Skip to main content

tv   Public Affairs Events  CSPAN  December 25, 2016 1:29am-3:41am EST

1:29 am
but running for office, this is new for me. like i said, i am just really proud to represent delaware. >> representative-elect lisa blunt rochester, thank you very much. announcer: join us on tuesday, for live coverage of opening day of the new congress. the official swearingin and the election of the speaker house. our all day live coverage begins eastern on c-span and and you can to it on the free c-span radio app. announcer: in the weekly lady michelle obama joins president obama to deliver a christmas message. representative tim murphy of republican has the response and talks about helping
1:30 am
americans living with mental illness. president obama: merry christmas, everybody. one of the best parts of the is spending time with the special people in your life. getting help from my est friend for our weekly address. >> given how our first address went, i realized that barack all of the help that he get.d this is the first christmas in the white house, what? get it to stop it, together, you're going to have potus.l it together, >> celebrating the holidays in the white house over the past ight years has been a true privilege. we
1:31 am
-- we've been able to welcome over half a million guests. our outstanding pastry chefs have baked 200,000 holiday cookies. president obama: that is a lot of cookies. mrs. obama: and barack has treated the american people to countless bad jokes. president obama: although a few got a -- frosty reception. ha ha! mrs. obama: there is another one. this year's white house holiday theme is "the gift of the holidays," and our decorations reflect some of our greatest gifts as a nation: from our incredible military families, to the life-changing impact of a great education. president obama: and the greatest gift that michelle and i have received over the last eight years has been the honor of serving as your president and first lady. together, we fought our way back from the worst recession in 80 years, and got unemployment to a nine-year low. we secured health insurance for
1:32 am
another twenty million americans, and new protections for folks who already had insurance. we made america more respected around the world, took on the mantle of leadership in the fight to protect this planet for our kids, and much, much more. by so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we first got here. and i'm hopeful we'll build on the progress we've made in the years to come. tomorrow, for the final time as the first family, we will join our fellow christians around the world to rejoice in the birth of our savior. and as we retell his story from that holy night, we'll also remember his eternal message, one of boundless love, compassion, and hope. mrs. obama: the idea that we are our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper. that we should treat others as we would want to be treated. and that we care for the sick, feed the hungry, and welcome the stranger -- no matter where they come from, or how they practice their faith. president obama: those are values that help guide not just my family's christian faith, but that of jewish americans, and muslim americans; nonbelievers and americans of all backgrounds. and no one better embodies that spirit of service than the men and women who wear our country's uniform and their families. mrs. obama: as always, many of our troops are far from home this time of year, and their families are serving and sacrificing right along with
1:33 am
them. their courage and dedication allow the rest of us to enjoy this season. that's why we've tried to serve them as well as they've served this country. go to to see how you can honor and support the service members, veterans and military families in your community - not just during the holidays, but all year round. president obama: so as we look forward to the new year, let's resolve to recommit ourselves to the values we share. and on behalf of the all the obamas michelle, malia, sasha, bo, and that troublemaker sunny - merry christmas, everybody. mrs. obama: and we wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2017. thanks, and god bless. ♪ representative murphy: this picture means so much to me. i keep it on my desk in my congressional office. it was given to me by a proud parent. this is daniel. daniel - just seven years old - was at sandy hook elementary school on december 14, 2012,
1:34 am
when a troubled young man took his life and those of 25 others, and ultimately his own. you know, if there's one thing we cherish at christmas, it is the comfort and joy of being surrounded by the people we love. but every day, 959 lives are taken, directly or indirectly, by mental illness. last year alone, 350,000 lives were lost because our broken mental health system continues to fail american families. rather than getting those who need help most into treatment, we leave them out on the streets or throw them in jail. this is heartbreaking. and, it is unacceptable. as a practicing psychologist, i have seen firsthand how difficult it is for families to navigate our broken mental health system. outdated laws prevent the families and caregivers from being a part of the treatment team. too often, this has fatal consequences.
1:35 am
we need treatment before tragedy, and care before crisis. after sandy hook, we launched an investigation into our nation's broken mental health system. courageous families stepped forward to tell their stories. and we started to understand the real problems - over 110 federal programs and a $130 billion investment that did little but stand by and watch rising rates of suicide, incarceration, and homelessness. but we needed to do more than just talk about this problem. we needed to start solving this problem. by the start of 2016, we had pushed mental health reform towards the top of washington's to-do list. and last week, one day before the sandy hook anniversary, president obama signed into law the most significant mental health reform in 50 years. with this new law, we are finally breaking down the wall between physical health and mental health. now federal agencies will be
1:36 am
moving from vague feel-good programs to ones that emphasize evidence-based care for those at the highest risk. for the first time, there will be an assistant secretary for mental health and substance use who will lead the way, evaluating and improving the system. we'll be investing in services for the most difficult-to-treat cases and ensuring that family members are a part of the care delivery team. we'll be training people to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, including law enforcement officers for how to best respond to a potentially violent situation. we'll be providing real resources to combat substance abuse, and specifically for the opioid crisis. we'll be addressing, head on, the number 10 killer in our nation -- suicide, which disproportionately affects our veterans -- and for the first time ever, congress is stepping in to help those with an eating
1:37 am
disorder get access to real medical care. and we'll be expanding our mental health workforce, because today, half the counties in america do not have a single psychologist or psychiatrist. one bill won't solve everything, but these desperately needed reforms will bring help. and where there is help, there is hope. to the sandy hook families and all those who made this possible, who gave their time and took a stand, thank you. to anyone out there struggling, looking for answers, know that you are not alone. we are with you. we are fighting for you. although many doubted we would make it this far, here we are. and in a new year, with a new administration, we will keep working to get real treatment to those who need it. this is what christmas is all about -- peace, goodwill, and above all, love. so god bless our caregivers, our doctors, our nurses. and god bless our troops, their families, and the nation they serve. and god bless the united states of america. announcer: this weekend on newsmakers, our guest is lee
1:38 am
saunders who heads the administration of state, county, and municipal employees. he talks about donald trump's choice for labor leaders. he talks about the influence of the unions. watch the interview sunday at p.m. easternd 6:00 here on c-span. craig's military force is one of the things i think the american police gets impatient about because they think -- >> military force is one of the things i think the american public gets impatient about. >> sunday on q&a journalist market danner talks about his career and the u.s. war on
1:39 am
terrorism. >> what we do not want to do is respond in such a way that will produce more of these militant organizations. overreact.s to they want us to occupy muslim countries so they can build their recruitment. they want us to torture people. they want us to do things that will allow them to make their case against us. announcer: sunday night on c-span's q&a. >> now a look at the latest book featured in our author series from washington journal. author of a nation of nations. a great american immigration story. he's here to talk about the book which examines how america has been transformed in the 50 years following the 1965 immigration act.
1:40 am
thank you so much for joining us today. iverpblgtsdzniced to be here. zphreels us about what made you embark on this project. guest: we were coming up on the 509sdz anniversary this law, immigration act of 1965. i considered it one of the most important laws pass t in the 20th century as far as its effect on this country and yet a lot of people didn't know about it. so i thought that's a good opportunity. the anniversary of it was a good opportunity to take note of the passage of this law, the importance of the law, and most important how the country has been changed transformed in the last 50 years as a result of this law, which for the first time opened america's doors to immigrants of color up until 1965, 90% of immigrants were coming from europe, northern and western europe. and that was as a result of deliberate policy.
1:41 am
the aim of the u.s. government was to maintain the united states as a white european country. the 1965 act really did away with that policy and put all nationalities on the same basis. and so as a result of it, over the last 50 years america has really become a truly diverse country for the first time in its history. host: as you said, nine of ten immigrants now come from other parts of the world including vietnam, korea, india, pakistan, egypt, mexico, and central america. talk about a little bit about how that change happened and what the impact has been. guest: well, there was -- there were actually a couple of factors. by the mid 18960s europe was really prospering and had recovered from the trauma of the second world war. it was doing well economically.
