tv Democracy Now LINKTV January 16, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
to do. amy: "when they call you a terrorist: a black lives matter memoir." today we speak with patrisse khan-cullors, one of the cofounders of the black lives matter movement, about growing up as a black girl in a poor neighborhood of los angeles amidst rain but police violence -- rampant police violence next one of the richest neighborhoods in the world. we will also be joined by her co-author journalist and activist asha bandele. >> the importance of the story's -- the tree's's come it shows us the human cost of the drug war and the war on gangs and the is an industrial complex. it is not just the stats and facts and figures. these policy choices have destroroyed real lives and patrisse shows us how.
amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. "the new york times" is reporting the pentagon is quietly preparing for a potential war with north korea, with the u.s. military launching a series of war games and exercises from fort bragg, north carolina, to the skies above nevada, to a planned deployment of even more special operations troops to the korean peninsula during the winter olympics in south korea next month. the planning for a potential nuclear war comes as president trump has repeatedly threatened to launch a nuclear strike against north korea. meanwhile, the "wall street journal" is reporting the pentagon is also planning to develop two new sea-based nuclear weapons. the report is based on a new pentagon nuclear strategy review, which says the proposed new nuclear weapons would be to
counter russia and china. last week, the guardian reported the trump administration is planning to loosen the restrictions on the use of nuclear weapons anand develop a nucleaear warhead for u.s. tridt missiles. this all coming g as trump has proposed building up the united states' nuclear arsenal and has reportedly asked about nuclear weapons, "if we had themem, why can't we use them?" meanwhile, residents of hawaii experienced panic on saturday morning when an emergency management worker mistakenly sent out a false alarm warning residents about an incoming ballistic missile. the amber alert which residents received on their cell phones read -- "emergency alert. ballistic missile threat inbound to hawaii. seek immediate shelter. this is not a drill." it took 38 minutes for hawaii to then inform resisidents that the alert was, in fact, a mistake.
this is the hawaii governor. >> today is the day that most of .s will never forget a day when many in our community . that our worst nightmare might actually be happening. a day when many frantically tried to think about the things that they would do if a ballistic missile launch would happen. that is hawaii governor david ige. meanwhile, on tuesday, japanese residents also received a false alert about an incoming ballistic missile. this alert was sent as a news alert by the national broadcaster nhk. the u.s. ambassador to panama has resigned, amid international outrage over president trump racist c cment in whwhich trump reportedly called d african nations and haiti s-hole countries. but used the full four letters
first word s-hole countries. in his r resignation letter, the u.s. ambassador to panama john feeley said he feels he can no longer serveve the presidedent. his reregnation tatakes effect march 9. the news of the resignation comes after trump sparked an international firestorm by reportedly saying during a meeting with lawmakers at the white house last week -- "why do we want all these people from africa here? they're s-hole countries we should have more people from norway." it's now being claimed by some lawmakers who were present at the meeting that trump used the word "s-house" not "s-hole." in response to the comments, the government botswana wrote in a statement "the botswana government has also inquired from the u.s. govevernment through the ambassador, to clarify if botswana is regarded as a 's-hole' country."
