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tv   Community Action Partnership Annual Convention Juan Williams Remarks  CSPAN  December 25, 2014 3:18pm-3:54pm EST

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experience, this candidate has the best possible plan for limited and the need for my charity. if i do that, i have broken the law. the supreme court says a business can do that all day long, but i can't? these are the kinds of things we need to be much more deliberate about that. particularly for a young man, older leaders will oftentimes say we can't do that. and we have to respect the trials they went through. the point is for your generation, you have to be polite, but firm and say, i'm sorry, we have to go a different road then, because we can't afford this kind of relationship with our government. we are doing too much hard work. we are doing too much artwork and the committee. it is patently undemocratic for the nonprofit sector to be silence this way. and going back to the risk that our forefathers and foremothers did, we need to embrace the same risk. not reckless, but calculated risk. the law, i believe, is on our side. i will have a conversation with anybody about this.
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i am living proof of this reality. no matter how efficient i make my business, and i am really good at what i do, no matter how efficient i am, i should never be in this business. i love my work. i hate my job. the reality is, i feed poor people leftover food. that is just not america. that is not the america i was born into. that is not the america they taught me and my history book. that is not the america i see in the future. we must fight for something very different. we have to consider being employers ourselves. historically we train them, send them out in the broader economy, they are supposed to embrace them. it is hard to get someone to hire a felon, a working mom. what is the incentive? there is no incentive. we are the ones. we need to start the businesses. that way we can control the wage. we can reinvest in the community. let's get back to this. we are the best business in america.
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all we do is reinvest over and over and over. we are a mayor's dream come true. it is our job to make them see that beautiful light. thank you very much. [applause] and as near seoul now. we're featuring one interview from each year of the series over this holiday season. today, the president and ofncellor of the university houston on the role of colleges in preparing you for the work waste. you can see that interview p.m.ing today at 7:00 eastern on c-span. after that, remarks from jeb bush and samuel alito. both men spoke at an exhibit on the founding documents in philadelphia. can see those comments
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starting tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern, also on c-span. on the next "washington journal," terry jeffrey speaks about what he would like to see from the next congress. clarence page talks about his book am a culture warrior, a collection of his columns on race, politics, and social change. journal is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern, and you can join the conversation when we take your calls, and on facebook, and on twitter. remarks from foxx news contributor juan williams on the legacy of martin luther king junior and other leaders 50 years after the passage of the civil rights act.
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>> i believe there might be an
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opportunity to sign some copies of his book. he has also written a biography , and he hasmarshall received an emmy award and critical praise for his tv documentary work and several awards for his investigative .ournalist work he has been published many times. he was a senior national correspondent with npr for 10 years until 2010, and at the post he was the editorial columnist and white house correspondent. he has covered every major political campaign as a correspondent and political columnist.olitical he has interviewed every
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president from reagan to obama. he is an honorary see cap. [applause] you. on this important occasion, i believe we have no better person to encourage us, but to also challenge us. as a good book says, as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. extending ame in warm welcome to juan williams. >> thank you very much. so much. i appreciate that. that was quite an introduction. a little bit subdued. i mean, you could have mentioned that i was the top graduate from my high school.
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so what if i was homeschooled? that doesn't matter. this is terrific. going to have a day for tomorrow and a day for the future, but they invite me for yesterday. it is great for me to see so many people i know, so many faces, people i have met in community action over the years, people i have celebrated an honor. it is a treat for me to be here with all of you. i feel like i have been on a magical mystery tour of memories. last night, i went to a concert downtown, rod stewart and santana. of weeks ago, i went to see billy joel. before that, i went to see lionel richie. the thing about all these
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concerts is i tend to be the youngest person in the crowd. treat, to be here on this day. you think about president johnson in the rose garden signing that -- such an amazing moment. the memories serve such an important purpose. they do inspire us. they tell us about the root from which we have all grown. -- youhave to remember know, i was walking through the lobby today, and so many people stopped to say hello. i remember faces better than names, but i don't remember every name. oftentimes people see me and
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juan,think of, there is he sees back. but i don't. i worked for npr -- tom had to bring that up -- people would say i recognize your voice from radio and it is good to put a face to the voice. i would think, i don't recognize you either. tv, the otheron day a lady said to me it is good to finally put a body with the face. wow. theought i hope she likes body, you know what i mean. but to see all of you, to see so many friends and faces is really, for me, to put the heart .n community action it's to put the brains that are
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behind the hands to do the helping every day, it is the work you just heard reference that makes community action, live. people who have helped you, things that all of you have done. cherished memories. lefts that maybe you have undone, regrets, memories that haunt you. so many memories today. i saw a sign outside a church the best and it said way to measure your wealth is to take a look at what you have when all the money is gone. i think about that in relation to community action. this room is overwhelming.
