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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  January 19, 2015 7:00am-7:46am EST

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later, dr. johnson will examine the state of several rights today and the history of civil marches. as always, you they will take your cars host: good morning. it is monday, january 19 2015. it is martin luther king jr. day across the country. the federal government is closed in observance of the holiday. officials of taking part in events around the country. the president and first lady will participate in a service project in washington, d.c.. jeh johnson will take part in a wreath laying ceremony. as we begin the washington journal today, we are asking viewers to call in to tell us which current leader embodies martin luther king jr.'s legacy.
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that is our question for you. democrats can call at (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 748-8002. and if you are outside the u.s. and want to join in the conversation, (202) 748-8003. you can catch us on social media at facebook or twitter. a good martin luther king jr. data you. we begin today with front pages. here's the front page of the star-ledger. a picture of a commemorative march taking place at the edmund pettus bridge in selma, alabama. you can see oprah winfrey and the rest of the cast at the movie -- of the movie "selma." a feature story on the youngest marcher in selma.
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we are calling three words from that march. it is linda blackman lowrie. the end is per just did 1965 selma marches. the three words she remembered steady, loving confrontation. to the front page of the states out of south carolina. focusing on community events at the penn senator -- penn center in south carolina. the richmond times dispatch has a story. for obama, message of race is still restrained. state of the union address likely to address slow and steady progress. the state of the union address taking place tomorrow. on the washington journal, we are asking which current leader embodies mlk's legacy.
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happy to hear your thoughts about current leaders today and your thoughts about mlk's legacy . here's the front page of usa today. new activists are inspired by king but take their own path. as part of that story, they focus on the young activists from protest movements that formed after the deaths of michael brown and eric garner. it includes a generation of young civil rights activists. the story says these activists are not like traditional leaders and do not see themselves as such. they have more in common with the occupy movement than the king -- ben king's southern leadership conference or the naacp. they take something from their predecessor and leave others behind. it is in the usa today this morning. we want to hear from you.
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jerry, detroit, michigan our line for democrats. caller: good morning. i think the leaders that currently embody the spirit of dr. king are those who have the willingness to speak out against injustice. without worrying about being demonized. i think the reverend al sharpton, and jesse jackson embody that. in his day, dr. king was demonized by the white conservatives of his day. i think what they were saying about sharpton -- white people were saying about sharpton and jack -- in jackson today are the same things they were saying about dr. king in his day. i admire people who are willing to speak out. willing to speak truth to power. who are willing to speak out against the injustices of the
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world while the white conservatives of their day were demonizing them. host: that is jerry in detroit, michigan. ethel is in texas. our line for republicans. good morning. who do you think embodies dr. king's legacy today? caller: i do not think his last -- i think his last name was walker or something like that. he seemed to be a good kind of guy. i don't think anybody can match up to mr. king. i was raised around my grandmother most of the time. he projected the face of god. it did not matter what color.
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that is what everybody should do. they try to love the others, but sometimes people won't let you. host: ethel, were you able to see dr. king when he was alive? do you remember seeing him in person or on television? caller: on television. i watched a lot of things he had done. when they had the million man march, i watched that. they would see a lot of white people there. a lot of white people there. i guess, because, i taught my kids not to ever discriminate against any color because under the skin we are all the same.