this all comes as president trump has denied being a racist, duduring an n interview with rereporters s on sunday.y. pres. trump: no. no, i'm not a racist. i'm the l least racist person yu have ever interviewed, that i can tell you. amy: meanwhile, on saturday nit, activists proctcted ooo the trumininternionanal tel inin washingtond.d.c., the words -- "need a ple e to sy? trththis sole.e." spelngng outhe w who word.d. but they, too, like th president,sesed thfullll four-letteswear before "ho." "the wl streetournalhas rerted psident tru's lawyerreported paid $13000 to a formepoor a sr to ep her frogoing puic abo her seal encnter with nald trump i 26. thmoney wareportly paid t stephae clifrd, known as stormy diels, inctober o
2016, ly a monthefore th genellection. thsexual encnter alledly occred shtly after esident manierrd hisife anhile sheas pgnant wi thr son barr. meanile, forr playbomodel said s also had affair th dold trumpn 2006. she rertedlyold the exclusiv rigs tohe storyo "theationaenquirer for $150,000hortlyefore th presential ection. "thenquirer" ner ran t story. the ceof the nspaper's rent comny is a ose friend of predent tru. foer u.s. ar whistleower chela manninis runni for r u.s. sene in maryld. thiss a clipf her new campgn ad,hich featus imag of thdeadly wte suemacist lly in arlotteslle, vginia, lt year. >> we live in trying times. .imes of fear
of suppression. we need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves. we need to actually take the reins of power from them. amy: that's chelsea manning speaking in her new campaign ad announcing her run for u.s. senate in maryland. she'll face democratic incumbent senator benjamin cardin in the democratic primary later this year. the pentagon is planning to escalate the u.s. war in afghanistan by sending an additional 1000 new so-called combat advisers, as well as sending additional armed and surveillance drones. the u.s. war in afghanistan is the longest war in u.s. history. it's escalation comes as the pentagon has also indicated it plans to recruit and train thousands of u.s.-backed kurdish fighters in syria to form a
border-security force in northern syria along the border with turkey. u.s.-backed syrian kurdish fighters already control large swaths of northern syria. on monday, turkish president recep tayyip erdogan slammed the united states for the proposal and accused the syrian kurds of being terrorists. in iraq, at least 27 people were killeded in a double suicide bombing in the center of the capital baghdad during rush-hour on monday morning. the majority of the attack's victims were street vendors and day laborers who had gathered in the market looking for work. no group has claimed responsibility so far. monday's bombing was the first major attack in baghdad since the iraqi government declared victory overer isis. in libya, at leastst 20 people werere killed amid clashes in te capital tripoli. the fighting shut down the main airport. the government says the clashes began when a militant group tried to free imprisoned members from a nearby prison. palestinian president mahmoud abbas slammed president trump and the united states in a
speech sunday, saying trump's decision to move the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem is a slap in the face. negotiationscal should be under international mediation and not solely american mediation. dould i make it clear, we not accept america as a mediator between us and israel. now we said no to trump and others. no, we will not accept his project. we told them the deal of the century is a slalap of the centy , and wewe will retaliliate. amy: o on monday, papalestinian leleaders voted d to call on t e papalestine beberation organizatition to suspenend its recognitioion of israel l until israel rececognizes the state of palestine and stopththe construction of jewish-only settlements s in the israeli-ococcupied terriritorie. meanwhile, israeli pme minister benjamin tatanyahu faced protesests when he a arrid in new delhihi on sunday a as pt of a six-day visit tinindia. protesters demandeinindia cu tities with israrael over itss treatmenent of palestinians.
in mexico, longtime journalist carlos dominguez rodriguez was murdered in the border town of nuevo laredo on saturday, in the first murder of a media worker in mexico this year. he was an independent journalist who, in one of his final columns for the online outlet noreste digital, wrote about the growing political violence ahead of mexico's presidential elections in july. reporters without borders says dominguez was dragged from his car by masked men and stabbed to death in broad daylight. last year, mexico was among the deadliest countries in the world for journalists. in honduras, protests continue against the reelection of the incumbent, u.s.-backed president juan orlando hernandez. on friday, protesters took to the streets to denounce alleged widespread election fraud and what many are calling an electoral coup. the military attacked the protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets. among those attacked was
opposition candidate salvador nasralla and former president manuel zelaya -- who was ousted in a u.s.-backed coup in 2009. this is one of the protesters, mario trejo. >> we have come out to accompany president-elect salvador nasralla, come out as united people before the world to tell them the government robbed the election. in honduras, there's a serious problem. wants to stay and has all of the media, all of the weapons to show he won, but to the world, we say he is lying. he needs to go. he needs to geget up power. amy: in greece, teachers, judges, doctors, nurses, and transportation workers launched a strike on monday to protest the greek parliament's passage of a new round of austerity measures imposed by international banks. monday's strike came on the heels of a national strike on friday also protesting austerity measures and the government's
efforts to restrict workers' ability to go on strike. this is one protester speaking during the walkouts on monday. >> we, the older generation, spilled blood to acquire the right to strike. or us, the workers, the people to have a voice, we will not sit on the couch with our arms crossed. there is no way. we will ruin the governments plans. amy: back in the united states in california, thousands of people gathered on sunday night to commemorate the 20 people w o have died in the deadly mudslides in montecito near santa barbara. at least three people remain missing, including a 2-year-old girl. the deadly mudslides come after southern california was ravaged by historic and deadly winter wildfires. both wildfires and torrential downpours, which triggered the mudslides, have been linked to climate change. in tennessee, a member of the white suprememacist gangng the n nations was arrested for the alleged shooting and wounding of a police officer last thursday.
