Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 24, 2014 6:00am-8:01am EDT

6:00 am
settlement of st. louis and wise interpreters in the fur trade. what would they have said to each other? it will be very long and difficult to reach the ocean. you and your children will suffer. by then, five years after her journey with lewis and clark, she adopted european dress and manners and understand whites with powerful guns and urge for furs and profit had just begun their long reach for the ocean. she might have started this represented the end of her people's nomadic life. one imagines her saying to marie dorman don't go. or join them because they will come to our homelands whether we join them or not. or you will see amazing things. organizing into four river boats
6:01 am
layed with 20 tons of goods and equipped with ors, sand and tow ropes the party left from winter camp on april 21, 1811 with sails set in a favorable wind. they hoped to reach the pacific in late summer or autumn. the second passage i am reading takes place as they are going up the river from their winter camp which was about 400 miles up river from st. louis. and as i mentioned, they were to follow the lewis and clark trail that is going up the missouri, over the rockies and down the columbia. thaws went up the missouri, the father they went the worse the
6:02 am
stories got about the indians at the head water. the overland leader was a young new jersey business man named wilson price hunt who was known as a nice guy, serious minded, conscious, and liked to lead by c concensus but he had never been in the wilderness before. astor knew that hunt would remain loyal to astor. but astor hired a lot of other scottish fur traders, french canadian voyagers. he was looking for the best and that happened to be the canadian fur traders but they were loyal to the british crown and not necessarily america. so he had wilson hunt leave his party that was twice the size of
6:03 am
lewis and park's expedition. several hunters and wilson price hunt, marie dorman. as they are going up the missouri, they are hearing about the black feet and one of the problems is mary heather lewis had killed two young black feet. and they left a jefferson medal hanging around one of the black feet's neck and thread the territory. and the black feet were angry about that insult. so there had been a previous party going up the missouri to try to establish a fur pacific coast at the head waters or the missouri. and it disappeared. and no one new what happened to it. so as hunt's party is going up the missouri one day in may of
6:04 am
1811, they are sitting on the river bank and resting after the morning's poling and rowing having breakfast. they see canoes and in it are white men. and there are three ken tutucki. and edward robinson is one of them and he is wearing a scarf around this head. underneath the scarf he was s p scalped. this told deeply on wilson price hunt. the young new jersey business man. and the three trappers said, well, look you don't want to go
6:05 am
up to the head waters of the missouri, we know a better way. we know a way that you can leave the missouri, strikeout overland, cross several mount ranges and we think we can get you to the river that is part of the head line of the columbia. and that meant for wilson price hunt to strike out into a thousand miles at least of uncharted terrain that was unmapped. hunt, the serious conscious businessman had to deliberate what to do. so that is the next passage i am reading is hunt's decision in this situation. the four boats made good progress up river under sail that day. that is day they had breakfast
6:06 am
and met the three trappers. and camp that night. may 27th, 1811 on little cedar island. they were 1, 075 miles up the island of st. louis. a grove of cedar tree grew in the center surrounded with vines and flowers. brad bury and nettle, these are two british bought botonist scrambled about gathering plants. hunt was bothered by his own problems of deciding if he had to turn from missouri. the best route became a subject of anxious inquiry.
6:07 am
hunt closely questioned the three kentuckians about the proposal and consulted with others who ent went up the island. hunt polled them as we would throughout the journey on their opinion about the way to go. one pictures hunt's party camped on the islands in the river that granted safety from indian attack with a large fire of long driftwood longs throwing sparks at the bright stars. 60 men, women and children move in to the fire. hunt moves from this fire and tent interviewing and deliberating. what lay out there in the vast prairie night in the whole
6:08 am
western continent. when mountains would let them past? which rivers and tribes seemed unroamed in the darkness? on little cedar island, wilson price hunt tasted the flavor of unknown. hunt, responsible for a large group of people and the expectations of great men probably found it either romantic or exhilarating. there were men that surely awaited him and on the other was the route that left missouri and skirted south of the black feet where his party might wander loss through snowy mounts and starvation deserts. the questions confronting one are mundane, this route or that,
6:09 am
this river drainage or another, the implications are profound and sometimes fatal. by morning he decided. it isn't surprising that on a concern fight or venturing out on terrain, hunt who waited fighting, chose the latter. fear of retreating for the party and himself. whatever the prospective, hunt made the faithful decision. the overland party would leave the missouri and veer to the south of the planned route avoiding the black feet and go on foot and horse back into the swath of unknown terrain. the decision made. hunt sat down to write mr.astor
6:10 am
of his change of plans. i will skip back to astor. he was a focused business man. came to the country as a young man from waldorf, germany. we have heard the name waldorf, astoria and it is named after that. we started importing musical instruments from england and exported furs from the north american continent to londoned. he was a very focused, driven
6:11 am
toward his bottom line. meticilous in his planning. he spent years laying the ground work for this expedition. in all of his planning and preparation, he had not allowed for one major factor. mountain climbers talk about exposure meaning the risk in a situation. on a cliff when a small mistake can result in major consequen consequences. in 1810, this far wild edge of the north american continent with his brutal storms, hostile neighbors, difficulty of communication, vulnerability to empires, exposed as any habitable place on earth nor was
6:12 am
it able to what this would do on to the men chosen to host the empire. under stress, each one succumsu to traits. this trading scheme joined the dream of two powerful men. astor would dominate the market, pacific rim trade and reef profits as would his fur trader partners. through john jacob astor, president jefferson and his successors established an outpacific coast on the dim pacific coast. jefferson's vision embraced the envision of north america and recorded astor's enterprise in
6:13 am
shaping the undertaking. i view your take as it was said on your side of the continent and liberty and several government spreading from that side and this side will ensure complete establishment over the whole. there was a lot of weight riding on wilson price hunt when he is making the decision. wilson price hu wrestling on cedar island with this thoughts. another leader in this is a scottish fur trader by the name of duncan mcdougal. he was hired from canada where the experts were.
6:14 am
there were many different personalities but duncan mcdougal would be short, feisty, looking out for himself and manipulative. astor made him second in command of the west coast colonial. hunt was supposed to be first in mand. but in hunt's absence, astor said mcdougal would be second. they were supposed to arrive at the mouth of the columbia at that point in the fall of 181 # 1. but fall came and went and they still hadn't arrived.
6:15 am
duncan mcdougal was in charnel there. so i am going to read some of his thoughts. and what happened was at that point, i should back up a little bit in the story. the one expedition was hunt going over land and the other was the sea going party coming around cape horn. this was led by a sea captain, john thorne, who was a naval hero against the barbary pirates. a fearless guy. the ship was just stuffed with trade goods. it was called the tong kim.
