tv Discussion on the Future of Civil Rights CSPAN August 10, 2015 8:00pm-9:12pm EDT
and senior fellow at the american enterprise institute, lynne cheney. >> no one sees them, reverend -- c-span, reverend al sharpton and others. and then presidential candidate hillary clinton talking about college costs. and then media coverage of the presidential race. sharpton and civil rights activists talk about african-american views of the criminal justice system. this event, a part of the national urban league conference held last month in fort lauderdale, florida. first speaker absolutely needs no introduction whatsoever. world andn around the
throughout the nation as an irrepressible force against injustice of any kind, be it social, political, or racial. if there is a cost to be championed, he is unafraid -- a cause to be championed, he is unafraid to bring it to the forefront. he is a good front. and thenization national urban league have worked collaboratively on many, many things together. as i said yesterday, there are free sugars and jelly -- tree s hakers and jelly makers. welcome back the founder of the national action network, reverend al sharpton. [applause]
all, al sharpton: first of good afternoon to the national urban league. i am honored to be here with my good friends who have let us around the nation. and even before that as mayor of new orleans. give him a big dams. -- hand. [laughter] -- [applause] rev. al sharpton: as we meet at the convention this year, we need to be clear that we are that we havemma not seen in decades. crossroads of real decisions that will impact and effect where this country is
going for the next half-century. you will hear tomorrow from some candidates for president. and they have reduced so far as presidential race to a beauty contest -- this presidential race to a beauty contest and a soundbite contest and not gotten deeply into the issues that affect our communities. now, this week remembering 50 years ago when lyndon johnson signed the medicare bill. since he, 50 years signed the voting right act. what no one is discussing is that if the wrong person with the wrong politics, no matter what party, gets into the white house, who they will appoint to end woulde court may
we have had for the last half-century. there are cases of affirmative action, voting rights, women's rights, and other vital issues that will go in front of this supreme court. this is not about who was ahead in the polls. this is about who is going to stand for the things that the national urban league and the civil rights communities forced into law a half a century ago. all of that is at stake in this election. we need more than a smile and a wave from the candidates. we need a firm commitments and on what they are going to do about unemployment disproportionately in our community. what about the income inequality? and then you have income inequality and then you have to double that in our community
because all unequal people in this country are not equally on equal. -- unequal. [applause] rev. al sharpton: many in the progressive community that invo -- have not discussed the racism involved. and then we have to deal with education and the criminal justice system. just this morning charging a university of cincinnati police officer with murder. just a week ago, it has been a year since eric gardner was choked to death on video and still nothing has happened to the justice system to bring that cop to justice. where the presidential candidates on policing, economic inequality? where are they on education? where are they on both things
that dr. king -- the things that dr. king and others made law? we do not need to be entertained, we need to be engaged with real politics. [applause] rev. al sharpton: we must begin as theare now, whether national urban league or the action network or the naacp, that we are on the brink of a post obama era. we have had for seven years a black president and a black first lady and a black first family. glover wins this election will be the for -- whoever wins this election will be the first white to secede a black president. we have never been there before. [applause] rev. al sharpton: we need to see who is the one who refill is
to follow eight years of a person sensitive to us, that comes from us, that will not turn around what he has began. intend that when the black family leaves the white house, that black concerns leave the white house with them. [applause] rev. al sharpton: so it is not thegh for them to give us speech, the best line. not only here but everywhere. and for or five minutes at debates. the bar is higher than it ever has been raised before. after obama, he will not get away with what you got away -- you will not get away with what you got away with before. we want the real deal. to the become adjusted
white house dealing with things from trayvon martin to black unemployment you cannot tell us anymore that on a presidential level you cannot deal, that model has been changed. and we are not going to let it be changed again back to where we lose and where we do not continue a foreword and progressive trend. the same issue in the private sector. because we will have a harder road in the political arena, we are going to have to bear down even more. tell them that you have got to invest in the communities where you make your money, you have got to deal with not only jobs and training but procurement and contracts. civil rightsut
organizations shaking you down, it is about you shaking down our communities everyday. if you sell us your products and our cousins cannot get contracts and our lawyers cannot get contracts and our accountants cannot get contracts and our service industries cannot get contracts, you are shooting us down. shakedown.p the we will do business with those that do business with us or we are going to stop doing business. [applause] rev. al sharpton: naturally, we must make alliances with all of those that are willing and demonstrated the ability to work shoulder to shoulder for our empowerment and equality along with fares.
