>>Jeff: Good evening.
Tonight MPT presents a 90-minute evolving issue of race in
America. One hour from now we will open
up the phones to get your thoughts.
First, our rebroadcast of a program that was could produced
by WUSA 9 and the Washington Post.
Race and on this conversation with Bruce — an honest
conversation with Preuss Johnson>>The following program is a
special pregnancy by WUSA 9 and the Washington Post. śś
>>We need to talk about this.>>I don’t feel safe in America
anymore.>>I do feel like we do spend an awful lot of money and time and
resources on the folks that aren’t trying to help themselves
themselves.>>When it comes to race
relations, we just aren’t there yet.
Anybody think race relations are where they should be?
That’s you.>>They can put a man on the
moon but we still can’t get along.>>Why the looting?
Why the violence?>>Angry about the way we’re
being viewed as not people.>>A recent poll finds most
Americans believe race relations More than 50% of whites think so
so. More than two-thirds placks feel this way.
>>Where we go from herey I don’t know.
>>There’s one race, the human race.
>>More than 239 years, part of this grate experiment, the
United States of America. There have been incredible gains on many fronts.
>>. And yet we still have seen
dramatic and dangerous instances>>The parishioners head Bible,
Dylann Roof had his .45 caliber Glock pistol.
>>The pain had this causes and the losses to the entire society
society.>>It’s beyond my comprehension
how anybody could do the act that this young man did.
>>A poll shows 60% of white people are unfortunately
discussing race with somebody of The number jumps to 71% for
blacks.>>That’s what we need to do.
>>But we need to talk about this.
Race, an honest conversation. Hello.
I’m Bruce Johnson and thank you for joining us out there.
Let’s get right to it. Let’s get started.
Why are we not talking about race?
White and bleak people for starters.
Are we afraid of anything? Clinton Yates.
>>I don’t think people are necessarily afraid of things.
They are misinformed. The average American has no idea what the actual history of
discrimination. N. this nation.
You can go be back the native American, Latinos and black
people. If people were more informed
about the realities of their generational hists I don’t think they would be as afraid to talk
about it bought it’s not a perm indictment.
It’s how we’ve come along as a nation together and where we
stand now.>>A lot of people, white in
particular, say I had nothing to happened hundreds of years ago.
Why am I being blamed or targeted.
>>>>Nobody is being blamed.
It’s coded and coiled into our present day.
Can’t talk about our present day history.
We have been in what I call the 51st state of America on race,
the state of denial, and it’s time that we get out of denial
and talk about these issues that lives.
>>Margeery lightning, advisory neighborhood commission the in
district. A lot of people talk about this
over the kitchen kitchen table but they
won’t talk about it with someone won’t protect them from the
It’s hard to talk about race, and we should remember that it’s hard with we’re doing something
hard. We’re overcoming generations and generations of the ways we’ve
been taught nod to do something when we accept step out and do
something. We also have to remember that
race is not a single time. It’s single typo.
One of its big divisions is gender.
>>Everything take a look at this graphic that we have
prepared. CBS news New York Times poll
asking if President Barack Obama closer together.
Some of the results might surprise.
You 15% of persons say yes. 47% say there has been no
difference. And get this.
34% of respondents say we are further apart.
Ben, what’s the problem here? Why are we apart?
You’re a former democratic Congressman from the state of
Georgia. Are E. are we further apart?
>>I think it has to do with inculcated urban tensions.
Which are, in fact, a part of a history of segregation in the
south and de facto segregation in the north, which is something we don’t talk about a lot.
The president is just a victim circumstances.
The presidentI don’t think he’s led on race.
I don’t think he’s really bringing people together.
He’s got a lot of other things would be worried about, and
these occasions recently with particularly in these past few
months, have divide nation beyond his control to bring it
together.>>Let me ask you this.
You don’t think the president — has led on race.
Scott, back in 2009, 97% of the African-Americans that went to
the polls voted for Barack Obama Obama.
They voted in a here percentage for whites for the first time in history for Barack Obama.
Were they expecting too much? What do they want from this
president?>>Well, I think they wanted
unification, they wanted leadership, and they wanted a
better community for their community.
That being said, the rattle is that Barack Obama’s election —
the reality is that Brahm many Brahm’s election was powerful,
an excellent opportunity to address did race question, but I think black folks and white
folks, because of his election, stopped working on it or working towards it.
So I think African-Americans got going to get better on its own,
and white Americans said, listen listen, we’re getting rid of the guilt because we’ve got a black
president.>>Mass that Mick to Noel.
I’m going to say if Barack Obama African-American blacks wanted
to see, he not have gotten elected, a lot of white people
not have elected him. They would have been
uncomfortable lating black man with this agenda.
>>I think I agree were you. I think Barack Obama did a
really good job of positioning himself in the middle on race
issues, and that’s caused some problems because it’s allowed
race sprouts race issues to sort having this conversation that is necessary.
And as we see with all the brutal that’s been happening, it continues.
>>Was pass that mic over to Chris.
Go ahead, Scott.>>Yeah, that’s true, but Barack Obama doesn’t have to have a
language or a speech to support black causes.
I’m more concerned about his actions.
What is his legacy of leadership communities across this country?
That’s what he should be judged upon, and that’s where think
he’s had his changes. I don’t think he’s done enough.
>>Okay. Let’s go to Chris.
You’re a conservative Republican Republican.
>>Republican is probably bad enough.
>>Barack Obama got 43% of the white vote in the general
election which means an awful lot.
The whites did not vote for him. How are white people viewing
Barack Obama now?>>Well, I can hardly speak for
white folks, and, you know, there are white Democrats, and
the Democrats are going to tend to vote for the Democratic
running for office. I think the party faces, the
Republican party faces a great dilemma here the right now.
The party is trying to do out outreach to certain communities.
But there are certain folks who don’t care about reaching out to those communities because they
think those communities can’t be It’s a very complicated process.
But part of the reason why Barack Obama, opposition to him
is because of his race, when in fact it’s a member he’s a member of the other part and we live in a very partisan society right
>>I think we’re overanalyzing this incredibley.
You have the same problems with females and having glass
ceilings as you do with race and just we’re afraid to lose power.
So whoever is afraid to lose power is going to create things
where they make it difficult and So Barack Obama has been a very
good president, and that’s the reason why this has come out.
They wanted to have a problem with him.
They wanted to say he didn’t do a good job.
But he’s done an absolutely phenomenal job and now we have
to realize that maybe a black man can be president, maybe a
black man can lead, and maybe they are equal.
So as the white man continues to>>Want it to come back here.
Anybody want to join in on this? Give me your name.
>>My name is Brandon Cooper, law student University of
Maryland and also the. This is a poll question.
I think it’s a false choice, whether Obama has done good
things or bad things with race premises I’m with the 47% of
people who think it’s not a factor.
I think there are a lot of issues going back in history
that have to be dealt with.>>Who was write in writing the
article? We’ve reached the point we have
been trying to get into for years.
Who bought into that? Who thought that was behind us?
Anybody? Show of hands.
Who thought those days were over over?
Nobody. You didn’t believe it.
>>Well, certainly, Jonathan an activist and organize Ergas in
Prince George’s county. I certainty didn’t buy night and I certainly voted for Barack
Obama, but I think the question and discussion should not only
be about race relations but it should be about racial justice
too often we talk about racisms a conversation or a discussion.
The issue that we have from, the 2015 — we’re not getting
justice. For the first thing we’re
starteding to see officers get locked and up that’s a good
thing.>>We’re going to take that up
in the next segment. Let me ask you this.
Barack Obama is fast the halfway And we’ve got people in the
streets marching, chanting ” “black lives matter.”
Does that offend anybody, the slogans “black lives matter?”
You’re offended by that all the way in the back?
Step up this way. Come all the way up here.
Tell me who you are and why you have a problem with the slogans
“black lives matter.”>>My name is Dan McCue from
Montgomery county with Maryland. And all lives matter, not just
black Myself. All Myself lives matter.
If and if you can’t have an honest conversation about black
lives mattering when over 1600 people this year have been shot
in Chicago and over 50% of the shooting victims are
African-American males, just yesterday 12 people were shot in Chicago, and you know what?
That doesn’t make national head headlines.
>>Can somebody respond to him why the black lives slogan is
relevant?>>My name is Henry Hughes.