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we're all got's children. -- we are all god's children. you do not make jokes about it or anything else because god would not love that. host: we are asking viewers about which current leaders embody mlk's legacy today. some of that conversation happening on our facebook page. if you want to join the conversation or call in. karen says president barack obama embodies mlk's legacy. obama has shown it is possible for someone to rise above circumstances in life and be judged by the content of their character. i think mlk would have been pleased to see this happen. below that, scene of rights it is muscle -- malala yousafzai. colleen anderson says dr. ben carson -- dr. carson joining us
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in about 45 minutes this morning. christian says, non-, mlk was one-of-a-kind. he would be turning in his grave in -- with what is going on in today's world. the conversation on our facebook page is also happening on twitter. let's go to matt. atlanta, georgia our line for independents. caller: hello. i was wondering -- hello? host: matt, you are on the washington journal. we will work with you on your call. patrick, our line for democrats. caller: you should not even put up the photographs of al sharpton and reverend jackson. these are corporatized sellouts who get huge talk -- huge chunks
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of money from corporate media or from foundations that are padded with dollars to keep people in line. the only two individuals that i believe our representative of people of color or the legacy for overall americans is cornell west and tavis smiley. cornell west should be the recipient of the nobel peace prize, not a president that is engaging in mass murder. not a president who has betrayed the foundation of a quality when it comes to people of color, or anybody when it comes to the issues of economic equality in america. the betrayal of the media system in order to keep people -- african-americans in line, manipulating them and facilitating -- the figures that
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just came out about income equality globally are astonishing. over 1% of the world's population now controls more assets than 3.5 billion people. host: to bring up tavis smiley. on our in depth program earlier this more -- earlier this month he talked about martin luther king's last year before his assassination. he answered a question about what he learned. here is a bit of what he had to say. [video clip] >> the thing that most surprise me -- it is remarkable to consider that king had all this hate coming at him. fbi spies inside his organization. his treasurer is on the fbi payroll. the photographer shooting him is on the fbi payroll. i could go on.
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he is hate from the outside spied on from the inside by his own people. never, in all the hours and hours of audio tape, not one time to we ever hear king contesting the humanity of any other human being. not demonizing, denigrating. it is remarkable for somebody to be filled with that kind of love . we live in a world now were so many people are not as advertised. i shudder to think what they might have heard me saying if i had been under surveillance 24/7. to know they have all this tape on martin and that who he was to us, who he was and public, was the same person he was in private. that is not to say he was a perfect servant.
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he was a public servant, not a perfect servant. his message of love -- martin was consistent all the way through. it is a beautiful thing to discover that this person was who you thought he was. host: if you want to see the entire interview on booktv's in depth, you can check that out online at c-span.org. we are showing you images from the national martin luther king jr. memorial. we are asking viewers to call in. which current leader in bodies mlk's legacy? some of the stories in the paper today. one in washington post, focusing on john conyers, the dean of the house of representatives, the longest-serving member in the house. ed o'keefe writes that issues of justice and equality maine top of the mind for conyers who is one of the founders of the
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congressional black -- congressional black caucus. "we have always had a very tense relationship between the african-american community and police." the one thing i notice is that there is more emphasis -- more attention being focused on race." susan is up next. our line for independents. caller: although he is not an african-american, i think pope francis draws upon a lot of the techniques and sentiments martin luther king -- i have to commend you on having tavis smiley on not too long ago. i learned so much from that
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program and i admire tavis smiley very much. i wanted to give a shout out to my late parents. i remember as it young girl in baltimore when martin luther king was assassinated and my father called us all to prayer and had us get down on our knees and start praying. we knew our city would corrupt in violence. -- you were up to in violence. my father was not an activist but he knew a great man had passed. i often think about that day. host: mentioning pope francis who is on the front page of the washington times this morning holding a mess with about 6 million people in attendance in manila. next to that picture is an article of martin luther king jr.'s mart -- martin luther king
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the third. he is dismayed by recent violence against police, the destructive protest in ferguson because they do not reflect his father's approach to advocate for change peacefully. "my father's approach during the civil rights struggle was rooted in nonviolence as a tactically correct response." in no way would my father or i condone and ends justify the means behavior." stanley is up next. caller: wanted to make sure that everybody realized what a great hero martin luther king was. who embodies his principles is president obama, by the way, who becomes one of the top 10 ranked great presidents in history.
