tv Firing Line With Margaret Hoover PBS December 7, 2018 11:00pm-12:01am PST
the expedition team sets its sights on exploring the second deck of the arizona. seymour: working inside the arizona is obviously a very sensitive issue with the loss of life there, and people always ask about human remains and the people that lost their lives in the arizona. narrator: due to the sediment accumulation over 75 years, the national park service doesn't believe they'll observe any human remains inside the ship. seymour: we want to pan and fly left. pilot: so keep left, then? seymour: yeah, keep going left. the wall right in front of us, we want to follow that. narrator: as these rovs drag their tethers behind, their reach is limited. pawlowski: you can't travel all that far into the vessel, because you need to be able to turn around and come back out, it might get snagged as you go around a corner, you know, all sorts of different things can happen once you're in the ship. seymour: okay, so go forward here.
go down that, go that way. pilot: oh, you want me to the right? seymour: go, no, go right, straight. pilot: okay, great. [radio chatter] seymour: yeah, so, go, you want to go left. narrator: the rov enters the area where the officers lived. seymour: we can go through there. what have we got there? narrator: the officers wardroom on the starboard side of the vessel. pilot: we're going to move pretty slowly in here. we're trying to not stir up too much. narrator: the wall cabinet with soap dishes.
seymour: that's pretty cool. stratton: that is something, that's really, really something. seymour: the soap dish looks white, so it must be a porcelain. in the past, we've seen that cups, things that are porcelain in nature, don't collect marine growth. they stay white. narrator: everything the way it was left on the morning of december 7th. seymour: cool. and you can see in this particular cabin, the sink looks like it's on the floor because of the high sediment load. pawlowski: so this is another way to allow the survivors to remember what it was like... ...to see what their shipmates endured, and to strengthen that bond. stratton: it sure brings back a lot of memories. ♪
narrator: with the custom-built rov still not ready, don will miss the exploration of the deeper decks. stratton: a bulb. seymour: a lightbulb. stratton: a lightbulb. narrator: but for him, just this first look inside has brought his old home back to life. stratton: the phone was there on the desk, and the lightbulb was in the socket. just kind of eerie. who'd ever think that you'd see something like that 75 years later? ♪ narrator: by the end of the japanese attack on pearl harbor, 21 us ships have been sunk or damaged. 2,403 people are killed,
1,177 on the arizona alone. the fires on the ship rage for more than two days. cale: we were in blackout conditions in those days. nobody could have any lights on their houses or anything. the only light you could see on the whole island was the burning of the arizona. ♪ narrator: after the fire subsides, seaman sterling cale is assigned to lead a group of ten sailors to recover bodies from the wreckage. cale: i think about the first thing we saw in the arizona was a bunch of ashes blowing off of the ship. and so i just sort of sank down on my coat and shed a few tears.
we saw a bunch of helmet liners lying across the ship. nobody around close to them. many of the men were in ashes behind the big guns on the ship. a lot of the men had burned right down to the deck. we also found a bunch in the aft fire control tower that got caught by the flames. they had been reduced to charcoal. narrator: after the recovery of more than 200 bodies, the navy is forced to stop the retrieval effort because of increasingly dangerous conditions. salvage of the ship's superstructure above the waterline continues for another year.
the decision is made to leave the arizona where it lays, creating a lasting memorial to the fallen that remain entombed in the ship. ♪ now, 75 years later, the expedition team has a chance to see inside the ship like never before. it appears their new rov is finally operating as expected. kovacs: it works, it's just a question of whether or not it'll, it'll work flawlessly, you know, the first time going in the wreck. [radio chatter] seymour: so basically what we'll do is we'll drop the rov down and we'll investigate the second deck and find access points or stairwells or hatches that go down and drop the rov down in the third deck. below the second deck, onto the third deck,
we get into an area that we don't really know what's there. [radio chatter] narrator: the rov enters the arizona's second deck at the stern of the ship. seymour: go to the right... and down. nice. oohh. aw! that was awesome. we're in. [rov whirring] kovacs: ten feet? pilot: ten feet. kovacs: give us ten feet of tether, please, ten feet. narrator: this area, known as officers' country, was not impacted by the blast. seymour: could we go forward and left? pilot: okay. narrator: here, much of the ship's structure
has remained intact. it's the world ensign weeden documented with his home movies just a few months before the attack. ♪ ♪ [rov whirring] the crew carefully maneuvers the rov from the stern of the ship towards the cabins on the left side. pilot: get me ten more feet. kovacs: can we get ten feet of tether? ten feet, give us ten feet, please. narrator: entering the ship's ladies' room, for the guests of the ranking officers.
