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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 20, 2015 12:00am-2:01am EST

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cigarettes. there's a great deal of discretion as to how people are going to be treated in those circumstances. we have to have better rules and policies that prevent the abuse of that discretion and abuse of treatment of people of color. >> where do you think, since we're talking about race, there are many stipulations as far as the word race. it is a touchy word when we talk about race. where do you think that in order to have a greater understanding of accepting race, where do you think it starts? in the schools, at home, where does it start? >> it starts, continues, and has to persist throughout society. it has to involve conversations that happen at home. it has to involve these great systems whether it is education,
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social service, criminal justice, health care. all these systems have to be held accountable to ensuring equity. even to that extent, we have to have conversations about how we recognize injustice. i would like to add the name of tanisha anderson to the list of those killed at the hands of police. we mention, tamir rice, eric gardner, michael brown, and we have to uplift the name of women who have experienced disproportionate abuse or had died at the hands of police. the conversation has to happen every day in every setting in order for us to move past as a
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-- move past hour past as a country and our present. i have heard people say we just have to get over it. but we have iterations of disproportionally and racism today. these are conversations that have to happen. we all have to be collectively a part of that. in the same way that we have many people of various races and ethnicities and ages uplifting the black lives matter movement. you will see black and white people and latino people and people of asian descent, young and old, all participating in uplifting the value of black lives. it is another example that we
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all are responsible to have this conversation and push and demand for more.
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in the advisors or every on the air
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but there are bad apples out there and they need to be weeded out. we have to understand through education, anthony, to answer your question, we will, i hope be able to address these problems. there are programs, like facing history, that i think some of the students here are part of that i think serve that purpose. i see some from shaker high school where a group on race relations has been serving the community for a quarter of a century. i think that is where we start before we can expect the criminal justice to change on its own. >> there are two sides to the question. of course it there's more we can do in the community.
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for the students who showed up today, i see some of you with notebooks and others with no notebooks. anytime you come to events like this you should come prepared to write down things, because there is no way possible you will remember everything. for adults, make your students bring their weaponry. an african proverb says, "do not build your shield on the battlefield." you have to come to these kinds of places, meet different people, get contacts, network. that's how you will be successful. we know there is hatred that exists in the world, but the real question is how do you feel about you? do you love yourself? when you look at your mirror do you see a beautiful person or a hateful person? there is a community responsibility that we have.
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but on the flip side, the media plays a strong part in the perception of how we are viewed. for example, everyone heard about france, and we are very sad about what happened in france, very sad. but who is talking about nigeria and what happened in nigeria and west africa? i was driving, when i was driving here, i was driving through little italy. everybody is familiar with little italy? it is a beautiful place, you know. look at the history that is here. no one feels offended when you hear little italy. when you're going through a jewish neighborhood, you don't feel offended. you don't feel offended by it. you don't feel offended when you go to chinatown and see the history of chinatown. why is it that people feel
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offended that we would call our community little africa? why would that the offensive? why is it that some african-americans would be offended to call it little africa, and some get offended when someone says you look like an african? the media portrays africa as an impoverished place. when you see africans you see skinny somalians. you don't even want to view yourself in that light. there's a sense of self-hatred that the media plays a part in. we had an event where there was a media panel with all the media people here in cleveland. the majority of stories that come out in the media about african-americans are not positive. i appreciate c-span being here
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but why are not other stations here? let something negative happen, and all the media is there. you know what i'm talking about. [laughter] the media plays a part as well. we are very color conscious here in america. i was in australia and a young lady was asking me why everything is so black and white in america. at the same time she was talking to me about the atlanta hip-hop wives. [laughter] there is perception of who we are. some people play into that perception. but the majority don't. before you even get a chance to open your mouth, people already have a perception of who they think you are. before you open your mouth young ladies, it's already like she has an attitude problem. as soon as you walk in.
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if we were to pass around a survey about how you feel about iranians, or north koreans, or iraqis, or some others, many would say negative things about them, and you may not even have met someone like that. but yet in still, you already have a perception as to who you think they are. what i want to say to us is that there is a community responsibility for every person in here must speak to their children and talk about humanity. we all deserve to be treated fairly. why are you upset that i am marching for justice? why are you so angry when i say i am a proud black man? why does that offend you? why are you so angry that im proud to be who i am? why is it that when you walk up to my car you already have your hand on a gun? what makes you feel i am dangerous?