1:42 am
the urge to migrate was really reduced and so there wasn't a great impetus to move to the united states from europe as there had been for the previous hundred years. by that point, the real urge to move was coming from what we used to call the third world, from asia, africa, the middle east. a lot of countries were going through a kind of decolonization, becoming independent. there was a lot of conflict associated with that. there was more opportunities in terms of communication and transportation. it was easier to migrate. so there was a great demand this those parts ot world to move to the united states, reduce demand from europe. so once the doors were opened in 1965, people just flooded in. host: we are talking to tom the author of "a nation of nations," a great american immigration story. talking about how immigration has changed since the passage
1:43 am
of the 1965 immigration act almost 50 years ago. republicans can join our discussion at -- the numbers are on the bottom of your screen. the pew research center has a graphic that shows how immigration has changesed over the course of american history, primarily back to 1850s, mostly european countries coming over. by 1900 you're seeing more immigration in the south from mexico and from the north from canada, and places like cuba. but by 2000, the immigration is coming in largely from mexico and a lot of other countries in
1:44 am
the eastern part of the united states, places like china, portugal, poland, india, and el salvador up until today where you see people coming in from china, in places like pennsylvania, as well as the dominican republic and new england. and more from el salvador. but mexico seems to be the largest in the number of states in the south and midwest. talk about these patterns. what led to the specific patterns emerging over the course of that time? guest: well, the biggest factor in immigration is essentially family connections. so people tend to migrate where they already have relltoifs living. in the case of my own grandfather who came here from norway, he came to where his uncles had come. that is a very typical pattern. you're moving to a strange country. the most comfortable thing to
1:45 am
do is where you know people, where your relatives are living. so you see a pattern of chain migration. and in some cases, i used to live in mexico and there were entire villages in mexico that would migrate to a particular village in the united states because that was where the connections were established. so that explains why different nationalities or cities even or communities end up people from those areas end up going to a particular place in the united states. host: let's talk a little more about the 1965 immigration act. what it does and what is going on at the time. what is the national origin system and what was its purpose? guest: well the act needs to be seen as a civil rights act. it was passed in 1965. the soifl rights act was passed in 1964, the voting rights act
1:46 am
in 1965, the fair housing act about the same time. this was a period at the height of the soifl rights movement when there's a lot more sense toifl in this country and a determination to sort of right some of the historic wrongs. prior to 1965, the united states had a policy of allocating immigrant visas on the bifes of your national origin. and again it was a deliberate effort to keep the united states as a white european country. so if you were somebody from germany or from scandinavia or the british aisle, you would have tens of thousands of slots available to you as an immigrant. on the other hand, if you were from any country in asia or africa or the middle east, those countries had a quota of maybe 100 visa slots per year. so it was a completely unbalanced discriminatory system. the midst of this increased
1:47 am
awareness of injustice and determination to end discriminatory policies, the 1965 act eliminateded those national origin quotas. that was the main effect of it. so every country had more or less an equal opportunity. people from any nationality had more or less an equal opportunity to come here for the first time. host: talk a little bit about the forces in some of these other countries, what was happening. has there been a change in the motivation both of europeans moving to the united states as well as people from asia and south america and other countries? guest: just consider africa. there were very few independent countries in africa. they were all colonies largely of european countries. during the 1960s a lot of african countries became independent for the first time. but there were often war and conflict associated with those
1:48 am
movements. so those movements produced refugees, they produced a desire to get away from violence. and the same time in countries in asia there were -- the economies were gradually getting better and people were seeing opportunities to move that may have been unrealistic before. and you had -- it was cheaper to move. and also, you had international communication. telephone and so forth. so people were able to make contact with their relatives in a way that they hadn't been before. so all these forces come together to make international migration more practical, more feasible than it had ever been before. we talk about push factors that are pushing people out of their countries and we talk about the poll factors. here in the united states the opportunities here in the united states that were pulling people in. so the factors pushing people out and factors here pulling people in produced this big
1:49 am
migegrat tory wave. host: a nation of nations. the great american immigration story. good morning, al. caller: good morning. i've got a question and probably a question for your audience. the last couple of years, how many gcomb grant illegals came into the country compared to the previous five years? and the same question. indian american on there and find out what happened to them when we let too many illegals come in at one time? it could happen again. thank you. guest: i'm not sure when you mean -- if you mean indian american or somebody from india. it's not clear what you meant. as far as illegal immigrants to
1:50 am
the united states, i don't have those numbers. my understanding and -- and my book is really about legal immigration. not about undocumented immigration. so i'm not really an expert on that. but my understanding is that the number of people entering the country illegally, the number of immigrants who have come here illegally actually has reduced in the last ten years largely because of the economic crisis that came out in 2008 that meant lot fewer opportunities here, fewer employment opportunities. people didn't see quite the advantage of coming to the united states. in fact, a lot of people left during that time. there were a number of years in the last decade where we had a net outflow of people. more people were leaving. more undocumented immigrants were leaving the country than coming in. now i believe the numbers have begun as the economy has improved the number is going back up again.
1:51 am
but over the last decade it's actually been a reduced flow is my understanding. host: you said in the book that the immigration influx set up a blated sest of america's character and identity. you write, was it strength and resilience as a result of its formation as not merely a nation but a teaming nation of nations? or were its achievements actually due to its angelo saxen heritage? did you find an answer to that question? guest: so the idea of the united states from the very beginning has been that we're a nation open to everyone. where everybody can get a fresh start. we're a nation of opportunity. george washington way back in 1792 said the booze m of america is open to receive not just the stranger but the oppressed and persecuted all nations and relingance. so this was the idea of america. you know the plaque of the base
1:52 am
of the statue of liberty. give me your tired and poor. this is the idea that we've told ourselves throughout history. but we didn't really put it in to practice. so we didn't really know as a nation whether we could be as strong as we claim to be if we were in fact open to everybody. it was only in 1965 that we actually dared to make that commitment. so in the last 50 years i argue in this book that we actually demonstrated our resilience, demonstrated our capability to be one nation of many nationalities, many national origins. but it was really only after 1965 that we dared to put ourselves through that test. host: gene from michigan. caller: right after apparel harbor in 19 41 and the spring f 19 42, my parents lived in
1:53 am
kentucky at that time and they would load up 10 or 15 nam liz and trucks to bring their belongings to michigan where we worked on the farm. and they brought mexican people and i'm a up here member of a mexican family there's five generations of us. but they paid kids 15 and under , 12 cents an hour, grown ups got 50 cents an hour. then after the war was over, no one went back where they were brought from. that's when eisenhower sent thousands back and in about 1955 or somewhere in there. and right near where eloif they had german prisoners of war there. and they had they had the farms, too. and they got paid better than we did and they were fed good.
1:54 am
it was just -- when you needed them they brought them here and then they wanted to throw them out. guest: your family was among the mexican imzpwrants who came here to work? caller: no. i was from kentucky brought up here to work. in the sugar beet fields. then in the 60s i married in to a mexican family. guest: that's gene's story as he says, there was a -- up until i think 1964 there was something called the brassero program. somebody who works with their hands, in spanish. and this program people were -- of mexicans largely were able to come here legally to work in agriculture. very, very low wages. and actually that program was
1:55 am
eliminated in 1964 there was a feeling among some liberals that we were taking advantage f these people and paying them zirt poor wages. so that program was eliminated. the problem is that the demand for those workers continued and so the very same people largely mexican who had been coming here under the brassero program legally up until 1964 continued to come to work in the same jobs in the same places for the same people but after 1964 they were illegal because that program had been terminated. it was the same phenomenon but from one day to the next someone who was here legally was all of a sudden here illegally. and that was actually the origin of the big move of undocumented people into this country. it came as a result of a decision to eliminate this agricultural guest worker
1:56 am
program. host: all right. since you began writing this book, which is now iveble on paperback, since you began, we've had a presidential election where immigration took a very large role in the discussion. not just the issue of illegal immigration but legal as we will. compare the discussion happening now over immigration to what was happening in 1965. guest: actually, some of the debate around the immigration reform that took place in 1965 has now come back again. and it's sort of surprising because over the last 50 years the attention increasingly has been on what to do about people here illegally. should there be amnesty, et cetera. and that was a big part of the election campaign this fall as well. there was talk, donald trump talking about building a wall,
1:57 am
talked about deporting people here illegally. but as you say, for the first time sort of the question of whether we need to actually change our laws and allow fewer people to come here legally became an issue. ght now we are approaching the point of -- that we were at at the beginning of the 20th century when about 13, 14% of the population was born outside the country. it went way down in the subsequent years. and then after 1965 the percentage of americans born outside the united states started going up again. now we're back up at almost record level. so some people are saying it's time to put a brake on this migration into the united states, even though coming here illegally. time to change our laws, give out fewer visas. do whatever has to be done. one thing that's been talked about is changing the law that
1:58 am
allows immigrants to bring their family members here. because that sort of opens the door to ever more number coming in. and maybe do an immigration policy more like canada has which allocates visas on the basis of what you can contribute to the economy, your education, your skills levels. that kind of need-based merit-based immigration policy is one that people are talking about, as opposed to this family unification policy that we have now. host: you're on with tom. aller: good morning. the previous caller had mentioned something to the effect, my question is, too, during this past election campaign we heard so much about illegal immigration across the border. and i was wondering if you had any insight on the nurl of illegal immigrants in the united states from other
1:59 am
countries and who -- people who are not people of color because we hear so much of mexico. but i'm sure that there are many people who come here on visas and overstay. they are illegal. we never hear in the national media much about that. we only hear about mexico. so my question is do you have any idea how many illegal immigrants that are here that did not come across the border from mexico? >> well, again, this is not my expertise. but i think you're absolutely right. i think there are actually more people who are here without legal status as a result of having overstayed their visas than there are people who have snuck across the border. i think that that is a huge issue. and you're absolutely right, those people are largely not mexican or central american. a lot of them would be from much further away.
