tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN November 29, 2009 2:00am-6:00am EST
that is our challenge. [applause] >> jesse jackson won the predominantly white town. >> doing my best against the odds of a desire to develop and served. god is not finished with me yet. >> jackson emerged as an international figure, a man on the rise. he fought for the release of hostages held in beirut.
according to a 1985 poll, americans held him in higher esteem sense in the figure since ronald reagan. jackson simply reduced to succeed. he continued to diverge to the democratic leadership plan to allow a liberal to become a nominee. >> there was this large number of primaries that would be held on the same day. what is he going to do? vote for him. >> jackson finished first or second in 13 of the 16 primaries. he was in a dead heat with the caucus for votes.
minutes later, he called. >> he told me, we won the michigan. he was exhilarated. >> jackson did not just beat the caucus, he won nearly one- quarter of the state's white vote. >> there was a moment or you thought, is it possible? we might do this. >> people thought, my goodness, look what might happen. he changed the game. >> you wondered, we are to
here in congress are part of that and still are part of a coalition. he paved the way for some many of us to be where we are and who we are as members of congress. we just say thank you today. " we encourage you to fight the good fight and keep hope alive. you certainly have kept us inspired by your life's work. on behalf of the congressional black caucus, we would like to present to you a small token of appreciation from the 42 members of the congressional black caucus. we like to thank you for persevering so many years. 25 years. thank you and god bless you. >> that my exit but -- let me express my thanks to you for how
much you were and are and will be. give the congressman a big hand. members of the caucus, all of us are going between meetings. but me hastily express my thanks to all of you for supporting. i have been part of a change, 54 years. the 54th supreme court decision will define all in the country. rosa parks sent down to challenge the law with a lawsuit in 1956,. dr. king emerged added that battle. nine years later, we had the
in 1975, there was a battle to expand beyond english only. in 1984, there were four more people voting and so we challenged the rules against democratize to democracy. that is how they got 1220 delegates. they went back three years later. about 2008, the walls have not been turned -- torn down. it is bridge building time.
president barack obama ran a magnificent leg of this race. the race is not over. some of us are shouting prematurely. the cleveland browns and the new york jets, there was third down and forced down, maybe five to go. the jets got 3 yards. they did not make it. the browns would have the ball. the player for the browns come in his excitement, had a foul. therefore, the jets got the ball back. the one on a field goal because the player shouted before the game was over. my fear is that many of us are shouting before this game is over. we are in a different place. on your tables as an edition of
"the chicago tribune" from last friday. don't let them confuse racial justice and racism. those are not synonymous terms. and racial justice is legal and moral. we should not let them charge the current electorate and make us become race neutral because you cannot cut down a strong tree with a dull ax. you can spread mayonnaise with it. you cannot cut down a strong tree. look at the white house. look at the government of new york and massachusetts. look at the congressional black caucus. it is midnight in our politics and economy. the irony of this thing is that we have found ourselves with
this enormous home foreclosure crisis and the banksters who profited from the deal -- we bailed out the banks. jesse james got paid twice. the government bailed out jesse james. this is the same board of directors. nothing changed about the character on wall street. i close on this. we have bailed out the leaves. it is now time to bail out the roots. there is racial discrimination
and poverty. what i find most disturbing is not that we are being attacked. 2.3 million americans in@@@@@@@ there is silence and it has not changed. the disproportionate infant mortality rate is higher and life expectancy is shorter. less access to capital industry, technology, broadband, and we are silent. it is as if to say that if this building caught on fire, and we were all burned up, people would pity as because we were victims
roosevelt said that he agrees with everything that we are saying. poll -- without your activism, i cannot even be your ally in the white house. than ever before. more of us with degrees. when i was in south carolina growing up, we did not have no degrees or measurable intelligence. there would be making all kind of noise in cleveland. you'd go to the valentine packing plant two blocks away.
you could smell those hogs. they would back up to a pool of scalding hot water, boiling hot water. they would put the grease in the bottom and the hog would slide down and have no hair and the sausages on the other end. those hogs, smelling their death, those hogs squealed so loud, with a stink so odorous, people change the law because hogs had enough sense to squeal. [applause] if we have the highest unemployment and the most foreclosures and the most in jail, the least access to
capital, victims of the most hate crimes, we should at least halve hope. thank you all. [applause] >> thank you for setting the tone and providing the framework for this discussion. thank you so much for your leadership. we will now move forward with our panel. let me bring forth once again the chair of the congressional black caucus, one who continues to help the cbc speak with one voice, who continues to keep a steady with his brilliant intellect and his spirit, congressman emanuel cleaver from the great state of kansas. give the congressman a round of applause. [applause] once our panel discussion has
ended, then we will open for questions. i would ask members of the cbc if they could be first to ask the question of they so desire. i know they have other commitments and will continue to move forward with audience participation. i would like for members to be ready to ask your question. thank you again. reverend? >> we're fortunate to have some of the most profound members of the panel that will discuss race. as reverend jackson said earlier, it is not passe. the first speaker for our panel is dean alan goodman of the american anthropological association and the vice president of academic affairs.
his research focuses on the nutritional and health consequences of racism, poverty, and equality. he is the editor or offer of seven books and over 100 articles. he helped develop and appeared in "race, the power of an illusion." we are very pleased to present dean alan goodman. [applause] >> reverend jackson, congresspersons, members of congress, colleagues and guests, i am honored to speak tonight. while americans think obsessively about race, most are dazed and confused about what it is and what it isn't. is it in our genes and out of
our control? is it an idea, a brilliantly nefarious human invention to maintain and promote differences and inequalities? perhaps even more important, how do we explain and ameliorate the devastating consequences of racial inequality in welfare and health? our eyes and our limited experience once led us to believe the art was flat. sailors saw curbs in the air service and scientists discovered that curves continued and the earth was round. this change in knowledge led to a change in theory, a paradigm shift. this new view of the rounder it changed everything. it led to intercontinental trade and conquest. the conquest was aided and abetted by a racist ideology.
similarly, our eyes and our experience lead as to believe at this time that the idea of race explained and was the same as the facts of human biological variation. this old idea of race was hegemonic and in some places still is. however, scientists have known for nearly 50 years that this fact is incorrect. of race does -- race does not explain genetic variation. it is not only scientifically wrong, but harmful. why? it diverts our attention and resources from racism and the real sociopolitical causes of racial inequality. because race is genetic is found in the dominant, white, ideological and economic interest, it has not been completely thrown on the scrap
heap of the dead scientific idea. example -- decades of research tried to locate the cause of native american diabetes in their genes. it led to a lack of promotion of programs to promote life changes for native americans. decades of research have tried to locate the genes responsible for the persistent high rate of low birth rate and infant mortality in black babies. the cause has not been found and they are simply not there. rather, we know that removing interlinked environmental conditions underemployment, powerlessness come up for food, and stress, removing racism from the equation all reduce the horrifying loss of life. this is back as the goal of the congressional black caucus. in both cases, real people with real diseases suffer because of faulty racist very.
illness is caused by biomedicine. and i say that race is genetic is ideological. illness is caused by a sixth ferry. research compared to 25,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms. these are the letters in our dna. the data shows that randomly chosen africans are to met -- genetically more different from each other than one is from a european or asian. comparing strands of dna side- by-side, one is likely to find more variation between two members of the congressional black caucus then between a cbc member and me. why? human genetic diversity is greatest in africa and in african-americans because africa is evolutionary zero old
-- 11 -- evolutionarily old. they are a genetic subset of africans. asians are genetically like the smaller russian dolls nested in the larger russian dolls that is africa. of course, we differ by skin color. that is important, as our next pick will talk about, not genetically, but because it has been used to mark privilege. the paradigm shift is from the seeing races genetic differences as seeing it as a difference of living in a racist society. it is said that we are living in racial smog from womb to tomb, which in exurb please seeps into all our minds and bodies with
tragic devastation. race should be better thought of as a verve than a noun. the stark reality of racism is seen in wealth and health. as shown in the american anthropological association exhibit, which will be at the smithsonian, the average white family has accumulated wealth at a rate of over eight times that of the average black family. black life expectancy lags behind white life expectancy by nearly six years. black babies still continue to dieter rate that is twice that of black babies. race is genetic might be disproved, but race as a verb, as an activity, racial as asian and racism are live. -- racialization and racism are
alive. it is not whether race is real, but in what ways we make it and continue to make it a reality. speaking as a scientist, race will no longer be so salient when there is proof in the number. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, dean. this is one of those panels where there are no dips. it is a high-level panel from the beginning to the end. the next person as michael bleakly from the national endowment of the humanities, prof. of anthropology, of americans that is, and out and director of the institute of historical biology at the college of william and mary. he is a key adviser of the award winning race exposition and a
scholarly adviser of the national museum of african- national museum of african- am -- by the way, for those who are watching on c-span, if you come to the capital, it would be advisable for you to take a stop at the national museum of african-american history. our chair was honored there this past september. it is a fabulous place where we hope more and more americans will stop to look at the history and culture of this nation dr. blakely has served prior research positions at the natural history museum. . he is taught at several
colleges. he founded a biological anthropologist laboratory. dr. blakely. [applause] >> reverend jackson, congresswoman lee, members of congress, friends, i am going to talk about the new american racism. racism is fundamentally a method for the justification of on justified privilege for white americans. that is how it began. the treatment of human beings as someone's private property contradicted morality in the colonial oeruperiod. religion and science were brought to the defense of slavery by making blacks and indians out to be divinely your innately inferior and to put god and nature on the side of white privilege. the scientific studies upon which the justification of
slavery, jim crow segregation, and immigration restriction were based were later found to be no more than a massive collusion of white scholars and society to reinforce their delusions' of white privilege. during the post war time, american scientists began to question race. they found there to be no good scientific basis for thinking that reyes determined how people behaved, their intellect, and how they should be treated in society. it could then be discovered that racial categories or arbitrary in nature, that genes were not distributed according to race. by the time of the 1968 civil rights act, political activism had defeated the credibility of racist lots and language and
began to establish a prominently anti racist ethic for american society. nonetheless, there is abundant material evidence that white privilege continues. what is the method, i must ask, used to justify white privilege in an anti-racist society? some americans took up the idea of the nonexistence of natural race as a means of denying the existence of racism and white privilege. by the 1980's, we saw the erosion of the recognition of racism in american society even while a sect of white supremacist institutions persisted. by the 1990's, many whites did not consider themselves to be part of a race. they considered themselves to be normal, american individuals. others were considered to be ethnic, multi-cultural.