♪ seymour: that is amazing, wow. ♪ let's go to the left, pilot out and maybe make a hard turn. ♪ so let's go through there. narrator: the admiral's cabin, the splendor still visible. seymour: that is awesome. narrator: the ghostly outline of a table. seymour: that's very cool. pawlowski: what do we have going here? seymour: we're just flying over that table that we see from that open porthole... pawlowski: right. seymour: ...with the light fixture, and we're moving towards the aft of the ship, towards this cabinet back here. narrator: in august of 1941, ensign weeden writes to his sister...
weeden: "things have been really great, for we ate dinner with the admiral and showed the girls the ship. the girl i escorted is the cutest. so, bernadine, everything is turning out swell now. don't you worry, for i am on one of the safest ships afloat." ♪ pilot: i need another five feet of tether. kovacs: five more feet, please, give us five feet. narrator: with fresh, oxygen-rich seawater constantly flowing through, all but the most durable traces of life on board have deteriorated on the second deck. but deeper down in the ship, conditions might be different. [rov whirring] seymour: really, the push is to get below the second deck. because we think the third deck holds the key
to the environment of arizona, information about the microbiological environment, about the dissolved oxygen. we think the third deck really holds the keys to a lot of those questions. narrator: searching for a passage to the third deck, the team steers the rov forward, closer to the blast area where the wreckage is torn open, in hope to find a way down to the third deck. seymour: i'd like to see if we can get forward a little bit and start to look at where the blast damage starts to occur. narrator: the blast zone is a startling reminder of the power of the explosion. with the decks collapsed, it is difficult to maneuver the rov here. seymour: so let's see, let's see if it goes down, and we can penetrate down in, you know, in below decks. pilot: yeah, looks like there is an opening there, but... seymour: there is, but it looks like... pilot: we can go look down there and see if it's an opening,
not go too far. seymour: okay, okay. pilot: and if not, we'll back out. narrator: they can see the third deck, but there is no safe passage to get there. [rov whirring] seymour: if an rov goes inside the arizona and gets hopelessly entangled, then the rov will stay there forever, we'll never send divers in to go get it. so, there's that to consider in terms of how far you explore, how far you push the edge of what you need to access. pilot: there we go. seymour: alright, okay. pilot: that did it. seymour: alright. pilot: that's good. kovacs: we are heading out, so, as soon as you see us, go ahead and extract us, but we're gonna continue driving. narrator: after investigating the wreckage for more than three hours, the team decides to call it a day and to pull the rov back out. ♪ tomorrow they will look for a better access point down to the third deck.
it won't be easy. ♪ resting at the bottom of the harbor, the wreckage is still a behemoth-- 608 feet long and 97 feet wide. ♪ when launched in june of 1915, she was the us navy's biggest battleship. a so-called super-dreadnought-- a class of its own. constructed over six decks, the arizona was a labyrinth of compartments-- crew quarters... storage rooms... boiler rooms... powder magazines... and dozens of fuel compartments.
♪ with a displacement of over 35,000 tons, she would be able to reach a top speed of 20 knots and have a range of 8,500 miles. stratton: i didn't really know what to expect, but nobody can imagine how big a ship is out of water like that. narrator: with the war looming, the battleship was overhauled in the winter of 1940. stratton: they put it in dry dock, and we went over the side and scraped the side and scraped the bottom and painted it, and that was quite an experience, i'll tell you. ♪ ♪ seymour: with your first few dives on the arizona you're actually kind of struggling to figure out
where you are. it's a tangled disarray of metal and iron and steel. narrator: with the new day comes another attempt to explore deeper inside the sunken giant. man on radio: okay, copy that. seymour: i mean, it's the uss arizona. it deserves everything that we can do to try to understand what's happening to what's there, so that we, you know, we can have it last for future generations. ♪ narrator: the divers have identified a hatch on the second deck, which the team believes will lead them down to the third deck. [radio chatter] seymour: if we move left, we should run into the hatch. [rov whirring] narrator: the hatch appears to be unobstructed. seymour: so let's go in and take a look and see what we see here. narrator: but steering the rov down to the lower deck
is a challenge. seymour: it's dark, i mean, there's no light inside the ship, it's complete black. so the only light that you have is light that's on the rov itself. ♪ we're in, awesome. [rov whirring] narrator: here on the third deck, the environment looks much different. ♪ they begin their search for evidence of the lives of those who once served here. seymour: if we're navigating down a hallway, and there's a door, that becomes a judgment call. is it large enough for the rov to fit through? and if it fits through, do we think we can turn around the rov
on the other side of that door and fly it back out? pawlowski: oh, wow. narrator: a cabin nobody has seen for 75 years. pawlowski: is that like a footlocker there? seymour: it looks like some kind of square, doesn't it? narrator: completely undisturbed. everything still in its place. ♪ [rov whirring] a bed as it was left on the morning of the attack. ♪ they travel on, deeper into the ship, entering another cabin. seymour: kind of want to peer... kovacs: peer around it. seymour: like, you want to peer around the side of the monitor to get a better view. [radio chatter] it's angled, so it looks like we're at the hull.
