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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 19, 2015 4:00pm-6:01pm EST

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e don't have to be dependent upon anybody else, where we use the talents that god has given don't allow ourselves to be manipulated by those who want to create division, because that's how they keep you under control. host: we're talking with dr. ben carson, the story of the cover of "the weekly standard." fred barnes writes most interesting longshot. how do like that title? guest: my whole life has been composed of long shots. people saying what couldn't be done and what hasn't been done. using the talent god has given you, faith and hard work, i do not believe those things. host: geri is up next.
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ontario, oregon, you are up next. caller: it has been refreshing to hear dr. carson's comments. i believe people need to be accountable for their own actions. as long as people worship obama and al sharpton as idols instead of jesus christ, and with the purpose was, everybody was created equal, we need to take a good strong look at dr. carson because he is not afraid to stand up to the truth. i really appreciate his comments. guest: courage is something that is severely lacking in our society. a lot of people believe the same things i believe, but they are afraid to say it because somebody will ostracize them or call them a name. this is the land of the free supposedly. supposedly, the home of the brave.
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i would just say to people, be willing to stand up for what you believe in. i remember in high school in detroit, there were a lot of people who believed in hard work and personal responsibility. but they would not say it because somebody would call them a name. that doesn't work for me. host: let's go to michelle birmingham, alabama, republican line. caller: good morning. dr. carson, i went to apologize for the democrat. i don't know how you can be so stupid not to know the democrats are the ones who started the kkk. but that is not the reason i'm calling. to compare and contrast you with president obama, the huge difference, the biggest difference between you is content of character. it doesn't matter what anyone says to you, you do what you believe is right and you will go so far, maybe even the presidency. i am kind of crossing my fingers. guest: thank you.
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caller: and you have my vote. guest: i appreciate that. it is the content of character. that is what he preached. so many people are superficial and the way they look at things. i was asked by an npr reporter doctor, why don't you talk about race very often? i said, because i'm a neurosurgeon. he thought that was a strange answer. i said, when i cut somebody's head open, i am actually working on the thing that makes them who they are. skin doesn't make them who they are, it is their brain. as some people are so superficial, they can only see the skin. host: we asked our viewers to write into our facebook page with questions for you for your appearance today. ines writes, do you see any hope in the current racial
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protests? guest: no, i don't think they represent what he was about, but i am happy that people are speaking out. as long as they do it in a legal and peaceful way, that would be representative of martin luther king. but what i hope that people don't allow themselves to be manipulated because if we are going to be taken seriously in the black community, we must be objective. if there is somebody who is engaged in a lot of criminal activity, a lot of violence, and something happens -- you know, to come out of say, well, this guy was really a wonderful heroic figure, it blunts any arguments we have down the road when something really does happen. so it is basically crying wolf. if we just say anybody who is black, no matter what they have done, no matter what their history is, if something happens to them, we're going to get outraged, that really
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delegitimize his us. -- delegitimizes us. yes, those lives are important but we need to be thinking about things that we couldn't do to prevent the situation from occurring in the first place. we need to be teaching of people values and how to react to authority and personal responsibility. we need to be teaching the young ladies that they are valuable, not to be allowing somebody to impregnate them and end their education and send their children into a spiral of poverty and that this go on generation after generation. until we can begin to deal with those things, we're not when a make any progress.
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host: one other question from facebook, bob writes, why do you want to defund and elimate social security and defund other programs? guest: that is a complete and total fabrication and myth that is a perpetrated to try to get people to hate me. that is absolutely incorrect. i don't want to do away with things that are necessary and a safety net. what i want to do is create opportunities for people to escape the situation. you don't have to be dependent on those things. my mother worked two or three jobs at a time because she didn't want to be on welfare. she occasionally had to accept assistance. for the most part she was successful staying off it, and she did not want us to be on it, either. but it was there when it was needed. i have no problem with that.
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in fact, i am glad that we have that kind of system. i want to see it expanded, but expanded a business, industry, wall street, churches, the private sector. i want them to get even more involved. i have been engaged with some programs around the country where people would adopt, for instance, young boys out of the inner city of single-parent homes who are moving in the wrong direction. and bring them to affairs, get to know their families, help them out financially. almost every single one of them graduates high school and goes on to college. that is what happens when we have personal relationships. it very seldom happens when you're just getting government handouts. i am looking for ways to bring people to the point were they are willing to invest in each other. and the reward for that investment is moving somebody
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from dependency to independence. that is what america should be about. host: we're talking with dr. ben carson, professor emeritus at john hopkins school of medicine. he directed pediatric surgery there for 29 years at john hopkins children's center author of half a dozen books. let's go to georgia, democrat line. caller: dr. carson, good morning. i am also from detroit. i remember back in the 1960's, i think i was about 13, when it were passing the civil rights law, hearing people say, buy them a ticket and send them back to africa. today, this country is full of people buying guns are just -- and they're just killing young black kids. have you been back to detroit recently? guest: yes, have. caller: have you supported and try to build up detroit like they're trying to do? what you really need to do
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doctor, buy that home in florida on the golf course. thank you. guest: i don't see any threat there. i don't know what he is talking about. host: mark, pennsylvania republican line. caller: yes, dr. carson, i saw you on fox and i often tell people that you should have been the first black president. you are very intelligent. you're analytic. you weigh things out and think before you speak. you know a lot. you embody what mlk wanted for the black community. i am a little nervous, but if you run for president, i will spread the word for people to vote for you. guest: thank you, i appreciate that. i find it amusing sometimes when
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there probably won't be another black president in our lifetime because of all of the things that have happened under the first one. but my answer to that is, isn't he half white? does that mean we aren't going to have another what president either? that is kind of a stupid argument. host: a column in the new york times, looking at campaign noting cash is piling up for ben carson with a two-party tilt noting people want him to run for president have already donated some $12 million to the cause. your thought on the amount of support out there? guest: there is plenty of support and plenty of money. i hear people saying, jeb bush is getting in, mitt romney is getting in. you better announce right away so you can get some of the money. i don't play those kinds of games. i just think it is silly. you do what is right and you do
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what makes sense and the timing will take care of itself. host: empire, alabama is next, sandra is on the line, republican line. caller: good morning. dr. carson, it is an honor to talk to. i just wanted to take i'm so thankful you are running -- i mean, i hope you are, and i hope the big republicans, wherever they are, trying to put in mr. christie and mr. bush and the other one, i can't even think of his name, that they will stop and think about the smaller people want, and you would be an honor to vote for. you are very honest and brilliant. thank you very much. guest: i appreciate that. if i do run, i think a lot of people will become clear to people when we get to the debates and they get to actually hear real solutions and real logic. i don't really care how many
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people are running, because i believe if we have an open-type primary, people will see what is going on. host: can you give sandra a sense of when she might a get a decision from you? guest: i will have made a decision by may 1. host: nancy, san antonio, texas, independent line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i think the man sitting next to you [indiscernible] i think it is so sad that for so long martin luther king has been [indiscernible] not in the spirit of people. until the black people can see the people like dr. carson are really the ones who have their back [indiscernible] host: i don't know if you were
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able to hear. guest: i got the gist. she is correct. it is it is very interesting if you look at the history of black america, you go back to the time of slavery, and in some states there were actually more slaves than there were slave owners. they were very concerned about the power of the blacks and the ability to perhaps even to overthrow them. so they began to tell the slaves that worked in the house of they were the ones that worked better in the yard and the ones in the yard were better than the ones in the field. they were always creating rumors to make sure that they never amalgamated their power. after slavery ended, they were saying, the light skin is better than the dark skin. on and on it goes. and today, it is, well, they don't believe this than they are against you and their hateful.
