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tv   Road to the White House 2020 Sen. Cory Booker in Selma Alabama  CSPAN  March 4, 2019 12:41pm-1:18pm EST

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these buildings down our -- [indiscernible] rank thee historians .est and worst historians true stories with notable presidential historians. published by public affairs, c-span's the president's will be on shelves soon, but you can today, orur e-book wherever books are sold. >> presidential candidate cory booker spoke at a church service yesterday in soma, alabama to commemorate the 1965 civil rights demonstration known as bloody sunday.
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sen. booker: all right. all right. all right. thank you, thank you. hoping there will be no math quizzes. i was not prepared, i did not study. we have a gathering here today, and i want to give honor to god and to give my life andhtto bishop c. wrig, give honor to all of the reference clergy here, and give a special nod to the reverend jesse jackson, not because he is a reverend, but he is the first person i ever voted for. [applause] sen. booker: i was 18 years old in 1988.
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football player and i cast the first vote of my life to the man on my left, and i want to thank him for being a trailblazer in my life. i want to give my love to my sister, peaceful warrior for justice, the great congresswoman in which district i stand. if i didld be remiss not point out one of my best partners, sheila jackson lee in, who just joined us -- sheila jackson lee, who just joined us. stand up, congresswoman. thank you very much. want to give honor -- i want to give honor to my friend sherrod brown. and very quickly, i want you all many years, ior
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have felt a deep sense of gratitude that this has been a leader, when they were first lady, they did not just say they loved kids, but thought to expand children's health care, and which he was a senator from a neighboring state, she stood up for farmers and factory responders who fearlessly went to 9/11, she was a leader. i am thankful for that. i am thankful for when she was secretary of state, she went around planet earth, standing in the faces of dictators and tyrants, suppressing the rights of women, and said women's rights are human rights. [applause] sen. booker: she brought peace to conflict and banished diseases with strategic investment. i want to say today, what i am thankful for is she is my friend. would you give another round of
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applause. now, i'm excited to be here. she got more votes. [laughter] mr. hickenlooper: -- sen. booker: she got more votes. the reverend wants to remind me. forget andd never tries to educate young folks. he sent to me last week a document on the electoral college being a legacy of and the compromises that were made, maybe we need to address that, too. i am here to talk tonight about the blessing of this church in my life. i will explain that in a minute, that i am here almost quite literally because of something that happened in this church and on that bridge, but i will get to that in a second. i don't want anyone to forget that it was a young man who was shot and beaten following a
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non-violent protest, while trying to protect his mother and his grandfather. the young man spent days clinging to his like in the only hospital that would treat a young, black man, good samaritan hospital, and he died 54 years ago. figure 26,is date, 1965 -- february 26, 1965. i forgot pastor strong here. he extended to me the hand of friendship and kindness, and asked me to not only give words, but to come give a sermon. his kindness makes me have to give him that i have to make sure that i will be speaking from an battle verse.
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i will make it plain, my brother. so, it was jimmy lee jackson, life and death, and the underlying conditions of our society in this country that sparked the ignition point for the march we come here to recognize. we need to say the name. we need to say the name of jimmy lee jackson. is that bible verse we know so purposeful because we are here for the time when we still face underlying conditions that steel the lives and contribute to the deaths of many of our children. right here and right now from selma where children and young where we mourn the
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death from newark to new orleans. when the conditions are morally unacceptable. were too many young people are dying, where dreams are being slaughtered, where a community must respond. churchright here in this , jimmy lee jackson's casket was held open. when the community came together, not just to mourn moment they answered the question from that bible verse, that was spoken when joseph's brother saw him approaching, the dream interpreter, the code of many colors, and his brother spoke those words when they grabbed him and threw him into a --l, and that bible verse is let us slay him and see what
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becomes of his dream. it was this church had answered the call and estate's community with a defiant love that said, we will answer what will become of the drinker we will not allow morallys to be maladjusted. we will not allow ourselves to be corrupted by an unacceptable culture. this search here you that you cannot play right and do wrong. this church knew before you even speak to me about your religion, you got to show it to me and how you treat folk. church that did not show the shame of indifference that was shown to a man beaten and left by the side of the road by a priest. thatchurch showed the love
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understood that we are gathered for a purpose. i want to remind you that this church gathered in the sanctuary at a time when they were making it illegal for black folks together together. and even though it was illegal, on the day of the march, folks gathered here, understanding that when two or three are gathered in his name, he is in their midst. unity is that in that strength. in the midst of raging hate, you can still form a sanctuary of love, you can still form a beloved community that gathers together as a testimony. -- that true demolition the true definition of hope is not allow despair to ever have the last word.
