tv Race in America CSPAN December 21, 2015 10:50pm-12:17am EST
is discuss. >> there is a reason i chose the chamber of commerce for a subject of my book. it's because the organization really sums up the story of how we got here to this place. >> this holiday weekend, watch tv on c-span2. >> book tv is on facebook. like us to get publishing news, scheduling updates, behind-the-scenes pictures and videos, author information and to talk directly with authors during our life program. facebook.com/tv. >> next on book tv in prime time, the washington washington bureau chief of urban radio, april ryan, moderating a discussion of race in the media. we will hear from paul butler, author of will get free and the author of can you hear me now. also from joe and read, author
of the book fracture. this is one hour 30 minutes. >> good evening everyone thank you all for coming out tonight. i'm one of the co-owners of the bookstore and we are delighted to be here and sponsor this event. i don't know how many of you realize we also have a book operation here. that all started about a year ago. the owner approached us and asked us if we would help run his book operation and we were ecstatic at the possibility. one of the reasons was because we have such a parallel, a parallel, synergistic role in our communities with busboys and poets. we are very grateful for the opportunity to be here.
i wish she was here but he had to go to another event. this is very much the sort of event that busboys are known for over the years and that we are asked dreamily prior to be a part of. the way this will work tonight is that our panel will talk for a bit and there will be questions from the audience and a microphone will be passed around. just raise your hand. at the end of the event, their books are right here and you will have a chance to get their book and get it signed afterward. that's the house rules. if you have a cell phone on, please turn it off. that would be a good idea. we don't wanted to interrupt the conversation. i want to start by thanking april ryan who really, this is
her event. she came to us and asked us if we would consider working with her to create an event like this and sponsor it and we were really delighted by the prospect. we made it harder for her because we said we have to have authors, people have written about the subjects. she found not only authors, but great authors. so april, thank you. she really is the driving force behind us [applause]. i just have say, this is a tremendous book. she is too modest to say it so i will say it, it's called the presidency in black-and-white. it has just won the nonfiction ward award. congratulations. there is a lot of controversy
right now about what's classified and what isn't in washington. i'm going to air on the side of caution. i don't want to reveal any secrets, secrets, but stay tuned for a few more headlines pertaining to that book. just keep your eye out on the news in the next few months. secondly, this is just a rumor, there is another one coming out and it's in progress. so anyway, thank you april. she will be giving a little more detailed introduction of our panelist tonight. i think i can say just a brief word about each of them. michael eric dyson is possibly our best customer.
he's gotta be up there at the top of our best customers. he's a professor and an incredibly prolific author. he's written 50 or 60 books including can you hear me now. it's great to have him. it's always great to be with him. joy-ann reid who we hosted just a few weeks ago for her new book. i hope you've had a chance to read it. if you haven't you have to get it, it, it's called fracture. it's one of the smartest books about american politics, especially about the evolution of race in the democratic party. it's a fantastic book. thank you so much for being here. what a contribution that book is. and then lastly, but not least, paul butler who is the author of let's get free. he is one of the most respected civil rights activist in the country per he's a professor at georgetown law. we are so delighted to have you. i feel very, very happy to be in
such great company with all of them and with all of you. but i just want to say a couple more things about april. many of you know she is a very familiar voice on radio, long time commentator on american policy. obviously in that amount of time she has seen her fair share of politics and politicians. she's a white house correspondent for the network since 1997. she's covered clinton, george w. bush and barack obama. i think if you read her book, you will find it's a compilation of a lot of years of observation, and a lot of them observations of american presidency. she's learned a lot, that's for sure. i think from my point, the most important is about what she does with her recordings. she's one of the first
african-american journalists and she has been intent on remaining that form. they are too often marginalized and over the years she literally has become herself a news outlet and resource for millions of americans who might otherwise be left in the dark about how events in the news are affecting and shaping their own lives, their families and community. she should really be given a public service award. [applause]. it should be recognized at a far higher level than it is. thank you so much for being the driving for something to all of you for coming here. we are delighted to have you.