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i could be in a tailor-made suit and walk into an elevator and someone will hold their purse close. this is an issue we are dealing with. but, in closing, as young people you have a responsibility as well. i was talking to my friend dom here. dom, raise your hand. if young people like this today would change things to be not as discriminatory as your grandparents were. these race issues that we are dealing with in america will be the downfall of our country. without a doubt. [applause]
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>> mr. gonzales. >> let me be the first to say, because i noticed as a police officer i am trained to look at people and try to gauge responses. it's true. as my colleagues were speaking i could not help but see everybody looking and then looking at me. [laughter] let me acknowledge a couple of things in this conversation. cops, we don't always get it right. that's the truth. we don't always get it right. unfortunately, because we are police officers, and because we took the oath of office and because we made a commitment that no matter what we were going to lay our lives down if
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we had to. that just puts an additional factor into how we make decisions. because we don't always get it right, the challenge for us is to work to get it right. when we sit back -- if we just sit back and do nothing. if then you need to get rid of us. you need to get rid of that police department, because they are not serving you in the way you need to be served. the truth is this, folks. a police department is only as strong as the community allows it to be. when the community loses confidence in the police
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department, then that is almost the beginning of the end. i would say to you, all of the young people in this room. we asked where this starts, in the family, at home. i would say it starts with you. i am not going to be a police chief forever. someone has to step up and step into my role. someone has to be a police officer in the future. someone has to be an attorney, and a judge, and all the professions you hear about. the issue is getting to a point where you are going to start making a contribution, a positive contribution regardless of your background, regardless of your race, regardless of what you believe in. at the end of the day, are you making a positive contribution to your community, your school
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your family, and to your total environment? for me, it is about you. it is about what commitment, what decisions are each of you going to make that is going to lend yourself to be a productive citizen in the future and eventually a more productive community. thank you for listening. [applause] >> i want to echo the sentiment that you guys will make all the difference. i am saddened by those recent events, these tragedies, but i am also extremely hopeful because you guys are here and you care. i think there are communities in france, communities in africa, communities all over the united states now that i hope because of these tragedies will come together. it is not just the public
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discourse that this fine institution stands for and has for so many years, that action needs to be taken. the cleveland police department is going to need to make changes. the department of justice report is scathing in terms of abuses whether it is us in the community who have known of the abuses, not enough has been done. perhaps through our actions and collective efforts, through our concerns, all of us can help make a difference. public discourse is not enough by itself, we need to take action. >> we are in a room full of teenagers, and it may be a few leaders, or it may be all leaders in a way. some do not have that particular
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push to do something in their community. what can we as young leaders or game changers or what ever you want to call it, what can we do as teens to ensure justice in our community? >> first i want to start answering that question by asking all of you a question. raise your hand if you know anyone with a criminal conviction. >> anybody got a cousin? >> this country is the number one incarcerator of adults and children in the world. ohio is the sixth largest prison state in the nation and we rank fourth in regards to incarceration of women. when we talk about contributions, we have to be mindful that when people are saddled unfairly, unnecessarily
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with a criminal conviction, we are preventing them from contributing in some way. we have to be real about that. we have to be real about the consequences of criminal convictions. not only how they impact us as individuals, but families and communities. i would say that we have to tell our stories. have to tell our truths. whether you have been treated unfairly, whether you have you witnessed someone being treated unfairly, you have to speak to that, because there is value in demanding our systems change. anthony, you and i were having a conversation before the program. i shared with you that i worked with a student once and i asked her what her perceptions were of a juvenile detention center. her response was that she wished
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her school looked that nice. we are the number one incarcerated or of all people the world. if we invested in education and valued it the way we value incarceration things would be different. [applause] one of the things i value most about young people is they have zero tolerance for hypocrisy. but young people have zero tolerance for that. young people will not accept rhetoric if it is not followed by action. the fact is many systems are talking about this beautiful equity we have to work towards
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is many systems are talking about this beautiful equity we have to work towards but the truth is that policies are not made in that way. budgets are not allocated that way. we have to call it out. we were at a program a few years ago and young man from martin luther king high school said that his biology project consisted of dissecting a cookie. i will never forget how that child was violated. he was prevented in many ways from pursuing a career in medicine. you know why? you is not properly educated. the city was a city that spent 23 years testing crack pipes to charge people in the city of
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cleveland with felony cocaine possession instead of misdemeanor position of paraphernalia. 23 years. 35,000 african-americans have a felony conviction they should not have because cleveland was the only city that had the policy. some people into prison. the cannot get financial aid to go to college. the city of cleveland did not test rape kits and dating back to the 1950's. it is all about priorities. when we evaluate the priorities we have given to the war on drugs over other more important issues, we have to look at ourselves. we have to look at ourselves. the choices that have been made in our name. we all pay taxes with her we make a little bit of money or a lot. this is our system.