even liberal whites generated the idea that whites were not in a position of privilege. they did not even exist. perhaps unintentionally, they claimed the superiority implied by the idea that they were standard, normal, object of humanity. although these positions seem intended to oppose racism, they simply reconstruct white supremacy in anti-racial terms. at about the same moment, racism was being defined as the act of referring to race and racism. thus the word "racism." it was largely silenced as bad manners, an excuse for self- victimization, and a ploy for personal advantage, i e the race card. efforts to mitigate the damage of historical and present white supremacy came to be interpreted
as reverse racism. thus, anti-racism has come to be defined as racism. there's more. racism came to be defined by some as anti racism. we have seen the cherished language of freedom and equality appropriated for the maintenance of white privilege. conservative pundits tell us there is a level playing field. the public, who buy into this, much -- must conclude that some sort of natural or moral inequality explains the stark racial differences in wealth and social conditions that are visible all round us. legal correctives such as affirmative action set aside and are logically baseless if the playing field is level. the common belief among whites that the few people of color in
selected schools and prime jobs must be there for reasons other than merit assumes that they do not have the capacity to compete fairly with whites. the premise of this kind of social behavior is that non- whites are inferior to whites. it is presented as if it were an anti racist defense of individual freedom and equal opportunity for all. the level playing field stands, the denial of witness, and the silencing discourse on racism comprise the new racism. these are the means by which white privilege goes unchallenged. we do not live in oppose racial society. we live in denial.
our school curriculum and our landscape also leave enormous business where rates as logic to exploit. education continues to detail how white america ends and europeans -- details white americans and europeans. racism is experienced in has schools. i ask, did you have any courses in african or african-american history? the student answered, no. i said to her, do you experience racism? the unmarked spaces are where the morality of white privilege should become as a parent as the enormity of the african-american contributions to american
resources of which they received no fair share. much has been accomplished in all of these areas, notably by people sitting in this room. we are asked to stop and celebrate at the 50 yard line. if we are silenced, the truth cannot be told. it is the truth that has gotten us this far. [applause] >> thank you, professor. before we move further, i want to acknowledge the presence now of congresswoman laura richardson from california. [applause] and only the fourth african- american senator to serve during the enlightenment period,
senator roland burris of illinois. three of the four are from illinois. let me introduce now the speaker on how laws affect the treatment of groups. she is of the howard university school of law. [applause] she has students here. she teaches constitutional law and human rights as well as gender and the law. she is a director of the law school's constitutional law center. in addition, the professor chairs the steering committee of the campaign for a new domestic human rights agenda, a coalition of more than 50 national human rights of social justice organizations in the country working to further the human
rights agenda. she contributes to www.theroo t.com, an online magazine the provides commentary on news from a variety of black perspectives. [applause] >> good evening. i would like to join with my fellow panelists and think congress womanly -- congresswoman lee and the others for the invitation and the opportunity to talk a little bit about race and politics from a particular perspective. i am going to try to tamp down the professor part and raise up the other part, in large part
because it is late. the professor part puts people to sleep early in the morning. the odds are against me if i delved deep into a constitutional conversation about the nature race. i think perhaps i want to start with a slightly provocative statement that i don't think we are post race, but perhaps we are post civil rights. i say that to recognize it is not post-civil rights, but pre- civil rights. as the congressman noted, in addition to my teaching responsibilities and chairing the steering committee for the campaign for new human -- q nu -- new domestic human rights agenda, i recognized that while i fall short of filling the shoes, i stand on the shoulders
of people who have made the case for racial justice in the united states as a matter of human rights law for quite some time. i stand here almost 6 feet tall, standing on the shoulders of people like wpp the boys -- web dubois and various song and the unsung heroes who saw that our struggle in the united states to transition from chattel slaves to persons, from persons to citizens, and we are still moving in that direction, that that was not just about what happens in the united states to people of african descent who so happen to of landed here. it is part of a conversation. we are part of a global community and part of understanding the notion that perhaps we're post-civil rights is recognizing that the way we
got to civil-rights was an unnecessary narrowing of our own agenda, which was couched in human rights terms until mccarthyism, communist scare forced us to narrow our agenda rather than to embrace the fullness of the agenda as it was originally understood. what did we lose? in moving from human-rights to civil rights, we moved in the direction that imposes on our government no obligation to ensure that the rights of all are respected, protected, and fulfilled, regardless of their identity. bear with me for of the part of it. most of the individual rights recognized in our constitution are viewed as negative rights. they are to protect the liberty interest of all of us individuals who can make choices
free from unnecessary government intervention. if your rights are negative, and we saw this happen as an unintended consequence of going there, if rights are negative, that means the government can say, we have no affirmative obligation to ensure your rights are meaningful. if you are poor and you need health care, the poor part of it is that the government stops. if health care is provided by moving out of the way, deregulating the markets, you are right -- your rights are protected within the limits recognized by our own constitution. part of what it is that i say in terms of the post-civil rights is looking to a skcheme that we have participated in that recognizes race as being both affirmative and negative, that recognizes civil and political
rights alongside with economic, rights alongside with economic, -- so we would not have conversations about whether education is a fundamental right as a matter of u.s. constitutional law. human rights law says it is fundamental. you are entitled regardless of your identity. so, what does this have to do with race? >> little to most people know, we have ratified the treaty known as the international convention on racial discrimination. it that treaty was ratified in 1994 and it gives rise to domestic obligations to address all forms of racial discrimination, not just -- the facto racial discrimination hing is neutral on its face, the cracks, the mere fact
that it has the racially disparate sort of impact would be enough to place it within the realm of racial discrimination under this particular treaty, which clearly takes us far beyond what our supreme court has interpreted our constitution to require. these are not for norms. these are norm's we have adopted and agreed to abide by. what has happened often times is the people who were concerned about monitoring compliance with things like greece convention do not necessarily do domestic work. the people who are interested in foreign affairs and international relations are not really that concerned about the domestic implications of any human rights treaties that we might ratify. here we are at the campaign for a new domestic human rights agenda, attempting to strengthen the u.s. commitment to satisfy our own human rights obligations
as a matter of our own domestic law, recognizing that to the sent -- to the extent that we are talking about being post- race, we might be out of step with the rest of the world. we are having a discourse about race that does not sound in the language used by everyone else in the world. there are questions like -- we can play 20 questions. how many of you know that in 2008, more than 400 individuals in organizations came together to file a shadow report with the committee responsible for this particular treaty, calling the u.s. government to account on its record of racial justice and implementing this particular treaty? most of us don't. but come it happened. we took 125 activists to geneva to put squarely before that particular committee issues
regarding hurricane katrina and hurricane rita, juvenile life without parole, sentencing disparity, the state of public education, health care disparities. much of that would not have made it to the attention of the committee had it not been for the forces outside of the government saying, this is the record and we would like you to ask questions with respect to these particular issues that our government did not seem to think raised issues of racial injustice. disparities in the criminal justice system more explained away in terms of perhaps a propensity among people of african descent to commit more crimes rather than over- policing conduct operating within our communities, compounded by what to get if you have to go through the judicial system and you lack adequate representation.
another thing in terms of things that people do not pay attention to, one person who represents our country well, often in geneva, made a statement in september that, and i'm trying to find it, bear with me, "as the u.s. seeks to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms across the globe, we embrace a commitment to live up to these ideals at home and to meet our international human rights obligations. these are statements that individuals feel free to make abroad because there few of us here that are paying attention to what is going on abroad because we are comparing that with domestic troubles, not understanding that the domestic and global are absolutely interconnected.
moving forward, our struggle domestically requires us to look outside of the limits of our own legal system, the conference of our own legal system, and to begin to take our place at the table with other countries who have put in place the steps necessary to ensure the human rights of their residents and citizens are adequately protected for no other reason than the fact that they are human beings. my challenges that part of what the campaign for new domestic human rights agenda is attempting to do is to strengthen the commitment to our obligation and to put in place and infrastructure that is essential to ensuring that these rights are absolutely protected and our obligations are fulfilled.
he plans to this infrastructure include reinvigorating the interagency working group by human rights, which ultimately is an executive branch coordinated body that will then monitor what is going on in the executive branch, but as i stand before members of congress, i would be remiss not to mention the other piece of the infrastructure. we need a national human rights institution, a nonpartisan, independent national human rights institution that would bring us into line with the rest of the western democracies we like to claim as being our colleagues. what would this mean? from our perspective, it means transforming what is currently the u.s. commission on civil rights into a u.s. commission on civil and human rights, understanding that there are some issues that we must deal.
the issues pale in comparison to the power and potential for expanding our struggle beyond the limits that we found to be at work here with respect to our domestic system and began a two hold all branches of our government to account as it relates to our obligations that we have accepted by way of presidential signature, the senate, which means that there are laws and we must abide by them. i appreciate the opportunity to share this with you and look forward to more conversation about this and other matters. thank you. [applause] assistant professor of political science and african-
american studies at yale university and former adviser to the national church is voting rights of electoral reform group. dr. brown earned her first ph.d. in church. then, she earned a ph.d. in political science from ohio state university in 2003 and a b.a. in government from the university of virginia in 1998. i have a ph.d. in church as well. it is the height of political knowledge. prof. dean brown, the first book is one that i think every african-american must read when it comes up. the title, "once convicted, forever doomed." , "explores the dynamics are around the criminal justice system.
