tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 3, 2015 2:30am-4:31am EST
a lot of them are out of work. a lot of them are desperate. they're easy to teach in a school to hate somebody. take it from a governor who knows you can't stop crime. you can't stop killing with prisons and police and judges and all of that. it takes much more. you have to figure out what the source of this is. but you people won't talk about the source of it because you think that's mushy-headed liberalism. no, no that's stupidity of you people, not to consider the other causes here. and deal with them as well. i think the analogy i use in the book he would like. and that terrorism is a cancer. and you have malignant growths and you must extro pate those growths but terrorism is a perverse kind of cancer that when you pull one out and osama bin laden, for example, it's going to produce others. so you have to get at the cancer that creates the growths, and that's different than the force that extropates the malignant
growth. >> you can never be sure of the vote that the people use, the house vote to go -- to allow george bush to go was 296-193. 81 out of the 296 were democrats. in the senate it was 7723, 29 of the democrats voted for it. if the democrats had stuck together and had not voted in either house for it, he wouldn't have gotten this resolution. >> that's right. >> can you blame just the republicans for what happened in iraq if you don't like it? >> no, no. no, you can't. you can blame president bush for for -- in a nutshell. before >> before you say anything let me say i got the distinct impression -- and you may not like this language, that you really don't like george bush. >> no, no. i don't like his policies. >> well, you're very strong. i would say a book about you, a book about abraham lincoln and a book about george bush. >> well i liked his father a lot. i don't know this george bush. i know fred willpond who told me he's a terrific guy if you get
to know him. i like the fact that he's a man of of faith. i don't like the way he uses it. religion is the most interesting piece in that book, how lincoln's religion would be and bush's religion. no. so i do -- i do not like his policies at all. i don't like them on the war. here's why not on the war. you say that weapons of mass destruction, complicity and imminence of the threat. you admit that you were wrong about all three, but you say the war is justified anyway. why? because you wanted to take down saddam who's a bad man. so you're saying you're going to justify the loss of 850 americans thousands of innocent iraqis the loss of $150 billion billion, the loss of the respect of much of the world, and you're saying that would justify your doing it again. if you had a similar situation, a dictator who was a tyrant
there are plenty of them. in africa in syria, in korea god forbid north korea you ever get it in your head, but that same rationale i say this mr. president. if you didn't lie and i'm not going to call you a liar, i'm not god so i will assume that you were fooled. but if you allowed yourself to be fooled so badly now why should i put us in a position where you might do it again? and that's my -- and on the economy, it is an outrage, mr. president, that you could give $1 trillion in tax cuts and leave us with the biggest deficit we ever had and education that is faulty and health care that's faulty and a middle-class that's sliding downward. so yes, i can't stand his policies, but that has nothing to do with him as a person. >> did you know on your bio sheet, on the harry walker agency that they credit you 20% reduction in taxes in the state of new york? >> oh, well, i reduced the largest tax in new york which is
the income tax more than any -- more than governor kerry, more than governor pataki. >> nothing wrong with reducing taxes? >> no no no. as a matter of fact, with his tax cuts what i would do is take the money from the $2 million at the top and redistribute a large portion of it to the workers. and to the people who are making $100,000 and $60,000 and the national wage is $42,000. no, i'm not against the tax cuts. i cut taxes in my state when i had to. >> last question. your favorite thing about abraham lincoln? >> oh, gosh. i -- i don't know. there were so many wonderful things about him. my favorite -- my favorite thought about lincoln is he believed in two things -- loving one another and working together to make this world better. i think that's good enough to start a religion with and that's what he did. he started a civic religion and we need it now.
>> mario m. cuomo, our guest. >> watch live coverage of the house and the senate on c-span2. and trust the g.o.p. led congress and have your say as events unfold on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. next viewers calls on immigration and naturalization. after that a discussion about law enforcement deaths.
and a forum on religious faith and politics. >> immigration and naturalization were some of the topics today on washington journal but before viewers could weigh in, they had to answer a question from the u.s. naturalization test. this is 40 minutes. >> "washington journal" continues. host: already, could you pass the naturalization test. that is what we want to know this morning. if you calling, we want to talk about immigration, one of the issues that the congress and the present will be working on during this 114th congress. you have to take a test. the numbers are up.
this is from the u. s. citizenship and immigration services. it says that the civics test is an oral test. the officer will ask applicant up to 10 of the 100 civics questions. we're going to ask everybody to call in this morning to take a naturalization question. see if you get the answer, then we will let you make your comment. we will begin with common on the democrat line. the question you have to answer __ what is the supreme law of the land? caller: that is an interesting question. wow. host: you're trying too hard.
what do you think it is? what is the supreme law of the united states? caller: the law for all citizens to have their laws be __ host: let's show you the answer. the constitution. what iis your comment about immigration? caller: i was calling to say that i watch it program periodically. i wanted to say that immigration such a hot topic. as americans, we should
consider that they want __ immigrants want to bring good to their lives. america is the greatest place on the face of the earth. i'm from the ivory coast originally. i can tell you, you do not have some of the stuff that you have here there __ the possibilities, you can work, you can do anything. if you really want to make it in america, it is the best place. host: how long can we been in the country? caller: almost 30 years. host: what is the process, use citizen? caller: yes, i am. it was __ it was not complicated. i went through all the normal procedures. i was in michigan.
once everything was done, i came to washington, i naturalized in michigan. i left the u. s., went to ivory coast, then i came back. host: thanks for calling in. we just learned from the naturalization test, that the constitution is the supreme law of the land. what does the constitution do? keith from college station, texas, that is your question. caller: the constitution forms the three branches of government __ the congress, the executive, and the supreme court. host: that is one of the right answers. you can see there.
keith, what you want to say about immigration? caller: i think we need to pass an immigration law. i think we need to pass all that. we need a stronger border, security. we need to find a solution for those who have been here for a long enough time that warns of prices for citizenship. we need to expand the number of immigrants that we allowed in for citizenship. we probably need a couple different tiers __ those who are migrant workers, or just need a legal way to work your, and go back __ and other
category, technicians, and such. i think you need to do it all, and do it this year. host: thank you very much. the next call is from growing in florida. from the immigration test __ what is an amendment? caller: and amendment is a change to a decision that was already created. host: according to the test __ iit is a change or in addition to the constitution, you nailed it. caller: on the test __ what is the percentage that you need to pass or fail? if you fail, what do you do? do you go to the back of the
line? on the question of labor, as it relates to immigration __ this country has always been so extorted when it comes to the question of undocumented or illegal aliens, whatever you want to call them, coming to the country and to make better their lives. florida, for example, most of the southern states have a right to work. my father was a victim of this political scheme. we see a lot of undocumented workers. speaking of infrastructure too __ my father was a highway worker. they were in a union. of course, it was done away
with. today, we have illegal aliens doing the work. all of that money is sent out of the country. if we could come up with a system where the money and bonds were going through a pension, to recycle the money, do it in a way that everyone benefits, that would be a better system than hiring cheap labor. one other thing __ to correct the situation, the only thing we have to do is put those people in jail who hire these people, and police them. people forget about that when they put up a fence, and spent all that money. host: that is roy from florida. this is jimmy from south
carolina. jimmy, your question __ what do we call the first 10 amendments to the constitution? caller: the bill of rights. host: that is correct. your question. caller: well, my primary concern about immigration is that we are not checking people coming in. it is so easy for terrorist and criminal elements to come in. that is really what we need to work on as far as immigration. host: thank you. debbie in albuquerque. what is one right or freedom from the first amendment? caller: freedom of speech. host: there you go. those are the first amendment freedoms.