6:16 am
and some people in the room might know it. all different ways to pronounce it. it was stuffed with trade goods, 9,000 pound of powder and cannons. it carried captain thorne, his crew of yankee sailors and these fur traders. the scottish fur traders as well as a number of french-canadian voyages. and several young clerks from canada. several educated young men who were keeping journals. captain was materialisically minded in the sense of discipline. he had a boatload of shaggy fur
6:17 am
traders and voyagers and the first night out, by 8:00, they were drawing pistols. when captain thorne ordered lights and out the fur trader said no. and thorne said lights out at 8:00. it came to death threats at that testimony and they went down hill from there. these accounts are amazing. the fur traders are in a robo boat and they are sailing out to sea and expecting it to turn around and come back. it is six miles out to sea and they are mildly rowing after it.
6:18 am
the falcon islands are barren and uninhabited. what saves them is the nephew is on board and he goes up the thorne and draws two pistols and says turn around the ship or you a dead man. he turned it around. that is one of the misadventures on the way to the columbia. they stop in hawaii and lots of adventures there. they pick up hawaii swimmers and they are experts at canoe and sailing and growing gardens and they buy a lot of pigs from them. finally make it near the mouth
6:19 am
of the columbia. we all know in this room at least what lies off the mouth of columbia and that is the columbia bar. that great sand bar that blocks the mouth of the river where the huge volume of water of the columbia river goes out and the huge volume of water of the pacific ocean and its trumendious swells are kicking in and the swell is like this. and it is one of the most dangerous waters in the world. there was one channel through the columbia bar. today it was marked it stretch and known. it wasn't known then. so the charge from john jacob astor is to drop the men and supplies inside the columbia bar and thorne is supposed to go on
6:20 am
his way and trade sea otter furs on vancouver island where the rich stretches of sea otter habitat were that at point. thorne is in a hurry to get past the columbia bar. he starts spending small boats with sailors and voyagers to find the channel. they loose two or three boats. nine guys die trying to find there channel in three days. the fur traders and sail arors e saying this is madness. it was very rough weather but thorne was relentless sent them any. they get over the bar.
6:21 am
almost wrecked. they finally chose a spot for the first american colony. we know where it is. it is where astoria, oregon is. where they lay the cornerstone of the first building they decide they will call this astoria after john jacob astor. thorne drops the men and supplies and goes up to vancouver island to trade for furs. this leaves duncan mcdougal behind wondering where the hunting is. the indians who had initially created them and traded with them and were around their settlement disappeared, too. late summer, early fall of 1811,
6:22 am
it is really spooky out there. their sense of exposure deepened. their camp was nothing but a wilderness in the vastness of the pacific with its crushing wells and storms. it felt like the end of the world. there was an unseen network of indian tribes each with loyalty and packs hidden by a communication network. the astorians could only guess what the native people were thinking. should the astorians need to free they had nowhere to go. the nearest reliable help laid a year's journey away.
6:23 am
paranoia set in for mcdougal especially. he had drawn a target on his back. he set himself up telling everyone of his importance and the glory and power of his empire. now with men gone and stewart's party, this is another party coming up the columbia, traveling up river and the indians forest and river quite, mcdougal realized me was a king who posesed either castle or army. he posesed the tribes through the wisdom of his own thinking. he was given the chance and
6:24 am
wondered why when they wish to grow powerful and healthy at his expense? he had a trove of trade goods that the tribes coveted. the indians could see the treasure lay unguarded after they went up the river. the paranoia strengthened. so mcdougal is coming up with this idea that he calls all of the mashing chiefs of the neighboring tribes to come to his settlement and he gathers them around and pulls a small, glass wile from this pocket and he said in this, i hold the deadly small poxs and the indians were decimated by them 20 years ago.
6:25 am
i have to pull out this cork and everyone dies. and that is how we tries to regain power. he later marries the daughter of one of the chiefs as another insurance policy but that comes some tistimulatotime later. we have wilson price hunt, before i read the last passage, who made the decision at little ced ced ced cedar island. he dawdles and doesn't under the urgency of the nature. he needs -- he has 10-15 tons of gear and supplies with him. 60 people.
6:26 am
huge parties. he needs horses to carry this. he stopped at the village and started trading for horses but the problem is indians don't have enough horses so he scrambles to find more. weeks past by and it isn't until late july he leaves missouri to head in the swath of unknown terrain. he treks for four months on food and horseback. marie is there and she found out she was pregnant and due in december and this is july. the scottish fur traders are riding. the voyagers some walking and some riding but eventually they got 1500 horses. they cross what is anyhow the
6:27 am
dakotas, wyominging, over the t ton mountains. are into idaho on this side and they come to a small river and the three trappers say, well we are sure this leads to the columbia. here you go. this is the way down. and so they build 15 big dugout canoes out of cottonwood. they pile into the canoes and there40 voyagers and they are eager to get off the horses and can canoes are their their. they start down the river and it is happy first day. second day they hit a few ripples. third day, they swamp a canoe in rapids. by the 9th day they are going
6:28 am
over major waterfalls and voyagers are drowning. they have to abandon the ship skwp they have run out of food and they are in the snake wharf cannon and winter is coming up. they start off on foot. and they end up in hells cannon which is the deepest cannon in the area. and hunt has to make a decision on whether to leave starving partners behind because they are too weak or trying to keep the party together. that is where hunt while
6:29 am
mcdougal is waiting, wondering where hunt is. he is struggling through these c c c c c c canyons. and he has someone with him who crossed the continent 10 years before with alexander who crossed the canadian north in 1793. so he is one of the experienced fur traders on the ship. and pick up on interpreter at what is now grace harbor. they end up in what is now near the sound in bc. the interpreter actually says
6:30 am
you tonight -- don't -- want to go there because the indians here have resentiment for earlier traders and thorne ignores them and goes in anyway. throughout the book, i write in a number of places about the american tribes and the culture. and i will not go into detail other than to say it was irony that astor's parties ended up coming against two of the wealthiest tribes. one being black feet and the other being the northwest coastal indians with the salmon runs and the sea life like whale
6:31 am
whales, oysters and ducks and on and on. in many ways their way of life was materially better than many in london and new york. they lived in lawn houses. they had an elaborate culture with pot latches and beautiful artistic traditions and huge war voyages. and so he dropped anchor out in the cove out in the sound. and josey, the interpreter, and mckay the experienced fur trader go into the shore to talk about negotiati negotiations. thorne stays on board but the big canoes come out to the ship. thorne sees no reason why he
6:32 am
should not start trading on his own and that is where this passage begins. out in the cove on board, negotiations unfolded less smoothly. i am saying i am sure mckay and the interpreter were welcomed by the chiefs in the village. negotiation unfolded and the indians big cedar canoes with their long snout like prowls ran around the ship's hull. they wore weather-proof comical hats and had rolls of see otter to trade. captain thorne with no experience on the indian trade ordered them to spread out blue
6:33 am
beads, pots and other trade goods. an elderly chief climbed aboard to establish the prices to trade goods for furs. captain thorne said two blankets, and beads, in exchange for one sea otter. he rejected the offer as too low. it was a clash of two cultures on the purist of economic terms. account vary to the exact detail between the two but follow the same general pattern as a whole. they wanted five blankets instead of the two that thorne offered for a sea otter. thorne didn't budge.