I’m an activist here in Washington, DC.
Black hives matter because when you look at what’s happening,
when I’ll follow up with joint Hutt owes, there’s not been
black justice and right now black folks are under attack,
and while you may have six children and you can love your
children equally but you have to have to put adequate attention
to the issues that are in our black communities.
>>There is me. I got.
Stay with me on topic. Reverend.
He’s got a problem with the slogans “black lives matter.”
>>The new Bethel Baptist church I would agree that all lives
matter. However, I think you have to
understand the source that that sentiment comes from, which is a source of frustration and anger
that goes back to a point in history and time where if you
had literary a drop of blood, you were considered not to be
equal, and racism was then condoned.
So it’s woven into the fabic of who we are as a country.
That’s one of the cornerstone stone foundations, and that’s
something that we need to come to grips with in.
>>Here’s what I took for it when I first heard “black lives
matter.” It’s understood that white lives matter.
What they were trying to draw attention to, don’t forget us.
Black lives matter, too.>>There’s a certain amount of
privilege of saying all lives matterover black live matter.
A a a cartoon, the equivalencey be was, it was an image of a
black child saying “black lives matter” and there was a hand
over that child as mouth. The idea is that it’s not
mutually exclusive. If the notion of all lives
matter wouldn’t be an issue at all.
I just want to address another quick point.
I would caution to equate glass ceilings for black people and
women. Black men were allowed to vote
in this country before any woman understand that male privilege
is the first privilege so it’s a I with an to make sure we got
that out there in.>>Reverend Lamar, we haven’t
heard from you.>>Anyone who deals with the
history of this nation, not the propaganda that we get in
schools, but the real history of from the very beginning black
lives were Commodifie Derksd, they mattered om inasmuch as
they produced wealth for white people.
And it’s only been a generation. My father and mother went to
segregated schools. America has only tried to remedy this in the law one generation
ago. And so to separate from the true history of this nation — I also call you the this is the United
States of am near Shaw. We’re not willing to deal with
the true history that got us to where we are.
>>Department chair. Thank you.
There are a couple of things I wanted to mechs to puck up the
interesting point about Frederick Douglass or the point
you’re making about women and race, the point where we see the break with Frederick Douglass,
for instance, with liberal Weitz white women in particular were
Sig we want to voter black men. The if we don’t have the vote,
certainly black men can’t have the vote p so the historical
signifies it is important. And then just to reiterate, the
Dea de fault position in this country has halls been white.
To put something in front of means you’re saving of out of
that position. Black lives matters is a problem in some ways because the default position is fundamentally white.
>>I need to you look at this graphic bus a lot of people
think — because a lot of people If people were doing better we
wouldn’t have this problem of I’m losing so you must be
winning at my expense. Today versus 2009 when President Obama first took office.
Again I’m not blaming the president.
We need a reference point. The black unemployment rate
today is 9% versus 13 hers in 2009 shites come down.
For Hispanics the number is 7 compared to 10% in 2009.
For whites today unemployment rate is 4.6% compared to 7% in
2009. Asians stand at 4% compared to 6
6% six years ago. The point being gotten better
for everybody. The economy has gotten better.
You can argue we’re not making as much and have to produce more but hates gotten better.
Chris, we were talking on the phone and you were talking about this group of blue collar white
men out there who feel as though been left out.
Nobody is speaking for them. Who are we talking about?
>>Well, first of all in terms of like white privilege —
>>We’re going to get to white privilege later.
We want to talk about the employment.
>>Because a lot of blue collar folks, white America in rural
areas in particular, they don’t feel like they have any real
privilege. They find it hard to get a job,
and they’re worried about jobs going overseas and so forth.
>>Immigration is a big issue with them, too.
They think other people are taking their jobs.
>>And it’s unfortunate. So the fact that we have with a
black president is playing into the system come anxiety.
Folks feel like, hey, my situation hasn’t improved.
Meanwhile, there are those people who are agitateing for
their rights as well. So there’s a bit of dissonance
there. But in terms — so whenever you
have a situation where the economy is bad and where people
feel like they’re left out of the economy, guess what?
People are going to find people to blame, and people start
blaming people coming across the as black folks.
>>Hold on a second. We can come back to this.
All right? Moving on, you no doubt have
seen the images on television that have been captured on cell
phone and police cameras and mostly African-American males
who have ended up dead in these incidents with police, Ferguson, New York, Cleveland, the
University of Cincinnati police officer, north Charleston, and
more and more and more, and you’ve seen how these cases have ended up or those that are pend
pending. Take a look at this segment from Baltimore
>>These officers did nothing wrong.
We are disappointed in the apparent rush to judgment.
>>We want murder for all six of>>I hope that as we move
forward 2 this case, everyone will respect due process.
>>The police is not bringing no>>West Baltimore is also
referred to as the other Baltimore.
It’s not on the tourist map.>>Black lives matter!
>>People here feel left out>>Discuss my French.
F the leaders. The leaders right here!
>>They don’t like Baltimore police here.
>>They look at us at ay hole? They say they have good reason.
Even before Freddie gray died in>>They designated the area as a high crime area.
You know what happens? They are now able to stop
anybody they so choose.>>Ness this is in the something that’s solved in one day.
It involves a lot of work, a lot intervention treatment.
>>I kid you not. If you have not been to west
Baltimore, you do not know that part of west Baltimore.
People had me go back and watch the wire to get a better sense
of what’s going on there, and I was there covering the services
there. I want to go to this gentleman
over here, Michael wood again who is a former Baltimore city
police officer. What is zero tolerance?
I understand that’s what police in Baltimore were operating
under. There’s community policeing and
then there’s this zero tolerance They were doing it in New York
under Rudy Giuliani. What does it mean to you as a
cop on the street.>>I had zero tolerance under
Martin O’Malley what what we’re talk in Freddie gray 90 zero
tolerance. What you have in Freddie gray is where you’re going after
somebody who is walking the street and supposedly has a
knife if his pocket, and the cops stop him, go into his
pocketk, end up arresting him, throwing him into a metal box
week tossing him tarn streets and ending up in his death, and
then they stand there on TV and they will say “we did nothing
wrong.” That is the epitome of white
privilege because there’s not a chance that any of your kids end up in that situation.
>>Why don’t you go back and tell me your experiences on the
street as a Baltimore cop. What was going on?
The community gives us one story story.
Baltimore F over theP gives us another story.
>>Cops, do what you want because we have overcriminal
overcriminallization.>>What does that mean, you do
what you want?>>We have — in a situation
like Sandra bland where no matter what happens, the police
can justify detaining you for a period of time.
So what that ends up enableing you to do is not necessarily
look for the crime but look for your choseen suspect because
everyone is a criminal when you have laws that has everyone do
things that are I will. What was your chosen suspect in.
>>In Baltimore it’s black males have this false ideology that
those are the people who commit crimes.
Those are the people who do on record but that’s who we’re
looking for at. We essentially are arresting
people because we arrested them previously.
>>The FOP would say most of the African-Americans that you and I can profile.
>>It’s mostly committed by them For instance, if we go out and
we know that all the races carry rate, then if you were to stop
somebody, anybody to look for drugs, you would pretty much
find drugs in the races at the same rate.
But we find we arrest more black pleat much anywhere because that is we’re err was looking for for
for. The it’s a false narrative when
someone says we are looking for crime because, I would call them
a liar.>>Coming from a form cop.
How do you begin to reform the Baltimore police department and
other police departments that might be similar?
>>If anyone has heard me beak speak before I’m focused on
getting the money out of the politics.
I don’t think we’re going to get We’re going to get flags do
what’s right for the meme and we donors.
>>Weigh in on this.>>I’ve represented defendants
on both sides. The rattle is, though, whether
it’s Baltimore or any other urban police department or small one, we got to get rid of this
us versus them mentality. I agree with the officer over
here but it goes beyond that. Us versus them.
That is the thin Blue Line. That is on the tapes you’re hear
hearing and seeing where there’s police officer walks up and says “I got your back.”
Says “don’t say anything. They’ve got body cameras.”
But this us versus them mentality.