what is your comment about immigration? caller: i do not have a question. i was surprised that one of the questions you asked. the constitution enforces commerce __ if you really take a look, it is more powerful for businesses. they do not want the amendment added. i was surprised that it talks about our rights. that's all i have to say. host: that was the second question on the quiz __ what does the constitution do. we are taking the street from the u. s. citizenship and immigration services website.
next call __ steven __ steve in a new york. you get a tough one. how many amendments does the constitution have? caller: the last one would be about the pay raise. are we up to 29? host: very close. 27. you were a lot closer than we got. caller: i'm calling because i am an esl teacher __ all my students are immigrants. i have quite a few immigrants that are border children, they
came across the border this past year. these children are very demonized. most of them refugees. an example, one of 11_year_old girl __ she would see people come in and put guns to her grandma's head and asked for money. people call her at terrorist. this is an 11_year_old girl. her parents thought it was safer for her to cross the desert, rather than stay in the town where she was. these kids will probably get to stay here because of the terrible violence in the country. host: that was steve. up next is mac in ohio. what are two rights in the declaration of independence?
caller: right to liberty and freedom. host: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. go ahead and make your comment. caller: my comment is that the constitution was founded on compromise. i think immigration __ you need to find compromise on this controversy. there are many examples of copyrights in the constitution. i think the congressional leadership think about that. host: what you see as a middle ground? or compromise? caller: some degree of amnesty. tighten down the borders. begin from there.
host: what dpo you do? caller: i'm a teacher. host: have you ever given your kids this test? caller: i have. they feel like they do not need to take the test, they think it is for the immigrants. i come back and say we enjoy the privileges of citizenship, we should at least know what immigrants have to know in this country. that is my approach. host: do you have any immigrant children in your classroom? caller: a few. host: thank you. linda is up next. linda, you get to related questions. how many u. s. senators are there? how long is the senate term?
caller: 100, six years. i have a question for you. who were the three smartest man in the constitution who did not sign, why did they not sign? host: that is so wrong of you. why don't you tell us. we do not like answering questions. caller: they did not sign because the bill of rights was not attached. they were the dissenters. they did not sign because the bill of rights was not attach the constitution. now you learned something today. on immigration __ i think we're doing a good thing here starting in connecticut. we are allowing immigrants __ i refuse to call them aliens __
to have a drivers license. this drivers license allows them to drive in connecticut. they have no federal rights attached to this. i think this is the way we will have to address immigration with the people who are already here, that meet certain standards, lake placid drivers test. i also think we have built in enforcement with our employers __ contributing tto pensions, please contribute to social security. if we could eliminate employers to employing them. they do not ever collect social security benefits if they are not here legally, but they do pay them. the problem is, we do not enforce our own laws as employers.
i agree with what we're doing here, i think it is a solution that state should look at. it is a big piece __ they are ensured driving. maybe all 50 states should look up at. host: matthew in santa monica, california. you get a double question as well. how may people in the house of representatives are voting members? how longer_term does each member of congress have? caller: 500 or more than 500. the terms are __ four years? host: 435 members, and two_year terms.
caller: well, i screwed up on both of those. i still want to make a relevant comment to something that earlier caller spoke of. the constitution is a pretty good comment, but there were a lot of problems at the time. we would not have a bill of rights had it not been for two men __ george mason and patrick henry. you know, even after they got the bill of rights through __ patrick henry went back to virginia and basically told virginia that everything the revolution fought for has been damaged by the conclusion of the constitution. of course, patrick henry was famous for his "give me liberty or give me death" speech. we arty have the albany plan
for union __ a lot of people felt that the american revolution was a failure because a lot of things were excluded by the constitution in favor of those who were in power. of course, here we are in the 21st century, and america is run by multinational corporations, bankers, and secret societies. the same problem is even worse today. thank you. host: this morning, in the last 20 minutes of the "washington journal," we are taking the naturalization test. you have to answer questions get on the __ aa question to get on the air this morning.
we're talking about immigration, if you want to make a comment, you have to answer that question first. joyce in west virginia. name your u. s. representative. caller: my u. s. representative. for the next couple of days it is shelling capito. host: who is replacing her? do you know? caller: i do. i can't think. host: alex mooney? caller: yeah. you know, i am unhappy about it all.
you know what happened in west virginia. host: yes, ma'am. didn't your whole congressional delegation go republican? caller: yes. all we have left is __ to be truthful, he is so close to republican. host: what is your comment about immigration? caller: about 15 to 20 years ago when i was leaving in d.c. and managing apartments, someone i knew he was from brazil, he took the test. he ttold me, joyce, you do not
know how hard this is. he read me all the questions. i remember the first one was named the 13 colonies, which i did. you know, that was the one that took a little bit of time. i got them all. they were really not that hard __ i was a history major in school. after that __ they are a little hard, i guess it could be. my representative __ host: you got it right. she is the representative for the next couple days.
joyce, do you think american kid should take this quiz? caller: can i ask you one question. i have called and asked about this __ one of my favorite people on c_span was rob pearson. host: he is still here. he is on assignment desk at c_span. caller: he does is it on the air anymore. host: i'm sure he is listening, if not, i will make sure that he knows that joyce says hi. all right, nathaniel. nathaniel, here is your question. why do some states have more representatives than other states?
nathaniel, we will never know his answer. let's try charles. charles, why do some states have more representatives than other states? caller: representatives are allocated based on population. that's why california has more than wyoming. host: very good. what is your comment about immigration? caller: as far as immigration, i've been through it twice. my first wife was chinese. my second wife is russian. i coach them both so they could pass the exam. i am proud to say, both were able to become citizens. i would like to say, my wife went from a red to a red, white, and blue. that speech that patrick henry gave __ that is an iconic speech in american political
history. many people do not know the first thing that he said. he said, "can everyone here be all right?" host: what do you do? caller: i am a telecommunications specialist, i worked for the military. host: do you think that american kid should take this exam? caller: yes, very much so. it covers a very wide range of subjects that both nativeborn and form board should have a thorough understanding of the federal government process. host: but start to betty in louisiana. if both the president and vp
can no longer serve, who becomes presidents? caller: i think it is the speaker of the house. host: you got it right. caller: it has been a long time __ i wanted to mention the fact that i get upset when people are always saying "undocumented." it's sort of negates that some people have come, and if not done at the legal way. i think most people are not against immigrants. they are against people coming in you legally. host: c think the term illegal __ so you think the term illegal should be used? caller: that is the point.
if you go into a home, in your trespassing, that is a legal. if someone does something like that __ i think it should be called what it is. that's not to say that these people do not contribute, or that perhaps they do not deserve to be considered as citizens later on. but, i really get upset __ they try to rename and reterm everything. i hope people will use words in their original context and meaning. host: that was betty. up next from maryland. you get a double question. how the justices are on the supreme court? who is the chief justice right now?
