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tv   Smerconish  CNN  October 30, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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billionaires, 1, millionaires, 0. i'm michael smerconish in philadelphia. congressional democrats continue to try to resolve their own differences in order to pass two huge spending packages. the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan which has bipartisan support and the larger build back better plan, to pass the latter, democrats need every member of the party in the senate. but arizona's kyrsten sinema is
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opposed to court tax on corporations and high tax to earners according to bloomberg. and joe manchin seems weary of a billionaire's tax saying, quote, i don't like the connotation that we're targeting different people. there are only 700 or so in that category. both seem like a holdout on corporations with highest reported profits but how will democrats pay for the rest of what remains in the bills. the framework announced on thursday still not finalized includes a new surtax on income of 10 million. and additional three percentage points on income over $5 billion. and the wealth that usual lie resides in assets. in fact as neil irwin noted in "the new york times" the striking increases about the tax
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increase in the framework president biden announced thursday is how they accumulate vast fortunes with minimal taxation while extracting more money from those owners employee. it's the working rich agency the investor has called them, who will pay much of the bill for the social welfare system. the billionaire's tax is similar to ideas espoused by my next guest, senator elizabeth warren. supporters at rallies routinely chance the two cents to make americans play two cents on every dollar of wealth above 50 million each year. >> we can do all of that on two cents. >> two cents! two cents! two cents! >> where it all headed no one better to ask than massachusetts senator elizabeth warren who
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joins me now. by the way, she's just published a new children's book called "pinkie promises." we'll talk about in a minute. it suddenly gains resonance this week, what changed? >> well, i think part of it is washington is catching up with where the american people are and for a long time, what i've been talking about is very popular across the country. and let me point out, it's actually both halves. i talked about the wealth tax on individuals the bazillionaires, and a minimum corporate tax, based on book profits for the billionaire corporations. you know, the amazons of the word that report $10 billion in profits and turn around and pay nothing in taxes. so i've been pushing both of these ideas. looks like for sure, one is going to make it into this package. the second one may not make it into the package.
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you know how i look at this? the american people get it. they understand that the tax system is rigged and they are sick of it. and they are finally pushing washington to do something. so, i'm still fighting to try to get both of them in, but even if we don't, this idea of taxing billionaires on their wealth, it's not going away. >> i thought of you when i saw a tweet from elon musk. i'll put it up on the screen, he said, quote, eventually, they run out of other people's money and then they come for you. i was thinking of that iconic campaign moment, it's liz warren getting ready to run for senate you're at a coffee klatch, and you say, you didn't build that. what is your comment to seelon musk? >> the 99% paid 1% of total
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wealth. that top percent where elon musk lives, they paid about 3.2%. that's less than half as much. if elon musk were paying at the same rate as the rest of americans on their wealth, then elon musk and his kind could be funding a huge part of what we need in america. universal child care. universal pre-k. home and community-based care. expanded health care and investments in housing, and a big, big flak in fighting back against climate change. the folks at the top, they've been free load for long enough. >> well, let's relive the moment to which i referred a couple seconds of it. then i'll have a follow-up question. roll it. >> sure. >> there is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. nobody. you built a factory out there, good for you but i want to be clear, you moved your goods to
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market on the roads the rest of us paid for. you hired workers, the rest of us paid to educate. you were safe in your factories, because of the police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. you didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize someone in your factory and hire someone to protect against this because of the rest of us did. >> you look like you're winging it. are you contemporaneous there? >> totally. i wasn't totally a candidate for senate quite yet. the question came in, and i told them how i felt about it. and it's how i still feel about it, michael. elon musk, you made a bazillion dollars, good for you. but do keep in mind, the rest of
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us invested in all of the things that were necessary to have a foundation so that you could do that and no one -- >> okay. let me go back to this point. >> -- pay their share. >> here's the fundamental question, is there any limiting principle in your philosophy? is there any moral or constitutional constraint against the government taking all private property because that's what he's saying, first they're coming for me and then they're coming for you. >> what he's saying is it's okay to tax everybody else, just don't tax me. we've been taxing americans for more than 100 years. and we said everybody puts in a portion. i believe taxation ought to be progressive. meaning those at the top ought to be paying not just more in dollars but actually a little larger share of what they've got. they should be pitching it in so the next generation gets a chance. and the next generation after that. and the next generation after that. that's what hard working families across this country are
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doing. that's what teachers and firefighters are doing. that's what everyone else does. and elon musk rides on the back of that, and pays a much smaller share. that's not right. >> is it possible to tax the assets of the wealthiest among us? i mean, what are you doing with art? what are you doing with someone who owns a patent? what are you doing with someone who has to gain. by the way, senator, what about next year they lose their tail and now the government has to give money back for a paper loss? >> so, we have been -- let's start with the fact that 60% of the wealth of those at the top is tied up in marketable securities so, boy, that one is easy to value. just look at your stock market quotes, and we're done. for a big hunk of a rest of it, it's already valued every year. real estate, are you kidding me? we already do that. art, it's insured.