When I was in law enforcement you know what we called black
and brown defendants along the halls of the police departments
and theD’s on the rideouts in mopes, perps, animals, dogs,
Now, if you do that internally and then you go patrol the
streets externally, I got toll you you’re gonna think of those
individuals the same way. It’s not fair and I can’t paint
a broadbrush but I’ve got tow tell you this us versus them
mentality is the problem. Secondly, who are the police
officers that we’re choosing? These in the last six months
where these shootings of taken place, my goodness gracious, I
mean, the acts they’ve done with do better of assessing who we’re giving a gun and badge to, and
that’s a big way, a great way you begin to clean up these
police departments.>>I don’t know if you’ve read
the interview that’s the officer involved in Ferguson
shooting that Michael brown has done.
He said he wanted to work the in That’s where the fun was.
To go back to your point, you can make your own rules there.
That’s what he says. Okay?
>>We don’t know what biases and bringing to the street.
prejudices that people are bringing to the street with
regard to law enforcement officers, and so what we’re
talking about is leadership. And so last night we had a
Republican presidential candidate debate, and there was
more time spent on the NWA movie segment in which this issue and
the issue of race relations was not discussed.
That’s the problem. We have a cancer.
Organisms are killed from the inside is out and that’s what’s
taking place in our country.>>Young man right here.
In the front.>>Hello.
My name is ja want you. I attend Moorehouse college.
I believe that we’ve would — we fix our communities.
I believe that our community organizers and the church and
our politicians need to start working together now so that 30, 40 years from now we’ll have
stronger relations within our community because that’s the
only way that black people will advance.
And I don’t believe it is something that we can truly wait for another race or another
culture to fix for us.>>The young lady right here.
>>Hi. I’m Olivia brand and I’m from
Baltimore city and attended the University of Maryland and I
would like to completely agree because when I saw what happened in Baltimore, I didn’t see that
as, you know, — I saw that as someone being killed in my home, a family member, someone from
Baltimore city. I grew up park heights where
everyone was so focused on the C CVS burning but you can’t focus
that had a life was taken, and I anything about it because white
silence is the pirm I believe that wholeheartedly.
>>Thief it’s important, an interesting poll in criminal
justice system. Half of the Americans polled now is that it criminal justice
system in the U.S. is biased against blacks.
That’s up 35% from two years ago ago.
Gentleman way over there in the corner.
>>Hi, Greg from Montgomery county.
I just wanted to talk about, I think you’re absolutely right,
there’s a serious problem with the administration of justice
and I think it comes back to the inexplicable reason that we
think as a society that we can legislate individual voluntary
behavior, and if we change that,>>Let’s to go Facebook on this
issue. Got a lot of comments, among
them Anthony Duncan said you let away, civil rights, and soon no
one will have rights. Marie brown weighs in.
She says “the discussion needs do take place on how to comply
with law enforcement, how to teach respect for law
enforcement. It’s not about equal rights,”
she says. “there is a distinct problem
with how people are behaving when they encounter a police
officer.” Law enforcement, she says.
Anybody want to weigh in on that that?
>>Look, we can focus on law enforcement, but that is just
the most toxic tip of this Aires job and you are discriminated
against, it’s the same poison happening in a far more subtle
form. When you go to recent apartment
or buy a home and discrimination poison, it’s just more subtle
than when there’s a gun involved involved.
So this is part of a larger systemic and institutional
problem that we have to address. If we only focus it on law
enforcement, then shame on us for not focusing it on all the
other issues that we have to deal with, but we have to focus
on law enforcement because lives lives, black lives do matter.
>>And also because police officers are in a unique
category. They’re the only ones that have
the authority, the badge and the And in most cases we’re going to side with them that it was
justified. It’s an important right that
they have. I stay to my friends, and I got
a lot of cop friends, and if I ever need a cop I’m calling a
cop and expecting that police officer to do his or her job but say to them clean up your own
act, clean it. You.
When you got a bad apple figure out who debt fete them up on.
She says she has bad cops that she can’t get rid of.
She has to put them back in their jobs.
>>And it’s incredibley problem problematic that we haven’t
looking for at the office, particularly in the Sandra bland stance.
Black women have been sassy their whole lives.
Snark is part of what we do, and got the angry black woman
stereotype, the Jezebel. But what she said — the officer suspends have you got a problem?
You have an attitude an at. She said yeah, I’ve got an
attitude because you pulled me over for not using a signal.
Youfuls have think about that officer couldn’t figure out how
had to get out of that situation situation.
Hee got Diemer and deeper into it and wouldn’t retreat.
>>You’re saga his training should have kicked in?
>>Yes, or his humanity!>>That gets back to the point
where the fatalities of not just here.
This is what we’re talking about about.
The way that they police systems back to trying to catch slaves
on the street who people presumed had escaped.
This is the basic fundamentals of how we set up.
The policeing systems in this country.
You this think of how much that gets into our mentality about
who is doing right and who is doing wrong, it was interesting
to hear your point that you’re upset about people aren’t
talking with black hives you lives matter but you had a
problem with the NWA commercial. Listen, I learned more from the
NWA about workers on the street than I will from any politics.
To me that was important. But talking about it’s not as
buffing a deal which is the part we run into.
It’s hard to use our own ages to>>Take a look at Charleston.
Take a look at this.>>Why did you do it?
>>According to authorities, 21 21-year-old Dylann Roof sat with his soon-to-be victims for an
hour in a Bible study class looking them pray, watching them worship before gunning them down
down.>>It’s hard and it’s hard to
explain to your children.>>I’m mad.
I’m hurt. I’m angry.
I want to know why it happened.>>Ruth’s childhood friend Joe
Meeks said he recently re reconnected with Ruth.
>>He told me the black people were taking over the country and he wanted it to be segregation.
>>There were nine counts murder federal counties, among them
hate crime charges for the June massacre.
>>This is unfathomable and un unspanishable act.
>>We woke up today and the heart and soul of South Carolina was broken.
And we’ve got some pain we have to go through.
>>Reverend Lamar is pastor metropolitan AME church here in
Washington, the sister church of Reverend, what have you seen
since this?>>Well, first of all, you cat
take what happened in Charleston That exact same churches was
burned down in the early 1800s when one of the members at a
class meeting was trying to have slave owners.
The white people in Charleston at that time were concerned
because there were more after afterings ca than whites and
they were brutal to the after cabs and they were trying to
keep the after Kansas suppressed suppressed.
What I want to say currently is that we continue to get people
asking us questions but they don’t want to have the real
dialogue because they want to discuss how is the church
protecting itself. They don’t want to talk about
how Dylann Roof came into that space with the ideas that
animated what it is that he did. And my friend here from the
Republican party, the current Republican party, and I’m not a
big fan of Democrats, but the winter Republican party, the
southern strategy engineered by Richard Nixon was used to blow
racial dog whistles to rally white people to roll back the
very few legal remedies that came back after the civil rights movement.
So Americans needs to have these shields.
We know that the narrative that is animateing these spaces that
continue to control black bodies bodies, that narrative is old
and it has not been broken nor has it been challenged.
It just recreates itself generation after generation.
>>Anybody surprised? Gentleman here.
>>H.L. My name is Troy, and I’m an
intern at the White House initiative on Asian-American and Pacific islanders.
These views are my own. I think that what I want to
comment after seeing this racial inspirational is that racial
relations is not a black and white issue and that there are
other folks, other ethnic minorities that do take part in
this, and you being an Asian-American, one of the few
in the studio today, I think that it’s very important for us
to remember the Indian temple shooting four years ago.
That resonates with me as much as it resonates with the
Charleston shooting that happened a couple months ago.
Also there is racial discrimination against Asian
Americans on a daily because is from police enforcement and in
at the time military Danny Chen died from hazeing this past year
. I think it’s clear for us to
have — important for us to have This went back to sentment of
the gentleman who spoke. I believe the in the black lives matter movement but I think we
need to be inclusive of differenteth nuk min exports
that’s why I would like to take a step back and ask everybody in this room to embrace other
voices that are not often heard heard on television or in the
mass media.>>Very well said.
Can I ask people in the back there.
Can we get a mic to the people back there.
Just stand up. Hold on a second.
Identify of your quickly.>>My name is Trisha.
I’m the immediate past secretary I don’t mean to be disrespectful
disrespectful. I really don’t.
Please take it in the manner in which it’s given.
But African-American, people of African-American decent have had to live through 400 years of
incrimination — discrimination. We don’t know where we come from
from. We don’t know our names.
