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tv   Kerner Commission Report at 50  CSPAN  November 4, 2018 1:05pm-2:01pm EST

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history tv on c-span3. >> in 1967, president lyndon johnson established a commission to study the causes of recent to avoid future incidents be her, fred harris talks about the origins of the commission and the impact of the years after its release. the university of minnesota's humphrey school of public affairs hosted this event. it is just under an hour.
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i am glad to see you all here and i am so happy that the particularly the center under the leadership of dr. meyer's is partnering with the the lone foundation and especially the wilder school to bring this conference to fruition. . forwardong been looking to this. i think they have done a remarkable job and we should give them a round of applause. i am also pleased to see journalists and academics, and a numberials of concerned citizens from all walks of life for many generations.
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it is important to me particularly in 2018 only have a to look at soity many things that happened in 1968, important that we do things in a multigenerational way. it makes me think about one of my favorite words of wisdom from an educational theorist, which is my background. it is a simple line. but he set up to about education, we really don't learn about our experiences. on thosed to reflect experiences. we use these in a powerful way. i'm glad we're doing it here today. proud.ry right now, i am proud to have the opportunity to introduce someone i have long admired,
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united states senator fred harris is with us today. senator harris is twice elected from the great state of oklahoma we now stipulated is it that from the united dates. a little inside joke. like the namesake of the school, but -- of president lyndon johnson's national visor commission came to be known as the kerner commission. partly appointed at center -- senator harris's urging. and in the 1970's, he caused -- he really made it happen to make a democratic and fully representative of women and minorities. we have him to thank for a lot of change initiated during that
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time. influential 1976 populist democratic candidate for president of the united states and here i stop to tell you note show, i told the senator i was a freshman in high school and the charge was to write an honors social studies paper on a topic of my choice on a political sort and i wrote my paper on the candidacy of senator fred harris. somewhere in my piles of paper from high school is the report where i carefully true the outline of oklahoma in the middle of the page. i remember that, in case people did not know it was in the united states. currently, senator harris is widely published author emeritus at the university of new mexico. senator harris continues to be a citizen and political activist. he has produced multiple publications focused on politics, government, and policy, and has been coeditor of the recently published "healing our divided society: a 50th anniversary report on the update of the kerner commission study." before we hear from senator
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before we hear from senator harris, which is something i have looked forward to for months, i would like to point out that on your tables, you have notecards and pencils. what we would like you to do is write your questions for senator harris on those cards, and we will have people come around and pick them up so when the senator is done speaking, we will gather all your cards, and i will have
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the tough job of trying to combine questions to make sure we can get to as many of them as possible in the time we have because i know you will have many questions. one of the things we often do here is often compile the questions later because it is very interesting to know who when you come into this space we are hearing from and what is on your mind. with that, please join me in welcoming to the podium senator fred harris. [applause] senator harris: thank you very much. it was a guy who wrote a masters thesis on my presidential campaign that i think was
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somewhat different from dean bloomberg, and he started off by saying you did not have to be crazy to be in the fred harris campaign, but it helped. talking about running for president, i was some years ago teaching and living in london, and in this class i was teaching, about halfway through it, i thought by then everybody pretty much a new my background, and to illustrate some point, i said when iran for president, and this young woman -- she was from iowa, too, she said you ran for president? i said yes, i did. she said president of what? [laughter] senator harris i said president of the united states. she said president of the united states? i said yes, and i should tell you that i was not elected. [laughter] senator harris: she wrote that down. [laughter] senator harris: well, many
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thanks to dean bloomberg and professor myers the roy wilkins center, the humphrey school of public affairs for sponsoring this excellent conference on the 50th anniversary of the report of the carter commission, of which, as you know, i was a member, of course. the last surviving member. an old populist democratic friend after that appeared in the paper that i was the last surviving member, he said that ought to be on your tombstone. he sent me in a male, fred harris, last survivor. i said nice sentiment, but i thought it might come a little
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late. sort of like politicians do, ingratiating themselves, or try to with whatever group they are speaking to, they say my fellow rainbow girls or whatever it is, but this is not really that. i am honored to be at the roy wilkins center. roy wilkins was a diligent and influential member of the kerner commission. great man with home it was my proud privilege to serve. i am also especially honored to be here in what is called the joan and walter mondale commons. senator mondale was one of my two senate seat mates and one of my tune of closest senate