-- ours. is an argument about who suffers the most, whether it is also more women or gays or s, or women,t is u or gays, or latinos. when you are in the hospital, you all try to get well together and demand the best health care and the best medical attention. we are not trying to compare who hurts the most, we are trying to find out how we all get well together and fight together and get the proper attention. [applause] rev. al sharpton: so the task is clear. those that have led the century, we for a were the generation that fumbled the ball and dropped it and we of 50 years ago
because we were too busy being entertained, being human, ego backbiting, deciding who will be out front, whether then what we are in front of. baton when thehe parade is not going anywhere? cares who has the baton when the parade is marching backwards? it is time to keep the parade going straight. this is our time. this is the beginning of an era when the first white will replace the first black president. we need to make sure they understand that president obama is going home. we are not going anywhere. thank you and god bless you. [applause] another front-line soldier
recognized as one of the hardest working leaders in the social justice and civil rights movements is none other than melanie campbell, president and and the convener of the black women's roundtable. sister, she has the unique ability to build powerful coalitions that bring diverse people together for the common good. and she has more than 20 years of fighting for civil, youth, and women's rights. she is a true friend, a partner, , a friend of the national urban league. ladies and gentlemen, melanie campbell. [applause] melanie campbell: good afternoon, urban leaguers. good afternoon, urban leaguers. >> good afternoon.
melanie campbell: i am always honored to join you and your president and ceo, my friend and brother from another mother mark. our freedom fighter for justice reverend al. this year i am so honored to have my mom here with me. mrs. janet campbell. and my big brother, isaac campbell jr. and my colleague tyson. if they would stop and stand? [applause] melanie campbell: lady in red. floridian and those who know me know i always talk about my home in florida. all ofwant to welcome you here to my home state of florida. urban leaguers, we are one week away from the 50th anniversary
of the signing of the voting rights act. you heard reverend sharpton talk about. it was precipitated by bloody sunday in selma, alabama. it was signed into law by president johnson. congress later amended the act five times to expand its protections and has always done it in a bipartisan manner. two years ago the u.s. supreme court gutted the law in the name of so-called states rights by striking down section four, making it nearly impossible for the u.s. justice department to do its job to protect our rights. month, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by democrats introduced legislation to remedy the supreme court actions and introduced the voting rights investment act. in the meantime -- advancement act.
in the meantime, states have created barriers like id laws and restrictive hours and access to polling places. this is outrageous. leaders, now -- league rs, now is the time for you and i to act by contacting congressional representatives and demanding they hold a hearing in order to path the voting rights investment act. we need this to protect our voting rights in time for the 2016 presidential election. i know your theme for the conference is save our cities. education, jobs, and justice. if we want to save our cities, we need to protect our vote. we know, we have living proof, our votes to count. -- do count.
forget, black voter turnout was the key for president obama being elected in 2008 in 2012 to be the first african american president. lest we forget, in 2012 black turnout increase surpassed white americans for the first time in history. and we are the secret sauce, leading the way for the voters. [applause] melanie campbell: young black women led the way in 2012. the black women's roundtable are organizing in partnership with the national urban league and others because we all know that if sisters vote and black youth vote, great, great things happen. lest we forget that if we want quality education for our children, we need a strong voting rights act to protect our vote. lest we forget, if we need
want quality-- jobs and an end to hide black unemployment, we need a strong voting rights act. lest we forget, if we believe that black lives matter and we want to end the senseless killings of our young black men, our women and children by law enforcement in vigilantes, we need a strong -- and vigilantes, we need a strong voting rights act. you know how i am, i am from a baptist church. so please stand up. i know you all have had a long day. me.repeat after that was the time for action. -- now is the time for action. >> now is the time for action. melanie campbell: we cannot allow anyone to block us from voting. >> we cannot allow anyone to
block us from voting. melanie campbell: not on our watch. >> not on our watch. melanie campbell: we will not go back. >> we will not go back. melanie campbell: that was the time to move forward. >> now is the time to move forward. melanie campbell: speeches will not do it. >> speeches will not do it. melanie campbell: but voting will do it. >> voting will do it. melanie campbell: thank you, peace and power. [applause] mark: thank you, melanie, and we are glad to have you on our side. and now, our moderator for the plenary session needs no introduction.
he is the host and managing editor of tv one's news one now and anchors the first daily morning news program in history to focus on news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports, and culture from an explicitly african-american perspective. ladies and gentlemen, roland martin. [applause] roland martin: so how are we doing? that is it? you all just had lunch or something? so how are we doing? here.o be i literally just got off of the plane and i am here to ours and s have to fly to -- two hour and i have to fly to l.a.. before we get started, where are the houston people? if you are not from houston, you do not get the shot out. [laughter] -- shout out.
