wrong path -- the way we look at it has to do with economics. for example, i ran into a doctor or dentist who typically looks like a shorter version of
michael jordan and one of my mentors said you know the guy right there -- i said yeah, they said he is considered white here, all slight in brazil if you look at pele soccer player, he bought his way in and became white and people stopped referring to him as being black. >> in the dominican republic it is that way, also in haiti, where the ruling class is considered white and that ruling class is close to the ruling class in the dominican republic and so they look at power, race and fina typical looks has nothing to do with it, it is how much power and money you have. i look at the caribbean and where america started when i want to gauge where we are going in north america. maybe it is another way of saying what you're saying,
whiteness-blackness is fluid. >> i don't know if i wonder or simply hope for it instead -- the perseverance of whiteness, i feel like that is temporary. i wanted to be temporary for sure and i am looking at people who are so bored of the program that they have to leave -- have a great night. just kidding, i know you have to go. you talk about transnational, someone mentioned india and china, there are things that have to change in such dramatic ways that i think are happening outside the bubble of this conversation. the power of culture as we have seen, still within a white power structure but jazz, hip-hop -- all these things of black phases and black movements are sold in
america around the world but what happens when the area is mostly mandarin, and what happens culturally when the world tower keeps shifting -- >> china is huge and will challenge us, a friend of mine is a linguist and the interesting thing about english, whiteness and english rose up in the world contemporaneously, and the interesting thing about english is that it sort of took our -- took over the world in a rested just and advantageous world in technology. english come along with the typewriter, with the internet, with the computer and all the technology and english has the advantage of being flexible. the french are very rigid in their language but the english language, like whiteness can
absorb -- >> they put omg in the dictionary. >> english is a language that can expand infinitely to be whatever it needs to be where is mandarin in chinese is very difficult -- they are trying to change that now and make mandarin easier so it can be more international. to that extent, is whiteness going to be like english were it will continue to mutate and expand and adapt like a virus? i don't know. [laughter] that is not to advocate for whiteness but i'm trying to predict what it will do. >> you talking about american english? >> that is my point exactly, there is american english, british english, international, it can mutate and spread it is not a rigidly defined thing. >> you can spell on her in three different ways -- honor in three different ways. we don't have a plan exactly.
[laughter] it is 8:00 and save room -- [inaudible] let's do the mic thing, -- stop where you are this problem with the hat and scarf -- are you cold? very zipped up. politico, let it go. -- let it go, let it go. >> i just want to maybe expand on why and would not think that sexuality -- i asked that question in the question the privilege, but if we could maybe talk about why you would not think it is important to have is the and intersectional conversation? because knowing that you had mentioned race is a social construct, why not include all other social constructs that
equally affect our perception and protection of what is race? >> and was in the news -- i will give you a quick answer, ferguson was in the news. we picked that. >> for some of us if not most of us this intersection alley is baked in -- intersectionality is baked in. to give you a quick background on why this happened, which we never did -- words were printed in books, i wrote this book "how to be black." my friend wrote this book "some of my best friends are black." and i said what would a dude named tanner know about race and i turns out there were a few things. we did a live event and thought about going on tour together but
it takes a lot of work, that we did do one live event a year ago in manhattan, you are a much better audience than they were. we were experimenting with the format of can we talk to each other and to a group. rachal and i had met on cnn many years ago to talk about obama and race and we wanted to continue this conversation and expand it, so we reached out to rachal and said are you down for lunches and a lot of e-mails, and so this came out of an attempt to expand the conversation that we were having or to expand on the region holing we had been put into -- pigeon-holing, we had been put into, -- this was the second iteration of that live event,
there was no comfort -- conscious effort to avoid intersectionality, but i want to accept with openness that it is part of the conversation. we have been called upon and chosen to some degree to explore race as a primary variable as an identity. >> we wanted to talk about the podcast? >> we are trying to do a podcast to see if this can be a test thing, do we fight all the time? >> we will actually bark at each other the entire time. >> the shirt man with the hat.
>> i wrote the first question, the reason i put that question together is thinking that it seems like we talked about obama and the election and what to that is we came together and elected but it is a process that we took to elect president obama as far as little to nations and it seemed like the whole community got together and as soon as you came to the white house, citizens united in the supreme court just took that power away from the americans. smaller, richer, foreign donors coming into politics and to really relight the direction where america is going -- i wanted to -- because we are talking about race and there is a lot going on that is really taking away our definition of what being american actually is.
