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tv   Book Discussion on Death of a King  CSPAN  December 26, 2014 10:51pm-12:09am EST

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>> tavis is the host of the late night tvisishow cornel west is the host of the late-night television show cornel west as well as tv guide ready show from public radio's international and has co-authored 16 books 16 books and at one point is if we could not write or read. they were wrong about that. i have read several of them and this side know will be his most sensitive, thoughtful, emoti onal, transformative book that he has ever written. one thing i could tell you about teeeight nine he is serious about this museum
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and dr. king. when teefourteen comes to memphis you often go to pray at the site because dr. king and so much to his life and continues to mean so much. if you have never met him you have got to know he is down to earth. just like your brother the person you always want to talk to. and teefourteen gave some of the most thoughtful commentary i have never heard. he is the brilliant man and has been for a long time. i know in some ways he has said whether controversial but he always speaks truth to power.
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but that is what i love about him. for me personally much like a brother i mitt his mother who he brought to the museum if you are a ben bradlee in the room i have heard of since i first heard him and did not know him so i want to introduce you to some of them present to others a man who is an icon in his own time and is not that old. icons are usually older he already is and it is a privilege and an honor to welcome him back to the national civil rights
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museum, my friend, mr. cornel west. [applause] >>. >> did you get me with that lipstick. [laughter] >> thank you for coming out and for such a wonderful introduction that is the second best introduction i have ever received. but i was a that planted the other day the other person did not show up period i did it myself. let me just say that it isn't always an honor this is an iconic town with a
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history of this great nation. i'll always some ball if i get to come to memphis. but this for me is not just day museum or a national monument but sacred space. sometimes i am here for just a day or i will see my sister who lives here but i never ever come to this town without walking out to the balcony at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. to play homage to the person and i regard as the greatest
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democratic public intellectual in the history of this nation and. >> i think he is the greatest american way have ever produced i could debate on fdr or abraham lincoln nor o bob the but he is the greatest american and of we have ever produced so when i come to this city i always paid my respects to the life and legacy of this great american of dr. martin luther king, jr.. men also thank you to c-span for covering this event by way of applause. [applause]
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and c-span and covered it live every year so it is generous not just to meet another person's food needed space to help america live up to ideals and c-span is a great channel to cover what we're doing around the country. let me start by thanking beverly and her team all the wonderful people on the staff that feel like a family. but the new and improved museum that i will take a moment while on national television and all so abc
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for a quick commercial for this grant facility while we are here. if you have not sent to the new and improved national civil rights museum you need to go. it is one of the kind i knew how much money they had to work with instilled trying to figure that out of the architecture firm and the academics who pulled out a magnificent job. you are watching us and have not been to the national civil rights museum you must come if you vacation to memphis after you do this to
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be encouraging or powering and then would america we america with our heard negro people? but one has to meet knowledge america would not be enough for the contribution of african-americans so i believe every race of people it is the best they have been able to produce and dr. king is among the best so of this movement was not just about king. he was a man. not a movement. the movement involved a lot of other people. many paid deal to the price with their lives to help make america a country that would one day me as good.
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but we're not there yet. and then to sanitation workers this is a great city and a great facility. to make sure to get plans the you come to this facility. i have friends every time they come they have a need to text me to prove that they are here or for people who have heard me talk about this. so that is my commercial for this facility. give a final round of applause. [applause] now part of what our country is run we're to engaged in
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monologue and not dialogue. salal take your questions and comments. and in my introduction this is always talk of the -- tough to talk about because i took a long time to write a book is a memoir is a story of my life to date. up through a few years ago but it is called what i know for sure. i talk about defining the seminal moment of my life. i am one of 10 kids i have nine brothers and sisters and when i was well that my church was accused of doing
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something that we had not done and said the church. i did not even know i was accused of anything. and then stood up at the pulpit and essentially castigated my sister and me in front of the entire congregation. it was the kind of embarrassment is are to prosper when dash process. so this is a major embarrassment for hours entire family. the second row was called
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smiley row. said he would look at us angeles and i were completely undone by this accusation and embarrassment. so we had done something that night we had never done before or since but on that night with that level of embarrassment that the black church was the only place where you headed the stature whatsoever thy father and mother were very much involved and were thoroughly embarrassed that night he completely snapped and he beat my sister every so
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severely we were in hospital for two weeks in traction. i could not why this would happen to me why we were accused or why he had done that or we were not called it for a conversation. i hated my parents i hated by what for not protecting me i hated my dad for hitting me and not even asking except get in the room. i could not process or understand. and for some reason i do know why that god must have put it on his heart but he didn't in my church gave me a gift a box full of
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dr. king recordings berry gordy of a time -- of motown he paid someone to follow him around to record his speeches. most rare chance think dr. king only gave one speech in his whole life but a hit me i and in memphis he gave two speeches. [laughter] the national audience is trying to figure it out. they don't get the joke. obviously the night before he died was year. those big the speech only had one line. i will not be judged by the
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color their skin but by a the i know that is all you know, . [laughter] that is the only narrative we ever get. but thank goodness berry gordy had someone follow him around and essentially he put them out on the lp and he gave that to me as a gift i finally got a chance to put the record on. and i heard king talking about the power of love and not the love of power.