[laughter] weand martin: our panel -- will set the ground rules. i did not fly here to regurgitate the problem. the panel is to talk about solutions, how we are going to achieve that on some of the issues. and when we gather next year, we should be able to look back and say this is what we are accomplishing as opposed to the same conversation year after year. that is of no interest to me whatsoever. let's get right to it. first off, he is an attorney in florida. you should congratulate him, he ctedhe newly ele president of the national bar association. [applause] roland martin: next up, michael mcmillan. [applause] roland martin: karen freeman
wilson, the mayor of gary, indiana. [applause] wrote -- notnieces least is reverend jamaal from maryland. [applause] they also reminded me if you are saveourcities.he # i want to deal with voting last and get right to police accountability and criminal justice reform. we saw yesterday for the first time in cincinnati history, a police officer was indicted for killing somebody. we have 15 black men killed in cincinnati over a period of five years.
you heard the prosecutor say that without body cameras we would not be having that conversation and he would not be being indicted. what are you seeing? i want to start with you, in your city, do they have body cameras? sure that every agency has body cameras to protect them and the public? karen freeman wilson: the first thing is that we are starting a trial with body cameras but i of the disabuse us notion that body cameras are the be-all and end-all. they are a piece of technology that can be used but you have to draw back to recruitment, make sure the right people are on the bus. deal with the disciplinary issue, with how we trained police officers to de-escalate situations. the reason i want
to start with the cameras is because there is so much attention placed on it and that is something for the folks they go home,when there has to be something they getpushing and driving to on. we have seen it in los angeles and houston. what is that for oil? describe the trial in your city. roland martin: what we -- karen freeman wilson: we are looking to do is to put body cameras on every police officer on duty. body cameras is you canada 20 or 30, you have to have the full equipment. you have to store the tapes and that is a costly proposition. the good news is that the justice department has put some money out that will allow a number of departments to do that and gary is one of those that is doing that but there have to be more. there are 600,000
law enforcement officers in america. south carolina is pushing for a more comprehensive deal. it where there was a veto for the body camera and freddie gray gets killed and now it is back on. again, that is one of those issues that is a part of police accountability that people can latch onto and when they go back is to makethe start this happen. for the mayortely of baltimore to explore whether we needed it. attorney in the earlier sessions that if you do not recorded, it did not happen. it is the first time in the 20th century that a white officer was arrested for killing a black person, the incident with walter scott in north charleston. 37% of those killed by
the police. think about what would have happened, because they had a false report in charleston, s.c.. roland martin: the cincinnati officer lied as well. >> it goes back to why the body cameras are so needed. where would we be or would we even know the name of sandra if we did not have the cameras? they are so critical and so important so we have to lift up the veil and let police officers know that they are accountable. as a civil rights attorney, the reality is that we have had four cops indicted. the most consistent thing, all caught on video. there is the situation where it cop's word versus the victim, the cop wins out. >> what is so critical with
having the body cameras is that for so many years the standard police narrative was in line with what the law and american said -- in america said. all the officer had to say was that i was in fear for my life. and if he says that, the court has to accept that as correct. they cannot challenge that unless you have overriding evidence to contradict the standard police narrative. all he has is subjective belief that he was in fear. they say that black men are the most fearful people in america if you believe the media. even 12-year-old tamir rice, they treat us like men. trayvon, they say that he looked like a grown-up. our children are dangerous and we are in fear of our lives so we are justified in using deadly
force. but with these body cameras, with cell phone videos, with dash cam videos, it continues to contradict the standard police narrative over and over. indid it with alisha thomas the los angeles police department and for the first time in a long time you had a cop get convicted and the judge to the maximum because it was captured on video where this sister was handcuffed and shackled and the officer kicked her in her female genitals seven times and choked her and she died in their custody. touching that not died in their custody you would believe it was business -- how did she not died in their custody you would believe it was business as usual. had she not god in their custody you would believe it was ed iness as usual -- di their custody you would believe
it was business as usual. that was the first time since oscar grant that they convicted a police officer in california and auster grant only got six months. at least she got six months -- oscar grant only got six months. at least she got three years. roland martin: i want to remind people about what happened in st. louis. a young man, mentally disturbed, takes energy drinks from a store. they call the police and tell them that he was mentally disturbed. the police show up and it was 16 seconds from when the door opened to when he was dead with nine shots. a bystander captured it all on video and he did not run at the police officers with a butter knife, that was a butter knife. he stopped like this. nine shots fired. -- stepped like this.