2:00 am
a lot come on student visas and then overstay. maybe they come on some kind of tourist visa and overstay. a lot of them would be from asia or the middle east. south asia. some from europe as well. so you're absolutely right. and if we're going to have a fair and complete discussion of the issue of people here illegally, it's important to keep these numbers straight. that thear not all mexican, they're not all central americans, not all people who have come across our southern border. and building a wall is going to keem them out sh -- not going to keep them out. host: you pointed out in your book looking at people from asia coming to the yilingts and how those numbers have changed. in 1960, barely 11,000 koreans lived in the u.s. by 2000 that was 864,000. people from pakistan jumped from 1700 to 223,000 in that
2:01 am
time. people from india rose from 17,000 to more than 1 million. talk a little bit about -- guest: i'm not saying these people are here illegally. host: this is legal. guest: these are people who came here as a result of the passage of the new law. so they're people here legally. so this is an example of how america has changed and become a much more multicultural, much more diverse nation than it previously was. nd again, in my book i talk in particular about one county here in northern virginia that has really been transformed by immigration and where now about 30% -- this is fair fax county. about 30% is born outside the united states. it's a very prosperous county, one of the richest counties in the united states. and its success demonstrates that a lot of these new
2:02 am
immigrants are very successful, very productive, very proud of being american, and contributing a lot to this country. so i profile a number of families in this book whose lives and experiences really demonstrate that. host: paul from pennsylvania. aller: good morning. my family, we were in england first. so we came from jamaica before independence. so the mccarren act stopped us from coming to america so we were in england lapped first. we were in england until the 70s. when the economic crisis started happening over there. and then a lot of xenophobia started in england much like up here. you have the skin heads and national front. that pushed us to come here in
2:03 am
america. i think there's a little bit of unknown history that there's a collaboration, i would say, jewish like upper class housewives looking for house mates and many through a network were able to connect with caribbean women who became house maids. and my mother was one. so she came and she was sponsored by a doctor -- a dentist and his wife in new jersey. in 77. and we stayed in england until like 80. so we were separated for about 3-1/2 years. and then we came over afterwards. and we also then brought -- behind us, the rest of our family, which at this point almost everybody is here in america. there's very few people left back in jamaica. i would say that this election, though, has really -- in all of the years that i've been here.
2:04 am
i went to demredge america, i actually teach college english and i've had a lot of opportunities here in this country. but this last election has me feeling like i felt when i was a young teenager in england during the 70s. and i think that's a shame. i think that people's thoughts about immigrants just seems to be always a battle between the new immigrant and the old. and the old tend to forget very quickly that they were immigrants just a couple generations ago. when we first in the early 80s there were a lot of people from the caribbean coming up from jamaica trying to get away from political violence. some of them got involved. that tainted all of the caribbean community. i think that when phil jackson
2:05 am
said to lebron james you and your posse. but he didn't quite understand what was the problem. maybe if lebron james had been jamaican it would have been more of a problem. that was one of the names of the drug-dealing cartels that came up here. host: let's give tom a chance to respond. guest: well first, i don't -- i'm not so sure that the entire caribbean community has been that tainted. i just actually reviewed a book for the "new york times" about the caribbean culture and the richness of it. and how it has rally changed music and literature for the whole world the caribbean influence. so i think -- i would say that people of caribbean origin are not necessarily deemed as being tainted by the drug trade or something like that. so -- you mentioned a couple of other points that i think are
2:06 am
words underscoring. one is, your own family illustrates our immigration policy has been so family centered that one member of a family gets legal status here, he or she has the right to bring over siblingings, parents, children, so you get this kind of exponential growth in immigrants by virtue of this family unification. which is really important principle in u.s. immigration policy. i tell a story in my book of a man from pakistan who came here in the 1960s got an employment visa. his company brought him over to work in a factory here. and once he was established legally, he was then able to bring over his brothers and sisters and everybody else. and by the time, by the 1990s, he had been personally
2:07 am
responsible for 100 people coming here. so it's like the case with paul, where one, his mother came over and as a result of his mother getting here other members of the extended family were able to come. again, that is one of the ways that our immigrant population has grown so much. host: you anticipated one of my questions. before you did focus on fairfax county you looked at several people who had come from an array of countries. south korea, libya, bolivia, and others. what made you focus on these individual stories and what does that tell us not just about fairfax but america? guest: i wanted to sort of capture the variety of backgrounds that immigrants in the united states have. so we have here an example of a muslim family from north africa, from libya. we have the example of the family from bolivia in south america. and we have a family from korea. so we're sort of -- i'm trying
2:08 am
to represent the diversity of the immigrant flow. these are all people who were first of all willing to share their life stories with me. and immigration moving from one country to another country can be a pretty traumatic thing and a lot of immigrants don't want to necessarily relive all the difficulty and stress that is associated with moving to a new country. so i needed to find families who were willing to share with me their personal stories and i did with these families. i also wanted families whose stories were interesting, whose experiences explained some things, told larger stories that you could learn from. these are people who had given a lot of thought to what does it mean to be american. and when you are talking about a muslim family from libya, a korean family and a blivian family, the one to find out in -- what do they have in common
2:09 am
and what are their -- with a do their experiences sort of tell us about what america -- what does it mean to come to americaw america changes you. helpedre all people that me tell that story. they are fascinating people. their stories are in this book. host: karen from illinois on our democratic line. you are on with tom gjelten. caller: thank you for taking my call. good morning, mr. gjelten. i just wonder, i don't know if you answered this question in your book. now that we are such a diverse culture, a diverse nation with so many cultural influences, how do you think that we can define ourselves as a nation? what brings us together when we say we are american?
2:10 am
guest: that is a good question. i would say that it is more of an idea, an ideology than a matter of your blood or ethnic background. free in thisd of country -- creed in this country. there are political ideas that we believe in in this country about what it means to be a citizen. we have a constitution and bill of rights. we have a declaration of independence that laid out a number of principles about all men being created equal. i would say that being american and coming to see yourself as an american is an ideological exercise where you accept the political idea of what america stands for, and that is in contrast to our ethnic idea of what america stands for. it does not have to do with your
2:11 am
bloodline or race, or race, acestry, it has to do with commitment to a set of principles. that is what i think we can all agree on regardless of what our backgrounds are. host: tom is calling in on their independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. do you have any statistics on americans living the american dream and migrating to canada? guest: i do not have any statistics. my guess is probably more canadians come to america than americans go to canada. the migration flow between the united it and canada is -- states and canada is big. it is not a story we think of often. similarder ourselves so
2:12 am
, we live so close together that when people talk about immigrants, they don't really think about canadians. when people talk about immigration and movement, we don't think about going back and forth between the united states and canada. it is an international border. canadians are every bit as much of an immigrant to this country as any other country. i'm sorry i don't have more numbers. host: we do have numbers on something else. on what the immigration wave will bring moving forward. your book talks about what happened in the last 60 years. as you pointed out, according to research, from hugh the immigration levels were about 14% around the turn of the 20th century, down to 4% in the 60's and up to 13.9%. it is protected by 2065 to be at
2:13 am
17%. guest: that would be the most ever in the history of the country. host: it is an upward trend. immigration's impact is mixed. what do you think will happen as immigration continues to grow? guest: we will see basically a continuation of the trends we have already seen. we are going to see, i would say, more appreciation of other cultures. whether you are talking about holidays, religion, food or dress, we are already much more aware of the diversity in all those areas then we used to be. -- whetherss that we it is art or music or anything else, we will be much more aware of the richness of other influences. there could be more conflict. we have seen that.