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we have to take control. 10 or 20 years from now your children and grandchildren will look to you and ask you what did you do for me to save me? we have to demand better. we cannot allow these choices that are made in our name to continue to drive wedges and to give us a distinction we should not have. the lands of the free cannot be the lands of the went down. >> i want to thank you all. this will conclude our moderated portion of the forum. i will lead it over for
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announcements. >> hello. i attend [inaudible] we are enjoying a panel discussion on racism in america today featuring andreas gonzales jonathan gordon, and bashir jones. as i'm sure you know, racism in america has been sparking a lot of conversation and controversy. i believe that it is our duty to stay informed on such a controversial topic. not only is an a great conversation starter, it is very important for the future of our country as a whole. our moderator is another youth room councilmember, anthony price. these formulate questions for our panelists now and i remind you that your questions should be brief and to the point.
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on thursday, january 29 of the city club youth forum council will host a found discussion entitled the cleveland response. for more information about our upcoming forums, please visit us online at city we would like to return to our speakers for our questions and answers period. first question, please. >> i will add -- ask the first question. what do you think -- to what extent does reverse racism exist and is it an issue and anyone
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can answer that. clicks i do not think there is such a thing. i do not think they have the power to be racist and a sense. what i mean by that is diffuse let me and i am upset you slapped me and i slap you back and i am not encouraging anyone to slap anybody but i am reacting to what you have done to me, that is exactly what is going on here. we do not have the power and when you see what secure has been talking about your talking about institutionalized racism. are talking about the tower to stuff a person from doing something or allowing them to do it. there is discrimination across the globe. look at what is happening in nigeria. look at what is happening in places in europe and parts of
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asia. there are all caps of people. what we see is across the globe that there is hatred that exists and hatred for other people. it did not just start. it started with the native americans. we cannot forget about the people who have been impacted by the idea that i am better than you. that it -- that is what it boils down to. i am that are than you and your beneath me. it is not happen with just race. it happens with men and women it happens with religion, it happens with all types of cultures. you can go into africa and pakistan were there are travel issues. my tribe is better than yours. when we look at it from a global perspective we will be successful. particularly when it comes to
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but i want to talk about ferguson for one second. we had a chance to go down to ferguson, we created an organization here, we took 30 people down and we sat down at the place where might brown possible it is still on the ground stating the pavement. they're trying to repave the streets and the place where mike brown was killed is a housing complex. they are telling the people they cannot move back in. the cat we knew the release of their loving everybody out. ferguson is a situation different from cleveland. the police department and mayor white. cleveland is different. even though racism may be in the fold but cleveland got a black mary and has a black chief of police many african-americans
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were city council. it is not just a situation where it is a black or white situation here. i would say this. we must truly look at -- you will not like this but i will say it anyway. we must look at how the african-americans have been treated. we have to bring different parties to the table. we are not just a one night stand and that is how we have been treated in the city for years. what we have -- so what, we have a black mayor. what does that mean if we go through the same situations that we happened dealing with for years? what does it mean that we have majority african-american city council the money don't go to the side? they build the convention center so quickly.
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i went downtown one time, it was still the foundation. and came back it was all the way up. the question is why is the mean -- money going to the east side? i do a class at collinwood. look at collinwood high school and look at glenville. look at these schools and then go to the casinos and look how that looks. look at the taj mahal, a.k.a. the juvenile detention center. it is not just a black and white issue. it is a little bit deeper in the city and i think as adults, we must bring to the table republicans, democrats, and independent. that is our choice, not just go with a certain party because we have been going with it.
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[applause] >> martin freeman once did an interview and one of the questions was how do we stop racism and he said we stop talking about it. do you think this is rational? if not, how would you have answered the question? >> would anyone like to respond? >> i will start. i think it is irrational. what i would say is that we need to spend more time walking in each other's shoes. but bashir mentioned the issue about schools. i used to work in schools and i was fond of fascinating that we were able to find money for medical detectives -- metal detectors but not cold paper and soap in the bathroom.
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it gets to the issue of priorities and how we message to young people about the value of their worst create when you do not allow young people to have access to toilet paper or so and kids figure out a way to do that . you are telling them you're not worthy. you do not deserve it. so when we treat people like less than human from the time they are children that we condition them to walks or mental protectors before they can get their education, where conditioning young people for prison. by the time the get there, they have lost ownership of their minds and bodies. i think it is important to walk in one another's shoes. if children who are not in schools have to experience these types of conditions, do not know that that is not normal for everybody.
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if children do not have -- realize there are other kids who think there children have this experience, they think it is normal and it is not. just for a moment we have to take some time to walk in one another us choose. i often find it very enlightening to talk to young people. you are experts in your experience, it has been a minute and's i was in high school. for me it is important to understand what the world looks like to you. what is it that we are not giving you? that is how we can start. there are some people who do not want to talk about racism at all.