6:34 am
he had a vast deal of pride in his nature wrote washington irving. he held the whole race in salvage contempt. they were at a stalemate. he wasn't a bargainer. he could he had given a fair price. but he entered a culture where trading was a way of life. they were not ignorant. he dismissed the low price. thorne stalked off angery among the deck and he followed him and ridiculed his offer, harassing him and pestering him to train. captain thorne spun about, temper exploding and grabbed a
6:35 am
sea otter fur and rubbed it in his face. dam your eyes, he said to the chief. kicking away the trade fur on the deck and then through thomas off the ship. the other indians left in their canoes. the two returned to the ship and when they heard what happened they urged him to weigh immediately because they will look for insult he warned. thorne laughed them out. you pretend to know a great deal about the indian character doing ross's account that captured the spirit of the encountering. you know-nothing at all. don't be so saucy now. it didn't end well. but that is where i will end. thank you very much.
6:36 am
we can talk and take questions. [ applause ] feel free to get up and leave. but we can keep talking. let's see. here we have the microphone. there is a question right there. >> what is so interesting about this story is how much you had to leave out to get it into pages you got it in. one of the fascinating pieces was during the war of 1812, mcdougal sold fort astoria to the northwest company, the canadian company for pennies on the dollar, but none the less it was sold to a canadian company and that could have ended there and this could be southern british columbia except that the
6:37 am
treaty -- then a british ship captain of the raccoon came in and conquered the port during the war of 1812. and because of the treaty of gent all conquered possessions had to be returned. and so because it was conquered it had to be returned to astor and it was in 1818. here we are in oregon. if they had gotten their three months later this would be southern british columbia. there is about half a dozen of these. >> and you are bringing up a good point. this book focuses on 1810-1813 so the aftermath. this whole region is in limbo for 40 years after these events. and for just the reason that the
6:38 am
questioner was citing that the war of 1812 broke out and that made astoria a prize of war or potential prize of war. so mcdougal basically, i will not tell the whole story, but mcdougal heard war had broken out. that will royal navy was coming to seize astoria and so he sold it out to a rival and was made a partner subsuantly. i say he fashioned himself a golden parachute and then died out. he died in a nasty way in canada years later. it is like what happened now section of this book. and there are no details about
6:39 am
how he did. but it wasn't so many years later. but the epiitting is he died tag a terrible death. that was mcdougal. there were so many things that could have gone differently in this part of the continent. if astoria had succeeded this might not have been southern british columbia, but the united states might poses the entire west coast from alaska to mexico. or even more if we were a trading power across the pacific. it could have been a separate country. but as it was because of the war of 1812 and it wasn't the treat of gent but in 1818 as many of you know the u.s. and great
6:40 am
britain signed the join occupation agreement for the northwest that meant neither americans or british could be here even though the british established themselves in this region and this area was in limbo until the 1840s. it could have been all british or all-american. other questions? >> if wonder if you go into detail about jacob astor and the struggles he trig trying to get the ship out here >> terrible struggle. you can imagine it is 12,000 miles around cape horn in new york city. it take as year to get a
6:41 am
message. sorry, it is 25,000 miles. 12,000 is china. that was one of the problem with astor's vision was the lag in communication. not the lack of communication because he tried to communicate. he didn't know rather hunt arriv arrived. he did, mostly entact but he was there. he was wanting them to stand fast and he was willing to put endless resources behind it. but his men didn't have the will. hunt, i can, thought that astor was that willing to spend as much money as astor was willing to spend. astor, at one point, spent over a year trying to convince the
6:42 am
u.s. navy or the president, secretary of state, everybody in washington, d.c. to send an armed ship to the mouth of the columbia to defend astoria against the british navy. and the u.s. navy was going to send the ship but the crew got diverted last second. he was a planner and outfitted other ships. bought a ship called the well armed. he sent two captains undercover to see london. and he gave them a blank check to buy a british ship and sail an armed british ship to astoria
6:43 am
in the company of the royal navy. it was going to defend against the royal navy but left from the royal navy. it was a stealth ship. but it wrecked in hawaii and the crew mutiny so it was one thing after another. >> john jacob astor was forming the party that was to go by sea did we have the idea of the dif culty he had face? >> i have thought about that a lot. the people in the decision of facing the unknown and the
6:44 am
mental stress interests me and could astor under that. he was a fur trader in the hudson valley in new york. he dragged his wagon swamp and forest. so he had some understanding. but now one realized how much terrain there was between here and new york. that was a long walk. in those days, there were tribal territory the whole way. some densely populated. some unpopulated. there were deserts and that was a big issue. in southern idaho there was no food. i think astor knew little about how they would suffer. he learned in the long run. ...
6:45 am
6:46 am
>> the spanish or in california. were they aware of what was going on in the northwest? they had a little bit. >> yes, good point. the spanish -- of course of this historical background i could go into. i will try to limit myself, but the spanish and started building missions from what is now blog, california, from their settlements in what was nomex go up the coast and a 17 70's, and they got as far as san francisco that was the farthest north mission. and they have gone up to stake
6:47 am
claim to that territory. they more or less stopped around san francisco. the russians have started building foothills down from alaska. that is where the gap ifs in the settlement was between what is now alaska and have san francisco. that was all essentially unclaimed. that is what jefferson saw, this huge unplanned chunk of northwest coast. >> i read once that the russians tried to put a settlement down on the coast of washington or oregon. i only read it once, and i was not sure of the facts of that. i have never seen a sense. i know the russians were trading >> well, that is a sort of follow-up to the question. the russians to build a post in california they year after the store was founded. says it is now called for ross.
6:48 am
it had a different name and the russians, but that is an hour's drive north of san francisco. in fact, a beautifully restored museum today. so both the russians and the spanish were aware that astor was doing this, as were the british. the british said, putting a settlement on the pacific coast. so they said david thompson, well-known great explore to come out. thompson got down to columbia and putting flagpoles of saying, you know, i will build a post here and here as you went down to columbia. what is now the tri-cities he put his notice that he was going to build a post. the guts of a mountain. what did he get to? a story was already there. he missed it by three months.
