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tv   Rep. Jackie Speier Undaunted  CSPAN  December 24, 2018 7:33pm-8:03pm EST

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of arguments made on both sides that i can see intelligence and reasonability and i think there is a lot for that but it is a tough issue but we cannot cover the time that we have left so i will bow out with that one. >>host: our guest for the last three hours of the special edition next month is our science fiction writer that concludes today's program thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having m me, peter.
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welcome everyone thank you for coming. i would like to welcome d3 to cramer books california congresswoman and a recognized champion of women's rights privacy and consumer safety 2018 "politico" top ten influencers transforming american politics and an inspiring and powerful memoir and then to become a voice against injustice and inequality. thank you so much for coming to the cramer bookstore. in joy. [applause] . >> thank you all for coming out tonight and this is my very first reading. we will get through this together one way or the other. i thought i would start off by reading about the jonestown experience and maybe reading a
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little more from the chapter that actually discloses my deep life history that has formed a great deal of what i have done with my life and in between lots of remarkable and not so remarkable experiences of my life that shape who i am today. we can talk about jonestown and the people's temple and colts in general and the washington experience and how we make laws and it's very much like making sausage and we will go from there. i will start with a prologue. i was dying. it was just a matter of time. lying behind the wheel of the airplane with the right side of my devastated body i waited for the shooting to stop i said my acts of contrition
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praying for forgiveness i used what little energy i had left to finish that prayer before the lights went out. but the lights didn't go out and i slowly began to take sense of my situation. twenty-eight years old and i twwas about to die. my life would never be the one i had imagined i would never get married or become the mother of a boy or girl or leave the world a better place or be content with my time to go surrounded by loved ones instead my story was coming to an end on a runway in the jungle thousands of miles from my home. know if it's possible to articulate how urgently aware you become of the fleeting nature of your existence when you are confronted with the end. i lay there for what felt like an eternity somehow with the encroaching darkness of my
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thoughts i some 87 -year-old the marvelous matriarch of my family. all i could think of was i'm not going to make grandma lifted my funeral not if i can help it. i cannot bear the vision of her sitting in front of my caskett. suffering. if not for my reverence for herr i don't believe i would be aliveou today. she encouraged me to summon my will to move and breathing heavily i dragged my shattered body away from the wheel neither my doctors or i could explain how i physically managed it in my state but i struggled around to take shelter in the baggage compartment. i survived. survival against impossible odds to make every day that follows swell with a renewed sense of purpose not immediately enough for everybody but with the
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hindsight of 40 years my baptism by gunfire guided me into the life i was meant to live. one of public service, one that would ignite the courage to make my voice heard in that visceral appreciation for each new day. that sentiment was far from my desperate thoughts at the time and truth be told there would be far easier to close the box on guyana long ago or to push the memory away to the recesses of my mind but what happened in the jungle was a massacre, a nightmare and although i survived something within me did die on that airstrip whether my innocence or myy belief that natural fairness of life but i cannot deny how radically that nightmare molded my perspective and my instincts and how much it has informed the woman i am today to we
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don't get to choose our formative moments adversity and failure shape us more often than fortune and success that is the case in my life the major setbacks i have endured and there have been many have propelled me onward each one reminding me how important it is to stand up again as difficult as it may be, stronger and more steadfast. pain yields action and can introduce the fervor to speak out for those whose voices are note heard. surviving joint line - - jonestown where i needed to focus my energy convinced me i had a purpose. all i had to figure out was how to fulfill it. so fast forward to my term in congress.