>> i tell you what, i'm floored. any author who tries to get to this great place called politics and prose. this is the owner. please support her and thank her because she didn't have to have her books in our books in her stores. we want to thank her for hosting us in providing the books and hosting all of you tonight. thank you for coming out. we want to let you know there is food and libation. if you want to, if you need a little drink or little food while were talking, we encourage you and we think busboys and poets as well. let's give them a big round of applause. [applause]. welcome to race in american today, panel discussion. i'm your moderator, moderator, april ryan. i want to move on down the line to migrate panel. i am in all of these people.
i have short bios. you know who they are. next to me, michael eric dyson, georgetown professor of sociology and authors of 16 books. they include can you hear me now, april 4, 1968. let's give him a big round of applause. [applause]. thank you michael for coming. >> the great joy and read. the author of the new book fracture. i am so happy for you. joy and read as a national correspondent for nbc, msnbc and to be honest with you, many people believe and it's an unscientific statement that i'm going to make but i think you're one of
>> earlier this year on a flight for the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday i ask the president would he consider america opposed racial or post obama? listen to what he said. '' i think there is no doubt there was a significant moment of racial history. i said that with all civility. but later he went on to say it was settlements like the "emancipation proclamation". are the massive changes of the bill stand is - - status and he also said the 13th and 14th amendment
from the 1960's. from formal discrimination in this country for going and with that said where are we now? a riposte civil-rights? in the next 60 months are we opposed obama? i will start with you. [laughter] >> first of all, will come to rue politics & prose and for bringing up all together and faq for starting with may. [laughter] and talk about post racial that is a goal. today about the united states of america is one of the most race conscious
countries ever put together anywhere. the foundation was explicit the braze conscience put it to the founding documents. so your lack of citizenship them the struggle to bring about equality of african-americans from the desire to be post racial that african-americans and white americans have and by no means you cannot thank everyone but to transcend that racial path to put it behind us to put a period of the end of the sentence that we add a point where race
matters. but that matters with everything is so explicit and used to be of the part of white americans with the jim crow policy or who could live on the block? so now we come to our history and to get post racial the race is something we're living every day. sir african-americans have no desire to transcend race. and to litigate the issue of race. and with those opposite poles that could never be brought into you and. >> let's go with the prosecutor and of
litigation. in the way of the visuals. to say we have talked about for years. when people see the numbers did you know, that? of course, we did there is the paradox how does all of that play into post obama and though litigation an issue? >> and the problem is white supremacy. and that has not been impacted at all. and then they say they knock it down.
i love the president. [laughter] >> that when he was elected that he would reverse 400 years of white supremacy. people hoped they would make racial justice is a bid to get part of the agenda and he has not. because of his amazing political talent to have the other issues like lgbt quality to be further along
in today's cover form to think of the change that this country needs to fully establish racial justice mentioning that speech at selma were the movement of the '60s it is about transformation. >> [applause] understanding week of from knowledge is it fair to put these hopes of this president when it took 400
years? >> can we put all of this on this president and how do we go forward? >> it is great to be here with the gifted paul butler. of course, it is not fair to pick all of our hopes are in one man or all eggs in one basket. but it is unavoidable. he is tall, a terrific and talented in children that
are of projected brilliance this is a rebuttal to the report of the black family. but on the other hand, will get the humility of obama in responding to your question of. when he says i wouldn't put by presidency of the 14th amendment or the civil rights bill most of a said it is the greatest thing ever me being president that is our egos. see you can see he is explicitly and conscious the humbled and in a refreshing fashion if you juxtapose him on the other side of the aisle who reminds us, i don't want to name names of
his billions san he holds the trump card so to speak. [laughter] now was james brown says now as the purveyor of the paradox to pursue a project that says the professor said is highly ironic and disappointing to this degree. with that gravity and wait but yet history has done that and pressed upon him with martin luther king, jr.. of historical necessity. the blessings are you the man.
the u.s. of black man that has ever successfully nurtured in his own mind i will be the most powerful democracy in the history of the world. on the other hand, what the professor is suggesting we never thought it would be opposed racial realities. he says in his second book about the "audacity of hope" don't put the post racial ted here because we're not there yet. but opposed racial is post negro. it means post black we have been there done black. now that obama has spent elected we're good we have wiped our units with no more responsibility.