caller: there are nine justices. the chief justice is __ host: the chief justice is john roberts. go ahead and make your comment. caller: my comment is __ one congressman once said, you do not have the right to choose the country where you are born, but you have the right to choose a country that you love. we are here because we love this country. the word illegal alien __ we all came here as immigrants. some people say we came here before us.
for people to use words to describe these people as illegal __ host: where did you come from originally? caller: sierra leone. how long have you been here? caller: 12 years. host: party __ have you taken this test? caller: yes, i passed him i first tried. host: moving on to pat. who is the governor of your state now? what is the capital of the state?
caller: bentley, and montgomery. i have two comments. about u. s. citizens taking this test, i do not think you should be issued a cell phone number without taking this test. all kids want a cell phone, they should know what country they are in, and how it works. secondly, in terms of the immigration issue __ there is a belief that you cannot remove all the illegals from this country. i disagree. we should attempt to remove every one of them who have come in either legally. thank you.
host: up next is another person from alabama. this is will. it was part of alabama are you from? caller: just below decatur. host: here is your question. there are four amendments to the constitution about who can vote. describe one of them. i will tell you __ do not try too hard. we had a little bit of trouble ourselves when we are playing this morning. it is not as hard as it seems. one more time __ therefore limits to the constitution about who can vote, describe one. caller: one was to give women the vote. host: you got it.
here are the four __ citizens 18 and older can vote, any citizen can vote, and a male citizen of any race can vote __ those were amendments to the constitution. go ahead and make a comment about immigration. caller: it is a complicated thing. some of the ideas i hear people talking about makes me think that they do not have a conscience. you hear people saying, close the border. it takes money to close the border. republicans will not spend the money. but yeah, they are the biggest complainers. i would like to see some of these people walk up to the children, and say, we will kick you out of here.
i cannot imagine that happening. there should be more people, possibly on your show, that would educate us about things that are going on. these people __ we have a lot worse problems than immigration. i think we should work on a lot of problems. thank you. host: of next from la, bj. what are two rights that everyone living in the united states have? caller: two rights? host: two rights of everyone living in the united states. caller: any two?
freedom of religion and the right to bear arms. host then you got __ yyou that two of them. what is your comment on immigration? caller: i have an issue __ as many people have had __ people forget the fact that this country is made of immigrants. if you're not so fortunate to have native in front of your name, as a native american, we are all immigrants. what frustrates me is the fact that __ we, as a country, have not upheld our treaties to the native americans.
there's still suing the government for land that they were promised. as americans __ as we call ourselves __ we took this country by force. for people to denigrate others who come here in search of better life, it is frustrating. our ancestors did the same thing. we cannot all the people who come here wanting a better life. we have to be conscious and compassionate. host: what you do in la? caller: i am a student. host: what you study? caller: information technologies. host: where you study? caller: santa monica. host: wire you up so early
watching c_span? caller: i watch c_span every morning. i am actually in texas. host: so you are currently in texas. caller: yes. i get up every morning to watch c_span. host: you sound like you weren't necessarily from la. next up, donna. caller: good morning. host: from the naturalization quiz __ wwhat are two ways that citizens can produce meat in the democracy? caller: vote. pay taxes. host: that sounded good to me.
it is not listed here. the answers given by the naturalization test __ vote, join a party, join a civic group, give your opinion on an issue, publicly support an issue, run for office, right to a newspaper. every day here at c_span, we are fulfilling one of those ways that americans can participate. why don't you publicly support an issue for us. caller: can you repeat that? host: i was getting. go ahead and talk about immigration. caller: i've heard a lot of callers talk about the idea of immigration __ i think
immigration is good for our country. that is how our country was founded, yes. but, there is a difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration. i agree with the woman who called up and said, let's call this what it is. if someone breaks into your home, or robs a bank, it is illegal. people come here from another country through illegal ways, crossing borders, and do not become an american citizen, they are breaking all of our laws. they do collect social services. i do not believe that someone wouldn't know that they collect __ welfare, food stamps, housing assistance. they are not contributing with
any of these deductions taken out of their pay because they are being paid under the table. all they are doing is taking. they are not contributing. there are only contributing labor, not to our financial health. this is one of the problems. if employees were fine, or if they follow the law, they would hire anybody at a livable wage. what happens is __ i hear people say, well, people who come here will work for cheaper wages, and do jobs that americans will not do.
but __ they are hiring people to work at substandard levels of pay. if employees would hire people at a livable wage, everybody __ the economy would start to come back. host: we will have to leave it there. happy new year to everybody who called in this morning. thank you for participating in the quiz. here it is, if you're interested in seeing it for yourself __ u. s. citizenship and immigration services is the sponsor of it. it is 100 civics >> next, discussion about a recent report on law enforcement deaths and the challenges facing police officers. this is about one hour. ues. host: craig floyd, chair and ceo of the national law enforcement officers memorial fund, how many policemen lost their lives in
the line of duty last year -- or this year? guest: 126 federal, state, and local officers lost their lives in the line of duty. the sad part of that number, peter, is that is 24% increase over the prior year, and especially troubling in 2014 was the number of offices shot and killed. that number was 50, that number is up 56% over the prior year. many of those were ambushed-style attacks cold-blooded assassinations of law-enforcement officers in the country. host: of course we know about the case in new york, but what are some other examples? guest: las vegas, nevada, back in june, two police officers sitting in a restaurant and having lunch and a man and a woman walked up to them and they walk past the other customers and walk right into those two police officers and shoot them at point-blank range, killing both. the husband and wife
self-proclaimed sovereign citizen types. they hated the united states government. they view the government as their enemy and who is the most visible and vulnerable symbol of government in america? of course it is the police officer in uniform, and they can become targets of those who have a hatred of government. that is one of the most vivid examples. we saw something more recently, other than the new york city attacks just to your -- just two weeks ago could in pennsylvania, a state trooper shot by sniper hiding in the woods. this was a man, again after months of eluding capture, and the evidence points to the fact that he also hated the united states government. had never any contact with the trooper or the trooper he seriously injured but he
targeted them because of what they represented. host: mr. floyd, you talk about the 126 you lost their lives this year, but when you look at the chart over the last 50 years or so, it is really down from some of the peaks, especially in the 1960's and 1970's, all the way up through the early 2000's. guest: in the 1970's, one of the deadliest decades in law enforcement history, the only decade where we had more officers killed was the 1920's, the heart of prohibition, a very dangerous time for law enforcement. in the 1970's we were seeing a lot of again, antigovernment sentiment, war protests, civil unrest in major areas, and law enforcement officers were being targeted. we lost 230 officers on average each year in the 1970's. and then something started to happen that made it safer for officers. number one, bullet resistant vests started to be used by officers. those have saved about 3100 law
enforcement lives over the last three decades. in the 1970's, not worn very frequently by officers, and that made a difference. also, training has changed immensely. we have swat teams that deal with potentially deadly situations. in the old days it would be the patrol cops who would have to go in take care of a hostage or barricade situation or choose a gun man into a darkened -- chase a government into a darkened building. now you call in a swat team, highly trained professionals highly equipped with the latest weaponry and protective gear. they can deal with those situations in a safer manner. you add that to the fact that better emergency medical care certainly has made a difference, so when an officer is injured they can be saved today where in the 1970's and earlier they couldn't. another great innovation that has made it safer for officers tasers stun guns, and less lethal weapons. i was doing a ride along in