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we have to have conversations and take the responsibility of doing something. i am a big fan of morgan freeman but cannot completely agree with him very and maybe he meant you cannot just talk about it. we do need to take more action. that system that is leading them to prison, that mass incarceration, they get out of jobs and you cannot vote in some states and they cannot participate. going back to the schools, they are underfunded. we could talk about it but we also have to make those policy
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decisions and choices and money will speak and there is concern about police brutality. we're spending millions on investigations, resources on training and good hiring actresses. proper investigations with accountability, all of that takes resources and rededication -- rededication of our efforts. things like that cost money. they can make a difference and i am excited by the fact that we have these videos out there. people cannot deny today that these incidents happened, we have them on video. >> it didn't help eric garner, unfortunately. >> civil action may bring some
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remedy that situation but we don't know what is going to happen here in cleveland and it is terrible watching those videos over and over again. but we know what happens now, we can't pretend this isn't happening anymore to bringing together community i think we can make a difference and make the necessary changes. >> next question. >> as a young person, in my experience, from people of different ethnic backgrounds and social economic status is i hear people say, i do not see color. can you explain why that is something that moves us back in this fight to understand and combat racism. >> i think that is a lie, if you can see, you see color. and seeing color doesn't mean
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you are proactively racist, it means that you are acknowledging. we can acknowledge differences but we should not do and cannot do is deny human dignity. >> next question. >> >> i know someone mentioned that cleveland is the fourth most segregated city in this country. and with a rebranding of cleveland which is downtown and they are rebranding it as this wealthy community, i am asking how can we as youth combat this in the future because having a black mayor has not helped. having a democratic mayoral candidate has not worked. what can we do to combat the segregation that contributes to racism in cleveland? >> we have to come back to
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segregation even amongst yourselves. you have young people who -- what school you go to? >> hathaway brown. >> you have a young woman from hathaway brown who will not spend time with the young lady from laurel. there is the segregation amongst even -- let me go deeper real quick if you do not mind. even within the african-american community there is segregation. this young lady is from halfway brown. i am from east tech. i think like this. we helped create a program at laurel, guiding star. they make a connection between that school in the school within the inner city. there has to be more dialogue
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with martin luther king high school and shaw high school and university. there has to be that. i want to go even deeper and say that when we talk about racism the worst part about racism is it creates self-hatred. where some of you truly look into the mirror and you do not like what you see. because you have been told for so long that you are too dark or two light or too slim or this or that and it has begun to affect you and some people play into the perception that people have about us. like y'all generation is some chumps.
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they are scared. you are afraid to fight to better your school, you are afraid to fight and stand up for your community. when they shot down tamir rice where were you? where do you -- what are you doing? not you, i'm talking about your cousin. [laughter] you can talk about who hates you all day but what are you doing? , some of you are afraid to be different. you go back to school and you are just following the crowd. you are going throughout school dressing how everybody dresses talking how everybody talks, not all of you but some of you -- too many of us. and what happens to the school? there are some people who need to go to jail. some people need to go to jail. we have some cousins and stuff they need to be locked up for sure. [laughter] if not they will cause problems.
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what i am saying and i think mr. gordon said this. what are you doing, what can you do better in your life? do your little brothers no more little -- lyrics than abc's. your cousins, they don't mind. you know the crap i am talking about. do they know those lyrics that are than they know their multiplication table. there are the things he can change in your household and community that just because the teacher thinks i'm stupid does not mean that is the way i have to act. the question is how you change yourself. once you change, a quote that is very powerful, when i was young i wanted to change the world when i was old i wanted to change the galaxy within myself. when you change you the world around you will change. [applause]
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>> we have time for one more question. >> hi, everyone. i have a comment. you can respond to it. the question you asked for was how did we lose our race or how do we embrace our race now but the question should be how was it lost. it was lost only came over in the middle passage. with the dead bodies and the vomit and the theses next to us and we could not do anything for it. that is when it was lost. i'm not saying that there was not any african american race brought over. like in class, history, for instance. they teach us, we're stuck on industrialization. that is all they teach us. slavery is the last topic. they do not want to get that far because they have to do with discipline.
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the only thing that we know about slavery is there was sharecropper's and the emancipation proclamation. just the basics. last year, i gave a speech and most people don't have any clue. this was -- he was a slave master and he tried to trade, he wanted to turn the black race against each other with age, race, gender. he was turning them against each other and he wrote a letter about it. other slaveowners started to use that method. the willie lynch letter. i spoke on that. many people do not know because we're stuck on industrialization and the progressive movement and all of that. one comment about what you said, you said that there are some bad apples. honestly, i think that there are not any that apples. the whole system is bad.
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the whole system is a bad apple. >> that is a separate problem. >> we -- reflect the system that oppresses us. thank you. [applause] >> you need to take the initiative like you just did and take it outside of schools. i want to give you a reality for one second and when we were down there marching in ferguson, i was marching with a 90-year-old jewish woman, i was marching with a young that sickened sister. the march was so diverse. i do not want you to think for one second that this mission to uplift humanity is not a mission that is taken up by everyone. there are people of all races and religions and cultures who understand the humanity of what is going on and who are standing up and fighting for you and they are people who look like you helping with the destruction of it.