nine shots fired. the law in missouri has it if there is a certain distance between you and the perpetrator the police officer can use deadly force. back on the streets the next day. >> that was another disgrace. it happened just weeks after when michael brown was killed. what it points out is that as you mentioned earlier so often the narrative that comes from the police that does not have a camera associated we have to believe. a bystandern: captured that video. the entiresed all incident, two minutes before the police arrive and then he gets killed. >> what they initially reported to the media turned out not to be the case. doing back to the conversation about body cameras, one thing we have to add is an independent monitoring agency on the film that is acquired through these cameras because too often -- [applause] >> lies have been told, even in
st. louis where everything has happened, they say my camera is broken or it is malfunctioning. toneed an independent entity be able to get that video of what is really happening. >> and you saw it happening in chicago where there was an independent review board and a police officer, that was a so-called independent police board as well. the folks who are working in individual cities, there are so many things that can be under the banner of police accountability. if there is one thing you want to charge them with leaving here to fight for to an act, what enact, what-- and would it be? >> the value of what you just touched on some the civilian review board.
having the police officers live in the community that they oversee. [applause] >> thank you very much remind people over and over. >> the community or the city limits? >> that would be a start. you consider that in baltimore over 40% of officers do not live in the city. i think when you have a neighborhood understanding, the police officers know who lives there. these are not the enemy, these are citizens on patrol. requirement across the country is the number one, you have a civilian review board, and number two, require officers live in the community that they serve. roland martin: anybody else jump in. karen freeman wilson: i would say that the independents, so often when you have incidents involving police officers it is reviewed my other police officers. independent review
is helpful and something that is important in communities. roland martin: i want you to stay right there because what happened was last year with eric garner. there were people calling for president obama and congress to do that but the reality is that these are state cases. the federal government does not have jurisdiction to create a special prosecutor to oversee a state case. we see it right now, we have the officer in charlotte who killed jonathan ferrell. he wasice chief said immediately charged with manslaughter. the call for help, he knocked on some doors, they thought he was trying to bridge and. -- break-in. thee officers on the scene, white officer fires 10 shots and kills.
the first grand jury did not indict. and then the state attorney general took over the case and his trial is set for monday. you have to create, whether by executive action in new york, ordering an independent examination or prosecutor, or you have to go to the state to have the law changed. i want people to know that the federal government cannot do that. it has to be a state change, not a federal. karen freeman wilson: i was talking about it from the state level because as a former attorney general, i understand that in many cases, in many states, you do have the ability to create that. even at the local level, local prosecutors can request special prosecutors in certain instances. the power is they, it is a matter of insisting on it. -- there, it is a matter of insisting on it.
if we treat this as a 1/5 problem, we will consistently be where we are. we have to deal with this in a comprehensive way. it is about race, it is about job creation, it is about police accountability, and certainly it is about a multifaceted movement. faith, government, business. in any city where we have seen problems occur, it has been disruptive. even if you say that you are not moved by compassion -- and i think we all should be -- you should be moved by the fact that this could disrupt the business in your community. roland martin: and the reason is comprehensive. trying to i am individually identify things to work on is that i think what happens is when we have comprehensive conversations we wait for comprehensive deals to focus on as opposed to saying let me grab low hanging fruit.
karen freeman wilson: the good news now is that we have some documents. we have this from the u.s. conference of mayors. we just had the 21st century presidential task force that came up. even if you look at the consent decrees that have come out of cleveland and other places, that is something that communities, that the urban league's throughout the country, can pull down and say to their police chief and their mayors and their leadership is our police department in alignment with these documents? roland, i think that we all focus, erroneously sometimes, on the police officers. they are the low man on the totem pole of criminal justice. what we have to look at is the top of the criminal justice system. what happens in the courts? procedures,jury
these secret proceedings where the prosecutors get grand jury consent 99.9% of the time for everything they want except when it is our children lying dead on the ground and they say we cannot indict the officer. [applause] >> it has got to be grand jury reform and we have to really look at it, roland, we have to think about it. when they have the 50th elma, all ofof s my heroes in the civil rights movement, and michael brown in ferguson, and they were talking about selma to ferguson. they looked at me and they said, ben, 50 years ago, when we were crossing the independence ridge, it was not the kkk that attacked us and beat us, it was the police officers. 50 years later they are still doing it and the reason they are
allowed to do it is that the community stakeholders are allowing them to do it. the powers of state are allowing them to do it. if we stop allowing them to do it, they will stop. roland martin: which allows us to go to the issue of voting because there is a direct connection between how we vote, who we vote for, and seeing these changes. michael, i want to go to you first. prosecutor, st. louis. one of the most egregious legal actions in terms of how we proceeded with the michael brown killing. he is reelected repeatedly. he is a democrat. black folks keep voting. the governor of missouri, jay nixon, democrat. the president praised him for his work afterwards. i do not understand why. i know the urban league's nonpartisan but i am being very clear.