2:14 am
just one happyen last 50 years. we have learned, i think, that there are a lot of people that get nervous when they see the country changing this way. they feel that there are perhaps certain values that are put at risk, values they consider really important. to have different religions, we think of ourselves as being largely a christian nation or a judeo-christian nation. when you get a lot of immigration from untraditional areas, you have to rethink some of those things. that can be unnerving, stressful, produce conflict. i don't think we can necessarily assume that these trends you talk about are going to continue. there could be changes in our immigration policy that would
2:15 am
make it harder for people to come here. in which case you will not reach 17% in 2065.- that is assuming our laws stay the same. if we begin to allow people to come here according to what they can offer as opposed to whether they have relatives here, that will reduce the number of people coming in. host: we are talking to tom gjelten, a correspondent with npr. covered u.s. diplomacy and military affairs for npr. the pentagon -- lead pentagon reporter during the war in iraq and afghanistan. caller: good morning. in who immigrants coming
2:16 am
get benefits, financial benefits when they come in, and when my grandparents came here -- they had nothing. my grandfather had to pay for my grandmother to come here. he had to pay his own way. he had to financially take care of his own family. benefits are given now to immigrants. when my grandfather came here, he had to speak english to his children. now they don't have to speak english to their children. he was told if he did not speak english, his children would be taken away from him. why aren't we going back to no benefits and teaching people that have to speak english? that is my question. guest: my grandfather came here, too. he had to pay his own way. i think people who migrate now still have to pay their own way to get here. we don't pay people to come here.
2:17 am
you are right, there are more benefits for people arriving then there were when your grandparents came or my grandparents came. this is not necessarily the result in our change of treatment and immigrants. there was not social security when your grandparents came. there wasn't medicare or medicaid. the social welfare system, the safety net was not established for people of limited means. it is not necessarily a change in the way that we treat immigrants exclusively. it is a change in the way that we treat people with low incomes generally. immigrants fall into that category. some immigrants fall into that category. i think there are a lot of immigrants that pay taxes and pay more in taxes than they get back in benefits. even a lot of people, immigrants
2:18 am
who are here without papers pay taxes. they are able to work and pay taxes and don't get anything for that. they don't get social security or medicare or medicaid. it is a complicated picture. the other thing is that my grandfather came here. he did not get any benefits. he was able to stake a claim on land and claim it as his own. there was a whole period in the settlement of america where anybody could stake a claim and homestead a piece of land. an awful lot of immigrants from your grandparents generation and mine benefited from that. times change. the idea of benefits change. benefits our grandparents got are not available to immigrants now. on the other hand, immigrants can get some benefits now that our grandparents did not get. it is a complicated picture.
2:19 am
i try not to oversimplify it. host: carlos is calling in from florida on our independent line. you are on with tom gjelten. guest: hey, carlos. host: are you there? we will move into grade from texas. good morning, greg. caller: good morning. how are you doing? i am so glad for c-span. education is very good. you will hear me? guest: i can hear you. caller: anybody that gets rid of fox news that talks bad about their country and divides people, when i see c-span, you educate people. i don't know why you are not on the regular channels. i appreciate you. thanks to c-span. i cannot read. i cannot write. i am 57 years old.
2:20 am
i grew up in an environment where if you don't learn at school, you don't learn. i grew up with hispanics and blacks. i thought they were in the same boat we are. they are not. we should pull together and stop letting use the white man use us against each other. we voted. the hispanic people don't have your back. you go to the job, they smile in their face and underbid you on everything. they have these babies and get the money, and then they write them off on the income tax. foodhave a wife that gets stamps. they bring these illegals over here and work them like slaves. they treat their own people -- guest: carlos
2:21 am
give tom gjelten a chance to respond. guest: you raised an important point. there is a lot of debate on whether immigration is good for the country or not. how it affects different people. one thing that i think is indisputable you have already pointed out. when you bring in immigrant workers, they will compete for jobs and especially they will compete for jobs that would otherwise go to low income people in this country. the competition is most intense at the low end of the skills ladder. people who do not have a lot of education in this country are more likely to be affected by immigration than people who have a lot of skills and education. to the extent that there is a negative impact of immigration, it falls more heavily on people
2:22 am
of low income with low skills, low education. they are the ones who may lose jobs to immigrants who are willing to work for lower wages than they are. to an extent, that affect is counterbalanced by the number of immigrants who come in with skills and education and are able to play productive roles in the economy. if you look at the economy as a whole, you can make the argument that immigration actually brings economic growth and innovation and is good for the country. stratumook just at that of people at the low income level, therecation is a lot of competition from immigrants as you have found in your own experience. host: we are talking to tom
2:23 am
gjelten, the author of a nation of nations: a great american immigration story. immigrationng about since the 1965 immigration act. democrats can call (202) 748-8000. independents "washington journal" -- independence (202) 748-8002. if you are in immigrant yourself (202) 748-8003. chris is calling from maryland. caller: good morning. i have heard the usa is the most permissive -- has the most permissive immigration policies. i want to ask if that is true. i have found the most resistance against immigrants occurs during economic downturns and when the u.s. is being attacked. holocaust victims, there are stories that they were not
2:24 am
admitted. i wonder if that was because they were germans or jewish. andlast part is the hutus were massacred. were they brought over after the massacres? guest: is the united states the most permissive? i would say that in some ways it in anyone whotake has a family member here who is already a citizen, not just any family member but assembling for example. that means we open our doors to a lot of people. has, asn the other hand i have said, a more skill-based immigration policy. they bring in a lot of immigrants. right now, the percentage of canadians who were born out of canada is higher than the
2:25 am
percentage of americans who were born outside of the united states. canada has a pretty permissive immigration policy human though the criteria are very different. -- even though the criteria are very different. go back to the beginning of the 20th century. wasnational origins quota put in place in 1924. that was a period of time when a ert of anti-foreign sentiment was in this country. the ku klux klan was coming back. catholicseven towards in some cases. a period when there was a lot of opposition to foreigners from anywhere just about. that even included people who were fleeing the holocaust, jewish refugees who found it hard to come to the united states for many years. that is to the shame of our
2:26 am
country. genocidal warser in the years since. you mentioned the fighting in central africa that resulted in a lot of hutus and tutsis fleeing that violence. in the horn of africa in somalia and ethiopia, a lot of violence there. we have people fleeing. you have people fleeing from syria. people fleeing from afghanistan. throughout history when you have oneviolence and conflict, result is a large refugee flow. the united states for the most part has been pretty accommodating to refugees. periodically, there is a feeling that we should not take in any more refugees. that is not just a recent phenomenon. that is something that has been,
2:27 am
as you have pointed out, we have seen throughout our history. host: something you pointed out in the book, akin to the impact on lower wage workers here, the fact that you call it the immigration act a civil rights act passed with other civil rights measures. you pointed out that the influx of immigration sometimes conflicted with other civil rights issues. in places like their backs where racial segregation had been the role, it created conflict. no standard get black residents when a measure of justice than the common sense competing for scarce resources with newly arrived immigrants. guest: fairfax county is an interesting story. it is in northern virginia in the metropolitan d.c. area. it is much more tied to the south. there was segregation in fairfax
2:28 am
county and throughout virginia. that area, that community had to go through a desegregation process, which can be traumatic. african-americans lived in segregated neighborhoods and went to segregated schools. they only got improvements in their services by fighting for them. actually --ce they i tell this story of a group of african-americans in fairfax county that finally got a community center built for their children and community activities. no sooner was it built then immigrants were coming in and using it. immigrants have not fought for it. they do not work for years to get it established. once it was established, they started taking advantage of it. a lot of people said wait, we have to fight for this and now we have to share this with people who did not fight for it. that story is indicative of the
2:29 am
tensions that arise in communities where you have changing populations. our independent line in texas. caller: good morning. my name is men well. -- manuel. texas did not become a state until a few years ago. guest: quite a few years ago. caller: i am latin. i am latino. when i grew up, i grew up in texas. texas was already estate. state. mexico about 160 years ago. i did not know any english. i went to school and learn my english and came out a pretty
2:30 am
smart person. , i remembercourse all these people that started coming from mexico. i already knew how to speak english. i had a rough time learning and growing up. here is my deal. these immigrants,. and do not know any english. i already know my english. i already know the traits that i learned. i have to teach these guys the english language and what to do and what not to do. let tom gjelten response. guest: your story is one that characterizes a lot of the history of this country with newcomers coming in and having to find their own way and achieve whatever they have been able to achieve as you have, learned which. learnms like you have --
2:31 am
a which. seems like you have a responsibility to help those that have come after you. it is to your credit that you have done that and share your skills and teach these newcomers. the you feel at times like it is unjust. maybe you feel like there was nobody there for you when you are having to go through that period. you said it was a rough time. it is your credit that you are in a position to help those people and it reflects very well on you. host: you were a reporter at the pentagon on 9/11. how do you think that the 9/11 attacks affected the view on u.s. immigration policy? guest: i have a family from libya in this book. they are at about muslim family. i wanted to make sure one of the
2:32 am
families i profiled was muslim. islam is the fastest growing religion in the u.s. right now. immigrants from muslim majority countries are coming. they meet all the other criteria that other immigrants have. aboutis a lot of anxiety -- and misunderstanding of islam as a religion and nervousness about that. 9/11nk in the aftermath of , in these 15 years since, we have seen that. -- trabeen a dramatic umatic experience for many muslim americans. there are many non-muslim americans that are nervous and confused about what it means to be a muslim, and where are your loyalties. i wanted to explore the experience in this country of a
2:33 am
muslim family. everybody who is listening, watching the show now, knows how many issues there have been around extremism and islam and radicalism and religious violence. it is a troubling issue. from ronald is calling in new york on our democratic line. caller: good morning. phraseu used the popular that all men are created equal. in what sense do you mean this? albert einstein was an immigrant to the united states. legally, of course. i have never known anyone beginning to be equal to einstein in any way. have you? guest: you know that is not my
2:34 am
phrase. that is thomas jefferson's phrase. that is in the declaration of independence. as you know also, i don't think even thomas jefferson meant that literally. people -- allow black were not considered equal to other people. that was kind of an idealistic statement or unrealistic statement at the time. i am not sure exactly what thomas jefferson had in mind. it is kind of an ideal we have aspired to. it is an ideal that we would like to leave even though we have not always put it into practice. i think it is an important principle, and it is a principle that this country has been built on. i would say it has taken us 250 years to get to the point where we are actually beginning to put that into practice. i think it is good for the country to have an ideal to
2:35 am
aspire to. this notion that all people are created equal is a pretty good principle to base a country on. tom is calling in from new york on our democratic line. caller: good morning. thank you to c-span. i would say this statement is not true. i believe in immigration. i believe in legal immigration, not illegal immigration. that is the problem we have in our country. we have been flooded by illegal immigration by the hundreds of thousands. have 26 taxpaying americans working for me of all nationalities. illegal aliens came in and under get my prices and put my guys out of work and start my country -- company of work. i cannot survive anymore. they are flourishing. i'm going under. nobody seems to care.