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that love is the only force capable to turn an enemy into a friend saying it is the most powerful force in the world he might dispel have been talking to me. i could not figure it out. and feeling guilty and not knowing why the to feel abandoned i heard keying say to me i hated the world and my mom and dad he said tavis you will have to love. that is sure of the option. revenge is not an option.
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with their radical empathy i could hear keynote talking to me and confusing it with that notion you realize that his life jfk and hoover of the stigma is the most dangerous man in america. i ask you, ed memphis how can you be the most dangerous man in america the only weapon they use is language?
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how could you be dangerous the only weapon is love? but to be the most powerful force in the world. use the weapon of love but also ideas. and his time was come. he had the right idea at the right time with the notion of love in the energy question is whether you doing for us? and then you have to lug your way through this situation.
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had to become a crack addict and that eventually she relocated to memphis. but it took awhile i was here for the graduation it was a happy day because i was footing the bill but it took a long time to get there the only thing that kept me from being bitter were evil and full of revenge and hatred was king. introducing me to the notion of the power of love bird as a 12 year-old kid he became a part of my dna. and then to be honored over 40th birthday on a major
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college campus named after me in houston texas. and that night in the hotel room i almost died. i succeeded two or three times and choked and had a major anxiety attack on the eve of my 40th birthday. i could not understand. i could not understand what was happening and eventually i got through the night obviously and it took me a few days to figure out what happened. i was feeling pain and guilt because i could understand how i was about to live longer?
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when my man is gone at 39? it to pay a few days. think lehigh got through with that is how connected i felt to the man who's saved my life and i was 12 but what people to understand my connection the you will not here before too long of a time without a reference to be made. that he is it my dna and in my spirit. i only have one goal per early in life.
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that is to do my small part to make the world safe for his legacy want to do my part to make the world safe for his legacy and it is another part of that process. i have been researching since i was 12 i believe king was though sanitized now and sterilized and romanticized or demonized i sound like jesse jackson. [laughter] that the truth of who he was it was here recoverable. you put then there is about
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so we have to confront the air been the legend -- the urban legend that he was just the dreamer to say we have a jury we shall overcome free at last. this is not the complexity of the name. i believe every one of you in this room, each and every one of us comes to know who we really are in the dark and difficult days of our lives. that is when we discover you will find a who was really
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with you. who will be faithful to you unto death? but dr. king is no different. how they navigated with the most days in his life and was dead in 1968 is five more years but he is frozen at the lincoln memorial with a march on washington that the man who said i have good dream but it had become a
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nightmare. the man said to belafonte i believe we have integrated into a burning house. put up your seats right quick. the last call that he made from this location and his daddy came and with the policy but most of these make it churches they have
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the announcements on the big screen. said everything is electronic and digital but then they would he do a bulletin and the sermon topic. so you walked in and get the bulletin. ended the last year of his life it was then the pulpit. and he made it back to land on saturday night while
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american may go to hell. and though its real. event why america may go to hell. but why they may go to hell. because they don't see that triple threat of racism we will lose our democracy so why america may go to hell.