the reality is that if you look at kenneth thompson, da in brooklyn. the reason that the cops that , the black prosecutor, big lots via. the reason you had -- the black da. the reason that you had people thatfrom prison is they put into place a whole group to re-tasked cases that were controversial -- re-tasked cases that were controversial. 30 people freed and he lost his election. the point is, what do you tell folks to, yes, you can fight for the changes, but if we fall drnr, and we are still losing, the prosecutor is still deciding who was going to be indicted. michael mcmillan: there is no
question, we have done a bad job when it comes to voting. you talk about the democrats in office, it is verbalized on a regular basis but you do not see the results and it has been disappointing. in terms of ferguson when you look at the government itself, we only had one member of the city council who was african-american when michael brown died. luckily we are now at the point where we have half but it should not have taken such a huge tragedy. we're getting to the point where butre educating people more we have a lot more work to do because our vote in many cases has been taken for granted. it is just assumed that 90% of the african-american community is going to vote democratic and they will pass on the head and we will be fined -- pat us on the head and we will be fine. if you're not:
registered to vote you will never be called for jury duty -- roland martin: if you are not registered to vote you will never be called for jury duty. the artist, how many of you have gotten jury summons -- be honest, how many of you have gotten jury summons in east st. louis? [laughter] karen freeman wilson: it's true. roland martin: you talk about, what can folks do? i believe that what they should do is figure out creating campaigns, making it clear that serving on a jury is also a part of black lives matter. benjamin crump: if i can chime in, that is so important because you all know how heartbreaking it is when you walk into the courtroom and you see some black potential jurors, and they proceed to do everything in their godly power to get off of jury duty. and they could make all of the difference in the world.
roland martin: white folks do it too but there are not enough of us in the first place. benjamin crump: i know a lot of ways that trayvon started a lot of this coming to light. it is heartbreaking as they work on the book about trayvon and roland you were there. you will know that they had at least 30% black people who they sent out to for potential jury service. and about 74% of them came up with reasons why they could not serve on jury duty. if indeedmagine tragic case of trayvon martin, roland, you had more people that could understand despite the prosecutor's best efforts to defend the honor and the value of a young black man's life which was a fish out of water
experience for them because they are so used to prosecuting them. those black people who potentially got out of jury duty could have rewritten history. [applause] benjamin crump: so it is up to us, we have to do it. roland martin: jamaal, i think that they talked about this in ferguson. is said to him what you want to see the police officer get charged. and they said, are you registered and he said no and they said you cannot vote on the jury. by the part of the issue that goes into the notion of voting is that we have to recognize that what you don't know you don't know. a lot of folks do not know the and you have to have voter education. ofbe you create the campaign people who have served on
juries. you see one saying that i voted, how a lot i served on a jury? reverand jamal bryant: i think that is right on point. i am an alumnus of the naacp as well. we began on the three prong that we have to bring back which was voter education, voter registration, get out the vote. we have to go back and remind people why they are voting. the other part that is so necessary is that we have to mature as a people that we are not just voting for black faces if they do not have a black agenda. i think we have to get beyond symbolic people to say we have a black states attorney or a black commissioner. is d.c. is- chocolate city than we are full of village. city d.c. is chocolate then we are full of village -- f udge village. [applause] reverand jamal bryant: we still
do not have black economic development. andsay this all of the time i have stolen it from you and the only reason i am giving you credit is because you are here. [laughter] reverand jamal bryant: what is the ask? 17 people running for the republican party and i think six for the democratic, what are we asking for? i think we have to be clear on what our ask is, and why the -- well the urban league is nonpartisan, i want us to be mindful of the fact that the black electorate elected the presidency twice. if we did not get out the vote then there would not be a black family in the white house. in the nextnow cycle and there is no black person on the ticket. we are not being entertained anywhere for a cabinet position. we cannot give our lunch away without having some mandate or some requirement. again, i amn:
focused on what is tangible, what is real. heardard, melanie, you reverend sharpton when he was talking about the issue of voting. the naacp starting the journey for justice we're going to run it on the show monday. you are going to arriving d.c. on september 15 but the question that i have is are we going to drop 500 to 1000 people on capitol hill every day? this is where organization comes in. and the question that i have and i want you all to answer it, one, you are right. we cannot endorse religion be involved in issues. do you believe -- that we can be