but with great diplomacy understanding there isn't much he could be critical about in this country because they would not have been. and president then senator obama said when stuff gets tough then those with the particular orientation get guns. and he got beat down. he knew then never again to speak ill of white brothers and sisters of america because people are sugar in even with the biracial half white man makes a comment about what america. you are still perceived as a black man. but what obama has done to deliver a tirade in ways
that have been called out. solar his genius that he talks about, he has existed in the midst not only of white supremacy that some groups are inherently inferior that does not have to do with the assertions of the legitimacy but in institutional mechanism that is self perpetuating. in light of that it attempted to lundberg obama to wipe his name nuclear to make certain obamacare could not proceed damages it of late to pretend it would not exist in has stood the test of time jihadist reasserted some of the stereotypes that
should not be tolerable that what he is responsible for is his own mouth of bully pulpit his own political capital and the degree to which he is supported hydride know he is a great man? because lately he has turned course he is changes modus operandi and language to defend black people and 2.0 those debtor unfurled under that banner of the hateful confederate flag that is the obama we were promised and they obama that is finally coming into gestation and we hope with the birth of that baby will survive after he leaves office. [applause]
>> i am loath to ever follow. it is not a good idea. >> i have a thesaurus. i'd love a big word. i really do. i of maynard. and one of the points that professor dyson made that it is important the opposed racial moment in america is on the arrival of american slaves. looked at the history of african people it took no time at all for africans into enslaved people to adopt this style, of the customs with the right of
man for white america a media leave after slavery they attempted to become pros racial go back and look at the photos. frederick douglass even adopted the hairstyle of white america and attempted to run for office. to buy into the whole idea to put florida very american in a static. it was fully bought into by african-americans to go to school of the white americans to get the same education who never thought of the separatist ideal that was the country itself the response to a reconstruction the former slaves that all they did not exact revenge
but to buy into the social norms down to the way we do our hair. the first black millionaire to help african-american women adopt the hairstyle. the response was vicious the end of reconstruction was not an after thought it was violent days of vicious rebuke because we think of black people as racially forget this country was highly regionalized we talk about pitchforks to say we have to kill them to prevent them from thinking they could marry our daughters and the our equal.
they had to have federal troops march their children into elementary school. bob so screaming mothers, women, lynchings so every president of peru barack above a has had to confront that tyler in buchanan and linkedin bol had to be confronted what to do with all of these africans sometimes 90 percent of the population that were feared and loathed by those who live with them. woodrow wilson confronted what to do about though lynchings of black soldiers coming home and had worn the uniform walked around proud as if they were white been trying to be opposed racial he failed utterly in his response but we have that post racialism failing on
the part of black america to get over slavery the country could not get over slavery they would not allow people to get past it when they wanted nothing more to be opposed racial to assimilate they had to go to the supreme court and march and risked death, lynching, of burning of churches and murder so that whole idea is the anachronism and it is the wrong people to do it. [applause] >> an amazing panel. >> but to continue that thought, every president had to address the issue so can one president be exempt? greg that is the question if eisenhower was forced to confront that and didn't he
didn't want to confront the brown vs. board of education think when jfk was elected he wanted to have the massive tax cut he did the southerners to do that he but he was forced to the murder makes him based to confront that. to confront the race question he did not want to do it. >> nixon didn't want to deal with the blessing. every president after the 44 had to deal with the race question it is unfair to say the first black president is the only one who gets the past. >> not only gets the past. [laughter] but here is the point. if you say you don't want my dash you want to be exempt from the normal
characterization's of other presidents because of your color, which is fair that you cannot be exempt from the responsibility every other president has had to address the issue. that existential terror, and that kind of money he's that this president experiences with his very bawdy the torn mandate and the agenda of the american democracy that he lives every day he said i am biracial so i resolve the conflicts of the nation. if that is the case then how can we expect the first african-american president to be exempt from dealing with the most serious issue that has torn this nation
apart? characterized that how can re not expect him to deliver that political power to that issue? that is part of the disappointment we have experienced. >> professor butler, we have mapped out their issues and their problems when they were enslaved in this country. where do we go from here? we can talk until the cows come home but where do you go from here? particularly the civil-rights movement was the most successful in the nation. lgbt community.
pro immigration and then you have pope francis come into this nation he dropped to the microphone at the white house and said we have defaulted on our promise every note though whole self one that was one of the strunc statements from the "i have a dream" speech. where do we go from here? we know there are problems. let's talk about solutions. >> the day after obama was elected the first time we i five my arista and giving each other response to said
there is a homeless guy outside an african-american outside starbucks every day she gives him a little bit of change. but when she saw him lying there with his handout said barack obama is president. get a job. and the concern is that is not understanding the problem that the president has played into the narrative so when he goes to morehouse college says nobody cares so much discrimination you have suffered. to say again over the glass ceiling.