6:49 am
otherwise -- you're saying, he could have done their first. and to over there. >> thank you. >> in the writing of history the story has been dealt with. a book comes out about every 20 years. and david lavender wrote, you know, the early writers. how do you see your writing as being something that adds to the complexion or the depth or the brunt of the story? >> what i have done is, you know, the books that have come out previously have not really focused on these expeditions the way -- with the depth that i have. and that is really what i have focused on. i am an adventure writer. i focused on the exploration and the venture of it, and i really tried to get into the minds and the physiology and the indian tribes and that, the very detailed specifics of what it was like on those overland
6:50 am
journeys and trying to bring those to life as much as possible. so some wonderful books. james p. rhonda, that is a really well, beautifully researched scholarly work. if you want a historical detail, that sells everything that there is to now. and that was not my mission. my mission was to -- my self-appointed mission was to focus on the adventure story of these expeditions and use that. what i wanted to do is, there is such tremendous story and dramatic story. the hardest thing for me westerly things out. there are so many stories. the difficulty was keeping things out. and even then, you know, it's not a huge book, but is not a small book writer. or i wanted to do it -- and by telling these stories, these dramatic stories of one to use those as a lens to get into the
6:51 am
history, as a vehicle to get into the history as a way to bring no reader along. so my first priority was to tell a really good story. so that's what i've done. that is allied added depth. washington irving does a wonderful job telling the story. start over there. >> could you say just a little bit more about david thompson stripped-down and coming into a story about the same time? >> there is so much to say. so david thompson works for the north west company which was a british rival, canadian rival. and he proposed a partnership to start a west coast colony. and did more less kind of him than hot and finally apparently declined in. he went ahead and started one
6:52 am
anyway. as soon as the british heard that he was starting one, says a northwest company heard that he was starting one they sent a message through their interior network of rivers and lakes and the voyager canoes to as far west as they could. they sent it to david thompson who was then the exploring a spin the northern rockies region he had been up there several years and was just coming back east. he finally won it a vacation after during this huge amount of exploration. and the indians, and the stargazer because he was always using a sexting to mappings. he was on his way back and gets the message coming up toward the rockies by who forger can it assess turn around and go to the mountain. it's not clear exactly what the details of the message work, but he immediately turned around, tried to get to the mouth of the columbia, crossed over the rocky
6:53 am
mountains, had to winter up in some past with all the snow, built canoes the next year, paddled down the columbia, you know, just another day in the life of david thompson. but he got there and was three months -- by the time he got there they have been three months. and then he went back upstream. he actually i know within. these guys, even though they might be rivals in enemies there was this cordial but jen ominous. he was welcomed with all the, you know, dinners and per geology. stayed away, and then they all turned around and went back a stream. >> so he was one of the most wealthy men in the country. you mentioned the of a blank check for the ships. why did he not give his a story in party? >> he did. he had essentially in what amounted to a blank check, like a blank check book. one of the things i write about is the irony.
6:54 am
in the bottom of hells canyon in the winter starving. it brings to mind, you know, what money can do in certain circumstances or not do. haunted have a blank check. this was, you know, another segment of this whole story. when he eventually got to a story he went off, the second supply ship finally arrived, a ship called the beaver three months after hunter arrived. hundt went off on the beaver to etch rate up the coast of british -- you know, vancouver island. that ended up being its own fiasco. and he and the captain had the choice of returning to a story at in the winter when it was stormy are going to hawaii to fix is shipped. the captain convinced and to go to hawaii to fix the ship. and then he ended up in the south pacific after that.
6:55 am
he just wanders all over the place. and, you know, he finally shows up 15 months later and it's already been sold out. he said, what are you doing? why are you selling the place? they were saying, where were you ? >> what happens with this pregnant lady that was supposed to have a baby? >> more stories. did she -- she is this incredibly tough woman, and she, you know, goes through the whole hells canyon winter starvation seen. she and her family have one horse between. they go through struggles, blizzards, all thing. they finally get out of hells canyon. they find some indians, the big party found some indians who will guide them across the mountain range in winter.
6:56 am
they don't want to do it, but they're convinced to do it. she gives birth at the base of blue mountains. late december. and then they have to cross blue mountains, you know, really cold, snowy conditions. the baby dies after a week. so it is just one of these things. there should be a little marker. i try to trace that trail where there were. >> barry down here in st. joseph . >> and she -- there is way more marie dorian story. she survived this incredible massacre that came later kamal branch of people up in the snake river country were massacred, including the husband. she and her two boys escaped and and had a horse. she killed the horse, smoke is the meet. in up in the blue mounds in winter and a showman out of a horse's side and then hiked over
6:57 am
the mountains in the spring. eventually years later she ended up as one of the first settlers in the valley. when the wagon trains came out bringing settlers she was already there. that's another face. you know, again, there are some many phases to the story. all of stumbling around one. there was a return party of cook but from of. between those two parties the return party led by robert stewart is a well-known been in western history. they found what you all know as the oregon trail.
6:58 am
robert stewart on the way back discover what's called self pass through the rocky mountains which was the key piece of geography kiffin that was finally discovered or you could crossed the rocky mount's with in a wheeled vehicle ten. and that was the key link in the oregon trail that allowed settlers to come last carrying their belongings. once the valley was becoming recognized as this very fertile, fertile kind of garden of eden on the west coast. in fact, it was the astorians refers to explore. they knew it was a very rich agricultural place. it became this tremendous magnet for the some of the west and the western ford movement and for these wagons and settlers to get
6:59 am
out there them to come out, find a way out. it was the astorians route they found. they were greeted by marie doreen. well, thanks. you been a wonderful audience. schedule for coming. call. >> on nine me my glass of water cells. [inaudible conversations] >> a discussion on access to mental health aide for veterans
7:00 am
posted by the national council for behavioral health, it's live at 11 eastern on c-span. the american enterprise institute hosts a discussion today on its report examine why current national security policy isn't stopping defenseman of al-qaeda. watch that live at noon eastern on c-span. >> i remember on saturdays the first conversation i had with people at the table come it wasn't about where you're from, what is your school like but it was about ukraine. it was about politics, about our belief in education and religion and how at the moment i was like this is going to be intense. it's been cool to see the evolution of all of her friendships, all of our bonds from just talking about politics to talking about our experiences, what we've learned,
7:01 am
who we have met. this is an experience i'll never forget. >> i've been cynical about it, i always thought i can never go that far in politics and politics is such a caustic environment. slowly throughout the week different speakers i've met have kind of chipped away at that opinion. it's been so ingrained in my head. i thought maybe i do want to make a difference and run for something local and state local in my community, because like president obama said yesterday, he told us don't get cynical because the nation doesn't need any more cynical people that's not going to help us relieve the problems we have. >> one of the things that gets brought up is our social media. we're able to express our opinions very easily. we can send a tweet about what we think and i think that starts conversations and would like to talk a lot so there's conversations, social media and which is like to get our opinions out there.