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friends, and i'm especially honored also to be here at the humphrey school. hubert humphrey was my very close friend. senator mondale and i were his cochairs, cochairs of his campaign when he ran for president. and we were, of course, humphrey's senate colleagues when he later returned to the united states senate. i have been asked to speak today about the origins and operations of the kerner commission as well as where we are now on the issues of race and poverty and
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what can and should be done about these intertwined issues today, 50 years after the kerner report. i should mention there is an excellent recent book, separate and unequal, which details a history and inner of the kerner commission, including much of which i am about to relate. on the evening of july 20 7, 1968, my wife and i -- or 1967 -- my wife and i were gathered with a couple of invited friends in front of a television set we brought into our living room to watch president lyndon johnson's nationwide broadcast, during which he was expected to announce the appointment of a blue-ribbon citizens commission, what became the president's national advisory commission on civil disorders, called the kerner commission after its chairman, the governor of
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illinois. it was announced, as you know, in the wake of the terrible violence -- terrible riots and violent protests which erupted during the summer of 1960 seven. great loss of life, awful human injury, and enormous property destruction, which caused throughout the country great shock, fear, alarm, bewilderment, and anxiety. the worst disorders in newark and detroit were not to be finally quelled until the
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president had sent in u.s. army troops. my wife and i and friends were seated in front of the television set that july 1960 seven when not more than 10 minutes before the president was supposed to come on, my youngest daughter laura, then in the second grade, came running in from the kitchen where we had a wall telephone and said, "daddy, president johnson is on the phone for you." that caused a little stir in the living room. i went into the kitchen and standing at attention took the phone and said, "yes, sir, mr. president." he said i hope you're going to watch television tonight. i said i was. he said i want to a point that commission you've been talking about. she actually said i'm going to appoint that damn commission you've been talking about. [laughter] senator harris: i was in the united states senate and three
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days earlier when the detroit riots were at their worst, after getting my friend and seatmate senator mondale to cosponsor it with me, i introduced a resolution to create a blue-ribbon citizens commission to look into the riots, not just from the law and order standpoint, but also to get at fundamental causes and come up with recommendations. to make good to the promise of america for all americans immediately. i have the recommendation sent to the subcommittee, which i chaired, and i held hearings on it the next morning, mike witnesses being daniel patrick moynihan and whitney young, but then it dawned on me that we did not have to wait for congressional action, that president johnson could himself named the commission by executive order. i called douglas kidder of the white house staff and urged such presidential action, following up with a hand-delivered letter to the president. back now to president johnson's telephone call to be. he set him going to a point that commission you've been talking
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about. i said i was glad to hear it. he said i'm going to put you on it. i said i did not expect that but i would do my best. he said, and all this is word for word, now, don't you be like some of your colleagues. i appoint them to things and they don't show up. i said i would show up. and another thing, president johnson said. i said yes, sir, mr. president. he said i want you to remember you are a johnson man. i said yes, sir, i am a johnson man. the president said if you forget it, i'm going to take my pocket knife and cut your blank off. [laughter] senator harris: he did not say
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"like -- "blank." [laughter] senator harris: sadly, by the time my report came out, the president thought i had forgotten i was a johnson man. on that day, the 11 members of the commission were called together by telegram. we met in the white house cabinet room with president johnson, vice president hubert humphrey, attorney general clark, budget director schulz, and the men president johnson had put in charge of u.s. army troops, and after calling on vance to give an up-to-date report on the situation, the president gave us our marching orders. he charged us, the carter commission, to investigate the riots and recommend action, again, not only from the law and order standpoint, but also in regard to their deeper causes. "let your search be free," he said. "find the truth and express it in your report," and that is exactly what the commission famously did, which as it turns out not only shocked the conscience of the nation but greatly upset president johnson as well. a highly competent and caring