>> but you think he could say that? >> but it comes with a responsibility you have the privilege to talk about it in a certain way you also have the obligation and i don't see that lifting up. i think in his heart but we have not seen it in his actions. because he doesn't want to focus on race so what he says about african-american unemployment says i cannot pass a black jobs bill the 56 the e economy than the rising tide lifts all votes so if you don't have the boat in the first place bid you will not rise up. so the problem is not african-american culture or behavior it is that when we
go out and look for jobs but to send out a resume a that is the same qualifications with the call back so it isn't the color line so if you think of ways we can address that with regard to the criminal justice system especially african-american men that is now one out of three young black men. that is what the police are looking for so they can sacralize.
and from running away from them but why was he running away? why should the police be able to arrest? because of the conduct because we don't trust the police it is a shame we have to say that in a democracy with an african-american president but that shows you how powerful that of lot of people are suffering from fatigue with a powerful force that it is. >> we will start to open this up for questions please raise your hand.
don't be shy. we have time and for all others. >> for authors. >> to understand about obama is we are who we are raised to be. he occupies a space in american and racial and ethnic life that he is of may and that african-american men come this from african ben. and i share that with him. foods tradition is not from enslavement. so that is different.
and part of the reason he is such an effective politician is because he comes at the issue of race without any aspect that gives you. and the of mines said it so this idea to put your shoulder to the real that informs what he thinks but don't think if african-american fathers turn off the tv so he understands in the intuitive way a lot of white america is exhausted by the notion
of constantly reassessing day racial dynamics of slavery. and it is almost perfectly the feelings of african-americans but also that attitudinal mindsets and the shift that it plays in the suburbs and the declining industrial base of the white working-class with issues of economic decline. we don't want to deal with the blessing black kids into our schools so to understand that biracial dynamic.
>> he had this famous evenhandedness and the problem is not an evenhanded problem. and so when we look at all of the ways -- [applause] and you know, it's not white people that need to change. we are not responsible for this problem. are there things that we can do differently? you know. if young men pull their pants up, it's not going to end white supremacy or that unemployment is twice that of whites. but it's scary when you talk about this problem of white supremacy. because that means that it's not going to be addressed. but if we have this conversation and get real, then we can start to get real about it.
and the question is do we have had two instances where there are black people that are not democrats and they have been known on so how can black people establish any amount of independence when they voluntarily subject themselves to this in the democratic party. >> i will just say that most presidential elections have about 25 people on them. that is a lot of people. it's not just democrats and republicans. the system is set up as a two-party system.
and it's not that the media is excluding the black candidates that are not pulling in the national average is it is all the other 24 candidates. i have learned that the black vote is a very pragmatic about. it doesn't really spend much time looking for psychic redress. in the center individuals and it absolutely no traction among black voters.
>> it was all very pragmatic. if you look at surely, this is someone who we revere now. she's very revered. when she ran this, she was thwarting their plan to put forward a black candidate of their choosing. and because she was running more of a woman's candidate in a black candidate she was utterly rejected by black americans. when jesse jackson ran come he got no support. it is only when it becomes a movement and a phenomenon. when barack obama ran for pretty much everything, running for senate and presidency, the black establishment was with hillary clinton. until he proved that he could win in a white state. it's pragmatic and it's going to look to the candidate that can
win because there are real resources. >> like people want to win. you know, it might be appealing to some people. and just because you are black, that doesn't mean that you have won enough votes to be compelling to force people to take you seriously. we know that there are structural impediments and obstacle is that prevent the possibility of those people. but at the same time, some of the narrow but at this that have an articulated means that pragmatic as one, winning is another. black folks are tired of this run. so even with the great reverend al sharpton and others, barack obama came along and it was a
different kind of moment. because he had to work for that. he had to work for that vote. he didn't take it for granted. he had to go to university and tell folks what he was going to do about the criminal justice system. he had to remind us what he did back in illinois in the state senate about racial profiling. this was the guy grab a strategic moment articulated his blackness. so let me say this. and of course we know barack obama can say some stuff, that no other candidate can say. all that stuff. he is not the first black person to say that stuff or you go to church every sunday. but people are hearing that. my god. you're going to hear some of that same conservative moral values that we now think is
being invented and here's the difference. and barack obama quoted crick's chris rock. i take care of my kids, i should be taking care of my kids. and he did not say that white supremacy produce them to machinery of american capitalism. and to look at the people and we have to stop all that madness. it all the madness that is going on in the world.
and that includes reinforcing stereotypes. not only would he not go to bonner, stop convention bellyaching about gender oppression and the glass ceiling. and it sounds like i'm pandering, but i think that the future is involved with women. we know that barack obama cannot be critical for the most part on a white culture. we know that he cannot. but my point is that since you know that you cannot be critical of white folks, do not be critical of lack folks. because when you do that it looks at the only people that are the black people. if you can't be equal, don't say anything to any of us.
especially by the activism of a lot of young people and the black lives matters movement. because i think that they are pointing us in a way. we don't know where. they have been incredibly savvy in using images and media and in order to frame the problem in a more constructive the way. what we think about this last year when we have gone from detroit to baltimore, it is not because they are religious. they are not perfect.