so, come back up. pilot: yeah, i have no vertical. seymour: you have no vertical? whoa. what's that? hang on, stop spooling. pilot: hold on. seymour: what is that? pilot: i'm trying to hold it there. seymour: it's a button of some type. kovacs: that's a hat. seymour: no way. kovacs: totally, absolutely. look, it had a strap. man: yeah. seymour: you're right. narrator: it's like opening a time capsule. seymour: that has to tell us, you know, about the interior condition. this must not have oxygen, i mean, it must be really low on oxygen. narrator: low oxygen concentration slows the decomposition of organic matter. [rov whirring]
seymour: it's like--what is it? it looks like it's cloth, metal? no. kovacs: no. seymour: no, it's... kovacs: wow, look at that. seymour: it's a jacket! pawlowski: are you kidding me? seymour: oh, my word. narrator: a complete uniform. seymour: look at that! kovacs: it's got like a vest or pants. seymour: pants or something in it. pawlowski: unbelievable. seymour: that is amazing. it's suspended, hanging there. kovacs: for 75 years just hanging there perfect. i mean, it looks like it's pressed. narrator: it's an unexpected find. a reminder of the men who lived and died here, and of the world ensign weeden documented with his camera in 1941. ♪ while there is still much left to be explored,
the crew ends the day with a feeling of success. seymour: you're staring at somebody's suit. it's been there for 75 years, and it's, i mean, it's hanging on a hanger in an officer's cabin. i mean, it's... i mean, it's hard to... it's hard to be kind of objective about science when you're staring face to face on a uniform that's been there for 75 years on the uss arizona. it's, it's pretty... it's pretty remarkable, actually. it's unbelievable. ♪ narrator: 1,511 crewmen served on board the uss arizona on the morning of december 7, 1941. ♪
only a few survived. 1,177 men died in the explosion and ensuing fires. ensign weeden... was one of them. woods: it was a sunday, and my mother was setting the table, and the doorbell rang, and she went to answer the door, and it was the neighbor. and she just said, "bernadine, turn on your radio, hawaii's under attack." and that's how they found out. narrator: he had big dreams. woods: his goal was to have his own ship. he had a mission; he knew what he wanted to do. and his ultimate goal was to be admiral of the navy.
narrator: ensign weeden's body was never found. but now, at last, his family can see the world the young officer lived in. the devastating attack united a nation. newsreel announcer: in the explosions at pearl harbor, there was forged the will for complete and absolute victory over the forces of evil. roosevelt: with confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us god. [applause] ♪ narrator: one day after the attack the united states declares war against japan,
and subsequently against the empire's european allies, too. ♪ today, japan and the united states are allies. [officer shouts command] japan's navy pays their respects to the departed at the national memorial cemetery of the pacific on oahu. the war that cost the lives of over 400,000 us servicemen has faded into history. ♪ seymour: the arizona offers us an opportunity to keep history alive. we want people to understand that this was a living, breathing ship. this was manned by people who lost their lives in a blink.