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and to be insured, we know what the valuation is. and so on through the assets. also, it's a very small number of people. so, it works from year to year. you had a rembrandt last year, you ought to either have a rembrandt this year or at least have an equivalent amount of money or some other art. but it's a small number of people. it goes year by year. and stays fairly steady. this is something that we can put the irs on. people specialized in valuation. we can make it happen and the consequence of this is that we have the money to invest in our children. we have the money to invest in our future. roads and bridges crumbling around us. people going bankrupt over medical bills. mamas who say i can't go back to work because i can't find child care. we make those investments, and once again, we all get richer.
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if more women and parents, daddydaddy can participate in the workforce that raises gdp for everyone. i want investment and that means elon musk has to pay this part. >> come back to that conversation. tell me quickly why a children's book "pinkie promises"? >> because when i campaigned i did about a bazillion pinkie promises with little girls, we would talk about all the things girls do, including running for president. when i dropped out of the race, i lost, i kept thinking about all of those little girls. so, i wrote this book for all of the little girls i had already done pinkie promises for. and all of the little girls this was my future pinkie promise to them, and to their brothers, their uncles. a reminder, there's a lot that girls can do. >> senator, thanks so much for being here.
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>> good to be with you. >> what are your thoughts? tweet knee @smerconish. go to my facebook page. i'll read responses. cody says, personally i think the progressives willing to take nothing then create around 2 million american jobs repairing the infrastructure. everyone is crying that everything is hung up in transit. we'll fix the choke points. president biden i think had hoped by the time he landed in rome he would have had that as a notch in his belt. one more, kathryn, if we have time for it -- one more from twitter? no more. we have plenty. she's just telling me i don't have time. up ahead, former president trump published a letter to the editor of "the wall street journal." the outraged reaction made me wonder should the media ever censor a president who may be the party's nomination in the future?
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and with the governor accountant date glenn youngkin. did the teakty torch the democrat terry mcauliffe. i want to know what you say. whose campaign did the lincoln project tiki torch stunt help most? was it mcauliffe or was it youngkin? my friend stefanie, her skin was dry. i'm like girl you better get you some dove. she hooked me up. with a quarter moisturising cream, dove cleans effectively and cares beautifully. (sfx: video game vehicle noises, horns beeping,) (engines revving, cars hitting one another.)