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because the last thing the people who want to control you want is for you to be able to amalgamate your resources, your intellect, your people, and to be able to become independent thinkers. they don't want that. think about it. host: we have about 15 minutes left with dr. carson. we will get to as many of your calls as we can. springfield garden, new york independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. dr. carson, you seem confused to me politically on the national stage. as a certified brain surgeon you're constantly boasting about your achievement as to how you have risen from the slum to a mansion in florida. that is great for you. however, you seem to purposefully negate the fact racism exists and that not all will have equal opportunity
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based on how they look. your refusal to address the real issue, what is your agenda as -- on the national stage? what is it you're trying to do? because it seems to me that there are a few people on fox news who are promoting you as the savior of another black person who thinks differently than the average black person. don't you think that is racism? guest: first of all, i don't think i ever said there was no racism. in fact, what i said is there have been problems yesterday today, and tomorrow, and it will be as long as people are involved. i think we need to focus on the right kinds of things. a lot of our young black men get into trouble. we have more involved in the
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penal system than we do in college and graduate school. these are not good things. homicide being the number one cause of mortality for young black males in big cities. we need to be thinking about a different way of approaching things. maybe if we taught those young black men that they have a very rich and strong history in this country, you can give him a history lesson he'll never forget. walk down the street, before you do so, look at your shoes. a black man revolutionized the shoe industry. you step out of that clean street, a black man, charles brooks created the street sweeper. a young black man invented the refrigerated truck.
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frederick jones invented the system for trucks and later for trains. and the gas mask that saved lives after the war. a black woman invented the underwater cannon and made it possible to launch from submarines. you can use the opportunity to talk about a black woman who invented cosmetic products for women of dark complexion and the first woman of any nationality in america to become a millionaire. walk past a hospital and talk about the contributions to blood banking and understand the function of blood plasma. the first successful open heart surgeon in the world had a mortality rate of less than 1.5%. thomas edison wasn't black, but
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his right-hand man, louis latimer was, came up with the filament that made the lightbulb work for more than two or three days. invented the electric lamp. diagrammed the telephone for alexander graham bell. walk past the railroad tracks, andrew beard, he created automatic railroad spurred on the industrial revolution. the automatic lubrication system for locomotives. invented by mccoy, a black man. he had so many inventions, some would say, is that a mccoy? is that the real mccoy? that is where the term comes from. we need to make sure our young people understand this. they need to understand they have a heritage here of invention, innovation and hard work. let's bring the right focus to them and stop all the animosity. host: talking about firsts. dr. benjamin carson performed the first separation of siamese twins joined at the back of the head in 1987.
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james, florida, democrat line. good morning. caller: good morning, dr. carson. i am getting back to the point where you brought up the fact, i think you said lincoln and martin luther king and others for republicans back in the day, which is true. my family was republicans, and i am from mississippi, but they changed as the years went by. you know that republicans now, it is not -- you seem like republicans -- they are not out to help people. the way you're sitting there talking, it is like people want a handout. people don't want a handout. black people don't want to handout. i'm quite sure it is the white people that are also being helped. i'm just surprised that you're sitting there saying things like that. i mean, i don't understand that.
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you need to get your publicity or whatever here on c-span this morning, and i understand you have to say the right things so you can at least have a chance at election, but i think if you're going to be honest, you should be honest all the way. i noticed that everybody is calling and talking about president obama. president obama has been in office for six years and he is trying his best to do what is right to help people, and he has been blocked. i can't understand why you think the same thing is not going to happen to you. host: dr. carson? guest: i will simply say, she obviously hasn't heard a word i said. go back and replay the tape and listen to what i said. you'll see it is just the opposite of what you have heard.
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host: on our twitter page, one viewer writes, please write about your view of amnesty and open borders. guest: well, i think we have some excellent laws already on the books to do with immigration policy. we need to enforce them. we are a land of immigrants. we have a mechanism whereby people can become legal citizens of the united states. i shortly support that. when it comes to illegal immigration, i think it is dangerous and we need to stop it. and the way you stop it is you turn off the spigot. the things that are drawing people in here, turn those things off. and you secure the borders. as far as the people who are going to say a large part of our based on workers who perhaps are here illegally, i understand and i agree, and i don't think they should be working in the shadows. i think we probably should look to the north of us that has a very good guestworker program. they come in, pay taxes, are
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registered. they go back home. i think that could work in a situation. if they want to become american citizens, they can get online just like anybody else. host: charles, republican line. you're on with dr. carson. caller: it is a pleasure to speak with you. i had a couple of points. one, was when over seven out of 10 african-american babies are born to single-parent households in america and it is growing every day, how in the world can we turn it around? it has gotten worse under president obama. it seems in the national media whenever a black man becomes very prominent and successful, he wants to marry a white woman. it looks like there is an all-out assault on black women in this country. why do young black men, why -- is it unpopular to marry a young black woman? it just looks like there's an
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assault on black women in this country. guest: well, i know a lot of very successful black men who are married to black women including myself. i'm not sure that is true. you see a lot in hollywood and athletics, but i don't see it as much in the real world. it really doesn't matter. people are people. people tend to associate with people that they are around. relationships developed with people who they are around. so that, i don't see, as a relevant issue, to be quite honest with you. the first part of the question i don't remember. host: kevin has a question in palm springs, california am -- our line for independents. caller: as a fan of brian lamb i want to ask a brian lamb-style question. dr. carson, we never hear about your personal life, your family,
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your kids and all of that. the obamas are proud and have always been out front with their family. you must commend him for his fine family style, i would imagine. as your style, i notice you are trying to parent america. i'm interested to know about your parenting style. i would also like to know about your religion. you're a seventh-day adventist. will you be taking saturdays off as president of the united states? that is really a slight to god for you to be working on a saturday, so i would like an honest answer on that. guest: ok, you will do what needs to be done on any day of the week. as a surgeon, there were many instances where somebody had a life-threatening situation on saturday and i would deal with it. so you do what needs to be done. but you always give honor to god. as far as my family is concerned, i have three sons.
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my oldest son, murray, was born in australia. i spent a year over there so he has dual citizenship. he is an engineer. all three are married. they all got married in 2011. my middle son, bj, is an entrepreneur, owns several companies. very savvy financial individual. my youngest son, royce, is a cpa. nobody became a doctor although, one of them is married to a doctor. and they're all doing very well. host: what was your parenting philosophy when raising them? guest: they did not have televisions in their room. when we did watch television when they were young, we watched it together. i was very busy as a neurosurgeon and i traveled a lot.
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i was made it a requirement that my family go with me. so they had frequent flyer cards for every airline and travel all over the world, met all kinds of people. i always took them, my wife, and my mother -- the six of us, the musketeers, and it was wonderful. my mother lived with us for a large part of the kids growing up period, which was wonderful because you do tremendous influence on them. host: richard, our line for republicans. caller: dr. carson, let me preface everything by saying i hope that you win the presidency. i will vote for you. i've heard you articulate over a period of time and my mother has a lot of your books and is very high on you as well, with the common sense approach you have and the knowledge and background
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that you have, i believe all it is gonna take for you to catch on is for people have a little bit more exposure to you. why i'm calling today is i have a dreaded fear of what the next presidential election is going to bring forth. i believe when eric holder steps down from the attorney general's position, it was to stir and agitate the racial relations in this country. ferguson proved that to be correct, because he went in there and said, well, there must be something there we have to investigate this and investigate that. let me take what i think the endgame is here. i believe what they're looking for when they have al sharpton and the other poverty pimp jesse jackson and some of these other people, all that does is create racial strife. but they want racial strife and i will try you why.
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we have a republican congress and senate. and what i think there endgame is this -- i think they're ultimately going to have these protests every chance they get to turn race relations around and ultimately what they're going to ask for is reparations. host: dr. carson? guest: you could have some validity in those points of view. i think what the republican party needs to do is to really start reaching out to the black community, to the hispanic community, to all communities who in the past they have not perhaps reached out to. and to really push the ideal of developmental potential and investing in people. in 2006, mohammed younis won the nobel prize for his micro-lending theory. lifted millions of people out of poverty in bangladesh in that region of the world. 97% of those loans have been paid back. there are a lot of things we can do.
