tv Democracy Now PBS July 14, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
♪ amy: from pacifica this is democracy now! [captioning made possible by democracy now!] the roots ofma: the problems we saw this week date back -- not just decades -- date back centuries. amy: as president obama meets law enforcement officials and civil rights leaders at the white house to discuss police and community relations, we speak to the former police chief of seattle norm stamper, author of the new book "to protect and to serve: how to fix america's police."
mr. stamper: we have to look at system -- systemic forms of racism and other forms of bigoted behavior. it is one thing for police chiefs or sheriffs to denounce racism, to announce that there will be no tolerancef that kind of behavior. it is another to actually affect the working culture of police officers. amy: then, a father and son join us to read letters they wrote to each other after the shootings batonight -- last week in rouge, louisiana, and falcon heights, minnesota. we will speak to princeton professor eddie glaude, author of "democracy in black -- how race still enslaves the american soul," as well as his college age son, langston. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and
peace report. i'm amy goodman. president obama met wednesday at the white house with law enforcement officials and civil rights leaders after a week of nationwide protests over police brutality sparked by the fatal police shootings of alton sterling in baton rouge, louisiana, and philando castile in falcon heights, minnesota. at the white house meeting, obama emphasized the need for building trust between police and communities. president obama:at a point yet where communities of color feel confident that their police departments are serving them with dignity, respect, and equality, and we are going to have to do more work together in digging about how we can build confidence that after police officers have used force, deadly
force, that there is confidence in how the investigation takes place, and that justice is done. amy: among those at the four and a half hour meeting were the reverend al sharpton, naacp president cornell williams brooks, los angeles police chief charlie beck, and black lives matter activist deray mckesson. -- who was arrested protesting in baton rouge. meanwhile, police in fresno, california, have released new body camera footage of a fatal police shooting. on june 25, police shot and killed 19-year-old dylan noble after a traffic stop. noble was unarmed when shot four -- twices -- times while he was standing up approaching officers, and twice while he was lying on the ground. fresno police chief jerry dyer has said the officers believed noble was going to shoot them. in the video, noble can be seen approaching officers with one hand behind his back, as the ficers warn him to get on the ground. as he gets closer, he says "i
hate my life" and then the officers open fire. >> get on the ground now -- get on the ground. drop whatever you have in your hand. if you come forward, you are going to get shot, man. shots fired, suspect down. >> keep your hands up. we cannot see his hand. keep your hands out. quit reaching for what you have got. keep your hands out. if you reach one more time, you will get shot again. stop. amy: following the video's release wednesday, hundreds of people demonstrated outside police headquarters against police use of force. police have not released the names of the officers involved in the shooting.
the family of philando castile said wednesday they are prepared to pursue legal action against the minneapolis police officers who fatally shot castile during a traffic stop last week. philando's mother, valerie castile, said she hopes her son's case prevents other deaths at the hands of the police. ms. castile: there is a driving force in me to make sure this doesn't happen to another mother. it has been going on too long. i used to look at tv and see other parents under the same ow, imstances and say w hope it would never happen to me, but it has. voice, and i have to show that voice so you know what would happen. amy: castile's death was
livestreamed on facebook by his girlfriend, diamond "lavish" reynolds, in an extraordinary video, in which she narrated the aftermath of the shooting while she was still in the car, with a police officer pointing a gun at her and her 4-year-old daughter, as her boyfriend lay dying next to her. a public memorial is being held for castile today in minneapolis. basketball star lebron james didn't hesitate to talk about politics at last night's espy awards. james and other players used the annual ceremony to address the tension between police and protesters nationwide. mr. james: i know tonight we're going to honor muhammad ali, the call on all let's athletes to speak up, use our influence, and renounce all basketball -- renounce all violence. basketball star lebron james is with the cleveland cavaliers. this comes as an increasing number of athletes and artists are speaking out against police