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election day is tuesday, all eyes are on the tight virginia governor's race. and in the 11th hour are, the lincoln project added tiki torches to the mix. but will they burn the candidate they were trying to help? on friday, the anti-trump group the lincoln project sent tiki torches to the republican candidate glenn youngkin in a statement saying we're all in
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for glenn. it's our way of reminding virginians what happened in charlottesville four years ago. if he will denounce that the charlottesville rioters possessed very fine qualities we'll with draw the tiki torches. until then, we'll be back. the mcauliffe campaign condemned it. said it was shameful and wrong. youngkin is running against democrat terry mcauliffe, former dnc chair who served as the governor for 2013 and 2014. the arrest from the"the wall stt jou journal" "washington post" has no clear leader. in a tate before biden beat trump by 10 percentage points, they're showing this as ra
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referendum on trumpism. the torchbearers were trying to forcing the issue. joining me now to discuss is dr. larry sabito, a professional of politics, congratulations, larry, on a 50-year association with uva. i'm told you began when you were age 6. i thought that tony morrison's beloved was the 11th hour intangible in this race. it turns out it's tiki torches. how do you see it? who benefits? >> well, it was ill-advised, let's say that, first of all, very ill-advised. because right now, maybe people outside of charlottesville don't know this, there's a major civil suit unfolding that will probably go on for weeks and weeks where the neo-nazis, the unite the right rally people,
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are having to answer questions and undergo potential loss of funds and all the rest from those who were injured in the occurrences in august 2017. so, they couldn't have picked a worse time. now, at the risk of somebody calling me a snowflake, why say that was a triggering event to send people looking very much like the neo-nazis who passed a few yards that way on my lawn at the university of virginia, they look just like them in the khaki pants. with the tiki torches. bad timing. bad idea. i don't know that it will have a major effect on the campaign. i doubt it, simply because so much it happening at the inn. there's too many things to keep up with. >> yeah. so, my gut check on it for what it's worth is, the question is it fraud or is it satire? do they truly try to represent themselves as being associated with youngkin or supporters of youngkin?
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or was it a use of satire, you know trying to draw attention to what had gone on in the words of trump or maybe that's too much in the weeds? i'll ask you a different question. what is the curse of gubernatorial race that you and i spoke about on radio? >> yeah, this curse which is long lasting really started in 1977, when the candidate of the incumbent president jimmy carter lot badly to a republican. in other words, the candidate of the party represented in the white house lost the election for virginia governor that took place a year after the presidential election. and that has held firm every four years, with only one exception, since 1977, the exception, by the way, was when terry mcauliffe managed to beat it in 2013. that doesn't guarantee he can beat it twice. >> former president donald trump a rally monday night, youngkin won't be involved in it, as i
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understand, but it occurs to me from a distance, larry, that youngkin has created the playbook. even if he loses in a tight race, he's created a playbook for how you appeal to the trump base but still maintain a distance from the former president. my view is that trump wants to be close enough to lay claim for the victory if it happens. but far enough away to say well, wasn't me, because youngkin never allowed me to come into virginia. talk to me about the trump factor. >> sure. it worries me, michael, that you do understand how trump's mind works. what you just said is exactly right. he comes in, not physically, but he comes in to make, i think the fifth or sixth endorsement of glenn youngkin, the day before the election. so if he wins he can say, look at the difference i made, they elected a trump republican. and if youngkin loses, he's going to say did you see how youngkin avoided me?
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if only he would have embraced me, he would have won. it's always about trump. we all know that. >> how big of an unforced error was what mcauliffe said in the debate relative to parents and schools. >> it was a big gaff, no question about it. i didn't recognize it as the gaff as large as it turned out to be. a campaign, the opposition campaign has to seize upon a phrase or sentence or paragraph that they believe they can use politically. and i have to say, smartly, the youngkin campaign picked up that sentence and turned it into an attack on parents, supposedly, in a whole wide range of areas. this has been a campaign almost for school board here in the last month, where youngkin has been using issues that have disturbed conservatives and conservative parents for a long time. and it's worked, to the extent i can see. >> democrats have thrown the
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whole kitchen sink in with mcauliffe. and a quick final comment and reaction from you, if i may. when i was trying cases and representing a plaintiff in a civil action, i liked it when the defense table was loaded with lawyers. i mean, was just me with my client. is it possible that bringing in kamala harris, bringing in president biden, bringing in obama, bringing all of them, and allowing -- you know, youngkin just to go out solo on the campaign trail benefits youngkin in the end? >> it could very well. look, mcauliffe had no choice, the democrats in washington, from president biden to both houses in not being able to get together and actually pass something has created the conditions that depresses democrats. so mcauliffe is trying to get them revved up again. and he brings in these top figures but as you say, every time youngkin comments on it, he says, look, it's just me over here.