7:02 am
>> i think this whole week has been about learning. i come from a small town where it's very politically homogenic, and there's not much chance for people who don't think the same to get their opinions out without being ridiculed. being here with the of the delegates has given me an opportunity to learn other viewpoints and to also get my ideas out without the fear of being shunned or speaking differently. >> high school students from across the country discuss their participation in the u.s. senate youth program, a weeklong government and leadership education program held annually in washington sunday night at eight on c-span's q&a. >> next, a discussion with notre dame history professor felipe fernandez-armesto about his book "our america: a hispanic history of the united states." this is an hour. >> host: thank you for being
7:03 am
with us. >> guest: thank you very much for taking an interest in my book. >> host: absolutely. it's quite an interesting one. we can start off by talking about the population of hispanics in the united states. in 1980 there were about 15 million hispanics in the united states. by 2012 nearly 53 million. by 2050 we're expecting 128 million hispanics in the united states. your book helps give the foundation and explain how this population arrived in the country and how it potentially, we'll talk to or it's going by the time we reach 120 billion. >> guest: thank you very much. that's very kind of you to say that. it's interesting to me, you focus on relatively recent period in which the profile of hispanics in the united states has been revolutionized by --
7:04 am
there were vast numbers of people, and the context that we understand this is a very long one in which hispanics haven't belonged in the united states by virtue of being immigrants but by virtue of having colonized. the united states has a long history as an hispanic country. it's kind of reversing do that. the statistics you mentioned are restoring the united states in a way a normal situation of the country, historically. it was found on was not the territory of the united states first occupied from outside by people -- [inaudible] it's been a blip in a long hispanic story. >> host: that's exactly what
7:05 am
your book seems to tackle is the method that we have about the founding of the united states. this mythology. you mentioned m myth being the motor of history in your book. i'm curious why now, how did this book come about now? why is now the time to sort of undo some of the myths that we have? we will go through what some of those are. >> guest: i'm sure there's a check to answer but, of course, one writes books really for reasons which are powerful and autobiographical. i don't see myself as it profits was a message. i do see myself as a person trying to understand myself in trying to situate myself. the idea of the book came to me when i was getting some lectures at the u.s. air force academy in colorado springs. one very nice, well educated,
7:06 am
broad minded liberal air force officer who had to look after they had lots of chats with me which i find very interesting. and he told me, he told me he was a liberal. he wanted to great in my mind and oppression i might have got from the media that use air force academy sort of strange radical physical fundamentalist. he told me he was in favor of immigration. but, he said, when people come to this country they should learn the native language. and i didn't think he was speaking about comanche pics i said yes, i quite agree. everybody should learn spanish. and he was -- ism, what is the state language of colorado?
7:07 am
it made me realize that even a liberal, broad minded and well educated cultured, kind, humane american, they don't realize what the country scott, this alternative history which doesn't go from east to west or south or north, but which starts with spanish missionaries and colonists. >> host: you start the book in the 1500s in puerto rico, and it was interesting to me when you contrast the mythology of the english settlers in the north with the three pigs and a goat that landed in puerto rico. tell me about that. >> guest: whenever they colonize anywhere always started by introducing livestock with the idea that when he would call us a ride to be for them to eat.
7:08 am
they were the first permanent european colonists on what is now u.s. territory with three pigs and two goats in puerto rico in 1585 which is the first from an english colony established on the soil of this country. i don't want to take anything away from the tremendous creativity and achievement of the anglo history of the unitedh are very impressive. we need to show there are stories that are just as good which constitute the hispanic side of the story. that are possible is that having been exhausted so i just want to get people to see a little bit more of that history, not to displace the image of america that already got, but to modify.
7:09 am
>> host: it's quite timely given the fact that the population is growing and we keep hearing about hispanics or latinos in the united states on a daily basis. event die before the show were talking about how business is trying to attract that marketplace, growing market and the young market, a bilingual market. it's an interesting time for the book to appear. >> guest: i caross a jcpenney photograph on the web which said now hiring bilingual speakers, and that is a sort of icon of our times, to which president obama did make a tremendous thereby giving people the impression, although i don't think this is true, that hispanics had elected him. my impression is, it tells you something about america, about the united states today which is
7:10 am
a very strong perception that you speak of the country is being transformed by the hispanic demographic. >> host: very much so. one of the things, however, i want to drill down on that point because obama did win in the last election more than 70% of hispanic votes. but you don't think he -- >> guest: there are places like new mexico, colorado and florida which were very important marginal swing states which are always going to be critical in general elections in this country where you could have a situation, but i think if you really sort of breakdown the statistics in the case of obama's last election, which he won by such a margin that he would've won even if the spanish voters didn't participate. >> host: you mentioned florida
7:11 am
when we're talking about obama just now and florida is in the first chapter of your book and that's where you say it was the first time anglo-american, spanish america used. what did you mean by that? >> guest: the respective colonists started in places which were very far removed from one another, and eventually because spanish empire printed all parts of the hemisphere that were accessible from the outside and that were economically exploited and worth colonizing. but partly because of the way the winds and currents of the atlantic condition and even determined the shipping routes between europe and the americas, the spanish empire kidnapping to
7:12 am
conceit northward control more of those natural ports and harbors. it's why they colonize florida which was always -- [inaudible] keep those missions and force going but it was kind of worth it to keep the english out. at the same time the english were seeking southwards. the first region to be exchanged between the two empires, and put in a 17 centuries, florida was a very general name for a very large part of what is now the united states, including what is now georgia, and in some respects stretches right up into the chesapeake which was the northern edge of spaniards tried
7:13 am
to control or at least to found a presence. there's always sort of an extended from the colonization, the north side colonization. [inaudible] >> host: the detail in this book was quite amazing. tell me about the research you did for this book. how long did it take you to pull this together? what type of documents and sources were you looking at? >> guest: i don't know how long it took. i'm an historian with a very bad memory for dates and although our member very vividly, in essence i just described the air force academy. i can't tell you now what you that was but i always write my books in my head. i think about them for many years before start to put them
7:14 am
down on paper and defending sort of matures, like fruit. as far as the sources are concerned, i wanted to make the book, i wanted to make it human skill. i wanted to tell a lot of stories about individuals. i don't think it was necessary to go over the grief of u.s. history because everybody in the united states, let's drill into them year after year. over and over again through the school system in this country. i didn't think it was worth taking a high level of analysis. so i looked for individual stories, a memoir. always been my practice is have thought a terrible if i switch my fellow professional
7:15 am
historians would condemn, i always try to find things that you would never find any a biography by wandering around some library shelf, books that i can a lot of dust on them and have not been read for a long time. that's generally how i found some of the i think vivid stories in the book, like the 18th century mystic in new mexico, or agnes of cleveland, the settlers with a very sympathetic attitude who wrote a wonderful memoir about her life in new mexico in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. that's the kind of thing i was looking for. this human is just stories. telling the story of the spanish
7:16 am
