Skip to main content

tv   After Words Patrisse Khan- Cullors When They Call You a Terrorist  CSPAN  February 18, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm EST

12:00 pm
public service by america's cable television companies and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. next on book tv's after words. black lives matter patrisse khan-cullors is interviewed by an author and journalist. after words is weekly interview program with relevant guest hosts works. >>....
12:01 pm
are there certain books that you sort of have read that you thought, like use a northstar, get close to that then i'll be happy? >> guest: definitely. i live off of memoirs and i think elaine brown's taste of power, malcolm x, alex haley. i really spent a lot of time digging into the personal stories of some of my personal heroes because their journeys were just so significant and important, , and really did shae how i i wanted to talk about my book because what i love about those books, angela davis is book, it doesn't just talk about
12:02 pm
her story but it gives an historical context of what's happening during the time and i do that in the book. >> host: talk about the process. as someone who's done a few of these i want to hear about how you work. how long did it take? >> guest: i think there was a better timeline. from the time i spoke to asha, i came to her because someone had come to me in 2015 and they said you have a book in you. they heard me talk about my story. i wasn't thinking about that. black lives matter, i was thinking about where our movement was going, what the next protest is going to be, what was the next date of the movement. i kind of like with the idea of writing. i wrote an outline, and then i went back to organizing to the daily grind.
12:03 pm
but then the presidential candidacy happened and as i started to see the ramping up of the right wing really can't black lives matter a terrorist group, and seeing my face on bill o'reilly warmer show, and i said okay, i need to write something. i talked to them and he said someone asked if i would write the book i'm what you think? to think i should do it? they said definitely do it and you should talk to asha. i think she can either collaborate with you and co-author. i called asha and said would you be interested in which with me on a book? before i could even get it out she was like for sure. we spent the next months and thinking about what come out of what to shape this? what's going to be import for people to read?
12:04 pm
not just in 2018 the what's going to be important for people to read 30 30 years, four years from now. that became like the centerpiece of how we wrote it. >> host: was it, for the process was a you talking and asha recording or was it you writing and you comparing notes? >> guest: it was a both. we would spend very early mornings on the west coast, 6 a.m. kind of talking through different experiences that i had. and then she would write out a first draft. i would look it over or she would submit a set of questions and i would write and share the stories and talk about how i want it written. and really wanting to like dig into the research part of it. asha and i would go back and forth and do a lot of research about what we want to uplift in the book. it became this beautiful
12:05 pm
collaboration between us that i feel very privileged for my first book to have been co-authored with someone like asha bandele who listens and takes the time and what is trying to hear the true light of the story. >> host: for me part of the through line of the story is that consistently, systems failed her. 12-step 12 step systems, religis system, educational, justice system, , prison, over and over and over the systems that are set up to run society leave you in a chaotic situation, in a deprived situation, not having your father, not having a brother, even not physically with you while you're not able to be present with you because they had been damaged by the systems, or you. you begin talk about when you were arrested in front of your class at 12 years old.
12:06 pm
let's just start with the impact of just all the systems failing you over and over and over, and the impact on you. >> guest: i mean, i think, you know, when eric garner past, -- eric garner past several weeks ago, the first thing i thought was black women get left behind. we don't get served in this place. not only do not get served, we didn't have to pick on a mantle of serving everybody else. we suffer because of it. it becomes a great sacrifice. it means you're sacrificing a lot, sacrificing your sanity, sacrificing often your health because the system is a well oiled machine and lots of money, lots of resources.
12:07 pm
your often left to try to figure out what resources you could piece together to ensure your humanity and dignity. i think you're absolutely right the system failed me, failed my mother, my siblings. failed my community. it's why movements start, , why the start that it's why this movement in this current moment story because the system failed mike brown. the system failed trayvon martin and his family. and it's why so many black activists are not stopping our fight. >> host: to talk about the impact of the system and you make the leap to one of the most powerful and difficult moments in the book when there is a police swat riot gear raid on where you lived, ostensibly looking for somebody, but you think they were looking to harass you and tell you, activist, who are critiquing the police, be afraid, back off.