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we need to invest the time and effort. but if we invest in all the people and the tide rises, it lifts the boat for everyone. there are things we can do for the economy. the fact that it is even still alive with all the things that are going on tells you is a powerful and if we create the right kind of environment, it will explode and there will be excellent jobs available. and only at that point shall we talk about entitlement reform. host: richard brings up your book. i want to ask about "america the beautiful." ben carson issues an apologfyy for plagiarism in that book. "buzzfeed" revealing some
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sections of that book were lifted from different sources, including a website titled socialismsucks.net. what happened? guest: this was largely a historical book. we decided a lot of historical >> i think a lot of people do have great ideas. you said animosity and i think you are on fox news a lot -- i just can't believe it. i think if you would just go around -- you have to mingle too. he's just like way far right.
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i just can't get with way far right. i think this country is a middle country. i have a story just like you have one. i've been up, i've been down. i think it is about love. we all talk about christian and this and that but i don't think we know the real true meaning of jesus -- love. host: dr. carson. guest: i say look at our broadcast tonight. host: where is it taking place? guest: one of the television studios done -- wjla. tomorrow, i will be with jake tapper on cnn after the president's speech to get my reaction to it. i have been on a number of
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different venues and programs. host: do you want to talk about your relationship with fox news? guest: i was at fox news. until a few months ago when we mutually decided that since there was a possibility i might be running for office, it probably will be good for me to sever that time. do i still appear? of course, but i appear on other stations to. when you are a contributor, you usually have to have an exclusivity clause and i don't have that. host: charlie is in trenton florida. good morning. caller: good morning. you touched on this a little earlier, but i was reading an article yesterday that over 50% of this goal children now are living in poverty.
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i know you say that everybody is going to be having all these great inventions and making millions of dollars but how are they going to do that when they cannot get the proper nutrition to learn what they need to be learning when they are young? one other thing -- you mentioned you were going to be announcing whether you are going to run for president or not by may 1. you better be careful because there are a lot of right-wing cooks who might think there are undertones. guest: i don't know what program you were listening to. i don't think i said anything about anybody becoming a millionaire. i'm much or which program that was. host: do you want to talk about school reforms? guest: education is the great divide in our country. it does not really matter what your background is, what your ethnicity is.
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if you get a good education, you can get your own ticket. you think back to even of the days of slavery -- it was illegal for them to read. even they knew an educated man was a free man. we have to start concentrating on that. you look at the inner cities where some of the charter schools have so much greater graduation rates than the public schools. instead of officials trying to thwart the charter schools let's figure out how to get more people into them and into the private schools and the ones that are successful because that has a tremendous effect on what happens to them the rest of the way. host: we are talking to dr. benjamin carson. he was here to take your questions, but we also want to note the secretary of homeland security is speaking at the martin luther king jr. memorial this morning in washington
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d.c. here is just a minute or two of the secretary's remarks. >> the movement to make dr. kings birthday a holiday gained momentum in atlanta in the 1970's. mrs. king made it her mission to see the nation honor her husband every year on his birthday. mrs. king and her son martin, spelman students and other college students as the foot soldiers in that effort. on november 2, 1983, president reagan with mrs. king at his side signed a bill that made martin luther king birthday a national holiday effective for the first time on the third monday in january 1986. today come in the name martin luther king is one of the most recognizable in america. almost every major city in america has the street name for him. almost every public school in
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america has his picture in a classroom. however, in the year 2015, dr. king has been dead longer than he has been alive. most americans alive today were born after april 4, 1968. for some of us, dr. king is still a contemporary figure. for most of us, king is a figure consigned to history like the other men for which we have built monuments in this space. host: you can go to our website if you want to continue to watch jeh johnson speaking at the martin luther king jr. memorial this morning. dr. carson, you were 13 when the selma marches were taking place in 1965. almost 14 when the voting rights act was passed. what are your memories of dr. king? guest: very vivid. i remember as a youngster
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looking at the television, looking at the fire hoses. looking at dr. king and the marching. i was very into politics even at as -- even as a youngster. y throughout my life. and the day he was killed, it was very traumatic. the next day at our school, there were horrible riots. i found myself embroiled in the sense that i had to keep to the biology laboratory and i hid some of the students and their -- in there who are targets of some of the animosity. host: white students and black students? guest: yes, because it was a black school and they were just out to get anybody who was white. as i mentioned before, my mother
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taught me to look beyond the color of a person's skin. that is always going to be the way i do things, but i am very concerned about everybody in our society, particularly, the downtrodden in our society. we talk about the 47% that romney talked about. i say, we need to make a concerted effort to make sure they have a way to get out of that situation. and if we concentrate on it, we can do it. this is america. this is a can-do society. host: dr. ben carson, we appreciate you being here this morning. >> c-span's cameras have an here at the martin luther king memorial on this holiday where the statue of dr. king stands between the lincoln and jespersen memorial -- jefferson
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memorial. it includes the stone of hope cut from the mountain of despair behind it. one of the images from i have a dream speech delivered on the steps of the lincoln memorial in august 1963 and then along the memorial in the background, the inscription wall which has 14 quotes from dr. king. it wasn't until the year 2000 that the federal martin luther king jr. day on the third monday of january was officially observed in all 50 states. earlier today, we spoke with a member of congress about the state of civil rights today -- a history of the marches in selma, alabama and the relationship between lyndon johnson and martin luther king jr.
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we are showing our viewers live images from the national monument, the national martin luther king junior memorial there. to wrap up our show on martin luther king junior day we will head down to dallas, texas where we are joined eddie bernice johnson. dr. king was in selma, alabama for what would be known as the beginning of the selma marches. in what place does selma occupy its place in the civil rights movement? guest: i think it was really important because it was some thing specific for a specific reason that we can relate to that reminds those of us who were living and remember that so well. we still have a lot to do. we have overcome a great deal of an obstacle because of that march.
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i'm able to vote. i'm able to serve in congress. there were people before me. i served with one of the people that was in that march. the honorable john lewis. there was a young man who is determined to be help during that time. i'm very proud to serve with him. host: that march is captured in a movie in theaters now. "selma." there are some questions surrounding the relationships between lyndon johnson and mlk. what was their relationship like around the time of selma? lbj was coming from your home state of texas. guest: i have great respect for lbj, just as i've respect for martin luther king. they could not have been done without both of them working together. both of them wanted to do it. i'm in congress now with the environment is well-known, that it takes both sides working
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together to get something done. these two people worked hand in hand. i do remember that lyndon johnson did not want the voting rights act and the civil rights act in the same bill. i'm very pleased about that because just knowing what i experience every day, if one goes down, then both will go down at the same time. one provided the roots for the other one. civil rights, then voting rights. both of those bills in both of those amendments cause me to be able to serve in congress for 12 terms. host: one of those who is talking about the history's former lbj advisor joe callis on a. we talked about this issue of the movie "selma" with clients lose same -- clarence who is a professor at american
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university. he said that his criticism of the movie overstated lbj's role in the summa marches. here is a bit of what professor had to say. ♪ [video clip] christ there was one implication that it was johnson's idea. that is not going the historical record. in fact, it was long before that conversation with johnson. in selma itself, people were organizing and mobilizing. as mr. callas otto wrote in the washington post, he argued that there was a smooth relationship between king and lbj are also complex. if you read vincent harding's and the rivers in the town hall franklin's and the freedom of slavery -- if you look at these
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historic records and the work of people who were in no way historians, they depend -- to pick the tensions between the civil rights movement and johnson from 1963 when johnson became president until 1968. now, johnson stands out relative to who came before him including president kennedy. and who came after him immediately with president nixon and that he really did have a commitment in pushing through the voting's right act. it was not tension free. to a great degree, he and civil rights leaders pushed and pushed and pushed and forced johnson to make some of those that -- decisions. he was not completely on board as implied by his remarks. host: we are talking this morning with congresswoman eddie burning -- eddie bernice johnson. you can call in with your questions and comments for her.