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you tell the average american that i have said dream that america may go to hell this is what i made when i say we don't know. but he had to walk at last won all by himself. april 4, 1967 he went to the riverside church in manhattan to give a speech called beyond vietnam. in that speech he calls our country the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today. that is a strong indictment the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.
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also from the nobel peace prize but also in the '60s in america with a black man. black man who has been called a communist offering anti-american rhetoric with the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. you can imagine that did not sit well with a lot of people. and every media outlet had turned on him over night. i live in hollywood. but then to become a success overnight. there is no such thing.
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you can grow up to be a success overnight. you go from being a success to air all of it overnight. day you see my point? cyanide demonizing him but he can turn on the real fast but stepped up to that podium matricide to call that the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. there is time to end the silence because it is the trail.
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and then to get seven standing ovations during his speech. and every major newspaper and media outlet castigated him the next day. you will see the liberal "new york times" what they said the next day read what though "washington post" said the next day read what "time" magazine wrote about him the next day the media turned on him they turned on him overnight. but the media turned on him first. and then though white house.
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because he has worked with lyndon johnson to pass the voting rights and civil rights act. but when martin gives this speech now the white house turned on him. lyndon johnson says he is no longer invited to a though white house. and then white america turns and in the last poll found that 75 percent 75 percent, three-quarters of the american people thought dr. king in the last year of his life was irrelevant. in the last year of his life almost 60 percent of black people thought he was purse
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on the non grata. the naacp read what they said about dr. king. and the vote was to pass a resolution to condemn dr. dr. king and it was not tough enough for him but he would spice it up more he personally spiced up the language to condemn the other lawyer so the naacp the nobel peace prize winner turned on him. and he was a cater when
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martin was concerned. one of the most difficult passages to write was hating dr. king publicly they're all kinds of examples in the book he new poll was after him he invites martin to dinner one night. he knew where he was going but he went anyway. but to read that passage to his face at his house you would not believe it. and with national television on c-span i would like
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evelyn'' it's because they can't what thurgood marshall said. yes. that thurgood marshall. and other black media outlets turned on dr. king. the white house, the media has turned, white folks and black folks and if that isn't enough inside that organization he could not get a consensus to support him on the opposition to the vietnam war. they didn't want him to give that speech in the first place. and with the board of directors. with her stance on the vietnam war. i wish some negroes would
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try to come after me. [laughter] dyewood not have been as loving. but dr. king was so loving and kind he is still voting to condemn him. and trying to understand why they keelhaul this way is radical and the and i am not there yet. and on top of all that he feels that death hovering every day. he tells everybody in his inner circle he knows the moment will come soon. but they don't want to hear that.
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nobody wanted to hear that. did what to hear him say he is about to die. or be murdered. he could not talk to them prepare betty else turned against him. before he was the civil rights leader he had as a ph.d. and was up preacher. he had that one connection. there are stories in the tax that will make you cry i'm skipping over certain parts now there are certain parts where you see martin crying himself to sleep. to pray and pull himself through this moment they
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cannot find him it is 3:00 in the morning. and then he is standing in his pajamas. singing let me hide myself and may. we're coming back at 7:00 in the morning. and then still singing rock of ages let me hide myself in me. you will learn if he thought he gave one speech you will learn there are a lot more. he speaks to this book all the way through. . .e was preaching to himself as much as he was to the
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parishioners trying to pull and push and pray himself through and oftentimes confessed himself through his own situation. dr. king was a public servant, he was not a perfect servant. this book does not shy away from his shortcomings. he was not human and divine commuters just human. i don't shy away from the shortcomings in his life. but the love he talked about day in and day out that is who he was. the most depressing part about writing this book and that i see this everywhere you go and i want to acknowledge it on c-sp c-span, dr. king has three principle biographies. taylor branch, david darrow and clay carson. there is no book written without the heavy lifting that has been done by branch and cairo -- and i thank them for the having the
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thing that they did. this is the book that looks at the last 12 months. april 4, 1967 and 68 looking just at that last 12 months ended the first book i might add that tells the story in real time. so it puts you in the space with dr. king. as a matter of fact in this book he has never dr. king. to you and to me he is docked. >> in this book he is never even doctor king. to you and me, he is not. so i want to humanize him so that you know him. on page one and you see that, and all throughout the book you're going to know him as well. as his colleagues and coworkers and friends knew him. so i put you in the space of him and it is like a real-time movie. and especially at this sacred
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place here at the museum. but you are were with him every step of the way. and he is pulling and confessing and praying his way through this because he knows that he is living from on borrowed time harry has imparted to realize that he steals essentially that he buys alone. he buys alone. and i hate to say this to you, and the truth of the matter is that we had to kill him. we had to kill doctor king. because that was a strong indictment. [inaudible] and black folks abandon him,
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they were or they should have been. and so we now know that james harrison, he was a paid fbi informant. and he got fbi informants. his treasury was an fbi informant. at the time he was a paid fbi informant. so on the inside they were sending reports back every day and they were everywhere he went. so the depressing part is the autopsy on his body, as you may have heard, he died at 39. martin and malcolm both died at the same age of 39 years old. but the autopsy reveals the he had the insight obama 65-year-old man. the stress and pressure was killing him.