brutality. on saturday, members of the wnba team the minnesota lynx wore warm-up jerseys printed with the names philando castile and alton sterling on the back, along with the words "black lives matter" and an emblem of the dallas police department. the three-time wnba champions were playing the dallas wings. in response to the shirts, four off-duty minneapolis police officers who were working security for the game walked off the job. cleveland police are making preparations to deal with mass arrests and large demonstrations ahead of next week's republican convention. cleveland officials say some courts will be kept open almost 24 hours per day in case protesters are arrested en masse. authorities have also opened up extra space to hold protesters. ohio is also an open-carry state meaning it is legal for , demonstrators to publicly carry guns outside the convention. calvin williams is cleveland's police chief. chief williams: we will follow the state law, and of course, the u.s. constitution, as it applies to second amendment rights. we have done events in the past
where people have presented themselves in an open-carry format, and we have handled that. policies inics and place that deal with that deal with it. i am not going to get into that. i am not going to get into specifics, but we have talked about since dallas, how we better that. amy: authorities, including the fbi, have been monitoring protest groups ahead of the convention and even approaching local activists. police have also said they will deploy a video unit to document police interactions with demonstrators. meanwhile the american civil , liberties union is suing the baton rouge police department for violating the first amendment rights of demonstrators there last week. there have been regular demonstrations outside baton rouge's police department since the fatal police shooting of alton sterling last week. despite the peaceful nature of the protests, police in baton rouge made more than 200 arrests last weekend. demonstrators have accused police of using excessive force, wrongful arrests, and both physical and verbal abuse to break up the protests.
baton rouge police say they have arrested three people who were plotting to kill police with guns stolen from a pawn shop. police detained 17-year-old antonio thomas early saturday morning, alleging he had broken into a pawnshop to steal guns and ammunition. police say he was in possession of a handgun and a bb gun from the store at the time. police allege thomas told them he and three other people had stolen the guns and were planning to shoot police officers. but a local newspaper has raised questions about the police account. "the acadiana advocate" reported wednesday that the police report filed at the time of thomas's arrest makes no mention of the reported threat. -- >> look what happened in dallas -- a very peaceful protest, and then some crazy madman did what he did. the threats before itself.
we cannot take anything for granted anymore. amy: police said they have also arrested a 20-year-old and a 13-year-old in connection to the case. the army has opened an investigation into dallas sniper micah johnson's military service. one week ago, army veteran micah johnson shot and killed five police officers at the end of an anti-police brutality march. at least 7 officers were wounded in the attack. in 2014, a female officer filed a sexual harassment claim against johnson. -- when he was in afghanistan. she also requested and won the military equivalent of a restraining order against her and her family, and she recommended to the army that johnson receive mental health treatment. the army sent johnson back to the united states and recommended an other-than-honorable discharge. the army is now investigating why johnson in fact did receive an honorable discharge. despite the army's recommendation. dallas police chief david brown has said johnson was planning a significantly larger attack based on the bomb-making materials and journal found at
johnson's home in mesquite, just outside of dallas. british prime minister theresa may took office on wednesday. one of her first appointments is former london mayor boris johnson as foreign secretary. johnson was one of the primary supporters of the campaign to have the united kingdom withdraw from the european union and was -- as foreign secretary, he will have to help navigate the process. he is known to offend other leaders. he has called hillary clinton a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital. -- in detroit, two street artists are appeared in court yesterday to fight felony charges for allegedly painting the words "free the water" and a large black fist on the highland park water tower in 2014. artists antonio cosme and william lucka are facing up to four years in prison on felony charges of malicious destruction of property. detroit has faced its own water crisisn recent years, as the city has cut off running water
from tens of thousands of families. artists antonio cosme and william lucka spoke wednesday. mr. cosme: the two of us are facing multiple felonies for allegedly taking "free the water" on the island water tower in detroit, michigan. mr. lucka: i am facing a charges. i supposed to turn myself in at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. mr. cosme: the criminalization space, and onblic our water, our health care. amy: the united nations has condemned detroit's ongoing water shutoffs as a violation of international human rights law. yale university has dropped charges against an employee who broke a stained glass window depicting slaves carrying cotton. corey menafee worked for yale for about eight years. in june, as he was cleaning a dining room, menafee stood on top of a table and broke the window with a broom handle.