2:36 am
guest: that is a story that certainly resonates with a lot of americans. as i have said over and over, my book is actually about a decision by the american people and american government to open doors wider to allow more people to come in legally. it is entirely about people who are here legally. one of the things i learned in the course of writing this book is that a lot of people who did come legally don't have tremendous sympathy for those who came outside the system. they had to wait in line. i'm sure that some of the people you have employed have those stories. you can take and usually does take years to get your visa approved save connection to come here. you do have to wait in mind that -- line.
2:37 am
i think there is frustration and lack of sympathy over how many people have come here outside the system. i think the feelings you have are ones that even a lot of immigrants would share. i am sorry you have had this experience. that is a difficult thing to go through. i am glad you shared your story with us. host: brian is calling in from washington state on our independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, "washington journal." happy holidays. am calling in regards to my wife and i both have great grandmothers from norway. in the migration and family history. i think that is something people need to remember. it is something you talk around the holiday table.
2:38 am
the upcoming generation gets to learn stories that are passed on as civilizations and cultures do . i will like to ask the guest what his opinion of the migration that is coming from puerto rico due to their financial chaos. 1000 puerto ricans a week, not considered immigrants, but coming to the united states as u.s. citizens with no vetting. this seems to be something that is not being discussed at all. guest: the reason it is not being discussed is because they are not immigrants. puerto rico is not a state, but puerto ricans are u.s. citizens. situationimilar during the depression when people from what was called the
2:39 am
dust bowl in the south were migrating to other parts of the united states, california or example where there were more employment opportunities. you saw the same thing with african-americans migrating to the cities from the south. we are talking about migration from one part of the country to another part of the country the cusp there are different economic opportunities. you are right, puerto ricans are going through a terrible financial system right now, but those people have every right to move to some other part of the country where there are more jobs. do talk about setting -- we not vet people who move from one part of america to another tear it that is their right as americans, to move. i do not see how we can institute some kind of special policy for people from puerto rico who want to move to some
2:40 am
part of the united states to find work. ,ost: all right, tom gjelten thank you so >> "washington jou" continues. host: joining us is ceo of public religion research institute and author of "the end of white christian america," robert jones, here to discuss his book. deals with the politics and social values of our country. thanks for joining us. explain to our viewers what the public religion research institute is. guest: yes, we go by our acronym, prri, but we are a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research organization that specializes in doing mostly public opinion research at this
2:41 am
intersection of culture, religion, and politics. asks ther book question, is it the end of white christian america? what do you mean i white christian america? guest: it may be helpful to start with what i do not mean. i do not mean the end of all white christians in this country, nor do i mean the end of all white christian churches in the country. what i do mean and what the book is really talking about is the cultural shift we have had in the country, and when i use the words white christian america, i mean this really dominant cultural edifice that was built primarily by white protestants in the country, not even by catholics. at the kind ofck stereotype of the cultural center of the country being white, anglo-saxon protestant, this waspy cultural center, that is what i am talking about that we really have seen the end of
2:42 am
as the country has grown more and more diverse. findingsone of the key in the book is that we have already moved from being, just demographically, over the last eight years, we have gone from an majority white christian nation, going back to 2008 when 54% of the country was white and christian, and today that number is 43%. we have crossed this threshold of being a majority white christian nation to a minority white christian nation. at a whiteis looking christian country, saying it is now a minority. 43% of the country is made up of white christians. try 4% nonwhite christians. -- 24% nonwhite christians. 23% unaffiliated. in what ways have we seen a change in the cultural paradigm,
2:43 am
based on the diminishing numbers of white protestants in the united states? ofst: you see the big wedge the religiously unaffiliated, the other end of the story. as the number of white christians has come down, part of that is an immigration story and the changing ethnic composition of the country, but the other part of that is that white christians are disaffiliated, especially young people, from christian churches. that has accelerated this trend. one-quarter of americans claim no religious affiliation whatsoever. if you look at younger people, it is nearly four in 10 young people that claim no religious affiliation today. most of that shift has come from white questions -- christians in the country. host: an excerpt from your book says the american demographic, cultural and religious, is being remade, but while the country is
2:44 am
shifting, racial dynamics alone are a source of apprehension for many white americans. it is the disappearance of white christian america that is driving their strong, sometimes apocalyptic, reactions. host: what do you mean by that? guest: for so long, the and white and christian has been central for what it has meant to be america. after barack obama's reelection, i received this email that had this black and white photo of a white christian family and prayer around the dinner table, and it was a lament about losing white christian culture with the reelection of our first african-american president. for many, barack obama was a
2:45 am
symbol of this changing landscape. the rising number of latinos and people speaking spanish was part of the realization. and many older white christians are looking at their pews, and they see the sea of heads that is more and more gray. more numbers of young people are leaving white christian churches. host: we are with robert jones about his new book, "the end of white christian america or coke republicans can call 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independents, 202-748-8002. the book talks about white christians, but you focus on product is -- you focus on protestants. why leave out catholics? believe it ist leaving them out, but the tribe cultural force has been the world of white prodded to --
2:46 am
white protestants. going back to the mid-20th it wouldin the 1950's, not be unusual to go to a country club and see a sign, or at least in the policies, the people not allowed, african-americans, jews, and catholics. catholics have often been excluded from the story, and only recently have those barriers actually come down. host: ok. and you talked about age a little bit as another sharp difference. prri talks about white christians by age. we look at people over the age of 65. 65% are white christian. down to millennials, the folks between 18 and 29, it is less than one-quarter of them that identify that way. tell us what is happening. guest: i like to look at this chart as an archaeological dig
2:47 am
through generational strata. as you dig down, you see that it is linear. you can draw a line to these generational trends. and that is just a snapshot of americans living today by generations. in ais a big change generations-time. -- and a clue as to why has sent shockwaves through american culture. this happened very quickly. talking about the demographic trend, and the last hour we were talking about the effect of immigration on the country -- is that part of it? is it because fewer people are identifying as christian? is it that there are fewer whites? or is it a combination of both? ofst: it is a combination both. certainly, immigration has been a factor. but that has been flat or even negative over the past few years.