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washington attorney general, david ginsburg, was named as the commission executive director, and he rapidly hired an outstanding staff, all of who it was my great honor to work with. the commission set to work in the treaty room of the executive office building adjacent to the white house. we held 20 days of hearings from august to december 1967 with 130 witnesses ranging from dr. martin luther king jr. to fbi director j edgar hoover. contracts were left from serious academic and other studies. staff members and consultants began to conduct field surveys in 23 cities, including more than 1200 interviews, attitude and opinion surveys, and other serious studies of conditions and causes. the commission members broke into teams for site visits to the riot cities and personally observed close-up the human cost of wretched poverty and harsh racism. new york city mayor john lindsay and i were a two-person team for those site visits, as we had already automatically almost from the first, despite
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disparate backgrounds, made ourselves into a close working two-man team also to take the lead in pressing for our common goals for what the commission ought to do and say. mayor lindsay and i went to cincinnati, for example, for a closed, no press meeting with a well-educated and successful group of young male and female black militants in a meeting that it had taken our staff more than a week to set up. none of these young men and women wanted to be there. none would shake hands with us. nobody would even look us in the eye. one young man expressed the view of all of them when he said he could not stand to look at white people anymore. one way or another, all of them said they did not trust white politicians like us to do anything about racism and poverty, and that included, as one of them said, those racists lyndon johnson and hubert humphrey. i as a member of the subcommittee looking into urban problems -- we already knew such alienation and hostility existed, but still, this experience affected us greatly.
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with a local anti-poverty worker, john lindsay and i in suits, of course, walked the streets of cincinnati where the riot and disorders had occurred. we ran into a group of young black men idling on the street corner. as a matter of fact, they were shooting crops. they instantly gathered around us. who are you, the fbi? when asked. we told them who we were and what we were doing. they all began to say in a chorus, get us a job, baby. we need jobs, baby. when young men said mr. johnson got me a job last summer, but it ran out. he was talking about president johnson and the summer work program. for john lindsay and me as well as for the rest of the commission, jobs was to become a central theme in our findings and recommendations. mayor lindsay and i also went to milwaukee. i spent the better part of a morning in a black barbershop there in milwaukee talking to young black men as they caved in. most were from the south, having come to milwaukee looking for work just as local jobs were
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disappearing or being moved away. the first question i asked the early arrivals puzzled them. that question was if they found more or less racial discrimination in milwaukee than there had been in birmingham or wherever was in the south they had come from. they did not know how to answer because, as i soon learned, in milwaukee, they did not see any white people. that's how rigid the local segregation was in that northern city. mayor lindsay and i and the other commission members came back from these site visits
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sobered and somewhat shaken. in a room which i arranged for on the senate side of the u.s. capitol building, the commission began 44 days of meetings from december 1967 until newly the end of february 1968 to actually write the kerner report, every word of which was read aloud and discussed and revised before being approved by majority vote of commission members.
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decisions would sometimes turn on a vote of 6-5. in our report, as you know, we condemned the strongest terms, saying that they did not serve justice. our basic funding was our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal. the report stated further segregation and poverty have created in the racial ghetto a destructive environment totally unknown to most white americans and added what white americans have never fully understood but
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what the negro, as we said then, can never forget is that white society created the ghetto, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it. great and sustained national efforts were required, we said, not only to combat racism, but also to greatly expand social programs, including those against unemployment and low wages, poverty, inferior or inadequate education and training, lack of health care, and bad or nonexistent housing. the report also made strong recommendations for improving the conduct of the media and the police and for needed integration of housing and schools. these recommendations applied to all of americans, rural and urban, white, black, spanish surnames, as we said then, and american indians. misinformed about its conscience and distracted by the vietnam war, president johnson rejected the kerner report, and this, i think, is particularly sad because president johnson did more against poverty and racism than any other president before or since. luckily, our staff had made an early deal with bantam books to
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publish the whole report on its official issuance date, march 1, 1968, so there was no possibility that it could be suppressed or filed away unread, no matter what. in any event, the report was leaked to the press before the commission could, as planned, background reporters so they would fully understand the reasons for the commission's findings and recommendations, and we know that it was leaked with bad intent. the person who leaked it said in a memo which is lately found, in order to lessen its impact. the leak resulted in hastily written news stories which are feared -- which appeared throughout the country the next morning. because chaos. i remember an associated press reporter called me and said he had a 30 minute deadline, and can i just capitalize the report. more than 450 pages, the report. the result was that the next morning saw shocking headlines.