However, those who have had the ability to come here by choice,
they have that option. You can find where you come from
from. You know what country of origin
you come from. The vast majority of us in this
room have to take a DNA test and diaspore a of African-American
history. So, please don’t ask us to
belittle, don’t ask us to stop, don’t ask us to include because
we have — if it had not been for our blood, sweat and tears,
this country would not be where it is right now.
>>Anybody else want to respond to that?
While we’re back there, the lady Right in the front.
You, yes. Go ahead.
Your name, please.>>Hi.
Nigh name is gale Schnell I’m ape U.S. army veteran as well as the president and CEO Chanel
tech solutions, and I just want to stay that I strict each and
every single person here and every single race.
And we’ve all suffered some sort past.
Speaking from like the Asian-American side, I know for
the Japanese they’ve gone through concentration exams
these are all of our ancestors, and I think the only way we’re
ever going to move forward is from learning from our past,
learning from our mistakes and moving forward together as a
whole. I have a child about one of his
classmates asked him are you Filipino?
He said what’s that? Are you from the Philippines?
He said, I’m American, and I hope someday we can all think
like a child and not see a color There are interracial couples
that him hoping off a while we will stop the hatred and Indy
try to find all the ways that we together just like the in pearl
we’re made up of women and from different races and I’ve faced
racism and faced scrim nation of to dwell on the negative and
focus on the positive, and I put whoever I can and I hope others
can follow the same.>>We want to get as many people in as possible.
Hold on a second. I want this gentleman right here who has had his hand up for
quite some time time.>>From Baltimore leaders for
beautiful struggle. I think to the original point of the conversation why people ar
frayed to talk about race, we live in a society structured on
the structured on white supremacy, not people’s feelings about a particular race.
We’re talking about institutions economically, political fre
undermining humanity of people from African decent.
It’s important to know that there are countries around,
profiteering after you the suffering and miss riffs our
people, and that is a substantive imy.
Tis behind what we saw in Baltimore in terms of years of
the institutionalizeed oppression
of the people in those communities.
Until we deadly with that we’re not going to deal with the
substance of the problem that’s in front of us.
>>Point well taken. I want to come to this gentleman right here with the glasses on.
Go ahead.>>Is jaunts Tsai to my friends
from the White House initiative coming from a —
>>Hold on a second. I need another mic on him.
Hand him another mic, please. Of.
>>I just quanted to stay to my friends from the White House
initiative as a fellow Asian-American, mixesed
Asian-American, I think you really needed to hear what she
said because I think a lot of the way Asian-American issues
are framed is, hey, we experience this, too, without
ever saying not on the same scope and magnitude.
Right? But I also wanted to speak tie
second point about reforming police and law.
I mean, I think when we talk about reforms, we need to talk
about fundamental reforms, not just reform here or reform there because I think we’re in a
political system that gives us left versus right, and these are useful categories but we need to be thinking bottom versus top.
>>I got to get to the next woman.
>>Hi. I’m Samantha and I’m an activist from DC.
I wanted to say really quickly going back the to issues with
Dylann Roof and the conversation one of the problems that I see
with conversation and discourse that’s come from that is that
it’s sort of derailed the conversation, just eye personal
level because it’s given people something had to point to and
say, no, that’s racism, and that that’s really eroding very
deeply the demographics of this country that’s affected by them.
>>It reminds me of the lesson Barack Obama gave us.
Just daus because you don’t use the word.
Let’s take a look at this piece.>>August 1st, Virginia.
>>This goes when we first opened our own school.
>>That’s Ben Georges former democratic Congressman from
Georgia but probably better hone honesy known as constituteer.
>>Ain’t so no doubt about it you’ve got trouble.
>>He’s built a cottage injury after the character he betrayed
in early 1980s popular is it come “the dukes of hazard.”
>>Would you like your name on this, too?
Just want me to sign it?>>
>>Jones is the owner and major attraction at constituteer’s
museum and pursuant in Sperry Sperryville but he’s also lead
leading the charge to save the contracting.
>>We’re not ashamed of hur ancestors and not ashamed of the symbols of their courage and
their valor.>>His crusade recently drew a
persist to be line of good old boy duke fans and defenders of
the flag on Saturday.>>This is for my grandson.
>>When this flag has been used for hateful purposes, it’s a
desecration of that flag. And it has in the past.
It’s been misused. We know that.
But so has the American flag. So has the Christian cross.
>>They feel outnumbered, maybe even betrayed by mean stream
southerners who are now openly reconsidering the legacy of
slavery and its symbols.>>There are so many people died because of that flag and just to remove and it pretend like the
history didn’t happen, that’s wrong.
>>Don’t take my flag. This is who I am and where I
came from. It’s very important to me.
>>This is an easy target. The men who fought under this
flag, it wasn’t about defending slavery.
Flavor ever slavery was something they had inherited and that is was an evil but it was
the American evil. I’ve always said that slavery
was the national sin, not the southern sin.
>>The massacre of black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina by a young white man
who is was pictured brandishing the flag meant that flag had to
go, said South Carolina’s Governor.
>>That flag, while an integral part of our past, does not
represent the future of our great state.
My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us, we can
move forward as a state in harmony and we can honor the
nine blessed souls who are now in heaven.
>>We love those people, too, that was in that church and died
died.>>Why crucify everybody because of what one or two or maybe four people do?
It doesn’t make no sense.>>Some here seem resigned to
their flag coming down over state houses and some other tax-
tax-funded structures. If only it would stop there.
Taking the dukes of hazard off cable TV, merely because the con federal flag is painted on the
is it come’s general Lee satellite composite cultural
cleansing. There’s no other word for it.
That’s what it is.>>We’ve got been Jones in the
studio because it’s such an important issue.
Ben, take it from there. You know a lot of people here
want that flag removed from public space.
You do not have a problem with that.
>>Well, it depends on the public space.
I think that it is cultural cleansing.
You got to remember a few things 70 to 80 million Americans are
descended from the confederacy. No one here got to fill out an
application form when we came into this place.
We didn’t decide what color we were going to be, who our
ancestors were, in and studying at the turmoil American history
I understand that indeed. Slavery, which is a lot locker
America with started in 1619, white and black bonds men came
into Jamestown under the English 1776, under the American flag
from 1776 until 1865. Those men thought that they were doing the right thing, and
Lincoln in thinks first inaugural address makes it clear he has no problem with slavery.
Now, that’s a tough thing for people to get around, but if we
really study history, we have to debt we owe to the
African-Americans, and I think that’s clear.
They did the not, after 1865, have the same starting line as
everybody else. But if we’re going to move ahead
ahead, we have to find things, as Dr. King said, he had a dream that someday on the red hills of Georgia the softens former
slaves and the sons of former slave owners would dine together at the table of brotherhood.
We can’t do these divisive things, making these broadbrush
characterization of all of us without a reaction.
>>I got a question. Let’s deal with the State House
taxpayer-funded structures.>>Those are different arguments
arguments, and they should be taken on their merits.
There have been a compromise in South Carolina that removed it
from the capital dome where it should not have been, put it at
a confederate monument. That deal is done, and yet, and
I think folks here understand what I’m saying, every
confederate monument, every confederate statue with every
confederate flag, every cemetery day — it may not show up on the media — but our flags are being talented, our heritage is being
talented, and we did not –>>And we’re going to get into
that. I want to split this up a little bit.
Let’s that you can the confederate flag flying over
public, and when I say public you mean taxpayer finned
structures, buildings, poles, whatever.
The. Young man here from Sperryville.
>>I believe the confederate flag represents heritage.
It’s our heritage and we’re proud of it.
We’re not proud of what happened I do believe that is completely
wrong and should never have happened.
But attacking our personal property —
>>I want to get another mic because we need to hear this.
Go ahead.>>I to do do not believe
slavery was a good thing and I believe that confederate flag
represents or heritage. The attacking our private
property and what’s on our vehicles —
>>Which is happening.>>Which is happening right now.
And there was a gentleman on a street bike in Georgia, and
there was a gentleman flying a flag on the back of his pickup
truck. The gentleman on the street bike was African-American, and he
drove up beside this truck, jumped off of his street bike
and tore this flag off his truck Now, I do not want to see this
happen. This is very upsetting to me.
And the fact that they’re coming take what is ours down that is
our her knowledge –>>Can everybody agree that if
he wants to fly the confederate flag on his property that’s his
No.>>Come around this way.