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and what happened in between actually ran for congress then lost then spent six years on the board of supervisors than 18 years in state legislature then ran for the governor of california and lost then the late congressman announced he was not running for reelection so it was 29 years from the first time i ran for congress. that is a record i might add. [laughter] chapter ten is called shattering silence. expecting the unexpected catapulted to a whole new level january 2017, donald trump was sworn in as president to the united states the morning after the inauguration invited to the
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reception at the capital mobilizing hundreds of women, many of whom were from my congressionalm district and the fight to ratify the equal rights amendment to make women's right the priority of the 115th congress that proposed amendment, 24 simple words to make it illegal to discriminate against citizens based on sex has been proposed in congress without adoption since 1923. most people are shocked to learn the sad truth about our constitution in interview given by supreme court justice scalia in 2011 he provoked outrage by stating cormac certainly the constitution does not require discrimination based on sex, the issue is whether it prohibits i it. it doesn't. ""he was correct. the only issue is if it prohibits it. the inauguration seemed the perfect day to send a message to the republicans in congress
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to thens american people that women were not going to be treated as second-class citizens and we will not allow our centuries of riots and rights to be rolled back even 1 inch to me and my colleagues in the nation 2017 was a critical year to come together to address discrimination in all forms a tipping point when enough outraged women stood up and were fed up determined to take their matters into their own hands no more exhilarating affirmation than the women's march that took place across the world when of the most heartening political things i have ever witnessed i have been in politics most of my life and have seen remarkable change in the conversation feminism was practically a dirty word fighting for laws
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to protectac women my entire adult life sometimes it had to settle for criminal reform half a loaf is better than no loaf at all other times i have stuck my high heels in the sand and drew a line and forced to wait for a more comfortable time to act in 2014 my try to pass an amendment for sexual harassment prevention training in congress the chairman did not even allow the measure to be debated i tried to add more funding for the compliancewe office to do more proper outreach but that money was removed. but giving up was never an option or consideration and those that i never tired of championing at the san mateo
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candidate is women's empowerment not to be so focused on women but if women don't do it who will? who do we expect? do we leave it to men to fight for equal pay? and the most diverse congress ever elected we still only make 20 percent of the representatives it is outdated it will now be 23 percent we are more than half the population of the united states the 217th woman of over 12000 members to serve in the house of representatives and the history today only 289 women have served and that is
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about to change it is no surprise i feel a huge responsibility to fight for laws that equalize women and daughters and granddaughters i'd been at my most dogged with issues like domestic violence and sexual assault within military or college campuses or the workplace and on the hill. abuse of power especially women have always felt deeply personal i know that i am far from alone to have experienced sexual abuse. i dealt with that horror as a child and the memory of feeling so vulnerable, confused and disgraced has shaped me irrevocably. as is too often the case i was abused by a family member. in my case it was my grandfather. it is astonishing how many children are sexually abused in their homes. often the uncle or the stepparent more prevalent than
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will ever come to the surface i fear. my own recollection is fuzzy because i was young and a little bit out of my memories but i do remember i would stay with my grandparents at six or seven and take naps with my grandfather in the bedroom they had a german duvet it was niceey and cozy under those goose feather covers he would fondle me and put his hand inside of me sometimes put my leg against his penis i knew what was happeningeg was not right but i had no idea what to do about it so i did nothing. i don't remember how many times it happened. five or six although i cannot say for certain. acid don't know precisely when or how the behavior stopped. there was a human instinct to suppress such horrors and violations and i did that for years burying what has done to
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me under a layer of shame but it kept resurfacing finding its way back into my mind i did not know where i should turn i could not tell grandma as much as she loved and protected me she was a devoted wife a eventually i told my mom i was 11 or 12 and i remember feeling terrified if she would believe me or blame me or worse i didn't have the self possession to know if i had done somethingam wrongme but instead of anger i was expecting her face crumpled into an expression of anguish and guilt. she did not respond but did not need to i could see in her eyes how crushed she felt for not protecting me. i very much doubt my grandmother ever found out i don't know if my mom told my dad what kind of man her foot - - his father was what he had done to me but she kept it to herself at that time families
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had silent so i had to learn how to compartmentalize that is one of the several coping mechanisms that keep the hardships that i face from overtakinge me it hasn't always been the most useful method some things cannot stay filed away and molestation was one of them for me. even now when i go to the cemetery my parents are buried in the same area as my grandparents, i take flowers for dad and mom and grandma i avoid even looking at my grandfather's gravesite trauma has lasting effect and it is made so much worse when the victims are accused of making it up or exaggerating or making them feel it is an unnameable secret. we need to do better our baseline for dealing with sexual assault needs to me we believe you.