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together in unity, they began in march across a bridge, together encouraged, together in faith, together in a love that was not a feeling, but a verb, that demanded sacrifice and action. they marched together across that bridge. history.marched into i want to take a step back and let you know that we are here because of that stubborn defiant love. we are here -- i was one of those young boys growing up, parents got upset walking around like i had somehow burned the privilege -- somehow earned the privilege of their time. he said, you were born on thursday, my parents brought me and mying i owed a debt, dad said you have more degrees
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in the month of july, but you ain't hot. [applause] [laughter] aboutooker: life is not the degrees you get, but the service you give. we may be the fruits, but we cannot forget the roots. my roots go back to slavery. and rose up from poverty and segregation. churches,rough black through civil rights organizations, through hbcu's. roots rose up. in the 1960's, even when my parents try to abide up their house, they were told by the real estate agents when they showed up and saw it was a black family looking for a home and a
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white neighborhood, they were told the house was sold pulled off the market. i parents to me when i was sitting around the kitchen table, boy, you have to remember the struggles. it was the grace of god, but something deeper. the grace we show each other. loves the decency and this we showed one another. my family looks for places to live and they were denied housing because of the color of their skin, but they found a group of americans who were meeting in a living room in new jersey, who said to themselves, we may not be able to stop all the hate and bigotry in this world, but we will do something about it, and they bound together. a white couple would find out that the house was still for sale. , 133ouse i grew up with
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normal road in new jersey. parents said -- my parents said the house was sold, but the white couple found out it was still for sale. on the day they close, the white couple did not show up, but my father did and they marched into that real estate's office. up any punches my dad's lawyer in the face, and sticks a dog on my dad, and when i was growing up, every time my dad would tell the story, the dog would get bigger. [laughter] sen. booker: eventually, i was a teenager getting ready to go off to college, and my dad said, boy, you better appreciate what you have because i had to fight a pack of wolves to get you into this house. [laughter]
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here, notr: we're all because of individual action. i am not discounting the truth that we have had some heroic individual actions. we have had incredible examples of self-reliance and rugged individuals, and i honor those themes in our country evidenced by countenance -- countless of millions of individuals. rugged individuals did not beat jim crow, beat the not seize, we did these things together. small groups of people getting together saying, i will not wait for washington. we will bring the change to our community. the denial of women to have the right to vote because a bunch of men in washington said, hey, fellas, it is about time those women had a right to vote. no. we deny get voting rights inause of budget people
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washington said it is time for those negro people should get the right to vote. powerick douglass says can be nothing without a demand. we are here because of that grace. double loved community of people -- the beloved community of people, to pull out seeds -- two seeds of lovew with sweat. ofare here today because that sacrifice. indulge in a moral amnesia. and in this day and age, forget
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that we honor history, not by just reciting it, you honor history by emulating and letting it challenge you and demand from you that you show the lessons you have learned. to honor theher sacrifices today, but we also know the only way we can honor the work that was done before us is recommitting ourselves to it, and i will tell you what, the challenge we face, people want to make it just about the people behind the offices of the land, people who traffic in hatred, people and offices who cannot even condemn white supremacists. people want to point fingers and forget the lesson of king, that what we must repent for is not just the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. that it isdy said
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violence, the violent of indifference and inaction is what threatens our country. we have become a nation that is , toadjusted to injustice contend the suffering of our death neighbors, a nation that is divided against ourselves, or people have common ideals and common pain have lost the sense of common purpose. we have politics now that pits americans against americans. we failed to honor the creed of our country, this ideal of -- we failed to honor the declaration of independence that we must pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our depth sacred honors. we are failing today to follow in the footsteps of the foot
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soldiers who brought us thus far on the way, and called us to , fromvery voice and thank the sanctuary, began to form a more beloved community. the dream is under attack. the dreamers are in danger. and we need each other more than we realize in this country we have one nation and one destiny. the dream is under attack. the dream is endangered. the dream is endangered when we have a nation where we are the on thet industrial power globe, but now they're leading our industrial piers and the lowest of life expectancy. opioid addiction and suicide are pointing to a moral pain in this country. the drink is in danger. -- theeen is in danger
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dream is in danger. the dream is in danger when the violence of poverty proliferates. when the richest nation has one out of every five children living in poverty. the dream is in danger when every day people are putting aside life-saving drugs, one in five americans, because they cannot afford it. the dream is in danger when children all over this land are being poisoned by what is in the water in the neighboring county with neglected tropical diseases, where we have millions of children who find it easier to find unleaded gasoline than unleaded water. the dream is in danger when this nation has a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent.