Marjorie lightman, you gree.>>First of all, I want to know
what is the heritage that this flag represents?
What is the southern heritage distinct from the American
heritage which you separate out the issue of slavery?
What did the confederacy do that slave state?
>>Slavery existed in every state in this country.
It existed in every colony before that.
Slavery, and if you will read the book “the half has never
been told” by Edward Baptist, you will come to understand you
the built the American economy, it built wall street.
Read the book “complicity.” That established that it was a
northern enterprise. What it was was a bunch of
people who came out in their time to defend their rights,
what they felt were being threatened in that system.
>>. If you want to fight the Civil
War here, if you want to fight the Civil War here, no!
>>That’s their right.>>I’m not saying stupid things.
I’m expressing an opinion. Can I express an opinion?
>>If you read the documents of secession from the southern
states, not just the Vice President of confederacy speech
but the states as they secedeed, about nothing other than slavery
slavery. It was clearly about slavery and it was their determination.
They wrote themselves. That their culture was dependent upon slavery, and the
eradication of slaver waste the eradication of their culture and their property and all that they understood.
>>Noel, you want to weigh in on>>And I was going to ask we
also have to understand that the It was continued to be used for
decades and decades as a symbol of hate.
The birth of a nation, one of our first feature length films,
that is what that movie is about about.
And it’s also about the rise and We cannot separate the
confederate flag from racism, and in that way we have to be
very critical of its use, and I’m not saying we need to get
rid of it completely but I think important that we understand
that.>>Let me just — when I hear my new friend .
[ Laughter ]>>My new friend here, you can’t have it both ways.
I hear my new friend say that it’s about southern heritage and he doesn’t support slavery and
quotes Martin Luther King, Jr. He’s talking out of both sides
of his mouth. The rattle is that this is a
symbol of hatred and death. And you know what?
It shouldn’t be on federal or state government buildings or
locations. You want to put it in a museum
or put in it your house? That’s fine as far as I’m
concerned.>>Lenny and then we’ve got to
move on.>>Here’s what I can’t
understand what I hear the phrase “southern heritage.”
That suggests that the south is simply white.
It is not. The south is multi-cultural.
In fact, if we were to talk about southern heritage,
wouldn’t it make more sense to talk about Rosa parks, to talk
about the ap ligsists in the south who fought against slavery
slavery? Why is the confederate flag
which symbolized a nation that tried to continue and perpetuate slavery the symbol of southern
heritage? That doesn’t make any sense to
me.>>We’ve got to move on.
>>I mean, I think there’s more to be said here when is the
basic historical lesson which is part of America.
It was trying to leave America. That’s to be understood here.
So when you just sort of subsume historical context, that’s a
ahistorical. That’s false.
When you talk about atonement, I people that do believe there is
son concept of cultural heritage a kid in which that visual
symbol meant something different with tonement ask the people who were most affected.
You do not get to make the rules really care.
When you go to Germany you do not see symbols about that from
things look that. It’s a from a symbolism stand
pointed –>>You can’t say that but
American flag and American Indians.
>> [ Multiple people speaking ]
>>I need your attention for ay attention.
Some of the best comedians can say something and get a laugh
about some of the things we are taking at issue.
Take a look at this tape.>>I love being white.
I really do. Seriously, if you’re not white
you’re missing out. I can get in a time machine and
go to any time and it would be [bleep] awesome when I get there
there! [ Laughter ]
66 that is exclusively a white privilege.
Black people can’t [bleep] time machines.
A black guy in a time machine, hey, if this is before 1980, no
thank you. I don’t want to go.
But you can go to any time. The near 2?
I don’t what was happening but I we have a table right here for
you, sir. Thank you.
>>You watch the TV 60 minutes, you see white people pissed off.
The white man think he losing the country.
We’re losing everything! If you’ll losing, who’s winning?
[ Applause ]>>Interest ain’t us.
The white man in this room that would change places with me.
None of you. None you you would change places with me!
And I’m rich!>>You make my point.
Everybody is laughing. Reverend, what do you think?
>>Let me say this. Quickly.
First, –>>Wears past the flag.
>>It goes back to the whole white privilege thing, and
that’s the deal. When you looked at the film that you showed earlier about Rolf,
it was white privilege that he had when they took him to get a
sandwich and they arrested him, but when you arrest a black
person they’re getting handcuffed, hogtied and
everything. So white privilege exists.
And so you this talk about this idea that we’ll do justice,
until white people speak you can black people in America because
everybody done Yong in America has had reparations and the
white privilege you had when you>>Let’s go to a gentleman, I
haven’t heard from the gentleman>>I’m in criminal law in UMD.
So white privilege is very real. You can get in a time machine
and go anywhere he said. Today I can go anywhere on this
planet where there’s a department store, walking down
the street in a hoody and an eyesed tea, I know I’m going to
Other people cannot do that. That’s what’s important to
understand. If you are black in this country or Latino in this country, if
you are not white, if you are not a man in this country, crazy things can happen to you, and
that’s the opinion of white privilege, is that I can do what I want and I’m going to be okay, and that can’t always be said if you’re not white.
>>I love what happens when we start talking to one another.
Erin, one of our really talented conversation she had with a what can female colleague.
Erin, tell us about the conversation.
>>Hi. I was shopping and relaying the
story to a black coworker, and I was in sort of a fancy upscale
Bethesda store and no one talked doing, no one greeted me.
And my black coworker’s response you’re going to steal.
If I walk into the same store they’re going to be hi, how you
doing? Let me help you with this.
They kind of tail them. And it never occurred to me that that would happen.
I just thought it was bad customer service and not, you
know, someone being — someone profiling shoppers.
>>A show of hands. How many people have been
followed going not a store? How many people?
Let’s see. Whatever.
If you’re followed, you’re followed.
I see a show of hands. So the white gentleman in back
right here has been followed. Talk to me.
Stand up. Why do you suppose they were
following?>>Well, it was Christmas time
and I was going a Toys for Tots party so I went to Toys “R” Us,
probably because I’m a man walking around a toy store and I dent havey don’t have a wedding
ring on and I didn’t have any kids with me.
>>you looked scary.>>Because I hadn’t been to toys
toys R us in a long time.
One of the guys came to me, excuse me, sir, can I help you?
Gave me a dirty look.>>Young lady right here.
Right here. What about my colleague here?
Do you want to talk? Go ahead.
You got the mic.>>I think that’s the point.
He was followed in the toy store in the toy store, and we see
people of color get followed in stores because people inherently assume that they’re out of place
place. They couldn’t be shopping in
here, they must be stealing, and roughening out of time Ronk time
in terms of broadcast.
Solutions. We have to leave here having
moved the ball down the field a little bit.
I want to start with you. What do you think?
>>It dovetails well with the conversation or part of the
conversation that we were just having.
One solution is to think about it in the context of what that
comedian said no matter what time, wherever I go back, it’s
absolutely not true. It’s not true.
If you go back far if you have, if you go back to classical
Africa, you do not exist. So if you begin to help us to
recover what it was or what life an issue and we stop the
cultural cleansing and we get historical accuracy and we don’t teach beginning with slavery in
the U.S. and we begin to think about the world in terms of the
world and not the white world, then it’s a very different
conversation because our point of departure ask fundamentally
different.>>I’m looking for for solutions
solutions.>>The solution is to change the system.
>>Back here, Chris. Hurry.
A lot to talk about here.>>No, no you do not have a lot
of time.>>Bruce, I think you’ve lost
all your conservative viewers. I think this has been a very
liberal program. I think it’s great when liberals talk
to each other. If you want to talk about white
supremacy, white privilege, et et cetera.
A lot of conservatives — no, no, a lot of conservative whites out there don’t even think that
racism even exists. You got to go baby steps here. That’s a big problem.
So that’s the first step. You want people to listen.
You want to have a conversation with them and so you’ve got to
to –>>You’re trying to get the
Republican party to expand. What are you saying to your
colleagues in the Republican party to expand and include
minorities?>>It’s a big problem because
right now Donald Trump is tapping into a situation here —
>>They don’t want to hear what you’re saga about expand and
including.>>They don’t want to hear a lot of it, yes.
It’s a difficult thing for light>>Okay.
We have run of the time. An incredible conversation.
We’re going to county online. I’d like to thank all of you,
and we certainly would like to thank all of out there.