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we have to keep our minds open, work with everyone who wants to work with us and stay away from those who want to work against us. >> i agree that we have a systemic problem when we are talking about the cleveland police department. the department of justice report amplifies why that is. we need to study history as you apparently are doing and we need to recognize all the progress that has happened since slavery. we have a long way to go to recognize -- do you know what happened on january 15, 1929? martin luther king's birthday and we should acknowledge that. his actual birthday is tomorrow. i am honored to be here celebrating that birthday. i hope you are studying the civil rights movement. that was 50 years ago and my students think that was ancient history. like slavery and the civil war. it wasn't. that was my lifetime.
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i grew up during that time. i remember april 4, 1968 when he was killed. it has been 50 years since the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965. we have come a long way. we still have a long way to go. if people did not see color anymore, that is ridiculous. we all see differences but we need to embrace our differences with the we are able-bodied or lgbtq members or different religions, ethnicities as well as race. i could go back to what i saw -- said before about black lives matter. if people are offended, does that mean that they don't matter -- that white lights matter? of course not. all lives should matter. historically black lives did not matter as much.
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they were considered disposable and unbreakable. keeping with martin luther king's dreams, we can all try to be treated with dignity and justice. we have a lot of work to do to achieve that vision still. [applause] >> i will lead it to autum for closing. >> today we have been , participating in intense and enlightening discussions. thank you to shakira diaz, keith gonzales, jonathan gordon and bashir jones. thank you, ladies and gentlemen for coming to this forum and i hope you learned a lot about your roles in this community and this forum is now adjourned.
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[applause] [bell] >> next on c-span, homeland security secretary jeh johnson speaks. later, the national action network as an event honoring dr. king. on the next "washington journal" a discussion of the process of writing the state of the union speech. and a history of the speech. our guest is mary kate cary and paul orza lock -- paul orzulak.
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then niels lesniewski previews the president's tax proposal this week. "washington journal" is live every day at 7 a.m. eastern. you can join the conversation with your comments on facebook and twitter. pennsylvania governor elect tom wolfe will be sworn in tuesday as the state's 47th governor. live from the state capital at noon eastern on c-span three. our live coverage of president obama's state of the union address starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern. here is a look at his speeches over the last six years. >> mr. speaker, the president of the united states.
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[applause] >> by their hardships, our union is strong, we do not give up, we do not quit. it is because of our people that our future is hopeful and our journey goes forward and the state of our union is formed. the state of our union is getting stronger. we have come too far to turn back now. we have cleared the way. we can speak with renewed confidence that the state of our union is strong. you, our citizens, can make the state of our union strong.
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>> homeland security secretary jeh johnson laid a wreath this morning at the martin luther king memorial in washington. officials with the foundation and the national park service. [choir singing] ♪ [choir singing]
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[choir singing] [choir singing] [choir singing]
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[choir singing] [choir singing] [choir singing]
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[applause] >> good morning. thank you to the inspirational voices under the direction of norman williams. welcome this more into a day of reflection and service, a remembrance of dr. martin luther king jr. i will be your master is -- master of ceremonies this morning. it is cold but it could be colder. we thank you for coming to celebrate what would've been his 86th birthday. we recognize and it is almost profound that he has been dead
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47 years longer than he lived, but his words and his movement and his spirit are as relevant now as they were when he was with us. many of us have known and read and studied the book that he wrote in 1967 entitled "where do we go from here." and how relevant in 2015, as we looking at unrest all over the country, at confusion about how we as a nation, about race, we deal with issues of violence and uncertainty. chaos or community? such an unbelievably important question because many of us in communities are asking that very question right now. to lead us in prayer to begin this remembrance is dr. joel
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ratluff. as a move forward in prayer, let -- as we move forward in prayer, let us ponder the question that king laid out, because if we do not come together as a community regardless of race, regardless of ethnicity, assessing socio-economic background, if we fail to understand that this united community is not about how much we agree, but how much we are willing to sit face to face, acknowledged the humanity of each other, and even in our disagreement understand that we have to work together to make america the best that she can be. at this point i would love for the reverend to come forward and lead us into prayer as we push forward in this remembrance. >> let us pray. when our eyes are too full of
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our own visions and our ears are too full of our own sounds, dear god, break through the narrow constructs of our minds so we may become more clear about what is true and what is good and what is beautiful. we gather this day thinking you -- thanking you for how you have brought us, how you have kept us, and in the shadow of this great monument how dr. king's vision yet looms upon us and challenges us to rise up and become prophets, to become speakers of that which is true.