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we'll put the numbers on the screen for you. what did you think about dr. lou saints statements from that interview? guest: i was not present, but i can say this. working on issues, i was chair of the congressional black caucus. we had a great organization of the voting is right -- voting rights act. i know the tensions that occurred on both sides. these are difficult achievements. when one side feels the other side is pushing one way or the other, there will be tension. but, if both sides were not committed to getting to a goal it would not have happened. i very proud of the role that martin luther king played and i'm very proud of the role that president johnson played. beyond that, president johnson really did so much more. i've heard historians over the years say that he was the most
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outstanding president for minorities since lincoln. lincoln freed slaves, but think of all the things that had to come after the end of slavery. we were still working for the end of slavery in a sense. but the house and the education and the food for children and medicare and medicaid. these were the issues that president johnson worked on and it happened on his card. he had to be committed. he stood in front of congress and said we shall overcome. no person wants to be pushed in the line of fire without some kind of defense. he knew that he was sacrificing and sacrificing his political careers. many of the people on the senate in the house that he worked with. i will never forget that a senator from texas was one of the southern senators that stood strong.
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he was out of the same state as president johnson. these were difficult times in their difficult today. you cannot imagine how difficult it was 60 years ago. host: we are talking about the 50th anniversary of the selma marches in the 50th anniversary of the signing of the voting rights act. of course, the movie "selma" is out now. here is an article of cast members of the movie walking the protest route to honor king. we will take your questions and comments. we will start with wesley on our line for democrats. good morning. caller: how are you doing? i would like to welcome him thank representative johnson for being on the program this morning. i'm a former resident of palestine, texas.
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i'm sure you are familiar with it. i would also like to adjust the issue -- at the time of civil rights in the voting right act was passed, i was in the marine corps. i was a 20 year veteran of the marine corps. i can definitely recall that in 1964, it was the goldwater movement. it pushed a lot of black republicans out of the republican party and into the democratic party. i think ben carson made the statement that republicans were in charge of making civil rights and issued. they were definitely not so. i would like to thank you and i like your comments on those. once again, thanks for being on the program. host: we had dr. ben carson on
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are so earlier this morning talking about some of these issues. your response to the caller? guest: i appreciate the call and i know what palestine, texas means and i know some of that history. i glad a texan did call because they do know some of the history of president johnson and oppression that he suffered. and the rough treatment that he received because of the stance that he took for the rights of minorities. host: we will give you another texan. we are going to liberty, texas. cw is waiting on a line for republicans. good morning. caller: representative, my question is this -- if mlk was alive today, he would not be in favor of planned parenthood who has more black best under their belt than anyone. i do not think he would support our hikes moral and dogma, the leader in the founder of the kkk
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and the democratic party. he has a statue in d.c. known as the devil city where you represent. could you please explain why there are so many racist in the democratic party? i am voting for ben carson. i plan on supporting him to the fullest. it is just sad to see what it has turned into. host: congresswoman, your thoughts on what martin luther king jr. with think about our system today and the democratic party today? guest: i think martin luther king would continue to respect the rights of all. i respect the opinion of the caller. it is certainly not mine. host: we will stay in texas. houston, texas. reginald calling in on a line. good morning. caller: dr. king said that america was the biggest purveyor of violence in the world. that sticks to my core that he feel that we do terrorist acts and i believe that we do and we
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would definitely disagree with that in 1967. there's a book out now called "the death of a cane" in which dr. king was ostracized by johnson, black churches, the naacp, and urban leaders when he stood up and said that america was in favor of violence. he said also that these dollars needed to come back and hold our people accountable in america. john lewis said he would never vote for another house appropriations bill of military spending. we still voted for that in the congressional black caucus and we still say that we love dr. king, but do you think that america is the biggest purveyor of violence and why he would not be accepted in the white house? i believe that obama is not in the same core with martin luther king and he should give that nobel peace prize back because he has blood on his hands and dr. p king was about peace
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and nonviolence. host: he was bringing up travis miley. we interviewed chat -- tavis smiley. congresswoman, your questions on how you think dr. king would view american for policy today. guest: one of the great things about this country and its democracy is the freedom of thought. the fact that all of us do not have to agree. i cannot second-guess all the things that happened 50 years ago. what i can say is that there been great results for all the things that did happen that brought us to the point of having the voting's rights act and having the civil rights act. i have a worldwide program including women, to try and build the culture around the world of peace.
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i think most americans want peace around the world. certainly, martin luther king did. there are many times in this country where we do enter war whether we agree or not. it happens by majority. we will always have differences of opinion. the great thing about this country is that the constitution allows that. host: how will you be commemorating martin luther king jr. day? guest: i started here this morning. there was a parade. i will be joining my staff for a project. i will travel back to washington later. host: what will that service project the? guest: we will be doing a lot of work with the homeless shelter. we do work with the children, reading and going to the library . continuing to express the importance of knowing our history so that we will not have
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to repeat it every year, over and over again. just be reminded that we can stay focused on continuing to fight for the goals that dr. king had in mind. host: we have a caller on our line for democrats. net, good morning. caller: thank you so much, representative johnson. i just want to say that it is great to have you want today. my question for you is how can we find a way for african-american communities to work more together to bring unity to our families and help with structure and jobs, to help find a way where we can make our family life better, where african-american men can be with more african-american women? i think that is really lacking and that is why we're having so many issues because
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african-american people are not together. we are so far apart. it is likely we do not like each other. what can we do to make changes? because that is what is important. we have a lot of comments coming through c-span that are racist comments and the hate and stuff. we need to build black people up . what do we do is black people to build one another? thank you. host: congresswoman? guest: it starts with every individual. we all have that responsibility. we can go to black churches and go to our city organizations. we can go to our neighborhoods by communicating with each other. it is not a single person's responsibility. it is all of our responsibility. you know, if you have been hated so long, you have to stop and think about that you do not have to hate yourself.
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you do not have to be what you have been called on you have been thought about. you can be a great person in spite of it. host: we are talking with 12 term congresswoman eddie bernice johnson. she is here with us for about the next 20 minutes or so taking your calls and comments on this martin luther king jr. day. denver, colorado. sam, good morning. caller: i would like to say on this day that we should all rested tomorrow and speeds beyond vietnam. it is the most relevant of any of his speeches and he definitely would not support of obama's foreign policies especially with the legal action. moving on, lyndon johnson is not someone who should be celebrated in the black community. congresswoman, you have your people voting democratic for the
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next 100 years. he was not a good person. host: do you want to talk about lyndon johnson? you know the family, correct? guest: pardon me? host: you know the johnson family? guest: i know the johnson family. i know the president and his daughters and many of the staff that work with president johnson. i was very impressed with president johnson. the president is perfect. i know there's a lot of criticism around vietnam. i can say this. the things that he did for the rights of all people in this country far in my judgment exceed any other mistake that he might've inherited, or any way he might've handled it. you know, i have been in a leadership position far from the president, but i have been chair of the congressional black caucus and i know the toils of leadership. i know the various intricate
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type of relationships that you have to have in the field that you are going in the right direction. it is very easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize. that is the easiest thing i know. but to be involved and to be on the same and be a part of the solution is much more responsible response -- much more spots ability and much more difficult, but it is worth it. host: when what you chair of the congressional black caucus? guest: in 2001 and 2002 under president bush. host: what are your expectations of the new chairman? guest: i think congressman butterfield has a great background. all this in the caucus our leaders. we know from which we have come. we know what our goals are. we discuss with each other. we are like a family because we have something in common.