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the criminal justice system tortures children by putting them in solitary confinement, shackles pregnant women, locks people up for something that two of the last three presidents admitted to doing. [applause] the dream is in danger when we have a nation that pays teachers poverty wages. the dream is in danger when we can fund the greatest war machine on the planet earth, but when our soldiers come home they have inadequate health care and their suicide rates speak to a poverty of priorities. the dream is in danger when it is easy for criminals to get our -- get their hands on guns because we do not pass commonsense gun safety laws in our country. [applause] senator booker: behold, here cometh the dreamer. let us slay him and see what becomes of his dreams.
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the answer to the demand of the dream is the foot soldiers of history, many of whom are in this room. the answer is we are called to love each other again, to have a more courageous empathy in this country. the answer is to understand that patriotism is love of country, and you cannot love your country unless you love your fellow countrymen and women. [applause] we now are called to understand the spiritual cords that ties together are stronger than the lines that divide us. to remember the lesson of our lives. i said i was here directly because of those marchers.
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this is what i mean. i went to go back when i was a senator to find those people who helped my family moved into a home. i found the head of the fair housing counsel easily because still still ahead of -- the head of the fair housing council now. she is 92 years old. now she represents same-sex couples, muslim americans, americans with disabilities. because for her, justice has no color, race, or religion. she confirmed facts of the story i needed to know. was it a pack of wolves or a dog? i needed to know. [laughter] she sent me to the lawyer who organized the other lawyers was a businessman when he started organizing. now he was a retired new jersey judge, 84 years old. as a young man in the 1960's, he had just started a business. he was struggling to support a new family. i wanted to know why this man
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would help black families moving into new jersey. what he told me knocked me over. he said, "i remember the moment i made the decision." i said, what do you mean the moment? he said "i was sitting on a couch in new jersey watching tv and there was a movie called "judgment at nuremberg."" this was one we had three channels, y'all. [laughter] they would go off at 11:00 p.m. and then they suddenly had breaking news. it was 1965. we have breaking news all the time now. melania has a jacket, breaking news. [laughter] but back then, it was a rare thing. they broke away from an ongoing movie to show a bridge in alabama. and he said he watched the news
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as these marchers left a sacred sanctuary and went to march across that bridge. he said he watched them as they were confronted by alabama state troopers. the marchers were going to kneel and pray but they did not get a chance. i know they were going to kneel and pray, because i talked with some of the foot soldiers, my heroes. john lewis told me they were going to kneel and pray. just as they went to pray, they get gassed, tear gas shot at them. they get stormed at with billy clubs beating them viciously. this man on the couch in new jersey is horrified by what he sees. he thinks to himself, "i should go to alabama," but realizes he cannot leave his new business. he cannot even afford a plane ticket. but he did not give up. he knew that this was not the beloved community our country is called to be. he knew that he pledged an oath
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to liberty and justice for all that demanded more from him than just work. -- just words. knowing he could not go to alabama, he decided to get up right there and say to himself "i'm going to do the best i can with what i have, where i am." he gets on the phone and starts calling around for who might need an hour of legal work you could spare. he found a woman named lee porter who needed help. they started working together to represent black families. four years later, he gets a case file with two names on it. my parents. they went to work moving my family into the home i grew up in. i'm going to tell you right now, i would not be here if it was not for marchers on the bridge who inspired a man 1000 miles away in new jersey -- [applause] senator booker: who then went on and changed the outcome for a generation not yet born.
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[applause] we are connected to each other. we are tied in one destiny. you are not alone in your fight. when you stand up for justice, when you stand up for truth, when you stand up for love. and that is where i want to end. behold, here cometh the dreamer. let us slay him. jimmie lee jackson, february 26, 54 years ago. trayvon martin died on february 26, just seven years ago. we are here in selma with gun violence, children are dying. from new orleans to newark,
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behold, here cometh the dreamer. this is a moral moment in america. the very idea of our country, people are losing faith. it is a moral moment in america. people are feeling like the forces tearing us apart are stronger than those that bring us together. this is a moral moment in america. here cometh the dreamer. it is time for us to defend the dream. as langston hughes said, to save the dream for one, we must save the dream for all. it is time that we dare to dream again in america. the dream that we can be a country that every child has clean water and clean air, great public schools with
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professionals who are well-paid. it is time that we dream bigger dreams in america that health care is a right, that poverty is a wrong, and where the days of our children dying from gun violence are long gone. we have got to dream bigger dreams again in america where we don't lead the world in incarceration, but in job creation and higher education. we must dream bigger dreams again in america that we can banish bigotry and heal hate. and that we will elect leaders that know the only way to unite people. that is what it takes to make america great. i know in my heart that love still thrives in this nation. i know in my bones that we are still a nation that has the capacity for grace in our civic spaces. i know we are here in a church and we are not alone.