minnesota not long ago and an officer had a stun gun. i asked him about it because i'm a big proponent of tasers and i said what is your expense? he said, "other than my most lethal of it, this is the most effective increment i have. i engaged in hand-to-hand combat with an existing felon at least once a week. since i've used this taser over the last week, not one single incident of hand-to-hand con mbat," which can obviously be a dangerous situation for an officer. unfortunately, after two years of major declines, we now see a major uptick in 2014 and that is particularly troubling. host: and that is what we are talking about this morning with our guest, craig floyd of the national law enforcement officers memorial fund. we have set aside our fourth line this morning for law
enforcement officers. we would like to hear from you as well. host: mr. floyd, when you look at some of these numbers hearing from you and what has been going on, is there a disconnect between the american public and law enforcement today? guest: i think without question, and there is reasons for it. first of all, there is a great statistic that i often cite -- only one out of five americans 20% of us, have any contact at all with a law enforcement pr professional. most of those contacts are traffic stops, not a particularly positive experience. fewer than 10% of the american populace has any positive interaction with a law enforcement professional. most people gain our impressions of law enforcement from what we see in the news, what we see on television or in the movies. unfortunately, what is often
sensationalized and exaggerated really, is the use of force by law enforcement. there is i think a very important educational moment we can have here. the 40 million-plus contacts that officers have every year with the general public, whether it be a traffic stop, call for service, you name it, forces you to use or threatened by law enforcement -- force is either used or threatened by law enforcement less than 2% of the time. and that is force of any kind, not just lethal force. what we see on tv, what we hear on the news -- certainly lately we have heard a lot about officers firing their weapons and shooting, killing or injuring innocent suspects -- the bottom line is most officers will go their entire career without ever firing the weapon in the line of duty. people just don't understand that, they don't realize it. most of us that don't have
regular contact with a law enforcement professional don't understand the value, the importance of why police do what they do, how they are trained to do what they do. as a result of that lack of knowledge, i think too often we jump to conclusions, we are quick to second-guess and criticize the actions taken by law enforcement. our job as the national law enforcement memorial fund is to educate people, to impress upon them that there are 900,000 men and women out there wearing the badge, going out every day putting their lives and risk for our safety and protection. most of them are doing nothing but helping people in need enforcing the laws of our nation but doing so without having to use force, and they do a great job. they are highly trained, highly educated professionals. it is much to her today in the law enforcement community than it was 20, 30, 40 years ago, and these men and women deserve a
lot more credit and gratitude than they receive them the general public. host: lead editorial in "usa today," "track all civilian that's at the hands of police." "usa today" found that "only 750 law enforcement agencies report civilian deaths by police." do you think they should be required? guest: here's the issue -- and i think some knowledge would be helpful in this discussion. all reporting of crime is voluntary, and most of them do report to the fbi, which is largely the agency that keeps track of crime in the united states to the fbi also keeps track of what they call justified homicides at the hands of law enforcement. so yes, those numbers may not be precise, just as our violent crime figures may not be precise, but largely they tell you what the trend is.
unfortunately, the trend in the last five years has been more justifiable homicides by law enforcement over each of the last five years. and i think when you couple that number with the fact that officers are using less lethal weaponry at for increasing numbers, we have to ask the question of why does that. part of the answer to that is, number one, the response time between a violent crime, the commission of a violent crime and that officer on the scene. we have technology today like shot spotter in the district of columbia and other major cities where a system captures the sound of a gunshot and officers can be on the scene almost immediately, which means there is a much more likely chance you are going to confront that armed criminal. and there probably will be an armed confrontation. so that is part of it. in new york city, what did we
see? we saw these two officers who were assassinated who were sitting in their squad car. they were moved from a less crime area to a higher crime area, and they were saturating the area with other officers. they were putting themselves at greater risk by being were typically the violent crime was being committed. officers closer to the violent crime, there is going to be more of a chance that they will be confronting an armed criminal. i think these are some of the reasons -- also, there are much more cold-blooded, brazen criminal elements that officers have to go against. the numbers may not be as high as they used to be. part of that is g ang-related. we have made some dents in the drug wars and the gang wars. for the criminals they confront often don't think twice about shooting the police officers and the officers have to use deadly force. host: craig floyd is our guest.
we have set aside our fourth line is moaning for law enforcement -- this morning for law enforcement. we will begin with a call from clark in wisconsin, democrats line. caller: good morning. i would like to know, do you have the statistics for the number of unarmed persons killed by police as well as the number of police killed in duty? i would also like to mention that the 2 in las vegas -- there were killed by two people who had spent time at the bunny ranch -- bundy ranch, and it only made the new cycle -- what is the difference between that and this? guest: i think, clark, a couple things. i don't have the precise figure of unarmed suspects that were shot and killed by law
enforcement officers come up but i will say that that number is a small fraction of the numbers that we talked about earlier of the justifiable homicides by law-enforcement. i think it is clear, especially in today's news environment that whenever an incident does happen where there is an unarmed suspect that was shot and killed by law enforcement, we are going to hear about it on the national leaders, and certainly we have heard about a couple of those incidents recently. certainly, the michael brown case in ferguson missouri, the eric garnerthose are the highest profile cases we are talking about. when it comes to the two assassins in las vegas, you are right, they were on the farm. they were the sovereign citizen types. beyond that, i think they news cycle for that particular case was somewhat short-lived. unfortunately, two officers lost their lives in a cold but it
fashion. that is probably a store that should have gotten more attention. host: a republican from north carolina. caller: good morning. i do not want to bring politics into this, but the last guy did, so let's go there. you mentioned that these people, a lot of people who are killed the cops are antigovernment types. everyone runs to the tea party type people, but it is the opposite of that who is getting the cops. bill ayers, he is a total leftist and he was one of the guys in the 1960's and 1970's who -- if you did not directly kill and blow up cops, he certainly indirectly did. he has ties to obama. can you talk about that? guest: we are not here to discuss politics necessarily or civil rights or democrats versus republicans.
i will say that when it comes to law enforcement, one of the things that i found during my 30 years of heading up the national law enforcement officers memorial fund, law enforcement is a profession that darn support from all sides of the aisle. whenever we go to congress for support, whether it be a conservative republican or liberal democrat, we have gotten it. we can all agree on one thing. safe communities. if we do not have and cannot live our lives safely, cannot enjoy our cherished freedoms, then this would not be the greatest nation on the earth, which clearly it is. politically, we are one of the organizations, causes, supporting law enforcement promoting their safety, honoring the fallen. there is just no difference between any side of the political spectrum. we can all rally around law
enforcement, in rally in favor of safe communities, and rally against lawlessness. that is what we need to do. shown down the rhetoric. whether -- tone down the r hetoric. public safety is a partnership. it involves law enforcement as the front lines in the war against crime. a requires the cooperation support of the citizens that law enforcement says and protects. host: law enforcement from alpine, california. what is your role? caller: i'm retired now. my heart goes out to the officers killed in new york. i wanted to say, you want to go ahead and stay away from politics. a lot of people should not forget what goes on on the other side of the shield. most officers are working 12 to 16 hours a day.