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i want people to get to know me. i'm the one who's going to be governor. and that has a lot of appeal for republicans, and at least some independents. >> totally plays into a david/goliath kind of thing. that was excellent. thank you so much. congratulations. 50 more years. >> oh, no chance, but thank you, michael. >> let's see what you're saying via my social media. where does this come from? youtube. that's tool. the lincoln project shot themselves in the foot. stupid move. well, brynn, that's the survey question. let me react, it should have been way over the top so it was clear it was sat satire. you just heard there's an incident related to the charlottesville incident. you've got to do this to make it work politically. go to my que question now you're equipped to answer --
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whose campaign did the lincoln project tiki torch stunt help most? did it help mcauliffe, youngkin? up ahead, "the wall street journal" was hammered for publishing donald trump's letter. moving fore, it's going to be a problem for journalists, how do you cover donald trump? plus is the anti-race movement in the country so strident it's actually hurting people it's supposed to be helping, that's what the columbia professor wrote in his new book "woke racism" and he's here to explain. managing type 2 diabetes? on it. -on it. on it, with jardiance. meet the people who are managing type 2 diabetes and heart risk with jardiance. jardiance is a once-daily pill that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death
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this week, a letter to the editor became a flash point for journalists because it was signed by a palm beach resident, former president and likely 2024 candidate trump. "the wall street journal" seemed to have published it with little to little editorial input, not even punctuation fixes. it's indicate of the 40 issues as 45 starts to campaign to be 47. the journal posted the letter under the head line "president trump responds to pennsylvania's 2020" election. pushing back, trump wrote this, well, actually, the election was rigged which you unfortunately still haven't figured out. he then launched into a familiar laundry list about quote/unquote voter fraud which was filled with disinformation. it's so far spawned over 1900 comments on the journal's went website. within a day, the journal ended
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up defending its decision. they wrote this, we trust our readers to make up their own minds about his statement and we think it's news when an ex-president wrote what he did even if especially if his claims were bananas. they couldn't finish without taking this dig, as for the media clerics their attempts to censor mr. trump have done nothing to diminish his popularity. our advice would be to evaluate their own standards after they fell so easily for false russian collusion claims. joining me now is frank sesno for the school of media and public affairs at george washington university where he ran the program for more than a decade. frank, thank you so much for being here. how should "the wall street journal" have handled this issue? >> completely differently. what they should have done, when
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they published the letter, if they were going to publish the letter at all, i question even that they should have put the skepticism and context around it that they didn't afterwards. the letter you were just quoting from. michael if i came to you to your guest book and said hey, i've gait a great guest, but they're bananas. would you put them on the air without pointing 0 out they're bananas? so there's bad stuff, coming back in the corrected editorial, they pointed out for example, particular examples in trump's litany that were just flat-out wrong. why they didn't do that the first time, it really gives free real estate. and it's a very damaging thing for a professional news organization to do that. >> i read the journal, perhaps as we do online, looking for a print script here. to your point, there it is
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letters to the editor. they printed it, frank, like any other letter. there's no sidebar, there's no explanation. and then a day later, they came back with the explanation, where they explained in some part where he had promoted information that was false. my point is, like you said, they had the data, they could have easily done it in one shot. but i thought i heard you say even with a sidebar you're not sure they should have run it. >> right. and look, this gets to point you were making a moment ago and this is really the big one. this is how donald trump is going to run his noncampaign until it's a campaign, presuming that it is. and every news organization is going to have to decide this on a near daily basis. look, in the response editorial, here's what the journal wrote, trump tosses off enough unsourced numbers in 30 seconds to keep a fact checker busy for 30 days.