menafee said the image is racist and degrading and that he had become sick of seeing it every day. yale university police arrested menafee and charged him with reckless endangerment and felony mischief. the window was in a building that had already generated controversy. calhoun college is named after former vice president john c. calhoun, one of the most prominent pro-slavery figures in history. for years students have demanded yale change the building's name. the administration decided against a name change in april. we'll have more on this case with corey menafee tomorrow on democracy now! and wednesday marked the first anniversary of the death of 28-year-old african-american sandra bland -- who died in a texas jail cell three days after she was arrested for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. on july 13, 2015, sandra bland was returning from a job interview at her alma mater, prairie view a&m university, when she was pulled over by state trooper brian encinia. dash cam footage of the arrest shows encinia dragging sandra bland out of her car and
threatening to "light her up." sandra bland can later be heard on video accusing the police officer of slamming her head into the ground. saying she had epilepsy. ." officer said "good encinia was fired in march. following her arrest, bland spent the three days in a texas jail cell. authorities have claimed sandra bland committed suicide while in jail by hanging herself from with a garbage bag. but her family has rejected this claim. her death sparked protests across the united states. according to a huffington post investigation, at least 810 other people have died in jails across the united states since sandra bland's death one year ago. this coming sunday is also the second anniversary of the police killing of eric garner. to see our interview with his daughter, go to democracynow.org. she plans a march in staten
island. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nermeen nolan and i am nermeen shaikh. on wednesday president obama met at the white house with law enforcement officials and civil rights leaders. president obama hosted the meeting one week after the fatal police shootings of alton sterling, in batten rouge, louisiana, and philando castile, in falcon heights, minnesota, and the killing of five police officers by a sniper in dallas. president obama: the roots of all we saw this week date back they did backes, centuries. there are cultural issues, issues of race in this country, poverty, and a whole range of problems that will not be solved
overnight, but what we can do is the kinds of respectful conversations that we have had here, not just in washington, but around the country, so that we institutionalize a process of continually getting better. while the deaths of alton sterling and philando castile made national headlines, they were not isolated incidents. according to a count by the guardian, at least 37 people have been killed by police in the united states so far this month. that's more than the total number of people killed by police in britain since the year 2000. overall, police in the united states have killed a total of 585 people so far this year. amy: after wednesday's summit president obama said the nation is "not even close" to resolving issues between police and the communities they serve. president obama: we are going to
have to do more work together in thinking about how we are going to build confidence that after police officers have used force, and particularly deadly force, but there is confidence in how the investigation takes place, and that justice is done. amy: well, our next guest writes quote "american policing is in crisis. alton sterling and philando castile are two of the most recent casualties in what has become a deadly epidemic." it may surprise you to learn who wrote those words -- not a black lives matter activist but a former big city police chief. norm stamper is the former police chief of seattle. he joins us now from los angeles, california. his new book "to protect and to , serve: how to fix america's police." he recently wrote an article for time magazine called, "police forces belong to the people." his previous book headlined "breaking rank: a top cop's expose of the dark side of american policing."