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we pray for this nation, we pray for this world, we pray for our children, we pray for our future. we bless the memories of those who have labored for equality and justice. now, god of grace and god of glory, grant us the strength that we need and the boldness to forge forward. it is in his name that we pray amen. >> thank you reverend. we have a number of partners and representatives coming forward to bring greetings. i would like to introduce each of them now. they will come immediately following the other. first is harry johnson. he will be followed by the guide vickers -- guy vickers
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the chairman of a foundation and then a former director of the parks service and advisor to the secretary of the interior and great friend of the memorial foundation will come forward. >> good morning, good morning. sorry to get you up so early. we wanted this to be a day of remembrance and service and wanted you to start the morning here at the memorial. when we built it several years ago, we got it for this purpose that on this day people from all over the world have a place to come in remember to and know -- in remembrance of dr. king and to know that dr. king stood for justice for all of us. i bring you greetings this morning run the memorial foundation, our partners with us today, mr. brandon andrews, will you stand up and be recognized. we thank you for partnering with us. thank you. we are also today -- i want to mention our board members who are with us.
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guy vickers, michael bennet, we you please welcome our board members. you're welcome here any time day and night, and we thank you for your support. this is a great day when we celebrate four years from the opening of the memorial, and you are the fourth secretary of homeland security. so four and four working out today. with that being said, i would welcome mr. vickers. >> good morning. good morning. there you go. i coming from new york and the weather is great here today as far as i'm concerned. he had been in single digits signed feeling pretty good. i brought my head because in
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2011 when i was with tommy hilfiger, we passed out over 20,000 heights in october for the -- 20,000 hats in october for the dedication. on behalf of the board of directors, i want to say thank you and thank you for coming out. harry has already acknowledged the board. i would like to thank the memorial staff who are doing a tremendous job. as president of a foundation, we are still committed to participating and doing what we have to do financially to keep the dream alive as it relates to the memorial. i am pleased to say i have my lovely wife with me, and this is how you spent a day of reflection. our company in closing is also -- we challenge our 35,000 employees to get involved and volunteer on today's date. so again, thank you very much.
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>> madam mayor, ladies and gentlemen, and my warmest greetings to our young people who are honoring us today, about our young people. dr. king wallace jr wrote a paper on the purpose of. education, and he concluded that education in essence is intelligence, intelligence plus character. at the age of 25, with his phd degree from boston university, he was asked to lead the board of montgomery. the rest is history. to our young people, education is intelligence with character. your character is important, and dr. king would ask that we have the best of care or.
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thank you again for this opportunity, mr. johnson. >> as we celebrate the memory and acknowledge this generational shift that is taking place, i have to acknowledge that my elders are much more cooler than me as i am leaving my coat on. i appreciate the wisdom. i will consider it for next year. [laughter] we had with that some leadership shifts that have taken place in the city, and it is my pleasure to bring forward for her first time speaking as mayor here at the memorial, many of us have been involved in ensuring a shift in power here in d.c., and we are excited about the new blood that is here and the leadership that is to come in the city. so please with me, as we move forward in our celebration welcome the mayor of washington d.c., the honorable muriel bowser.
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>> good morning, and i will leave on my codes and my boots and i'm so delighted that we are all here to remember and celebrate and be challenged by the legacy of dr. martin luther king. i'm so pleased that we are here in our nation's capital, wherever you are from in these great united states. this is your city, and dr. king has a prominent place on this, our national mall. we know that d.c. has a rich and robust history in the civil rights movement. i was honored to go with a group of our young men to watch "selma" yesterday so they too would know the history of dr. king and how important he was that they would not only know
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about the marches and the i have a drink, israel fight for voting rights -- and i have a dream but his fight for voting rights. i want to acknowledge the foundation who would not stop, would not give up, who would ask for everything that they needed so that this generation, the one following, and the one after that would come to this memorial and remember a great man, a man, a young man -- people sometimes forget -- i heard a gasp from the children in the theater when it went up on the screen that dr. king had this dream, dr. led these marches, dr. king paul -- hold various factions together to make sure that we all stayed focus on the ultimate prize, and he was called home at
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the age of 39. so when we know what he did in his life, we are all reminded of the things that he talked about towards the end of his life, not only that we would all enjoy the franchise of voting, but that we would all enjoy the security of being able to work, go to school, without you education, had a good-paying job, fight for the middle class, and enjoy the prosperity that is so much of america. >> i am proud to be here to represent the 660,000 of us in the district of columbia still fighting that fight, by the way. i know dr. king would be fighting it with us. to acknowledge his great life and be grateful that we have this memorial to always remember him by. god bless you all. [applause] >> many of you saw the movie "selma."