2:48 am
one of the things i talked about a lot is birthrates, so lower birthrates among whites compared to nonwhites in the country. fuelhing that pours on this fire is young people leaving white churches and becoming nothing, becoming religiously unaffiliated. host: robert jones, founding ceo of the public religion research institute, talking about his book, "the end of white christian america." from thousand in oaks, california, on our independent line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call, and happy holidays. i do say happy holidays, because i am neither white or christian. my religion, hinduism, this is really nothing holiday season for us. just something appointed out, because -- just something that i
2:49 am
pointed out, because we had our holiday office party a couple days ago, but our holiday season was a couple months ago. in your book, sir, did you examine the growth of other religions? did you call out religions such as hinduism? it is important in the modern-day context, because a get misidentified as muslim because of the turbine, etc. guest: yes, where you would find in the buddhists, are wedge of other religions in the country. it has been growing and the country over the last few decades. one of the challenges with public opinion research is that in your typical political poll or public opinion poll, it has about 1000 people in it. if you have a group the makes of
2:50 am
1% or 2% of the population, and jews make up 2% of the country, there is never quite enough for analysis. it is one of the real challenges of public opinion research as we have growing numbers but not studies, enough for unless they are specialized studies focusing on that group, which is very expensive here at those are few and far between. but from the holiday party thing, i think it does to the cultural divides we are feeling and the country and defensiveness that many white christians are feeling around this. we put out a poll last week about this very thing. orwe say happy holidays merry christmas? this so-called war on christmas kind of gets revved up every year at this time. it is really about this changing demographic. you're not quite sure whether you can say merry christmas to everyone on the street. we found the country divided
2:51 am
right down the middle on whether, for example, the question was whether store clerks should greet customers with merry christmas or with happy holidays at a respect for those not celebrating holidays at this time. to this, the way it falls out in our politics, is that republicans and democrats ends of theite spectrum. two-thirds of democrats say happy holidays at a respect for those who do not celebrate christmas. of republicans say, no, no, we should say merry christmas. host: talking about the politics of this, as we have often discussed on this show, white protestant made up a big part of the electorate who helped propel presidentialto a victory. at the same time, according to another prri chart, it talks about how the percentage of people who voted for a democratic presidential
2:52 am
candidate over the past several cycles, whereas black protestants were voting as much recent years,t in but on the other end, you have white evangelical protestants who vote less than one-quarter percent of the time in recent elections. guest: that chart has the last several election cycles, and it shows kind of a consistency. it does not change that much from year to year. that is pretty remarkable, given the candidates that have been running have been very different. really is party that provides the stability. the one remarkable thing to me is that, since reagan, if you want a shorthand for understanding the religious landscape in politics, it is that white christian groups tend to lean toward or strongly support republican candidates, and everybody else in the country, nonwhite christians, non-christian religious groups,
2:53 am
religiously unaffiliated lean toward or strongly support democratic candidates. that is the divide we have been living with since reagan, and the democratic party became the party of civil rights. whites in the south went to the republican party, and that is the divide we have been living with all this time. host: we have a call from houston, texas, on our democratic line. caller: praise the lord, and good morning. i am a minister and a person who loves jesus christ, and i do not feel that we should honor anybody else's religion as far as whether we say merry christmas or happy holiday. that part, i do. however, i do want to say that it is laughable about mr. robert jones. clan, --ay few clucks why not say kkk, period? i am in the brown skin, but i am a jew.
2:54 am
i have been part of the kingdom of the living god. you cannot be a real priest and sit up there talking about whites, because color has nothing to do with god. host: let's let mr. jones respond. guest: it is interesting. this kind of theological point, which i hear a fair amount. i appreciate the argument being made. as a social scientist, when you actually look at the behavior of persons in the country, one of the reasons why virtually every social scientist and political scientist that studies the itigious landscape sorts using race and religion is because of the political behavior and beliefs and values veryite christians are different than african-american christians or latino christians are asian-pacific islander christians. one of the interesting pieces of is howrican landscape
2:55 am
very similar beliefs, like african-american protestants and white evangelical protestants share three-quarters of the theological beliefs, like the virgin birth, a literal view of the bible, these kind of things, a literal heaven and hell, are all shared, but when he gets refracted through the experience of race, they go to very different places in terms of public policy. that has been true in the aretry, for those who ministers like the previous caller, noting that difference does raise some interesting and perhaps troubling theological questions. host: at a postelection campaign forum last month, a gop pollster discussed the shrinking the burr of white americans and -- shrinking number of white americans and race overall. [video clip]
2:56 am
of peoplean half being born in the country and younger kids are nonwhite. there will be an incredibly sharp change. we have today the highest number of people born outside the country since 1880. we have the highest number of people speaking a language other than english in literally the last 80 years. i believe america is founded on a principle, and we are stronger because of this incredible influx of new people. every wave of immigration in this country has led to social tension, dislocation, kind of a battle. guess what has been the happy icon over a generation? our country's capacity to assimilate people and to function as a nation. i believe that will happen over
2:57 am
time. we are watching the same dislocation that took place at each different time of these immigration waves. and i think there is a right noe of history, and that is party is going to survive in this country for very long as a white party. if you do not find a way to have some inclusive message and some capacity to motivate people around these divisions, you are not going to survive as a majority party. host: talk a little bit about that in terms of cultural power in america. if this is a shrinking group, isn't it more important to focus more broadly? guest: it is a republican pollster talking, and one of the things i wrote in the book is exactly this point. the republicans themselves in lost, did mitt romney some soul-searching and determined exactly what he is saying here, that unless they
2:58 am
brought in the tent, the long-term future of the party was really at stake. if you go back from the 1990's to the present, republican presidential candidates, whether they win or lose, their coalitions are about 80% white christian voters. net is even as that proportion has been declining. they have been remaining reliant on a shrinking group of voters. democrats have been moving with the times, so bill clinton's coalition in the 1990's was about two-thirds white and christian, but barack obama's in 2012 was only 7%. so this gap between the two parties has become a norm us. enormous.ome i was skeptical that a candidate like donald trump did run a campaign that would double down on white christian voters as a winning strategy. i liken this to kind of a hail mary pass.
2:59 am
it was highly unlikely but occurred. it ishat means is that not a long-term strategy, right? if you win your final football game by throwing a hail mary pass into the end zone and your guy happens to catch it, you do not want to hold onto that as you are playing for the next playoff game. that is a very unlikely strategy for long-term success. calling in from asheville, north carolina, on our republican line. caller: hi, how are you doing? host: great. you are on with robert jones. aller: i just wanted to say kind of unusual viewpoint. i did not endorse donald trump. i really appreciated the christian preacher, martin luther king, jr. i thought it was awesome, his last words in memphis about the coming of the lord, because god
3:00 am
is a god of justice and truth. saying all that, and my one comment is that i really wonder if there is less white christians because they have been monitored, -- mar tyred, and that is what i wonder. it is sad that people have not been taught right about what god is all about. guest: thank you for that comment. i think if you mean literally killed, i do not think we have much evidence for that. what we do have a great amount of evidence for is that young people have essentially been looking to the exits of churches. there are a couple factors. we have asked young people who were raised religious and then left, and most of them leave before the age of 20, so it is a very early decision for those who left, and when we asked why they left, we hear a couple things. iny say they stop believing
3:01 am
the supernatural teachings of the religion, the virgin birth, those kinds of things, the religious teachings of dogma. is other thing that comes up more than one-third of young important that a very reason why they left was because of negative teachings or negative treatment of gay people. among conservative white churches, that has been a point of contention with younger generations that are very supportive of gay rights. host: next is james from mississippi on our independent line., good how are you all doing? host: doing good. , what is yourbert denomination? up in jackson, mississippi, not far from you. i grew up southern baptist.
3:02 am
say thatk, i heard you this particular race is beginning to decline, but isn't that true for most of the denominations, a lot of them are beginning to decline? also, the decline is not necessarily because of the denomination of white, because a lot of the people you are talking about are so tired of the fraud and hypocrisy that goes on in these religious organizations, and a lot of them are just fed up with it. it is not just white, as you say , but there are african-americans, hispanics, you name it. they are tired of being labeled, rather than being filled with
3:03 am
the holy spirit, and the teachings in these churches that the young people are turning away from, what you are saying, into satanism and these other .rganizations they are worshiping all other kind of things, and that is because of the way you are approaching this conversation, talking about white. it is like you are putting racism in it. host: let's give robert jones a chance to respond. guest: thanks for the comment. that thereere is actually are differences. let me be clear that the reasons and most other social scientists, it is not unique to this book -- it is a pretty common practice -- to really look at religious groups by religious affiliation and race in the country is mostly because
3:04 am
they behave on the grounds so differently. you go to api, white church or african-american church, and you see what those people in the church is do. they look really different from one and another, and that is why we study them in different categories. at the macro level, we do see differences here. among asian-american pacific islander churches, latino churches, they are actually growing in this country. we see those standing. african-american churches, over the past few decades, are basically holding their own. general replacement. not growth but not great decline. the really great decline is really among white to moment -- white denominations, both catholic and protestant. host: we are talking with robert jones, founding ceo of the public religion research institute and a columnist for the atlantic.