meanwhile, the fbi has charged a white supremacist with terrorism after he allegedly attempted to derail an amtrak train. the man, taylor wilson, had traveled with other neo-nazis to charlottesville, virginia, for the deadly white supremacist rally last year. and former the klansman edgar ray killen, who was convicted for orchestrating the murders of three civil rights workers in mississippi in 1964, died in prison on thursday night. in a democracy now! exclusive in washington state, undocucumented saidists maru mora immigration and customs enforcement, ice and has placed her in deportation proceedings in a move she calls retaliation for her political activism. activist-- she is a who leads the organization northwest detention center resistance. she is in gauged in multiple acts of civil disobedience to
protest deportations and immigrant detention. she says only days before christmas, she received a notice to appear. she writes -- "with a letter delivered to my house, ice has officially made the week from a law-enforcement agency told political repression agency, crossing a line that should concern us all." we will have more on her case later in the week. here in new york city, hundreds gathered to oppose the detention and possible deportation of prominent immigrant rights activist ravi ragbir and jani montrevil. ravi ragbir w was to attain on thursday at a scheduled check in with ice agents. he's executive director of the new sancnctuary meant that ofofw york city. just a week prior, jani montrevil, another leader with the organization, was detained outside of his home and could be deported as early as today to hahaiti. on monday, hundreds circled washington square park in a jericho walk, then gathered at
judson memorial church. this is ravi ragbir's friend and lawyer reading a letter written by ravi entitled "letter from an immigrant jail." >> it was a wild and crazy ride. every moment was uncertain except the certainty that they wanted me gone. i am still here because of all of you. thank you. i miss everyone. i fill very heartbroken to see how many of you are suffering for me, how many people were abused during this process. i feel heartbroken that care for someone invokes violence. . want everyone to stand strong at this moment, we need to speak about changing this system so that no one has to face this type of harm. not just for me, but for all of the families who face being torn
apart. until we get reform, we need to repeal the act that criminalizes immigrants, that makes us less than human because of a document." amy: that is alina das reading a letter written by ravi ragbir while in detention in florida. more on those cases tomorrow on democracy now! prisonida, state would stririke. the prisoners say they were protesting being used as u unpad labor during the cleanup from ththe massive hurricane irma lat year. and communities s and congregagations across the couoy marked martin luther king day monday. many pastors and civil rights leaders denounced president trump, including martin luther king jr.'s daughter. >> our colollectivee voice in ts hour must alwayays be louder thn
ththe voice of onee who may spek sometimes representing these united states, whose words sometimes do n not reflect thatt legagacy of my fatather. we cannonot allowow thehe natiof wordsworld to embrace t the that comome from our president s a reflection of the true spirit of america boston amy: that was martin luther king junior's youngest child speaking at ebenezer baptist church in atlanta on monday. and a correction to our earlier travetti that was ria speaking about ravi ragbir, not his lawyer. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world.
we turn now to a powerful new book released today that tells the story of one woman as she fights back against the impacts of social and racial injustice in america on her family. that woman is patrisse khan-cullors, cofounder of black lives matter. the book titled, "when they call you a terrorist: a black lives matter memoir" is a call to action to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable. patrisse's story follows her childhood in los angeles in the late 1990's and early 2000's, as her mother worked three jobs, struggling to earn a living wage. and it puts a human face on the way mass incarceration and the war on drugs hurt young black men, including her relatives and friends. sse's father died at the age of 50. her brotother spent yearars in prprison for nonviolent crimes stemming from his battles against mental illness.