>> here here. i think it got ratcheted up after president obama's election, i think that rewrite has been ongoing from the glorious statements in the founding documents were were never -- which were never intended for most of the people in this room to benefit from, it has lured a lot of people here and investors and resource extractors like i can get mine and keep it? that sounds good. but talk about equality a little bit, the promise has never been matched and we try to get closer, but i think the hyper
reaction to the president, i underestimated and i got all caught up and i was knocking on doors in texas and pennsylvania and virginia and open-source democracy in our writing this campaign and we will write the rules and just got slammed in the face with the reality that the sport does not get played down here, the donors were always there, the lobbyists were always there and the fear of people who had power and the very concerted and collaborative decisions to make sure that whatever the president said about everything. that is what the whole political party did about the heritage foundation that mitt romney successfully implemented. the proliferation treaty, they
said, we don't believe in that anymore. and the way that the electoral system work seer, the deflation of voting, the lack of persistence that a lot of us have for the midterms, the follow-through is not there. we stayed up for the big game but not the scrimmages in between. >> i don't know if we say we came together to elect obama. the beauty of his campaign as far as getting himself elected was hope and change -- and he ran -- >> and as not president bush. >> did not vote for the iraq war. barack obama presented himself as hope and change and we could fill that nestled whatever we aspire to and that was part of my inspiration, writing the book. a lot of black people and hispanic people supporting obama but we are all doing this differently and for different reasons. i think that you saw that, he is a galvanizing figure and we all saw what we wanted to and i think that was there a deliberate. his campaign was marketing brilliance, that campaign was
genius, from start to finish, as a phenomenon. and so, he has almost been an anomaly when the city came out that said that america is no longer a functional democracy, we are an oligarchy where the interests of the middle class defined by polling and everything else are not following with us, all the time and when your interests coincide with the top 5%, we set a democracy is being responsive, you just happen to approve the top 5% on that issue and you feel that you are getting what you want but we are no longer in that functioning democracy. and until you get the money out of politics and everything else. >> i was cautiously optimistic from the beginning.
he was making a lot of lofty promises about immigration that i just knew that he was not going to follow through on. the loftier they got, even though i voted for him, i cannot live in a country where sarah palin and john mccain were running. so i voted for him but i think i kind of, i think hillary clinton had been a great president as well. one thing that she has shown that she has and she hasn't -- and he hasn't, to my lament, is balls, or cut own ace -- cajones. everyone else went against -- bush went against what the democrats wanted and said, whatever, i will take the hit, i will stand for mine, whatever. obama has not done that. >> has he not done that or has been as much as he can? >> he should not be making these
lofty promises around things like immigration, and just be like, i cannot do anything without congress. you knew that you would be fighting an uphill battle all time. >> i think he was shocked. this is purple america, there is no red america or blue america, this is purple america. he believed in it, and the first thing he said was, how can i work with you, and they said, go -- yourself. they yelled at him during the state of the union, calling him a liar. there was a level of anger and disrespect, that was totally unprecedented, even bill clinton who was accused of murdering his friend, did not deal with the kind of things that president obama has. i think he just got extra dirt
because he is the first. they will test him and remind him, there is no or you can go without us. there is only so far you can go without us. where is the microphone? >> thank you for this panel. as a millennial, i feel like for me what is important about the conversation about race is justice. because race is one of the biggest markers for how justice is delivered. with education and health across the board. you talked about how 96 point 1% of the 1% is white, and among the 5%, 80% of that is white. a fifth of us are not even visible in this conversation of the blacklight binary, which includes huge numbers of different kinds of asian-americans, who are running many of the tech companies that does -- determine the futures of black and brown people and the
role of white supremacy on their community which goes back into chicano history. all that was mexico -- so how do we -- how are we affected by this conversation, with race itself and the story of race. thinking about solutions and moving forward. that is what my generation cares about. we are tired of being beaten down, and told we cannot do anything about it and there is something wrong with us. >> there is an interesting moment. >> thank you. there are two things going on here. there is an incredibly complex multiracial reality, and race and white super miss it affects all of these groups and the discussion needs to be had but
when affirmative-action first started, to discuss the ills of slavery and jim crow, that was seen as programs for blacks but the minorities got access and -- we talked about diversity and it was no longer about justice for the people who have been victimized -- it was about promoting diversity, because diversity was good for companies. and part of the selling point to the all-black establishment was, white people are tired of hearing your complaints so we will take black concerns and make them a trojan horse, with gay rights and women and all these other ethnic groups, we will slip black people in there with them and everyone will get to go in together and we will make this big pitch about how diversity is good for companies. and all these old institutions that have been victimized --
that is great for all of our asian and brown brothers around the world but this is about us because we were the ones who were victimized by slavery and segregation. you just got here and chose to come here, you are an immigrant, get in line behind the native americans and the blacks because this is our conversation. that conversation got hijacked and turned into diversity and as a result of that, many challenges other communities face, asians are doing ok, indians are moving up, this promise that diversity was going to help everyone including the adjudicated victims of slavery has not come true. they skimmed the top thomas of the asians and indians and other
communities, and low income blacks just fall further and further behind, and company say, look at all of our diversity. and blacks who suffer the degradations of jim crow continue to fall further and further behind. we do need to have this conversation, there is a black -white conversation that needs to be had. >> all the conversations about the conversations about race. we have to wrap this because we are getting tired. i can tell because i am getting tired. and people like you are. we're going to move to wherever the book signing thing is happening. is that here? >> here. >> we are not going to move at all but you'll be able to move soon. as elegantly as i am wrapping this, as the half-moderator, i want to thank you two for being here, thank you all for showing up. [applause] we learned a lot.