involved in issues. that urban league chapters should be asking the question about members of congress and we are going to hit congressional offices every week and demand how they are going to vote when it comes to the voting rights act because you do not always have to come to d.c., you should be making noise in your respective cities. [applause] caseat is absolutely the and in fact i want to go back to what reverend bryant said because over the last 45 years have almost tried to frighten civic organizations outside of the naacp, the urban league. you are involved in actions that might jeopardize your nonprofit status. it is not about supporting a candidate, it is really about the issues. they should be involved not just
in voter registration, that is the first step. you have to get people to participate, you have to clarify the issues so that you can galvanize the people. the urbanrtant for league, for the naacp, for the sororities and fraternities, not only to be involved but not to be run off with the first sign or the first vertical that says these nonprofit organizations are engaged in illegal activities. roland martin: go ahead. i want toamal bryant: just said way and piggyback on my sister. we should interchange with all of our entities be nonprofit? we people are catching -- should entertain, should all of our entities the nonprofit? freedom toave the say what we need to say how we need to say it when we need to say it without the fear that we
are going to lose corporate sponsorship. if, in fact, it is about the advancement of our people, some of that needs to be put aside. we need to form our own pac, do some things that put us in a different place rather than a glorified welfare society. urban league: chapters from virginia, stand up. virginia? bob, republican, is the chair of the house -- i did not say sit down. [laughter] bob is the chair of the house judiciary committee. anything with the voting rights act will go through his committee. anything with criminal justice reform will go through his committee. you should be going to his congressional offices in virginia and making it clear to him every single day, hitting him every single week, and the
andng you need to act -- saying you need to act. he is from virginia, you have some homework. you can sit down. [applause] roland martin: you want to make a comment? benjamin crump: we are talking about getting ready for the 2016 election. there are people saying diametrically opposite of that, also getting ready -- roland martin: they are getting ready. they started eight years ago. benjamin crump: and understand -- and i agree. they are passing all kinds of laws to disenfranchise our community. voting, to early make the voter id, tuple police officers at the voting polls, to intimidate us and stop us from voting. i know what the national bar association what we're focused on is that we are going to challenge them, and we are not
concerned about our corporate sponsorship. because the fundamental right in america is the right to vote. vote for the prosecutor, vote for the judge. we get confused sometimes with the presidential vote and think that is the most important vote. man, you go down to the courthouse, the most important vote in many instances is that da. he will decide if your child goes to jail. you do not go to the judge. bailyhe same offense, goes home with his parents and the other gets fingerprinted and handcuffed and that is on the prosecutor. you are talking about jury duty? duty, just onery person in that back room, in in st. louist six,
they got 12, one african-american who has the courage to say that i am going to be on mystery, i am going to ask -- this jury, i am going to ask every question, and i am going to decide the fate of this young black person makes all of the difference in the world because your vote really does count when you are on jury duty. roland martin: go ahead, michael. michael mcmillan: i wanted to add one thing. in addition to voting, we have to volunteer as individuals for candidates working for the best interests of the community. we have to go out. [applause] michael mcmillan: we also have to contribute to them because we expect people to run for office and get affected by -- funded by corporations and pacs and unions and then turn around and tell the people that donated to them that they will not be concerned with their interests and that is living in a fantasy. the reality is that people who
give large contributions will always have access to elected officials. so we need to contribute to people and give of time, talent, and treasure so we can have independent access. roland martin: before we go to culinary, i am going to give in -- q and a, i am going to give another homework assignment. this is what i am going to expect. marc, you have seen video of these people protesting locally. send to me because it is my show, i do not have to ask nobody. here is my point. if we do not actually organize or mobilize ourselves, who is going to do it? ourhould be able to utilize outlets and let me say this year, i do not think we understand when we look at the national apparatus. these are the nationally syndicated morning shows.
smiley, the, ricky reverendlanda adams, sharpton's show, i have a show, joe madison, deals usually -- d.l. hiughley. if we are not utilizing the apparatus we are wasting resources. i expect urban league to be sending us videos. this chapter meeting with so and so outside of the office. we are putting the pressure. in wisconsin when it comes to the voting right act, he has had the bill for two and a half years. he only has 14 republicans as co-authors. we have to be applying the pressure to them and going to them and saying we are going to bug you every day. we did this with loretta lynch. who was from mississippi?