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and we abandoned him and we help to kill him by not being there for him, turning a blind eye to the truth, by dealing with the racism and the poverty that he kept putting in front of us every day. that is the depressing part. and that is the stormy sky. but here is the sunnyside. all of the hours of surveillance, all of the wiretapping tapes, hours and hours of tape, not one single solitary ever of him contesting humanity of any human being.
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[inaudible] and in other words, that last effort that he talked about him he lived that. in public and in private he was who i thought he was and that is a beautiful thing. to understand the scrutiny of history for your man to end up being as advertised and he was exactly who you thought that he was and that is the beauty of this story. i also hope that this book would not just look back at the last year, but it would allow us to love and appreciate and respect and revere him even more. not just holidays and schools and library and streets. but the best way to honor him is to make the world safe for his legacy and what is his legacy? justice for all and service to others and the love that liberates people. justice for all.
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service to others. and they love that liberates people. that is the essence of his legacy. i want us to look back and try to appreciate him more by understanding what he had to deal with in a stark and difficult days and how he got up every dayday him and he kept doing it. one day he got up and he got fully dressed in a suit and tie in socks and shoes and everything. and he just couldn't get out the door. he turned around and got back in the bed fully clothed and pulled the covers over his head and just cried and cried and cried. he did not know what else to do. and this is what he was going through in the last year because we turn on him and we helped to kill him by shunning him and making him a persona non grata.
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and i hope that this book will also be a cautionary tale that our society will pay a heavy price if we continue to ignore the truth tellers. that's right, there are people today against all the odds are trying to get us to hear the truth about this. and we think that global warming and climate change is a joke herriot the air we breathe, water, we somehow think that that is a joke and we turned a blind eye to folks trying to get us to deal with the inconvenient truth of what we are doing to the environment. ignoring those truth tellers. understanding that poverty is threatening our very democracy and that poverty is a matter of national security. 1% of the people cannot continue
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to own and control 40% of the wealth. they have wealth equivalent to the bottom 150 million of us and it may be a plutocracy but it's not a democracy and we don't want to hear the folks trying to tell us the truth about what poverty is doing to this country. we have folks trying to tell us the truth about this program that we have on steroids. we don't want to hear that truth. and i'm sad to say that there are some people that kind of hated on me and call me everything but a child of god for the last 70 years and i'm used to that now. but i can tell you one thing and there are a lot of folks that feel this way, it is about to get worse. so i have a whole new part of
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that now. and i've got more for you. i have a whole new thing when it comes to telling the truth that i know and i recognized that i do not have a monopoly on the truth and i could be wrong there is the truth and there is a way to the truth. and i am always trying to get to the truth, but every one of us is obligated in our lives to commit ourselves to seeking the truth and leaking the truth and expanding on the truth and staying with the truth. that is the message of his life. speak the truth and then speak the truth and stand on the truth and say with the truth. and that is what is killing our democracy. folks do not tell the truth. and so we keep ignoring these truth tellers. doctor king today, without
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question before you asked this question the legal want to, if he were here today, he would have campaigned for barack obama and he would've voted for barack obama and then he would've become his chief critic. how i know this? in the book the closest thing that he experienced to having a black president. the closest thing in his lifetime was working to elect the first black mayor of a major american city. and so does is common now and cities have been doing so badly lately that it's like, you be the mayor, you go ahead. if you notice that white folks pass this off and it gets so bad? you can have this. [laughter] and you can have this right now. all jokes aside, he went to cleveland repeatedly to help