3:05 am
he is talking about his new book "the end of white christian america." you pointed out, on the issue of younger people, that a lot of factors is driving this, including support for same-sex marriage. putsf the reports in prri the percentage of americans who are white christian versus the percent of americans who favor same-sex marriage, and the two have been reversing course, particularly during the obama administration, whereas, before there were 32% of americans in 2004 who favored same-sex marriage, while nearly 60% identified as white christian. same-sexy 60% support marriage and 43% identified themselves as white christian. guest: the reason why i put those on the same chart is because i think if you want to understand the kind of white
3:06 am
christian anxiety we saw in this chart goescle, that a long way toward explaining it. you think of yourself as , white christian, conservative, these trends are fairly fast and alarming. if you go back to popular in cycles, only four in 10 americans supported same-sex marriage. today that is six in 10 that supported. if you go back to 2008, if you were in service of white christian, you were a majority demographically, and a majority of the country agreed with you on same-sex marriage. today, neither of those things are true. you are no longer a majority of the country, and the majority of the country disagrees with you on this kind of flagship issue for many white evangelical christians, gay marriage, a very symbolic issue.
3:07 am
we talk about the feeling of vertigo for many white christians as to what has happened in the country. ?hat has happened to my country that is the way it comes out too many of them. host: jamie is calling on our democratic line. you are on with robert jones. caller: i am a white christian. like the lady said earlier, i do not see color when it comes to religion and christianity. it is a believe in jesus christ, the lord and savior. and the decline, and is all the millennials and the decline. -- decline has been getting changing as time goes on. for me, i look at mtv and a lot
3:08 am
of the popular media pushing a lot of that. it would take too long to explain. but it is like america was americaon god, and is a melting pot. it is for everybody. the religion, it is like now if you try to voice your religion, it is so serious and hateful in a lot of ways. it is just, i don't understand a lot of people's views. i am a democrat, but i was for donald trump. it was completely based on because i thought he was more for the evangelicals. and i hear the thing about, you know, about the same-sex that y'all are talking about. they think it is so normal and right. if the world was full of same-sex people, it cannot last.
3:09 am
no reproduction. it is a contradiction in itself. i just want to say one thing, that jesus christ is the son of will bow tory knewe him one day. guest: thanks for that, interesting. a democrat from kentucky, evangelical, voted for trump. , but i appreciate the call one thing i hear and that is, you know, i don't understand these changes in the country. i do not like these changes in the country. and that was one of the things that pushed me to trump here at one of the things i have argued, to explain one of the biggest mysteries in the election, was why 81% of white evangelical newrs voted for trump, a high water mark for support for a republican president. he does not really fit this will
3:10 am
-- the so-called values voter. did not really have a history with churches. it was an odd fit. yet, there is the high water mark of the so-called value voters. trump was successful in the sickly converting values voters into what i call nostalgia voters. voters wasgroup of fully looking back, right, make america great again, and the last word was the most powerful part of this, looking back to a valuesen white christian had more control, more prominence in the country, and when things like same-sex marriage and more women in the workplace and civil rights, and all that stuff, that is part of what happened here. trump made this appeal to turn back the clock and kind of turn the tide on many of these
3:11 am
cultural changes that white evangelicals found very uncomfortable. host: let's look and an excerpt from your book that talks about that point. t says -- host: talk a little more about that. sections is in the called the social world of white christian america, describing some texture to it. earlier, you tied some trends
3:12 am
together, and i often say it is a world where you could walk down the street and say merry christmas and not think anything of it. but i think it was a very insular world. it was also a world that was only visible from the inside. if you were white and christian, that is what the world look like. if you were african-american, that is not what the world look like in the 1950's for sure. if you are white, it was a fairly comfortable place to be. as it has been broken down, it has been challenged and dismantled in many ways. it is part of this sense of cultural vertigo that many white evangelicals are feeling now. many of the touch stones are not there. even the ymca is now does going by y, dropping the men's association part of that. the masonic lodge membership has gone way down. but i think it really is this sense of a lost cultural world
3:13 am
and this deep sense of nostalgia that is driving a lot of the anxiety we are seeing in our politics. host: floyd from virginia is on our republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call, c-span. robert, you are really quoting the bible there, because this is the end days that we are living right now. see one-third of god's children following satan, so they are here now. they was born into this. satan is on his way back. toope everybody has a pen write down 1-800-643-645 or go to to learn the truth. host: do you have a question for robert jones? caller: i am commenting. the comment is, i mean, it is
3:14 am
bible, one-third of god's children follow satan. days, now in these last and they are here to follow satan. they are here now. jesus was not born in december. he was born in september. he was conceived in december, for all you abortion people. you are celebrating his conception. and youo that website, can find all this information out. host: let's give robert jones a chance to respond. guest: so the end days, right, the apocalypse, very literally a reference to the apocalypse. i think the reasons why this election felt so divisive is people onn many ways, the conservative side of politics, it did feel kind of apocalyptic. one survey we had before the
3:15 am
election, we asked what people made of these changes. just had, hiswe interpretation of the changes as there literally the end of the world. we ask americans, do you think the american culture and the way of life has changed for the better or for the worse since 1950's? the country is evenly divided, right down the middle. half the country thinks the country is change for the better, and half the country thinks it has changed for the worse. two-thirds of democrats say it has changed for the better. two-thirds of republicans say it has changed for the worst. no group says it has changed for the worst more than white evangelical protestants. three-quarters of them say things have changed for the worst since the 1950's. it really is an interpretation of the end of the world. democrats say, no, no, we are
3:16 am
moving into a golden age maybe and things are getting better in our country. host: talk more about the differences between 2016 and 2012 and the election. romney, you had mitt mormon, and his faith was a big part of his story and his life, and he did not say or do the things we saw donald trump do in did not election, which align with a lot of religious principles, and why he resonated with the folks -- talk about culture and economics, how that plays into this. you did an interview with jennifer region from the washington post, and you said many white even tickle -- even evangelicaly white protestants and white voters, they talked about a lost cultural world.
3:17 am
trump's promise is that if he is elected, the factory gates will reopen. the boards will come down off the storefront windows, the pews will be filled, and america will know their place again. talk about how his message differed so much from governor romney's. to say thatre right -- this is one of the reasons why romney was one of the critical people of trump during the election. scorching speech about donald trump right toward the end of the election, so you could not get more attention than you had between these two people. vote chartok of the and it is not that different. vote fore evangelical mitt romney, donald trump got 81%. i think it goes to the power of partisanship, just how tribal,
3:18 am
many religious groups, particularly those strongly on one side or the other. african-american protestants, being democrat has become part of the identity. for white evangelical, it is part of their identity to be republican. i think the way that donald and no onesed this, is more surprised by this than expected-- he really evangelicals were really going to be the way he beat donald trump. but across the south, donald trump handily beat him. cruz was talking about getting religious exemptions from these gay rights laws, smaller policy things, and trump up was saying that we're going to turn back the clock. he promisedme way to bring back factory jobs in indiana or bring back call
3:19 am
mining jobs to kentucky or build a wall between the u.s. and mexico, he was also making explicit promises when you just evangelical audiences to say i am going to fill the pews again and churches will have more power when i am president. these were very big promises. i do not see any levers for many of them to get done. nonetheless, if you are in that world, a conservative white christian in kentucky, donald trump hit a lot of the points you really care about. even if there is no immediate way to deliver on those points, he was speaking to concerns and anxieties in a way that hillary clinton was never able to do. host: sabrina from tennessee on our independent line, hello. caller: hi, i grew up in the bible belt. i grew up pentecostal.
3:20 am
now i practice my native american ways. i have left the church. the reason why i think a lot of people have left the church is because the church is very judgmental when it comes to people being different. a lot of young people are addicted to drugs and have difficult lives, and the churches are not very understanding when it comes to that. i think that is why the younger people have left the church. but in our country, the white christians have always pretty much had a lot of power in our political system. but i think the reason why everybody rallied behind trump is because our government has become very oppressive. we have a child support system that much takes all of our money. we have the court system that also gets a big chunk of our money. we have our factories closing and going to other countries
3:21 am
because we are too expensive to employ. i think that is what america is tired of. we are tired of having blocks put in our way. being beatenof down with an "i can't" stick. there are so many blocks and the young american's life that we have to overcome just to break even. i think that is why everybody is tired of hillary, and that is why they voted for trump. host: let's get reaction to that. is pain and struggle, and i think that is true. one of the things we saw in some of our data into the election was that the economists were saying we are out of the recession and the economy has recovered, job reports look good, macro indicators that we were not in the great recession of 2008. but when we asked everyday americans whether they thought
3:22 am
we were still in recession or not, 72% of them said yes, we're still in recession. there is a disconnect between macro indicators and what people are feeling on the ground in terms of economics, and that role. a huge there is this economic struggle, and she mentioned drug addiction. one of the things of the sort of white middle america is experiencing that people are just getting their heads around is this opioid addiction that has decimated white working-class communities in the midwest and the south, particularly in rural areas. it has broken up families and marriages. people have lost jobs. even the jobs that were there. so it has been a really tough time economically. and then on top of that, there are these big cultural changes, and it is a pretty volatile mix. she is right. even if people had misgivings about donald trump, they reached
3:23 am
for him as a mechanism for change. something had to change, and maybe he might do it. host: from the book put together by prri show the states were white christians remain dominant, with more than 50% of all the way from the west, from idaho toward most and most of this -- you call this the near south. placesolinas, virginia, where they had a much bigger stronghold in the past are not so much anymore. talk about that. guest: this surprised even me a little bit. what that map is is the density of white christians. the states with higher proportions of white questions are not the deep south. there the upper midwest, all
3:24 am
those states. that map has nothing to do with politics, but if you overlaid the states where donald trump did better than mitt romney did, the biggest movements are in those states. when we did a correlation, we looked to see the correlations between white working-class people in those states and the density of white christians in those states, and a stronger votelation between trump's is the density of white christians in those states. yes, it is class, but it is also culture. the upper midwest and appalachia, and, west virginia, up into pennsylvania, and another one you can lay over that is opioid addiction and death, it would look similar to this. host: we have a call from ohio on our democratic line. caller: good morning.