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for example, wyatt racism, cause of black riots, commission says. many people never learned the rest of the story. and not surprisingly, there was considerable backlash in the country. still, many american leader spoke out in favor of the kerner report, including vice president humphrey, senator robert kennedy, and by dr. martin luther king, jr., who called it a physician's warning of approaching death with a prescription for life. the great secretary of health, education and welfare, john gardner supported the report. he said that history will not deal kindly with any nation
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that will not tax itself to cure its miseries. i think that is true. secretary wertz had the best capitalization of it he said the report is like the words of that great american philosopher pogo, who said, we have met the enemy, and he is us. still, and despite the opposition, america made progress on virtually every aspect of race and poverty for almost a decade after the kerner report. senator mondale, as the principal author of the fair housing act, had for a long time with the active support of president johnson been trying to pass that act but was time and again time eyed by a senate filibuster.
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then following the report of the kerner commission and strong speeches on the senate floor by two members of the kerner commission, myself and senator he had brook of massachusetts, speeches which mondale asked us to make, the filibuster was broken, and the act passed the senate. thereafter in the wake of great outrage and sympathy following the tragic assassination of dr. king, the act was finally blasted out of the house rules committee and was enacted and signed into law. for about a decade following the kerner report we made real progress. for example, as walter mondale ross in the "new york times," george romney, quote, thought
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against suburban exclusion, and civil rights organizations like the fair housing alliance worked with administrations of both parties to carry out the fair housing law. we made progress. neighborhoods and schools were being sbe greated. poverty was being substantially reduced. the achievement gap between african-american and white students, for example, was being reduced at such a rate that had that rate continued, there would be no black/white achievement gap today. the number of african-american
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and latino elected officials increased, as did their numbers in the middle-class and in all aspects of american life. disappearing through globalization and automation, with conservative political change and eventually with an unfriendly supreme court and its decisions, as well as con congressional cuts in taxes for the rich, and in big programs, and in programs that benefited low and middle classy americans, progress was slowed. there was pro get through the bill clinton and what abdur-rahkman obama administrations, but the trend has been the same since the
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70's. there is still far too much excessive force by police, too often deadly force, especially against african-americans. white supremacists have become boulder and more violent. housing and schools have been rapidly re-segregating, locking too many african-americans and latinos into slums and their children into inferior schools. as the nation has grown, our overall poverty rate has stubbornly remained virtually the same, while the total number of poor people has increased from a little over 25 million to a little over 40 million. ever since the 1970's, the african-american unemployment rate, for example, has continued to be about double that for whites. latino unemployment continues
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high as well. labor union membership has shrunk from about 25% of private jobs then to about 6% now. inequality of income in our country has greatly worsened. in 1970 the richest 1% of americans took home mcgee less than 9% of total national income. by 2016 they took home 24%, about a fourth of national income. wages have stagnated, and the greatest share of all new income in america has gone in recent years to the top 1%. rich people are healthier, and they live longer. what is fair about that? they get a better education, too, and a better education
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produces greater inequality of income. then that greater economic power translates into greater political power. so where do we go from here? we northwest what need to be done, and we know what works. a more progressive tax system, making rich people and big corporations pay their fair share. stopping tax and spending subsidies that redistribute wement and income in wrong direction.
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strengthening unions and eliminating legal and other barriers which impede the right of workers to organize. raising the minimum wage to a livable wage, which would be a giant boost to the economy and bump up middle-class wages as well. we need more affordable housing , and housing and schools integrated by income and race. better income for those who can't work and who can't find
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work. a sound, free public education for all from early childhood enthusiastic college. i was looking at figures the other day. my first year in undergraduate scoog in 1948, my total semester tuition was $48. virtually free. health care for all. the basic american principles of equal rights and equal opportunity for all. whatever a person's social standing, zip code, religion, gender or color. investment from infrastructure, in science, in alternative energy and technology, investment in ourselves. but, how can we get these things done when present times are so politically tough? and they are tough. our country is in grave, grave danger, as you know.