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elect carl stokes, the first black mavor mayor of cleveland. that's how i know that he would have campaigned for him and then become his chief critic. end i won't spoil it for you. it is the funniest story in the book. and doctor king was a funny guy. and what is he doing? pillow fighting, he is pillow fighting an hour before he is dead. he was a fun guy. he didn't want his work to be taken for anything less than what it was. it was a funny story about him encountering some prostitutes in cleveland. it is not what you think. it is a funny story that you have to read. and he goes to cleveland where
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he is elected and speaking of the disrespect that he was getting in the last year of his life, he used them to come campaigned for him, but it is what he did to him the night that he won the election. and so came rhody campaign for obama, he would've done our come and then he would've been glad that he won after you voted for him and then become the critic. reach racism, poverty, and other things. barack obama has used more drunk than bush did. he has cured more innocent women and children then george bush did. hate if you want, but that is the truth. but we are creating more terrorists at the same time. if you kill innocent women and children, what do you think their loved ones are about to do to strike back at the evil
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american empire? it's creating more terrorists and he's talking about isis, he uses it in every speech, we are going to degrade and destroy. stop saying that, we are not going to degrade and destroy anything. and i don't want us to get hit, it you don't want us to get hit. but start telling the american people you are going to destroy isis. evil is in the world and you aren't ever going to destroy it. it is as much a part of the world as is goodness. king said there is an evil. but it's in the world. we are not going to destroy that should hotel to degrade and contain it. because you're not going to destroy it. it is just not possible. and so if you think you're going
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to do this, it's going to pop up somewhere. one day is hezbollah, one day is al qaeda, evil is in the world. let's put forth this notion that we are going to weaken it but not destroy it. let's check our language here. but doctor king would have an interesting dance to do with president obama. i've said i wonder what he would be whispering to the president late at night when newsmaking war plans. because martin luther king would have none of it. i want to see the president do well, but it took him six years to give a major public policy oncology and income inequality. when we finally got there, this is the defining issue of our time. and so you would think that he would've been quiet for six years? six years? he wouldn't have said anything?
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i know the truth. and the truth is that king would have challenged him on poverty and militarism and not being disrespectful, he would've been like me, i would hope. when the president is wrong, you correct the president and that's how you do everything. respect, protest, correct. that is how they have to deal with them. but it will be interesting on this issue of militarism. and we cannot zone our way into world a these. i have said that 50 years after his death, what did he see? racism, poverty and militarism.
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and we have work that has to be done and i hope this book will allow you to see the journey that he walked the last mile of the way and how when he tried to tell his truth everyone turned against him and honor him and he kept getting up everyday speaking his truth anyway and how he finally concluded that he would rather be dead than be afraid. and those are his words, i would rather be dead than be afraid. and he said that i have no control, we have no control over what where you diet or when you die or how you die. you can only control what you die for. and i have come to believe that it is better to live for a cause than just because. but that means that you have to be willing to speak the truth. to seek it and speak it and to stand on her and stay with it. but for those who think that somehow we are hating on the
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president to try to hold him accountable, when you read this book, if you read this book and you read what doctor king said about lyndon johnson, and read what he said to lyndon johnson and read the telegram said he sent to lyndon johnson in the press conference that he held about lyndon johnson, i have said nothing about barack obama, not a word compared to what he said about johnson. always in love, but you have to hold people accountable. they're not born, they are made. and to do that you have to push him, there is no abraham lincoln about frederick douglass pushing him. there is no fdr pushing him.
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and there is no lbj without mlk pushing him. so you do it out of love. but you have to push to help lift them up to the greatness. and again, this is a cautionary tale to the cost that we pay better willing to service the truth and we have to be willing at some point and time to deal with the truth. thank you for listening and thank you for coming because i appreciate it. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> thank you, thank you. okay, we have it few minutes there for questions and answers.
