tv President Obamas Legacy on Race and Justice CSPAN November 26, 2016 2:26pm-4:00pm EST
[applause] >> thank you so much. [applause] >> thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> in cuba, the official nine days of mourning has begun to mark the death of former presidents about castro who died last night. in contrast, news of the cuban
leader's death is being observed whereelebrations in miami thousands of cubans have settled. people banged pots with spoons, waived cuban flags and set off fireworks. president obama said we offer condolences to fidel castro's family. president-elect donald trump also issued a statement that said, though the tragedies, debts and pain caused by fidel castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all we can to ensure the cuban people can finally begin their journey towards prosperity and liberty. fidel castro assumed the cuban presidency in 1959 and led the revolutionary army that toppled the government. here is a news real look at his early years in power. ♪
fidelm his stronghold, castro emerged triumphant after two years of civil war. a revolution that began with castro landing with 82 followers that was nearly wiped out by government forces. forces were claiming the city. namedrces of castro's, for the anniversary of his first attack, have grown. empowered by captured and surrendered army weapons. nearly two years of warfare, castro had a counterattack and the battle for santa clara was a crucial victory.
the departure touched off while rejoicing in the capital. at first, the celebration was peaceful as they turned to the city. and anhe temper changed ugly mob went across the streets. the homes and businesses destroyed. six years of prosperity and government corruption led to explosive discontent. a new leader is on the scene. fidel castro, an unknown
quality, but certain to be dominant in cuba's era that has just begun. >> in 2010, former president fidel castro gave a speech to the cuban national assembly. we will show you that speech in its entirety tonight at 10:55 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> the are some of the featured programs coming up this weekend. tonight at 8:00, the state of the black world conference his cousin the impact of the 2016 election. melanie campbell, executive director of the national coalition for black civic patient -- participation, and mark thompson. also ross baraka. >> even as we get together as black folks in this country and we happeve an agenda, we also have to unite with other people.
the object is to win. patient -- we don't want to struggle for struggle's sake. thousands of people are in our community that are in jail, beat. we are not activists and revolutionaries because it is fun. my mother and father did not participate in the movement for medals, awards, for twitter, instagram, to be praised. they did this because it was necessary. >> followed by the nebraska senator on american values, the founding fathers. >> it turns out the meaning of america is persuasion. the meaning of america is love. the meaning of america is building a better product or creating a better service or persuading somebody to marry you persuading somebody to join your church or synagogue. there is a huge civic mindedness.
>> newt gingrich, van jones and patrick kennedy discuss opioid addiction and treatment. >> it is true people have to minds and have some willpower, but they also have to change their brains back. this is a biological thing. your brain is an organ. once these doctors and you these bills and say we took a molar out of your mouth, you broke a collar road, take these pills. for a lot of people, those pills damage the organ. >> watch on c-span and c-span.org and listen on the free c-span radio app. >> now a republican presidential campaign advisor, a former faith advisor to president obama, mary barry looks back at president obama's legacy in terms of race relations and justice.
this is from the harvard kennedy school. >> well, it is now my pleasure to introduce the moderator for today's opening panel. kelly is the host of under the radar airing sundays from 6:00-7:00 p.m. her commentaries air monday during the weekend edition. she's a frequent commentator, local and national television and radio programs posted in "the new york times," the politico and "washington post" and has appeared on broadside, cnn reliable sources on the media, pbs news hour and take away. she appears weekly on wpg htp, examining local and national coverage and frequently hosts current events considering communities of color. she's also been the recipient
from the nieman journalism and the john f. kennedy school of government. also the producer for eys on the prize america's civil rights that found her an oscar nomination, national emmy and the dupont columbia award. with that, i'm going to turn over to the moderator to introduce the panelist. thank you. [applause] >> i will start by introducing the panelists and we will talk about 45 minutes and then there will be time for each of you should ask a question so you can be prepared to do that after we stop speaking here. every one of the panelists was a robust biography. you will not hear it now. i'm going to give you the one sentence on a page. the geraldine arts professor of
american social thought, history and african studies at the university of pennsylvania. [applause] joshua is the founder of the values partnership and former head of the white house office of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships. [applause] bethe assistant professor and department of african american studies at princeton university. [applause] and michael singleton is the republican political consultant, writer and political analyst. [applause] i know our panel title is opportunity and opportunities missed. we are going to start on the opportunities end, which is the uplifting side of the equation and i want to begin with someone
who has much gravitas set of professor berry. he worked with several presidents, so when we talk about race and justice and at the age of obama you can bring up a context i think few others can and i want to ask you what is the opportunity that you see from the policy perspective that president obama has been able to have happen? >> i'm a cynic because i served in some capacity in every administration since nixon, republican and democrat. so when i look at obama when he was running for office, i was excited about it and they looked at him in the context of all the other administrations that i knew about and never believed in