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>> the smile on the face of a excellencedards of eng that you've set, people that you've lifted up, people you've inspired, people you've mentored, your ability to make a difference in a life. that is what matters. that's the greatest memory of all. it's also a matter, of course, want to be remembered. not simply forgotten 50 years the fact, 50 years after beay, but how we want to remembered. we all want to be remembered in a certain way. senator ted kennedy, i remember when he was dying, he didn't remembered for all the money his family had put together. for't want to be remembered the scandals in chappaquiddick. that was for sure. didn't want to be remembered for fact that two of his assassinated.een
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it's telling that ted kennedy, as he was dying, wrote a letter the pope and he said, i want know, your holiness, that in my 50 years of elected champion forbeen a the rights of the poor. open doors of economic opportunity. a quote.s boy, that sounds like something else. resonates with memory and it resonates with the purpose all today.reflect here he is speaking up for the elderly, for children, for immigrants, people afflicted with drug addiction, alcoholism, people who don't have opportunity. as he'sted kennedy, dying, talking about that as the wanted to be remembered.
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now, the question is, you know, dying.nedy is his legacy is all he has on his mind. he's focused. but day to day, for all of you, and you've heard some of that earlier, you are so overwhelmed with the meetings, with the paperwork, with the bureaucracy. emergency situations. theets, the lawyers, politics. so much of that preoccupies your every moment. you're not concerned with how you'll be remembered. to today i would ask you open your mind to memory, to memories across the 50 years of community action, to think about community action, to think about people who sacrificed to bring far, toy action this think about people who use their hearts,eir skill, their to think about all of your sacrifices, to make this moment, make this gathering, to bring
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all of us together at this moment possible. know, i was listening to what the minister had to say earlier. and i was thinking to myself, wow. theknow, jesus said in sermon on the mount blessed are the merciful. peacemakers, for for be called children of god. they will be remembered for all time. 50 years later, we can see that community action is being remembered for all time. for feeding the hungry, and nutrition, food banks, clothing the naked, training, helping the stranger, disaster relief, visiting that prisoner, reentry programs, remembering the fuelly, emergency programs, housing, aid,
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shelter, all of this, communitye reality of action, not being done because near death andnt focused on memory but because this is the good work, the ongoing work, the everyday work, the light of community action. this is your life. [applause] this is your life. this is your good work. i'm so thrilled to be here. this is your light. dazzling,action is dazzling. a legacy,g you, what over 50 years. said,ow, dr. king once darkness can't drive out darkness. only light can drive out darkness. only love can drive out hate. the people of community
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action, you bring light. the action of love to life for so many people. just hope you hear that. [applause] you know that, you feel that in your heart. [applause] you know, somebody once said to when a child is born, and the child begins to have the powers of cognition, what they see in the face of their mother, they see in the face of father, they think they see god. of thee the power almighty. you stop and think, looking 50 years, there's graham, sargent shriver, and they're visiting with people. and as the video showed, you children first, and the children can't imagine, i living in the positive
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that they -- in the poverty that power of aence, the sargent shriver coming all the way from washington, the billy graham, a man of renowned fame. don't know people like that in their worlds. be u they look at these men visiting from washington. they look at you and all that you do, and they see the face of someone who is helping. face of god. that's the face of community action at its best. that best face that we remember the reality of community action today, tomorrow, and 50 years from today. thinking about, as we have all these memories, we were thinking about president i also, but, you know, think about dr. king. it's 50 years ago this year that
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dr. king won the nobel peace prize. of think about the reality dr. king standing there and concern about poverty in our country as well as well as militarism. that was the spirit. a spirit that lives to this moment, if you go down on the mall and you see that monument to dr. king. that stone of hope that came out of the mountain of despair. think about 50 and president johnson. president johnson, as you've launching a war on poverty. on poverty. spirit, tothe king
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know the johnson spirit, is to spirit is alive, alive in all of you. for a moment you to join me in an act of act oftion, an imagination. i want you to imagine for a moment that two elderly men walk back door of this loudly,um, talking interrupting my speech, people in the back are starting to turn away. you think, what's going on? what's all this commotion? cameras start to turn. you think, oh, my gosh. what's happening? people try to shush these two elderly men, oh, no, swinging canes, becoming violent. insistent.sive, very and now they're walking in and of the aisles, pushing
