tv Washington Journal Sophia Nelson Discusses President Obamas Legacy on... CSPAN January 16, 2017 8:35am-9:06am EST
way we have things with the things are up to date. many policies are outdated that contemplate everything from e-commerce to cell phones nd all the information that is transmitted not only within the u.s. but around the world. o we have a lot of work to do not only to keep policy up to date but be more future looking. tonight at 8:00 .astern on c-span 2 fplt the presidential inauguration of donald trump is friday. c-span will have live coverage f all the day's events and ceremonies. atch live on c-span and c-span.org and also live the c-span radio app.
martin memorial to dr. luther king in washington, d.c. various people visiting the emorial on this federal holiday, a holiday for others across the united states as well. there as me action people come to visit. not only is that memorial sill -- civil s rights work and his birthday and highlighting it to talk about president obama and aspects of his legacy. us to continue is sophia ebl pluribupluribus one. of a united america how do you think president obama has done on that issue when it comes to matters of race? guest: i think it is too early to tell. i think we have to let lift be judge -- let history be the judge. i think the first black going to was always
have to walk a fine line between advocating for african-american of es and being a president all the people. i think that ironically during the campaign hillary clinton was to be more forceful on issues of race as a white woman things that president obama simply couldn't say during the last eight years. we still have work and his kind of -- we don't know yet. i think that there are those who eel that the country is more divided under his eight years we made who feel like progress with just if nothing else the imagery of the obamas white house as a black family, a husband loving his and faithful ren which defies stereotypes of particularly relative wives and children. aside from the legacy why the reticence do you think? spoke i don't think he
out as much as the black community would have liked. i think there were issues for let's take the murders in chicago and black on black crime. police about the shootings but i think there were issues where particularly led -- t obama cover could have led because he is a lack man from chicago with roots in the community, strong roots where he could have led. people we the surround ourselves with we know how washington works, the white i covered them for two years of 2010 to 2012 and i your advisors, if they are not connected the going y you are they are to steer you from that type of conversation and i think the were reluctant and not him being that kind of guy was a problem. as far as the times he did speak out whether the murders or what do you think the message was? thought race relations had
improved and said that during his legacy. agree?ou guest: i think it depends on what -- i would say that the as a whole has become more -- i don't like the word we have a tension because of demographic shift and that is a conversation we have have. the demographics are changing and when that occurs in a country there is tension. when the majority becomes less is athe minority more there is tension. but i think on the issue of race with president obama i think right out of the gates when the henry lewis gates occurred and e spoke and he got slapped he backed out and never stepped out there again. sophia nelson is with us. ou can ask her questions about calling us on the democratic, independent d lines.
there was a column in the huffington post talking about and i want your response. she said i don't want to place racism on of fixes his shoulders but his tendency to not take up more conversation about race doesn't help either. it leaves us with nothing but the grand symbol inch of having black president which doesn't real problems. uest: i think that what she says is valid but i think president obama you are the first black anything, i have first black in corporate america to do things. whenever you are the first you and i king a fine line think for president obama this notion of personal esponsibility where he challenged african-american men with my brothers keeper to step up i think he is right. but i think there are those who believe he should have been more forceful on the divisions. this last election bore that out. host: how so?
guest: look at the results and demographics. half the country didn't vote. that is a problem. majority of white americans supported donald trump it i don't think it is fair call them racists. i think that is irresponsible. that their o say perspective was shaped by the last eight years of whether it parties at theor white house or wherever they to seeing a african-american family president and felt the country become i will use here black eyed if you will a -- we saw more black people and for some that shift was them and there was a said on cnn it white lash and i don't think that has to be derogatory. with demographics and shifts. we are not talking about the underbelly of the class, race, gender but i think class
we don't y big issue talk about. host: did the president address class?issues of guest: like i said, i think there are times he did and i didn't.here are times he i think president obama had to focus on a bad economy and i enmeshed his y presidency in the health care issue and had other foreign affairs, he got osama bin laden. he had some real victories but punted ssue of race he and i really am a big fan but i punted.e host: let's get some calls. there is michelle from michigan republican line. you are on with sophia nelson. go ahead. good morning, sofia. just a comment more than anything else. always hearing about obama's blackness and the first so on.resident and people seem to lose sight that
man is half white. he was raised by white people in white neighborhood. so what are they looking for? he has enough of a little bit of everything that there shouldn't be any complaining at all. guest: well, i have two biracial nieces and we consider them america considers them black and i think that the eason president obama is considered african-american and that is the predominant thing our ear is because in culture it dates back it slavery f you have a drop of black in you you are considered black and that rule if you will has not way we hanged in the perceive things and certainly if one were to look at president look like they are either hispanic or middle eastern and president obama identifiably african-american and not caucasian. and i suspect t
you are a caucasian caller, i hink here is one difference with white and black people see the world differently. white people don't understand this emphasis on race and why are we talking about bad nd economic disparity having to do with race. hey don't see it because they don't experience the world through that lens. it is not complicated. host: democratic line crockett, texas, billy. caller: good morning. good morning, sofia. guest: how are you? taking my nk you for call. i used to call quite a bit. thing is i just want to say hat black people have advanced since president obama became preside president. --