norm stamper, welcome to democracy now! as you look at what happened in the last week alone, not to mention what has happened in the years since you were the chief of police in seattle, what are your comments about how police are trained to deal with communities of color? mr. stamper: you know, the training of police officers is a very prominent theme in the conversation about police , of course,it is very important, but there are much deeper issues, as far as i'm concerned, mainly those associate with the institution itself, the structure of the organization, the culture that arises out of that structure. it is paramilitary, bureaucratic. it insulates and isolates police officers from the communities they are here to serve. nermeen: what would you say, norm stamper, are some of the
systemic problems of police violence, d what dyou thin has led to the -- you referred to the paramitarnature of the police forces now. what do you think accounts for that? mr. stamper: what accounts for it -- there are several factors. one is in 1971, richard nixon famously proclaimed drugs public enemy number 1 -- drug abuse -- on declared all-out war drugs, which was really a declaration of war against his own people, and overwhelmingly, young people, poor people, people of color suffered, and have continued to suffer over the decades as a result of a decision to put america's frontline police officers on the frontlines of the drug war as foot soldiers, and we wonder why there is such a string in the relation -- strain on the relationships between police
officer than communities, the jiggly those communities entrenched in poverty and other economic disadvantage -- particularly those committees entrenched in poverty and other economic disadvantage. historically, communities that have been abused or oppressed by their own police department. we really intensified and escalated the country's war against poor people with that drug war, and we has spent $1.3 trillion prosecuting that were since the 1970's, incarcerated nearly tens of millions. police here that figure. ted -- please hear that figure. , this portionns of young people, people of color, and what we have to show for -- drugs are more readily available at higher levels of potency. it is time for us to end the drug war. that begin the militarization of policing, without a doubt.
9/11 is another milestone for obvious reasons. the federal government began throwing military surplus at law -- local law enforcement agencies such that in terms of how they look, how they are equipped, how they are weaponize, america's police forces look more like the military than domestic peacekeepers. amy: i want to turn to remarks made by the new york police commissioner, bill bratton, who was speaking sunday on "face the nation." n: police officers come from the community -- they do not come from mars. we have more policing from muslim officers, latino officers, and that is a good thing. that is how we bridge the divide that currently exists between police and community, a divide that has been closing, and a divided we hope over time -- i
can speak from my reference -- not only bridge the divide, but to close it. amy: that is police commissioner bill bratton. our response -- your response? officerser: our police do, in fact, come from the community. as bill bratton said, they don't come from mars. they are of us. they are motivated by a variety of different interest in becoming a police officer. that the just candidates we are selecting, necessarily, are poor candidates. it is what happens to them when they get acculturated by this law enforcement structure that makes it clear to them that they are on the front lines of a war against their own people. so, you get police officers heading out to put in a shift who are feeling that these people are the enemy. nermeen: i want to turn to republican senator tim scott,
who spoke on the floor wednesday about being the victim of racial profiling. scott is one of only two african-americans in the u.s. senate. senator scott: in the course of one year, i have been stopped seven times by law enforcement officers -- not four, not five, not six, but seven times in one --r as an elected official was i speeding sometimes, sure? but the vast majority of the time that i was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood, or some other reason just as trivial. nermeen: that was republican senator tim scott speaking. tom stamper, can you respond what he said, and also if you think the police is plagued with systemic racism. mr. stamper: let me start with
that question -- the short answer is yes. i can cite an example closer to me, and asking american men, ron sims, man of the cloth, spoke to a reporter recently, and set i haven't stopped eight times by the police, and invariably the question seems to be what are you doing here? do white members of our community get that kind of treatment? in blunt terms, it is racist. it is a racist action on the part of an officer if he or she does not have reasonable suspicion that a person is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a crime. says, yetat the law that law is systematically defied by police around this country in unlawful search and seizure, stop and frisk situations. but there is also systemic racism. it goes back as far as the
institution, and i know president obama made reference to the long history, the of thees-old history relations between police and communities, particularly communities of color. policing in this country has its origin in slave patrols, and from decade to decade, generation to generation, there are still police officers in this country who act with superiority, act in a very authoritarian and dominant way. part of that is their training, and only some of that, by the way, takes place in the academy. most of it takes place in the locker room or the front seat of a police car when a senior officer tells the junior officer forget what they taught you in the academy. you are in the real world now. facebook live video
has gone viral of a black police .fficer officer jones: how dear you stand next to me and murder somebody. you ought to be ashamed of yourself. if you are that officer that knows well you have a god complex, you are afraid of people that don't look like you, you have no in that uniform. take it off. if you are afraid to talk to an asking american male, -- an african-american male, a hispanic male, because they are not white like you, take it off, the patent -- because you have no business being a police officer. there are many of us that would give our life for anybody. if you are an officer that is -- take the uniform off and put the kk unit -- kkk uniform on.
