tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 11, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT
number one in syria. and yet the united states is a threat. that is why there has been a lot of tension between washington and o .etween washington and ankara they are upset that they are not fully on board. toil recently, they refused open of the airbase in turkey for the coalition airstrikes. allieser western complain that not enough was done to the crossings of foreign jihadis. the countries have not seen eye to eye.
they fear that washington and iran could cut a deal. that is why welcoming a nuclear deal, they are trying to mend fences. thee is support for offshoots in syria. not a new concern for turkey. for decades, in the 1990's. relationsad zero with iran. they thought they were destabilizing turkey. started, thelic issue has become another vulnerability for turkey. the regime supported the north and allow the leadership to
return to the country. so, the issue has become more complicated for turkey because of the conflict. more recently, there has been a cease-fire since 2013 between turkey and the pkk. the sides resumed violence and there are concerns they will play that card again. the media last week reported pyd andn approached the promising support, as much as they have provided to the assad regime, if they join the fight. this is a concern for turkey and one of the reasons behind the recent attacks on the pkk. strategice to the threats and concerns, turkey has
done several things. were tentssaudi ties under the old king and, after he died, turkey launched rapprochement to counter rising iranian influence. also, turkey, saudi arabia, and atar are pursuing groups nusra, and that is partly in response to the effort to counter the iranian influence in syria. recently, turkey opened the airbase for coalition airstrikes against islamic state. the main reason was not the nuclear deal.
there was an attack by islamic state. turning point. mendingthe reason is ties. is takingat turkey several steps and, still, when i think it comes to iran, there have been peaceful relations for almost four centuries. turkey is concerned about the rising influence. on the other hand, i do not think they are willing to completely alienate iran. that has been the policy and they could compartmentalize the relationships with iran. they have close relations
economically. inre are differing stances syria and iraq. and there be managed could be a working relationship. >> thank you. a fascinating and detailed presentation. iq for that. let me turn to ford. impact on the long-running conflict in syria and iraq? no?: thank -- thank you, paul. nice to be here. thanks for the invitation. minutes speak for 5-6 on how this will affect syria and iraq, i was reminded of a story of a ponderous british archaeologist who was invited at
the beginning of the 20th century to give a talk about archaeological research and digging up temples in ancient cities and the british museum asked him to give a talk for 20 minutes. he said to his friend, oscar can i explain everything in 20 minutes? oscar wilde said, speak slowly. i told that story and used a minute. , washington isaq consumed with the issues of the nuclear deal and the politics. the problems in syria and iraq do not involve iran or united states. the involve grievances between communities that are long-standing amp or date the nuclear a cord. -- nuclear accord.
thebigger question is regional prospect of greater american and iranian association. let me look at that a little more deeply for a couple of minutes. i think of this and i think of it as a two front war. there is the eastern and the western. on the eastern, first, the of thee is on the unity iraqi state and they are growing exponentially. the low oil prices push the kurds to seek independence because they are not getting payments they were promised from baghdad, another kurdish grievance. there is not much progress so far on reconciliation.
the shiite are in baghdad. this.anians are part of they are not the most important part. the have close allies with -- militias.lose to some of them are on the , withist designation groups like hezbollah, who killed hundreds of american servicemen during the military presence and combat. the iranians are going to be our close allies and the shiite militias and others ambitions andical still do. if you are watching the news,
the iranian-backed shiite militia leaders are calling on new members to join the demonstrations that are taking place in baghdad and other cities in recent days to protest the poor provisioning of services, like electricity and water. are agilea leaders and capable. they are smart and ruthless. they are very capable. reconciliationof it is not these, clear that the americans will be able to work a whole lot on the because state problem that problem is a problem the islamic state recruits.
entity as that political is marked by lack of consideration, they will replace the losses and the fight will go on. closely to the militias, they will help recruit more people and the administration is aware of this and have been careful. we have when they attacked and, in my opinion, it was a smart move. how they will cool off rate the allies on the ground is not clear. eratew they will coop
with the allies on the ground is not clear. i think it will have a greater margin of maneuvering with the iranians in iraq. that is the good news. thatad news in syria is though war is no longer a stalemate. the regime is now clearly losing. i was just talking before we opposition ise closing in on the owl light -- aloite homeland. the iranno sign that ians are backing off support for the regime in syria. just last week's, the foreign minister was visiting kuwait and -- just last week, the foreign minister was visiting kuwait and qatar.