experience in the late 19th and early 20 centuries, i look for books that recorded a lot of oral testimonies, which people's experience and what it was like to cross the border if you were a mexican immigrant, or to seek work in the tomato picking or something. those with the things i thought would make the book interesting. the real stories of heroism, suffering, a cheaper, triumph and tragedy which is the story of everybody in the united states. it's never been an easy place to live in. the fastest of the land, the hugeness of the economy, long
7:17 am
journeys and such works. everybody's story in the united states compounds triumphs and tragedies, and sometimes some of hispanic immigrants who have had to endure discrimination and impoverishment and the menace of deportation. it's even more moving but it has many other people. >> host: going back to the sort of the mythologies and the myths that you are working through in this book, you mentioned in the second chapter where we're going from mississippi to the rockies and we have the story, and then you mentioned that the spaniards legitimized their conquest through their writings. can you tell us about that? how is that part of creating
7:18 am
this mythology? >> guest: the peculiarities of the culture of the spanish monarchy, empire some people call in the early modern period. walls of a very strong element of conscious i guess connected with the catholic provincial. and unlike the british, the french and doctrine powers in the early americas, and we should find people bellyaching about what are we doing here, what is justification for being here? what rights have a cut to boss these nations around? in the spanish, that's an almost inescapable part of almost everything that everybody comes to the new world. as you know, the spanish crown was demanding that they produce justification, mind the
7:19 am
geography, why they had a right to be fighting enemies. >> host: are you supportive are protective of -- >> guest: that is interesting. it doesn't always contrast with the interrupts of the other european communities became. because you've got to say, the crown wanted to protect the natives, wanted to keep them alive. not, i don't think, really ultimately because spain hurts more than anglos. that's obviously not the case. but because the ecology of the kinds of areas of the spaniards took into, the americas would join the spanish monarchy either by conquest or by -- you've got
7:20 am
a very peculiar kind of environment in which the native labor is absolutely vertical you have to keep them alive, so they would perform the label that you need, otherwise you couldn't exploit. whereas in the parts of the united states that the english crown colonized in the early modern period they could either rely on imported labor in the form of farmers from europe, or they could bring in black slaves so they didn't really need them. they would ask why broadly speaking to the -- extreme its natives were spanish america try to conserve them and keep them alive. it's not to do with the different moralities but it's to do with different environments. >> host: as the spaniards are making their way, particularly
7:21 am
across texas and new mexico, and they are engaging or sometimes combating with the apache and the comanche indians, how did these interactions differ from what they had experienced in the caribbean and in florida, for example, as the native tribes that they were encountering? >> guest: very, very crudely. i mean, your question kind of compels me to respond with a level of generalization. i'm not entirely happy with. very crudely speaking, in the caribbean, florida and, indeed, in new mexico, a hot land, economically productive parts of the spanish empire, the spaniards made a mutually agreeable accommodations with the natives. engages in spain kids could use
7:22 am
-- could make use of each other. the apache and the comanche didn't see the spaniards that way, they did on a whole see them as useful. they saw them as enemies or potential conquerors to resist. said that created a different dynamic in the northern fringes of the spanish monarchy in the new world. of course, the apache and the comanches are very different people. the comanche were kind of imperial people who wielded their power and their very large numbers in order to great an empire of their own which they were controlling and exploiting other native american peoples. the apache were much more, you know, a group of loosely related peoples who could never collaborate in creating an enormous stage in the way the comanche day. of course, because these three
7:23 am
worlds met in what is now the southern united states, there were lots of opportunities for fruitful interactions between them. the spaniards were tremendously respectful of the comanche in particular and the recognized the select interior people and she got all kinds of really peaceful trading interactions, alliances of comanche and spaniards against apache, and more commonly alliances of apache and spaniards against the comanche because the comanche are bigger. and much of what is now the southwest apache independence as you like. >> host: you mentioned the word empire in this last answer, and in your book you say you citizens and even some historians are reluctant to call the united states an empire. why is that?
7:24 am
>> guest: i didn't share this because i was a foreigner and one would say why should people in the united states potential readers of my book bother with what a former has the arrogance to tell them about -- in some ways i think it helps to be objective. sometimes you can't see things in a difference and, therefore, helpful way if you are immersed in the country and georgia product of its education. so i do see the united states as an empire. if it looks like an empire, walks like an empire and quacks like an empire, it's an empire. this was the country which was created in the 19th century like conquering the land at other peoples expense. native americans and indians, on the margin canadians and, but it
7:25 am
expanded like every other conquest, i taking over other people's territory. that was the way the united states continued to be shaped until 1917, which was the year in which the last overseas territory was absorbed to the country, the danish virgin isles, took over in 1917. so there is this long history of interior construction at the heart of making this country. i didn't think it detracts from american greatness. truth is, you can genuinely love someone. you can only genuinely love america if you -- [inaudible] put imperfections which are deeply etched in the past united
7:26 am
states. you've got to love america inspite of that. you can't pretend it didn't happen. >> host: in chapter three, you describe the english and cultural legacy that they left across the world. how would you compare that to the spanish? >> guest: by the way, you know, there's a very big analogy between english and the spanish. i'm half and half. my mother was english, so i don't think this disney objectivity or disqualifies me either. if you go to england or spain, people will tell you they are very different, very conscious of the differences. when you look from the inside you can always see the difference. if you ask the producer is watching us in washington, d.c.,
7:27 am
we are hearing you, she was hit i guess -- [inaudible] there's lots of differences. but if you are from sort of a visit from the planet mars you would say they are the same. weird creatures and they only have two eyes. so which will it all a question of perspective. when i look at the english and the spanish i see similarities because i'm trying to see them objectively. there are very few people's with striking profile always conquering or losing empires. there are also those people who as result of that experience, carry their culture to the
7:28 am
different parts of the world. the english and spanish have been more successful than the spaniards in shaping the world, exporting their language to the united states mainly. the sports, incredible how sports is a very important part of contemporary popular culture, how many of these games were invented in england and spread even beyond the british empire, cultures that had no way part of the imperial reach which adopted these forms of english culture in its sport, parliamentary do not crusade. they adopted these things because they like them. >> host: they like them. >> host: what are the other myths that comes up in the third chapter is the myth of the pilgrim fathers. tell us about that.
7:29 am
because when you talk about how american students learn their american history, one of the images i think that we all have as young americans is seeing that image, particularly around thanksgiving. >> guest: we do talk, the history of the country has its pilgrim fathers. >> host: it's one of the iconic images i think that american children are always take away comment by the way i lived in spain for a few years so i'm a little familiar with the culture as well, but the pilgrim fathers i figure something that we as americans are sort of shown as -- >> guest: absolutely. i just thought that maybe communist, schools are getting away from and adopted a more pluralistic alternative nation. >> host: it's been a while since i finished the second grade. >> guest: the pilgrims, one of
7:30 am
the things is, don't get me wrong, i'm not against the myths. i think the truth has unique virtues, falsehoods also have virtues that protect you sometimes from some unpalatable truths they may compromise sometimes between people, they wouldn't get on. [inaudible] i think one should value for what they are, the pilgrim fathers stories that are commonly told in american history books and calmly told in american classrooms. they weren't pilgrims obviously. and they were to refugees seeking liberty.