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the next one who embodies martin luther king's principles and ideals is pope francis. i wanted to make sure everybody knew that. i do not understand how people can -- wants to eliminate the voter rights. it is ridiculous. i do not know how republicans or whoever cannot want everybody to vote. those are my comments. thank you. host: stanley calling in from california, talking about the voting rights act. this is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the voting rights act. 50 of anniversary of the summer marches as well. on the washington journal, we had congressman tom davis talking about the voting rights act as part of his interview on
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the washington journal. if you want to see more on that, you can check it out online. here's a bit from that interview. [video clip] >> the policy question you ask is -- 50 years after the civil rights act, it is had the unintended consequence of keeping -- whites cannot have to talk to blacks to get elected so they tend to ignore them. instead of bringing us together, it continues these divisions. host: the full interview c-span.org. we are asking which current leader in bodies and lk's legacy. -- mlk's legacy.
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joanne is up next, brooklyn, new york. our line for independents. host: you are on the washington journal. caller: good morning. i think president obama represents the essence of dr. martin luther king. i wish that on this day all of us could come together and start 2015 off as coming together and it does not matter what race culture, sexuality you are. we just come together and be respectful and mindful of each other's lives. host: christine is up next. the flow, new york.
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-- buffalo, new york. caller: i would like to a pit of my's dr. barack obama. -- i would like to epitomize dr. barack obama. i am a registered nurse, his legacy will be obamacare. his good and bad points. i feel the six years of struggle he has is not akin to what martin luther king did for his people and for all the people of the united states. host: before you go, let me read you this tweet. i do not know that anyone in america truly embodies mlk's legacy. president obama is simply a byproduct of that legacy. would you agree with that? caller: no, i do not.
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he came into his own. he had a struggle just like mlk did. he is trying to promote the best for america. it is not that he is not been without his problems. the world today is totally different from what mlk embodied. i applaud president barack obama. host: made is waiting in montgomery alabama. caller: good morning. my first point is, ben carson -- he is a leader within his own. al and jesse are leaders within their own. the problem is not about being -- is not about his legacy. his legacy should be standing up
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. if those people like newspapers and all those people who want to tell the people were out marching what to do and realize they need to listen sometimes and let other people tell them. they let people be free and do what they need to do because everybody that is for right is a leader. that is what i see when it comes to legacy and people leaving. -- people leading. you have those on the side that are causing a problem areas in 2015, martin luther king's legacy should be everybody in happy but you have haters sitting on the side of doing the same thing against what he was marching for. they did not like him then and they do not like him now. when they show love, this world will change.
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we will have to keep on marching until we get rid of the heathens. host: let's go to our waiting in saint roberts, missouri. caller: good morning. i want to tell the whole world the truth. when they killed kennedy -- i want to tell everybody the truth here. i was eight years old. kennedy got killed first because he signed the law for us. they turned around and did it again in 1958. the same people who are in office now were there in 1957. i do not understand it. have a good day. host: we want to keep taking your calls for the next 20 or 25
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minutes. which current leader embodies mlk's legacy? i want to point out some of the news for you this morning. specifically, looking ahead to the president's state of the union address and that tax proposal plan we heard a little bit about over the weekend. at the new york times today, noting that that plan may help in setting the framework for the 2016 election. the tax plan is subject of conversation on sunday shows. dan pfeiffer was on cbs and talk about the details we are expected to hear more about. here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> i think this plan talk to middle class economics. now the economy is in a stronger place we need to double down on our efforts to deal with wage
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stagnation. the proposition that we should ask the wealthy to pay a little more and invest more in the middle class. there are elements of the plan that will -- higher education tax breaks, subbing similar to -- very similar to something the republican house passed last year. i think we should have a debate in this country between middle class economics and trickle-down economics and see if we can come to an agreement. host: neil irwin, in the new york times, writes about this tax proposal. he ends his piece by saying barack obama will not be on the ballot in 2016 come up with his speech tuesday he will make his best stat at shaping the terms of the debate over economic policy even once he is spending long hours on a hawaii beach. republicans taking to the sunday shows to talk about this tax plan as well.