announcer: pearl harbor: into the arizona is available on dvd. to order, visit shoppbs.org or call 1-800-play-pbs. this program is also available for download on itunes. ♪ announcer: this program was made possible in part by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ 1-2-3-4-5 [guitar riff] maya rudolph: i'm always searching to feel like i fit into something. woman: we are the people that we are because of our pasts. ♪ they said it's complicated ♪ they said we'd never make it ♪ this far ♪ but we are. man: i'm just one of many who stopped being silent. ♪ they said the fight would break us ♪
♪ but the struggle helped to make ♪ ♪ who we are. keenen ivory wayans: it's just proof of how far we have come. ♪ who we are. barack obama: make sure in all the hustle and bustle we don't lose sight of why we're here. man: it all boils down to communicating the lives we live. ♪ who we are. man: if you look closely, they've got a story to tell. man: it connects with you in a very deep way. don cornelius: we wish you love, peace and soul. man: come with us on this great adventure. your favorite pbs shows ready to watch, when you are anytime, any place find more ways to explore than ever before at pbs.org slash anywhere
>> what does i it mean to be a civil-rights leader in the age of twitter and trump? deray mckesson joins me this week on "firing line." ♪ >> "firing line with margaret hoover" is made possible by... corporate funding is provided by... >> only 33 years old, deray mckesson is one of the country's leading civil-rights activists. savvy and unrelenting, he has leveraged social media to bring
attention to systemic injustices in america. in 2014, mckesson was a school administrator in minneapolis when protests broke out in ferguson, missouri, following the fatal police shooting of michael brown. he quickly gained prominence as one of the very first activists to formally associate himself with the black lives matter movement. mckesson's mix of commentary and reportage on twitter placed him in the vanguard of social-media activism. later, he founded campaign zero, an organization dedicated to ending police violence in america and moved back to his hometown of baltimore, where he ran for mayor. according to his twitter profile, mckesson is currently based in wakanda. an accidental fashion icon, his signature blue vest has its own twitter account. he is the host of the podcast "pod save the people" and author of the new book "on the other side of freedom: the case for hope." deray mckesson, welcome to "firing line." >> it's good to be here. >> thank you very much for being here. i loved your book. and you talk about, in the beginning, how twitter saved your life when you were in
ferguson. can you tell us how? >> i think for so many people -- and i write about this -- if not for twitter, the people of missouri -- the legislators, the police, for sure -- would have tried to convince you that we didn't exist. you know, people forget that in the early months -- in august, september, and october -- it was illegal to stand still, that if we stood still for more than five seconds, we were arrested. we remember that, but it was twitter that helped us tell the world what was actually happening. >> it really created this new way of mobilizing and organizing people. >> and you think, too, about, back then, the media wasn't asking tough questions of the police. it just wasn't happening. so i think about my hometown of baltimore. we see the baltimore sun pressing the baltimore city police department, there are all of these articles, all these questions. in 2014, that wasn't happening in baltimore. it wasn't happening in st. louis. it wasn't happening in cities across the country. we were the people doing that, using social media. but i'm not naive to the other side of it, right? so the first person ever permanently banned from twitter was banned for trying to raise money to get me killed. so i'm sensitive to those issues, too.
but on the whole, it really helped us build a community that could actually enact real change and press issues that otherwise wouldn't get any play. >> i read your book. i have a lot of questions for you and your book. so, first, i'd love to define some terms. and one of the things you talk about in the beginning is equality versus equity. >> yeah, yeah. >> can you define both terms? >> yeah, so, we think about equality is everybody gets the same thing. equity is that people get what they need and deserve. so when we think about school system funding, we know that it costs more to teach kids in poverty, to teach special-needs kids. so we're not asking for equal funding -- we're asking for equitable funding. >> is that only in the context of education? >> no, it's in general, but that's, like, an easy example for people to understand. so we think about equity with regard to the police, for instance. if you think about the latest stats in new york city, it's that 86% of the people arrested for marijuana were black or latino. that is -- nothing about that is equitable, so the idea of equity and equality, the difference between the two, is important across a host of things. i use the education just 'cause