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we will sign your books and then we can eat some bbq or whatever. >> thank you for coming to memphis. >> thank you. >> you know that you said that we are all familiar with doctor king, he has given two speeches in his life. and he used the phrase that i think that we all know wishes there was an island of poverty here in a sea of prosperity. when i have read his writings i felt like when he was struggling toward during his time here and in the last years of his life, you talked about this a little bit more than i felt like what he was wrestling for which the truth, he may not have been there yet, but i feel like he had been given more time and headed in this direction and looking at her economics as a
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failed system. poverty was definitely on his radar and i think that he was struggling to understand why it was so pervasive and will were all the factors here causing this problem that was done in our democracy. do you see that from him is to someone i was struggling towards a larger critique of economic system in general? >> saying a word about this, the book begins in april 4, 1957. so that day, that is where our books.. but i think the best part of the book might be a blog, but do not read it first. learn the story for yourself. so we don't get into this particular part of what might have happened. but i'm happy to comment on
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that. he was talking about wealth redistribution. and america is approaching spiritual death because of this gap that was widening in this country, and he understood that his focus had to be on the issue of poverty because that is where the work needed to be done to sort of level the playing field in this country and he was very clear about that. your question about that, that i do not know. and here's what i say i do not know. because he was being so marginalized at that point already. being marginalized by the media and they killed him because they did not want him to get to washington and so when we think of them, he was going to be the original occupy by going to the national mall and he and thousands of others are going to
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stay on the national mall and lived there and embarrass the federal government until they decided to do something about poverty. on the one hand again, you declared a war on poverty and then you declared on a war in vietnam and the resources are being squandered. and he said war is the enemy and the bombs are dropping and landing in the ghetto of american cities. so he understood what he was up against and what he was up against was being marginalized every single day. so i don't know how much more he could've gotten done. i always think about that. if bobby had lived, if bobby had one, i suspect it would be different in many ways. but at that point speaking that kind of truth, he was already being marginalized. i'm a person of faith and he sang that song in my church and the words are most jesus bear the cross alone in all the world
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go free. no, there is a cost for everyone and there is a cost for me. so even if you are atheist and agnostic, each of us have a cross that we have to bear. and so the more you tell the truth, the closer you are to getting up on that cross, and that is the way society works. you don't want to hear the truth from people trying to tell us that our democracy is in trouble and i did not that includes our hubris and not gnosticism and patriotism that has morphed into nationalism. and giants to come down. and we really want to think about that.
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and he knew that this path that we were on was not sustainable. and i'm also aware from the research how marginalized we would be and in i don't know what that would've meant long-term. >> what is the status of the party today? >> almost nonexistent. and it has the biggest national platform, we have folks are still doing the heavy lifting, reminding us that this is an option and that is not as
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vigorous as it ought to be. and he was speaking to a church full of clergy and that is my way of reminding them that the church doesn't even have the sort of prophetic voice on social justice issues that you want to hack. but progressives at that large, how is it that in the year of obama we have become nearly silent on this? there is a difference that we have that is deafening. and he said that sometimes silence is betrayal.