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with one, trump is back with two more. the facts on trump's fraud letter, they call it a fraud letter -- why would you publish a fraud letter? >> but, frank -- >> this is the kind of thing that they're going to have to do. >> but they also say, i'll read a line that i highlighted since you're reading one you found interesting. we offered this same courtesy to others we criticize even if they make allegations we think are false. isn't that part and parcel what a letter to the editor is? >> op-ed editors edit, they do that all the time. that's why james bennett isn't still working at the "the new york times." the problem that you've got when you have letters to the editor, you get letters to all sorts in your community, they write and they're crack pots and they don't publish those. here's the thing, donald trump was president of the united states and he may be again. the problem for news organizations they cannot ignore
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him. nor can they or should they completely eye roll and dismiss everything he says because he's got huge support and he was president of the united states. so he's got to be fact-checked. he's got to be put in context. his comments need to be compared to actual realities. but then need to be done in a very methodical and calm way and consistent way. that's what will was missing here. that's what's going to be the challenge going forward. >> and i would say, even though his is an incredibly strong record for prevarication, still, you need to be ready. this is the whole facebook issue, as i see it, you better apply that same standard to everybody else. if you're going to fact check him, his record demands that you do but you need to fact-check everybody. i don't know, frank, you get the final word. >> media is not equipped to fact-check everybody but not everybody is running for president of the united states or governor. there's a higher bar for people
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running for public office or asking for public trust or in position of power. that's what journalism is supposed to do, hold power accountable. it's supposed to seek the truth. even an op-ed page, has standards, obviously, "the wall street journal" got stung, or they wouldn't have published the second editorial that they did, explaining what went wrong and saying, apparently, they thought this guy was bananas. as i say, very difficult going forward but we've got some idea what to anticipate here. news organizations and social media platforms both need to understand the role that they're going to play in this disinformation infodemic that we're up against now. and it's really challenging the very guts of our democracy. >> frank sesno, nice to have you back. thank you. >> these to be with you. >> checking in on your tweets and facebook comments, what do we have? i believe acknowledging trump in any way gives him power. ignoring him makes him boil to a
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useless vapor. i don't know about that. i think when you ignore him, i'm sure his word will be when you censor him, it plays into the hands the narrative of the government and media all being in cahoots, deep state, chest-wing media, yada, yada, yada. therefore, he uses this to capitalize on it. can i say this quickly this was the easy one because he submitted in print. the journal had time to think, hey, what do we got to do about this? the harder call is when it's an event in realtime, do you give him that air time? if you don't, if you deny him, he'll complain about that, too. no easy answer. answer the que question whose campaign did the lincoln project tiki torch stunt help most? who benefits? still to come, my next guest says there's a new religion in america if you don't st't stric
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adhere to its tenets. you're cast out. john mcwhorter is here to explain. >> yes, you're on the side of the angels if you acknowledge that racism exists. yes, that might not win you elections. and the second thing is what matters more in our current situation. i brought in ensure max protein, with thirty grams of protein. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks! ( sighs wearily ) here, i'll take that! ( excited yell ) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one-gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health! ( abbot sonic ) i order my groceries online now.
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dismissed as a racist. it concerns america's racial dialogue "woke racism" how a new religion has betrayed black america. the book argues how progressives have invoked their ideology into racism. the idea is challenging that racism living in that society is itself a form of complicity. in other words, no longer not enough to be racist, today you need to be anti-racist. even that might not stops from being labeled a racist which is equivalent to being called a pedophile. the author is john mcwhorter, a column for "the new york times." john, i read and thoroughly enjoyed the book. as i was reading it this week i thought of you because the naacp came out with an announcement, they said if you're an athlete don't sign with a texas team
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because of voting and abortion laws in texas. i thought to myself, how far removed are we where an athlete signs with a texas team, and then all of a sudden, someone says, well, you're a racist because didn't you get the naacp memo? >> well, you know, actually, i would say that i of somebody of the left and quite dismayed with things that have happened in texas, and i understand where that call came from. but it is part and parcel from the general sense that one must go about not only kind of checking yourself for racism. but the idea is if in any sense you are seen with complying with the system, then you're some kind of moral pervert. that it isn't enough to be a normal person that there has to be this giant psychological revolution. i don't think anyone ever thought this is the way the society should be one in the whole species. i haven't heard of any justification as to why we have to conduct ourselves that way