she argues that the exponential growth of that system poses a threat to communities of color. in the second book, identity politics in the age of obama, this book will analyze the impact of race, religion, and gender in the 2008 presidential campaign. the third book, lessons from the past, prospects for the future, focuses on the political legacy of the voting rights act of 1965. dr. khalila brown dean. [applause] >> good evening. let me begin by thanking chairwoman lee and all the members of the congressional black caucus for your commitment to helping us achieve a more perfect union. i thank you for attending this very important conversation. i currently teach a course on
african-american politics to wonder graduate. is this class even necessary? now that we have a black president, why do we keep talking about race and politics? haven't we moved beyond that? if so, what would you teach next year? i thought about how to respond. i remember where i was. 2009 also marks the 40th year since someone entered the congress. the first african-american citizens said tic-tac-toes the first african-american citizen to be -- citizen said, "i was the first temp african -- first african-american citizen to be
elected to congress." that was the first person in 192 years. it proves that our society is not yet either just or free. in thinking about those words, i want the students to understand those words are just as relevant now in 2009 as they were when she first entered the house. this year marks the 45th anniversary of the passage of the civil rights act of 1964. banning discrimination, that acts -- that says we're all entitled to learn -- to earn a living. the availability of affordable housing is decreasing and unemployment is increasing. that fact reminds us that we still have to fight to make our society free and just. it is fitting to come together tonight to talk about the relationship between race and
politics because we stand on the cusp of two very important moments in our country. i want to briefly talk about those moments because i think that helps us understand the connection between race and politics. those moments represent an opportunity to affirm the struggle for full citizenship for african-americans in this country. in 2010, we will recognize the port of anniversary of the voting act of 1965. since its inception, it has helped us reduce the gap between the principal on the practice of full democracy in this country. we have made significant gains and increasing black registration turnout and office holding. we must continue to mobilize our communities to raise their voices and their issues in that process. reverend jackson has often said that the hands that once picked cotton can now pick the president. we have to remember that those
hands must also picked the mayor, must also pick the members of the school board. it is great we have mobilized people to participate at the national level, but our opportunity to really affect meaningful change often occurs at the state and local level. our ability to address the political issues that determine the daily lives of people in our communities, things like public safety, access to education, happened at that level. participation has to be engaged. it has to be ongoing. it has to be about empowering the community that that person will represent. these races also give us an opportunity to take a step back, to make all our efforts to promote democracy abroad. looking at the voting act of 1955 allows us to determine whether we have failed to secure and protect democracy curette home. if so, what are the consequences
of that failure? we may no longer have the full facts in this country. the vra did away with that. in states where people have to pay to get a particular form of identification in order to vote, we have to understand that that is a modern-day "facts. it will affect the quality of black participation. i also want to begin to think about, as we move forward in this phase of our electoral participation, how do we open up the space where we can see more black candidates running for office, given that the cost of waging a successful campaign is rising? how do we address the disparities in funding so that money does not become a barrier for communities, so the money does not determine our voices and will not determine our ability to address issues of concern? the second major moment in this quest for empowerment and in the
connection between recent electoral politics is actually something that we don't usually think about in political terms. i tend to think it is extremely political. that is the u.s. census that w%@@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ n r . . much there are more than -- that money will help programs that affect bthe poor, young people and the elderly. but what we also know is that black communities often suffer because of the ways that people are counted during the u.s. census. one of the areas that i've tried about quite extensively and i think is very important in the next phase of civil rights is to address disparities in this cop -- in incarceration. neighborhoods, racially diverse neighborhoods. they are incarcerated in rural communities that do not reflect
that same demographic makeup. it matters because inmates are counted as residents of the town in which they are incarcerated, not the place from which they come. those towns count inmates in their senses, inflate the numbers come and report back, and get a greater share of resources, not to address the problems affecting those communities, things like high crime and illiteracy, but they get to boost their numbers and gain a greater share. the rich county can say, 30 percent of our population lives below the poverty line. 40% is illiterate. we need more funding. those people do not get access to those numbers. people can run and represent those districts without having to be accountable to the people within the district. the census is something we need to think about. what is the political consequence of drawing legislative districts are ground those prisons, of inflating the influence of people representing
those districts with no level of accountability? it affects the ability of black candidate to run because it determines what those issues will be. it also has an impact on the effectiveness of black officeholders, may not have the resources to fight the challenges based on the community. i want to end by making a key point here for me. race matters in this country. it has always mattered. it will continue to matter. the task before us is determining how race will matter. i often tell my students that we cannot expect obama to change in four or eight years what this country has cultivated over the last 400 years. we have to have a serious conversation. power concedes nothing without a demand. we need to determine what it is we are demanding and what we expect from ourselves?
what to expect from elected officials? what legacy are we leaving for children? thank you. [applause] >> let me begin by introducing one of our colleagues, the congressman, who is the chair of the asian pacific caucus. we are delighted to have you here. [applause] the next panelist is a mayor, a skilled lawyer, a professor, a leading legislator, of new orleans. he is the president of the u.s. conference of mayors, which represents the largest cities in the country and those of us who were mayor's at the time as he was the president were very delighted and proud to have him serve in that capacity.
he's the ceo of the national urban league, the nation's largest civil rights organization. as president of the national urban league, he has been the primary catalyst for an era of change, a transformation for the nearly 100-year-old civil rights organization. you can witness his energetic and skillful leadership here on the hill. he is here on the hill almost every week speaking to members of congress and testifying before committees. he serves as an executive committee member of the leadership conference on civil rights, the black leadership forum, and leadership. mayor? [applause] >> thank you, mayor, reverend,
congressman. thank you very much. thank you for helping me to celebrate my 100-and-something birthday since i have been president of the national urban league since 1903. thank you, thank you, thank you. ladies and gentlemen, join me in giving all of these distinguished panelists a big round of applause. [applause] it touches me to see some much intelligence -- to see so much intelligence and so much commitment to understanding the difficult issues we face. i want to it thank all of them. i want to thank congresswoman barbara lee, who has provided off some leadership to the congressional black caucus. [applause]
all of the members of the congressional black caucus who are working every single day in the trenches here on capitol hill to try to fight and work and coalesce on a difficult and tough issue the nation faces. , i want to give you a big round of applause. i see you up front and behind the scenes. i also want to applaud the fact that the congressional black caucus under the congresswoman's leadership has worked closely with the congressional hispanic caucus and the asian pacific caucus, most notably recently coming out in a strong way early on, unified for a strong comprehensive health reform package with a public option in this nation.
trust me, the meeting is no longer a telephone booth enterprise. the numbers of black, latino, and asian visit but members of this congress is steadily increasing -- and asian-pacific members of this congress is steadily increasing. i am going to push back that this is anyway a post-racial, post-civil rights time in american history. this is why. civil rights is not a time or place or in march -- or a march or a rallying cry. it is an aspiration. an objective for a nation where the playing field is level,
we're equal chances lead to equal outcomes, where everyone can share in the true basis of the american dream. if we needed to be reminded, all we need look at is that these numbers with the current recession. unemployment, as reported, is that 10% -- is at 10%. black unemployment is nearly 16%. unemployment amongst latinos is nearly 15%. the disparity continues. when we look at our teenagers, the unemployment rate for white teenagers is in the mid-20's.
for african-american youth, it is in the low-40's. all that gets counted are those that actually apply for a job. the real numbers when it comes to unemployment in the african- american community now nears 20%. look at housing. the sub-prime crisis has been wicked and mean in its effect on people. it has affected people of every single ethnic background, no doubt. it has disproportionately affected communities of color. we need not hopefully continue
conviction. and when people are seated, we who vote have the energy and the hhi@ @ @ ga@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ k there are blue dogs, yellow dogs, red dogs, no dogs. that have african-americans and latinos in their district. because a vote is a vote is a vote. my point is that there is an opportunity. and we have to understand the role that public policy plays.
and we have to understand the value proposition that intelligent scholars play in helping to design and support that public policy, in a role that people play in promoting and articulating messages and supporting those kinds of public policy changes. we need to have a debate in this country right now. reverend jackson said and i agrow with him, it's time for a second stimulus. but it's time for a similar laws that -- stimulus that creates jobs in urban communities, in areas of high unemployment. it's time that we not beat around the bush and say what needs to be said. that is a public policy measure. so we have to think about the types of things that we need to
do. so those that serve on ways and means have discussions day in and day out about tax incentives and tax measures and tax provisions. why can't we give tax incentives to say that every solar panel plant that's built in the united states is built in an urban community? [applause] why can't we take the types of steps that are needed? i say we can. if we're willing to put our ideas into action. our ideas into action. so when it comes to public policy, i know that the members of the congressional black caucus are on the frontline working. but we have to build the kind of work approach that supplements
and supplies ideas, supplements and supplies support, of the kinds of things that we need to do. in this capitol next year, there's going to be a big discussion about the work force investment act. so i was sitting down talking to some very intelligent people with a lot of degrees. and i said there's going to be a discussion about the work force investment act. and i was asked, "well, what in the world is that?" i said, "it's just a few billion -- a billion -- of billions of dollars that are spent on job training in this nation. and what the work force investment act does is it says where does it go, who gets it, and how is it spent. and that's public policy.
the architecture, the design, how it is designed, who wins, who loses, where the emphasis is. that's public policy. there'll be a debate in this capitol next year about the elementary and secondary education act. and the same person said, what is that? i said, you heard of no child, let's leave them behind? i said, that's the elementary and secondary education act and that's billions and billions and billions of dollars. and how it's spent, how it's designed, that is public policy. so my point is, that in our continued effort, continued effort to make the political gains that we've worked for and that we've won, a tool oftenned
change and transformation. we have to focus in a new and more down mick way on the role of public policy as a way to bring about that kind of change that we need. so i just close by saying this. i had the great opportunity to be a jackson delegate in 1984 and 1988 as a very, very, very young man. and it was a great experience. and reverend jackson, as congresswoman lee said, inspired so many of us to believe that electoral politics could be an avenue to bring about social and economic change and justice. we forget that very important lesson, that very important
>> how does it affect each and every one of us in the stand of our lives? i think that's a way of pressing a response at the state legislatures but also in mobilizing your community. >> hi. i'm rebekah myers. i'm with the national association of social workers. greetings to represent lee. one of the questions is our association has looked at issues of race and racism through the our pro effects, has developed
some sidelines, how to work culturally competently, we have a code of ethics that addresses. this we are still predominantly a white organization. and after listening to some of the presentations, i just wondered -- dr. blakey, you talked about how we're in denial. and dr. goodman, you talked about how race is just dead dead science. what are some of the things especially from dr. goodman, that are really important for especially white people to take into account to try to change the surround, stop the denial? because that greatly impacts our profession and the people we serve. >> well, one of the important issues is i understand here
speaking to a select audience. and so we may be here largely agreeing. but there's another audience out there, predominantly white, young, middle of the country, et cetera, audience that really does need to be reached. and i think it's important to understand that racism -- living in a racist country is not just an issue for individuals of color, but it impacts us all. you know, it does us all in. ine qualities in racism, ine qualities by class, have consequences for everybody in that society. the other thing i would say is a little bit more concept wall but what i found very useful in my classes and in my public education work is to talk about white as a race. and that many white individuals
don't understand that they have been raised -- they have white skin privilege, they are just as much a race as anybody else is. and they walk around invisiblely with the advantages of white skin as dr. blakey has said. so to get individuals to understand actually how the category changes through time is important, how the expansion of the white category has changed, how my great grandfather may not have been characterized as white, but now i have i think it becomes a very, very important lesson in the dynamics of race and that race isn't fixed but it is changing. and as many people on the panel have said, it's not about a fixed item or fixed idea of race but how we do think about race and how we change how we think about race.