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we are betraying our country and our best ideas and we are betraying the president and the best of the addition. speaking truth to power and we know that we are doing something in this way. but i'm burdened and troubled and i have a great deal of angst about how my own community had gotten to a point where we are silent on the issue of war. and we have become our greatest leaders. talking about nonviolence and then we have answered this on the war question. not just silence, but some of them even supporting this effort. martin went all the time until
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he got disinvited, but then he never dealt with the talking points. they called themselves black leaders, coming out and pushing this. that is not black leadership. that is black accommodation. it's not leadership. so i'm concerned about the status of this movement and again i hope that this book can be a reminder that martin was willing to challenge him always respectively and in love and you will see that i was stunned at some other things that he had the temerity to say to lyndon johnson, but he was just telling the truth. and he said it with a boldness and conviction that too many of us are afraid to appropriate. the next question or comment? >> what did you see is the immediate impact of his death,
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for those who had turned against him. what happened after he died? >> that is a brilliant question. what happens is that some of the negro started rioting. and the other half started crying. seriously. the day that he died, everybody -- and i mean everyone. the truth of the matter is that for the last year of his life he had been so marginalized that the first thing was they killed doctor king. what? what? and then they said what has he been doing lately? where has he been? and i'm not being funny, i'm being serious, he had been so far off the radar of most people's lives because he
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couldn't get a deal, a book deal in the last year of his life, being shunned by the black church, he couldn't get a speaking contract, he couldn't get a book deal. he couldn't did anything and they shut him down. so some folks hadn't even seen him in a while but everyone got sad the minute he was murdered and why is that? because it was easy to celebrate a dead martyr. so martin was no longer a threat at that time. so the haters cannot release even condolences and they all showed up to his finnell, they all turned back. he turned back to loving him
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after he died. so it is the same old story. next question or comment, please. >> keep the faith, keep the faith. >> so why do you think that that prophetic voice isn't lost now i'm lost then and you mentioned the fbi, to what extent you think that was orchestrated. the people did not abandon nelson mandela to south africa and that plagued him where he would have been dead. so why have we lost that living the faith, being the faith, now and then? >> that is a good question. the question is, was a deliberate, absolutely. there is a reason why they targeted him and they knew the
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power that was pregnant in his appeal and a new that his message was resonating with people across the country. and they did not want him, even his organizers for the campaign was difficult. here's how bad things got ram, they arrested him on this vietnam question. they had walked away from him and in the book you will see what they have said in an interview publicly about him and it is really crushing. so this was all orchestrated, trying to bring him down. and it was absolutely orchestrated.
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especially when it comes to our commitment to try to be truth tellers. the short answer is that everybody has a price. and a whole bunch of folks are selling out. and i have said to my friends that your soul is the most precious thing that you have been the most precious thing that you have. you have no possession that is as liable as your soul. and so whatever it takes to protect your soul, that is what you have to do. don't sell your soul, don't surrender your soul and don't let them steal your soul. whatever you do, don't sell your soul, don't surrender your soul, and don't let them steal your soul. the problem these days is that too many of us have a price in
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too many of us are selling out to the highest bidder. and this is that spiritual approach because we have nothing to believe in. and i believe that we can say one thing and do another thing. and we have to say what we believe and do a we believe. and nobody wants to tell the truth, and i read a piece that was kind of funny to me where they were using my name as a verb and where you don't want to get a part of it is.
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we don't want to get italicized. and it is somewhat funny because they were saying that if you try to tell a little bit of truth, you're going to get it italicize. so you know, that is what happened. so i'm not comparing myself to doctor king in any way. and i understand what it means in that area and i know what that feels like. and so you have to get up every day anyway and keep trying to tell the truth and giving it this and i have gone through all of that. and so they will sell out to the highest bidder and knowing
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sendup with a bullet in their head. and so there is a great part of this and there's a price to pay for speaking the truth and the greater price to pay for not speaking the truth. and i have talked about this before. >> did they ever find out who actually killed him in this lifetime? >> do not hold your breath. and i don't know. for the sake of this book, it was not something that i talked about. and i tell you that that is a great epilogue.
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and i have looked at it where this could be the only book written and it doesn't even include the name change. so it's relevant to this and that's good for him and so that is where our story ends. so let me close on this note and then we will sign her books. i hope again that my understanding of his journey that he had to walk, most of it by himself in the last year of his life, he will come to understand and appreciate and embrace him in a new way. and i hope that for you as individuals that we understand that we do not come into the
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fullness of our own humanity unless we can revel in the humanity of other human beings. we cannot even experience this in full until you learn how to revel in the humanity of other people and sometimes trying to respect people and push back against this with humanity, it means being willing to tell the truth. and so make a commitment in your life to be as caring as you can be. i'm not saying poverty, i am asking you to be as much as you can be and that is how we honor his legacy. and i know that everyone of us has the capacity to speak the truth and to stand on the truth
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and to stay with the truth. america needs truth tellers. america needs truth tellers and we are the two pillars that you have been looking for. thank you for coming out tonight, i appreciate it. >> on monday, booktv in primetime features books by members of the house of representatives and the senate. coming up next, the way forward, an examination of the state state of the conservative movement. at 9:50 p.m., senator elizabeth warren discusses her book, a fighting chance, a view of the inner workings of washington and later at 10:40 p.m., senator john mccain of arizona gives a history of americans at war with the personal stories of 14


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