was officer nakia jones of warrensville heights, ohio. norm stamper, your response to what she said. mr. stamper: i have heard that six times, maybe, and every time i get a little bit emotional. i believe in dialogue, it is important for us to expose true feelings and safe settings. i really do believe in all of that, but i also believe firmly that white police officers, those that are so inclined to act on whatever prejudice they may have need to listen to this woman. they need to hear every single word she said. she is expressing the rage of an entire people. she is expressing her truth about her fellow -- her brothers and sisters in law enforcement. kindare they exhibit the
of racism that suggests, among other things, their own internal prejudice and thr own fear. itprejudice means anything, means ignorance and fear, and if we do not confront it forcefully, as she has done, i am afraid we will convene -- continue to have a light conversations that will get us nowhere -- polite conversations that will get us nowhere. stamper, via are these police officers that are seen on video gone down people, whether it is alton stirling, philando --tile, or here in new york, small, a man who was involved in a traffic altercation. wasent up to a car, he blown away, and it turned out he was a police officer.
we have the video. why aren't these police officers arrested? mr. stamper: in part, i will speak for the state of washington, we have laws on the books that require miles of intent to be established. it has been said these are awful but lawful instances. he would like to prosecute, for example, a police officer that shot and killed a man in 2010 in seattle. it was a terrible shooting, and egregious shooting. in fact, the department called it that, i am pleased to say, and as they were preparing to fire this individual, he quit, so he avoided dismissal from the force, but technically we call that a constructive termination. the satisfaction that comes from firing a cop that does something pales in health -- comparison to the prosecution of a police officer, who, if he
were a citizen in the african-american community, would be prosecuted. people see this, and people wonder about it. how does justice apply to one group, and not another group? that speaks, certainly, to the larger institutional issue, which does get to our laws. it also gets to the need for independent prosecution of these cases. you i also wanted to ask about the people who are arrested -- the people that are filming these police attacks on civilians -- police killings. yesterday on democracy now we have this extraordinary show -- first, we spoke to the man who supermarket in baton rouge, a friend of alton sterling, who came outside of his store quickly, so what was happening, took out his cell phone, started the.
right afterwards, after the ton, theylled al arrested the owner of the store, and went into the store without a warrant, and took out not only the video the store had, but the entire video camera. then we spoke to chris ledet -- he had posted online the second video of the police killing of alton sterling. he is a 12-year air force veteran, works on a military base outside of atlanta. he comes to work and he is surrounded by police. he is first handcuffed, then he is shackled, put in an orange andsuit, held for 26 hours, cap's a what are you are resting before, and one police officer said you fit the profile, and he said you have to finish the sentence -- profile
of what? and he was charged with unpaid parking tickets. can you talk about what happens to those who film the crimes? to stamper: what happens those who document the crimes is exactly what happened to those individuals in baton rouge. this is a good time for me to point,a really important and that is we have some wonderful police officers -- sensitive, empathetic, compassionate, who if they harbor racist, homophobic, sexist bones in their body, have learned to manage themselves, come things down, deescalate, diffuse tencent from -- situations. their weight in gold. they need to be recognized, appreciated. too manyve altogether officers that police chiefs and sheriffs are fond of calling bad apples.