he was once even charged with terrorism after being involved in a car accident. the police would target patrisse , too, rating her house without just cause. in 2013 after george zimmerman was waited for the killing of 17-year-old trayvon martin, patrisse co-founder black lives matter along with early cigars a an opel to nettie. the movement began online but soon spread acroross the countr. blblack lives matterer became te rallllying cry off protest decrg the popolice killingngs of michl brown in fererguson, tamir rice cleveveland,d, eric garnerer inn island, a and any otherers inclg sandra bland who died in a texas jail after a traffic stop. patrisse khan-cullors joins us in the studio today on the damp the publication of her new book "when they call you a terrorist: a black lives matter memoir." she wrote the book with the
award-winning journalist asha bandele, who also joins us. bookss the author of five including the best seller "the prisoner's wife." she is a senior director at the drug policy alliance. patrisse khan-cullors and asha bandele will join us after this break to talk about patrisse's remarkablele life story. patrisse khan-cullors, a survivor. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: music recorded last spring at judson memorial church at a gathering for ravi ragbir ahead of one of his check ins with ice . last week, he was toto attain ad he is now in deportation proceedings in a jail in florida. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalezez. our guests are patrisse khan-cullors, talking about her
new book released today, "when they call you a terrorist: a black lives matter memoir." it was written with the award-winning journalist asha bandele. , congratulations. this is an astounding book. this week and i flew to colorado and came back yesterday through chicago's snowstorm and everyone on the plane new i had misplaced my book because i said "i must finish reading this book until -- and asha send me the and i said it over the loudspeaker." the story you have told of growing up against all of the odds. tell us where you were born and place as in los angeles in your community, next to one of the richest and whitest in the united states. was born in van nuys,
california, which is not known, but it is a suburb outside of los angeles inner-city. it was literally in between multiple white neighborhoods, including sherman oaks. eyewitness consistent policing, militarized policing. i witnessed the impact, mass incarceration had a my family members. in the most early memories for rated byhome being lapd. they lit up my siblings and their friends at 11, 13 years old, stopping at frisking them. this became our normal in our neighborhood, even though i knew it was not normal. amy: how did you know? >> because i could feel the humiliation in every stopped and every moment lapd was around i could feel the impact it had on my mother, our community. i knew that we should not be
living this way. i knew there was more for us. then i end up going to a mostly white school. i got to see the very real difference between how they were treated and never actually witnessing police in their neighborhoods, and in how my family and my community was treated. juan: you write so eloquently about the differences. the middle school you went to. talk about some of the examples of the difference in treatment between that mostly upper and middle-class white community so close to yours and the way your own neighborhood was being dealt with. >> it was just in the school itself. it was not police. there were no cops on campus. impared to the middle school want to for summer school, which is the first time i was arrested at 12 years old. school iniddle sherman oaks, which was the upper-middle-class middle school with mostly white folks. then ice middle school was
mostly working-class for immigrant community's and black folks. it was little, i mean, one looks like a prison and one looks like a university. juan: one has metal detectors and -- could you talk about the experience of the one time you were arrested in that summer school? >> yes. i was arrested because i had been smoking weed in the bathroom. at millikan, you could do that and no one was checking for you, worried about you. amy: you mean the white school. >> in sherman oaks, yes. it just sounds like a white school, millikan. atvan ays -- amy: and lots of girls that it. >> all the white girls did it. that is who introduced weed to me, the white girls. school wasddle mostly, like a said, workrking-class, comommunity of
color. i was -- a cop came into my classroom, my science class and when-- as a younger person i saw law enforcement, i feared them. there was already sort of that emotional response. the entire class got kind of tight. thecop whispered into science teachers year and the science teacher called me up to the front of the class, handcuffed me and front of the classroom and walked me down always. amy: you were 12 years old. >> i was 12 years old. when you are 12, i was not thinking about the political analysis of the moment. i was digging about, what is my mother going to say? which i live through my tea. it wasn't until i got older that i realize the impact of that moment and the impact it would have on me for the rest of my life. amy: you also describe your brothers and the places you all had to hang out, very limited.
you did not have the playgrounds of sherman oaks, the rec centers, arts programs. and the police moving in on them when they were kids. you are right near by, like, nine? >> i was nine years old. you are a again, when child, you just the places that are most convenient. that was alleyways, the front of our building, sometimes it was in our homes. but we you are a child, you're playing and you want to play outside. because of the war on gangs, injunctions, the boys, specifically in our neighborhood, relabeled as gang members. my brother will tell the story, which they never consider themselves a gang until of police call them a gang. that is not how they related to themselves. they were a bunch of was hanging out. at nine years old, bearing witness to that type of humiliation has an impact on you.