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one of the parts that touched me was when we saw the scene where dr. king asked mahalia jackson to sing precious lord. we understood and many of us who have studied the movement understand how in orton using is to the movement. it is still important. music moves the spirit and sets the stage and inspires us when we need to be able to push forward. i'm excited to have our choir, the new works inspiration of voices, continue to lead us in song. followed by them, harry johnson will introduce our keynote speaker.
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♪ ♪ [applause] >> give them another round of applause. [applause] >> how honored we are today to have jeh johnson.
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he was sworn in as the fourth secretary of homeland security. prior to joining, he served in the department of defense. he is a great lawyer and good friend. please welcome secretary of homeland security, jeh johnson. [applause] >> good morning. >> good morning. mayor, members of the board distinguished guests, looking at the program you would think this is all about the brothers johnson today. [laughter] the truth is there are a number of morehouse men today. the reverend, class of 72 and my religion professor, pointed out
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to me that, boy i taught you what little religion i know. [laughter] you ask a morehouse man to show up on a january morning at 8:00, they respond to the call. there are a number of them here today. it is a special honor for me to be present with you today. martin luther king junior is a graduate of morehouse college. i am a 1979 graduate of morehouse college. as such i have been inspired and influenced many of the people and things that inspired and influenced dr. king. when i arrived at morehouse in august of 1975 dr. king had been dead seven years, but i could still feel his presence on campus and in the city of atlanta. in 1975 there was still faculty at morehouse who taught of dr.
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king. martin luther king senior came to campus to preach and remind us that despite of the murder of his son and wife, he did not hate anybody. benjamin mays, dr. king's mentor, was a noble figure on campus. martin luther king the third was my classmate and close friend. the first effort to make dr. king's birthday holiday was just four days after he was assassinated in 1968 when john conyers offered a bill to make it so. four years, the bill went nowhere. the movement to make his 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.
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mrs. king and her son martin enlisted morehouse, spellman and other 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's birthday a national holiday on the third monday in january for the first time in 1986. today, the name martin luther king day is one of the most recognizable in america. almost every city has a street named for dr. king. almost every school has a picture in their classroom. however, in 2015 dr. king has been dead longer than he was alive as has been pointed out. most americans alive today were born after april 4, 1968.
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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, washington, jefferson, and lincoln. almost every american alive knows the words, "i have a dream" should be associated with martin luther king. how many americans know what martin luther king actually thought and died for? the reality that is in his time. the man we honor today was divisive. to many, he was a troublemaker to force the social change we now all celebrate. he challenged the social order of things and pushed people out of their comfort zones. when dr. king arrived in many of the same cities for which a major street is now named for him, the mayor and the police commissioner viewed his visit with dread and could not wait for him to leave.
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for his efforts, the man we honor with a national holiday and a national monument alongside washington and lincoln was the target of numerous death threats. a knife in his chest in harlem in 1968 and finally an assassin's bullet in memphis in 1968. in life, dr. king focused the nation's attention on racial discrimination. he led the montgomery bus boycott, the march on washington, and the selma march 50 years ago. after "selma dr. king did not , stop. he began to take on challenges that could not be remedied by a change in law. in the last years of his life he devoted himself principally to two very ambitious agendas
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fighting poverty and world peace. he literally moved to chicago and rented an apartment there. he took off his preachers suit and shoveled garbage all to demonstrate the need for better living conditions in chicago. in the final months of his life , dr. king devoted himself to a grand plan for a poor people's march. on january 15, 1968, on his last birthday alive, dr. king presided over a meeting in the basement of his church in atlanta and talked to an assembly of blacks, american indians, whites and organized labor that would converge on washington that year to command the richest nation on earth address poverty. in the final days of his life, dr. king went to memphis tennessee, not for a civil rights march, but to support a garbage workers strike for better wages and conditions. on the final night of his life
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in memphis dr. king delivered one of his best-known speeches in which he predicted his own death. his famous, i've been to the mountaintop speech. what is less known about the speech is that it was largely an address about economic power and the effectiveness of an economic boycott. in the final year of his life , dr. king public opposed the vietnam war. he hated violence. he believed that violence was a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. returning violence multiplies violence adding deeper violence to a night. as he saw it, an i-4 and i leaves everybody blind. -- an eye for an eye leaves
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everybody blind. his son says his dad wanted a better life for all people. mrs. king's dream of a national holiday for her husband has become a reality. dr. king's dream of a world at peace for itself has not. in 2015, hatred, violence, and poverty still inhabit our nation and our planet. the good news is that there are many angels among us who also inhabit this planet and inspire us all to do better. like the health care worker who risked her own life to treat and an -- an ebola patient. the scores of people who take this day off from work to go to work performing a community service. on this day in 2015, in the name
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of martin luther king we must rededicate ourselves to a better world in which god's children choose to feed the hungry, care for the sick, clothed the naked, choose conciliation over confrontation, brotherhood over hatred, and peace over war. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you secretary johnson. before harry johnson comes up to follow this johnson, we will hear again from the choir. following them we will do the wreath laying. we're asking those in the front begin to organize here. then harry johnson will lead us a toward the wreath. what i would like to do before our last song, if you are 16
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years old or younger, if you would stand up or raise your hand. let's give a round of applause for these young people. [applause] i am here with my wife and my own children. as i think about what king was calling us to do. what king recognized that so many leaders do not is that they are not living that they would create a better world for themselves. they are not living just so they can increase their coffers or get more degrees. in fact, king said what he wanted to be remembered was not for anything he had achieved. but in the words of mahalia jackson, if he could help somebody as he passed along or cheer somebody with a word or