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now, as opposed to doing things on the ground to help people who need help. >> audience for this book are not those that you're criticizing, right? it's the people you're trying to counsel, i'll say, the rest of us, as to how do we respond? do we respond at all? do we respond knowing we might be called a racist for doing so? >> yeah. i think that if you know that you are checking yourself for racism, and you're doing things to help people who will need help, as opposed to the virtue signal that a lot of people are told what they need to do. if you're doing those things i am asking white americans to getting used to being called racist by a certain vocal minority of people who think it's their job to call people names and make people cry in the name of turning the country upside down and making everybody go through this social revolution. we have to get used to calling names and go off and do the work that we do. we can't let that particular person be in charge, because
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they'll basically ruin all of our lives and infiltrate our institutions and turn us into china during the cultural revolution, analogously, not physical violence but the whole idea is that same sort of thing. >> there's a chart in the book. you actually publish it twice for emphasis. you call it a catechism of contradictions. i'll read one that i circled. if you're white and date only white people, you're a racist. but if you're white and date a black person, you are, if not only deep down, exotifying an "other." what's going on there? >> i want people to me stop saying you can say both of those things and how it's somewhat deep called the race thing that you have to study the way you study quantum physics. it's also not fair. both of those statements are designed for people to show that
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they know racism exists or can exist. if that's the one thing you're devoted for you can say both of those completely contradictory things and feel like you're doing a job. if the two cancel each other out, no matter how noble you feel, those thicks don't make sense. it's got to be one or the other or maybe neither. the idea that you're dating a black person and you're racist or not date a black person and you're racism. that's why we say talking about race is complicated. when often the way we're encouraged to talk about doesn't make any sense. i want our race conversations to make sense. >> another vignette from the book. put this up on the screen. a friend wrote in facebook that they agree black lives matter black lives matter only will be roasted by an anonymous person. wait a minute, you agree with them? that implies you get to disagree with them. that's like you agree with the
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law of gravity. you as a white person don't get to agree or disagree when black people assert something. saying you agree with them is every bit as arrogant as disputing them. this isn't an intellectual exercise. this is their lives on the line. your reaction? >> yeah, i feel condescending to on that. the problem is, if you except absolutely everything that a black person says, you're dehumanizing them you're pitying them and pity is not honor. all people make mistakes including people who are the descendants of african slaves brought to this country to endear slavery and jim crow and redlining. there's no such thing as perfect people. and have this notion that anything that a black person is to be bowed down to. and this is not what this is about. this is supposed to be about helping, especially poor people
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with the problems in their lives. all of the rest of this is play acting and frankly, it's extremely fake and condescending. >> john, can i say i like having this dialogue. i really do. i know when i have it, of course, you get called a racist for even engaging in this dialogue. it goes with the territory if you do what i do for a living or you do for a living. my fear is, for the reminder of society, just to take a pass, oh, man, i am not even going to talk about these things because i don't want to be called that word. and you say no, we've got to have this conversation. great book. thank you for being here. i hope the emails go to you and not to me, okay? >> we'll see, thank you. >> okay. checking in on your tweets and facebook comments what do we have? from the world of twitter. wow, that's a long one. this part of our nation's history is awful but my children and grandchildren should not feel guilty for what occurred. the conversation needs to be made for school quality.
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the way for advancement is through educational achievement and not curriculum. i should have said this, his solution to this issue is three things. stop the war on drug us. teach reading via i think it makes sense. still to come, have you voted? here come the final results of the survey question. go to and answer whose tiki torch stunt helped the most? mcauliffe or youngkin?
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all right. time to see how you responded to the survey question this week at whose campaign's tiki torch stunt help? mcauliffe or youngkin? survey says -- oh, pretty close. i mean, that could be your margin of the election. very low voting, only 8,097. but mcauliffe benefited. look, if mcauliffe benefited, people must think that they see it as satire because if they saw it as fraud, i think it would be youngkin that benefited. quickly, we got time for one social media reaction. what does it say? hurting the democratic party. they're profit-driven grifting has shown they drive independent voters for voting for the gop. they are despicable. next time tell me what you really think. they certainly had their own problems, and the question is where the gemdemocratic party i
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good morning to you. it is saturday, october 30th. i'm amara walker in for christi paul. >> you're live in the cnn newsroom. we're following several developing stories this morning, including president biden's trip to the g20 summit in rome. cnn anchor wolf blitzer is