>> good evening. i get word of messages when i'm not here. so i heard there was an earlier question. but let me thank chairwoman barbara lee for this visionary program and the stellar members who are here in spite of my having to be detained elsewhere for a moment. i think the underlying premise is that we should not give up what is true. and if race and racism exist, we need to confront it, we need to not be embarrassed by it, but we need to be in the business of problem solving. and so each of you have contributed to that thought. i know without hearing that there were jobs, economic development and empowerment. and i heard most of the speakers. and i thank you very much. i want to comment on the work that is being done by members of the congressional black caucus. i don't think there's any aspect
bobby scott to work on a premise bill. a lot of members have bills. so i want you to look out for that. that's confronting it head on. the challenge of course is -- and with the justice department saying, without putting words in their mouth let's just say my interpretation of what they have said, we're open to this. and this is dastardly. this is killing the life expect tansy of our african-american men, both by terms of life loss but by going into jail. the other one is h.r. 61, which is a good time prison release. this is all federal based. because in state system there is a parole. this has to do with giving good time for an early release for nonviolent offenses and
nonviolent actions while you're in prison. what that does is it allows men, 45 minimally, to go out and to be able to secure employment and job training and support their families. i think that is key. and it's a key element of recognizing the imbalance in the numbers of people incarcerated. my last point that i think really wraps this up and gets all around that is this whole question of education and the 50% dropout rate that is an epidemic. i can't imagine that people not look at that as a race factor in an element. because it second-classes a whole generation of people. so my question is, how do we address the question or the comment or the premise that we are a post-racial society when it comes to affirmative action, when it comes to outreach, it comes to -- i use those
terminologies. affirmative action, special programs to stop dropouts in the african-american communities, special schools. do we need charter schools? should we be as bold and aggressive on saying yes, we do need isolated, pointed targeted programs even in the 21st century and 2009-2010 because it is really not a post-racial society? or are we apt to now just say they can do it on their own? i don't think so, but i'd like to do it in a way that we bring more people with us saying you're right. let's work on it constructively. and i'd appreciate anyone's comments. thank you. >> thank you very much. and thank you for your advocacy. it's just inescapable that if you look at the current situation with unemployment and the high levels of unemployment
on top of poverty, on top of the fact that after the last recession in 2002 there really was not a rebound, resurgence in jobs, in black and latino communities, that we have to if we're going to be to use the jar gone "evidence-based" if we're going to be targeted, if we're going to try to fix problems where they truly exist that we have to do things that are focused and that are targeted if we have the objective of trying to level the playing field. and that's just inescapable. i like to think of the post-racial debate as the true thing is what we're moving towards is a multiracial america. if you look at the composition and the rainbow or the gum ball or the mow sayic of america, -- mosaic of america, the 2010
census that is critically important is going to show an ever-changing picture towards a nation that by the time we get to 2045 or 2050 won't have a majority ethnic group. that is a fundamental reality that that's the course and that's the path that we are on as a nation. so i don't think we -- we have to be concerned. and i think reverend jackson addressed this. about the twisting of the youth -- and several other speakers did -- the twisting of the youth of the -- the twisting of the use of the word race. the way in which people say you're playing the race card. you're raising a racial issue. it's racial injustice and racial disparity that we have to seek to address and to correct. and i think we have an obligation as a nation. because if we don't address it, the past and the future is fraught with even more
difficulty. imagine that in 10 short years by 2020 half -- half of the high school graduating seniors in america will be black, they'll be latino, or they'll be asian, pacific island. half. and think 10 years beyond that what that means for the emerging work force. so if you don't address the disparities now, it affects the national body politic. so i think one of the challenges is we have to frame the discussion not just about the present and the past but we've got to frame the discussion about the future, about tomorrow and what has to be done today to secure a better tomorrow for all people in this country.
and that's inescapable. you can't change the reality of how the population and the demography are going to change. you look at the electoral map in 2008. and you kind of break it apart. this is what's interesting. in 2008, 22% of all votes cast in the presidential election were cast by african-americans, latinos or asians. that's almost a fourth of all votes cast. 20 years ago, in 1988, that number was 12%. so the 20-year period that number has almost doubled. now, 2008 it was but rested for higher turnout, grayer interest in the election. but it's a demonstration of what is occurring in this nation. and you leave increasely more people behind if we don't
address the disparities of education, in healthcare, in economic empowerment at the present time. and i think we have to begin to frame the debate in different ways. >> we have about 15 minutes remaining. and we'd like to get as many questions in as we could. in the remaining 15 minutes. >> quick, i'd like to encourageous to really celebrate and really make the most of being african-american. i think that this is a perfect moment not for us to stop talking about race but for us to really press to remove finally the last vest contingents of the stigma of infear yearity by being more race conscious, not less race conscious. i'd love to see us fully exploit the african-american cultural --
that reverend jackson and i started back in 1989 when we said let's consistently refer to ourselves as african-americans. not just to change our name but to institute a cultural renewal. this is the time for us to make the most of who we are, to be inspired in politics, in civic engagement, in schools. i love seeing the children say, "if barack obama can do it i can do it, too." i love that. and this is the time to plumb the depths of that. i feel a lot of apprehension in this room. i feel a lot of somewhat angst in this room. but i want to feel some joy in this room. we're african-americans in the united states at the right time. mrs. >> we're going to now take as many questions as we can take. i think we probably have about 10 minutes left. we're going to ask our panelists to respond at the end. we'll try to see if we can at least get three more questions in. >> thank you.
i'm reverend benson from arlington, virginia. i'm a minister member of the national council of presbytery here in washington, d.c. as we move forward in this effort to talk about advocacy to right the wrong and the inickities that we see, i would like to ask all of us that are assembled here and members of congress that we be cautioned that as we move forward to promote the efforts for advocacy for our people and for other people of color that we do so on a position that supports our president and his administration as opposed to being on the opposite end. drawing on the words from reverend jackson earlier that this is a time when we turn to each other and not against each other. because i feel that sometimes it can be a move to discredit this
great man at his great time. and we need to try and support him as we advocate for the different issues that have been placed before us. thank you. >> do we have a question? right up here. >> thank you. carmen morris, miami, florida, sanctuary of moses, combating child trafficking and slavery through education and [inaudible] in west africa. three days after inauguration i went back home to miami. and it was somewhat with an ak-47 in a crowd of 50 people who went on a rampage, killing some, wounding others. my concern is that there's an epidemic, although we should be celebrating, yes. but there's an epidemic of violence in our communities
where our young people are killing one another. how can we stem this tide? how can our organizations and our elected officials work together to stem the tide, to bring back the pride in our communities and the village environment that we once had in the churches, in our schools? because our kids are killing each other. and we have to do something about it. it's an epidemic proportions. thank you. >> thank you very much. one more question. do we have any questions on this side of the room? from my left. >> good evening. my name is george gardener. i'm a student of howard university school of law. third year student. my question is not necessarily legal but more practical. essentially -- i guess my question is for any of the
panelists. but i guess what would you say to i guess aspiring current elected represents, particularly those at the local level who are no doubt aware of many of the issues that we discussed tonight but who would say at the same time that they are following sort of the example and success of president obama and believe that race is no longer a primary issue in today's politics? >> ok. let me ask now our panelists to maybe take 10 or 15 seconds a piece and respond and that will be your closing statements. starting on my end. >> i would say race is still a huge factor in american life. we still live in a country that has a racial contract that's
over 400 years old. there's been lots of progress, but i'd like to focus on the outcomes. and as other people have said, when opportunity and outcome in measures of health, measures of wealth, unemployment, incarceration, et cetera, have equalized then we can begin to talk about post-racial. >> well, partly a response to several people, but also to the congresswoman's question, i am surprised, amazed at how far these prop grandists have gotten. the data on the existence of racism is abundant. it's produced by the national research council. it's produced by the urban institute. it is evidently clear that discrimination continues. there should be a way to yes, forcibly fully turn those arguments and make them as flimsy -- to appear as flimsy as they are.
it's touring the country with funding by ford. it will be here in washington on the mall in a little over a year. but we must make more of these forums. and i hope our legislators will use the data at hand and be as forceful in combating this nonsensical argument as those who are making this argument have been. >> i'd like to perhaps take my time to also respond to the congresswoman's question and concerns. and i mean, i agree with mayor morial in terms of yes, the disparities remain absolutely relevant. the problem is that whether it's a function of equal protection of the laws or due process that
constitutional amendments that were put in place and on which we rely in terms of pushing those particular issues in the courts have in fact been interpreted in a very narrow and stilled way based on a very false notion of formal e quallity that assumes affirmative action, for example, is akin to jim crow and du jure segregation. so, you know, i'm a law professor, right? and i teach common law. so i say, okay, do i see a way to get out of this? other than the court overruling cases that reached as far back as the mid 70's with washington v. davis and boxee. and given our system of precedence, that's not likely to happen. so in the alternative, you know, you don't sort of throw up your hands -- i don't necessarily
contend that people should throw up their hands and say, you know, woe is us. i think that it warrants shifting to a legal framework that is expansive enough to recognize that special measures such as affirmative action are in fact a government's obligation as long as the circumstances so warrant and as long as the disparities exist that's evidence that they're warranted. which means -- and i am here to say i do not contend that human rights is a panace its own issues. but quite honestly at this point to continue to litigate ourselves into the very small corner we find ourselves in with respect to merely relying upon the u.s. constitution and hoping that somehow they're going to get religion or get right and somehow change their mind versus advancing an agenda that says, you've ratifieded these treaties. they're part of our domestic
law. hence you've got to do something. and affirmative action is part of what you've got to do. dealing with hate speech is part of what you've got to do. if it's about maintaining the status quo, the continued ven ration of whiteness and white supremacy then it's a problem. but our domestic legal system as it stands is much too simplistic to even deal with those concepts even though it's responsible for decree eight the complex situation that we find ourselves in today. so, you know, it's not that disparities aren't important. i just think that perhaps it's going to require us to think way outside of the box in place that is we're not necessarily that comfortable in an attempt to ultimately all achieve the objectives that we seem to be trying to achieve. [applause] >> khalilah. >> let me just simply say that history must always be the lens through which we evaluate where we are now and determine where
we want to go. and part of that vision in terms of how i approach my own work as a scholar, how i see myself as a mother, as an everyday citizen, is that i don't want our society to ever become post-race. because it means that you ignore a part of me and you ignore a part of our history. i think instead we have to move this nation towards being post-racism. and then we can talk about what it means to be a citizen, what it means to have a democracy, and what we can do to incorporate every voice into that process. so thank you again. [applause] >> just quickly i want to take the question which was about state and local officials. and having spent my career as a state and local official, i think the first thing to recognize is that i don't think that president has ever said race is unimportant. i think that president carries a
burden that very few of us understand. it's the burden of a pioneer. jackie robinson. it's the generation of people like my father who were the first blacks to lead american cities. it's an incredible burden. it's a burden with one's own people, it's a burden with the majority, it's a burden of expectations. it's walking a path and walking a course that no one else like you has ever walked. so you don't have a lot of people you can talk to and say, what is it like? and he has that very special and important challenge. i think the important thing for -- and i try to make this point about people and elected officials in positions of -- is not to believe in that symbolism
gets things done. that simply because you're there, you want to carry yourself a certain way and look a certain way and talk a certain way, that that gets anything done, that that will make things indeed happen. and i think the professor is correct what she perhaps didn't say is that the supreme court has gone down the path of basically making some incorrect interpretations of the constitution. they've got a record of doing it. they did it in dred, they did it in mess yes. they've got a record in -- in plessy in misinterpreting the constitution, reverend jackson. and a lot of interpretations she mentioned are the fruit of justices appointed because of the outcome of presidential elections.