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over. tom, averill, dana have to get on here?what's going i've stopped speaking. i don't know what to do. a sudden, when tom gets over to them, they say to tom, don't come near me! i'm dr. king! the other guy says, i'm president johnson. don't bother me. can't even come near me. i'm the president. says of course, tom then to averill, we better get security. [laughter] so off they go to get security. these two elderly men around here,alk and people are saying, are these know?tors, you did community action hire reenactors for the 50th anniversary? who are these people? what's going on? but you hear them talking. talking.them and you hear this old man,
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years old, if14 he was alive -- you're looking talking abouts president kennedy's new that before kennedy was assassinated, he envisioned attackw frontier of an on poverty in america. and then you hear about programs in the 1960's in new york, johnson talking about and --ation for youth and new haven's gray area project. you're thinking, yes, that was the basis of community action. saying, and i've got sargent shriver, after his peace corps, to move over and start working with the war on poverty. audiencee in the think, yeah, wit we just saw tht tape. you hear him, johnson.
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and they saw some of this in the tape. hear johnson starting to mumble to this man, who says about people saying, oh, we can't give folks something for nothing. and then johnson saying, but i always wanted them to be able to weight, by own giving them opportunity to stand tall. you hear abouthead about headstart and food stamps and medicaid.nd then you hear king say, you mr. president, when i left the stage, i was coming to washington myself in 1968. a poord to start people's campaign. i wanted to pick up on that war poverty. i wanted to bring it to life yet again. to hear you start
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johnson say, that's what i wanted. i want people involved. state and local people to innovate,ources to speak to people directly in a way that they can relate to not from any grand federal construction. people on the ground who know the people in need and help those people as part of their community. to revive people, to give them hope. and king says to him, yes, mr. johnson. yes! them!ll ignore these people. you tell them! all the them and tell doubters that it was during your time as president that the poverty rate fell from 24% to 12%. them, president johnson. turns and sits down. and johnson sits down. it?wouldn't you know they sit down right next to you.
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and you think, what? where is averill? where is tom? where is security? next tothey sit down me? i just came here for an event. i didn't come here to have these men bothering me. and wouldn't you know? king turns to you and says, well, you're in community action now. what's the poverty rate in today? what have you done? i'm not talking to these guys. [laughter] you say to king, you know, you'd be 85 years old really dr. king. and you say,ohnson there's no way. 114. you would -- there's nobody 114. and king says, i'm right here. here.always been watching. and now, wouldn't you know it, the security coming in, here comes the press,
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washington. the t.v.sudden with cameras. they've seen what's happened in the room. and here comes the press and they've got all kinds of questions. they start shouting at this johnson. know, ronald reagan said that you would have declared a war on poverty in the 1960's, but poverty won. do you say to that, president johnson? what do you say about people who entitlementt an culture? and then people turn and they after dr. king. what do you have to say about ferguson, dr. king? what do you have to say about sharpton and jackson? you have to say about louis farrakhan? and you can see the men, these looking as if they're lost and just dumbfounded by these questions. just dumbfounded. but they turn back to you and say, tell us about
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community action today, 50 years later. you doing about poverty? poverty is, well, about 15%. you say, wow! 15%. that's still so high. king says, what about poverty hispanics?lack and >> you say, well, it's higher, much higher. how high? 25%. oh, my god! you can see that they're looking distressed now. and then they say, well, what about children? what about children in the country? have we done something about among children? you say, well, we have a very about 40%of poverty, among children. and the old men now look like they're starting to cry. they say, wait a minute! 50 years of community action. you're telling me it's almost one out of every two children in
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america living in poverty? two.ay, i'm sick of you i'm not talking to you two. you come in here playing this blame game with community action today. you don't understand. we live in a different time than 1960's. it's a different world. we have high rates of immigration. dr. king, black people aren't even the largest minority in the country today. people.panic this is a different world. we just have gone through a terrible recession. a terrible recession. wall street almost collapsed. and you talk about poverty among children? well, dr. king, can you imagine in which a third of the white children are born to single mothers? the hispanic children, 70% of the black children? head.ng drops his