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first i think we can take heart from the fact that the great civil rights movement led by dr. martin luther king, jr., john lewis, who i think is a living saint and others, began in a terrible and depressing time of jim crowe, which was law. rigid segregation and harshesth racism. the odds were against them. but they resisted, persisted and ultimately prevailed. we can take heart, too, from the fact that the polls show that the majority of americans support the measures we must now adopt and the steps which we must now take. we can take heart from the fact that we live in a time of unprecedented growing and powerful people's activism. the most activism i have seen in my lifetime, with great new efforts and organizations like the women's march, indivisible, and lack lives matter and march for the lives. finally, the research women barber of north carolina, founder of the rapidly spreading moral monday's movement says we can't keep fighting in our silos. no more separating issues.
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labor over here, voting rights over there. the same people fighting one should have to fight all of us together. reverend barber is pointing the way we must go, showing that white, black, latino and other americans can join hands in coalition with each other and with women, millennials, seniors, the lgbtq community, immigrants and others to work for their common interests.
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because in the word of my great old friend and supporter, paul wellstone, everybody does better when everybody does better. thank you. [applause] >> all right, thank you. >> that was remarkable. thank you so much. we have no shortage of really interesting questions for you. you have given us lots to think about. >> i northwest the answers already. >> i bet you do. [laughter] >> i am going to take the moderator's prerogative and ask the first one, because you said something that really stood out to me. clearly most of us, if not all of us know that famous line about we are moving toward two societies, one black, one white. you said something today that really stands out. you talked about how white society has created this,
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maintains it and condones it. it is my understanding that millions of people bought the brilliant copy of the commission's report. what was the reaction of the people on the street? how did the millions who read that react? what is was your understanding? >> it depends on the people, how they reacted. black people particularly, particularly black young people reacted to it very well. we thought -- and this was really controversial within the commercial -- that we ought to say the word racism. that was the first time any government agency who ever said that. people on the commission wanted to say a softer word like sfwol ransom, discrimination or whatever. we thought it was important to say that, particularly for young people. we knew that oppressed people very often come to believe the same bad stair yo types about themselves -- stereotypes about them that the dominant society believes and internalize it. we wanted to say to these people you are not crazy, and it is not you. this is what is going on in the country. a lot of them found that reassuring.
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but there were other people two. my dad, a farmer in southwestern oklahoma. third great education. he loved me, but the way he heard the kerner report, mr. harris, out of the goodness of your heart, you ought to pay more taxes to help black people who are rioting in detroit. my dad's response was the hell with that. i am having a hard enough time myself. he was right about that. he said i am already paying too much tax. that was true. what he didn't realize wallace what we were talking about was him, too, as well as black people in the cities. that was a problem with the way it was released. we came to feel that we made a very bad mistake. we just didn't think about it, having our hearings as closed hearings. they should have been open to the public, and we should have had press traveling around with us, john lindsay and me and the other teams to these place, so that people would sigh just what we were seeing, and they would come to the same view. . on that racism thing, the vote was 6-5. it was also true it was a 6-5 vote on whether or not these riots were the result a conspiracy. that is what johnson believed. johnson talked to me about that. i said to him, mr. president, that is not so. this came up during the meeting. i said there are thousands of h. rap browns and stokely carmichaels that you and i have never heard of. i knew he was a student of franklin roosevelt. who knows what kind of uprisings there would have been and what kind of ideologies people would have followed if franklin roosevelt hadn't done something about the conditions out of which this discontent occurred. he didn't believe that. he thought they were going around the country and stirring up people. in the south, a lot of people believed that early.