-- is from mississippi? thad cochran was voting for loretta lynch. of men then a group we went to his office and they would not meet with us and we said we were not leaving and they finally found five minutes and when he came in, he was 90 something years old so i do not know if he heard me. [laughter] roland martin: i want you all to understand, i looked him dead in his eyeroland martin: and said, you are not here without black people. because you are going to lose to a tea party person unless black people cross over. so i expect you to vote for loretta lynch. and he is light, i understand, like, does like, -- he is "i understand." i am not saying it is because of us. we're going to go to questions.
to hear a question, i wanted to be tight and concise. if you are long-winded, i will cut you off. i will summarize your question, ok? five people here, nobody else get in line. three here, nobody else in line. i will start here. >> my name is lauren robinson, i am a blogger. my question is, how do we bridge the gap for young people, millennials more established organizations like the naacp,, the national urban league. especially in miami-dade, the state of florida. roland martin: jamal, you can take the question. reverand jamal bryant: we keep looking for a ceremony where people will hand over the baton. i think that every revolution that has happened in the history of the world, young people have done it. if they do not pass you the
torch, get a book of match es. this movement that is taking place right now, from ferguson to baltimore to cleveland, is young people. gn your own permission slip. from a historical perspective, the student nonviolent committee, the lunch counter movement, that is how it was created. the did not ask for commission. dr. king wanted to control them and they said we will remain independent. division,has a youth irvine lake has young professionals, but stop waiting -- the urban league has young professionals, but stop waiting. i need you to make this point as well. millennials need to cut out his bs where we do not have leaders -- this bs
where we do not have leaders. [applause] roland martin: let me be clear. you cannot change a system by saying that it is a collective thing. next question. of the the president young professional chapter in portland, oregon. my question to you all is what strategies do you recommend on how we can identify corporate structures that do not have our interest and support particular politicians. roland martin: such as? >> such as politicians that may be here tomorrow. roland martin: who wants it? michael? i can answer it, but michael, you go ahead. michael mcmillan: i think when you look at corporate structures and how they interact with the community, there are multiple levels. reverend sharpton was talking about something significant. we support these major institutions and you see in many cases they do not have african-american members of the
board of directors, they do not have managers or a procurement policy, and they do not have a charitable support for the african-american community. those are the kinds of things, as roland was talking about, getting information out in the black media sources that need to be known. we will stop supporting these companies because we give them the same money that they in turn will not give to us. change what we need to in terms of information and dialogue across the country. [applause] roland martin: this is real quick. you cannot be satisfied because they gave the thousand dollars for an event -- $50,000 for an event. because if you look at the pay structure, some of your corporate folks, if they are making six or seven figure have the capacity to give back to the organization more than the corporation get. forre happy with a check
the table at a banquet as opposed way larger check. like folks, some people have been real silent praising reverend jackson in silicon valley. he is forcing dramatic change. millionnounced a $300 initiative when it comes to hiring minorities because of the pressure. tim cook at apple, he is doing the same thing. they bought a share in each company which gave them the right to target shareholder meetings. meetings. shareholder how we force changes, stop getting happy because they bought a table. be more concerned about the number of people that are there. go back, 1968, listen to martin luther king's martin top speech. not the end -- mountaintop speech. not the end, the whole 48 >> hi.
will go to fort lauderdale, everyone. i wanted to bring the conversation younger. there is a huge disconnect not only with millennial about ground movement, the importance of local movement, the importance of voting for local so how do we not only bridge that gap, but currently in curriculum and education k-12, we don't really have african-american history that really speaks to jim crow. there is such a huge disconnect about the importance of that. how do we bring it down some? younger? karen freeman wilson: i think it is extremely important that we understand how every elected office impacts us individually. ultimately, that is what people are motivated by. you talk about curriculum -- who determines that curriculum? it's not really the teacher, it's not even the principal. it's the school board.
roland martin: state school board, yeah. karen freeman wilson: one of the easiest offices to run for in most communities is an elected school board position. that is something that a millennial could actually run for, that the young people could galvanize behind, and really make a difference, because then you are having the conversation and you are having it from a position of power. roland martin: and the first thing is -- the last thing folks want is knowing how many votes you need to get. the republicans used to control texas. how to take over texas? they took over the education system. malcolm jamal bryant: x. said that we are the only oppressed people who allow the oppressors to educate our children. if our children only know dr.
king, we are in trouble. we have to do something all year instituted in our local chapters of the urban league in the black church so that we don't just celebrate blackness in february, because in august we are still going to be black. what are we going to do to make that? roland martin: i will give you two things -- one of them i am a huge believer in and i don't care if you disagree. you have the depreciation of charter schools all across the country the reality is that black folks will be the originators of school choice. if you go to read the books, 1865-1930, we created school choice. you have publicly financed education in the south is because during reconstruction we took offices and put them in the state constitution. it's amazing how we run around saying we aren't down with charters when we can educate our own children, and we are fighting against our own advancement. that is the most ridiculous
thing of ever heard. the last thing is freedom schools. they have been creating freedom schools through churches. sunday to be called school in some places. we have all these churches. who here is a pastor? stand up. [laughter] do you have a freedom school? you can start one beginning tomorrow. do you have a freedom school? do you have a freedom school? you had a freedom school for 20 years? stand back up -- i asked you to sit down. y'all see him? me. at him, don't look at go meet with him. you can start tomorrow. next question.