it's, like, an easier lens for people. >> well, and education is one where it's very easy for people across the spectrum of sort of political ideology to engage, right? conservatives will talk about education, and certainly, i think about education in terms of equality of opportunity. >> yeah. >> and often in education, we fail our children. we fail the most vulnerable because they don't have equality of opportunity. >> and the only way to get to equality of opportunity is equity in resources, right? so they are not like an either/or -- they are often a both/and. so you often need equity to get to a place where equality might even be real. >> do you see equality of opportunity and equity at odds with each other or as partners? >> partners -- so, we think about -- so when you talk about the inequality of opportuny with regard to kids, like, what does it mean? in baltimore, you saw on the news that there were schools with no boilers, there were schools with no heat at all, there are kids in coats. that is about inequitable allocation of resources at the state level, right? so when you have the inequitable resource distribution, it is leading to inequality, that you call inequality of
opportunity. >> another term -- and, really, concept -- you deal with in the book is whiteness. you talk about white versus whiteness and how you have learned to talk about the two of them, so can you explain what your concept of whiteness is? >> yeah, so, we think about -- starting with white supremacy, this notion that or this idea that white people are what it means to be normal and that that notion, actually, bleeds into the fabric of this country and certainly the fabric of the western world, that there's a set of people who are, like, normal, and everybody else is, like, a deviation or derivation of that. so you think about what does it mean that if you go get, like, nude clothing and it looks like your skin doesn't look like mine, what does that actually look like? toni morrison wrote about what does it mean when we read books that the characters are white until named something else? that is what happens when white becomes a standard for what it means to be human. >> whiteness and white supremacy are a little different, as i understand it, the way you write about it in the book. is that accurate? >> yeah, so, when we talk about white supremacy -- white supremacy is an ideology that
says white is normative, and there's a value judgment there. so white is normative and better than everything else. >> isn't white supremacy more of a call-out for violent racism? >> no, so, that's interesting, is that the way people think about white supremacy is normally rooted in things like lynching and enslavement. that is, like, how people think about it, but white supremacy shows up in a host of other insidious ways. so you think about -- funding for school systems is a great example. like, some kids aren't worth an investment, and some kids are certainly worth an investment, and that is about saying that, like, there's a set of people who just are worth more than other people. >> do you think that most people define it the way you define it? >> no, i don't know if, like, it is one thing. you are talking about the way that it manifests, which is different than the way we define it. so we live in a world where there are a host of things -- like band-aids are "skin tone" and don't look like my -- like, that is, again, perpetuating this notion that white is normal and that we make things for -- like, white bodies is normative. >> yeah, i know.
i think what i'm getting at is that the term "white supremacy" evokes a really evil ideology that is explicitly racist, right? but that is, in your words, only subtly different from whiteness. >> yeah. so, again, one of -- the staying power of white supremacy is that people only think about it in the most insidious forms. >> i don't think you think that the manufacturers of band-aids are white supremacists. >> yeah, what i'm saying is that you can participate in the ideology without identifying with it. >> but the way you described white supremacy could be quite offensive to people. because, i think, the way you've described white supremacy suggests that it is something that we're all partaking in without intending to. >> but how are white people offended by -- like, that's what i don't understand, is that if we are saying that white supremacy is a notion that white is normal and part of being normal is that it is good and that it is better than other things, then that notion is just a bad notion, that that in and
of itself is a bad thing. we think about disparities, like the racial wealth gap. black and brown people aren't, like, poor in the country 'cause they were just lazy, you know? white people aren't wealthy because they worked hard. that's not true. like, we gave white people wealth, and that is about an ideology of supremacy. that is about what the ideology of white supremacy has done at the structural level. the only way that we'll get to the other side of this is actually tackling it head-on. >> so, is whiteness a watered-down version of white supremacy, or is it just institutionalization? >> you know, i think that, in this push, i think -- is, like, a fair push in general -- is, like, how do we acknowledge that there's a system that is insidious. >> mm-hmm. >> there are white people who actively work against that system, who benefit from it because it exists but don't work to perpetuate it, right? and that is what we want to name when we talk about, like, white people. there are white people who do not participate and who actively work to disrupt the system of white supremacy. like, that is real.