politics, elections counts. and they affect life far beyond that election cycle. and i think she's right. but what i've learned in state and local government is that sometimes, and it's even the case now, that sometimes addressing disparities is a matter of priority. for example, the t.a.r.p. represented a commitment by this nation's taxpayers of nearly $1 trillion which was passed in 14 days. i don't think anybody read the bill. [applause] >> maybe 25% of it. and we could repair the conditions of the schools. maybe another 25 of it and we could do something about health disparity.
i think sometimes it's maybe not simply specific legislation but it is specific measures on top of a shift in priority, in priorities of where we invest our money. look at what we've done in this country. iraq and afghanistan have cost us $1 trillion. with t.a.r.p. another trillion. that's 2 trillion. want to know the deficit came from? it didn't come from president obama's stimulus program of 700 or 800 billion. maybe that contributed somewhat. so we as people also have to have the facts on the table and understand how things have gotten to where we are. and what we need to address disparities. and i think that's the challenge of state and local officials, to be a voice on priorities, of where the priorities are. the last thing i would say about
elected office, half of the members of the congressional black caucus today represent districts that are less than 50% african-american. i think that's about 50%? and when you're an elected official, -- you are in a different position if you represent a majority of black districts, community or town, versus one that us multiethnic and multiracial. you know, your challenges in the opportunities, that's real politics. and so one size doesn't fit all. one approach that someone in texas in a district that has african americans and latinos and whites might not be the same as someone that represents predominantly rural african-american districts in term office what the priorities are and the things they give voice. to that's the reality of politics in america no matter
where you stand. it's the responsiveness to constituents combined with a commitment to some philosophy and ideology. >> before i ask reverend jackson to come up and give us some closing remarks, let me take a moment to thank the first of all the panelists once again for your brilliant presentations and for your inspirations. [applause] >> an unbelievable dialogue. i want to thank my colleagues, member and listening. [applause] >> and being such remarkable leaders. let me thank the american an throw poe logical association for their -- anthropological situation. also to the capitol visitor center for hosting us for this event. i don't know if terry is here. terriers thank you so much. our director of the capitol
visitors' center who's doing a phenomenal job. and i have to thank our staff. patrice, irene, christina and joany. why don't you guys stand? because they pulled this together on a moment's notice. and i want to thank them so much for their hard work and brilliance and commitment to really the c.b.c.'s agenda which is all of our agenda, and that's pathways out of poverty, opportunities for all. reverend jackson, why don't you come forward now again in honor of your 25 years of service, which only 25 years ago began your run for the presidency. in honor of your life's work, i should say, thank you again for giving us this opportunity to engage in this very important dialogue on the 5th anniversary. >> let me express again my thanks and my delight to be recognized in our part in this
journey for making us a more complete union. a reason to look back with some joy upon our accomplishments, and yet not celebrate before the game is over. i think about august 20th, 1955, emmett hill was lynched. that was a low moment. those who killed him were celebrated. they walked the streets 40 years without facing prosecution. august 20th, 1963, dr. king spoke of dreaming and spoke on this broken promise. that day for those on the watch dream park in climax -- across to florida -- saying we couldn't use a public toilet. we couldn't take pictures on the lawn of state capitols. black soldiers didn't have the same rights as other p.o.w.'s.
our money was counterfeited. we couldn't buy a hotel room at holiday inn. august 1963. in august 20, 2008 president barack obama received the nomination of the democratic party in denver, colorado. one sees that growth there. on the other hand, we cannot get positioned where we become civil rights neutral when there's civil rights work to be done. we're now adversaries to manipulate us into the inability to protest how we feel because we have a president of our choice. and that is a real manipulation. so if you have a position of a court decision that you can't use d.n.a. as a right to protect people who have been wrongfully convicted. we don't support that position. men on my staff in jail 30, 40
years, longer than nelson mandela. he was innocent. he was on death row three times. we can't be silent about that. another young man was in jail from florida 38 years. years longer than mandela. was freed by d.n.a. so we still have the right to fight the right without being manipulated into different than the president's position. of course we'll have different positions. we are free to have positions that enhance the environment that even he operates in. to put this another way, representative lee, when our college sweetheart, valedictorian, brilliant sister, she graduated and got a job as a flight attendant for eastern airlines. it was a big deal.
it made front page of our school paper, the local paper. she was a flight attendant, eastern airlines. another brother got a job who used to be with us, a ball player, as a driver for trailways bus. like that was moving on up the road. and then another brother got a job as an airline pilot. united airline. he could fly a plane. and there was great excitement. because we finally had a pilot. but let me tell you. his being a pilot did not make him the comptroller of an airline. it did not affect the price of gas. it didn't affect the safety of the plane. his being an airline pilot did not affect the options of the flight attendants. it had nothing to do with the structure of planes made by
boeing. i mean, he was the pilot of the plane, but there were powers above even the pilot. neath him. so he said, i. he said but the ground crew keeps me afloat. sort ground crew has a right to fight for their right, too, because the pilot will not go far without an active, aggressive ground crew. the ground crew has something to say when there are more people in jail or with no plans we must fight that because that is the right thing to do. the column in the chicago tribune that says we bail out the banksters and put out the homeowners and forsook the children? the banks get zero percent interest and the students are paying six to eight percent? that banks are charging a fee
for free money? i -- two of the boys cannot come back to school next semester with good grades, mark, because they can't borrow anymore. we cannot settle for going just from the government as lender we need the rates reduced. we must not give up the rights in the name of law and progress to protest for the right to be right. i remember people sometimes with dr. king sometimes people would argue with him. they kept marching. they disagreed with tactics sometimes. they didn't stop marching. i think we're making a mistake. becoming so tender in the head we give up the edge of civil rights protest. [applause] >> because if we protest, if we give up the edge we cannot affirm, we cannot close that gap without an edge. we cannot close -- we must disturb the status question to close that gap. because there are some people who benefit. i used to wonder why the walls
came down so slowly. because some people benefited from the walls. one reason why we came through the civil rights era, the last one, limited in our outreach is because we're bloodied up. we're damaged. dr. king got stabbed. the idea of fighting to get in the back of the bus? his home was bombed. he was -- the income tax, that case, income tax evasion, '58. those who fight the walls get bloodied. i went to jail in july 1960. controversial, left wing, for using the public library. see, i'm not left wing. i'm right wing. i'm with the right. i don't know left wing, i'm right wing. i was trying to use the public
library. but you develop a reputation and you can't get along with white people. no. i wanted to read. couldn't read because i was called militant because i wanted to get a week. those who marched for the right to vote. we got bloodied. it seemed to be unacceptable. even the beneficiaries of the voting rights act. to get open housing we had to march and take bricks. what we have done for this generation is that we have knocked down walls to build bridges. and those that go across the bring with a tail wind must understand that headwinds made the tail wind possible. that is the culmination. and our service is not generational. that's absurd. african-american is intergenerational. the bible says do not remove the ancient landmark. you can't separate mark as a first black congressman and lose to the mayor of -- i'm urging us
to find some generational link and define with our president by our agenda. i guarantee you. nothing we won't fight for he won't fight for it. if we don't fight for it he cannot grant it unilaterally. and i close on this. this gates -- thing, it was not handled well. they took that and made a -- so there was such a reaction to his dealing with that situation when they filed the lawsuit in the bank for red lining, [inaudible] it was racial justice. we must not be traumatized in our quest for racial justice. where we've made the most progress was in chan or in new york, in football, basketball, golf, tennis, and track. it's hard to be the best golfer in the world. it's hard to be one of the best
baseball players or basketball players. it's hard to be kobe bryant, to be the best of the best or or be lebron james. why are we so good at what's so hard to do? we're so good at that so the owners can get a box seat and observe. their children can even participate. why are we so good at what's so hard to do? and it's hard to be that. whenever the goals are clear, we can all go to the next level. but until that day, until the rules of the public and the goals are clear, we vile late our conscience. we vile late the martyrs who let it be possible to fight back until that right day of justice occurred. thank you for being a part of that legacy and keep the hope alive. [applause] >> thank you again.