hope and change to begin with because i knew too much and i also teach so i didn't know too much about it obama, not to be too cynical because i don't like to discourage people, but the opportunity that he had was to show what joe biden said about him was correct that he was clean and articulate and would always be that way. but coming to the president he wouldn't be frightening to anybody and he had all of the right credentials and had been authorized places in places and punched allplaces in the punchbowl to write tickets and had some engaging personality and was really smart, and no one had to be embarrassed by what he did in the way that he behaved with his wife and children, his mother-in-law and all the things he did that he would engage in the model personal behavior which he did do. he also knew from the speech he gave at the convention that he was a wonderful artist and i
happened to have written a book about it called over and words about all the speeches he made in the background of all of them so you knew he was incredibly lucky because the senators he ran with and against collapsed in the illinois race which gave a leg up and he was incredibly lucky because he was from chicago, and the islands look at the chicago tv and everyone knew him and people came from chicago in the first primary and when i told bill clinton and hillary was going to lose they should stop running and bill got mad at me. [laughter] so he had the opportunity to show when you are black and have the opportunity
to do something, and i've been in that position a lot of times when i saw some people say you are going to mess it up so much that people can never do it again i don't think anyone can say that he messed up so much that nobody black can do it again. racial inequality has been touched, the people that got still get and give more and is not only that but the article the other week about people that are educated and have college degrees and come to place this like this in the job market they don't get the same opportunity to move up so capitalism is safe to. we haven't had a widespread rebellion and the deplorable as i guess they are called are
still out there. i think the opportunity is to show with the right credentials to write kind of man can do the job and he's done the best he could with what he had. >> is there a specific policy that he was able to take all that but you just said and make that work in a policy that you think exhibited his use of the opportunity? >> i think that obama didn't use his policies and opportunities in the first term as effectively as i would have liked to see. i was present at the creation of the affordable care act and they know that lots of people come advocates at the end tried to ask them to put a public option in the affordable care act coming into and the democrats had control of congress. they could have done it, but the other thing that is a more
grievous failure is they left the whole wide enough for a truck to drive through so the court could find medicaid didn't have to be expanded and millions of people who live in the poorest states in the country, mississippi, alabama, a lot of folks, his constituents and all that all across the country are covered because they were trying to hide what was in the bill from the republicans and they didn't let the staffers that had the expertise needed the bill as nancy said lots of people, they didn't know what was in eighth but theyit butthey got it passed and they had the majority you can't blame on the republicans. they had a majority. the other thing i say he should have done better i would have hoped in my opinion is the race to the top using that
discretionary money for the untested, untried, i evaluated money that could have been spent on programs for kids who are out on the streets now stealing and robbing and shooting each other and for them to be in school and training and job programs like they did at one time cooking the 60s and 70s, and afterschool programs and vocational programs to get them off the street which are tried and true. they are not just pie-in-the-sky check it out. they are trying the truth. >> i'm going to stop you there because you are going into my opportunity. i'm trying to do that before we go into it.
i approach you on this question with some interpretation because you began when president obama came in by saying he wasn't on your plan but i want to ask you to dig deep and find the opportunity that he was able to make happen in terms of policy. >> i think if i can the president has done a relatively decent job. i think in particular if you look around at the country at the african-american youth even hispanic youth and poor white who share the same communities as those groups, he is given a lot of hope and inspiration and i think for a lot of minorities who believed of course you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to an america, that wasn't quite fully realized until you did see the minority become the first president of the most
powerful individual in the world. that is something i don't think any number of case studies, you can't quantify with something like that for the community of people and if you look at places like chicago and baltimore, new orleans, other cities, and my grandmother happens to be an educator and i visit often and talk to a lot of the kids there and they lived in an environment i could never imagine. when i ask them what you think about your future, how do you see your self and would you want to do once you're done with high school and going to college, etc., more often than not they say i can do anything now. when you ask why, they say look at president obama and michelle obama. i constantly reflect on what that means and it's puzzling. i'm not quite sure how to figure out what his presidency has meant to so many black and brown people. and again, i think that's something that you can't quantify and maybe you can
theorize that it, but for me that's not a policy, it's beyond policy. it's something that i think and i hope will potentially uplift the entire generation of people so that is an opportunity for me. >> you start from the position of faith, but i know that at the selma 50th anniversary, you connected the civil rights movement was president obama's legacy. you saw the connection and spoke about it. so i'm wondering if you see that as his opportunity. [laughter] >> i am a person of faith, but i would like to talk about the president's work and concrete policy achievements that we've seen over the last eight years, and then we can move after that. first, the african-american unemployment rate at the height of the recession in 2010 was