12:08 pm
there are small children in this moment having guns pointed at them. can you just talk about this moment of tons of cops in right gear depending on you and your apartment for you and your family out? >> guest: yes. it was a beautiful summer day in los angeles, and the community that i live in is a community that had been there for decades. it's an artist village, and the helicopter police were out and they had been a supposed chewed at the police station that was right across the street from my village. they literally created a barrier in our neighborhood where no one could come in and no one could leave. and for hours and hours the helicopters were just circling. and i said to the person i was with, i really hope they are not coming for us. i will help, what are the odds? i remember checking on twitter to see what's happening.
12:09 pm
they came into our village and it went straight to our apartment. >> host: incoming to arrest you believe? >> guest: i absolutely believe, you know, there's about eight different cottages in the village, an apartment building and yet they came to my cottage. this is the height of me working on challenging local law enforcement and the sheriff's department and their brutalization of people inside jails and l.a. county. knock on my back backdoor, in l riot gear, swat gear with big military grade weaponry, and i asked who it is. i know better because i know not to open up the door. not open up the door fully because once you do that gives the police the right to coming to your home. i asked who it is. they said lapd. what do you want? we have a reasonably there's a shooter in your home. i said there was no sugar in my home. i opened the door, stepped
12:10 pm
outside and close the door and said, yes, what would you like? i was visibly shaken. i was nervous. the officer said to me, why are you nervous? because you are in my face. [laughing] hello. you know, and they looked why are you nervous? i said you have a huge gun and you are in riot gear. oftentimes law-enforcement laws my community. i'm extremely nervous. >> host: oftentimes law enforcement kills -- >> guest: that's exactly what i said. he said register to protect you. we believe the shooter is in your home. the dog sniff the shooter sent near your home, and i said nobody is here. i have my friend here. went back inside. then i heard him talking outside and said, i think the shooter is in everything she was nervous because he was forcing her to
12:11 pm
say the things that she said. i was like they're going to come inside my house. i was talking to my friend and his daughter and said okay, i need is to be really called. we need to have our hands that. i was like going through it with them. because the move, a a six-yeard child with us. any move could have got us killed. a knock on the door again. i walk outside and they say we have to search your home. i said okay. and i said i'd like to have a daughter, my friend and his daughter go up first with her hands up. i want to let you know it's my friend and his daughter picky is not the shooter. it's him and his daughter. please, you know, it's peaceful. they went outside and had the guns drawn on the. they sat them down and i went outside. they searched my home. i have no idea to this day with the did in my home. later on detectives came and took pictures of by home.
12:12 pm
i knew i had to leave. i knew i couldn't stay in the village anymore. >> host: this is, happens in your adult life, but at 12 you were arrested in front of your class. this is your sixth grade, fifth-grade class? >> guest: my seventh grade class. >> host: on suspicion of having smoked weed in the bathroom. now, you did smoke the weed? >> guest: i did. >> host: but the system, even if you're guilty, the system fails a 12 year old in handcuffing, first, arresting and then handcuffing you and then doing it in front of the class. what was that experience like and what was the long-term impact? >> guest: when i was talking the story out loud to asha i forgot because once you're youe about my childhood and talk a lot often about my brothers and their friends.
12:13 pm
then i just kind of little he said when i was 12, you know,, she paused. unser, what? what happened when you were 12? i went on to say that when i was 12, an officer came into my side classroom in summer school and he whispered to the science teacher, and the next thing i do, my name was being called and i was being handcuffed and walked down the hallway with the officer. >> host: wait a minute. the moment that 12-year-old patrice was handcuffed in front of your seventh-grade class, how -- i'm sure the kids are silent but still, like they are still like -- >> guest: it was so, so scary that all like member was like response, which is how am i going to tell my mother?