i want to thank the audience for your participation, your attention and your commitment to peace and justice. and let me just thank members of the media who are here. thank you for helping us break the silence about this very, very important and topic of race. thank you and good evening. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
>> we're talking about jim's home county, and we've been studying that, those of us who co-authored these papers, this is the fourth paper that looks at the way in which the county democratic party interacts, works with, runs, cooperates with, or doesn't work with, cooperates with, etc., with the democratic presidential campaign that's going on in that particular year, take up paul's question. i think we're talking about statutory -- local state statutory in ohio, the statutory laws, i'm sure most
states have the party organization that we look at in terms of doing the leadership and members and how they interact. we have a variety of cooks, and you know the story about the cooks so. there were some issues that are yet unresolved in this paper about how things worked out. we did take the view, however -- let me introduce some of the co-authors. dr. bloomberg is here, and actually, we started with her, because she was recruited by the local party to be the coordinator of the campaign for clinton's second election in 1996, and so it was through her eyes that we watched this unfold and got the sense of how the coordinated campaign worked and what its characteristics were in 1996. and then if we fast forward to this 2008 obama campaign, which many of you have talked about,
the one sarah lewis is not here with us
today. she's in costa rica. she was an obama volunteer and her brother was a staffer on the obama campaign, and so we looked at what they were doing. and john green and i along for the ride in terms of thinking about how this all works. but the point, is we're trying to look at it through the land of this occurring, looking at sort of the same phenomenon, that is, the same local party for four presidential elections, what role it had or dent have in the election. so that's really, i think, the point of the paper. i'll get into that and go over those in a minute. before, just to put -- for those of you who are not ohio political buffs, to put mahoney county into perspective, that president obama received 52% of
the vote in ohio and received 64%
of the vote in mahoney. mahoney is a reliable democratic county. obama carried 13% of his margin, the fifth best of the counties in the state. and that's typical when democrats look to mahoney to generate it. so it's a marginally more important to the presidential campaigns. although, in this case, as we point out in the paper, the obama campaign took a different course of action. it copied -- i'm get ago head myself -- it copied, in some restricts, the strickland gubernatorial campaign and looked for votes outside of the urban areas. typically in ohio campaigns, the democratic candidates
concentrate on the urbanized areas and older areas to generate it the vote. and, of course, strickland won many counties in ohio. and in some respects, maybe we'll talk about it a little more, that was -- the obama campaign replicated some of that and used some of the same personnel achieve it. and so we see a little different approach there. but still, the urban counties are central to generating a good part of the plural, and there's been changes in some of the counties, and i'm not going to get into that, just let me go over -- so we had the four cycles. of course, first one, the coordinated campaign worked well with the local parties. the local parties made recommendations on who should lead, made recommendations on some issues that the presidential -- local issues the candidate should talk about. and so the local party, who's very involved, the local candidates and the coordination, we're all going to work together, all be on the same slate card and the same pad and we're all going
generate as many democratic votes as we can for the president, for president clinton, and all the democrats, so even the weaker democratic candidates, it's hard to be a weak democratic candidate in mahoning, but even the weak ones are going to get pulled in by the strong drive and we're all going to march in the same direction with a coordinated campaign. we were somewhat -- we did the al gore campaign. of course, one of the problems with that campaign is that gore deserted ohio three or four weeks before the election and went to florida. and so it was a little more difficult, but we were somewhat about the way that campaign was handled. i do want to give some attention to the third effort. we took straight interest, and actually john did other work on
act. because we contended in the 2004 election, that it was recognized, as some of the people have said here, that the ground war is necessary, and it was critical to winning elections. you can't just have the tv model. but knowing they felt that the parties were not -- didn't have the capacity, the local parties did not really have the capacity to do what was necessary, so we're going to create the capacity, and they use the party, and they did a tremendous job in mahoning, and they had union leaders, the person is now head of the afl-cio council there who headed this up, and he gave us good insight. so anyway, i'm giving a lot of attention, but actually our view was they were contracting out the party's work, they contracted it out, so we saw that occur in the 2004 election, where they contracted
it out. they were registering voters before the democrats had announced their candidate. they hired staff, and they registered -- and they concentrated in demographic areas that they projected to be more democratic in terms of their registration efforts. and they use aloost college students. they did a terrific job. and my observation was, and john has looked at this more carefully, but my observation was there was a bottleneck on election day with ak. in other words, they did a great job in registering voters, they didn't really have it down on how to get the vote out, and i think -- i was driving over here today, and i think, had we had the early voting in ohio in 2004, we would have had -- i don't think we would have had a different -- maybe not a different outcome, but ak would have been
more successful in generating that vote that they had registered. but i think that they had to get the vote out on election day and, of course, we all heard stories about the lines and the waiting. when you talk to them, about all the vans that they rented. john and i did interviews with the coordinators in mahoning. all the vans and all the people, they seemed to know really what to do on election day. it wasn't like the old party wood leader. he was there, who knew who voted, who dent, and could get the people out to vote. that knowledge wasn't there, and these college kids running around and didn't really know what to do. so i think there was a bottle neck on turnout. but to go to our story and what we've been doing, that struck us, struck me as an interesting characteristic, especially as we fast forward from 2004 to 2008. the obama campaign didn't contract the work out. they decided that, in the case
of mahoning, this might be overstated, if mitigate my arguments, but they didn't really think the local parties could do this, but they were going to contract it out to another actor. they were going to do it themselves. they created this tremendous campaign effort in mahoning county where they had three offices of their own. unheard of, 35 staffers. i don't know of any campaign. i was around during nixon. i don't know when they ever hired 35 people in mahoning county in a presidential campaign. but you know why they could do it? you know why they could do it? because they had the money. that's why they could do it. it made a big difference, i think. to me, that is the explanation for why obama created this tremendous campaign organization. but the point is they also did not do one of our themes, it
was not coordinated with the local party. but when we talk about the party, they really didn't take the party leaders, statutory party leaders were not in council. i mean, there were actually people from out of state running this organization because their job was to follow the manual, and it wasn't -- we don't want to hear from, oh, so and so over in third ward, you know, this is the way we did it, kennedy won, they weren't going to hear any of that. this is the model that you follow, and you know what, it's better, we just bring people in from out of state, so it highlights the point that 1996, that the local elites select the person who's going to coordinate the campaign, and i think we look at the way they did it, said, hey, they're sending in people from, god forbid, massachusetts, they send these people in to run
these campaigns. but i think they did it on purpose. i don't think they couldn't find anybody in mahoning to do it. that was a good way of keeping the model they wanted, which i think to some extent they created in the primary and didn't to want move away from, but i think that the point made is very, very important. they could do it. they could do it their way because they had the money. and they could keep control of it, in this case, in ohio. this is where the cooks have some differences of opinion as to whether mamoning county was dissect in the way the local party was treated. if the read the paper, the local chair, she was not in good standing with the existing party leadership. she had been for different parties, dmpt party leader. but i don't know if that's true. i don't know if there's any place where the local party had a big role in the presidential
campaign. some of these past depains, particularly if you went back to 1996 where the party in mahoning had a very significant role. i think that's our point. the papers have a panel study over time where we see these variety of patterns. i don't want to infer that this is evolutionary. i'm not sure that it is. i don't think we're suggesting it is. but certainly the relationship between the national presidential campaign on the democratic side and the local democratic party is very different for each of these elections. and that's what we wanted to share with you. we have been looking at the same local statutory party for
elections. the obama exean was very successful. and the local party people didn't seem to complain very much about it. many of them joined up and took their obama manual with them and did what obama was telling them to do. i will yield the rest of my time to your questions that might have other papers, but i'm going pull all this together for you as to what this is all about. >> the papers are all related, because they look at money, organization, personality, politics, and the impact of a really big election.
i asked the panelists if they would briefly address the question, what do they think a party is in a meant or two, and bill already did that. maybe we can just go ray, dan, melody, and maybe if bill wants to jump in again. just because you all do have different definitions. what do you think a party is? >> well, in my framework, i took bill's statutory definition of a party, because i think, you know, many things follow from that when you're nominating a candidate on the ballot, you take more interest in seeing that candidate win under all circumstances. i'm not so sure that's true when we talk about the extended party. we're institutionalizing a new form in politics with these 2 a 27's, and it's work for the parties now. there's nice multilayers, they're interacting, but that's because we're in a highly polarized veerment right now where a little bit of effort by these gripes can make a difference. and what if the election is
more certain? what's going to happen? what's going to happen to the party infrastructure that's not going to be built up while these groups are institutionalizing? they can come and go, these extended party networks. maybe that's a good thing. but to me, organizations constantly amean i can-like tells me they're not institutionalized in the sense they don't control their environment. so anyway, i think the network allows us to think the dynamics between these organizations, but knowing we also lose something an hat i canly, but also things that are good for what i consider democracy, transparency, building a party infrom structure that's there permanently. that's how i view t. >> well, my thinking has evolved a bit on this. when i left graduate school, my dad, who talk political snps, gave me a copy of a book, first
edition, and of course, he introduces the parties. and after this conference, i did run home and look up to see if he cited ralph goldman, and sure enough, he did. it was actually ralph goldman. it's actually the view parties. but when john coleman leveled his attack -- i shouldn't say attack, but his critique on organizational works, it was centered on how organizations had left out voters, and it was suggesting that he is still the tripod. but the retort from the organizational scholars was that we shouldn't think of them as together, but rather, they used -- they used a firm-base model, where voters are customers. and that seemed to work for me
for a while. but lately, i must tell you, i have this feeling that what's happening in congress right now in the democratic caucus will affect partisanship, that young people, if they see this majority, if they see this filibuster-proof majority not get what they voted for done, i feel that they'll pull back away from their partisanship, what dmps does it make? and thank party organizations connect to party identification and vice versa. so it's a long answer, but it's still evolving. >> well, i'm very sympathetic as well to this sort of grand trifecta of parties. obviously my work is sort of parties ads organizations and really focuses in on that. i think that one thing that maybe is a little distinct from from that is i am more sympathetic to this expanded party network as well.
while certainly parties as i define them -- and like nancy, i'm very fond of partisans, i leak talking to them, and i think that they do a lot of really good work in addition to some of the fighting and nonsense that they also do. but i also think that there's a lot going on with this sort of party network that they were talking about sort of with nonparty groups, these community and interest groups that, from talking to parties, often work very, very closely with the party leaders, with party organizations, and so i think that there's a lot to be said about parties in that sense as well. >> just to add, party statutes are probably the same as party organizations at the state and local level, but this party that we've had been look agent in mahhoning, at one time was the party in control, this was
a machine that did a lot of the things that melody tacked about came out of the new deal and very strong party from the 1940's and into the 1960's, and then weakened. but it evolves, it changes, even though statutory language doesn't change. there's only about five sentences in the statute, but the organization today is much different today than 50, 650 years ago. >> give us your definition. >> mine's going to be a little different. i'm very interested in party organizations. i think i would go back to the ancients of the literature and say that to understand political parties, you really do need to look at them from an organizational perspective. and that means it's not a legal definition, because as the law changes, certain parts of parties grow. there was a focus on hard money, or they get thrown out like soft money or independent expenditure groups that are party of parties, can't even communicate with them. so i wouldn't go with that defense, and i wouldn't go with a public opinion definition either. so what i would go with is a
different of parties as enduring multilayered coalitions. at the core are party leaders, like the speaker of the house, the president, or the chairs of the d.n.c. and the r.n.c. and state parties, and, you know, they're the core. and then outwarksd i would go and look at party members, politicians, their candidate committees, their p.a.c.'s that give money to other candidates. it seems to me kind of rid klutz to throw the majority of the leader of the house that gives a lot of money to democrats, almost more than most parties, and not consider him part of the core party organization. and then outside of that, i would consider groups that give virtually all of their support for one party as party allies, and that they would need to be considered, too. i would not throw party identifiers out, but i wouldn't give them much weight. and then there are all these independent voters, independent journalists. i'd keep them out as well. so the way i'd conceptualize them is a core organization
with different layers outside, and then i guess the key thing would be to understand that the relationships are based on money, based on who founded who, and most of these 527 groups were founded by former party leaders. and then i would point out that the core group really does coordinate most of the strategy. maybe that's what parties are, have a tremendous impact on the flow of other indications. the one way i would break these apart is the idea that party leaders are selected by their members to set party goals and implement those goals, and then because those party members selected those leaders, they're going to be very loyal and follow them when they distribute their goodiesful and then party allies, because they're really the agents of the principle that was form them, and here we talk about interest group members.