[applause] told y'all, i i got a plane to catch. proud member of the urban league and metropolitan st. louis. equality and immigration in st. louis -- we are starting to have municipal court reform that addresses african-american community specifically. some other keyy issues, specific issues, that you can share with individuals in this room that will be direct action? i think the theme for -- karen freeman wilson: i would say earlier that reverend bryant talks about, law enforcement --
law.is a state it indiana it says they have to live in contiguous counties. when you get out of gary, it is rural. so you can imagine what they think. to specifically advocate at the state, local level for officers to be required to live in communities, or at least to allow it to be a part of the city charter. roland martin: that is one. we are out of time. we have to get to the next question. >> i am a candidate for governor of florida. the question is since the right to vote is the constitutional right -- roland martin: actually it is not. there is no affirmative right to vote in the united states constitution. allowedhe states are to deprive prisoners the right to vote. roland martin: there is no affirmative right to vote at all of the united states constitution. -- you cannot be
discriminated against that there is no affirmative right to vote. is tryinglicia riche to get a voting rights bill that puts it in the state constitution is supposed to the federal, but go ahead. >> i was wondering about prisoners index prisoners not being allowed to vote, being deprived of that right. roland martin: here's the deal -- in florida, the governor has an executive order, but that is not law. some states are trying to make those changes. benjamin crump: president obama signed an executive order, and that is how he got florida. florida is always a tossup it simply your governor doing an executive order and that makes all the difference. roland martin: but here is the other piece that black folks have to do. when it comes to criminal justice reform, give the republican governors who are better on this issues with democrats, where do you stand on the issue? benjamin crump: absolutely
right. charlie chris was a republican. question. >> good evening. can the national urban league as a nonpartisan organization support elected officials? roland martin: it can't. ys you1(c)(3) status sa can support positions, issues, not an actual candidate. >> soak in michael mcmillan clarify on how it is offset? we haven't achilles' heel, as i see it. micheal mcmillan: one of the things you can do is create a 501(c)(4). as an individual, you can volunteer, vote, and donate. karen freeman wilson: i would just say money is key. and i'm not just saying that because i'm elected.
tired, and we get then we don't give anything else. but it is essential -- [laughter] havet is essential that we our voice served by writing a check. roland martin: when he was in dallas all the white folks got together and said we wanted run for mayor -- he said, i don't want to win like you one. question. howational council -- much training do police officers in your community receive, to assist those with mental health issues? karen freeman wilson: we actually have a great program where police officers received two days of training relative to mental health. there is also a mental health court. we have a new unit that allows police officers to take people
who they believe have mental problems to that issue. one of the things we have been very, very strong on his de-escalation, -- is de-escalation, trying to get police officers to understand, u got the power it you don't have to use it. i have beenmp: going around encouraging police officers instead of being peacekeepers, they need to be peacemakers. that is what they have to think -- they don't think like that. they think i will make you do what i say -- no, let's talk about making a peaceful so we can go home. louis, mcmillan: in st. when you talk about mr. powell, that was a problem that we had. he had mental illness and was dead within 16 seconds. we obviously have a lot more work to do in terms of training our departments, large and small.
ferguson is very small, and it has to be done across the nation. roland martin: final,? -- final comment? karen freeman wilson: there are blueprints out there but it has to be community driven. that is a role not just for the urban league but for all community-based organization. resist, jamal bryant: resist, resist, organize, organize, organize, pray, pray, pray. fol roland martin: if you have felt a sense of urgency, it's because i am sick and tired of us having gatherings where we talk and discuss, but then we don't talk about real action plans, so here's what happened. there were at least 15-20 different distinct things you can do leaving here. here is what i'm going to suggest.
year, you should take all the ideas that came out of this discussion and e-mail them to every single one. do ishat you need to allow you to decide as a chapter whether you are going to focus on -- and when you come back next year, report on what you did. time toit is a waste of talk about what we need to work on and then don't come back with, we discussed it last year, we heard it, and then we implemented it, it has to be there. i will be happy to come back to have a discussion on what you accomplished, but i'm not coming back to have another discussion on what we need to do. freedom schools, stand up. come on out here. y'all can talk right now. i'm only about us getting stuff done. there is no time for talk.