16.8% at last monday was 8.3%. because of president obama's intervention, and i was there at the beginning when he wrote down pennsylvania avenue to switching arms on capitol hill to make sure that we got the stimulus act passed and he made the moves on the auto industry that he didn't support the unemployment rate has been cut in half. the second thing i would mention is the affordable care act. certainly much more could have been done. the public option would be ideal and was very much immersed in the negotiations that was a little known fact. a black woman graduate of harvard law school and the first cabinet secretary drafting a lot of the language even with the flaws in the affordable care act some are non- seniors and it's been cut in half since the
beginning of the open enrollment period. that is a big deal for their real-life individuals that have health insurance because of president obama. a few more things. the president has permanently banned the use of solitary confinement for juvenile offenders. that's a huge deal. i used to work at a juvenile facility in cambridge and interacted with number that spend weeks or months in solitary confinement. that's not allowed anymore. i'm just solitary confinement but with juvenile dissension in general we have 30% fewer juveniles in secure detention today than we did when president obama started in 2008. he's begun to shift towards the community-based programming in a very specific way. talking about teen pregnancy and the bush administration we had ideological approaches and interventions that didn't focus on concert shots in --
contraception and we also had the team right to come -- teen pregnancy rate has dropped 34.9% of the big deal because the president has invested in the evidence-based intervention particularly related to contraception and also community-based programs as well. i could go on and on and you could look at the number of black folks and black women on the federal bench, 26 appointments more than any other and that woman will be there for the lifetime so i think in general i should say there is a little bit of a disconnect between the way the folks i interact with for example in my second home which is my barber my barbershop on the 11th and eighth, and the perspective of president obama in the more you
beat african-american circles, i think even in my own family there is the sense that he did everything he could and there were some achievements made by the way we take a look there is more disappointment. i could go on with more but -- >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> i might ask you to answer the same question, what did the administration get right about using an opportunity to make policy? >> is a very complicated question because i think when you look at the level of expectation and hope that existed at the beginning of the
obama administration where in some circles at least in the news media there was a discussion on whether or not we were entering into the post-racial period and there was a majority who believed the election was the achievement and if you look at the end of those things and the level of expectation that came in where we are now, ironically it was during this administration you had to be irruption of black lives matter and it raises a serious question i don't think is posed justified that he leads and we can see that question into the complications hillary clinton has right now in terms of mobilizing the voters. expectation that came in where we have to grapple with the fact that 44% of the black voters
between 18 and 30 are voted for bernie sanders and when president obama is saying that hillary clinton is a continuation of his administration would does that mean about almost half of the young black voters and what is the disconnect that is borne out in their own experiences in terms of dealing with police violence and is borne out in the enormous amount of student debt that the black students in particular have incurred, and it's borne out in the complete uncertainty about what the future holds a in terms of having jobs that can respond or get rid of that and the ability to have a secure future in general. so i think that there is a big question. there are policies we can pick out that say this may have had a
positive impact for this group of people that when we are looking at the overall assessment in terms of where the expectations were, and i was the quickly when people talk about expectations it is unrealistic to waste this on the president i think we have to look at how the expectations were cultivated. barack obama wasn't the first political choice in 2007, 2008 but there was a concerted effort to try to transform his campaign into less of a political campaign and more of a social movement. i had never heard a presidential campaign from the mainstream. from the legacy of the abolitionist movement and the stonewall rebellion in the
stonewall rebellion in the movement to say his campaign as an expression of the grassroots mobilization that can stand up to the status quo that's what a lot of the disappointment rise on the disconnect between what candidate obama ran on and president obama ultimately became. that is the complication in the history that we have to deal with. >> let's move to the opportunities missed. some people said nothing is more expensive than an opportunity missed. so what did it cost us, we are talking about race and justice
as the theme of this conference so in terms of race and justice, what did it cost for these opportunities to the next? >> it is a destabilizing thing opportunities missed. some people said nothing is more and i agree we do not have the level of change that was articulated so beautifully in 2008 but with the mighty missing from that they've done an amazing job of pointing that out and as we now see is white supremacy out for everyone to see. we can see the trump supporters
and a petite pretty movement in 2010 and the issues with race and policing now. we can't do surgery without the x-ray. i think it probably took the country too long and to one and maybe the president too long to identify what a lot of folks in the room knew already. but now i guess because of the tremendous work of others around the country pointing this out, keeping the issues at the forefront now we can do something about it and can talk about the implicit bias. we are having serious rigorous conversations about shifting but the way that it affects other areas of american life, so it is on the table now along with the missed opportunities and the fact that it took a while to get on the policy is other achievements came to be.