even though they give 90% to 100% of their money to one party, they may be more likely to go their own way based on the contingent sins of candidates, so that's where i would go. if we have time, let's open up the floor to questions. right here. >> hi, a question for ray. a they're i heard, but never saw this documented during the 2008 campaign, was that the obama campaign was approaching major donor toss a lot of interest groups, saying, if you really want to effect change this year, give money to my presidential campaign rather than to your group. i'm wondering if up saw any of this and in your evidence collected from. what i see, it looks like interest groups still had plenty of money on their own. >> the impression i got was it was all about controlling the message mostly.
and he basically told the people who put together the 527's, you know, we don't need you guys, that's how confident they were. they had some organizations that were involved in helping with the grass roots effort. that's what i understand. but they dent play as large a role, except for the congressional -- congressional race is much like that. you have that much money, you want -- that's the ideal situation for a candidate, i control the money, i control the message. any questions? >> this question is for ray. i'm wondering, which interest groups, which sets of interest groups did you find driving the increase in spending in 2008?
>> i did a global study for this. i did not break it down. that's the next level of analysis. the first place i would look to see is the congressional races. my guess is that's where they played, because spending a few dollars in the race would make a difference. on the republican side, i don't know, they seem pretty disorganized this year no. one would -- no one was ready to go in there. i think part of it may have been because they weren't sure -- them didn't like mccain, some of these guys, the ones who ran the ads in the past. it was a good question. >> there are two different kettle says of fish here. if these are groups that are spending money 99% on behalf of one party and the leadership of these groups are former party
committee leaders, long-time consultants, that's one thing. on the other hand, it was giving 55% to one party, 45% to the other, it's run by their lobbyists. that has different implications for our understanding. >> it's hard to deny how impressive the obama fundraising machine was in 2008, but i'm struggling with how to put this in perspective. as you point out, to some extent, it came at the expense of d.n.c. fundraising, right? so, you know, in a way, we don't really have the appropriate counterfactual, what would d.n.c. fundraising had looked like if he had accepted public funding, at least in the general election?
and really, if they were able to shift the money right over to the d.n.c., is it really as impressive as it looks like when you have that huge, you know, spike in the obama column relative to the d.n.c., and, that of course, will have long-term implications. so i'm wondering if you have a sense, and maybe one way to think about this, is to think about the d.n.c. fundraising in 2008. one could look at that number and say, wow, it's amazing they were able to raise this much given obama was also raising that much more. or could say, well, it's shocking that it raised more given how energized the democratic base was and given that there were limits to what people could contribute to the obama campaign directly. i mean, they maybe should have been able to raise a lot more than the $260 million they raised. what's your sense on how we should think about that? >> part of it is they started so late doing the joint fundraising committee. the mccain campaign started it during the primaries, and the obama team dent have a lot of time to take advantage of that.
ing i think they should have done better, given that you could raise, you know, $ed 57,000, up give your $4,600 to obama and you write the same check and give it over to the d.n.c., and i was scratching my head, well, wrls the moan? if he's raising so much money from marriage donors -- i mean, the myth is he was just raising it from small donors. he had major donors from the chicago crowd, why wasn't the money going to the d.n.c. as well? now, other people at least were upset, leaders were upset with howard dean. i don't know the details of that. >> what is the correlation between the strength of the two parties across the counties? is it positive or negative? >> it's not as strong as sort
of some people might have expected, although some people thought it would be in reverse. i think it's around .4 or .3. >> what is your definition? >> so i think some of it is these county correlates, so, for example, more urban parties are stronger regardless of the partisanship of the voters of any of these other factors, places where everyone is spread out on farms, fewer people come to the county seated, it's harder to get meetings together, the parties are weaker. i think some of some of it is at the party level, they're sort of the same, work the same for both parties. i think there is also a little bit of ate -- maybe a culture of sort of the county political activity. certainly when i did interviews and talked to party leaders, both democratic and republican within given counties, there was sort of a sense of, like, people in our county are used to being political, are used to being active, or people in our county just aren't. and so i'm not sure whether this can be traced back to the
political campaigns in the county or whatever, but there was something. >> what i was wrneding is if there is an electoral competition kind of explanation, so that in one party, the party is weaker, and in competitive areas -- if that were true, you'd expect negative. >> it is the case that in very strongly one-party areas, the county parties sort of will be stronger for whatever party does really well in the elections. but there's also a disconnect between national and local-level elections, even thousand, and even outside the south. and so there are certainly counties where the local machine or the local party that does really well in elections is different from the national party. and so that can lead to some sort of querky party strength. >> by chance do you recall what it was like -- the correlation was like in 1980, or is there more or less parity now?
my other question is if you know of party competition compared to, say, 1990 with the seam sort of question. my gut tells me they're more competitive races, mainly for the parity. >> at the local level? >> yeah, at the local level. >> i don't know of local level election data except for the data that i collected in 2008. so i can't -- i'm not sure of the comparison. >> based on the experiences of the obama campaign with a lot of young people were involved, and in the past history of the parties has been that we want the young people to be involved in the election, and then we want them to disappear. we don't want to hear from them anymore. we want the older people to run things. we just had a slight example of that with the ohio supreme court ruling that a charter made prohibits that 18 -- actually it's 20 now, from
running for mayor because he's underage. the age that they have declared is 23. they said that makes a person more responsible, more mature, whatever. do you think that the parties will change from that because of this, or are we going to go back to the same old problem again? >> i think two reasons they're paying more attention, both parties pay more attention, the first is that they've shown that they can do interest. they can be interested in politics. i just tell you for all americans between 2000 and 2004, the jump was 3% of turnout. for those under 30, it was 11% jump. so young voters are ready,
they're coming to the polls. they're on the playing field right now. secondly, i think that as the number of undecided voters increase, and you're seeing that, they're making up their minds early to push his party organization to turn to groups traditionally on the sidelines, to nonvoters. in other words, it's cheaper to persuade and existing voters to come to your side. getting folks out to vote is expensive. we know that. for those two reasons, i think the voters will stay in and be targeted by the parties in 2010.
>> your principal agent analogy there i think becomes problematic when i think back to earlier this year. there was an incident with michael steele and rush limbaugh, and i don't remember the details other than limbaugh -- steele said something disparaging about lem beau, he doesn't speak for the republican party, and suddenly there was a flood of mail and, you know, angry emails and angry phone calls, and he immediately backed off. what does this say about how we define what the republican party is? i mean, don't we need to incorporate some of these people who were reluctant to incorporate it, and what does that do to the whole agent involved? >> in the conception i have, commentators like rush limbaugh would be considered party allies. and sold political consultants that work with one party and a
whole slew of others that are tough in one party. and what makes them different than formal party leaders is they have a lot of freedom to defect from the party. they have the most freedom to defect from the party. and they often -- not often, but they occasionally will. but for the most part, they are in the party ally camp. michael steele, instead of backpedaling from his statement about rush limbaugh, does say something about the republican party in that their formal leadership meanlt be as strong as it once was, but it also may say something about michael steele's stature within the republican party and his backing within the republican party. he is not the strongest party chair, even though his party is out of power, and that's what the party chair should be about. so i would just raise that issue. on the podium here, ray has a
question. >> yeah, i do. my question gets the at the length between the national campaigns and the local parties. with all this money coming down , all these people, this infusion of young people, what gets left behind in terms of an infrastructure for the future? i mean, does the party gain anything from the national campaign or the act that comes in there in terms of voter files, in terms of new technologies, in terms of new models of getting out the vote. >> i'm not sure, but one of the -- one of the consequences of act with their tremendous registration was the election of the first african-american mayor in subsequent cycle of elections. i think because we have registered so many african-american voters, that
vote was available, he was creative. it wasn't a party activity, but he was able as a candidate to reach to that vote and win the election. i think it does leave a vacuum -- i think left all these registered voters left town, no organizational structure. i think that's partially true with the obama campaign, at least on the local level. i think we've gone back to the party business as usual. we've had a change in leadership since then. but i don't really think the party -- >> certainly the party leaders that i spoke with, one thing that was left behind by sort of
state and national parties working with them were voter files. and it was really interesting to see that a lot of these sort of county and local party organizations were transitioning to a much more specific ways in part because of the lists had finally been collected, in part because technology is cheaper now. but a lot of them were being passed down from some of the higher level organizations. but i also had a lot of local party leaders, particularly in more rural counties, complaining that the higher level parties and the resources they gaye them were not appropriate for those county situations. so they were sort of frustrated that the resources were not very useful. >> i want to thank all of you for the outstanding presentations. but i'm sorry, i'm a little bit of a doubting thomas. when i first accepted my first
teaching job at the university of cincinnati, i did a survey of the republican and democratic county organizations, and i got about a 50% response rate, like you did, melody, i want to con great heat on you that. i came away with the conclusion, when i sifted through the responses, that the party organizations were hollow shells. you may have had people appointed to the basic precinct committee man or woman level, but they really didn't do anything. and now it appears that the obama campaign dent trust the party organization to put in their own people. and so they've all reassured us that the party organizations are alive and well, but we still seem to have candidate-centered organizations. and right now, my own county, cuyahoga, is vying for the most corrupt county in the country.
well, my next question for you, bill, is whether there were any gun-toting democrats. but it's very clear, as the scandal emerges, it's very clear that the organization goes where the money is. and the money is the rewards. the material benefits are being dispensed by all of these separately elected county officials. even the county prosecutor has gotten contributions from his assistant prosecutors between $2,000 a person, and he's leading the charge for the county executive system. but again, we seem to have a system that's candidate-centered because the party can't deliver rewards. what's your response? >> well, i think that's what
i'm getting at. that is to say that the money and the campaign doesn't take anything. what's left over is goodwill, for a lot of folks a victory. there is the list that knows how we do this, we all came together, we all know that we can do this. and i think it's an opportunity for parties to grab that while it's there. and if you think it's fleeting, a few people in the press poll suggest young folks are pulling back. not a coincidence we dent see this. at the town hall meetings. thinge pulling back, i think it's there, it's an opportunity to pull them in in meaningful ways, or it will be lost. and i studied a lot of local party stuff, and empty vessel argument is a strong one. >> but i wouldn't wish this on
anyone. i'm finishing up my dissertation this year, and a lot shows that county party strength does have strong effects on who runs for and who wins in these county level election the. so there is at least some evidence that they do. >> my name's christine. i'd like to say, in 2004, i worked for act, and it's something i'm very proud of. but my question would be to professor shea. could you contrast the total amount of money that obama raised exeard to what he raised just on the internet? >> they know better than i would, but i think he raised -- >> he raised about $600,000 -- all a more than that? >> even more than that, i think. more than half his funds, i think, came in on the internet.