juan: asha bandele, what made you think this was an important story to tell? if you could talk about that and how you first came together. >> patrisse and i had known each other for a good number of years as organizers. i thought it was monumentally important to go behind the statistics. and unpack the real story of the impact of the drug war and mass incarceration on people's lives is sort of what i have dedicated my life to as someone who has family members in prison and somebody who has seen the human cost of mass incarceration. to tell herrisse story in a full and complete way. i was especially enraged the black lives matter and the leader of the black lives matter had been called a terrorist when i knew that these were people dedicated deeply to peace in our communities, peace for our children. i knew the impact patrisse had
on my own daughter of love and peace. i wanted peoplple to see that. then't think that you get same people. i think the history of who we are neeeeds to be told and needs to be documented. that is my dedication as a writer and an organizer. amy: patrisse, i want people to meet your family the way you introduce them to us. that is really the point of this book is people speaking for themselves, your unique experiences and the difference in how you grow up in this country from other community's. can you introduce us to your mother's coming fathers, your brothers, your sister? foley is my mother, a brilliant woman who literally raised four children on her own in the middle of the 1980's, 1990's. she is powerful. she is literally powerful. friendas my first best
who was criminalized very early on. monte's first time in juvenile hall was 13 years old. until 36spend from 13 in and out of juvenile hall, prison, and lockdown facilities simply because of his mental illness and the war on drugs. my brother paul who was a parent to us as my mother worked three and sometimes four jobs, and also has become my security, h e is a secururity guard so he does my security. in los angeles, he is pretty much my first protector. my sister jasmine who in a lot so muchwe kept her from of what we witnessed and experienced. we protected her. and my two fathers, my biological father gabriel who i met when owes 11 years old that
id tell in the story, and i'll was kind of new someone else was out there, always ask questions and my mother but got to meet his brilliance at 11 and learnt so much about myself because off him and my family. alton, the father who raised me. he worked at the gm plant and it was shut down and he was forced into taking jobs that were not so meaningful, and now owns a mechanic shop in las vegas. amy: if you can talk about monte and your experience -- well, first, after he is arrested before he is diagnosed, what this all means, and then this unbelievable moment where you decide to call in the police after he is back from jail. --we did not know he was suffering from mental illness. unfortunate reality is many communities of color,
amenities, wework don't have people educating us about the crisis of mental health. so we just thought -- we did not know what was wrong. we didn't. when he was arrested for a robbery and when he was 18 years old, broke someone's window, he said the voices told him to do it. ended up going to prison for three years. stay in prison, he was tortured by the los angeles sheriff's department, brutally bebeaten. amy: your mother first -- she could not even find where he was. >> they disappeared him. this was a common practice of the l a county sheriff's apartment. disappearing prisoners. when she finally saw him two months later, he was amazing at it. my brother is almost 300 pounds, 6'2"2". they had overmedicated him. we would learn later on coming yeyears later, just what he
.ndured in that jail cell when he was released when he was 23 years old, it was one of the most exciting days of my life. i a had not seen my brother in years. we did not know we could visit people. you the stepse when your loved one is incarcerated. we didn't realize we could go visit him, so we did not see him for four years. we just wrote a lot of letters. youthe first thing that i notid when i picked him up from the bus stop is they let him out in flip-flops, and undershirt, and boxers. -- i was so disturbed. amy: at the bus station in boxer shorts? >> and a white t-shirt. flip-flops. shower shoes, essentially. i assured him in the car. he was acting very different. it was not the brother that went inside and that i knew. the minute he got into my house my mother said, something is wrong with my son.
as every children like, mom, be quite come he just got out of prison, give him some time. over a week, he slowly -- quickly deteriorated. i did not know who to call. eventually, i called the ambulance and i made the unfortunate choice to tell them i brother had just been released from jail. they said, well, that is not our problem, you have to call the police. i said, i can't call the police on my brother. is before black lives matter, before we saw black people to tilde the hands of law-enforcement, especially black people with mental illness. but i just did that was not the right choice but i did not have anybody else to call. i did call the police. i talked them through and let them know what was happening. the first of may said to me, they -- i said, what happenens f my brother gets violent? they said, we will taser him. amy: two young cops. >> rookie cops, clearly scared out of their minds. i said, that is unacceptable.