but now we can do something about it. >> you started off with a number of things that i want you to target race and justice and to say what do you think is the chief opportunity missed from this administration? >> i think the black unemployment rate that joshua mentioned with 16.9 or something and i spent three years trying to get somebody in the white house to target programs toward towards black unemployment and at one point, it was high and people's houses were getting foreclosed and there were stories in the paper, and people that have jobs but then laid off in the school systems in all
kind of bad things happen. finally i had to resort to getting a reporter to raise this question at a white house press conference. when the reporter raised it, finally the other reporters started raising and then there were stories about it in the press. but it may be each point whatever he said now, twice the rate of everybody else. the whole first term, you have suffering a and the point is you could make some of the resources i talked about in my earlier answer trying to do something there. i know the stimulus was passed but it wasn't big enough for targeted right and there were questions with it. i say on policy we can criticize if we must and i said he did the best he could with what he had. for what they did when the democrats had total control, when they could have passed they had votes and his problem is not just the white deplorable as
with the poor people of his people to. the problem is the democratic party has become too much the party of the managerial elite and professional classes and isn't the party of the poor anymore. that is a major problem. since it is not, people on the hill have to worry about whether they get campaign contributions and the reason they kept the insurance industry in is because because she knew they were going to get a big cut out of this thing but now they say give us money because we are losing out. my point is it's not just obama. the problem is the democratic party and what it does as a
party that no longer represents the people that wants to vote for it every time they want us all to go out and vote. and what do they do, scare us. or this is going to happen to you. you've got to vote. forget about the policy part and what we didn't do and what we are not going to give. are we going to do that and how did you us accountable you is accountable you us accountable though we don't hold them accountable. what we do then is go to sleep until the next time they come back and say vote for us people like us we will all do our way to the matter who is president. but i'm talking about the people front down,and that's who i'm talking about and the people next or the opportunity for somebody to rise up, somebody like bernie sanders. he wasn't my favorite guy but at least he talked the talk.
obama is fine. he did great and as you compare them with trump and his approval ratings are so high people love him and pray for him every sunday in church. [laughter] trump is so bad that when something is bad even it looks good. [laughter] i know you didn't ask me all that -- [laughter] >> this focus is about president obama and his administration and you made the point the party also had a part to play in that. michael earlier made the point that though the hope and change was important in terms of the cultural response but certainly
america, it still didn't translate into policy that he could pinpoint. a lot of the criticism for president obama was in the rain -- in the range of what he could do regarding policy. there is no emphasis on targeting the policy for african-americans specifically. i know you've been a chief critic about this, so for many people -- this is paramount to opportunities. >> he said in the midst of 2012 in the second run for president just to clarify, i'm the president of the united states, not of black america, in this period which there was disproportionate suffering and impacts of the economic crisis in black communities and again and part of the reason why the tide turned for obama among black voters was that you
believe whether or not he made specific promises you can't pinpoint but the idea change doesn't come from washington that comes through washington and yes we can and all that was the idea that the election would result in particular attention paid to the problems and the beauty but for front page when the economic crisis was happening. not only did not that not happen but it's important to point out how the president also while not paying particular attention to the community's policy wise, was also preserving the species are blaming black communities for the problems that existed. what i mean by that is that at a time when the occupied movement is exploding and the entire
western world is talking about the economic poverty, the problems of capitalism, the reckless pgp or in wall street, and a direct implication since 2008 what is he talking about, black men need to act. but parents need to turn off the tv and read to their children. according to chicago is bemoaning the lack of a role model. all of this kind of language that was taking the spotlight and emphasis off of the systemic problems everyone was talking about and redirecting the attention back into the behavioral or the morality of the communities and basically, preserving that space which was shrinking in effect and keeping
it alive which was distractive. >> about is that fair win the presidency though if large is limited in the powers of what it may do command the expectation he would target not one that should have happened giving even everything he said. if you go into the black community and talk about your candidacy as a product, if you go and try to demonstrate your campaign as the trajectory of social movements that have been unfolding since the 19th century, then i think it is unfair for them to then turn back to the communities and say why do you expect me to do particular things, president obama that spent much of his administration from talking about race and dealing with issues in the community then, a month ago they said if black people don't vote for kerry
clinton, that is a slander against my legacy. -- for hillary clinton, that is a slander against my legacy. [inaudible] >> a seminal moment. >> i will come back to you. your job is to look at the political process and direct so given that we understand that the presidency is limited, can't get the strong reaction, you created the expectation. explain to me from your perspective race and justice and how he may have even in his administration taken an opportunity to exchange that. >> to my surprise and not the
biggest fan and in 2012 i worked for governor romney and speaker ryan. i traveled all over. they were my preference to be in the white house but as it pertains, he's probably been president of all attempting to get legalized marriage, they advocated for that. they advocated for some type of comprehensive immigration that these are specific initiatives he chronicled during the policy. policy. for the most part he didn't say anything as it relates to greece and injustice. i want to talk about two come education and criminal justice
reform. when i want to fission come ion -- when i am on television, typically i'm the only republican and we talk about these issues weekly and it baffles me when you look at an education called the pell grant. most of my friends went to. the rules are drastically changed. that impacted a lot of african-americans. the rules for creditworthiness were absolutely changed. they can't send their kids to college who may want to go to school. you might say they can play at predominantly white institutions. most wouldn't qualify. it would give them an
opportunity to excel but if the parents can't find a loan to get them through the door they can't go see you have kids on the street. you see of chicago, baltimore. the president had a meeting with congressional black caucus members. the president for the most part was dismissive and disputed that it was quite clear. it should have hired graduation rates and this and that and so they say we get those things. i remember in college i had many of my friends that came from destitute backgrounds and they didn't perform very well.