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we care about all peoples of the world, and most especially those who have the least in this country. some people criticize us for having a congressional black caucus. it is not just for blacks. it is for the rights for all. we do not condone everything that black people do. we try to set examples. we try to look at legislation. we china to make sure that our rights are respected and that is whether or not is the democratic party of the republican party. we have no permanent friends and we have no permanent enemies. we had permanent principles. host: georgia's next. al's on a line for independents . caller: good morning. i think some people are not aware that the town of the u.s. government and the death of
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martin luther king. he was a lawyer. he was an investigator. the army and the fbi were part of it. i think that this government of ours has some serious problems. people need to wake up in a knowledge the fact that d.c. is not a clean place. the it has issues that need to be addressed. thank you. host: on the death of martin luther king and some of the trust issues that the caller brings up? guest: i've heard that. we hear a lot of things. whatever that was, we cannot change the history. i can say this. i've traveled the world. i've heard governments all over the world. i will take this one above any other government in the world.
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with all the problems that we have, it is still the best in the world. i truly believe that for the most part, we try hard to do things the right way. with all the things that are going on now, there are good people in both parties that are trying hard to solve some of the problems. i'm troubled as anyone else's about the writing of the history and what made that history. but i am also very concerned about how we deal with it today and how we provide for the future. host: we will head back to texas. abilene, texas. george is on a line for democrats. good morning. you on that the congresswoman. caller: miss johnson, i'm calling about the civil rights act. i note dissemination is against the law. i'm a victim of it. when i called the doc or the
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civil rights division, most of time i do not even get a phone call back. they will hang up. i cannot get no form of government to help me. this has been going on for 11 years. i have information given to them. they have paperwork around. then, they will tell me my time is up. host: what are you specifically looking for? what are you asking for when you're try to connect with these government agencies that you are talking about? caller: for information. i go to a job and i'm picked on. i'm the only black there. i'm surrounded by whites there. they call me names. my superiors do not even give me a chance to tell my side. i knows that against the law
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because the state of texas has the right to work. to me, it is the right to discriminate because these things are happening and you cannot get an attorney. you cannot get nobody to help you. host: any suggestions for the caller? guest: perhaps he can contact his local chapter of the naacp. i do not know about the intricacies of the case. but i do think that if there are some legitimate concerns, there must be some way to adjust them. host: let us go to tracing in california. cheryl, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. senator johnson, it is a pleasure to speak with you this morning. i just want to make the comment -- you know, i was a little girl when the civil rights movement was going on. i remember my parents would go to louisiana to visit my
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grandparents. i remember experiencing racism in its ugliest form when we as little kids were stopped at a gas station. we needed to use the bathroom. we went running because we had to use the bathroom and my father was told that we cannot use the bathroom because of segregation. i remember my father quickly gathering us up and snatching the gas tank -- the gas hose out and we go to some people that we didn't know. we as little kids, thought they were our cousins or something. we were just going there to use the bathroom because that is what we did back in those days. you helped one another because of segregation. what i want to say about martin luther king -- i think the thing that people miss is that he brought this country to its
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knees because he confronted good and evil with the word of god. the thing is -- he penetrated mankind's heart because he gave mankind a glance of themselves through what the word of god says. i think that is what we are missing in today's society. we talk about one another. we go to church every sunday. but we have not grasped the foundation of good and evil. there are good people in every nationality. there is also evil that prevails. if we can get to a point that we can understand that, i feel that we can fight and change. we would fight against evil and not each other. host: thank you for sharing your story.
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congresswoman, any thoughts on those comments? guest: i think that people have a right in this country to think what they want to think and to express themselves. their responsibility is to respect others and respect mankind. i think that if we can follow that we've would be a better people. -- we would be a better people. we are all entitled to an opinion. that opinion is not to injure others. it is difficult for me to demand that someone else be a good person -- whatever a good person is. we all try. one of the things that we can focus on and what has been good and what leadership brings was the martin luther king era and martin luther king himself. he was a special personality. he was chosen to be the leader of the time.
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we still need that type of leadership. it is probably not going to come in one person, but in a number of persons. because now we are aware and more demanding of better relations than what all of us were in those times. because it was routine to be abused if you and a math -- an african-american in this country. we do not want this cannot happen. we want the media involved. it looks like we have not made strides, but we have. we will continue to make the strides. we all that to dr. king. -- we all that to dr. king. host: we'll have a few minutes left with eddie bernice johnson on mlk day. she is taking your calls from dallas, texas is morning. jim, good morning. caller: good morning. several quick corrections.
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we are not a democracy. we are a constitutional republic. also, we have been talking about the voting rights. i've never been able to get an answer -- wide we have ballots in so many different foreign languages when even harry reid said english as the official language of our country? also we are told so many different lies like saying our immigration system is broken. it is not broken. we are just not securing the border. we're not deporting more people than we should be supporting. host: congresswoman, several topics there to choose from if you want to answer. guest: well, he has an opinion and i appreciate him expressing it. he expressed a number of things that i disagree. what he talked about was an expression of democracy. you have a number of languages?
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that is a democracy to make sure everyone can participate. when you have questions about the immigration law, that is an opinion. some of it might be fact. without a democracy, we would not be able to discuss it. i think that we will continue to do that until we reach a point where we have a greater understanding -- a greater acceptance. one thing i do not want him to forget is that this nation is a nation of nations. everyone here came since columbus is an immigrant. we are the best country in the world because we are made up of parts of every bit. we are working together, trying to make a more perfect union. host: let head up to montana. irises on our line for democrats. caller: hi, it is michigan. i want to know why the martin luther king statue was never
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completed. it would mean a lot more if he was there in his full body. just like every other statue of a human being. i believe he was produced in china, not finished, and then brought here. it is like he did not come out of a mountain -- he is a human being. why do you not put a full statue out there? it could be completed by a number of sculptors here in the united states and it would seem to fit in more with the environment that he is standing in. host: we are showing our viewers some live images from the national martin luther king jr. memorial. your thoughts on that memorial? i assume you have been down there. guest: i have such great respect for the out for a fire out for
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fraternity who took the lead to make sure that we have a statute of martin luther king. we will always have opinions. they will always vary. that is the sign of a great democracy. i just imagine why anyone would want to give a whole lot of money to make a change -- that would be welcome. a lot of people asked why do we have martin luther king junior standing by himself? he was always standing in a crowd. when the world can you have some the opinions expressed and no one shooting them down? i think that is a great sign of democracy. i appreciate that opinion. i'm not in charge of the statue. i was not from the beginning. i am proud of the statue is there. host: rubin is on a line for democrats. good morning. caller: my comments of the senator -- in speaking about martin luther king and all the
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recent things i've taken place with violence against african americans, which i to say black lives matter, but what are u.s. senators and our elected officials actually doing to try to curb this violence in our community? if black lives truly, truly matter -- and i am looking at you. why do we not do more to educate our people and what we need to do to become more successful or and violence as a whole within our committee. -- community? i think it is a disgrace to dr. came to have some officials to stand up and do nothing. this promise has been a debate for the last 10 years. what are you going to do about it? host: i want to get a change of title. this is congresswoman. guest: i'm not a senator.
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i've is state senator. i'm in the u.s. congress in the house of representatives. i say that it is so is he -- so easy to sit it home and demand someone to do something. i do not know his single-member of the congressional black caucus and the level of which i served that has not been involved. working with the justice department. working with the local police departments. encouraging people to vote. the answer we think even in ferguson, is to make sure the people there who live in that city as the majority of minorities -- they don't vote. we cannot solve that for them. it is up to themselves to get representation. whoever sits at home and expect some one else to do everything is the one that is wrong.