they walked into my house and the minute they walk in, my brother put his hands up and went on his knees and started begging them -- he just started begging them. i knew i made a mistake list of a just knew i made a mistake. said, it'srother and ok. i told him to leave. it is in that moment i realized we were on our own, that we are literally on our own and there is no infrastructure for black poor families when tilling with mental illness. we had to piece the infrastructure together. juan: talk about thehe time he s charged as a terrorist? >> yeah, in those years as he was off and on his medication, he was in a fender bender. he was in the middle of a manic up as. -- manic episode. he mayor might not have cursed at the woman. we were not t there. the womaman claimed he had d cud
at her. because my brother was a second striker, then because they said the cursing was threatening, -- amy: explain what you mean by second striker. >> he had two strikes on his record, which is part of the three strikes law in california and could end up getting the if you are to receive up ththird stririke, could get life in jai. amy: even if it is for stealing a candy bar or -- stealing a candy bar or getting in a fender bender. we went to the first court date and the lawyer said your brother is being charged with terrorist threats and that is a felony. they will probably be putting them away for the rest of his life. he was 24 years old. -- not on my watch. amy: and you are a kid through
all of this. >> yes. amy: you describe a scene where you are in the white school, so you're making some white girlfriends who you really cared about. you describe going to one of their homes and the lovely, of oldvable scene that and dinner and the way they respected you. describe what happened. describe the dad of the family and how he treated you. one of myis was closest friends growing up in middle school. you become friends with the people that are in proximity to you. so significant in what program, significantly white school, those are my friends. i went back to this friends house and what looked like a mansion to me. probably not that big of a house, but compared to our neighborhood and tiny apartment, it looked like a mansion and we were all at dinner.
the father is jolly. honestly, she looked like the original santa claus. big, jolly white man with a .eard and supersweet a smile on his face all of the time. we are talking. i have never been in a scenario where you sit around and have and pass things and they ask questions of you. and we get to a point in the conversation where -- i don't know how am i maybe he asked me because oftentimes the class parents ask what your family does. talking about my mother he says, repeats my mother's name, where do you live? i tell him and he says "oh, i own those apartments." my heart job because it is apartment i lived in that we did not have a refrigerator for a year, that sometimes appliances did not work, that -- i will ask quickly that was our slumlord. in the contradiction in that settle.- it was hard to
any go because he was the first person who said you, " patrisse, what do you want to do with your life? what are your plans?" >> exactly. what you do with those moments when the person who is clearly has an investment in you doesn't actually have investment in your entire family and an infrastructure that your family is living in? it is hard to manage. juan: you also described at a point inviting a friend to your house, and him coming into your in thend the ambulance background that you just of for granted and he suddenly remarks, "i did not know you lived like this." >> that is exactly what happened. i think what is interesting about growing up black and poor is you don't actually realize
how bad it is until you see what else -- what someone else has. very particular about who we let over, and i begged her and backed her to let my friend over. he was my best friend. beid not think there would any judgment. i did not assume that would be any judgment. there definitely was. he walked in my home. i remember that day so vividly because there was the amulets the background and i'm like, what is that have to be here today? why the sirens today? i was nervous about him coming in. he walked into my living room and i was sitting on the couch and he said "i did not know you live like this" as he looked around. i got that a lot from other middle-class children because they only know their world and they don't have to actually enter the world of communities of color and poor communities in particular. juan: you describe van nuys was a racially mixed community.