and the vast majority have been pulled out of the public schools and sent to private schools. they were segregated in our lives and people don't feel comfortable having basic conversations. and the other countries are not exactly winning at this. go to europe and see how they fail to integrate north africans into france or great britain or into some of the other countries where people can never become french. no matter how many generations they have been there. they're still considered more
and there is a supposedly neutral news media that is reproducing the pathology of this notion of black people are somehow the problem. we got ready to go, some of us might get up and leave. but we are conditioned. and one of the white privilege for this excess and deny all. one of the forms of white privilege as to say what you said is not true and go to my neighborhood.
business as usual. if you want an equal society, that is the closest he got to saying that white america, stop beating up on black people. why do you think obama kept repeating the following sentence. what america thinks that black people are racially deluded. they think that we are just making up stuff. now that the cameras prove it that you shoot a black man down in south carolina and then plant evidence, if that has happened one time on tape, it has happened a thousand times off of tape. so my point is that iraq obama, i think he's going to be serious in using the bully pulpit. and we are studying, my class from slavery to michael brown. and yesterday we read a book called they left their marks on us. about testimonies of racial violence and i have had students
present, to white students, he said in my presentation i must admit that it may be a shame to be white. i don't want them to be a shame to be white but to be ashamed of some of the things done in the name of the whiteness that has been ascribed to them and i want them to grapple with the historical impediments in a democratic nation. then we emphasize with the other. the problem that white folks made is that they put this behind them, black survival was dependent on knowing how white folks acted. we know how they react. we know how to placate them and then behind its like hey, what is going on. on the other hand they said white folks don't know anything about the culture and as a result of that it's part of it.
and native americans. we may have said it as well. so you are exactly right. so you have to remember who is here. and i want to thank you so much for coming. please give them a big round of applause. and things can make a difference in the short term. so things like then he able to make a difference. to be able to respond to this, the state used military gear
from the pentagon, that program has been changed in part because the president obama. and so these are some of the problems. so the ferguson police arrested a guy named michael forgiving false information because he told them that his name was mike. good when he we got there the boyfriend was gone and then she said yes, and they said you're under arrest because he is not listed on the occupancy permit. they used the average american citizen as a slush fund atm. the problem is that there's nothing on constitutional or legal about that. so the question is, if it is
>> the metrics were successful. there were a small number of them. and i think that the president has enough accomplishments that it will be very difficult to keep them out of the top 10. and i think that that will drive them crazy but will be hard to diminish them in history. in terms of what can be done to change this with the overall questions, i want to bring back the responsibility of my profession in news media. i think that we have operated with certain fundamental notions that are wrong. we tend to be almost too open of
and that includes appeasing it for having more of a franchise. and we have too many disincentives to quality. and so i think that we could be more ever present citizens. and they are telling their son tonight to be careful with the police. not because we are delusional but because the instances of police killings are never followed by prosecution and lastly prosecutors that will
actually hold us back. and they don't want those guys in her either because they threaten him as well. and those people are elected officials and you do still have the right to vote however the supreme court is trying to snatch back that right. >> those are great points by both of these figures. i mean, we love them. a protection against the on the unavoidable salt against their
being. that we will squeeze the resistance to their greatness out of them. one of the great works of what it means to be black in this country under the spell of a certain belief that we are inferior is the belief that we should snuff out this. and we think that we have to be competitive as opposed to collaborating with it. that is one of the most interesting consequences that we have talked about. and he also gave us obamacare. and if the first black president comes in and the headline reads
obama allows the banks to fail and was in the history of this country being the first african-american, it will give them more icing on top. a couple more things from come i love what he did. i mean, it was very beautiful what he was trying to do, to engage people to think seriously about race and think about white supremacy at the time.
that is the sickness and pathology of a culture that only privileges one form of duty. being almost white or white is beatable to many but being dark like bark is a beautiful thing as well and i think we should celebrate that as well. and i don't need to do that come i don't need to do that. [inaudible] biracial people don't have the advantage of lack racial privilege that they have to learn the way and we are able to
and saw i am saying that. [inaudible] i'm saying to you that black people must understand that even people are just as important as those who have seen more advanced. i've telling -- i'm telling youg pie. the man that promoted it now deals with the horrible consequences of the alleged activities and until we grappled
>> i am thankful for this civil dialogue that we have had, it inclusive and civil dialogue of a discussion that some people believe is part of this. so you can talk about it. the people that have written about it. and what he's talking about here, it is in those books. i want to think to a read, please support her. she is a great dynamic. please support her.