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[video clip] >> we are not just one good tax increase away from prosperity. this nation had its all-time highest, the record number of receipts coming into the treasury. are you going to grow the economy where small businesses can be better off with more taxes and government? no. we have to make sure we get a regulatory environment that is predictable. then, we squint -- we quit spending money we do not have. $300 billion tax bill from barack obama is not the formula for this country to succeed. host: we will be hearing more about that tax proposal this week, especially as we look to state of the union address happening tomorrow night. you can watch that here on c-span. we're talking about mlk today on
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the national martin luther king junior day. we have been showing you like images from the mlk memorial on the national mall. it is south and east of the lincoln memorial. there are some live shots. we will read you some tweets from those watching online and those having their conversation online about who best embodies mlk's legacy. penelope right -- rights -- john is up next. our line for independents. caller: good morning. the person that most embodies martin luther king would be obama. he too has done nothing for black people, just like mlk. the amazing thing to me is no one remembers reagan gave him
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his holiday. everyone does not feel this way. he set us back like 500 years. him and the jesse jackson's and sharpton's of the world. we're still having rakes talks -- race talks in 2015. they lift up martin luther king that he is done something great for us through integration. who has integration benefited? host: rob is up next. our line for independents. good morning. caller: i think -- i cannot see how obama has helped race relations in this country. i think, people are not
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recognizing it, we have been carson -- dr. ben carson who grew up in the streets of detroit and went on to become possibly the greatest neurosurgeon in the world. not to mention, he will be running for president. i urge all communities to look into who this gentleman is. this is the guy. this is the man who can save this nation. host: rob, if viewers want to learn more about him come a he is joining us next. he will be here for about 45 minutes, answering questions talking about some of these issues. for the next 15 minutes, we are taking questions, your comments on this question of which current leader embodies mlk's legacy. the washington post editorial board writes about martin luther king day in 2015. they write that some criticize
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the film "summa" for a tripping to lyndon b. johnson actions that -- the film selma for depicting lyndon b. johnson. the truth is that lyndon johnson's stature as a champion of civil rights legislation will survive any movie written -- misrepresentation. some of will be watched for years to come as an inspirational tale of the great american leader, the reverend martin luther king jr.. we will be talking about the film selma in our last segment of the washington journal this morning. we are joined by texas congresswoman, eddie bernice johnson. let's go to michael on our line
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for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. hopefully no one embodies martin luther king's mission in that prior to that mission we as colored people, we had mom and pop stores -- we have none of that now. we may have a liquor store. we need to get rid of the gender of race. that's the only way we can even the playing field. thank you. host: john's up next from crofton, maryland. good morning. caller: a sad day when people
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forget martin luther king's message. i saw his niece. i don't think she agrees with the democrats. martin luther king was a registered republican. people do not realize that. just like jackie robinson was a republican. they never mentioned he was a registered republican in the movie '42." he was a ceo of chock-full of nuts for years. everybody forgets that lincoln was a republican that freed everyone of them and he paid for with his life. the president is the biggest race hustler. he owes his ex -- acceptance to martin luther king. they don't even own liquor stores.
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they are lucky if they have any money coming in, other than from the government. i am a republican. lbj was a democrat. i was in the military police during the riots. it was 1968, april. i was in uniform for jfk's assassination. i know that period of time. things have gotten worse. host: we will be talking about lbj and martin luther king and the relationship in the last 45 minutes of "washington journal" this morning. susan says on our twitter page -- host: the "the washington post"
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story talks about the origins of mlk day. host: he's now the longest-serving member of congress, john conyers. the hill delves into the lawmakers who voted no on the 1983 piece of legislation to establish a holiday for martin luther king, jr. 90 representatives and 20 senators who voted against it. another small handful did so on the state level. the six who cast their votes are all republicans.
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john mccain, orrin hatch jim sensenbrenner. he switched parties in that story with "the hill" newspapers. they track down several members who voted against it. here is one of the interviews with senator hatch. " one of the worst decisions i made as a senator." he voted against the productivity cost and did not realize legislation goes against cold policy calculations. thehill.com for more. kenneth from arkansas, good morning. caller: good morning. i was born in 1950's and raised through the 1960's.