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things were already until these outside agitators came in here. at any rate, that was a 6-5 vote. by the time we had gone through all this together, our report was adopted unanimously. i wish the public could have seen the things that we saw. david ginsberg said this was the only unanimous report that was adompted by a -- that was adopted by a vote of 6-5. >> things happening at the time before we ask you to reflection, there is one very specific question that i am intrigued by. is there a copy of the original staff draft of the commission report, which was seemingly revised before the formal kerner commission report was issued? if there was, you probably wouldn't say so anyway, right? >> i don't know of any first draft. what happened was when the
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"washington post" called and said we have a copy of this report, and we are going to release it in the morning's "washington post." we tried to talk them out of it. david ginsberg and others tried to talk them out of it. they said no. ben bradley said we have it legally, and we are going to turn it loose. and david ginsberg said if you do release it, we will release it to everybody so you won't have an exclusive. but that didn't deter them, but al, who was our great public affairs guy, a former a.p. reporter, he had squirreled a way a whole bunch of copies, minimum yo graphed combs of the report. so -- copies of the report. they got them out and distributed them so it wouldn't be fragment area. that added to the commution. as far as i now know, there was no first draft. our staff, led by david ginsberg, would present that day. we met for 44 straight days as i said to read and revise and amenity and vote on the report.
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and we would have before us a draft of that second. we would read it, and david ginsberg would read it allowed at the same time, and then we would discuss it and amend it perhaps and then vote on it. that is the draft there was until we finally had a completed draft. >> i wish every humphrey tonight could -- humphrey student could hear you say that. the writer writes there were two black men and one white only on the commission. tell us how they voted? >> the vote of 6-5 was me and john lindsay, otto kerner generally voted only in case of a tie, but he voted affirmative on that issue. roy wilkins, ed puerto rico. and most of the time herbert jenkins. is that six? the five often did not, on the it have issues, eventually came along. katherine was a good person, but she was thinking about running for senate. she was secretary of state in kentucky, and i think she was more worried than i should have been about this report politically.
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we couldn't always count on her. but steve, who has written this new book about the inner works of the commission has found a letter that i never knew about. jim corbin got three other members of the commission to write a letter to johnson and david ginsberg complaining about how john lindsay and i were running things. but the six includes those that i mentioned. >> thank you. fast forward a bit to today -- well, actually to last year. so about 49 years after the kerner commission report. the events in charlottesville happened. thinking about terms like racism and now terms of white supremacy. the context we find ourselves in, in 2018, is in the aftermath of that. this questioner rice if the kerner report were commissioned in 2018, all of that other stuff was my parenthetical commentary, how would it be received?
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>> well, i think about the same programs. -- perhaps. trump is really a symptom of the kind of racism that existed already in the country. what is different, and this is i think very scary. people have by him and others become emboldened to speak out. it used to have been they would have been baresed or ashamed to say the kind of things they
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were saying, and now it has gone past that to violence, not just talk. and so i think that you would have those people much more active than was true then. but i think that there is a great spirit in the country. when the kerner commission came out. it was in the recent days of the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965, and there was still a majority in the congress who were democratic, and there was really a food spirit in the country yet against poverty and racism. that lasted for a while. i think it is out there yet, and i think we have to -- i think the main thing we've got to do right now is regain democratic control of the house. that is our only hope to begin to change things back. >> thank you. you're optimism i have to say is heartening. and when you close by reminding us that a majority of americans support the measures we need to see, that is an encouraging sign. this next question is along those lines and is really geared towards the young people earlier in their career in the room.