they worked nights, weekends holidays. it is horrible on the relationships -- i know few police officers or deputies who have not gotten a divorce. people tend to forget that that is a hard job. burnout happens. i think the national rate is between six to eight years. most people, especially when the economy is that, they want to lease out -- flash out at the government. police officers are the first target. i would like the media talk about what is going on with the officers. i have a lot friends and law enforcement who are still there. i am supportive of them and pray for them because the longer the recession goes on, the more people tend to lash out at the police. host: how long were you in law enforcement? caller: from 1997 to 2012. i got myself blown up in iraq so i was forced to retire.
you will find that there are a lot of officers over the past 15 years who lost -- who served in the national guard, so plus law enforcement duties, they are on reoccurring deployments in the middle east. a lot of these people are struggling to keep their families together and pay the bills. host: thank you, let's get a response. guest: thank you for your service. i fill your example is typical of our law enforcement professionals. you care about people, keeping this nation secure and strong, so not only did you serve in the war against crime at home, but also in the war as a military member, and we appreciate that. we salute that service. that is typical of so many officers who joined law enforcement because they want to help people, because they care about this nation and what it stands for. you raise good points, which is that people do not appreciate
the wear and tear on human life when you become an -- a law enforcement professional. the suicide rate among law enforcement officers is much higher than the norm. typically when you retire, your average life span is about five or six years after retirement. a lot of officers die soon after. that is because the lifestyle of an officer, different shifts sometimes working nights or days, your sleep patterns are totally upset. you do not eat healthy a lot of the time because you do not have the opportunity. the stress and the job responding to an automobile crash and seeing mangled bodies serious injuries, deaths. having a peaceful moment for much of the day, but all of a sudden you get an armed robbery in progress call, or a murder/around the corner -- a murder suspect around the corner
, your heart goes up to 180 beats per minute. this is a lot of stress. some of it is long-term that could wear you down, sometimes it is sudden stress. that can kill. we had over 800 officers' names honor memorial who died from heart attacks, sudden stress that killed them on the jobs. law enforcement is a tough job. we do not give our officers enough credit. we owed them and jim a huge debt of attitude. host: what is the national law enforcement memorial? guest: it is one of the three major sites they created in the city of washington around, the other two being the capital and white house grounds. the square was intended by george washington to be the judicial seat of justice in
america. so we selected that site for our national memorial. it was dedicated in 1991. a has the names of more than 20,000 officers, federal, state, and local, who made the ultimate sacrifice. it is in the 400 block of e street northwest washington. it costs around $11 million to build. it was ill with donations from more than one million americans -- builds with donations from more than one million americans. unfortunately, we have to add new names to the memorial every year. it is the unique aspect of our memorial versus many of the others are those wars are ended. the war against crime is never ending, seemingly, and probably will not be during our lifetimes. we will likely be adding more names to the memorial in coming years. host: next call comes from fall
in willow springs, missouri, independent line. caller: i would like to ask -- whenever the pressure cooker sure -- cooker bomber set off in baltimore. in four hours, they had the entire city shut down. they had thousands of law enforcement officers there, who went door to door. from what i could gather, there were three innocent people killed, one a mail carrier. i would like to know why in the city of chicago, whenever the gang bangers start shooting, why do they not just start shooting the city -- shutting the city down and start confiscating weapons. there have been people who got arrested for stolen guns, they do not get anything happen to them. in 2014 in springfield missouri
, a homeless man was shot twice in the back. did not have a weapon. he was getting food out of a dumpster. it was called a justified shooting. there was nothing done to the officer about that. there was a 64-year-old woman sitting on her porch who was shot nine times because her neighbors had robbed her house twice and she told them she had a shotgun. so they called police, the police rolled up to her house, she did not have a gun in her hands. she was shot nine times. it did not make national news. the had a young man who was strong-armed robbery on video, and he is still on the news. how come there is preferential treatment concerning the color of your skin as to whether you are made aware of it on tv or not? host: we got your point, thank you. guest: that raises a hot button issue, especially this past year. we have a lot of incidents that
made national news that seem to have some connection to race. i cannot explain why the media covers certain stories and why they do not cover others. one of the points i make you touch on was the criminal justice system in this country. i think it is interesting to note that about 16 officers per year are killed i criminal -- by criminals who are out on put -- parole or probation for a previous crime. i think there are a certain element of society who are the repeat offenders, those most likely to commit violent acts, not only against innocent citizens but against the law enforcement officers who have to arrest them over and over again. the suspect in the new york city police shooting had been arrested 19 times previously. this was a person that soft
identified as a potential cop killer, as a great threat to society, and yet he was allowed to walk the streets of america. i feel there are some who do not -- should not have this right. host: this treat for you. mayor bill de blasio is not trying to meant anything. he told his oldest child not to trust the police. that is destructive parroting -- parenting. guest: i think we see that a lot. how many times through a drive down the road and the child may be misbehaving, and the parents as if you do that, that police officer, i will call him over and get you in trouble. as parents, we have an obligation to teach our children to respect law enforcement. that the officers that serve us are there to help us. they are the good guys. they are the people we turn to in times of need.
the chief of police in new york she said i view our police cars the cruisers that patrol the city as billboards for the city of washington. that's a person has a problem of any kind, they should know that they if do not know who else to turn to, go to the police officer. they will find a way to help you. that is the attitude that i think all of us as parents respectable citizens -- that is the attitude we should have that the officer is there to help us. we should turn to them in times of need and we should not be so quick to second-guess and criticize. host: the fact about mayor deblasio's son is that he is half lack. -- black. i do not know if you agree about the phenomenon of driving while black or walking well black and being stopped. is there some fact to that?
guest: if you talk to law enforcement professionals, they will say that race has nothing to do with it. it is the criminal element. it is the people that i would hope that a person of color would not view the police with distrust. but i have a different experience. i appreciate that fact. i get to meet these men and women in law enforcement every day. i get to hear about their heroic deeds, the good deeds they do that often do not get told. i can to you they care as much about any person, no matter what their color is. they are not out there just to help the people you has the same color as themselves. we have to understand that. these men and women are compassionate individuals. we do not give them credit for that. some of them are hardened perhaps for being on the streets and having to do with the drags
of our society over and over again. the people who are causing havoc in this country. that said, they are still out there to help people. they will not discriminate based on race. host: the gallup poll from 2011 to 2013, confidence in police, a great deal? nationally, it is 56%. white, 59% lacks 37%. -- blacks 39%. our fourth line set aside for law enforcement officers. we want to hear your experience. donald, democrat. caller: i would like to know about what he thinks about the four-year-old kid who got shot. i got a lot of respect for police, but the guy got killed in new york city -- and brown in missouri.