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it is everybody's responsibility and you cannot expect 43 people in the u.s. congress to do with millions of people in this country and get it all right. it takes all of us working together. especially those who have all these opinions and are doing nothing about them. host: on the issue of police relations, you had a panel recently on police-community relations in the dallas-fort worth area. how are the relations between the community and the dallas-fort worth police department, especially in light of a 2012 incident that sparked lots of protest on their? guest: my relationship with the police department goes back 40 years. one of the first things that i did back in 1972 west savitt
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interim study on police relationships in dallas. i've maintained the relationship. we do not have a perfect police department. no one does. but we do have one that has shown sensitivity. there are a number of areas that need to be a just. we are tempted to do that. i can tell you that i would not want to live in a city without protection of police officers in the police department. this is not a military. this is a peace officer that we are speaking about. they are human beings. just as those of us who expect them to protect us. we're not always going to see i do i -- i to live. i do not what it is like to be on the firing line every day in the united states. i do expect as a citizen to be protected by them. their incidences where there are many times we cannot explain. those are the ones that we are
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trying to see if we can prevent. i believe that the police department -- i think i can speak for the dallas police department -- i think they are just as interested as the citizens and trying to find ways to prevent the kind of incidents that cause us to be so upset. there are two sides to every story. host: we have one more texan for you. pat, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. my question piggyback somewhat she just said. having grown up in memphis tennessee, a lot of my family members were a part of the movement of dr. king. i was born in 1970. i was not really involved. i was still a child. i didn't have all the
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ramifications, but i understand. i understand 45 years later whether it was lyndon johnson or dr. king, everybody had a piece of the puzzle. i'm at the point now where i have white friends, black friends, all nationalities of friends, all age groups coming to be a part of the solution. my question is, what you suggest that i do? what can i do as a citizen, a local citizens? i'm looking just for an opportunity. i'm going down to south dallas later this morning. i just want to know what i can do to get involved. i'm willing to leave my number for someone to call me and tell me about things that are going on because i believe that we do need the police. it is absolutely absurd for anybody to think that we do not. there is a cyber i come from in
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urban neighborhoods where the police were extremely prejudice. that is not all the issues. let us bring the issues. guest: well, what can you do? you can be in touch with the church if there are activities going there. there are many civic organizations, fraternal organizations. their crimewatch organizations. their opportunities to run for the city council and trust the city council people to influence the person that you vote for representing your views. there are city commissions. there are county commissions. there are all kinds of activities in which you can be involved with. if you need more information on that, contact your local naacp chapter. contact your councilperson. contact your county commissioners or county judge or state representatives or state
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senators or whoever your congressperson is. there are many, many activities for all citizens that they can be involved with. host: congresswoman >> tomorrow, i preview of the president's state of the union address. two writers will discuss. a look at president obama's middle-class tax-cut plan. washington journal live on c-span every morning at 7 a.m. eastern. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. >> by our hardships, our union is strong. we do not give up.
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we do not quit. it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward and the state of our union is strong. the state of our union is getting stronger. we have come too far to turn back now. we have cleared the way. we can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is strong. it is you, our citizens, who the state of our union strong. [applause] >> tonight, a discussion about race in america from earlier this month in cleveland where
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police killed a 12-year-old african-american who had a toy gun. here is some of that conversation. >> what i would say is we need to spend more time walking in each other's shoes. basheer mentioned the issue about schools. before i started doing the work i do now, i used to work in schools. i often foudnd it fascinating that we were able to find money for metal detectors but not toilet paper for the bathroom. [applause] so again, it gets to the issue of priorities and how we messa get to young people about the value of their work. when you don't allow young people to have access to toilet paper or soap and cannot figure a way out to do that, you are telling them you are not worthy. you don't deserve it. when we treat people like less than human from the time they
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are children, condition them to walk through metal detectors before they get their education we are conditioning young people for present. by the time they get there, they have lost ownership of their mind and their body. >> you can watch the entire discussion tonight on c-span at 8:00 eastern time. al sharpton's group, national action network, held its annual breakfast this morning honoring martin luther king jr.. julian castro and sylvia burwell spoke about the obama administration's effort to reduce homelessness and health care disparities. the talk was about an hour and 50 minutes. >> good morning, washington, d.c.! happy king day! oh, you can do better than that. happy king day! happy king day! [cheers and applause]
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all right, first giving honor to god who is the head of my life to reverend sharpton, the head of this merry band, thank you so much, reverend sharpton. i want to thank all of you for coming. my name is nate miles. i'll be your emcee for the morning. i say that happy king day and i mean it very seriously because there used to be a time when we used to have to sneak and take the day off from work. joe, when we couldn't tell them that we really, when everybody else went to work except us and we secretly protested and had our own king day, but thanks to coretta king and all of the rest of the king family, reverend sharpton, jackson, and all of the other civil leaders around the country, we have a day that we can legitimately say happy king day! >> happy king day! >> that's a lot better.
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as we come today, we have a great program that has been put together for you. please, as you come on in, we want to make sure that you know what we realize what a crossroads the united states our country right now, we are seeing protests in the streets. we're seeing issues that we thought long ago solved still bubbling up to the top. we see relationships that we thought were repaired are still fractured. it turns out we have work to do. america will come together as it always has and it will handle this. we are a better people and we are a better nation than what we have seen in the past few months and over the last year or so. i'll tell you one thing, i believe in my heart that with people like you, people like reverend sharpton who helps to continue bring us together we're going to make this thing work. when you figure that over 50% of our kids now in our public schools are getting free and
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reduced lunch, what it says is that poverty is on the rise. dr. king spoke of a benevolent community, a beloved community and the question today we will ask at this breakfast and reverend sharpton will give us all a charge to is what are we doing to bring about that beloved community. that is a community that we know can and should happen in this nation because we have too many kids who are deferring their dreams and as langston hughes said, what happens to a dream deferred, does it dry up like a raisin in the sun, fester like a sore and then run, at the end or maybe it just sags like a heavy load or does it explode? we don't need any explosions in this country. what we need are people who are right-minded and thinking and sit down and answer the question, we can't tell our children one or two things anymore and expect them to believe it. because of social media and others, you can't contain what
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is out there now. our kids can get online and see for themselves, speak for themselves, act for themselves and do for themselves now because there are other avenues. we better make sure we understand that the eyes of the world are watching and more importantly, the eyes of our children are watching. with that, i would like to say to make sure that we go upstream, we have sylvia hayes here, so much of the cabinet that are represented by a president and administration that believes like do, there comes a baby floating down the river. the guy watching this baby, he runs out and grabs this baby pulls him to the shore and starts pumping the water out of him. one of the buddies standing by man, that was a good job. another one said we got to make sure that doesn't happen again. he goes out and gets another baby. while he is pushing the batter out of this baby, where are you going? you can stand here and try to save babies all you want. i'm going up the river to see
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who is throwing them in. reverend sharpton always looks to she who is throwing them in. he makes sure to call them out as he sees it. that's what we're gathered today for. what i would like to do is get us opened up with our national anthem sung by ms. kathy stansberry. please welcome her as she comes to the stage. [applause] >> please rise. ♪ oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the
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twilight's last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there oh, say does that star spangled banner yet
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wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave ♪ [applause] >> well done, well done, kathy. at this point we would like to
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bring up the reverend coates senior pastor and board member to lead us in prayer. we will go on with the program from there as listed in your book. >> might we bow in a word of prayer. eternal god, we come to you today as humbley as we know how just to say thank you. we thank you for this day and this occasion that brings us together and we ask today that you would consecrate our hearts, our hands and our heads that we might make this world a better place. we gather today in the midst of unique and unprecedented times times of great challenge and times of tremendous difficulty and, god, we ask that your hand will continue to guide the leadership of this great nation, continue to lead and guide the national action network and all those concerned about peace, justice, and equality. we thank you for the life, legacy, and witness of your
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servant who we honor today, the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. help us to discern your will and seek your direction as we endeavor to confront the challenges of our day. as we remember him, we remember the lives of all those who have innocently lost their lives in this day. grant on to us the clarity of thought and the unity of purpose in our efforts to make this nation and this world a place for all people, enable us to be a voice for the voiceless, hope for the hopeless and help for the helpless. compel us to seek peace where there is unrest, love where there is hate, and unity where there is division. we ask that you would raise the crown of justice and righteousness above our heads and we pray that you would encourage us to grow tall enough to wear it.