Thanks for joining us we’ll do this again.
I’m Bruce Johnson 5 a good night night. MADE POSSIBLE BY MARYLAND
RELAY, EMPOWERING THOSE WHO ARE DEAF, HARD OF HEARING OR
SPEECH DISABLED TO STAY CONNECTED BY PHONE>>This program proposal has
been a special presentation by W WUSA 9 and the Washington Post.>>Jeff: You have been watch
race: An honest conversation with Bruce Johnson.
Next, a live special edition of MPT eats “Direct Connection”.”
We will expand on the issues of race in American society and we
will take your questions, too. You can call us at
1-800-222-1292 89260629 or et two us a yep
power twitter address is @MPTnews.
Again, you can add your voice to 89260629 or
@MPTnews on Twitter. “Direct Connection” starts now.>>”DIRECT CONNECTION” IS MADE
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THANK YOU. LIVE FROM MARYLAND PUBLIC
TELEVISION, THIS IS “DIRECT CONNECTION” WITH JEFF SALKIN.
Judge good evening and welcome to this special edition of
“Direct Connection”.” Our thanks had to WUSA9 and the
Washington Post for the chance to rebod cast their program this evening.
Joining us now in the studio are NAACP legal defense and
educational fund, and Michael Higgenbotham, law professor at
the University of Bart with Arthur of goafs gym Crowe, end
ending video games in post racial America.
I just happen to have a copy of it here.
Thank you both for being being with us.
After the last hour of programming, do you want to re
rethink the post racial North America?
>>It should be in quotation mansion.
We’re not there yet.>>Explain the phrase.
What does ha that mean?>>Post racial means that race
is no longer significant in terms of opportunities afforded
or in terms of hardships endured We’re clearly not there jet.
Vase still a significant factor. I hope that one day we will be
there but we’re not there yet.>>Cherylin, where would you say we are on that path?
And sorry to interrupt so early. Has there been some backslideing maybe in the last year or two?
>>I think it really depends on when you start counting, and I
actually don’t start counting until 1954 when the Supreme
Court decide brown versus board of education.
I always effort to United States equality as a teenager.
We’re really quite young. We were essentially an apart
Hyde state for the 100 years before that.
And it’s only with brown versus board of disparks then the civil rights act of 1964 that we even
began to at least legally imagine ourselves as a society
where race did not define where you could go, where you could
sit, what you could do, how you were educated and so forth, and
if you think about it that way, if you think about that 61 years
years, we’re really quite young and we’re really quite early on
the path, and I think sometimes we get impatient with ourselves
because we have an image in our heads of America as the place of equality as though that’s what
it’s always been. But it’s actually a very recent
vintage and a lot of what we think are experiencing right now are the growing pains of
progress. And so the progress, for example
example, of having elected an African-American president
brings with it certain kinds of growing pains, and some of what
it has brought is a kind of anger and a kind of pet lance
ask a kind of confusion by some members of the white community.
It maybe brought too much hope hopefulness by some NBC of the
African-American community who thought we might be post racial.
I think it is normal but it is painful.
>>I read that Thurgood Marshall thought would be about five
years and that we would be post racial that go soon.
>>What he thought was it would be five years to integrate the
schools because he also thought that the Supreme Court would
vehicle having ruled that segregation was unconstitutional would require the immediate
integration of schools but as we didn’t do that.
A year later they sideed the brown 2 case in which they said
we’ll give southern jurisdictions the time they need to make this happen, and what
happened in that period was massive resistance, was an
organized effort by southern leaders with politicians,
members of cork to at all costs resist the Supreme Court’s
decision in brown versus board of education, and I think
Marshall could not have anticipated that.
>>I have a full bank phone calls, I lot of tweets we want
to get to, but I think we need to more fully hear your views
before we do that. So give Mia issuing picture
going formed best case scenario. Everything goes right.
People do the right things, government does the right thing.
How do we get to where we want to be in the next decade?
>>I think there’s three things we need to do.
First and foremost recognize we still have a problem.
A Sherylin has indicated and people have said a lot of people think we are post racial already
already, that we’ve already arrived, and so I think we
really need to recognized that we have a problem.
Once we do that, I think we need communities.
Tremendous racial disparities exist today not only in the
criminal justice system but in schools, in employment, in the
political Auburn, in voting rights, and so we need to reduce and eliminate those disparities.
We can do that with passing laws creation act, job education, job creation act.
We can do that in the educational arena as well and
also the employment arena. Third and I think most suggests
suggestsly we need to equalize our society.
Integration –>>From an economic standpoint?
>>Not only from an economic standpoint but throughout the
society in terms of housing, in terms of schools.
Immigration diversity is such an Lived in integrated
neighborhoods all my life and I learned a lesson that I think
not enough Americans learn today today, and that is that good and bad people, smart and UN dumb
people come Nall colors, and when you live in an integrated
environment, you see on it a daily basis, and so it’s not a
big deal to be able to refute disparities that — to be able
to refute stereotypes that we severe day in this society.
>>That’s a really interesting point.
The percentage of poem, I can’t even guess what it would be who
live in a reasonabley integrated Not the case in Sam town,
Winchester. Not the case in other parts of
Baltimore city that are close to>>Well, I think that you have
hit the nail on the head, as has and racism is just about
feelings. In fact, I think that’s what
many of us were taught when we were young, that it’s about mean
mean, terrible people who are raceist and the other good
people who are not raceist.
And while that is also true that people who are racist and there
are certainly good people who are not, the truth is that
racism manifested itself through and investments, and those
policies, laws and investments produced the society that you’re describing, this incredibley
hyper segregated society. It’s not just about whether or
not somebody wants to live next to a black person.
That’s part of it. But a lot of it is really the
investments that we made as a society, investments that were
created frankly and developed by especially in the housing realm.
It was the federal government that beginning in the 1930s
required racially segregated housing when they started
provide p mortgage insurance. It was the federal government
that gave the tax subsidies to the creation of all white
suburbs. They insisted that those suburbs be all white when they supported T. around the crit in 1950s.
It was the investment in the interstate highway system that
made it possible. Now we have to ask ourselves
question. When we Rhen then realized that
we passed the fair housing act of 1968, have we made the same
level of investment on the other level of investments to create
had an integrated society that we made to create a segregated,
and it the answer is is no. That’s why Baltimore still looks the way it does, and that’s why
the concentrated segregation that we see in places like
Baltimore still exist all over the country in the north.
>>I mean, there’s no rewright history.
There’s no unwinding from legal
segregation all the way back to slavery.
It is what it is.>>You only saw that by going
forward with new investments. Think about dish just gave the
example of intersay the I. state I think many people think that’s a great thing.
I’m on I-83. I’d be winding down some country road right now.
So we’re all happy about it. But what they did, it was a
decision to make what we now recognize a kind of mil class
America. The white suburbs is something
that was created after World War War II.
We created a GI bill because we wanted to give these returning
association remembers most of whom were not highly educated,
an opportunity to become what we words, we Mack a decision about
the society we want to see and then we make investments in that society.
So if we are serious about want wanting to see a society that is racially and economically
integrated then we’ll make the kind of investments that we made in the 19 informants.
>>And to do it in a — 1950s.>>And to do it in a fair and
equitable manner because many of administered in a racially
discriminatory manner. The opportunities were there for tom some.
They should have been there for everybody.
And because of practices and policies that were scrim in a
Tory many individuals did not get a chance to take advantage
of those opportunities.>>Let’s calls from callers.
Ralph, go ahead. Hello.
>>I believe this, and I believe [ not audible ]
Baltimore is I great city. I love it only been here 40
years, and I’ve been here under pendersack and some other mayors
mayors. But I think this city can grow
into the best city in the country.
But first weave to educate the people.
we’ve have we have to educate the people.
And you’ve hit the the nail on the head.
You said all the whites and all the blacks.
[ not audible ] Clean up these neighborhoods.
Get a broom out and sweep these neighborhoods.
Put the cocaine, the drugs out of the neighborhoods.
>>Ralph, thank you very much for the phone call because it
brus up a couple of interesting points.
One is economic disparities in the African-American community.
I mean, is racism a — is the level racism experienced at
different strata economically a different thing in your view?
>>I think the tis disparities are widespread today, and
unfortunately they’re getting worse.
I think that’s one of the real issues when you ask have we made progress.
Yes, certain progress has been made.