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right now we do not have anybody who embodies king's legacy. i would invite america to watch the movie "on the start -- "amistaad." if you would just listen to that gentleman. these people back in that time. i went to colored bathrooms. i lived at that time. i saw that with my own eyees. american is sick with racism. they killed kennedy and king. those people are judges and in high places. mccain voted against the holiday. those people are still here in power. american whenever be the great country that it can be.
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i had an uncle he was walking down the sidewalk. a young white man told him get off the sidewalk. he said, "i had to leave arkansas in 1933." "i went to my employer and told them. he said, i didn't do anything. back then, it took those people out and executed them." we would not have this problem we are having today. they are still in power. host: some stats about the issue of race relations in the united states from a december report. the percentage of americans naming racism as the most important problem has climbed genetically. 13%, the highest figure reported
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since 1992 in the midst of the rodney king verdict. racism was cited by 1% of the public as the most important problem. race and race relations as the most important problem in the u.s. spiking up to 30% by theend of last year. nonwhites are most likely to view that as the problem. members of congress tweeting about their action on mlk day. congressman frank pallone is saying -- host: charlie wrangle from new york -- how will you honor mlk and his legacy?
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suites this morning from several members of congress. you can check them out on c-span's twitter page. lacy clay. members arrived in ferguson to pledge their support. talking about the event they attended in ferguson. terry in arizona on the line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. the letter that clip talking about obama's imperfections. he and others like him are part of the problem. there is nothing that obama can do. it doesn't matter. he could do the right or wrong thing. it doesn't matter. it is always wrong. all they do is criticize the
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pompous speeches they make. they ignore the fact that obama's is struggling with the problems and trying to solve them the best he can. pope francis is probably the closest living person to martin luther king. thank you. host: live images from the national mlk memorial. jeh johnson in the middle walking around the memorial. he is set to participate in a wreath-laying that we will show you. pontiac michigan, kenneth, good morning. caller: good morning. i just want to know, because the previous caller said. abraham lincoln freed the
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slaves. that is a yes and they know. he was pressured into doing that because the south was getting free labor and the north have to pay for their labor. that is what that war was about. it had nothing to do with us basically. people need to go back and research -- host: bring it forward for us. who currently embodies mlk's legacy? who do you think? caller: well, really, obama's got to be the closest. he is a part of that dream 'i
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have a dream." we can be president. i remember when at a particular time schools -- if you asked what you want to be when you grow up, if you said president you would get laughed out of the class. because that was out of reach for us back then. and things are changing, but they are still being -- we have no chains on us visibly, but those invisible chains i feel are keeping us from succeeding. look at the schools. we are not being educated correctly. and then they want to blame the people. i do not know. all i can do is pray for my country, of which i served and
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served proudly. if i had to go back again, i would. i wish this country would get act and love one each other as we're supposed to. host: kenneth from pontiac michigan, this morning. armstrong williams' piedcce in today's "washington times." toward the end king's life had evolved. he had the vision to see beyond the social constraints of society. he did not believe that "wealth" was a four-letter word. the vision for american prosperity is linked to the fate
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. of the poorest americans they help fuel the greatest economic engine the world has ever known. let's go to steve from washington on a line for independents. you are on the "washington journal." caller: i think dana winnington, like king, is trying to wake the masses. people need to wake up and look up. this is really happening. like king, it is an uphill battle. global sky watch.com. host: we are talking about mlk's legacy. tony, who best embodies mlk's legacy today? caller: can you hear me?
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give me a little time, please. i do not think anybody at this time embodies martin luther king . president obama, he does what he can do. he has his own legacy. you should never put jesse jackson jupup there. here's what kills me about this whole thing. martin luther king preached nonviolence and walked nonviolence and acted nonviolence. there was violence against him. they say he was a radical and racist. they called them all kinds of names. now they want to give him all this praise.
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the majority of white people in this country do not like martin luther king. but now he was this and that and they want to praise him. there is a gentleman that called. he said blacks didn't have a liquor store. he suited up in 1967. this country is like it is and blacks and whites alike we are is because of gentlemen like that in this world. we are all -- comments and everything and jump off a mountain. thank you for taking my call. host: two more tweets.

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