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this is our prayer and we ask it in the name of hope, in the name of love, and in the name of peace, amen. >> well, we welcome you this morning and i have the esteemed privilege to introduce the reverend al sharpton, the president and c.e.o. of the national action network. when i think of reverend sharpton, i am reminded of a question that those who sat on the sidelines during the ministry of jesus of nazareth asked, as jesus of nazareth engaged in his prophetic ministry, there were many on the sidelines asked who is this man, who is this man born of a virgin, who is this man the son of a carpenter. who some man able to make the lame walk and multiply food for those who are hungry, who is this man who is able to
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challenge the powers that be and who is this man who when given an opportunity to save himself stayed on the cross and died for the least of these. well, two milennia later there are people still asking the very same question, who is this man born in the inner cities of new york city, who is this man who emerged from being a childhood preacher, community activist who has been on the front lines of our nation's civil rights issue who is this man who founded the national action network this country's premiere civil rights organization. who is this man who is able to rub shoulders with the poor and with presidents and corporate c.e.o.s. it is my esteemed honor and privilege to welcome and to introduce and present today, the
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reverend al sharpton, president and c.e.o. of the national action network. won't you put your hands together and receive him at this time. [applause] >> thank you, thank you very much reverend delmon coates who not only passed -- pastored one of our major congregations in our country, maryland, prince georges count and sits as one of the board of directors on the national action network, he must add that he has shown outstanding and i think exemplary coverage by standing up for civil rights issues across the board in our country. one of the things that i think that you must remember on king
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day is that dr. king said that you measure a man not by where he stands in the hours of convenience, but where he stands in the hours of controversy and when we dealt with civil rights issues that were outside of what was comfortable, issues like immigration, issues like marriage equality that many of us only want civil rights for our tribe and not for everybody, delmon coates stood up and i want him to know we're very proud of that, reverend delmon coates. let me welcome everybody to our annual breakfast and we are very happy and honored to have all of you with us. this is a very interesting year where we have seen many of the issues that national action network has fought for and have
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been battling for coming front and center. whether it is the question of police accountability, whether it's a question of the income gap, when it's a question of now it is documented that 51% of school children are living in homes under the poverty level, these are issues that we have struggled for for 24 years in man's history -- n.a.n.'s history that are front and center. if we are to take dr. king seriously, it is not just about putting the issues out front it's about keeping them out front until we resolved them. [applause] >> the job of activist, the job of advocacy organizations, the job of civil rights organizations is putting in
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light what forces people to look at the issues. there they go again, sharpton and them want publicity. that's exactly what we want. that's right. [applause] >> because part of the role of activists is to get your attention. you don't see me on "dancing with the stars." [laughter] >> you see us dealing with social issues and to draw the attention to those issues. and if you don't do that, people are not going to deal with those issues in the dark. i often tell the story, i learned that, i did not like delmon coates or like boardmember mcmorris go to one of the elaborate educational institutions. i learned that because i grew up in the projects in brooklyn. we had roaches.
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i know reverend yearwood comes from there, but we had roaches. [laughter] >> i remember getting up one night and went in the kitchen and saw all of these roaches all over the table. we had all kinds of roaches, big roaches, little roaches. we had flying roaches, get on the side and fly down. so i ran in the room and got my sister. i said we got roaches. i keep telling you we have roaches. no we don't. she is half mad and asleep. i dragged her. she went to the kitchen to see these roaches, turned on the light, clear eyed, looked around, no roaches. she said i don't see no roaches. why are you bothering me? i said, no they were here. she is really mad. she go back and lay down, cut the light off. i am sitting up in the room trying to figure this out.
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i go back, roaches everywhere. i go get her the second time. she stumbled furious, touched the light on, looks, roaches gone. now she is not speaking to me wanting to fight. goes back and lays down, cut the lights out. i go back and i figure this thing out. as long as the lights were out roaches will have a six-course meal in your kitchen. as soon as you cut the lights on, roaches go. i spent the rest of my life cutting lights on roaches all over this country. [applause] >> you want to deal with health care, cut the lights on. want to deal with police accountability, cuts the lights on. want to deal with lack of education quality, cut the
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lights on. our job is to put the lights on where they don't want to go. and once you do, you're going to get a reaction. my mother raised, born and raised in alabama. i was born and raised in brooklyn. she has taken me down to see her mother every year. she said, let me tell you something, you come from the north. you don't know nothing about the country. i will tell you something you will remember all your life. i said what's that? if you throw a brick at a pile of hogs, the one that hollers is the one you hit. i have learned that we're effective when folks are hollering because we hit them. when you hit policies and you see folk on different sides screaming and hollering, it's because we hit them. did you hear what they said last night, we hit them. we're hitting situations that people don't want hit. i want to bring on our first speaker, but i want to first
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acknowledge all of our special guests, so i would like everybody to please turn to the person on your right and shake their hands and say thank you for being reverend al's special guest this morning. all right. the now, let me acknowledge quickly that i'm very honored and happy to have terry o'neil head of the national organization of women with us. reverend yearwood, hip-hop coffee and i'm going to be acknowledging people throughout
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the morning, we're happy to have all of you and particularly from the civil rights community, my partner and the struggle no matter what it is and that's melanie campbell of the national council. [applause] >> and black women's roundtable and so many more. i must acknowledge members of the board of national action network, reverend dellmon coates, aiesha river and tanya lombard from at&t, a real strong board member. [applause] >> second of health and human services, to show you her commitment, she is on her way to philadelphia open enrollments
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for the affordable care act closes on february 15. she wanted to be here to speak before and to be part of n.a.n.'s annual breakfast. we're honored to have her as we call in church, our preacher for the morning is secretary castro. we have two distinguished members of the president's cabinet. let me also say from the white house, we're very happy to have heather foster. stand up, heather. [applause] >> she is one of the outstanding people in government who has really demonstrated real leadership and we're very proud. her parents are with us as well this morning. where are your parents? i want her father to know, i want her father to know that this is really your birthday party. [laughter]
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>> today is his birthday. [applause] >> and aside from the dr. king day, this is heather's daddy's day. i want him to know that. we're honored to have you. she has in my judgment showed a real commitment to making sure that one of the most historic progressive moves of this president bared the fruit that it was designed to bear. she oversees 77,000 employees. she is the 22nd secretary of health and human services and aside from all of the talking points janay and them give me, i want you to know that against great odds and against every effort to undermine, secretary burwell has delivered for the
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millions of people around this country that depended on this president to keep his commitment and has done so. you cannot execute without having the kind of support staff and mechanisms that will go and do the work. she is not on the front page unless something messes up, but she does the work and makes sure that the vision of this president around providing health care is a relate in the lives of millions of people that wouldn't have it. martin luther king day, if it means anything, is serving the unserved and giving security to those that live every day in anxiety and on king day, no one has done that more than our secretary of health and human services, secretary burwell. will you come. [applause]
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>> thank you, reverend sharpton and it's always a bit intimidating to speak in a room of great orators and especially how did i draw speaking right after the reverend. i have had the pleasure of knowing the reverend since serving in the clinton administration during my time at wal-mart and have worked with him during my time at the office of m.o.b. and now at h.h.s. and it's a pleasure. i want to come back to something you said. dr. king said the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in time of challenge. that is something that reverend sharpton has done time and time again in terms of standing in times of challenge. [applause] >> and i also want to
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acknowledge my colleagues, julia castro and bring broderick is here as well and heather, brod is leading my brother's keeper evident that i think everyone is familiar with. i really can't think of a better way to celebrate dr. martin luther king jr. than with all of you today. the national action network continues to fight tirelessly for dr. king's dream every day. this room holds the past, the present, and the future of the civil rights struggle. i'm proud to be in some small part today a part of that. when we think of dr. king, many things come to mind, a civil rights legend, a fearless fighter and a man of god. he was and remains one of the most transformative leaders of the 20th century. he influences our lives today so
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many years later with both his words and his ideas. i was not born when he delivered his most famous speech and at the time of his tragic death, i was only three years old, but the ideas he talked about and the courage that he acted with inspires so many of us today to live a life of service, to know that the potential of our nation is great even when it's sometimes very hard to see. he showed people of faith like myself how to live out those acts of faith. he showed us how to make the gospels as real as they were when they were written and to make sure that we're working every day to make the beatitudes a reality. dr. king changed the course of the history of our nation forever. we remember him as a servant. that's why we honor today with service and i'll be going to philadelphia to do an event on
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service and then an event on the affordable care act so that we honor in terms of what he asked us to do in terms of service. dr. king's mission was big, but his directives, though difficult, were often kind of quite simple like sit quietly and wait to be served. he showed us that the past to helping men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism was paved by acts as big as selma and as small as a letter. behind the legend of dr. king was a man who simply believed in action. he believed in service and he lived his life accordingly. not all of us have his gift for organizing oration and especially behind this mic this mic, i will recognize that
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accordingly. but we all can have a servants heart. that is what this day is to me. a reminder of what it takes to make revolutionary change. the courage to stand up, or sit in, for what is right. faith in the possibility of a better future, at a servants heart. i know there is an abundance of those things in this room here today. we are closer to realizing dr. king's dream, that is because of actions big and small by the national action network and others who continue to keep the faith in a better tomorrow. we have made incredible strides and progress since the days of segregation from voting rights to education, to workplace equality.