>> one of the concepts you sort of address is what to do about that and how to remedy that. and you talk about sort of allies versus accomplices. >> mm-hmm. >> and how, in this battle, in order to fix these sort of systemic injustices, one needs accomplices, not allies. >> so, in the macro, allies sort of love you from a distance. they're like, "hope you're okay. like, i believe in it." accomplices love you up close. there are a lot of allies -- and allyship is important. allyship is often rooted in a personal experience, and it stays rooted in that personal experience. what accomplices do is take that personal experience and extrapolate it to systemic experience. >> i want to liken this to, you know, this language that i understand in the context of the lgbt movement, right? so, i have worked in the lgbt movement in a capacity that i run an lgbt advocacy organization that helps republicans get on board with full freedom and equality for lgbt people. now, i am a straight, cis woman, and i'm considered an ally. but i think the work i do is the
work of an accomplice because i help passing laws and i help raising money, and we're trying to secure full freedom and equality legislatively for lgbt people in this country. >> yep. >> so, how do people who are the beneficiaries of whiteness become accomplices in this work with you? >> that's a good question. what you're saying -- the work that you're doing is about fighting for people up close. when you're working to change systems and structures, when you think about it with regard to race, what white people can do is it often starts -- and allyship often starts with people understanding their privilege as a white person. so they say, "okay, i get it. i benefit myself from something that i didn't necessarily work for." that is, like, normally how people go through this experience with white privilege, and then they start to identify in their personal life. that is what happens. there are a lot of people who just stop there. so they're like, "okay, i get it. i see this stuff around me." and it's still really localized. what accomplices do is that they take that local understanding and they apply it to the macro. so they say, "okay, the fact that i benefit from this
intergenerational wealth actually is a result of 100 years ago, how we inequitably distributed housing loans and the g.i. bill, right? they start to understand the systemic part of it. and that's what helps people transition into accomplices because what accomplices help us do is change the system. >> so, tangible ways or examples that people who benefit from whiteness can become accomplices. it's legislative work. it's... >> policy work. it's taking the fight to, like, boardrooms, to classrooms. so you think about -- i can think about a number of white accomplices in this work who understand their privilege, and they are the people fighting to save social-welfare programs. they are the people who their kids don't -- they don't have kids in a public school system, but they are the people fighting to make sure that resources are distributed equitably because they understand that a just society is something that we all need to experience, whether they are personally implicated in that moment or not. >> i admire that your work is
dedicated to pragmatic solutions, and in campaign zero, you have a list of what seem to me to be very sensible ways that you can end police violence -- body cameras, training police, limiting the use of force, demilitarizing municipal forces. you know, the legacy of this program -- it was hosted by william f. buckley for 33 years, and he had a guest on talking about a policy that i think you are against -- broken windows policing. >> absolutely. >> and i want to show you an explanation of broken windows policing from this program in 1999. let's take a look. >> it's really an application of the broken windows theory. >> mm-hmm. >> if you have a building, somebody breaks a window in that building, and you say to yourself, "this is too unimportant. i've got bigger things to think about than fixing that window." there's a good chance if you leave it there, then somebody's going to break another window and another one and another one, and the whole building is going to fall down for want of dealing with the problem at the beginning. on the other hand, if somebody breaks a window in your building and you fix it
immediately and you try to find the person responsible for it and you try to make the point that you're not going to accept that kind of behavior, there's a real good chance you're going to save the whole building. so, the opposite of the broken window theory is what new york was doing for about 30 to 40 years. "we don't have time for street-level prostitutes. we don't have time for street-level drug dealers. we don't have time for people who evade fares." and for want of dealing with all those things, new york city went through 2,000 murders a year in the early part of the '90s, more index crimes than most cities in america, and had become the crime capital. now what we do -- we don't emphasize only lower-level crimes. if we did, it would be really stupid. but we don't ignore lower-level crimes. >> all right, so, there's broken windows policing. tell me why you're against the theory of it -- at least, this idea that if you can contain a small amount of crime, it will keep the neighborhood safer. >> i wish that what you just said was actually how people operationalize broken
windows policing, but it isn't. this notion that, like, if there's a broken window, then we should fix it -- sure, fix it, right? i'm all about that. if there's trash in the neighborhood -- i get that people might treat spaces better that look better. that makes a lot of sense. what happened in new york city under giuliani was that they criminalized all of the people that they thought had broken the window. and it's like, there's a difference between consequence and punishment. consequence is about change. punishment is about pain. and what we see happen with mass incarceration, it is wholly about punishment. so, you think about today, in chicago, they would say that, like, we should -- chicago's a violent city to a lot of people. and we should -- >> well, objectively, there's a lot of violence in chicago. >> yeah, there's violence in chicago. so the solution should be that we should focus on these quality-of-life crimes. so what you find in chicago is that they are ticketing black people for riding their bike on the sidewalk, and if you don't pay the citation, that leads to potentially it being in criminal court. that doesn't make sense. >> there are places, though, where it's very -- it was
considered pretty successful in new york -- on the one hand. i understand the criticism is that it led to a generation of mass incarceration of black men, right? >> yeah, so, what people don't think about is -- new york is a proof point that you can actually -- you can arrest less people and the crime goes down. that is, like, the revolutionary moment that new york city is having right now, is that the latest study came out. arrests in new york city have decreased, and crime has decreased. >> so why do more than 50% of new yorkers support broken windows policing? >> that's a great question. it's that, when you look at the data -- and pew has done the most research on this -- is that people's perception of crime actually doesn't match the reality of crime. >> but the reality of safety in new york was that we went from 2,000 murders a year -- sort of before rudy giuliani came to power, before this broken windows policing came into power -- and then dropped to -- now it's somewhere between 200 and 400 murders a year. >> yeah, but people would say that broken windows was just the popular conversation, that there were actually a host of safety nets and social services that help people.