that cop and for his head. why could he not shoot him for -- should for the leg? he would have fallen to the ground. he went to kill the guy, and i cannot understand that. i have a lot of respect for police, but some, they are bad. a different way than you are coming out on tv. host: sorry, i thought you are finished. please go ahead. guest: i was going to comment that the situation you're referring to with the 12-year-old larry in cleveland, that was a case where the person had a -- apparently a bb gun, something that was less legal, but it looked -- less lethal but it looked real. and when police got a call about a person wielding a gun and rolled up, they were not able to differentiate the bb gun from a
regular gun. as a result, its lobule way was killed -- a 12-year-old boy was killed. there may be learning moments for officers in dealing with similar situations. how can we prevent those kinds of tragedies from occurring? that is the good thing about law enforcement. they do view those moments as teaching situations, hopefully avoiding in the future through the training that goes on. i like to think that would happen in this case. host: a tweet. granted, a tough job. but do coward cops shoot sooner? guest: i sought a rather chilling video from south carolina. a trooper cold behind a man driving into a gas station. a man of color african-american. the trigger was white.
the man -- the trooper was white. the man got out of the car at the gas station. you can hear the trooper on his in car camera asking for his license and registration. the man kind of made a quick move it back into his vehicle as if to grab something, and the officer overreacted, clearly. he drew his weapon, told the man to get out of the car, get out of the car. when the man came out of the car, he did not have a web in, but the trooper fired several shots, thinking he did have a weapon. the interesting thing about that is that the trooper was almost immediately fired from his job and charged with a crime. yes, i think there are cases where officers perhaps fearing for their own life or the life of others, react in a way that they should not. it is improper. they have been trained to do otherwise.
sometimes, all the training in the world is not enough. in that case, proper action was taken immediately. that case will be closely scrutinized moving forward in the -- and the criminal justice system will take over. host: please have mr. foot talk about the increase in gun sales as it relates to police deaths. guest: increasing gun sales, i think one of the biggest problems we have, and at least 50% of the law enforcement officers in the country fully respect gun rights and do not want to see gun control as the answer to the problem. what they do want, and i think this is it -- an area of agreement across the board tougher penalties for those who do commit crimes using weapons. i get back to the fact that criminal justice has not worked properly and many cases, where
there is a criminal suspect who has been convicted or charged with multiple crimes of violence, and yet serve a minimum amount of time behind bars and is back on the streets, posing a great risk to all of us but especially the officers who have to arrest them over and over. guns are part of our country. let's realize that. the supreme court has weighed in, i do not think it will change anytime soon. there are so many hundreds of millions of guns on the street already that there is no way we could get rid of them even if we wanted to. let's figure out the best way to keep the law-abiding citizens safe, and that is tougher criminal justice for the worst of the worst criminals. host: tony from florida. caller: good morning. i have a question for mr. floyd. what percentage of the police force would be dedicated to traffic division? it seems to me that most average
persons and counter police in what seems to be traffic stops where they are a sickly taking -- basically taking our money based on a batch in a gun. they are almost like. snakes in the grass driving around i lose respect for a police force that does nothing but revenue generation. guest: see what you're coming from. i feel that that is the opinion of many, because their only contact with a law enforcement professional is a traffic stop. but more people are killed on the roadways in the united states than are killed by murders or drugs. when we think, shouldn't the cops be out there chasing the real criminals and not harassing the driving public, i think we all have to realize that the place where we are most at risk is our roadways.
it is the officers patrolling our roadways making sure there are no crazy people driving 100 miles an hour down the interstate, they are keeping us alive. the reason they are out there is to try to save lives and keep our roadways safe and not to create revenue. more officers over the last 15 years have been killed in traffic related incidents than half in killed by firearms. they are under great risk on the roadways as well. responding to high rates of speed, emergency calls, putting their own lives at risk. the number of officers killed by drunken drivers has increased by more than 30% over the last 30 years. they are making it safer for the rest of us but putting themselves at great risk doing so. host: ray is on law enforcement from florida. good morning. caller: how're you doing?
i have been retired for 30 years. briefly, i was in a situation once in florida where i worked. i was working at the town, and another officer, we were on a backup call. we were searching the vehicle and everything. everything seemed to be going according to plan and procedure. the officer that was inside, and need to his right, out of the clear, it stunned me -- he said i would sure like to shoot one of the 'effers'. i am saying that, but you get me. i reported him, and no response. i'll be briefed by wrapping it up. i am a vietnam veteran, and one of the ring i learned in vietnam -- things, i learned in vietnam.
i had to treat even given these over there as the enemy, knowing they were all not the enemy, by have to treat them as that to keep myself safe. that is why do today. i do the same thing with locals. i treat the situation as if they are there to harm he and set of hurt me -- harm me instead of helped me. i do not think they want to be there for my well-being. the exception is what i am wearing about, not the rules. guest: when he talked about this incident, are you african-american? caller: yes i am. i reported to a supervisor. i did not expect anything to be done, and i knew the supervisor probably felt the same way. host: using kilis because the people stopped where black?
-- you think it was because the people stopped where black? caller: well, they were. those guys, i do not know why the other officer stopped them, we were just backing them up. everything seemed to be under control. it was just a statement the officer made, next to me. guest: i think you touch on something we all understand. there are going to be had apples in the lunch and every profession. -- bunch in every profession. police officers are your friends, neighbors, friends. they are just like all the rest of us. some will have biases. unfortunately, that does happen. i would argue that the law-enforcement profession has gotten a lot better than they used to be. it is probably the toughest profession to get into in terms
of physical requirements as well as the mental and psychological screening that goes on before an individual can become a law enforcement professional. it is not an easy profession to get into. hopefully we will find the bad apples before they get onto the streets. sometimes that does not happen. we had been talking a little about the race issue. we had an outstanding opportunity with the martin luther king memorial foundation were we put on a joint project event, called when police shoot: a dialogue on the use of police force. it was an opportunity for the civil rights activists to get together with law enforcement leaders and have a reasonable dialogue about the race relations issue. about the use of force by law enforcement. what came out of that is that we all have a lot of listening to do. hopefully have many more opportunities to have that type
of reasonable dialogue. and getting the community working together with law enforcement. that means sensitizing officers who may be need sensitizing if they are not treating the races as they should. if there is bias involved. we have to find a way to get rid of that. having more opportunities with our organization, the martin luther king a moral foundation, other groups like us, we have to do better. host: harold from east st. louis. caller: good morning and happy new year. i am not one of those guys who hate police officers. i note that they are necessary. -- i know that they are necessary. i have never known any apples to pick themselves. someone outside of the apple basket has to take the run
apples out or else the whole task it becomes rotten. why is it that black officers seem to be better trained than white officers? i have never seen a black patrolmen sitting outside a woman, it beating their heads from side to side in the highway in front of people. i have never seen lack officers took a white man to death -- black officers choke a white man to death. why are all these lack officers -- bl reluctant to doa these things -- even one witnesses come forward and say things police have done, that guy used to sick his dog on people. they do not like that shot his dog. and when he's defended his dog big i shot him.