talklk about that experience.. >> i grew up mostly around latinos. my experience both with law enforcement and witnessing ins, and regression national security, was really prominent. i think it was important to grow up in such a multiracial environment. many of us, our family members were getting social where fair, were getting food stamps when they actually looked like stamps. we grew up in this environment and we really raced each other and really took care of each other. it colored -- i think it really colors how i am in this movement. we have to take care of each other. we did not have local government
taking care of us. amy: we're going to go to break. when we come back, what it meant to come out in your community with your family, your friends. your response to trayvon martin step in george zimmerman being acquitted, how you came up with hashtag #blacklivesmatter. today is the day that a remarkable book has just come out, "when they call you a terrorist: a black lives matter memoir." todayby our guest patrisse khan-cullors and asha bandele. we will be back with them in a momoment. ♪ [music breaeak]
amy: our guests today are patrisse khan-cullors, cofounder of black lives matter, and asha bandele. together they have written the book, "when they call you a terrorist: a black lives matter memoir." i am amy goodman with juan gonzalez. patrisse, why don't you just ?ead from your book aside from the astonishing story
you tell, it is so beautifully written. >> chapter 11, black lives matter. this was a teenager just trying to get home, sabrina fulton. it is july 13, 2013, and i have stepped away from monitoring events at the trial of a man who killed trayvon martin, 17, you're happy for. i learned about trayvon wednesday when i was at the strategy center in 2012 and going through facebook. i came across a small article from a local paper. i read that a white man that is how the killer was identified and self identified until we raise the issue of race, had killed a black boy and was not one to be charged. i start cursing. i and outraged. in what world does this make sense? have people heard about 17-year-old trayvon martin? i've loved so many young men who have looked just like this boy. i feel great. as my friends respond, they,
too, are grief stricken. circle at my home and up, dedicated to ending white supremacy and creating a world in which all of our friends can thrive. we processed. we talk about what we have seen and experienced in our lives. we cry. amy: that is patrisse khan-cullors reading from her book, released today, "when they call you a terrorist: a black lives matter memoir." watching -- wondering, patrisse, or use a price for the enormous reaction as you begin to develop the black lives matter theme and also talk about -- you mention you had come out of the strategy center. what was the strategy center? >> i'm a tray organizer. i think people think because black lives matter is the biggest hang that that is the first thing i ever did. it is not. i was trained knocking on doors, getting on buses and passing out
flyers, getting people to join organizations. the labor community strategy center is my first political home, where i would be a part of what it is famous for, the bus riders union. juan: started by an old friend of mine. >> that's my mentor. amy: explain how it came to your relationship with e elise eric garnrner's a and the three of y. i remember when we had you on our show, the three of you, these towers of strength, patrisse khan-cullors, alicia garza, oval to nettie we were just going into a major conference that we can. but this was before. how did it come to you and why were you talking to alicia? did you know her before? books i knew her for at least six years before we started black lives matter. george zimmerman had just been acquitted of trayvon martin's murder and a was furious and i was grief stricken and i went on to social media to commiserate
with the people that i love and no. article.licia's she closely post off with "likewise matter." i put a hash tag on it. i said, we have to make a go virara within the next 24 hours, her and i would be talking about a project that we wanted to create a new one to call it black lives matter. oval to mehdi called alicia saying, i want to be a part of this. i went out develop it and b buid up the communication of infrastructure soaking go viral. that is the very beginning of black lives matter. it would become a phrase to a hash tag and evolve into a political platform and evolved into what is now a global network with over 40 chapters worldwide. amy: and before this, coming out . so much of the -- it is the personal story you tell and then of course there are the global
political implications. but it starts with the tree's --patrisse. >> i was very weird, self-proclaimed weirdo. life.uper excited about i am an artist. i have been to a lot of art schools and performance schools. at 14 years old, my cousin actually came out first. she was the brave one. she was a trailblazer. she got a lot of backlash from her mother in particular, so much so that they got in a physysical fight on our high school campus. amy: her mother came to school and beat her up? >> yes, and physically fought her. then pulled her out of the school that was owner touring to her -- so nurturing to her and put her in a totally different program. it it was my cousin's courage
that shaped me being clear about why i needed to come out. i would come out the very next year. juan: your family's reaction? >> it was very hard for my mother. but --r talked about it, amy: she was a jehovah's witness? >> she is. the whole family on my mother side is jehovah's witness. by that last her high school, my senior year, many of us had come out. we were houseless. we roamed to people's homes. we would to the families who were accepting of us will stop we stayed in cars. amy: you live with a teacher who helped to save your life? >> donna hill. the day i graduated, i moved in with her. i propositioned her early on. i said, i would like to live