he said the president will stay with his friends in the region and took a shot at other countries in the region in the gulf to change the policies that are destabilizing. there is, however, some diplomatic frequent flyer theage being used with iranians, the russians, and the saudi's. -- saudis. there is a confirmation of secret service intelligence officials visiting saudi arabia last week. itt would he remarkable if occurred. there is a peace proposal and it would include a call for a new national unity government and a change to the constitution to
protect the rights of the minority communities and it would include a promise of elections under international supervision at some point in the future. wentminister visited and and had thise -- proposal. the russians sent their minister to be -- syrians.ans and i do not think this goes very far. in part the cause what you know so far. the turks have not signed on to this. the turks have it to the north.
i have to say, based on my opposition conversations, i do not believe they will trust the iranians and, even if they did, adey would never accept ass saying on. -- staying on. syria, is there scope for americans? the russians are urging the americans to stop pushing. >> the regime is losing and the army is starting to withdraw. -- homeland isnd about to be under attack.
the homebase, think about it, is there much space to work with? if he cannot retake the suburbs after three years, what are the prospects of him being able to take on the strongholds of islamic state and places that damascus?0 miles from instead, it seems that there aboutbe a bigger question diplomatic coordination. that, in turn, will require the ians to accept the assad regime is losing and there has to be a move to get assad out. that will not move the turks and saudis along without concessions. are about to get a
large amount of cash over the next 16 months and they may be willing to make the concession. i will leave that to alex. in short, the events on the ground do not suggest immediate change for american-iranian effective collaboration against islamic state in syria. thank you. >> thank you very much, robert. thank you for that. panelist withach a question and turn it over to the audience. let me go back to you, alex. you gave us the view of the big picture of how things are viewed. conversationshe and statements relating to the regional partners. what is the spectrum relating to the iranian relations to saudi arabia in the gulf takes -- gulf states. madew the minister has
this. is there a vision the deal may signal a new era? with relation to turkey, they have a long economical operation and bitter differences over syria. have you seen any which that relates to the partners? -- have you seen any new language that relates to the partners? alex: go back to last week to get a flavor of the contradictions that comes out of iran, which, frankly, does not help the iranians. minister, o saying we need to talk to saudi arabia and the situation in byron. ahrain. you have the strongest language
you can imagine putting saudi arabia, israel, and isis in the same category and says the united states backs all three. say,cratch your head and you know, if you are trying to make friends and you decided to walk away from the past bad ways, this will not convince anyone and you will leave many without questions. have the last two years. used for theg purposes of sanctions and, when it is done, the fear of the limit?s will i see the thinking. -- lete the people who
me give you a specific reaction -- example. the minister is key in the cabinet and they depend on the revenue. maintainheat task to the economies and have a degree of political stability. he has that job and the, obviously, is in close relations with the present and was successful in getting a nuclear deal. he has reached out to europeans. there is another issue for him. how does iran come back to these nuclear -- the energy markets? this is a country with 19% of exports one third of what they did a few years ago. in the case of the gcc, the
elephant in the room is saudi arabia. room the thinking in the with the islamic republic. they play this card carefully and with some skill. they may go some places. you hear the same argument that -- "are you quietly being supported by the saudis?" it is a country that says all shiite have to die. this is the counterargument that rouhani will hear. this only happens at the fight within the islamic republic is one where they are looking for ammunition. if the president does not play the post-sanction period
smart, remember the potential big losers are the affiliated subsidiaries that are part of the irgc world. the 11,000 contracts may no longer be on the table for them and they are fearful, not just in terms of ideology. they are fearful of getting hit in the pockets. if you play the game and say, look, we bring in the foreign firms and it does not mean you are missing out, that is the message you are hearing. i do not know if they are going to play it. if we talk about the region, whether we like it or not, that is the giant that iran has to deal with first. now, the nuclear deal is in the bag. can you, as you think politically, pick the issue up. -- issue up?