3:25 am
i am a 68-year-old white woman who was born again at 19 in a pentecostal church. we still believe you must be born again. we also believe that being filled with the spirit is not an option. it is something that god asked us to do, to stay in jerusalem. you can deal with it whatever you want. but i say that the day after the rapture, the churches will be completely packed to far overcapacity. and the reason why we americans have had such a great falling away is because the bible says that we will have a great falling away. ours nobody's fault but own. we have allowed capitalism to be our god when we should have allowed the king, jesus, to be our god.
3:26 am
we followed the good old yankee dollar, instead of following the rules of christ and what we're supposed to do for our neighbor. and yes, sir, i am my neighbor's keeper. it is my responsibility, as a born-again christian, to do whatever it takes to lift up my neighbor. if that means i have to lift him up 10 times, the bible says that i should forgive somebody for an occurrence seven times seven times a day, for the same occurrence. that means i have to have a christlike spirit, not only on sunday when they go to church him and i teach sunday school, or when i take care of the nursery or one ago when on wednesday and teach a class, but that means also when i am at work, when i am at my business, when i am shopping, when i am driving. host: ok, let's give robert a chance to respond. guest: i appreciate the window into your world. one of the things i hear is
3:27 am
multiple touch points with church. sunday or wednesday or doing volunteer activities. this is one of the things that churches have historically done, been a kind of social hub. at the end of the book -- i begin with an obituary for white christian america, but i end it with a eulogy where i am thinking about the meaning and coming to the end of this social world. one of the critical things, one of the things i worry about is that white christian churches and protestant churches have served as points of community. they have been launching pads for all kinds of terrible activities. whereave been places people have been plugged into civic engagement, registering to vote and other kinds of things. one of the things people will have to figure out is that younger people are still less
3:28 am
likely to vote than older people are. , one ofe, historically the ways people have been plugged into civic engagement is through religious institutions. but as fewer young people are plugged into those institutions, how do they get cynically engaged? what are the mechanisms going to be? historically, they have been churches. that is still an open question as to how younger people are going to organize or not to maybe they will not. let's focus on white christian america. is there any way that that focus can be helpful? you talk about civic engagement. there is also civic engagement done through black churches and other groups, islamic groups. is this, in any way, a negative, to focus on just white christian
3:29 am
americans and not faith more broadly? guest: every book has to pick which story to tell. one of the things i wanted to do was to focus on this world, and the reason why is because it had such cultural dominance at one point, really through most of our recent history. itre is a historian who put this way, in the middle of the 20th century, 1940's, if you were in charge of something big and important in america, chances work you were white and male and protestant. that is not the way it looks today. there is the story of the decline of this world and the kind of vacuum it has left in its wake. i think that is where we are in the country. one of the important things it has told is really the source of some of the anxiety we have seen, particularly on the
3:30 am
conservative side of politics, among white evangelical protestants as they feel that loss of power and influence. is there another book to be written amount -- around african-american churches and where they are? there is an explosive growth of latino churches. absolutely, that is going to absolutely shift the landscape. even in places like north carolina -- we do not really think about the latino culture there, but there is a vibrant latino culture there today. host: a call on our republican line for mississippi. good morning. caller: good morning. what i wanted to a dress is it sounds like there is a little bit of bias in your treatment and the ideastians that they are looking for of oldia and the culture
3:31 am
. instead, i think we're looking for a return to values that matter, that last, not just something that used to be a something that ought to be. does that make sense to you? guest: sure. the thing about the book is it really is a database book. there is a lot of evidence base we have not gotten into. at the 1950's question is pretty stark reminder that, yeah, the values that last, values that matter, absolutely -- in some ways, i think that is what everyone in the country is looking for. but what i think has happened, and i say this as a man who is white and christian from mississippi myself, but for many white evangelical christians, those values are embedded in a social time and a social place, and they tend to be embedded accurate looking.
3:32 am
even in the language the caller used, they used the word return. it is not sort of something new but something to go back to. i think it often gets played that way, as a revival, return, backward looking. it is a sort of cultural loss. that is the thing i am trying to hold up to the mirror. cultural is a story of loss for many white evangelical christians, particularly in the south. i think coming to terms with that loss is really what the book is about. host: to what extent is the change attributed to or does it involve race or even racism? you talk about going back to a distant time and a 1950's, pre-civil rights act, before the transformation that the country really had based on race and civil rights. guest: yeah, one of the things i
3:33 am
came away from the book with was centralse of just how race relations and the history of racism in the country have been for political life and our religious life and the country. isost every denomination split over the civil war, for example. southern baptists and the american baptist have still not reconciled. southern baptists are still in the south and american baptists are still in the northeast. that is the civil war divide. it was actually over a missionary, whether a missionary andinted could own slaves, the south said yes and the north said no. that was the divide. in our politics, the way we get the lay of the land between republicans and democrats is essentially the 1955 civil rights act. before that, you can find more democrats in the south. it used to be the solid democratic south.
3:34 am
and then there was the great white switch that happened post-civil rights. the democratic party became the party of civil rights. there was a plan put in place by republicans, the southern strategy, to attract whites using race as a wedge. the structure of our churches and politics is already done up with the history of race in the country. i hope the book puts that on the agenda. host: ok, bill is calling from pennsylvania on our independent line. caller: hello. impact on -- [indiscernible] my question goes with the polls of the young unaffiliated people. did you ask them about their parents and how strong their religious faith is?
3:35 am
are they regular churchgoers? something asked of the young unaffiliated? host: i will let you answer with a few seconds. guest: great question to it we had a report in august called exodus, and we did ask about their parents. it actually is the second thing that makes the difference here. if they say that their parents and when they were raised were not that religious, that is the second most powerful reason why they end up not being affiliated in the next generation. the other two factors are divorce and having two parents of different religions. those are also factors in the next generation being unaffiliated. host: robert jones, author of "the end of white christian america," thank you for joining us today and talking
3:36 am
>> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, linda eldman on her recent article how donald trump is already remaking the presidency. his relationship with the new congress and discusses advisors and cabinet picks. also, author of "shall we wait the president," how decisions can make or break their presidency and why he think's americans should be prepared to handle disasters on their own instead of expecting the federal government to save the day. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern's morning. join the discussion. forces, one of the
3:37 am
things i think the american public very often gets impatient about it because they really believe they have this trump card, this great military that can defeat anyone. but it's not true. it is an extraordinary military. it is very powerful. it can only when in certain situations and it can only really destroy things. it cannot build a new order in his place. >> tonight, on q&a, mark danner talks about his career and the challenges facing the u.s. war on terrorism in his latest book. >> what we don't want to do is respond in such a way that will produce more of these militants, more of these militant organizations. they want us to overreact. they want us to occupy muslim countries so they can build their recruitment. they want us to torture people. do things that's going to allow them to make their case against us. >> tonight at eight eastern on c-span up with -- on c-span's q&a.
3:38 am
>> sunday, january 1, in depth will feature a live discussion on the presidency of barack obama. we're taking your phone calls, tweets, e mills and facebook questions during the program. , authorres april ryan of "the presidency, black and white." and david marinus, author of "barack obama, the story." on c-span 2. >> now, christmas at the white house. whitew you the official house christmas tree arrival, followed by this year's holiday decorations. by first ladyed
3:39 am
michelle obama joining the children of military families for christmas crafts. ater that, the first family the national christmas tree lighting ceremony on the national mall. all of these events took place just after thanksgiving. ♪ ♪
3:40 am
[[ "oh christmas tree, o christmas " playing]uot ♪ >> what do you think? >> it's great. >>


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on