when you get as many bad apples as we seem to see in police work today, it is time to examine the barrel. it is time to look at the entire orchard and to recognize that even a fresh apple placed into that toxic environment is going to turn bad. so, as a look at, for example, a police officer being questioned about -- a police officer questioning others, a police officer behaving very aggressively, if not unlawfully toward individuals -- a police officer shooting and killing someone on justifiably -- to see a fellow american filming that, snapping shots, filming it, audio in some cases, should be a source of comfort to many of us in the community. it is completely, 100% lawful for an american to do what those americans did. here is what i am sure the
police are saying -- we were evidence-gathering. we had information that somebody captured this, so we are to go after that evidence, and there is nothing wrong with gathering evidence to the question is to what end are you going to put that evidence, and how did you gather it. it is unlawful, by definition, to engage in illegal searches and seizures. the constitution of the united states, the secular bible of the land, tells police officers what they can and cannot do, and a bunch of them are doing things that by law they cannot do. stamper, quickly, norm last year, the large california-based affiliate of the united auto workers said they wanted the international unit of police association kicked out of the union federation, saying police have utilized union resources to defend brutality and anti-blackness. afl-cio,still in the
but what is your response to that -- the role of police unions? mr. stamper: well, those that read my first book had said i -- understand i am a labor got through and through. i get goosebumps when i hear joe hill. i am a pro-labor human being, but i draw the line at police unions. i think far too often they have shielded racist, brutal, trigger-happy police officers. i get their role to defend their fellow officers, but they do it in such a way that communicates to the community we are going to circle the wagons, do everything and anything we can to protect this lawbreaker. i think it's time for national standards, by the way, amy. i think it is essential that we largelye policing is unsupervised in this country. there are no national standards.
police from spirit one constitution. what does that tell you -- it tells me that systematic violation of the constitution is only rarely addressing a department of justice investigation. better to set national standards, certify all police officers and their agencies, and decertify those, so they cannot go to seattle if they get fired, to nypd the next day, which does happen. we need national standards. amy: norm stamper coming in one minute, finally, can you respond to what you believe the police should be doing in cleveland at the republican convention, not to mention the philadelphia police. years ago i was the recipient of your police force's massive tear gassing from journalists covering the battle of 1999 -- something you said you were said about overall, with the
department dealt with protesters, arresting over 600 of them. now we are moving into two major conventions. it will open up the courts to arrest protesters. what is your advice to the cleveland police department and two protesters? mr. stamper: it is a little late in the game for my advice, but my advice would have been to build trust between themselves and protesters -- to invite protesters, to the extent they are willing to accept an invitation, and not feeling co-opted by the police, in co-planning,, and co-policing that, so the first ameren -- first amendment rights of those americans assembling there will be honored. it is late in the game if you need a friend to make one, but i would say in the few remaining hours before those police interact with the protesters in cleveland, that they do everything in their power to -- thathat they want
they will, in fact, be protecting the first amendment rights of the fellow citizens. amy: i want to thank you for being with us, norm stamper, former chief of the seattle police department, author of the new book "to protect and to serve -- how to fix america's police." on the policears force. the former police chief of seattle. we will be headed to the cleveland republican national convention, and after that, to philadelphia, the democratic convention. we will be expanding our broadcast to two hours daily starting next monday for the next two weeks to bring you the voices of people in the streets, in the corporate suites, and on the convention floor. that is our special, breaking with convention, for the next two weeks beginning on monday. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i am amy goodman with nermeen shaikh.
amy: "black man in a white world" by michael kiwanuka. nermeen: dear langston, i thought of you when i saw the son of alton sterling weeping. -- the policeest had killed another black person. his cries made me think of you. amy: those are the words of princeton professor eddie glaude to his son, links and, in the wake of last week's police andings of alton sterling
philando castile. eddie glaude was referencing video from the moment when alton sterling's family addressed the media. son is the mother of his cameron. he consoled his mother, but after a few minutes he broke down into the arms of supporters standing behind the two of them. mcmillan: the individuals involved in his murder took away a man with children who depended upon their daddy on a daily basis. my son is not the youngest. he is the oldest of his siblings. he is 15 years old. this as this was outlets and the
everything that was possible to be shown. 15-year-old kamman, the son of alton sterling, as he is being comforted by supporters of the news conference where his mother was speaking. joining us now, princeton , offer ofeddie glaude democracy in black, how race still insulates the american soul. we are also joined by his son langston, a student at princeton university. they recently published their letters to each other in "time magazine." welcome. it is great to have you both with us. can you start by reading your excerpt, langston, and and then langston, we would like you to share yours? prof. glaude: thanks for having
us. yeah, this is hard. upon reflection wishing you were seven years old again. you were adorable at seven. the teenage years were far off, and you still like me. i say this not because i find having an empty nest unbearable, although at times i do, but i to raise aor i long teenager, but i say that because i feel you'd be safer at home with us. langston, your letter that you responded to your father. langston: funny, i, too, find myself wishing i was a kid again. the world seems so much simpler back then. the number to mayor rice, trayvon martin, michael jones -- i looked the faces of countless
black bodies piling in our streets, and are my own experience with police officers as a kid. the struggle must continue for our futures sick. sake. you, -- futures i love you, dad. nermeen: could you say something about what prompted your decision to make an exchange like this public? prof. glaude: you know, i was really grappling with that 15-year-old boy crying, weeping at the loss of his father, and combine that with diamond reynolds's four-year-old bob -- toghter finding the courage console her in that moment, and it led me to think about my own son and his experiences. part of the difficulty about this conversation about race is we often deal with abstraction, and we realize -- we don't realize they are real human beings, real relations under the abstractions.