he feels he has what it takes to go forward. there is a lot at stake. >> let me ask about the dynamics within. tar was isolated and there was a lot of internal politics. theyve new leadership and are cooperating very much. states have ae lot of economic interests now and to what degree to you see the gcc being cohesive in this coming time? does it make a difference. how does -- a difference? how does it play? ford: i see them being cohesively, rhetorically. not in terms of policy. the only thingat more tedious than it waiting through iranian press is going
c.rough the charter of the gc they do not appear in the charter. it is economic and quasi -political. there have been attempts over the years. you may recall -- you can yetmber this -- there was another announcement that they were going to form a unified military command. there may be people in the room who know more about this. any signs of coming into existence, i have not seen it. the countries do not and have not had unanimity of views about
iran. andsplit between the uae saudi arabia was not about iran. it was about egypt. they managed to paper that. it was the foreign minister of qatar. i think they are sort of being forced into accepting the kind superstructure of hanging together or separately. thes true that, even in dark just days, you can go to thecafé and look across at place functioning in broad
daylight. on thend -- you can go said ad you see somebody phone call and all of the's boats come. there is a lot of back and forth. one last word. there is not a unanimity. do not get started on the subject of the parliament. that is just an example. they are going to hold their noses. a is not the same as being kindred spirit. the political change to
change the -- plan to change the constitution is at play. how do you see the deal impacting that will determine the new power structure. vision depends. how do you see that impacting turkey? the conflict, i think it was when charlie rose did an interview where he said -- and it was misinterpreted as a new otttoman way of seeing the region. is a unique place because
of the kurdish issue. so, yes, syria is not a matter of foreign policy. we have refugees. the kurdish community lives on both sides of the border. they are organically linked and there is family ties. areers of the leadership of syrian origin. it is -- there are reports that in northern iraq there was a meeting between iran and the puq pyd leadership -- that alarms turkey. they think that they have used the cards for a long time to destabilize turkey and change turkey.
that was the main driver of the middle east policy. card is there to be used by iran and syria. i think this, in a way, i think and it isrochement alarming for turkey. ianhink it is an iran military official who was critical. that they arerms going to abuse and use the card. kurdishto aggressive policy. there is more at stake. targets. pounding the
targeting its, that is part of the domestic calculations and he wants to appeal to the nationalists. regionally, that is a response to syria and iran. what kind of impact will that have? a great thingt is that he opened up the airbase and he seems to be on board with the coalition against islamic state. a still sees the kurds as bigger threat. domestically, he is appealing and, on the other hand, it could cost him other votes. it seems that him targeting the
that is really going to weaken it. that will hurt his prospects at forming a majority of her current. obtaining morein votes. robert, i noted resigned from the government for many good reasons. let's say you were back for a week. there has been a big diplomatic achievement with iran. let's say you were involved in geneva one and geneva two. efforts on the syrian crisis, diplomatically. what advice would you give to attempt to revive geneva?
are there any possibilities of cooperation with russia on anything? is there any light you might shed? ford: geneva. it were not willing to negotiate anything. the syrian opposition was put in writing a year and a half ago to the united nations. they put forward a proposal in writing that they would negotiate a national unity government. it was subject to negotiation. they did not have as a precondition that he step down. a half ago.ear and at this point, so much as changed in iran. so much more blood has been
shed. they have made advances. it is probably going to be a lot harder to extract concessions. going forward, i noticed that -- withunited nations whom i worked in iraq -- he does not think they can get to a conference anytime soon. three, if you will. he suggested instead, and establishment of some working groups between and among syrians on both sides. to discuss things such as security, political transition, refugees, and reconstruction. those are topics that all syrians are concerned about, on both sides will stop they do not involve an actual political negotiation. that, i think is a good way
forward. at the same time, it is more important than ever, given that qatar areudi arabia, clearly helping the syrian opposition more than they were one year ago. it is really important to get back on the same page with them with the goal of eventually getting to a negotiation. that is probably still some time away. it would be better to negotiate a deal. that means the secretary is going to have to be back on an airplane, or inviting the counterparts to washington to talk specifically about syria. discussionsnsified about what is going on on the g round.
it made some progress with the russians in terms of getting the russians to agree to a united nations resolution and setting up an investigative team to determine who is dropping chemical weapons on the battlefield and syria. the russians were refusing that a long time. we are at a good step. we should not have any expectations of breakthroughs. this is a time instead, to manage allies will stop need to prepare for the day when we can see some life on the russian side. >> let us now turn to the audience. comments?ons or as you start, introduced yourself. i will start with the lady in the back.
i will take a few questions. go ahead. >> my question is for ambassador ford. i work for the state department. syria and iran, it has been said that iran runs the show in syria, or at least runs the regime stop there have been critics that have said i run will use the deal to fund a lot of money and arms and more fighters into the conflict. i wanted to know your thoughts on that. >> thank you. somebody from the side. gentleman in the second row? >> my question is for dr. tol.
i wonder if that is a big factor in white turkey is finally deciding to declare war on isis. >> thank you. gentleman in the front? question for both bob ford and tom whitman. do you think an iranian deal will make a rapprochement between baghdad more likely, or less likely? >> the gentleman right there. there are a lot of hands. >> i have a question for any of them. countrieswhether the y need the.s. or the u.s.. 57 islamic countries for leadership.