7:31 am
they were looking for a paradise of their own making which they could impose their own culture. and, indeed, they did expel anybody who didn't conform with their ideology. roger williams, for example, people who didn't conform were persecuted, even after nearly three generations, after the pilgrim fathers in massachusetts, protects like witchcraft and minorities who didn't conform. and they didn't, on the way they didn't, mayflower compact to choose dollars a tradition. there was a coup d'├ętat by one
7:32 am
bunch of imposed their will on the rest. of course, you know they didn't leave anything because of religious persecution. i think on the contrary, they didn't persecute people enough. the so-called pilgrims. i'm amazed america didn't realize the nation didn't get it quickly. they started from holland and they were already exiled and got to holland and saw the rather grim utopia. the expedition start from holland, just stopped on the way to pick up a few more migrants. really almost everything that people commonly think about is false. >> host: we have about a minute before we take a break. i want to ask you the big question, hispanic or latino in terms of, you use hispanic
7:33 am
throughout the book. latinas, most recently. what is your -- >> guest: interesting you think that's a big question. i don't care. i like people to call themselves what they want to call themselves. if somebody tells mitchell's be called a with tina, will now call her that. i call myself hispanic, and i can't see a good reason for abandoning that label. it's very serviceable. it includes me of someone of spanish origin as well as people of latin american or spanish-american origins. so to me it's more inclusive than latino. you proper remember all these labels are imposed from the outside. but if people are happy to use them on themselves, then i'm happy to reflect that pakistan in my work. >> host: we will take a break and be right back.
7:34 am
>> host c-span to provide live coverage of the u.s. senate floor proceedings and key public policy events. every weekend booktv, for 15 years the only television network devoted to nonfiction books and authors. c-span2 created by the cable tv industry and brought to you as a public service by your local cable satellite or provided to
7:35 am
spin the interview with felipe fernandez-armesto, author of "our america," continues now. >> host: during the break we're talking a little bit about our histories and hispanic versus latino and one of the things that come up is the fact that i lived in spain for two years but i lived in barcelona as a puerto rican woman who is s also american. the issue of biculturalism would come up occasionally in conversation and do something that there was a lot of understanding, like how you could identify both as an american and as a puerto rican. that's something that still seems to be an issue, and a new book you begin or you end of chapter three talking about realism and the sort of --
7:36 am
california and the bicultural identities o the began to take shape. i'd like to sort of take that apart with you and talk about these identities that people have and biculturalism at least in that -- >> guest: did you learn -- >> guest: i could speak a little bit of it. i understand it a lot better than i can speak at. >> guest: that's a very good example, people in barcelona typically switch between the two languages according -- i think identity, i say in the book i think it's like a layer cake. no matter where you cut it, you take a slice out of the cake you can see all the different layers. i think if people tell you they don't understand, you just need to slice their layer cake and expose. nobody's got a single identity. even if your family who has
7:37 am
lived in barcelona for centuries, you're probably going to feel -- diminishing numbers, which are also going to feel european. there are guys in barcelona approaching you for being opened to a variety of the legacies from your world. probably had the same equipment a should in their own senses of identity but just thinking about them. >> host: many want to distance themselves from these countries to doors and say those were people from the south of spain and the canary islands. with nothing to do with them. >> guest: we were not allowed to, strickland speaking until
7:38 am
1778, take part in the overseas empire. they all found the loopholes and in the 19th century, spain's cuban empire was more cattle and empire that a spanish empire and the large sense of the word. but i don't know. it reminds me of that old joke about the professor, spanish professor who came to some american council and give a lecture about the conquest, and a latino, hispanic person in the audience them up and shoved his foot at him and said how dare you come and tell us this story when your ancestors brutalized hours. the spanish professor said no, no, no. my ancestors stayed home in spain but it was your ancestors. it was true. >> host: as we start chapter four we get into california which was very interesting
7:39 am
state, today, and back then in particular, you paint a fascinating picture of franciscan missions and ranches and the ragtag group of settlers who began to get to the state. what was south america -- what we know as south america, mexico what was in the trans-that were happening there that might have been influencing what is now california? >> guest: obviously in the late -- the spanish evidence, obviously statistic in california -- [inaudible] the effort to begin really until 1760 when they just jumped a massing. they didn't attempt to colonize the country, convert the natives or incorporate the empire and to really very late.
7:40 am
and by that stage in what i referred to earlier in our conversation as -- of spanish, the south america in the andes. you had fabulous cities and enormous wealth and dazzling engineering projects, and it's still remarkable i think for anyone from the united states who goes to peru or bolivia, not as far as south america if you just go to central america, mexico, go to cities like waveland, mexico city and you see how grand they are in that period. the acme of the spanish empires great grand door and prosperity
7:41 am
and all the historical myth about the decline of the spanish because it did decline. the level of achievement in terms of the transformation of the environment for the creation of these great cities, the morphing of nature to human purposes, the dynamic economy, the demographic, these are really extraordinary works which were unparalleled anywhere that is now the united states. i think when i look at what the missionaries did in california in the very late 18th century, they were really i think animated by the standard. and the standard of achievement which was represented by the great popular rich economies in the rest of the spanish empire.
7:42 am
they just wanted to great something like that in california as quickly as possible. when you ask why do they found so many missions, why did they sacrificed so much time and effort and money and manpower on this very remote place, why did they, you know, so much, they breed so much, so many cattle, why did they found so many workshops producing everything from the sort of, say, candles to my work. it's because they knew they could create a great european style world in the most unpretentious environment and you could turn indigenous
7:43 am
forages into productive agriculture and citizens of the spanish monarchy, because that was what we're trying to earlier, the different attitudes spaniard heads toward the natives. equal citizens and had to elevate from a status which they regarded rather like matter of a child, you could raised to adulthood. so i think the model of what you could achieve of the rest of the spanish empire in the americas represented really influenced the way california grew up. >> host: one of the things that struck me about living in spain in particular was the word -- which essentially means united states in many ways. this word doesn't seem, doesn't exist in english. we call ourselves americans. and yet america spans north, south, united states, canada.