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you say, i'm not talking. no time for all your blame games and saying that we're not living up to your dream. in the fight right now, and that's the reality that we're facing. times have changed. there's even a black man in the house. that's how much times have changed. [laughter] eachand johnson look at other. they say, yeah, president obama. barack obama. they start laughing. say, i know you're joking now. the president's name is obama? [laughter] but wouldn't you know it. here comes averill. here comes tom and here comes hotel security. they finally arrived. they surround these men. they take the canes away. they push them out the back. and you think, man! how did that -- who were those guys? where did that come from? but you think, you know, they're not bad people. just asking tough questions about what's going on with us, with america, with
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community action today, and i hope they don't rough up those old guys. they weren't -- they didn't mean anything bad. they just didn't know what they were doing. out the door.them sure enough, they've got them now in a room outside. waiting for the emergency personnel to come, to take them away. there. go in and there's a t.v. on. president johnson is looking at this t.v. he's saying, what is this? you say this is fox news. he's saying, oh, my god! he's changed the channel. is this?what you say, this is msnbc. is sos, all of this aggressive and polarizing and political! then you think to yourself. wow. look at how they see our world. and then dr. king grabs the television. says change the channel again, because he doesn't know remote. about the
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now you find yourselves changing the channels. mtv andoes to bet and comedy channel. you're seeing everything from housewives, you know, and dr. king is just holding his head. is goinglike his head to blow off. he's seeing women in jail, you know. orange is the new black. pregnant teenagers. and here come the rappers, you and the comedians, the minstrels with the n-word constantly. and dr. king is just shaking his head. like, this is what they put on television? this is the worst of us! put this oney television? bottom feeding. and you died, you know, these -- know, these guys are having a rough day. i'm going to get them some water. them someto get water, because they're looking fading.unken,
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and now they're whispering and saying things to you in whispers. outside. you get the water. you come back in. but thee's nothing canes. nothing but the canes left. you think, what happened to these men? so you come back here. and everybody is asking, what happened with those guys? are they okay? did they get taken away? i don'tsay, you know, think they were ever here. tohink we wanted dr. king come to life. wanted president johnson here today. dream today.d a thatse we want to know
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they would come back, that they the peopleber us, working every day in the vineyard, toion deliver on the promise of 50 years aftern the fact. to know that us they remember, and we want to know that we are remembered. made that spirit real in day, auguston this later.4, 50 years we justys, you mean dreamed it up? yeah. we dreamed it up. said, but i heard that they were talking to you back there in that room. whispering?ey the last thing i heard them say was that people thought they dead. they're not dead.
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they said they're glad to see the people of community action are so filled with life and that real threat is not ghosts, hobgoblins, not apparitions. the real threat is the living dead. don't care anymore. people who tell you there's no way it's gonna happen. [applause] people who want to tell you that over, the war is lost. people who want to put poor down and tell you that poor people aren't deserving. ignore billyuld graham when he says that jesus spoke about seeing himself in personhild, in every that you help.
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they said that is the challenge, and that's why they're so proud, of the people of community action today, 50 years later. now we come back to reality. the dream is over. the last thing that king and l.b.j. said about the living dead, about those who would give who would tire out, away,who would turn that's the spirit that they in our hands, in in actions, in our thoughts, our good work as we come to this place to celebrate, to commemorate, but also to move move forward. you know, when i wrote "eyes on which is, again, you
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know, incredible to me, 25 years ago, the most common question those 25 years about this book, about the history of the american civil movement, including -- economic the opportunity act, which is a central part of all that has communityerica and action, all that has changed america over this last 50 years, no telling the history of america without telling the action.of community but over the 25 years -- [applause] theince i wrote that book, most common question -- you're going to laugh at this -- the most common question i get about this.ook is where did you get that title? alluse people see the title the time. i think they should give me

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