>> i was wondering if you had an idea behalf model we can use to get the youth of the nation involved, but keep them involved. >> model as in location? or as in modes of doing things? >> what has been the best model so far? i mean, i realize obama brought the youth vote out, but how do we keep it out? >> when john and i did the fountain of youth, we listed at the end of one chap sister a check list of suggestions, a checklist of opportunities that local parties might use to draw young people in, and it was a profile of very successful towns, and it was things like social events where young people wanted to be there, you know, the pot luck dinners, maybe we should let those slide. you know, reaching out to the young people through
communications that they're used to. parties know absolutely nothing about the ways -- and understand from the article that it's going to make email obsolete soon. i have no idea how that's possible. but parties need to be on to that technologically. they need to give them meaningful positions in the committee. they need to feel as though they count. here's the thing. young people are very active in their civic world because they get a payoff from what they do with the soup kitchen. if they don't get a payoff, if there's not something concrete that they do with the party, they'll skip it. so if by chance you could get that, i'd be happy to send you that section of the book if you want to know, sort of a checklist of stuff. >> we've had a very interesting apparently. i want to thank the panelists. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> in just over an hour here on c-span, it's "washington journal." topics include u.s. efforts to resolve long-standing differences over settlements and the latest news of the day. after that, energy secretary steven chu on drafting new climate ledge snakes. but coming up next, a look at threats against the united states since the fall of the berlin wall 20 years ago. >> what i have done is to write the paper as mentioned in a way that i almost never do, which is about the present mainly in
light of the past. historians, generally speaking, have a tendency to write with some safety. we think that there is some safety in writing from historical doments and from sources that they are familiar. and rarely, for good reasons, venture into drawing policy comparisons and recent events that follows. what brought me to do it at this point was not just the incredible capacity of convincing me to do more or less anything, but it's also the seriousness of these matters. people are dying. the results in both cases in my view as i look forward, they do not look good. and i'm very interested in trying to find out whether there are any links between the cold war, a period we are
starting to know well now, in terms of historical lessons to what went into the decision making, both are regard to relation to afghanistan, as the result of 9/11, 2001, and 2003, so that's what i'm trying to look at. it is a paper that needs lots of development still. not least is there a need for more information with regard to how business were made. this is why historians are also careful when it comes to dealing with events. we do not have the records that we'd really like to go on. and die hope since so many of them are present here today that those who were policy makers in the administration will push for the early open of the historical record so that we actual logical have more to go on, and thereby, set an example for other countries to push in the same direction. it is something that is widely important, because they only
had one in terms of freedom of information. and i think the people who were in the bush administration can try to make up for that after they had left office by pushing for more heft cal openness. ok, what i'm trying to put forward here are four issues that deal with the lnks between the cold war and cold war decision making and afghanistan and iraq. the first one is about technology. the emphasis that developed after the cold war ended on putting technology into high seed of strategic and continuing in that matter as well. john touches on that in his paper as well. i do think this is very
important, after the cold war ended, the soviet union had to some degree clapsd, lost the struggle, because of american technological advances, particularly advances within law. you have no excuse of t. the soviet union, as we heard earlier on today, drew on this quite correctly, that there was a sense that the soviet union was not capable of keeping up with the american technological advance, and not gist in military respect, this also has to do with consumer technology, it has to do with creating the kind of technology that makes up a society that people would really want to live it. the problem i think is that as we move into the 2000's, particularly after 9/11, this emphasis on technology became narrower and narrower. it really came to me if one
employed the american technology advance, both in military and civilian terms, and could achieve results that otherwise would not be possible to achieve, that one could push history along by using the technological edge that the united states possesses. and in both of these cases, both in afghanistan and the iraq, tell that to them for two reasons. one is particularly with regard to water, that the united states can counter interesting, and then increasing in afghanistan, simply cannot be dealt with effectively by using technological means. you can have as high a high-tech as you move for. when we move into those numbers in the south and eastern parts of afghanistan, there's very, very little that you can do in technological terms in order to keep up with the determination of new enemies. and secondly, and perhaps more
important until terms of policymaking, the certainty, at least in the beginning of both of these campaigns, create for you as logical arguments. even if things seem to be bad at the moment, united states would still come over if it was a technological edge. you ask questions afterwards in terms of the content of the paper. the second aspect that i deal with is the issue of regime change. and on this one, one has to be very careful, because there are many people who comment we knew whu get into the bush treaty administration. i don't think it is. it was written about in the past as well. i think regime change in a broad sense is something that also connects us to u.s. foreign policy during the cold war, and maybe even before the cold war in many respects. containment to some extent was
about regime change. the difference is obvious, that given, among other thing, the technological edge i've been talking about, gin the sense of the unique situation of the collapse of the soviet union, the unipolar moment as some people were talking about it, regime change, that particular aspect of pushing history along was something that will seem as a move forward kind of strategy and what effects it during the cold war. in other words, this was not just about containment. this would have been the sanctions. but it was also about taking military action in order to push the regime to the ground, destroy it. now, again, this has happeneded before. it's not something that's new, but i do think that the reading of the reactions that came out of eastern europe, after the
collapse of communism, continued to inform that kind of a approach on the u.s. oil, i have some increasingly good folks in my paper where he's talking about that in a very interesting manner about how the repeated the of change in eastern europe influenced his thinking, particularly about iraq. my third point is about more absolutes and national values. and this is perhaps in my view the most important lesson that was drawn from the way the cold war ended by many decision makers leading up to afghanistan and the iraq war. the absolute conviction that existed that united states was on the side of good, that it was on the side -- not just of stability and national interest, we've heard a lot about that yesterday. but it was quite literally on the side of good.
that united states needs national values where international values, if they have values that others, as soon as they uncounter it, would embrace. that's, to me, more important that the basis for operations in afghanistan and iraq and anything else. this is simply not the way the world has worked in the past. it didn't work that way during the cold war. it doesn't work that way now. and the consequences of that, the consequences of that intense belief can be quite disastrous for u.s. policy makers. i've just been reading through the new book about america's engagement in the pacific, where he quotes one of my favorite quotes, it is our fate, it's america's fate, not to have ideologies, but to be one. and i do think there is a point in that, particularly with regard to this concentration not on american national
values, but being transferred internationally. then finally what i turn in the paper as blowback. one has to be very careful, because this is a loaded turf, also much misuse. it is often, particularly in this country, the background of conspiracy theoryless of why people decided the way they did based on collaborations. that's not the way i used it. what i'm interested in is what you do not sense is done in terms of outright policymaking with regard to these areas in the past and how that affects u.s. policy now, when when it was not effected. there are two things that really do stand out. and often generally not much spoken about in the coming up of scientists and historians. one is the united states' understanding of the relationship in the region. i'm talking about iraq and iran
during the 1980's. obviously, within the reach, it had a tremendous impact. that united states has been supporting roque the way it did, to the extent it did during the iran-iraq war. it became much more dell for many people, particularly arabs who knew the character of the saddam hussein regime, to believe that it was so infinal easel that it had to be removed by force in 2003, while the united states in full knowledge, for instance, of the gas leak that had been used during the 1980's was willing to support it in its war against iraq. these things matter. that he matter in terms of international context. likewise with regard to afghanistan, and i go through some in some length in my paper , i have no idea with the u.s. operation in afghanistan in
2001. let me just say that afghanistan is not fairly well. i was working with refugees in the 1980's. i speak the language. i was very surprised, though, after the intervention took place the degree to which united states was willing to accept that the pakistan military came to the rescue of the remnants of iraq, some of the remnants of the taliban, transport them over to pakistani territories and then basically off. i think that's something that one has to go back in history to understand. it has to do with connections that have been developed in the united states. not in the conspiracy kind of sense, but between the united states and the pakistan military leaders during the war, the last war in afghanistan, during the 1980's. and it is very clear that this is a key reason why this action
was not taken initially against those remnants of al qaeda and the taliban. now, some week would say we couldn't -- we couldn't do it because it would destabilize pakistan, the whole country would be pushed, toward islamism. i don't believe it. i think what it would have done to expose to its other population all the incapabilities of the military operation and helped the legitimate pricing, the approach that the pakistani military had to its own corporation. the system is in kashmir, be it with regard to rone and be it in afghanistan. let me conclude, the discussion about hope for afghanistan has to some extent been about
democracy. it has been about how to get democratic route. this is what a number of the proponents keep coming back. i'm a believer in the spread of democracy. i think much has happened in that respect from the global since sense the end of the cold war. i think in most people, there's not that much new prosperity. it did not have much to do with progress in many other areas, important areas, such as equality for men and women. but it had a lot to do with political observations, and that is a crucial step forward. had these two campaigns contributed to the third ring that have agenda? in my view, they have not. in both cases, they have, for various reasons, in broader regional context, learneded florida and facilitated the
thread of population. and this is, i think, one of the most important lessons who try to draw from more recent history. it is not just enough to have very good intentions and honorable intention, but i'm sure they work in all of these cases, even once up try to draw on heft from understanding. one has to try to do it in a way that understands the motives of others, as well as one's own motives. whether it has to do with regime change or technological advance. i think this is very important. i'm fairly certain after having worked on issues of this for some time that we can build something. i've always been more skeptical to doing something from historians. but i do think it is important to consider these issues, and it's important -- it's a wonderful opportunity really to put them on the table and h
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