i wrote him, he wrote me back, and in his usual way, he corrected me, and i said i wish he was seven, and then he was 12, and heir is gone. childhood is not a safe haven. amy: and just about a week ago, turned ce would have years old. langston, you are wearing a t-shirt. if you can tell us what it says and your thoughts about what has happened this last week and would you feel needs to be done. langston: yeah, my t-shirt says "i love my blackness. and yours" i am not sure if you can see it. the reason i chose to where it is we are living in a time where blackness seems to be a death sentence -- it seems to mean your life is somehow lesser than
others, and i wear it often because the world is constantly telling us not to love our blackness, and i want to change it -- i want it to be known that to be black is ok -- you should be proud of your blackness. it is not a death sentence. within recent events, that message is very crucial, not just to people in general, but too young, black kids who are living through this time where they are witnessing deaths and killing such as these, and such as alton sterling and philando castile all of the time. nermeen: langston, can you talk about your own experience as a student at brown university, and what happened on day when you were doing research in a public park in providence. langston: so, i was doing research for an urban studies project that required me to study the landscape and study, kind of, the urban life of the
area, and i went to a park that was known to be an attraction for people living in the area, and i was doing my research -- doing my research, not really bothering anyone, and a police car pulled up, put a flashlight in my face, made a u-turn, and popped up on the curve, and while i was there, i asked him is everything ok, mr. officer, they asked me who are you, what are you doing here, i told them i was a brown university student doing a project, and before i finish my sentence they told me the park closed at 9:00 p.m., and it was 6:00 p.m.. i told him i understood that. i was with a friend. it is only 6:00 p.m. another police officer told us again the park closes at 9:00 on histh his hand
weapon. i feared for my life and took my friend away from the park and immediately exited. it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life with police officers at that moment. amy: your thoughts when you hear this, eddie glaude, chair of the department of african american studies at princeton, and also father of langston. prof. glaude: i've just gotten a call that i've been elected president of the largest body of scholars in the world, and my son calls to tell me this. i hear it in his voice. i was enraged. the i can do at that moment was to figure out how to keep the in my son from going internal, so i asked him a question -- i don't know if you number this, langston -- i asked him a question. i said how often with somebody
else have to experience that if they lived in a different zip code, and i was trying to turn the expanse into a dedication to his justice work -- not to go therapeutic, not go inside, but and look at him -- i'm very proud of you. amy: he is named for langston hughes. mr. stamper: -- afterglaude: i named him langston hughes and ralph ellison. amy: what does the name me to you? langston: it gives me proud -- cried that i can walk into this type of work and say my name is langston. it gives me a different type of courage, especially doing this work. break ande going to
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. with nermeen shaikh. we are staying with professor eddie glaude, chair of african american studies at princeton university. hisor of several books -- latest, "democracy in black, how race still enslaved the american soul. you named your son langston, who is still with us. langston hughes, who wrote the
famous poem, "dream deferred -- what happens to a dream deferred, does it dry up like a raisin in the sun, or fester like a sore and run? sink like meat, maybe it just sex like a heavy load, or with a heavy -- like a heavy load, or does it just explode." prof. glaude: everything i have tried with my son is to give them access to this wonderful tradition -- that informs how we see ourselves and see ourselves in this world. what i am most proud about is when we were deciding to write the letter i remember langston telling me i don't want to be the poster child of a pity party. i don't want to be the excuse of what sentimentality, sounding like richard wright. what he wanted to do -- i should