But one of the things that is really frightening is that this
progress has been made but it’s an ebb and a flow and now we’ve
been going back. As Cherylin said, it depends on
when you look at the start date. Y recently the disparities have
been getting wideer and that’s what we see in Baltimore.
Unemployment rate in Sam town Winchester and other communities
communities, you’re talk about ever talking about 33% un
unemployment. When you have those significant
levels, you’re going to have conflicts.
>>Look, it’s a very complicated several pieces that make it so
He talked about getting the drugs out of neighborhood.
I think we’re now coming tie national recognition across
party lines, across racial lines has it not worked but it has
actually harmed communities by criminalizeing so much behavior
and createing this kind of prison
culture that has really embedded communities that we see around
Baltimore. So there’s already some effort
to begin to address that. We recognize that’s part of the
problem. Then there’s the education
problem which is, by the way, not disconnected with the
housing segregation problem because what you need in order
to make our educational system work is the same thing you need
to make our neighborhoods work. We need mixed income hundreds,
we need mix income schools. We participated in a case
challengeing, sueing H.U.D. for certifying grated public housing in Baltimore and that case
settled in 2007 and we showed in deeply distressed communities on children, not just where there
are some poor people but communities where everyone is
poor, communities where there is kind of trauma that this
inflicts on young people and affects their life outcomes.
You cannot expect that child who lived in this stressed community with stress all around them to
then walk in a classroom and be prepared to learn and sit in
their chair and be prepared to participate and be positive.
So all of these pieces are inter interconnected, and if we
actually want to get our hands around it, with all drew respect I understand what the caller
means, it’s more than just getting a broom out.
It’s going to require taking all the various sectors, economics,
housing, criminologist and coming do bear with the best
ideas that we have.>>The challenges of racism and
racial issues concern people in communities all across our state
state. Here now is MPT’s Charles
Robinson.>>Charles: Corning to experts,
how we see race can be divide need three categories.
It includes housing, education, and policeing.
West Baltimore and Roland park are miles apart and might as
well be worlds apart. A pair of perspectives from two
authors in residence. First up is Dwight Watkins whose pen name is D. Watkins.
He chronicles his upbringing in Baltimore, tray verseing a drug
culture, could be tank a master of fine arts from John Hopkins,
teaching and becoming a columnist.
He is the author of the B side.>>There are different
neighborhoods you can go to in Baltimore city and not see a
black face, and in certain neighborhoods you can go to in
Baltimore and not see a white face unless ooh a police officer or a teacher or something like
that. The divide is real.
There are a couple of places where the races cross pathed but social races aren’t where they
need to be at which you can live much of race.
The way the city is configure, the way the transportation
system is configured, you can come into the city, the theater, to the museums and go right back out without going through the
neighborhoods. So I think there wasn’t as much
conversation about race then the some other cities.
>>Charles: Dr. Parks, who teaches at the University of
Maryland, says this interest in a conversation about race is a
sign of the times.>>Right now is a moment of
opportunity for Baltimore. There’s a lot of attention from
across the world in Baltimore. Recently with the woman from
Brazil who had watched on it television and knew exactly what she thought was going on in
Baltimore I think that attention It also brings opportunities,
and I think we have a danger of people jockeying for position to speak for Baltimore in ways that Baltimore doesn’t need.
We don’t need a spokesman. We Ed don’t need a leader.
We need all of the sources to come to the front.
>>Charles: Assessments are one thing, but fight their age
differences, both see positives coming out of the conversation.
>>I was super optimistic because you work hard every day
to try to do my part, like I understand that the changes that I would like to see won’t come
in my lifetime but you know I’m doing my part to lay the
foundation so younger people can>>Baltimore has become symbolic across the world.
Protesters across the world are saying “we are Baltimore.”
And so that means that this attention Nancy that this is a
moment where change could actually and finally come.
But it also means that there is I think some energy to, quote,
get back to normal, to get back to the old status quo, which
means the problems are still there.
We just pasted over them. We didn’t talk about them.
And I think cultures are systems systems, and people try to self-
self-correct, and that is the self correction, to get back to
the old ways, the old types of power, and I think this is a
moment when Baltimore really could show that it has a heart,
and show that there’s intelligence on the ground.
>>Charles: There is a lot of energy being exerted about what
to do next. However circumstances beyond the control of judicial leadership
may direct the narrative. In Baltimore, I’m Charles
Robinson.>>Jeff: Charles, thank you.
Here’s a tweet I’d like to get your thoughts on.
“how would you explain the existence of racism in this day
and age to those who honestly believe it does not exist?”
Largely white folks, I would assume.
>>I think there’s two types of racism and people need to be
aware of both. There’s cultural racism, that’s
sort of the prejudices, the values that individuals have.
It’s the very traditional aspects of people say I don’t
like someone because they’re a certain race.
And clearly that exists today in Clearly that exists.
There’s plenty of samples of people getting out of swimming
pools. I talk about it, the book of Jim crow, of kids getting out
swimming pools, white kids getting out because black kids
came. That’s some of the stuff that
happened during Jim crow. Of people moving out of
neighborhoods because blacks move in, whites moving out of
neighborhoods, a practice that kissed the during Jim crow.
So that continues to go on. P maybe not is on the same
extent that it did during Jim crow but it continues.
But there’s also structural racism, disproportional impact
of policies and laws and practices, disproportionate
impact on racial minorities, whether you’re talking about
voting, I.D. laws that have a disproportionate impact, whether you’re talking about criminal
justice practices like racial profiling which has a dis
disproportionate impact. Those things exist today.
And so what I I. would site caller is the eye cannot see
what the mind does not comprehend, and so it’s very
important to look at what’s going on today and be able to
recognize that and not to turn a>>Sherrylynn your shots on that from the spective of somebody
who writes a tweet thinking that president, African-American law
professors and authors. What’s the problem?
>>I don’t think I could improve said.
I guess I would say this, I would really turn the question
back on the tweeter which is tell me how you know it doesn’t
exist. I do think that —
>>If if you’re white, which the it harder to understand?
>>I think it is because of what you just showed talked about.
If you just talk about a place like Baltimore.
Because of this structural racism that Michael talked about and because of the weight of
this history, our society is worked are organized that I way
that if you are a white person, particularly at a certain socio
socioeconomic level, you actually don’t have to encounter it, you don’t have to see it,
you do not have to experience it it.
Then you add to that the rattle that so much of the success of
the civil rights movement is that overt expressions of racism
racism, actually until very recently were regard added
socially unacceptable, so racism when you hear team people
talking about implicit bias. When you and I walk into a ROM
we assess the room immediately. Not with our conscious minds.
I assume he is you’re a man, he is a man.
I assume he is African-American or you’re white.
But it could turn out he could be Latino or you could be.
I made a says of assessments that I just did automatically
and that every person does. The question is is your mind
open to having that immediate reaction changed.
Are you so embedded in your stereotype, in your belief about what somebody looks like and
what that means about who they are and how smart they are and
how moral they are and so forth or is your mind open?
Because at the moment that you suddenly start speak me and say, no, I am Latino, my mind has
been changed, and I think we have to recognize that parts of
what we see in our society, the structural parts of it is
explicit video games but parts of this implicit video games
that many people carry in them and hold onto and refuse to have changed by just facts and rattle and engaging with human beings.
>>And it’s such an important aspect of what judgments do we
make. There’s nothing wrong with
recognizeing someone’s race. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But what judgments do we make –>>Do we attach to that.
>>Let’s grab some phone calms. Breakerley county, west Virginia
Virginia. This is Janet.
Thank you for holding. Go ahead.
>>Yes. I just — I had to move out of
Baltimore. I was in Baltimore for six years
years. I married.
I have three little boys who are And I got tired of being looked
at like we were animals. I’m an educated Muslim woman,
University of Florida, and this is the worst place I think that
I have ever been to is Baltimore Baltimore.
I’ve never seen anything like. It like I said, my father was in the military for 20 years and we traveled all over, and it just
got to be too much. I suffered more here in west
Virginia than I ever did in Baltimore.
>>So you made that decision for>>Yes.
I had to for the sake of my family because I just felt like
we were not going to prosper in Baltimore.
>>Interesting. So glad you called.
Janet, thank you very much. Thoughts on that?