we think about -- the relationship between poverty and crime is so stark. it's actually -- you look at the latest bureau of justice statistics, it shows that white, poor people actually commit violent crime more than latinos or black people. but poverty in and of itself creates the condition for crime. and so, what people would say about that same peer when giuliani was here is that what you saw was a safety net coming to exist in new york city that was actually helping people transition out of poverty, that broken windows becomes like the smoke screen that people use to justify this. >> wait -- what was that safety net? >> you think about all the foundations that popped up in that same sort of period of time providing access to opportunity and equality of opportunity to people that just didn't exist before, and people would cite that as a reason why crime decreased because people literally -- we were changing the fabric of their conditions. not because, like, the subway suddenly didn't have graffiti on it, but he -- >> so do you think it had no effect? >> i think that the effect, if any, is overblown. and those supposed "results" have not been replicated. you see, again, in places like
chicago, there's no indication that giving people citations for bicycling on the sidewalk -- or even in new york city right now, arrest 86% of the people for marijuana. >> i'm not so sure it's accurate to say it had no effect. i mean, bratton, who was the chief of police here in new york, who helped implement broken windows theory, then went to los angeles and implemented it, and there was a series of urban, sort of revivals in the '90s. >> it's interesting. the same disbelief you have is the same disbelief i have with you not being willing to acknowledge that it might be the confluence of social programs. >> or both. could it be both? >> i just -- we've not -- we have seen the impact of social programs in communities across the country having a positive -- >> i believe if you invest in communities, it's going to make them better -- 100%. >> we actually just haven't seen the increase of policing lead to decreasing -- or, like, it's just not something we see. >> so, then, aside from investing in communities, what would you have police do in high-crime areas? >> yeah, so, if we need -- you know, i'm from baltimore, right? eighth-largest police department in the country, but we are the
25th-largest city, right? so you see a ton of police officers, and crime is, like, almost at record highs. like, an increase in officers actually isn't the thing. what we would say is that we can take that money that we have been pumping into police departments for the past -- i don't know -- 30, 50 years and we could actually invest that money into the prevention programs and the intervention programs, and we believe that that will -- and the data suggests that that will actually have the biggest impact if the goal is to decrease crime. >> then what's the role of the police in the interim? >> well, that is the million-dollar question. it's like, i believe that conflict will exist in communities, and we need a response to conflict. i'm not convinced that the police have to -- or are the best response to conflict in communities, so the question becomes, like, what do we do? we've seen some neighborhoods and some communities think about safety that they localize. we've seen a response to safety in schools and restorative justice actually be an interesting and powerful way that doesn't need any law enforcement to be involved. but i think this question is an open question that people should be grappling with, is that, what should the role of police be, if
any? >> if any? >> if any. you know, it's interesting that people think about the institutions that we experience today as enduring and lasting, when they're not. so you think about the conversation about ice. ice is a relatively new thing, so people are like, "we must keep ice." it's like, we didn't always have ice. >> yeah, but the function that ice provides, right, is the same thing that naturalization services from the department of justice provided before. like, there's a role it provides, right? >> only if you are using "function" at the very, very macro, that it's, like, at the broadest -- >> but it sounds like you're suggesting that there is a world where, possibly, we don't need police and there's no use for police. >> i'm suggesting that there will always be conflict in communities, and we need a response to conflict. i know that there was a world before the police forces looked liked this. that is true. i know that, right? we should be free enough to think about alternatives to this, especially when we think the institutions are broken. so, you think about in california, 1 in 11 homicides committed in the state of california is actually committed by an officer, 1/3 of all the people killed by strangers are killed by an officer.