not speak for you, but to provide an occasion to put forward the feelings and vision of his generation -- to give voice to it, and he did it in the intimate setting of his relationship with his crazy father. i don't want to speak for you, l , but the idea of thinking about the politics of your generation is selling for. amy: you know, a lot of people -- so important. amy: you know, a lot of people talk about the conversation to have with their sons, and bill 2014, hisdid that in fear for his teenage son, dante. mayor deblasio: we have had to talk to dante for years about the dangers he might face -- a good, young man, and law-abiding young man, who never would think to do anything, but because of the history, the dangers he may
face. we have had to train them, as families have all over the city for decades in how to take special care for dashing any encounter he has with police officers who are there to protect him, and that painful sense of contradiction that our young people see first -- that our police are here to protect us, and we honor that, and at the same time there is a history we have to overcome because for so many of our young people there is a fear. amy: he talked about, also, his conversation with his son. this question -- have you had the conversation -- i also want to turn it around to langston. do you have this conversation with your friends, and what do you say? langston: definitely. i do have this conversation with my friends all of the time, and one of the biggest things i have discovered one having these conversations is that it is not
just young black men having these conversations. it is young black women, children, gender nonconforming folk, black people have this conversation every single day because it affects them almost the same every single day. this is the experience of black people, that black people have to have these conversations with each other just in order to get home. that is what we are angry about when we do this work, simply because it shouldn't be that way. we shouldn't have to have these conversations. we shouldn't have to have these different types of rules for what to do when stopped by a police officer in order to ensure your safety. we should be able to exist normally just as other citizens do. can you and, professor, talk about what you say you nor book "democracy and black," about racial habits, and what you call the value gap in what -- the context of what langston said.
prof. glaude: we talk about the achievement gap, the wealth gap, but the heart is the value gap, the belief that white people matter more. it has animated social practices, informed political and economic arrangements from the moment we get voice to the articles of freedom any quality and reconcile listed with the institution of -- reconcile it racism, andtion of moment we elected a black president and immediately heard the vitriol of the tea party. those that are valued less, in lives have a sense of precariousness. we want to be careful. the value gap is not simply the possession of loud racists. it is too easy. in the way we live our lives -- i won my kid to go to the black school -- usually the phrase
means how many black and brown kids go to the school. i want to live in a nice neighborhood -- it is is how many black and brown people live in the neighborhood. i use the example -- i believe the planet is warming, i am not a clinic change denier, but if you look at my house, my car, the lightbulbs in my house, you would think i think the planet is ok. i am making choices day in and day out that contribute to the warming of the planet, but i am not running around saying science is wrong. -- its the way racial works. it is not about intention. and by asking you and langston about your choice for president. bernie sanders endorsed hillary clinton. your thoughts on that. like glaude: i believe jose sarah mongo, the wonderful
novel that we should blink out -- that those that are not in the battleground states, those of us in blue states or red states, we should leave the battle nationality blank. blank.ot i cannot stand either one of them. amy: langston, your thoughts on the election. langston: i agree 100%. there needs to be a stance that we are not going to simply accept the status quo any longer, especially when the status quo is the very thing costing us our lives and livelihood. i personally do not find either one of mechanic -- candidates favorable in any sse because, again, a change needs to come on behalf of the people, and i do not believe either one is prepared to bring that change in a manner we need it. amy: we will have to leave it there. thank you for being with us. book.glaude -- new
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