7:44 am
is there any thought to why that is and what it exists in spanish perhaps but not in english? >> guest: as a former resident of barcelona you probably know which movie about barcelona and which one of the characters deplores the fact that the vanished called him that because he thinks it implies -- [inaudible] you know, the words that we use for each other's communities do sometimes acquire a picture of residents which there were no longer intend to have in the first place. but obviously, i think people in the united states realize how sensitive it is to other americans with you guys up here appropriate the word, americans just one of many countries, the failed emissary. again, i don't want to get in
7:45 am
trouble for being a foreigner coming over here and try to kill you what you want to thank. but again, i honestly, i'm not so sure the future of the greatness of the united states, which is a great country. it's a country that i admire. i want to see it go on succeeding year but we all know it's in crisis. we all know the united states is faced with a post american century of a post-american world in which it's going to be increasingly tough to remain the world's top superpower and model nation. i think it's continuing its future from u.s. greatness. people got t to redefine what by what they mean america and realize that there are opportunities which need to be embraced by collaboration amongst the different peoples of
7:46 am
the americas, and mr. will continue to fulfill its potential. if you turn your back on your fellow americans and the rest of the americas huge is going to make your task much harder in the future, not just as neighbors but also on unexploited wealth outside the united states in this hemisphere. you need a stake in that and you're not going to get a stake in that unless you embrace your fellow americans. >> host: on all sides of america. >> guest: right. because canada, you know, all those canadian, canadian arctic, these are vast lands of opportunity. put it this way. i think, i'm not sure every historian in the united states agrees with, i think this is true. what made the united states
7:47 am
change from being a large and former colonial country into the world's great powerhouse and superpower in the 19th century? what made that transformation possible was the exploitation of the great previously unexploded resources which the americans, the per, all of the land which had been desolate and become the most productive farmland in the world. america got great unexploited resource. you haven't got any more land to exploit. relatively speaking to me oil, even your underground water sources, you've got to look elsewhere to new resources. the big unexploited resource in hemisphere are in the chilean
7:48 am
and argentine, and if you want pieces of those start respecting your fellow americans a bit more. >> host: going into part two of your book at, we begin to see the rise of what you call quote institutionalized racism in the united states. and now we've got the rise of biculturalism, realism, blacks, it's that -- hispanics, indigenous folks here, and so this is now becoming a much more complex racial demographic that the united states is starting to do with. tell us a little bit about that. what were some of the sort of come what was that rise of institutionalized and sanctioned racism. we know what happened but give us some examples of that. >> guest: i think it's partly
7:49 am
because it's just a common feature of human psychology to seek people here can identify with, and you can't do that unless you want to have of the people you exclude. i don't suppose we will ever get away from the tensions which are functions of that tension in human psychology. if we want to sympathize with some people, we can't do it except by differentiating or sympathizing from others. i think it's always going to be a round. the racism that you're talking about, from a historic period, 19th and 20th centuries, really because silence endorsed it. people had a kind of racism that
7:50 am
was supported by scientific analysis of how human populations differed. they differed in terms of -- [inaudible] others which were relatively more involved. you can see that in cases that have but he knows about, refer to racism to the extent of black people. but the same language in the deep south in 19 century was applied to blacks by the white detractors was transferred to hispanics, dominant league to mexico and also across the native americans like people from those regions who went and settled in places like texas. so i see it as an erroneous myth
7:51 am
of declassifying people scientifically, which, because people believed it came to animate and characterize social attitudes, cultural attitudes and law. >> host: speaking about race, the way that hispanics are counted today by the senses, we are counted as an ethnicity, and we are counted as a race. to you a check however many boxes apply to you both racially and ethnically. one of the things that's being considered to by the census is to eliminate that are essentially change that so hispanics would be considered a race. in and of themselves but what are your thoughts on that? >> guest: i never understood why people want passionate if we generally abandoned if we generally abandoned races and why was to classify people? is a completely meaningless
7:52 am
category. we know people, we are the people of good or bad, whether they are useful citizens are whether they are a drag on the community. these things arise from the personal characteristics. it's got nothing to do with their ancestors, and their genes are powerful enough to make people good or powerful enough to make people better. so why are we still talking about these? i'm bothered with them. they are very useful to universities because diversity statistics mean that they get a lot of credit through grantmaking institutions. but this is all part of a kind of thought we had outgrown by no. >> host: to suggest we're entering into a postracial society? >> guest: know, but in some
7:53 am
ways i think, you know, we have domesticated the language of racism instead of eliminating it. we've made ourselves comfortable with talking about it because we think we no longer have mutual hostilities which are based on race and, therefore, we talk about it with a lot of freedom. but since it doesn't really mean anything very useful or true, i prefer not to talk about it at all. i do use the word race after amount in the book, but it's always either implied, talking not about objective analysis to talk about the way people thought of each other in the past. >> host: as we make our way through to the final chapters in the book, one of the things that you began to talk about is rise of political activism among the hispanic community and to give
7:54 am
examples. we talked earlier about how president obama won if you will more than 70% of the hispanic vote in the last election, analysts, political analysts and strategists are looking to try to figure how to continue to capture the latino vote. we've seen marco rubio, ted cruz, pole in castro. what do these figures represent and can democrats assume today that they have a latino voting block, if you will? >> guest: well, i don't think so. i say this very cautiously and i'd be very happy to be wrong about this, but if you profile those who are presently classified as hispanic alongside voters who aren't, hispanics actually look like better
7:55 am
natural republicans than democrats. they typically, they have very high longevity, on the whole. you know, they tend to be, republicans tend to be better than democrats. hispanics, they've got a lot of conservative social values. american elections seem to be decided to me, it's slightly odd, it's not always the economies. it's social values that animate people, often in the united states against their economic interests, the peculiarity of the american psychological profile. hispanics typically, as far as i can talk about, hispanics tend to be much more committed to
7:56 am
their families and to have relatively low rates of family instability. that's a value which you find much more strongly voiced in the republican political rhetoric than that of the democrats. in fact even if they are not catholics, they tend to be much more sensitive about the rights of the unborn than the population at large which identifies them as a policy which is not typically republican. i am not convinced the democrats have a lasting hold on the hispanic vote, and the reason, hispanics sympathize with the democrats and actually recently, partly because liberal social policies favor the deprived and
7:57 am
the poor. hispanics are overrepresented in the ranks with the deprived and the poor but in the long run it will even itself out. but the single most important is immigration. if the republicans can bring themselves to adopt sensible attitudes to immigrants, can stop the demise in so-called illegals and reinject humanity and kindness into the rhetoric which they talk about immigration issues, and bring themselves to realize, it will come back really to the inevitable future the country will remain great, which is, you know, a friendly, broadly embracing attitude to the rest of the americas. and i can't see any reason why
7:58 am
the spanish shouldn't become an enthusiastic with republicans in the future as they are for the democrats. >> host: you mentioned language in your book, and i'll give you a data point from the census bureau. a number of hispanics who speak english at home is expected to double, nearly from an 11.1 million in 2010, the 20.5 million in 2020. what impact do you see that happening, if any? does light which can is language going to be a unifying element? >> guest: no, no, no. it's something which is very widely assumed in the united states. when i first came in i was quite shocked to find that people have obsessive attitude towards the english, it can be a country if it has more than one language. that's completely contrary to
7:59 am
all historic low -- you don't need to have one language in order to share a common allegiance or to collaborate in a common endeavor. i do predict in the book that hispanics won't maintain their language in the future, and i greatly regret that. i think that's a terrible, terrible shame because if this were a genuinely binding country, it would be twice as good. because if you want more than -- if you know whether one language, you know you're some, one reason -- [inaudible] you know, so you know how this
8:00 am
images of your life because you know more than one language. it doubles your vocabulary, opens up the different possible faults and gives you access to more literatures and it's just life enhancing. the united states doesn't understand it seems to me that bilingualism is, they think it means spanish children spanish and english speaking children english but it should be the other way around. ..

36 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on