that, to me, isn't, like, this amazing system. >> and do you think of the police system and policing generally as a monolith? >> so, i'm willing to say that there are good people who have chosen to be police officers. there are probably, like, good departments out there, while noting that the institution of policing has failed at the mandate of safety. if the mandate is incarceration, they win. if the mandate is, like, locking people up and enforcing these rules and evading justice writ large from the system that most people participate in, the police have done that really well. but if the goal is, like, keeping communities safe, i'm not convinced that the way we've structured the institution is one that makes sense right now. >> in 2016, president obama at the white house hosted the first-ever intergenerational meeting of civil-rights leaders, which you attended. and it was one of the longest non-national security meetings in the history of his presidency. one of the things i noticed in this -- i think will surprise people -- is that there was a high degree of criticism of some
of the people who went to those meetings, and you, also, in particular, and it strikes me that there are some real fault lines in the black lives matter movement. what was the criticism of attending that meeting about? >> yeah, i think that there are people -- and i write about this -- i think that purity politics is really seductive, right? so it's this notion that, like, you should only sit down with people who agree with all of your values in the moment, you should only engage in things that you think are going to be, like, the most pure. what i know to be true is that we live in a world of compromise, but we don't compromise on our values. so we knew going in to talk to president obama -- we were frustrated he hadn't gone to ferguson. we were frustrated that it took him so long to speak out. i remember saying to him, "president obama, you can't call people thugs," right? like he called the baltimore protesters. so we were -- we didn't agree about a host of things. we also knew that he was willing to listen and have a conversation about these things. i think that there a lot of people, though -- and this moment is a real reminder for them -- that have never, ever organized when the person in power is not sympathetic at all. >> in your book, you write about
words and how words matter and how in 2016, the oxford dictionary's word of the year was "post-truth." >> yes. >> why does truth matter? >> it's important -- you know, we can disagree about a host of things, but we shouldn't be able to disagree about the facts. and we are in a moment where people are just, like, disagreeing about the facts, so you see trump just saying things that are not true. you're like, "well, that is -- that was weird, right?" like, this is a moment unlike any other, where people are fighting about things that are true and not true and not about our interpretation of them, not about our opinions about them, and that, to me, is dangerous. >> you say in the book -- one of the things you say is, "getting to the truth can be hard." >> yeah. >> but that it's really important. >> yeah, so, i think about even the police -- it's, like, you know, four years ago, i didn't know anything about police shooting -- i would have been like, "it's just a bad cop who did a bad thing and somebody doesn't want to indict him." now i know that there's, like, a whole system, and it took us a lot of work to do the digging to get to the systemic understanding, which was hard.
>> you came to prominence in ferguson, and you say protesting is telling the truth in public. you know, what that protesting did was help elevate the, i think, high incidence that many people weren't aware of, of not just police brutality, but real discrimination and racism in police systems across the country. >> yeah. >> and to the extent that words matter, in the specific incidence of michael brown, who allegedly raised his hands and said, "hands up, don't shoot," which became a rallying cry -- in that specific incident, those words, perhaps, were not true. so how, as an activist, do you confront that? >> it's a good question. so, neither you nor i were there, and there were so many witness accounts that suggested that they were true. what we do know now that we didn't know in 2014 is that black people are more likely to be unarmed than anyone else when they are -- when they encounter police violence. we know that there's no correlation between the violence
in communities and police violence, that there are some places where there's a lot of community violence and no police violence, and the opposite is also true. and i say that because in the totality of what we do know, that this statement is more true than not, that not only have we seen more videos of black men running from the police and still getting shot -- so you think about walter scott. but the data actually shows that black victims of police violence are more likely to be unarmed than any other victim of police violence. >> i agree with you -- like, words matter. so it seems to me that the movement can continue even while acknowledging that it might have been wrong about the words in that case. >> yeah, i don't -- you know, i don't know if "wrong" is the right way to think about it. i think that, as someone who believed the witnesses, we were saying as a statement to the police that, like, "hands up, don't shoot" -- we said it, we chanted it, we tweeted it -- as a reminder to them that, like, even when we're not armed, you consider our bodies to be weapons, and we are calling that
out. >> what is the case for hope on the other side of freedom? >> what is the case for hope? you know, i think about hope as a belief that our tomorrows can be better than our todays, and i take that with me everywhere i go. and i wanted to write about not only about a diagnosis of where we are in this moment, but some thoughts about, like, what we could do. i write about being gay. i write about what it meant to grow up in a family where my mother left and just came back, so these parts of identity, about who we are as people. i write a lot about systems and structures because i do think that so much of this is about how we think about the macro, not just about how we think about moments. and then i write about what our relationship is with a power greater than our own, whether that is how we think about faith, hope, god, ourselves -- trying to put those pieces together to offer something based on what i've been through and what i've seen. >> i want to thank you, deray, for being here. thank you for joining me on "firing line." >> thank you. >> it's really been a true pleasure, and i really enjoyed your book. >> thank you. >> "firing line with margaret hoover" is made possible by...