it is an incomplete thing, -- >> to be continued. >> we will let you all know. >> we will do this again and hopefully we will be coming to a podcast near your earbuds in the near future. >> thanks for that. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> on "newsmakers" -- bill flores, outlines committees priorities
for the new congress and how the majority may face issues like immigration and spending. newsmakers, on c-span. >> iowa democratic senator tom harkin is retiring at the end of his term after serving 30 years in the senate. on wednesday, chuck grassley took the floor to mark senator harkin's 75th birthday. to reminisce about iowa politics. this is about 20 minutes. >> mr. president, i rise today to celebrate the 75th birthday of my friend and longtime colleague from my home state of iowa, senator tom harkin. ht the end of the 113t
congress, he will close a chapter on public service that spans more than a half-century, including four decades in congress, he also served 27 years in the united states navy reserves, 10 years in the house of representatives, 30 years in the senate. i think anybody looking that would say that is a remarkable and distinguished record of public service. after 40 years of representing islands in congress, my friend tom soon will leave behind the halls of the u.s. capitol. he also will leave behind a legacy of fiery floor speeches passionately delivered on behalf of individuals with disabilities. iowa farmers. also for the elderly. also for child laborers, and for many causes that he championed,
such as early childhood education, nutrition and wellness, conservation, renewable energy, and the environment, and probably lots of others, but those are things that everybody knows that he has worked hard on. throughout the years tom and i have served side by side in washington for the good of our home state. for three terms we worked together in the u.s. house of representatives. it was here in the senate our shared commitment to give rural america a voice at the policy making table was sown. and for many years we worked together on the senate agricultural committee looking out for the millions of americans who choose to work and earn a living in rural america. we worked together to advocate for rural infrastructure and
investment, access to health care, housing technology and transportation. for the last three decades we have served alongside one another here in this distinguished body, the united states senate, an institution that both of us hold near and dear to our hearts. although some of our silver tongued critics over the years may have described tom's views as a bleeding heart liberal or mine mischaracterized as that of a wholehearted conservative, we both -- tom and i -- know that our hearts have always been in the right place. neither of us was born with a silver spoon in our mouths, and we learned early on to appreciate the work ethic of our parents and grandparents.
each of us raised our families with the hopes that our children and grandchildren would achieve the promise of america's prosperity and grow up to enjoy the pursuits of happiness. as iowa's u.s. senators, we have worked to keep alive the dream of hardworking iowa families. now, of course, it's true that we have vastly different views on the government's influence on america's ladder of opportunity. however, we do wholeheartedly agree that it is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of our state. for some reason our respective reelections every six years have actually confounded political observers. many couldn't seem to square the notion that iowans would continue to elect two u.s.
senators from opposite sides of the political spectrum for the last three decades. so, mr. president, to explain, i think i don't have to because it is widely understood that iowaans aren't casual political observers. our electorate takes pride in retail politicking and it's first in the nation political caucuses. we certainly have given iowa voters a night-and-day choice between these two u.s. senators. so while we may not see eye to eye on politics and ideology, we do see eye to eye when it came to working for iowa's best interests. although our voting records may
reflect night and day positions on some public policy, you wouldn't see the light of day between us when we worked together on matters that are most important to iowans, including but not limited to natural disasters such as the tremendous floods of 1993 and 2008, and iowa farmers and agriculture notably recovering from farm crises, renewable energy and rural infrastructure has been our mutual interest. we have also enjoyed welcoming economic development leaders and constituents to the nation's capital, between the famous sioux land steak dinner here in washington and the harkin state fry in indianola, there is no doubt tom will