host: billy sorry, i don't know happening but we'll take your comment as is. uest: i think the jury is just out. it is too soon to tell. look how history will teach bush.e w. his ratings have gone up since he left the oval office and i is k that president obama still very popular but i think the question of his legacy is in question because trump obama me in and repeal care or significant parts so the no, sir african-americans have economically i think you can make a case for that. do i think there's been this black dvancement of people? i don't. host: a viewer off twitter says this. he was hopeful when mr. obama was elected and he unfortunately wasted his opportunity. guest: again, i don't know that he wasted it. 'm not a person who swings on the drama. i think it is just too early to president obama cover in a way lincoln did
eally brought there country to a place -- this country to a place of consciousness by being the enough particularly last two years. otherle obama was a whole ball game. she straight up became who she is. saw the realear we michelle obama unafraid to speak really back hillary and very passionate about women treated as women in the country. i think president obama is a doesn't wade into a bunch of drama. what at the a is call him. >> west virginia independent line billy. caller: i would like to ask the lady her opinion that the job as president obama did president because i heard people calling this morning talking his situation with jerry talked about -- jeremiah the wright and how the
situation the man's when he was trying to get into his house apnd how are you goin a man with luggage and he had on andthes house.to get in the who breaks into a house with luggage? these people calling why he did this or that. racist can say what they. the call in and talk about comes but not how they shoot people in the back. guest: i get his point. sir, here is my response. just similar to what i said. white people and black people in america experience america differently. you sound like you are an african-american man. i'm an african-american woman. nuances.he rules and a black plan going to his -- man home with luggage and losing his key should never
instances and some we have seen where officers have routine track stops and be ends dead is outrages and it wouldn't happen to a person who was not african-american or color.ven of and until the country gets to a place where it can talk honestly that is why i'm talking about a united america being one. until we can have the courageous conversations about what is your experience, pedro, when you ask is yours and we listen we will never break it down ecause white people see it as complaining, race baiting, et cetera and i think that is unfortunate because they don't black skin every day. host: would the legacy be seen up ssues that he has taken say on voting rights and criminal justice reform and and what will they show us as far as how he treated the issue. of a policy more guy versus more of an activist you had jessef if jackson as the first block
resident it -- black president it would have been different. became was never going to be thought and anybody who so was fooling themselves so i so i on think on criminal justice and economics and brother's keep initiative and symbol inism the raoeal thing is stabilizing of lack females, marriages and rebuilding the tie between black men and women particularly team.ssionals to be a better lack of a nothing so he will be remembered positively but not someone who significant.g just status quo or ok. host: in the post-presidency say he should speak more boldly on race does it have the same impact? lost thecause you have bully pulpit. he will be listened to because e is the former president but
he will be another president lake bill clinton i expect him to get a foundation and do a jobed but i'm one of those who covered eone them i think there were missed opportunities but i think him as a ll treat president who will no disasters of great ut nothing remembrance other than he was the first african-american president. sophia nelson the author of e pluribpluribus one. is the book about? >> our founding fathers and our model -- motto was out of many the premise is that it is ok, we will survive this, calm down. rump won't destroy the republic. the country has always will moments of protest and tension strain and resistance even revolution. that is what we do in america. and the wayod thing we unite is through our diversity.
that way from the beginning. the founding fathers got it wrong when we started with the way they treated women but as the country progressed we perfect the union ultimately we end up with barack obama as president. hat is an amazing thing for a nation with the journey and story. merica is the story of us, of all of us together. we the paoeeople in a democrati the power.ve america is a republic and when eople say it is a democracy i get upset because those terms are different and although we of democracy our form of government is republican form of government and that means the power ople have and so my call to americas is all do op trying to kumbaya and p.c. and that is not do. we we have freedom of speech and right to keep and bear arms and freedom of religion. agree to disagree. we always have. but when it counts we come
together. the union strong in fact. -- women's march the day after he is sworn in is good. they are sawing we are concerned. the new president should take hat seriously and meet with to those ladies. hat is what makes our republicrepublic strong. host: the conversation between president-elect and john lewis what was the take away? donald trump continues to miss opportunities of his ach because temperament, his inability to be criticized. john lewis is an icon. he's paid with his blood. scars on his head. i have known him since i was 22 and i'm now 50. that donald trump's reaction to lewis saying look russians may have influenced there election i don't see him as legitimate. protecthave said were i
particularly under these circumstances why don't you come p and have coffee with me when i'm sworn in and let's talk. but trump doesn't have that ability so i think that his push back and his kickback shows a complete lack of sensitivity to today luther king holiday and who john lewis is in the world and to say that he does say his district is at infest ed we he has buckhead in his district is stilly. area.ealthy and he is a man that contributed a lot to this ation moving forward and perfecting the union. host: pamela on the democratic line. caller: good morning, c-span and your guest. i want to say that the chickens roos and this to can -- roost and this can be racism and injustice was is still present and