he went and joined the police force and got in law enforcement so he could kill people legally. that is the thing people miss -- when we say these things. why are white officers -- host: i fit we got your point we appreciate it. guest: one of the issues is that the officer does not tend to focus on black on black situations. like they might today, especially with the heightened awareness of the white on back -- black aspect of it. there are fewer black officers then white, so that is part of it. you hit on something that i think is important. how can we build the trust between the community and law enforcement, particularly in the st. louis area. i know trust is probably at all time lows there when it comes to law enforcement. one of the innovations we have is body cameras being used by
law enforcement. this is something i think all the law enforcement leadership is starting to get behind. they realize that there is an expense involved, and city governments will have to make the decisions about how much money they want to spend, but they will start purchasing body cameras more for a lot enforcement -- law enforcement. that will give us a way to determine what actually happened . was excessive force really used or was it just the perception of the witnesses? let's go to the video, see what actually happened, and look at it based on the evidence as opposed to the emotion. body cameras i think will do a lot to restore trust where it
has been lost between communities and law enforcement. host: craig floyd, is this an annual report your group puts out? guest: yes. since the memorial was built in 1991, we come out with a end of the year law enforcement fatalities. it allows us to see the trends and so hopefully we can save lives moving forward. it is also to remind the public that there are many and woman out there -- 900,000 -- you go out every day and put their lives on the line for our safety and protection. we go all of them, at the very minimum, honor and remembrance for their service, sacrifice. we need to support the families that have been left behind and do everything possible to make it safer for those who continue to serve. host: bob from petersburg virginia. caller: these protests going on
it bothers me that -- telling these people that there should be restrictions where they should not be able to lock the highways and such, what bothers me is that it does not take it does not take that one step little further to have people in their automobiles someone gets mad, honks a home because they want to get home. they should not have the right to block peoples' access like that. i do not want to see the logic greater to the point while -- where they will not be protecting people. it seems like there are groups of people that are promoting these protests in the shadows. the gangs and other people that want to see law, just like mexico where the law is really just -- i wonder what your comments are
on that? like 12-year-old boy pointing his gun out there i think someone told him to go and do that -- guest: a couple points, isn't it ironic and this is something we lose sight of, is that it is the police who are going out protecting the rise -- rights of the protesters to protest the police. this is an unusual situation. i remember the moment i saw the riots occurring in egypt, and instead of the police there protecting the right to protest they actually were using tanks against them and causing mayhem as much as the protesters were. more so, perhaps. he reminded me that in the u.s., it does not happen. that the police are protecting the rights of the protesters.
protecting their right to express themselves. i think that is why i think the u.s. is the greatest country on the face of the earth. it is an unusual country and that respect. but people do have the right to protest. do they have the right to cause havoc? absolutely not. that is a discretionary decision made by the powers that be as far as how far these protests can go. certainly when it gets close to harming a human life, that is a line that should not be crossed. i heard one of the baptist ministers in ferguson saying that they do not have raise problems in ferguson, missouri. that immediately after the mayor got together with the black and white ministers and prayed and work together to try to create a better situation moving forward. it was a lot of the outsiders, people who had come to ferguson
with perhaps mayhem in their mind, and were out to wreak havoc and use that as an excuse as exposed to the people of ferguson, causing the damage that did occur. i agree that sometimes people are using -- looking for an excuse to cause mayhem and cause damage. host: stephen from illinois, hi. caller: good morning and happy new year. i was on a rock concert when i was around 18 with a friend of mine. i went to break up a fight. two officers ran to the scene and started to choke me with their bi -- billy club and wrecked my learning -- wrecked my larynx.
fortunately, i beat to the cops down to the ground. i am not proud of it, but i think a lot of cops are thugs believes -- bukllies. the kids in high school got picked on. i hear a lot of stories of people who got pulled over for no reason. -- my feelings about the cops are like most people i know, they do not like them. host: we got that point, has there ever -- ever been an opportunity where you needed to call on the police? caller: i would not call the cops. i do not trust him whatsoever. i would not call a cop, i would call a friend. i do not trust or like the cops. they have never done me any good, to be honest.
i am sure they have to other people. but i think of them as bullies. host: this kind of goes back to the disconnect we were talking about. what is your message for him? guest: one thing i would hope that the incident he described where he was apparently choked in some way by a billy club, that that happened some years ago versus today. today, more cops are using less lethal weapons. while these lethal weapons while they might cause initial discomfort, tougher spray or a taser. it is momentary. no one is injured. one of the thing about tasers is that not only are fewer cops injured when tasers are used by department, but fewer criminal suspects are injured as a result.
hopefully in situations like he describes, there may be better ways to handle those situations today rather than earlier on. . i agree. this is an example of people having a negative attitude towards law enforcement. the trust has been broken. it did not sound like white-black was part of it. i do not know how he drives, but i would hope that he was not pulled over just because he was driving a hot rod. he might have been going too fast for the conditions. whatever the case may be. we need to build the trust. we cannot ignore the fact that there are citizens in our country who do not trust law enforcement. i would suggest that you look at other countries where the law enforcement is corrupt. where it works with a dictator for purposes that are not in the best interest of the citizens of those nations. that is where there are real
problems. in the u.s., i would think that the perception of the citizens is that someone and their family was arrested because they were doing something wrong, something that was a threat to society and of course they will have a negative view of law enforcement. getting pulled over is a negative experience. sometimes cops do not treat us with a smile when they walk up because they do not know if we are a lot abiding citizen or not. they do not know if we just robbed a bank or eight drug trafficker. some officers are killed because they trust the drivers. on officer from maryland had hints in the front car right next to him, trusting him, giving this person the benefit of the doubt. that person was a drug trafficker who pulled a gun and shot him point blank. that is sometimes like cops are
not treating us with a take a smile -- big smile. host: last call, monaco from ohio. caller: my sympathies go out to the families of the two police officers that were killed in new york. i believe that the -- deblasio is being judged harshly. if we see that situations such as what happened in ferguson and in ohio, where i live, happened, than we have a tendency to look at those situations and maybe not trust the policeman. we teased -- teach our children, since people who have been blessed by catholic priests, to watch out, to judge them but wait -- what we have heard. and with teachers having sex
with students. we teach our children that you have to think twice with the situations. why would not we when we have situations where black men and children are being shot for no reason because of what somebody thought they saw. why shouldn't we teach that children to watch out for that where the man was going to get his license and with the 12-year-old play was shot. both those situations, the policeman lied and said something different than what was on the videos. host: thank you. guest: again, i cannot argue with what ever cases that you may have seen and what witness accounts may have. in i would argue that when there is video, and we will see more of it because of the body cameras that officers will increasingly use. we will have more evidence. it will not be he said, she said. it will be this is what
happened. hopefully the criminal justice system will work its way and will. once evidence is submitted, i mentioned the case and south carolina when an officer was fired and charged with a crime because of improper actions. i think that is the way our criminal justice system will move towards. we have to trust the rule of law in this nation. the president said it, i think we can all agree on it. it is what makes us the greatest nation on earth. we have to trust in the criminal justice system, and unfortunately i know there is distrust right now. we have to find ways to fix it and have more reasonable dialogue. we will continue to do our part to make that happen. host: finally this week -- t weet. do police experience long-term ptsd? guest: you are dealing with some of the most unspeakable acts and
things you experience in law enforcement just as in the military. i mentioned coming up on it scene, seeing mangled bodies. dead children. this takes a toll on an officer. sometimes it is months later. i have heard a case where an officer seems find after -- fine after a situation like that, but six months later they will have a ptsd moment, system -- symptom. whenever an officer does use force, especially lethal force their lives are dramatically altered or life. many will not be able to serve in law enforcement any longer. many will leave the job soon after. host:
"washington journal" recently sat down with the michigan congressman who became the dean of the house of the 114th congress. congressman conyers talked about his new role and what his responsibilities will be. >> joining us from detroit is the incoming dean of the house and senate, john conyers from
michigan. good morning. >> good morning to you. >> tell folks a little about the position you are about to assume. >> well, the first requirement is longevity. the dean of the house is the longest-serving member in the house of representatives, and he has the distinct honor on opening day, january 6, two swear in the incoming speaker of the house, which is a constitutional office. even though the present speaker of the house is going to be the same one, he will still have to be sworn in again. that's where i come in. >> so you will do that today.
tell us a little bit about the longevity aspect of it. you come to this position taking over from representative dingell. talk about taking over and the fact he is a fellow michigander as well. >> not only that, his father and my father were good friends. he and i are good friends. he was once my congressman, and i have been talking with him about this job. the important duty is of course on opening day when we swear in the incoming speaker of the house for the next session of congress. >> so you have been talking to him about the job. what kind of advice has been given to you about it?