two, with regard to islam, they are the epicenter of rare and hope image of faith and spiritual devotion for more than one quarter of humanity. 80 years of investment in saudi arabia, and vice versa. we're not trying to turn our back on that. relationsia had good with iran, with him and, -- with syria, and with lebanon. lastly, with regard to geography. saudi arabia alone is a continent with labor's. troopsr did have 130,000 -- last year they did have 130,000 troops. the issue of whether they lineed or not is not in
with any profundity. i think we do need them immensely. they need us immensely. the implication that one needs wrong.er more sis >> the gentleman in the very back? >> thank you. question is on the future of the and israel relations, relations between the west and israel. with the ability to reach a deal with iran also due to the growing tensions between the u.s. and israel.
what does this deal mean for the future of the relations? >> let's go back to the panel and start with robert. to your question , it is very difficult for me to imagine that in the short term the iranians will not use some small portion financial asources that they reacquire part of the sanctions relief program in the next year and a half. lebanon is really fighting. the number of casualties now is in the hundreds.
and that they would also use some of the resources to shore up the government both economically, in terms of economic decisions. but also in terms of war material. that could be both material supplies, and paying salaries to fighters that they recruit from countries like pakistan and afghanistan and iraq will stop to go and fight in syria. a report that you the washington institute put out about two weeks ago about the casualties among expatriate shiites in syria. hundreds have been killed in the last year and a half. that is because of the iranians. they said they were going to
double down. that is the least they are going to do. means there will be an increase in fighting in syria in the short and immediate time. in response to the join the why coalition? it was a turning point. there only two people that were killed. turkey could not respond. thereally at a time when is a potential election. it is already very unpopular. think, if there was an agreement between the u.s. and turkey before. it also became a way for turkey
to join the anti-islamic camp. turkey is quite vulnerable. there are now 1300 turkish nationals fighting. i think turkey woke up to the reality. there are too many syrian refugees. i think the main increase in is, again, the kurds. turkey has been quite uncomfortable with the united states decision. decided in return, to ask for the u.s. to establish a safe zone within syria. he saves own is right in the middle of -- there are three
different turkish enclaves in syria. the turks managed to link up those two. turkey has been worried that the kurds are now forming a turkish corridor. that is a nightmare for turkey. turkey decided that if it can convince the americans to establish a safe zone in between enclaves, they could prevent the kurds rum linking up those enclaves. the short answer, yesterday has realized it is vulnerable. hand, i thinker played a large role in the decision. >> in response to the question
about the relations between saudi arabia and iran. i'm always hesitant to get into this with a room of people who know more about this than i do. goingas a very long tail, back to the fact when -- what was his name? when he was running for prime minister. the saudi's openly backed his opponent. he was himself a shiite. that was no possibility saudi arabia and iraq were going to come back together as long as he was prime minister of iraq. now though, there have been some signs of what i would call, "movement." a few months ago, probably in the late spring, the saudi's for the first time in many, many years designated a resident ambassador to go to baghdad and represent saudi arabia.
the chosen person was a military intelligence officer last seen in beirut. had the pleasure sometime last a career iraqi, that had retired. iraq'st post whaas ambassador in saudi arabia. they did not have one in baghdad. it did not make any sense. but the king was immovable on this subject. i think now the saudi's are less immovable, but at the same time borderr that among the between saudi arabia and iraq, they are building a fence that donald trump would be proud of. thank you.
anything you would like to respond to? >> i just want to clarify one point. the argument that the kingdom of saudi arabia is going against necessarilyis not in the mainstream subscription. you still making the argument. we made it back in the 1990's. he founded in itself to reach out to saudi arabia by the early 1990's. why can't they repeat the same experiment? saudi arabia is simply too much of an opponent, of a rival.
again, i want to emphasize one of the very few handful of countries that he mentioned in 2013lection campaign in was saudi arabia. perhaps, if you want to play the game of wishful thinking. you can say he has been busy for the past two years. now that this nuclear deal is done, hopefully he can turn to saudi arabia. it will be a two-way street. optimizes will be made on both sides. that's would be good news for the region. >> thank you. he might want to corner some people before the talk is over. we have a few moments left. the gentleman in the front? thank you very much.