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song then his living would not be in vain. we cannot remember him in earnest if we only want to lift up accolades but not carry out his spirit. his spirit said to us that we would give more of ourselves to be able to create a future that we may not be able to enjoy but another generation would be inspired by our impact and would carry on to be able to create what we would never even be able to imagine. these young people who raised their hands are a promise of kings spirit. in the process of working a -- to create a better america it is in the spirit of those young people that we celebrate as we remember dr. martin luther king today. as we are led in song we will move forward to lay the wreath. god bless you. [applause]
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before we do that, we know there are media without cameras behind me. if you would begin to move right now as the choir sings, we will have you in place before we gather for the wreath laying. thank you. ♪ ♪ ♪
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[no audio] [no audio] >> mr. johnson, down in front. >> may we have a moment of silence. a moment of silence.
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we give thanks for the memory and challenge. amen. >> thank you for coming out. we appreciate you. go and do your day of service. and keep in mind those less fortunate than us. god bless.
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[no audio] >> look up here everybody.
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[indiscernible] look up here. here we go. look up here. >> ahead of president obama's
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state of the union address senator orrin hatch will weigh out the finance committee's agenda for the year. you can see it live starting at 9 a.m. eastern time on c-span2. also house armed services committee chairman mac thornberry without their agenda -- lays out their agenda. >> now suspected to adjourn in late afternoon. senators will continue to debate the keystone xl pipeline with
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amendments likely to occur later in the afternoon. >> produce a five to seven minute documentary on the theme, the three branches and you for a chance to win. from washington journal, this is 20 minutes. host: we are showing our viewers
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live images from the national monument, the national martin luther king junior memorial there. 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. i'm able to vote. i'm able to serve in congress.
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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 together to get something done.
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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 university. he said that his criticism of the movie overstated lbj's role
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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 historic records and the work of people who were in no way
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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. we'll put the numbers on the screen for you. what did you think about dr. lou
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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 outstanding president for minorities since lincoln.
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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. he was out of the same state as
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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. i'm sure you are familiar with it. i would also like to adjust the
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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 are so earlier this morning
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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 and the democratic party. he has a statue in d.c. known as the devil city where you
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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 and nonviolence. host: he was bringing up travis
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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 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. i think most americans want peace around the world.
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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 be? 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 to repeat it every year, over and over again. just be reminded that we can
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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. annette, good morning. caller: thank you so much, representative johnson. i just want to say that it is great to have you on 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 african-american people are not together. we are so far apart. it is like we do not like each other.
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. 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. you do not have to be what you have been called on you have been thought about.
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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 read dr. king's speech “beyond vietnam.” it is the most relevant of any of his speeches and he definitely would not support obama's foreign policies especially with the legal -- illegal action in libya. moving on, lyndon johnson is not someone who should be celebrated in the black community. congresswoman, you have your people voting democratic for the next 100 years. he was not a good person.
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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 worked with president johnson. i was very impressed with president johnson. the president is not 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 types of relationships that you
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have to have to feel 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 scene and be a part of the solution is much more responsibility and much more difficult, but it is worth it. host: when were 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 of us in the caucus are 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. we care about all peoples of the world, and most especially those who have the least in this country.
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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 are trying to make sure that our rights are respected and that is whether or not it is the democratic party or the republican party. we have no permanent friends and we have no permanent enemies. we have permanent principles. host: georgia's next. al's on a line for independents. caller: good morning. i think some people are not aware that there was a court case that connected the u.s.
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government and the death of 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 and acknowledge the fact that d.c. is not a clean place. that 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. other i've heard governments all over the world. i will take this one above any other government in the world. with all the problems that we have, it is still the best in the world.
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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 are on with the congresswoman. caller: miss johnson, i'm calling about the civil rights act. i know discrimination is against the law. i'm a victim of it. when i called the doc or the 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
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government to help me. this has been going on for 11 years. i have given information 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 trying 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 know that's against the law because the state of texas has the right to work. to me, it is the right to discriminate because these


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