moorhouse being more house, they kept the students there. they worked with them until they were able to achieve. i was on tv with a former president of bennett college and schuster -- you are sharing a story with me -- and she was sharing a story with me. they said got to let her go. we can't do that. she's not performing academically. we are going to work with her. this young lady is now an attorney. if the president has his way they will continue to cut funding and continue to make it difficult for the people that supported you,
extremely loyal you can work on comprehensive immigration but for the people that gave the majority of their vote both times, and haven't received anything for it, if you ask me, you mean to tell me you can't focus on making it easier to have access to quality education. let's tie about criminal justice reform. believe itnt and i was 600 individuals he executed. , lyndon johnson i believe was over 200. it cost between 18 to 50,000. per prisoner per year. federal costfederal cost between 20 to 30,000 per year. our prison system in the country is at capacity. we have the largest prison population in the world, the
largest. 90% of the people imprisoned are in for nonviolent offenses. 90%. we have a minimum that impacts african-americans and hispanics and the president hasn't focused on these issues. it's absurd he doesn't focus on the issues and gave the majority of support and he ignored these issues. if you ask me the president hasn't been a very effective job and those are two things that impact block people. my grandmother is an educator. i see how these impacts affect communities. that's an example one example the president has failed. >> because you are in the white
house with the president, he curated the expectation that more would be expected but because he is the first african-american army treated to a treating him differently than we would have treated another administration. i mean that in a specific way and not in a disparaging way, but i will talk specifically about that. i will adjust very important points that have been raised. is anal justice reform fascinating perspective in terms of where president obama has , and aggressively on that issue. the naacp did a special where he
was the first president to tour a prison and the white house has been on an all out push. a republican senator from the republican party and other republicans who are not bringing criminal justice reform to the floor. we want to talk about specific policies and the president addressing race. i would love for someone to study the disconnects many of which are reacted to positively than the same folks can say i've been there for many of them in 2007 when he gave a generation speech and in 2007 after that speech, he walked over to the reverend and pushed him across the bridge privately in ways that folks will never know.
i was in philadelphia when he gave his speech on the campaign and after martin was killed he went to the rose garden and said if i had a sony would look like him followed up after the acquittal and went down to the briefing room and looked at systemic issues. i was in charleston when he was 7 feet above the coffin. it could have been a regular eulogy but he spoke about black people in this country and i was sitting right behind the family
when the congregation rose to greet him when he didn't know if he could go on to the next their voices with his. he said he stood for and with them. i could keep going. [inaudible] >> 15 seconds of policy. you heard the achievement but he he emplaced the big names and we can talk about his and her achievements in days they will never know like the head of the council who dramatically expanded the neighborhoods around the country in her tenure and he has a tremendous amount he could have done and should have done and there is a reason.
i think when you pull just americans, not only of a praying for him, did he do as much as he could yet for the map -- the vast majority would say yes. i trust my great-grandmother to have a pretty good assessment of president obama. >> i want to bring it back to. would we have put the same pressure on another administration? >> no. >> i hear this a lot and it drives me nuts. the president gave great speeches. that's not results. as it pertains to senator chuck grassley i do not agree with the fact he's holding up criminal
justice reform and in my opinion i would say he's not targeted for having the publicity initiative i would want it targeted at specific issues. >> that's not how dc works and you know that well. if you take it up or down on the issue and go down from there -- >> there's a reason he didn't. >> i want to push back on the notion that it's only delete blocks that criticize the president. -- it's only delete blacks -- blacks that
criticize the president. you can do any number you want to and it won't criticize because of the different measures. if you think the people on the ferguson were the elite then i'm not sure i can help you with the or the people on the streets in charlotte or ordinary black working class people who'd been on the street for two years because of the absolute lack of change as we talk about the race and justice and missed opportunities the president does of a number of things to appeal to the activists and cultivate the ideas that something is happening and came out of the first wave of protests it's been
almost 19 months since the recommendations of the report came out and another 1300 people have been killed by the police. we can talk about the federalism and the lengths to which the federal government can go to. on the other hand, if a is a problem with the fee evenhanded approach that the president probably has to do but these are the reasons the movement is on the streets because of that response and you can't dismiss that as a couple of professors
having an issue with president obama but everyone is it makes no sense of the current political situation and the rejection of hillary clinton, those have to be accounted for. you have 30 seconds. we are going into questions. >> the speeches that are wonderful and builds up the purse, but i'd do as first as a president that is good at that can do that effectively and it comforts and makes all people of color feel great. it's not about policy unless the policy is implemented after that were before.
the second thing is part of the problem is we don't know enough history there should be more history and policy making here at the kennedy school and other places because most people don't know when you talk about the policing and the commissions that do violence to be made recommendations about what they should do. but if we knew something about that before it might help us. the third thing is obama hasn't had the pressure put on him that others have had. when folks have tried in groups
to get them to do something at the white house they get crossed out. republicans love us, democrats love us. your job is to -- go over there and take care of all these problems. so they know we love obama and they haven't pressure. if you have a president in the white house with unemployment and all these other things you would have more people complaining. we just wanted to go through and go on and be happy to. we need a microphone.