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all across this country, people still are dreaming that america can work for their families and children and seniors. but it is up to us to do the work it takes to make the dream real. and so i call upon everyone, not just to say the words "liberty and justice for all," but make the sacrifice necessary to make it real. not to say we are a nation of equal justice under the law, but to make the sacrifice to make it real because our politics can be a place where joining together in a civic space, we can have our children joining together. black children, white children, brown children singing the song of our nation. "oh say can you see" that we are finally a nation where everyone can be free. thank you. god bless you now. [applause]
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] week, the house will continue debate on hr one, a bill to make changes to voting rights, campaign-finance, and ethics rules. elijah cummings and jim jordan are the chair and ranking member of the house oversight committee. they held a hearing on what is in the 600 page bill. we will show you the hearing tonight at 9:00. let me come to you. hr one'sn support of investigative mandate for oge? you are in the job. i prefer said publicly to see an inspector general that
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has global authority over every agency that does not have an inspector general and have a supplemental ethics authority upon referral to oge. that is a proposal i have presented to the former chairman and a current chairman. i support the current bill because i do not think -- >> it has investigative authority. let me tell you i am concerned. you came before my committee and gave sworn testimony which is exactly the opposite of hr one. here you are today espousing its merits. i cannot find why all of a sudden you have a newfound interest to have investigative authority if it were not directed at the current president. >> i have two statements. i do not think it creates the kind of investigative authority that an inspector general does. i do not think all investigative authority is equal. >> i agree with that.
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>> it does create some. my views have changed. would not apply only to this president. >> it is not my first rodeo. i find it extremely hypocritical that you would come here having sworn under oath this was not the way to go when there was a different president in the white house and here today and followed it with a letter. we have numerous quotes from you over again undermining hr one. here you are today supporting it. how do you have this evolution in a short time? >> i was telling the truth then and now. let's be clear. i did disagree with the idea of investigative authority then. i have now sat for two years -- >> so you for wrong back then?
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i was suggesting you should have investigative -- let me quote you. >> i recall. >> i said, you do not want the authority to be able to investigate? no, i don't think so. i said you don't want it? well, i don't think we should have it. what i might want one way or another is not relevant. ". all of a sudden, you are having an epiphany. itit is not all of a sudden, is after watching for two years somebody proved to me the executive branch ethics program is much weaker and more fragile than i thought it was. i was naive. i never imagined the president could come and refuse to eliminate his conflict of interest, have appointees who are disinterested in government, and with all respect, have a congress refused to exercise
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oversight in that respect. in the absence of other avenues, i now believe the office of government ethics will have to fill the gap. the points precisely i made in 2015. you disagreed. i yield. >> you are right. >> thank you very much. [laughter] >> we can agree on that. >> you can watch the entire hearing on hr one tonight at 9:00 eastern and follow the debate on the house floor this week on c-span. the c-span bus recently traveled to texas asking folks, what does it mean to be american? anyoneeans you can be and anything. you have the freedom to express yourself and the freedom to embrace your culture and show
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off your culture because america truly is a melting pot. we are part of a community. ,t is nice to share values respect, freedoms we share, amazing things. i think we are lucky. education in the states is amazing. i see foreign exchange students coming here because we are fortunate. we are fortunate people. americanself, being an is being a free person and taking an active part in trying to better the country and not thinking of it as a perfect nation. always go on a mission to try to make it better. >> voices from the road on
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c-span. ♪ today, russia's ambassador will be speaking at this it's and centre in washington, d.c.. live at 3:00 on c-span. later on, homeland secretary -- the homeland security secretary will testify on border security. wednesday morning at 10:00 live on c-span3. watch online at or listen on the c-span radio app. ♪ this week on q&a, u.s. army veteran eileen rivers discusses her book "beyond the call: three women on the front lines in afghanistan."


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