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i believe you. we will make sure that this doesn't happen again. okay. at this point i would just love to answer any questions you may have about the book. . >> could you talk to a bit how you come to terms with the experience of jonestown. have you gone back? what did you go through to reconcile that trauma and be okay now? . >> i have never gone back i was offered the opportunity to go back with media from time to time but i have never
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really wanted to go back but in terms of coping with it, it took a very longit time. the surgeries that i endured were many. over ten i was hospitalized over two months but even after getting out of the hospital and recovering, it was years physically and decades emotionally. . >> thank you for the reading. . >> that was brave of you to go through what you did with your grandfather but them with jonestown that you are a survivor that just seems
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overwhelming do you want to shareen that story of your husband's loss and that that was even worse of an experience than jonestown? . >> 14 years after guyana, i was challenged once again , this time much more difficult and far worse. after jonestown, i came to terms with the trauma to say everybody is given their fair share of grief but mine just came early in my life. but 14 years later my husband was killed in an automobile accident by a young driver who had no breaks really. and ran a red light was beyond
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description. i was pregnant with her second child, a high risk pregnancy and i was driving to sacramento to give a speech to the california bankers association when i got the phone call. i was with my district director we drove back and that started and unbelievable journey to try to cope because i had a five and a half -year-old son who was in kindergarten i had to take from school that day to take to the hospital to say goodbye to his dad and pull the plug it was the hardest thing that i have ever done in my life. that is one of those i use as a basis with those coping mechanisms
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family, friends, faith and this is important for all of us to reach out and ask for what we need when we are traumatized. people are there for us they just don't know what to do. >> thank you for your story. i am fascinated with those moments so in new hampshire at the time that this doesn't feel normal as a republican
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rally at all felt very cultlike to me it doesn't feel like the normal part of politics so i am just wondering as a muslim or a religious scholar to talk about how trump is a colt in a way? is your experience at door - - jonestown to figure out who trump is? and adding to your experience to that? . >> that's not the first time that question has been posed to me. the parallels of individuals who are charismatic and can compel an audience to listen
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and follow them as jim jones did and president trump did is telling. i don't know to say that trump supporters are part of a colt but they have coalesced into an entity that defies reason from time to time and ask irrespective of their positions on issues i don't know how much of that is shaped by cable news. if you only listen to one cable newst station then you get a particular perspective. but with jim jones, he prayed
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on vulnerable people. a whole universe of people that became attracted to the people's temple that were down and ou out, disassociated with famil family, for the lord - - forlorn and looking for the family and father's image in the people's temple created that environment another group got interested because this was the utopia we could show on earth that blacks and whites could live happily together in a commune setting to pool all of our resources together to turn over our earthly belongings and live this utopian life. jim jones was a foster.
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he was a man who twisted truth. he lied. he conducted sexual violence against people. men and women. he used physical abuse. the mind control that was at work in jonestown was sinister and shocking and unbelievable. that yet by isolating those forms of abuse could do all of that for 11 people to lose their lives in that jungle it wasn't suicide it was murder. many of them did not want to
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take their lives. >> i am curious there's not many survivors but what was so different from those that lost their lives i am curious how you situate your self with those people who escaped or the family members or the loved ones who lost their lives there. so how do you situate yourself? and then in hindsight when you look back was there anything suspicious to say we should have noticed they were acting shifty? . >> in answer to your first question i have over thehe years
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engaged that he was successful to bring some of those defectors out with us and they could survive and move on with their lives. but many had difficult lives the traumaat associated with surviving and others did not and many of them were broken they hate that jones imposed on so many of them and the second question? oh yes. what was interesting at the time i was very fearful about going on the trip i was in the process of purchasing a condominium in virginia i literally had written into the contract that it would be no and avoid if i did not survive
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the trip to guyana. i did that because i thought if anything happened i didn't want my parents to be straddled with a piece of property 2000 miles away. then people say why did you go? it was 1978 and there were not many women in legislative positions in congress. . . . . >> in the line of duty. this is the first and hopefully it's the only one.
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but it was also a situation where we were duped in part by the state department. the state department gave us the impression that it was everything was great down there. that people were very happy. even though there had been defectors that had left and told their stories to the embassy officials in georgetown, guyana . they still had this message that would suggest that even though there was no reason for us to go down there at all so i still point the finger at the lack of duty to warn, duty to investigate, duty to protectby the state department as it related to those american citizens abroad . >> thank you so much for
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coming and thank you so much to jackie. we have copies of her book in the back and she also would be more than happy to stay and talk to you guys a little bit and decide them for you. thank you guys. >> c-span: where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington dc and around the country . c-span is brought to your your cable or satellite provider. >> the book is called "the

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