with you. she said, i cannot legally have you live with me because you're a student of the moment you graduate, you can live with me. we moved in and lived with her for a couple of years while we got ourselves on our feet. juan: asha, you have been active against american drug policy. can you talk about that involvement and how that shaped your decision to get involved in writing this book? >> well i'm a first in terms of doing the book, it was to support patrisse in telling her story. i think as a journalist and being trained to deeply listen, it was clear that what patrisse was actually telling was a story of someone who grew up as the epicenter of the drug war in southern california. i thought that was a unpacklarly important to because even many of us who oppose mass incarceration don't
feel comfortable challenging drug policies. -- u.s. we understand we have used it against ourselves. we have been embarrassed, ashamed. black people have not stood up. we can say embrace killer mike is a great rapper, but we would never do that with crackhead mike. we are disappointed in the participated in the stigma that was directly created in a moment when black people were at the moral mountains, civil rights movement, but you can no longer use race as a reason to exclude people from society. this administration uses drugs as a proxy for race and goes after them. we know that now. we know what john ehrlichman has said. today know they were lying? of horse they know they're lying about black people and drug involvement he said, but have so demonized it that we don't even want to talk about it will stop and whole communities, meanwhile, are targeted under
the guise of keeping children safe. they're actually making children less day. it is been the reason -- in any case you look at. in trayvon martin's case, the first in the lawyer says, "oh, yeah marijuana in a system" as if that was justification. they say the same thing about sandra bland. eric garner was selling loose cigarettes, they claim. so all of these drug products are used as a justification to kill people, to roll tanks into ferguson. that comes from drug war dollllars. what they talk about a pple dying of drug g use, but what is actually more haharmful is the drug war. bookit is clear in this that nothing in patrisse's life would indicate who she would become.
i am saying "she" but she is right here, but i'm talking to you, asha. prisoner's wife" about your husband who was imprisoned and then deported to of coming2009 said out and being able to live in this country. and then you meet patrisse, whose life story so intertwined with the drug war, yet if people were to look at patrisse's story, they would not necessarily know it, how it is u.s. policy that are shaping this young woman's life. >> right. i think that history for many of us. we see the immediate action in front of us, the immediate police officer who has a gun in your face. but we don't think about, how does that police officer empowered to do this and how can we disempower them? we don't think about the fact that money is set aside in every police department for us to be able to sue them when they do harm us. i wonder if all of the money police department's payout to people who are harmed by law
enforcement came out of their pension funds, how much we might reduce police violence? they don't think about what it forfeiture that takes away primarily poor people's homes and minimal assets, that disrupts incomes and makes people homeless stuck and they take that money and buy tanks and by other kinds of militarized equipment to harm our communities. so there is a direct line, and i want people to see that i no longer feel the shame and stigma of either drug use, drug involvement, or oppression. oppression is embarrassing. to say "this us happened to me" rather than "i was the arbiter of my own destiny." juan: you mentioned the racial character of the war on drugs. we are into a new drug epidemic in america, the opioid rural
them up and throwing away the keys for the victims of the opioid epidemic like they did over the crack epidemic or the heroin epidemic. it is a whole different approach now to having people. amy: understanding mental health. and it isn't. we have this very public face, chris christie on east coast saying a lot of things about it. but in truth, if we look at the cocaine use in the 1980's and 1990's, first of all, white people used and sold more crack and used more powder cocaine -- pharmaceutically the same drug. they used it more than we did. the response was employee assistance programs. "we will take care of you" the betty ford center, anything to make sure the community did not fall apart. the response to our community's demonization.ion, in very many ways, that is what is happening, and is just more public. the white people embrace and black people, 80% or 90% are
those going to prison for heroine involvement. amy: patrisse khan-cullors, this is the story of your life. you coined the term with two of your sisters "black lives matter." black lives matter under trump, your comment? >> i think we're living under really grave administration that is really challenging our moral compass in america. i think black lives matter is in a moment where we get to stand up to trump, but also the white nationalists that he is powered. it is in this moment that black lives matttter gets to forge a r this country where we can honestly see and live in a democratic america. amy: a a one to thank you both r being with us and recommend everyone your next book should be this one patrisse khan-cullors. patrisse khan-cullors, cofounder of black lives matter and asha bandele, award-winning journalist and author have written a new book out today,