rebuilt in barack obama's presidency. martin luther king died and lewis was on john beat and nearly lost his life so enjoy and ceiver and -- receive and enjoy and have pursuit of , the life, liberty and happiness and equal protection under the law although racism may not be of laws on the books, the injustice is still and and it is seen revealed through the systemic forces that exist in ferguson the cell phone of the caller on one other segment with the even the incident and incident with the 14-year-old bikini in texas. that is not equal protection but is what we are guaranteed. guest e will let our
respond. guest: he is shiite. is right. 13, 14 and 15 amendments were african-americans and slaves. they are the civil rights mendments is what i call them because one frees us from slavery the other equal rotection which is a reconstruction clause and 15th amendment is right to vote for women.men, not so you are right that all of us are questioned equal protection the history , but f race in this country is real and we are much better tan we were when my parents were 1960's, or n the coming into adulthood and to their stories and y grandparents grew up in a segregated jim crow south. so the it is true what you are saying but the way away deal trump will be tricky because gone of us has a in the the table
president trump administration. h.u.d. on is there as secretary but none of donald trump's senior advisors are african-american. count public affairs ok real.ot for it will be a difficult journey for us the next four years. new jersey, enton, republican line, patrick is next up. caller: good morning. my blood is boiling with this topic this morning. comments.t four i will keep brief. guest, when you say african-american, you mean you?k, don't you don't mean people from iraq or egypt or south africa. so you mean black. look at how obama got elected. block voted for him without even seeing his credentials. in. is how he got and what i'm looking for on this do forfor what trump can white people. i'm a white native american by
heritage vikings pre-columbus and what we celebrate is happy james earl ray day. that is what it means for the white working class. obviously that caller has racist problems. ray assassinated dr. martin luther king so my heart goes out to somebody that filled with hate that he would even call in and say these types of things. couple of address a things. black is my preferred term. frican-american is the term that is used to identify when you-foot forms or whatever. more p.c. term but when i grew up it was black, we were black and there's an in the "new york times" today talking about black americans and how they perceive john lewis spat. when he talks about blacks block voting for president obama, bsolutely african-americans
voted 96% believe for president obama the first term and i think was a little less the second term. i do think they look at his given the choice between john mccain who is a great american and great servant country and gave of his life as a p.o.w., and endorsed us would wish on choice t enemy and a between a visionary and somebody and a little out of touch it was a no brainer. williamsburg, virginia. republican line. caller: good morning and happy martin luther king day. like to share what i have been doing as a white to improvener trying veryone's health because i believe without it nothing else can happen. been working a mobile
the state ofity in virginia the last 14 years. mostly in elementary schools and in public housing. the children are very warm toward me and anybody is looking to o help them with their health, safety.n and so, we need to encourage in waysneurial thinking block, the he of all m and the story americans who are challenged because of their environment up.ing so, when you want to teach eople a life style whether academic or healthy one, a good one, you must be willing to live with people and go into their neighborhoods and ry to change the environment there. you can't just keep going there nd then taking them out of
their neighborhood and saying a good life is lived outside of where you live. guest: he's talking about how cting and engaging and we unify and help even other across race, class, gender and saying is true. kids are kids. love.ove they are like puppies in that sense. ou hug them and kiss them and take good care of them they will love you. they don't care what you look like. that.n't we all be like but adulthood jades us. he makes a good point. host: you wrote a piece that said donald trump the g.o.p. and me and talked about your history with the republican party. ncapsulate that and does the republican party have a chance to bring more minorities into given the last election? guest: i have been coming to page at 13ince was a and they dropped mow off at mary
university. i got involved in the republican olitics in college and jack kemp spoke at my college in 1988 he first election i could vote in. i was taken by him and he is one of the heroes in my book i talk among others. moved much more conservative, which is fine if that is what you like. me, i just, i took my life different direction as journalist and author. history, council, ran for office as a younger woman for congress, first black
nominated in my state. so, you know, i think i might un for office at some point, that is still on the table. we'll see, i just don't know. >> sophia nelson, author of "e pluribus one." thank you for your time. thank you for having me. we'll continue our conversation with sheryll cashin of university as we continue on martin luther king day. the , a federal holiday in washington, d.c. area. people taking the chance and visitors, as well, to visit the mlk memorial located in statue on, a large commemorating the man. quotes, as you can see there, around the capitol structure itself. "washington journal" will continue.
>> good morning. good morning. what a great day it is to be out here. last year -- we thank god for miami weather today. ask -- to please join us, one of god's beautiful gifts. a dc native, please welcome simone, please. >> a ceremony taking place at memorial luther king in washington, d.c. it is just started.
one of the many activities that place if relation to the civil rights leader, his other looking at that and aspects of his life, as well. we've been taking a look at his history,ma and his legacy on race and race relations and continuing our is sheryll cashin of georgetown university. author of "loving, interracial good cy in america," morning. guest: good morning. host: how would you classify the president's legacy? say it is too early to tell. talk about what you think the been as far as race relations over the last eight years guest: i think it is better than it has been cast. first of all, i think we should recognize this was the irst president in american history to mobilize an amazing coalition that