>> well, he has given me some good advice. stay calm, get your swearing-in statement together so you can have the incoming speaker raise his right hand with you and say that he will support the constitution of the united states, and some other things. and we will be all set. >> you will become the first african-american to assume this position. what does that mean to you? >> i think it is a high honor under any circumstances. but i think it is even more significant that, of all the members in the congress, i am now the longest-serving and the first african-american to hold that rank. i value it, and i'm very proud of it. >> with your new platform as
dean, even after you do the ceremonial aspect of it, do you use your platform to talk about race issues to talk about other issues near and dear to you? >> absolutely. the dean of the house has a special recognition. and it gives a little more added authority to the positions i take, so i will be very carefully assessing what i say and what positions i advocate as new dean of the house. i follow a very distinguished member of congress who was the dean for a long time himself. he is stepping down. of course, his wife is replacing him, debbie dingell. we are looking forward to working with her and the entire
michigan delegation. >> as you become dean now, do you get any privileges with that? better office space, your choice of committee? how does that work? >> we have been looking to see if there are any perks. guess what? we haven't found one. >> but you are the longest-serving member now. with this freshman class coming in, because you hold the title of dean, what advice would you give the freshman class, being the longest-serving member? >> well, i would advise them to the very careful and thoughtful about the votes they cast, and that they want to realize that every vote they cast the comes a part of our congressional history.
and we don't want them to go and get into a mood or into a group about which they will be saying later on that they were sorry, they were running in a direction they really didn't support. >> joining us, the longest-serving member of congress, the dean of the house of representatives, john conyers from michigan. thank you, representative. appreciate your time. >> it is a pleasure being with you. have a good new year.
in modern america. our second panelist is darren doe czech. dr. do czech is associate professor in the department of history and associate professor in humanities on religion and politics at washington university in st. louis. in 2011 professor published from bible belt to sun belt. a book which won a host of awards including the american historical association john did you knowing book prize for outstanding hit torquing writing on any subject. he is currently working on a book titled anointed with oil. god and black gold in mod earn america. his presentation today, arises from this project. our third panelist is dr. spencer throughman associate professor of history.
he has helped fellowships from the center of study and religion and the joseph fielding smith for latter day saints history. his work has appeared in the "new york times," journal of mormon history and b.y.u. studies. his book a peculiar people anti-mormonism and the making of religion was published in 2012 and won the 2013 mormon history association's best first book award. his presentation today is entitled never ending mormon moments. our fourth and final presentation for this panel comes from dr. charms iron associate professor of history at elon university in north carolina. his first book is entitled the origins of pro slavery christianity. his work has appeared in the journal of southern religion, the american baptist quarterly
and more than a dozen other books and journals on the process through which black churchgoers withdrew from white controlled congregations following the civil war. his topic is religion and the outsider candidates. allow me to offer a quick note here for our process about this session and our sessions today. each guest in turn will give they are present combrations without taking much of a break and after these the moderators in this case me will open the floor to you the audience to be able to ask questions or make comments which you can direct at a particular panelist or at the group in general. we welcome these comments, we welcome these questions and we encourage you to participate with us. it is now thankfully time for me to step aside and let others speak more intelligently. so let's welcome together our first guest. [applause]
this is certainly a topic that has been in the press lately. in september and october of this year both colorado and texas saw very public and very political struggles over the proper teaching of the nation's history. the college board a private organization that administers the widely used advanced placement test used in high schools released new guidelines for apus history clfment servetive pundits accused the
new curriculum of promoting a disdain for american principles and a lack of knowledge. those are the words of the member of the texas state board of education. explicit mentions of religion in the discussions about the standards were mostly relegated to the fringes creating the impression of a secular debate. but if we look into the complaints against the curriculum we can find strong resonances of what is a religious practice shared by many conservative christians. the active and repeated study of the nation's founding derived from reading scripture has produced a unique identifiable and exclusive narrative of u.s. history that stripped of its religious connotations influences public life and debate through discussions like that over the apus history curriculum. before i get started i want to give a couple cav yats.
the first is that conservative christians are in no way alone in their interest in the founding era. obviously through trends recently called founder sheek many americans have been very interested in the process of the revolutionary war and especially in the lives of the founders who are seen as some of the greatest and obviously most influential americans. so when conservative christians have created their reading of the american revolution they're participating in a larger conversation on the subject. second i wanted to be careful how i'm using the word christian. extraordinarily diverse and broad group of americans numeically politically theologically. what i'm focusing on today is a vocal and important subset of that group. many christians who want to pursue interests in the founding era can through sites that are endorsed by various organizations find their way to academic scholarship and certainly christian historians in particular have played a
very active role in mediating between the academic community and christian interests in the subject. so i don't want to minimize those very important trends. but what i would like to focus on today is a very vocal and distinctive reading. many bibblely minded protestants use the concept through the entirety of scripture in order to manage passages that would otherwise be difficult or contradictory. the concept that scripture interprets scrapettur suggests that the bible is its own best commentary. a point he lists as second among six principles. the concept is repeated widely in various guides for understanding that complex text and it is linked to the concept of by scripture alone. if the bible is the one sole source of truth it must provide all the tools necessary for its
interpretation and the overall meanings must harmonize. the idea that scripture interprets scripture is a method of historicle analysis. some moments events and spadges are far more important than others to understanding the principles of the whole. the interpreter determines what these are through his or her knowledge of both the whole and the principles. applying this strategy to a relatively recent moment in history like the american revolution requires a two-step process. first, the knowledgeable writer introduces the era with a clear sense of its guiding meaning. then with that meaning in mind the practice of reading the founding era can be undertaken. i would like to suggest today that the practice of interpreting the american founding as having consistent and identifiable principles transforms the purpose of learning about history and the kinds of evidence used. and further more that by studying the past with the same practices they use to study the
bible conservative christians make reading the american revolution a religious act. now, these readings of the american revolution begin and end with principles. not just in interpretation but usually in structure. the american patriots bible published by thomas press in 2009 begins with the seven principles of judeo christian ethics which readers were told were the core beliefs of our nation's founding fathers. when those men "gave us documents such as the declaration of independence and others they had to lean upon a common understanding of law government social order and morality. it is not necessary for the importance of these principles that they be uniformly representative of the revolutionary public opinion or even the founders as the author is quick to point out. the important element is they are guiding principles. the authors of this text continue whether each of the founding fathers was a christian is not the