[indiscernible] you mentioned that the u.s. needs to keep an arms length from these groups in iraq. in syria we still support troops that directly fight against the iranian fighters. if the us were to announce cooperation with iran should be opposition see the end of support with united states. >> thank you. you.ank discussion today has been premised on the fact or obese
option that the -- or the assumption that the iran deal survives. what are the regional dynamics and ramifications if congress kills the deal? >> you had to throw that in in the last two minutes? [laughter] as we go to the back row. i am michael hudson. isis and its associated groups. , this is forng ambassador ford, but others can raise want. is there a response that isis will wither away. or on the contrary, is there some reason to think that isis and their associated groups have
all sorts of possibilities? not just in syria and iraq, but in other neighboring places. >> thank you. the lady in the third row. the microphone is coming your way. >> i have been married to an american diplomat for close to 50 years. we have served in the middle east and africa. my question is, hence israel -- me, theyael spoke to are trying to kill this deal. i wish somebody would explain to us what the hell is going on. >> i'm going to cut it at that. sorry, but we have the constraints of time. the me start with you, alex. about the veto. what did you think the scenario
would look like? tothat is not a bad place be. factions are already crumbling. posted ukraine, russia makes more measures to the iranians. given the history of suspicion between iran and the russian empire. in terms of, what is it going to be in the name of this deal. if you take harmony to be tonsactional, and just want have the sanctions removed, an american walking away from this deal basically what it does is bring international factions against iran. again, they could not care less about u.s. sanctions.
he has been suffering from our the international sanctions. from his perspective, he does not have to worry too much. they would not be too happy. >> tom? the question in the second round. any thoughts on that? >> about israel? >> there are questions regarding israel and the nuclear deal. event thatnthinkable the nuclear deal is not, does not survive in congress, i have not read one word of useful commentary from any outfit in the gulf about that possibility.
that is because it is unthinkable and also because their governments are not about to challenge it at this point. that question to might lie more with israel than it does with the members of the gulf states. they now have to take us at our word that whatever else happens, iran will not be permitted to get a nuclear weapon. i don't know how we prevent that. that will be up to us in the absence of this agreement. what would happen if the israelis were to decide that the failure of the steel then meant that they had to take some kind of unilateral military action? the consequences of that would be in or miss, but in my opinion, almost entirely unpredictable. >> thank you, tom.
anything in this round of questions you want to respond to? questiontake the regarding the islamic state in turkey. it is a hard day for the islamic state across the border. working with the european countries to stem the flow of jihadi's. it's hand is stronger. now, if the turkish government decided to range a simultaneous four. just last week, it issued a threat from turkey that it would be very easy to the civilized turkey. it would just take a bomb. that is what the statement said.
it would just take a bomb in a turkish resort. i don't know how that would translate for the isis factions in syria. >> robert? hudson'sswer to question, i think in iraq, they honestly are on the defensive. syria, they are on the defense in the northwest of the province. they are on the offense in other parts of the country, in the center, pushing towards the west. they are getting fairly close to damascus. there is plenty of fight left around damascus. i have not talked about the islamic state simply because i see no way to manage the isis
challenge --the islamic state challenge -- without having unity governments in both countries. the united states will put tens of thousands of combat troops on the ground. i certainly hope not. i spent five years trying to get the troops out of there will stop i do not think any foreign state, including iran, is willing to commit thousands of troops. these countries are big enough. the space the islamic state occupies requires tens of thousands. can these two very broken ways tol entities find achieve national unity and rally more people into the islamic state? the iranian backed militias have really put some wrenches into his efforts.
no he syrian side, i see efforts. the are more interested in fighting within the islamic state. >> thank you. our time is up. this has been a very rich panel. please join me in thanking my colleagues. [applause] >> next, they talk about the criminal justice system. and then presidential candidate hillary clinton talking about college costs. and then media coverage of the presidential race.
we will have more road to the white house coverage on c-span. speaksovernor jeb bush at the ronald reagan presidential library in simi valley, california. in the afternoon, a hearing looks at ways to prevent directed atg scams senior citizens. that is at 4:30 eastern. reverend 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. >> our first speaker absolutely needs no introduction whatsoever.
ands known around the world throughout the nation, as an irrepressible an 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. his organization and the national urban league have worked collaboratively on many, many things together. as i said last night, there are tree shakers and jelly makers. sharpton -- out pton is a treear shaker. please welcome back the founder of the national action network, reverend al sharpton. [applause] rev rev. al sharpton: first of all, good afternoon to the
national urban league. i am honored to be here with my good friends who have let us around the nation. first of all, 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. 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,