>> no one mentioned >> no one mentioned anything about foreign policy and to connect it to this most killed the hundreds of thousands of people of color around the world and the second is the fact this may be more of a comment no one has gone to prison, wall street, criminal and police. the >> yes and indeed. we weren't asked about foreign policy. one of those things i like about obama, i don't like all those is hisgetting killed, foreign policy has been not to send a whole bunch of troops to someplace.
they lose their limbs and come back as amputees. i think that is good on the foreign policy side. obviously since capitalism is an justiceu expect the department to go after those people and put them in jail. wall street people, they don't care how much you find them. fine them all you want. it is going to jail that really bites. all the way over here. you have a relationship with president obama and there's been talk about how he was the community organizer and campaigned a social movement preserve yet there has been a
policy support at the federal level. why was there a disconnect but then the organizing experience and his lack of policy. >> one of the great failures in the obama administration was the lack of transition and all that enthusiasm the movement that could have helped healthcare reform that there was a significant gap so i think moore could have been done from the dnc perspective from the leadership across government and all the mechanisms in the party. there are a few bright spots both in practical and relational the president engages with the
groups and brings them into conversation about the policy initiative in the same room as a those who heard from last night. he's able to evoke a conversation about where we were organizing in the movement and where we are now. this isn't an achievement but it's the best thing that happened and that was in response to the issues these young activists saw across the country. the president certainly didn't create the block by air movement -- on a practical side, i mentioned the neighborhoods. the president regularly engages in groups and brings them in policy initiatives. -- thesethe same room folks are able to connect across a generation and provoke the conversation about where we were
in organizing a civil rights movement and where we are now. don't think this is an achievement of the presidents but the moment we are in. best thing to happen to the country since the civil rights movement. in response to police violence and to issue these young activists saw in young communities around the country. the president certainly did not create the black lives matter movement. i think pretty quickly after ferguson learned the movement leaders, some who are not in conversation, some who do have a robust conversation with the white house 10 policy -- white house and policy initiatives. you have people who will say i'm in a very real dialogue with the white house between community organizing activists and the
federal government. am i getting everything on that? no, but the conversation is being taken seriously. you mention there was a lack of specific targeting in terms of the african-american community. but obama's mobilization machines in terms of voting has been marked as some -- marked as revolutionary by some. why was that mobilization machine not present in the implementation of policy? could it have been used to actually encourage popular participation and implementation? >> i think the president, on a political strategy -- i worked with three presidential candidates. we wish we could implement what
president obama did in terms of the ability to mobilize young voters. think at that same strategy was utilized in terms of policy he supported, it could have been on members of congress to have to answer to some of these questions. if they are getting thousands of calls a day, i have seen this on the other side, if they are getting thousands of calls a day, they are going to say we can't table this, let's just bring it for an up-and-down vote. is he to think it promise things as a candidate. -- it is easier to promise things as a candidate. there was the first year or so when obama had a simple majority in congress. if you can't get anything past
event, it speaks to the complication of doing so. i think that it's part of the problem. when people talk about the discussion of race and issues of criminal justice and try to attribute that solely to the presence of the president, the black president has helped bring these issues of race and inequality into everyday people's living room, i think what is missing there is the movement has actually forced these issues into the open in an unprecedented way. so you look at the different moments when this happened around the execution of troy when hundreds of students marched around washington dc, hoping to get the president to make a statement.
no one was naive to think he would intervene into georgia. weing these are the reasons voted to have a black president they get thehouse, president out to say this is a states rights issue. even with trayvon martin it took the mobilization of people for 45 days to get zimmerman that issueat brought and to everyday people's living room. the president has been reactive to these things, which speaks to his intelligence. you can't ignore the central issues to a black constituency. it has to to with the constraints of the democratic party that i'm not sure a completely interested in having a mobilized engaged electorate outside the four year voting cycle.
to go here and come back to you. >> thank you very much. you i'm a very dangerous driver, you are not quite a think he's driving so fast, you think it is part of my being a dangerous driver. we were told in explicit ways from the inception of president obama's candidate see that he is very different. what are the things he has done areresident, which overshadowed by negative expectations that were created, this negative framework that was built around him from the beginning? how much of what he hasn't been able to achieve has been lost, specially whether it is young african-american voters or other communities of color, how much
has been done that had been lost? he is living up to negative expectations. i hope that makes sense. >> i would say from what i understand from your question is that people make those determinations based on what changes in their lives. think people only form their political opinions based on the news media. there is some combination that has an impact. but it is also based on your own experience. if you look at chicago, for , is -- the situation for black millennials is a disaster. politicalo amount of spin that can transform that reality.