>>I think it speaks for itself. She talked about how she felt
perceived, and I think that have these conversations I think many of us at various parts of
our journ ev experienced.>>Stafford county, this ised Ed
Eddy. Thank you for the call.
Go ahead.>>One thing I want to really
stress is that we have to really America is also based on
profiteering. One of the biggest things that
we have to look at is our penal system and how it is allowed to
perpetuate itself in the black community.
There is money involved and allow certain things to take
place in Baltimore. One of the things I want to
stress about Baltimore is that most blacks in a so-called right situation in Baltimore, the
buildings that they were burning by the people outside the
community. There was money being made as
those builds were destroyed. People were staying, let them
tear my building down Taus because they’re making me money.
All those young blacks in Baltimore did not understand at
that point in time they were being pimped by other entities
outside of their community. One thing we have to understand
about Baltimore and all the major cities of America with
blacks don’t own anymore. We do not own.
We don’t own innings anymore. We lease.
We rent. But the problem is that we don’t own things.
And one of the reasons I think what you saw explode in
Baltimore the way it did was that the young people of
Baltimore don’t feel they have an investment in Baltimore.
They don’t feel that they are part of that community.
>>Sir, thank you very much for the phone call.
Let’s take one other Baltimore city, Clarence.
Clarence, thank you for the call call.
I’m calling because there is a video called “the journey of man
man” which explains the origin of the human race, and I’m
wondering why nobody is discussing this video.
>>Clarence, give it to me in 20>>The video discloses that the
ore June of the human race is Africa.
They’ve even tracked back to the modern man.
>>Thank you very much for the phone call.
Is he heading for rural African-Americans, I suppose?
>>Well, I’m not familiar with the video he’s talking about,
about it do think there’s two things that are important in
terms of what the caller mentioned.
One is that we get our history accurate.
That we’re accurate in the portrayal of our history,
whether it’s American history or Second aspect is we have to
empower our minority communities communities, and I think the
caller mentioned that many don’t We have to empower people.
We have to give them hope. We have to give them
opportunities. And whether it be educational
opportunities, business opportunities, employment, we
need to give people hope and opportunity, and many of the
individuals in Baltimore don’t feel that right now.
>>I think I’m down to a minute or so.
And I wanted to talk a little bit about what’s happening in
civil rights movement. You’re a part of it.
Also, black lives matter. And how you see that dynamic.
>>I think we’re in this really wonderful and really critically
important moment in this country country.
It really began with the death and killing of Trayvon Martin
which I think La’el laid the foundation that then — laid the focus after Mike brown was
killed in Ferguson last year, and all over the country we see
young people demanding to be seen, recognizeing themselves,
very bright young people who are matter, that the lives of
African-American people matter, and they are saying that in a
provocative way and in a loud way so that America can hear it.
And what it has produced, and we it’s produced, is it’s produced
attention tie problem that my organization and many others
have worked for decade which is the issue of police-involved
killings of unarmed citizens and African-American citizens.
This this is something that people not have have not wanted
to talk about. We have litigated in this area
and advance this had issue. But now it’s seen all over the
country. So America is paying attention.
>>We are out of time to pay attention but we’re going to
continue at MPT.org/lives for the next few minutes.
Callers please hold on. Everyone else, thanks for
joining us. Have a good night. MADE POSSIBLE BY MARYLAND
RELAY, EMPOWERING THOSE WHO ARE DEAF, HARD OF HEARING OR
SPEECH DISABLED TO STAY CONNECTED BY PHONE>>Announcer: THIS PROGRAM WAS
MADE BY MPT TO SERVE ALL OF OUR DIVERSE COMMUNITIES. Y continualing on live now at
MPT.org/live and youtube. Sherry lip and Michael had I
gone Higgenbotham let’s continue to
take phone calls. Joining us from Prince George’s
county is game thanks for the call.
I used to be an EEO rep. I was in a union.
And I always found in the cases that I dealt with that the bacon problem was that — the basic
problem was that discrimination was fun, and I tried to do what
I could to make it painful for the perp — perpetrator but I
never came to a good solution. And I really think that’s what
we’ve got to do. And I was wondering how do we
make racism, discrimination pain painful for the perpetrator.
>>Interesting question. Thank you very much.
>>That’s one that I talk about in my book “ghost of Jim crow”
in terms of solutions one of the to get tough on discrimination,
and that means serious penalties also we need to identify it as
perhaps a criminal act rather than just a civil penalty, and
so we need to get tough. We say we’re tough on a whole
lot of things in this society. We need to be tough on
discrimination so that people that actually commit the acts
are adequately punished.>>Employment discrimination
housing discrimination.>>All of it.
>>Part of the problem is we don’t even in our law create
enough room to acknowledge that the act exists.
Eyes not as just about the penalty.
The truth is that what we increasingly discover most
judges are hard wired not to believe a story of
discrimination. In fact I think because they
don’t want to believe it, because they haven’t been
exposed to it. I think that many people are
addicted to black and white television and a sheriff with a
hat and a hose and that’s what discrimination looks like, and
if it looks like a perfectly nice person, there’s a lot of
effort to accept any other possible splen Haitian that
there could be besides the one that’s stareing them straight in the face.
So one of the things I think we need to do is to really re
reeducate ourselves and to engage ourselves in understand
understanding and have our judiciary really understand what is discrimination, what does it
looks like, how does it manifest>>You’ve written about the
importance of having a diverse judiciary.
I’m thinking about the Freddie gray case where we have an
African-American judge. Which shouldn’t matter, right?
>>It shouldn’t.>>But everybody’s probably
pleased.>>One of the things I wrote
about is that diversity on the bench, it’s not just about the
decisions that the judge makes, it’s about how that judiciary as a whole is perceived by the
public, right.>>Because people want to see
that a judiciary is inclusive. It also happens to be true that
having a diverse judiciary can produce different results in
that at least it can produce different conversation as you
get to the result in that it allows different perspectives to come to the table.
That’s not only true of racial. It’s true of injured and
background diverse Phip what did Where’s their background.
I think that diversity is important in this particular
instance and in Baltimore city because you want the public to
have a sense of confidence that when they look at the judiciary
no group is barred from participating in making these
critical decisions that are going to affect our community.
>>Let’s grab one more phone call.
Baltimore city. This is Alma.
Alma, thank you for holding. Go ahead.
>>Yes. I disagree with that.
I think they need to have some barriers senators Emans paying
proclamation, that was already taken chair of, and so blacks
don’t have to go through a lot of the turmoil that we went
through in years past. But I think what’s happened is
they’re using that as a crutch to try to promote different
things. I’m going to the wrath that they put all kinds of garbage that
represents the black community and saying this is what the
black culture is all about. Drugs, thugs, making money,
killing, shooting. This — and people look back
week oh, that’s — at one point in time you could ban that kind
of garbage from coming through our aur waves or put fences on
that kind of music, whereas now everybody has a blind eye, they
want to slide it under art and say it’s okay.
And then when it’s practiced in community —
>>Oops. Still there?
Just getting going. Any thoughts?
>>I didn’t follow all that.>>I didn’t, either, except that we have seen this before.
One of the problems that we have discrimination and inequality in our country is that we have a
discipline problem. We can’t keep our eye focused on the problem and so we start
letting our mind drift into all kind of have kind other issues
that may be issues that should be talked about.
If she has a problem with rap music that’s appropriate to talk about.
But that’s not the issue we’re talking about today, and it
doesn’t mean that let’s talk about everything that’s related
to black people and everything that’s related to white people
President it. Requires discipline because it’s hard and that’s why we move off
time. It makes it seem like an
intractable problem and we don’t So we talk about these other
things that we feel more comfortable talking about and we feel we can goiter hands or not.
I think hopefully what will happen out of this past year is
that America will develop at least for some period of time a
sense of discipline or willing willingness to Graeme with the
thing that’s on the table, the issue of police involved
violence or issues of segregation.
Let’s get our hands around one of these problems and use all
our energy to try to solve it.>>I do think the caller was
struggleing with identifying some
of the positive aspects that blacks have contributed to this
country, and clearly there’s a great history here, a lot of
times it’s overlooked. It’s undervalued.
And I think it’s very important that the truth of our history
and of black participation and struggle and accomplishment in
this society is accurately portrayed.
>>Professors, delighted you could come in.
I know it’s a long drive. Michael, in your case the book ”
“ghost of Jim crow, ending