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humphrey students, could just as easily be wilder students or others entering the field of application or society. why did you decide to leave politics, and what advice would you give anyone who is considering entering the arena of politics and public policy today? >> for me it was up or out. i could either run for re-election to the senate -- >> i should have sent you my 1976 report. it might have helped. >> not wanting to run for president. i would have stayed in the senate and run for president, but i didn't think that was quite proper. i would have had to take about a year out of my life and do nothing but campaign back home. be away from the senate and so forth i thought i would have been re-elect, and an associated press poll showed this. i would be in the senate, and i had already be in the senate. i didn't think i had the
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ability to stay in there to do the kinds of things that i thought ought to be done. i had also been kind of ruined as a legislator particularly because of my experience in the kerner commission. i had gotten to where i wasn't willing to compromise, and the essence of legislative work is compromise. i thought these things were much more urgent and a lot of my colleagues thought. i thought that running for president, running a good campaign could have some secretary. so i quit the senate and ran for president. >> and vice? >> do it. my wife, margaret, is the state chair. yesterday was our 36th anniversary. >> congratulations. [applause] >> she is the state chair of the democratic party in new mexico, and she calls me her
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chief of stuff. [laughter] >> i am also driving miss daisy. my job is driver. after the last presidential election, when people like us begin slowly to get out of a fetal position, they begin to talk to us. people said what can we do? margaret thought it was good she had her two degrees. one undergraduate degree is in political science and the advanced degree is in counseling. that worked out pretty well. but basically what we said to people was my mother always said brighten the corner where you are. or as c-span 3 booker says, everybody can do something. and it is therapeutic. you feel like well, at least i'm doing what i can. it is not my fault. so that is what we say. the thing we know, and i think
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that is what is really basic is getting involved in campaigns. not only at the national level, but the local level as well. republicans saw that much earlier than we did. getting involved in school board elections, and city council elections and commission elections as well. we are partisans, but we
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believe you can make a difference best by getting involved in cam pains, and more than that, in running for offices. we hear a lot of complaints. the answer to that is get involved yourself if you don't like the way campaigns are going. and run for office. it is awaking you if you do and make you feel better, and you might even do some good. >> just do it. what was the line at the end of the panel just before lunch? how many minnesotaans eligible to vote did not vote? it is sobering. i want you to have time to stretch before the next session. >> can i add this one thing? >> am i going so say no? no. >> one time i appeared for a campaign meeting in minneapolis. i told this group my dad came from mississippi. i told this group i am on my way tomorrow to mississippi,
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where in meridian i am going to put together the best and most diverse campaign function that anybody ever had or the damnest race riot ever. when i get down there, there was a packed house. people from the choctaw reservation, a lot of black people, some of my white kin folk in my family. i told them that story, and i also told them this. when i was 12 years old i, i went down to mississippi with a great aunt and spent about a month down there with some of my kin for example. one day they had what was apparently an annual thing for them. they lived in a great old house in times when the family was a little better off than when i got there. they had a black couple i imagine about 45 years old who came over, and they washed the wallace. this house is built out of heart pine. it wanted painted inside. they washed the walls with lye water, and the floors. then they washed all of the bed clothes and put them out to dry. they worked from daylight to dark, and they were paid, this black couple -- i was telling this group in meridian. they were paid a jar of green beans and a bucket of molasses
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syrup. i said that was the reason, though they didn't realize it, why my aunt and uncle were still working for 25 cents an hour. well, i had a great uncle of mine come up. he said fred, i have waited all my life to hear somebody talk like that. i know that you can put people together around their common sps, and i think we have an obligation to try to do. that >> you are a living legend. then they washed all of the bed clothes and put them out to dry. they worked from daylight to dark, and they were paid, this black couple -- i was telling this group in meridian. they were paid a jar of green beans and a bucket of molasses syrup. i said that was the reason, though they didn't realize it, why my aunt and uncle were still working for 25 cents an hour. well, i had a great uncle of mine come up. he said fred, i have waited all my life to hear somebody talk like that. i know that you can put people together around their common sps, and i think we have an obligation to try to do.
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that >> you are a living legend. we are honored to have you here. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its captioning content and accuracy. visit] >> we have for the senator a recognition plaque for his team with you us today. it is but a very small token of our deep appreciation for you. thank you so much. >> thank you. [applause]
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>> you are watching american history tv only on c-span3. ♪ >> he went into his first european combat experience full of idealism. he was determined to save the world for democracy. it was an agonizing war of stalemate and negligible gains bitterly fought for. a war of trenches and barbed wire cutting across the grass. new weapons brought to the battlefield with a deadliness never known before. he fought well through the holocaust. the oregon forest.
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steadily and stubbornly, he made his way across a torn and bloody ground. he turned the tide of battle. >> welcome to lake havasu city 200 miles ut northwest of phoenix on the western border of arizona on the of lake havasu a man made water from theng colorado river to arizona and california. it hasshed in 1963 today a population of about 54,000. visit the lake havasu museum of history and how


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