many ordinary people are reacting to that, what is actually changed in our 47%to-day lives see at code arelack men 20 through 24 unemployed and out of school. all of this can be laid at the doorstep of president obama, obviously. but when you are the leader of the free world, when you can direct drones strikes precisely in pakistan, it raises the expectation of what you should be able to do in this country. we can't just talk about all the complications, because we have seen the american government move quickly on things it is ,etermined to push through
particularly social issues that have to do with poverty and inequality. people did carry a set of expectations and negative viewpoints, whatever the case may be. think it is also really important to look at, even marginal progress. largest decline in the poverty race for african-americans since 1999. that is 700,000 overall, 400 thousand children that are above the poverty line right now. even close to everything, but that is important. some of that can be traced back --very specific bureaucratic that president obama put a crate -- put in place across the government.
there was this broad expectation that things will get that her. -- get better. things have gotten acutely or more apparently worse. i agree it is not that president obama put those out on the table himself, i think the causal was why a lot of americans reacted to a black -- acan -- lack president andk president in office mobilize to respond to that .eaction he has had an ongoing role responding to it. environment it has created has the issues at the forefront. the question is where do we go from here? what we do know that these issues are on the table?
>> this gentleman on the back wall. >> what specific race related pieces of legislation would you and liked to have seen past how likely do you think those would have been passed? >> that is a hard question. i'm not sure how much the president would be able to get accomplished with the partisanship in congress today. a friend who works in the white house, he was given me some pointers. would try my best.
i would have wanted to see the president focus a lot more on education, specifically as it pertains to lack colleges. criminalis focus on justice reform should have been more targeted versus having one big policy initiative. with the level of partisanship we see today, i'm not even sure if those things would have passed. >> i think it is an excellent question but it is a wrong question. what specific legislation i would have liked to see past that would have affected the black folks i am talking about who didn't have jobs and an unemployment rate and all of if you ask that question
for a long time i sort of thought but you need to do is propose a piece of legislation that targets resources to geographic areas where the highest poverty rates are, and therefore you would get the black folks in the area talking about it. when you look at the poverty rate you have to look at where it started. didn't go back up way before 1999? now i hear there is proposal from the congressional black clinton talksll about in his campaign that they try to do that. you could have proposed that the first year. you wouldn't have to say race. just say the areas where those rates existed. and there is lots of legislation
you can draft that will look at where the people are and what the data is on those groups. withoutcan target them saying i'm here today to talk about black folks. that's all i will say now. >> to the ss point point there are a lot of poor whites who benefit from the legislation. >> i can't describe very specifically, but has some formulas which take many resources to the highest level of poverty. >> lie in the last year, and for hillary clinton's campaign, ask yourself this question -- did was ast thing knockdown drag out fight over the stimulus where republicans wanted it all.
he fought for as much as he could. i wish it was the case that you could pass whatever you want. the second thing he decided, i'm going to move on to health care. by the time that is over we are and the president is making a political disaster by not selling that bill. this is a relatively narrow period of time that started with the economic recovery and moved to health care. could he have made different decisions? could he have put up confidence of immigration reform? he had an emerging economy on the verge of the next great depression. important to not think it would have been one. no one would have said even the
stimulus we would have had -- it was a very difficult decision. >> that is not the point. the point is not that we should have had stimulus. everybody knows that. the point is when you have control of the legislature and you makeing majority choices. there is grab bag, something absolutely essential , maybe 90% of electorate you can take a look at it or mention it or discuss it or see if somebody else may agree with you. that is all i am saying. >> one of the issues i have been concerned about is the devastating effect of
foreclosures on the black community. and it affects everyone else. you have many black families forced out of their traditional neighborhoods, forced out of the community. it affects educational achievement. it is linked to everything you can think about. about, and'm curious of course the banks have been able to strengthen their position, this is the growing context of growing wealth and any quality, i want to know what do you see as opportunities that could have been taken care of? it is a central issue. and what opportunity could have been a dress now? -- been addressed now?
>> i think once the overall critique of the lack of accountability for wall street is something i would agree with. i think the department of housing and urban development has done important things on the rental side and transitioning out of substandard public housing into more quality housing. i think where possible they have done everything they could in the most urgent foreclosure cases. i don't think there was a robust and policyrt approach to addressing foreclosure. >> 244,000 african americans result of homes as a the fallout of the recession in 2008.