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today's america has undoubtedly changed for the better, and we celebrate that. but our progress must also serve to remind us of how far we have to go. in a sense, all the issues that we touch at the department of health and human services are in some way about civil rights. after all, our mission is to make sure that every american has the building blocks of a healthy and productive life. our work impacts moms and dads at the kitchen table, when they are figuring out how they are going to take care of their aging parents, or how they are going to make sure their kid is ready for kindergarten. our work is about lifting up americans of all races, of all ages, and all backgrounds. we look at the services that hhs supports -- our nations lingering disparities are clear. african-americans have the lowest life expectancy of any other race in our country. they are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, and 40% more likely to have high blood pressure. african-american women, for
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example, are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer, even though they are 10% less likely to be diagnosed. and the statistic that impacts all of that -- african-americans are more likely to be uninsured. than white americans. health inequalities impact our nations potential, from access to education, to the stability of families and communities. whether you are someone who now has access to health insurance on the marketplace, someone who is newly eligible for medicaid or someone who is covered through employer-based care, the affordable care act impact you. and thanks to the affordable care at, 7.8 million african-americans with private insurance now have access to expanded preventative services with no cost-sharing. [applause]
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that includes screenings from cancer, cap smears and mammograms, well-child visits and flu shots. from october 2013 to june of 2014, 1.7 million african-americans aged 18 to 64 years old gained health insurance coverage. that is a 6.8% drop in the uninsured over that time. in fact come in just one year, we've reduce the number of adults that were uninsured in this nation by 10 million people. these changes are helping people all over this country get the care that they need. these changes mean when a doctor finds a cancerous lung, there is enough time to intervene. they mean a mom will learn to
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manage her diabetes before threatens her life. they mean that a dad will be able to afford the prescription that keeps his blood pressure in check. and they are helping families sleep a little easier at night knowing that a sickness or accident won't bankrupt the family. this progress was made possible because people like you all helped us make this a reality. you stood with us when no one thought a bill was going to happen. you stood with us during the first open enrollment. you held events in detroit, los angeles, atlanta, all over this country, he partnered with us during faith and african-american weekends of action. you held panels and roundtables, and you spread the word far and wide. i want to thank you for standing with us now, during this open enrollment. you are ambassadors to our communities, and you are the voices that people trust. you are the reason they will go in check, and understand that they can get affordable care.
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so, here is what you need to know. we have less than one month left in open enrollment. it ends on february 15. the other thing is -- financial help is available. this can be affordable. 87% of those who are in open enrollment this year, those we have reenrolled, and those who have come to us new are receiving financial help. that is a very important message that we want to make sure that people have. the other thing is -- it is easier than ever. we focused very heart of the -- very hard on the consumer experience, and that is making sure that we have a website that is easy to use. for 70% of people coming in new, the application went from 76
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screens to 16. for people reenrolled in, it is pre-populated. you don't have to keep typing it in. we are to make this as easy as possible. to remind everyone, three ways to do this -- meet the consumer where they are. for some people, they just want to go to the website. healthcare.gov. for some people, they want to talk to someone on the phone. one 800, you can talk to some of the on the phone. you can walk through it. if you are someone who wants to sitdown down with somebody and do this face-to-face, though to the website -- go to the website, put in your zip code, and find the nearest person who can sit down and have a conversation with you. in the spirit of dr. king, we are asking you to help us again in big ways and in small. post and enrollment event at your church, or your community. reach out to your partners, ask them to help. use your twitter and social media to spread the word about the february 15 deadline. tell your neighbors, tell your friends. now is the time to close that gap, and we want to help our neighbors.
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so that we can see the change that reverend sharpton was talking about. as dr. king said, change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability. but comes through continuous struggle. dr. king's dream is ours now. and that struggle is ours to continue. i want to thank you all for all that you do to keep that dream alive, and to make it a reality. thank you. [applause] >> let's give her another round of applause. we want to thank secretary burwell for joining us this morning, she is off to philadelphia for enrollment event, we thank her for being here with us and sharing this part of her morning with us. >> i'm the executive director of
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the national action network, want to thank you all for joining us this morning. we are here for another king day, and each day, we gather to celebrate the life and legacy of dr. martin luther king. national action network is an organization that is inspired by his work. we are continuing in his legacy. annually, weak knowledge people whose lives and work also reflect the principles of dr. king. this year, we are delighted to honor several people. for continuing dr. king's legacy in their own way. we are seeing dr. king in a new light thanks to the feature film "selma. if you haven't seen it, check it out. we see that he was more than just a dream speech. his work was not done with the 1963 march on washington, or the passing of the civil rights act of 1964. he didn't stop when he received awards and accolades. but he continued to fight for
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justice until his death. with that in mind, we want everyone to be like king, and to continue to be change agents in your own way. not just today, but throughout all of your days and throughout your life. i want to draw your attention to the video screens, and show you just how we are continuing to act for change. >> [video clip] >> civil rights did not write a resume, but it made someone read your resume. >> you achieved because you were that smart. you got there because some grandma who never saw the inside of a college campus put themselves on the line and alabama, mississippi, to get you up here. [applause]
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>> the national action network engages people. we engage people everyday on the ground. we engage our state legislatures, international legislators, in the capitals of cities and in washington, d.c.. we, of course, engage corporate leaders and seek to hold him responsible, and accountable to communities across this country. >> this is our first line of defense in dealing with issues on the ground and creating a grassroots movement to respond issues. our chapters were together with the national staff to ensure the communities are protected against injustices and treated fairly. ♪ >> the national action network has a house of justice. it was dedicated and named by

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