i think the issues of debt forgiveness, once it was discovered that many of the loans that have been made to africanamericans, american subprime loans that ways,ushed in fraudulent there should have been some kind of debt forgiveness as a result. when we talk about the obama administration, they really try to fix it on what those individuals can do. we are talking about huge systemic issues. when goldman sachs is running the treasury department, it is unlikely people with goldman sachs and the finance industry are going to be put for -- put into jail. it is the same thing with the influence of the real estate and all of the rules
and laws and regulations that are twisted in such a way to not be as beneficial as they could, but in fact a beneficial business interest. --s is not something that is but in some way shows the with obama and previous administrations, as much as people may want to talk about how different this administration was. i think the housing crisis in amountlar, we see a vast of continuity and how typical this administration reacted in terms of defending and deflecting the financing sector for the real estate industry. even the things that were shown to have engaged in the practices that resulted in black people taking these fraudulent loans, you get some fines up to
the banks. allen west seriously punished. and the process begins to replicate itself in other ways. wells fargo, which was implicated in baltimore for pushing ghetto loans, now they have new issues. it's because none of these people are ever punished. fraudulenthey're illegal to implicit practices in the first place. in that respect the obama administration sort of fell in line with how most of these operations -- how most of these administrations operate. >> i think it is important to mention the consumer financial protection bureau and the partnership between elizabeth warren and barack obama. we would not know about their current issues if it was not for
very aggressive interventions they have undergone in the last two years. is ast think that important or significant. it is important and both substantial federal judges ruled too much authority and now there are conversations about rolling it back since its creation. that is a very real advocate on behalf of consumers. >> has anybody gone to jail? >> that is the next great issue. the conversation
continues, becomes robust and reaches important conclusions. we talk about being able to pay teachers more, focus on retirement, on homeownership. >> the question was about black recovery, because that was not on like. right here. did you have your hand up? ok right here. >> hello. my frame of reference is i made bilingual psychologist. i know where our students are primarily undocumented immigrants. you could say i'm passionate about policy and would like to be more involved. my question is do you feel like president obama replacing no child left behind was an opportunity?
>> why did you have to ask me? i think no child left behind and ,eachers would kiss my behind of course was announced by everybody everywhere. i think that the student have, i act seems to think he probably believes in his education policy that they were making some progress by the student succeeds act. i think the mere title of the away that is right not real. first of all not every student is going to succeed.
there still seems to be this inief, which is not shared the university i teach or even this one that in fact the only inng you need to worry about school is what happens in school. this is not true. of need to worry about all the structural issues you are talking about, all the social economic issues. premise thatts the if every student doesn't succeed is because of something that happened in school. i don't like the provisions of it that give opportunities to use public money to go to places that i don't think it should go. show are no studies that that pays off. bush, weh, the first have had a succession of
education and policies put into any kind oft supplemental research report by scholars who work on these matters to say we should do whatever it is. one of my kids told me in one of my graduate seminar, why don't they do for poor kids what my parents did for me? if they really want to help them, why do they keep doing all as if going to school and what happens to them in schools without giving them the opportunities that i even had in schools is going to be enough for them? wish something would happen. starting with the title of it, connecting, ithis is to fight with him all the time but he was right.
education was connected to health and everything else. and i helped jimmy carter kitted out of the department of welfare. the more we disconnected from what kind of work people have with their parents, what kind of environment they live in, what is going on with communities and what additional resources you need to take care of the kids, not every student is going to succeed. >> were the events that took in ferguson and other -- has obama done anything in the field of
executive action in scaling back the material given by the department of defense to police departments in order to cut down on what is going on. >> yes. the answer is yes, he has made and fullbackable funding on the militarization. and something available on training. possible, he has -- doneething in something and the department of justice has done something. have a mucheed to more robust conversation about how the president, in combination with local hold police can
department accountable. initiated a bunch of rigorous destinations to. they are sending justice officials. progressive justice officials and to local communities and detailing the issues with the police department. i think that is another tool and another mechanism. can theyhe question is to more? i sure there are additional things he can do. this is another moment where the rhetoric needs action. he went to dallas, he addressed the tragedy, he memorialized those officers.
folks say he could have done this. but in fact he did something more robust than anyone had expected. >> i think the reasons for that is continued issues not just with police violence and abuse but the lack of accountability for that, which i think we installized for many people the movement, particularly with freddie gray was handled and the way the corn are -- the coroner can say the death was a homicide, and yet all the officers who are involved with him, not a single one of them will be held in account.
later, this isrs countless meetings in the white house, this is a commission, this is several reports and investigations later. and still the police officers not indicted. the police officer who choked eric garner to death is not indicted. the police officer who killed walter scott in south carolina has been given bail because the judge said he felt bad that this officer had been removed from his family for so long. frustration.of the thatn have lots of reports narrow the experiences of people who were victimized by the accuratelyquite preferences legal
in any given city, yet nothing appears to happen that has an on the black and brown communities. movement,t of social president obama signs legislation to restrict the amount of military hardware that goes to local police departments. the aftermath he said he would look into that and see about allowing the police department to once again receive this kind of military hardware. ideacontributes to the that there is a whole lot of talking and not a lot of action happening. we can look through all the difficulties and complications, all the federal bureaucracy interfacing on a local level. at the end of the day when
nothing happens to actually impede the ability of police to treat black people are second-class citizens in this country, then the frustration that isr that exists demonstrated in this country will continue to be on display. >> i think the president could certainly have pulled federal funding. a couplete receives billion dollars. i think the funding could indeed have been polled. militarization of police should indeed be a concern to people. i'm all for limiting government to small government, and it bothers me significantly that there is a government entity that has this much power. theoretically let's say someone were to take over, you have a