12:14 pm
what chemical you say to her? i was already thinking about, my brother had been incarcerated multiple times so like my mother deal with my brother and how she will have to deal with me. i remember them searching my bag, searching my bag, and i just felt terrible. i felt terrible. now that i've adult with the should have done is brought in a school counselor, should its at what's going on? what's happening for you? what do you need? odyssey something is happen. they could have just, but there was no support. it was like that happen. it made me call my mom. i lied to my teeth and i went back to class. there was no talk of it afterwards and it was, it created such a sour feeling for me. it may feel like the school system didn't want me there. it didn't need me there and wasn't interested or invested in
12:15 pm
the and in my education. remember that this is a middle school that's my neighborhood school, which is very different than the school that i actually went to which was a school school outside of my neighbor in a much more wealthy and middle upper class neighborhood in sherman oaks. being at both schools, educate both schools i saw the difference in how i would be treated and released the rest of my committee was treated and my siblings went to that school. it's the first time that they were arrested was in that school, and i go to this other school that people are smoking weed and doing all kinds of things on the campus and not once they arrested. >> host: right. part of what you underline is a way we criminalize and attack drug use as a personal failing, and put people in jail for it, as opposed to treat it
12:16 pm
compassionately and empathetically as it is in many european countries. you really learned an attack, this personal notion, this is a big part of the book, you're talking about external factors exacerbate chaotic drug use, especially the general sense that your life does not matter. and a 12 step program said you the problem and this is something i've dealt with a lot talking to people, it is about people fall into the drug use because it'll feel valued as people. and thus criminalizing them misses the point. >> guest: yes. and i will say that is true. some people use drugs and are fine. >> host: many, many people use drugs in the nonabusive way. >> guest: so the war on drugs is not just created laws. they create a cultural rebirth in what he uses drugs is a drug
12:17 pm
addict. that is a really, really dangerous thing to do because when you're a drug addict it easier to dehumanize you. it's easier to make excuses around why you should be locked up in a jail so big it's easier to criminalize you. many people, but my family used drug, many people use drugs were addicks and were not. we have to much more nuanced conversation about drug use because we literally allowed it, it's happened in other movements as well. we about the noted shape our narrative around who was a drug user. >> host: even the conversation of drugs is not nuanced enough because we know marijuana is not addictive in the same physical way as cocaine and other drugs. it doesn't make you do violent things. talking marijuana more dangerous things. that conversation is open.
12:18 pm
even, just the stuff sit here, people say i don't like marijuana. it makes me go to sleep. if i gave you white wine, you would be like i don't like wine. but if you learn the greats, then you learn the difference, you learn the difference. marijuana is a different interview. prison is a huge part of this as a as a destructive part of your childhood, even if you were never inside for anything that you have done, but your father and your brother going inside and being dehumanized. there's a very painful, difficult part to read about the torture, the systematic torture that happens inside prisons that your brother went through. it's hard to read, i don't know how you lived through it.
12:19 pm
>> guest: yes. what we live in as a society and a culture, him that only does not give options for mentally ill and especially if they are poor and black, but they don't give them anything. they don't provide to families anything. what ends up happening is people who have severe mental illness and on the streets where they are consistently criminalize for being homeless and mentally ill and sometimes drug users and sometimes drug addicts, or they are criminalize and end up in jail spending years and years not getting any healthier, overmedicated, not receiving the type of treatment -- you can't get well in a jail so that we save all the time. my brother and his situation, he ended up being a casualty to the war on the mentally ill and the
12:20 pm
war on black people for mentally ill. my family really becomes the front liner for him. front liners in his care and advocates for him. it's such a wear and tear on families of someone with mental illness. i talked to families of all races, all socioeconomic backgrounds because mental illness is such a hard process to go through, and we still don't have real researcher answers around what mental illness is and how to really treat it. so people get experimented on. the end of taking medications that make them overweight and oftentimes unhealthy. my brother has contracted diabetes now because of his medication. so there's a way in which we have to change how we care for people with mental illness, and we have to shape it, shape our society very differently.
12:21 pm
>> host: you and i know that prison is, prison creates crime and turns people into criminals. it makes them more violent criminals and separates them from their families and from law-abiding citizens, and turns them into underground figures. you are talking this book about wanting a prison free world. what does that look like? i know some folks who do that and say we need to put some people in prison. don't we need that extra minutes understand prison does not generally function as a deterrent, but what does that look like? because you also want a world without police, right? so what does america look like sands police and sans prisons? >> guest: doesn't look like -- let me make it clear because i think what people here that come that are like that goes the crazy leftist again. i'm actually saying i want a
12:22 pm
world where people held accountable. i won a world where people feel safe. if we look at prisons and if we look at police, our people actually held accountable because of the police and prison state? they are not pick up a target people are victims of crime, my family has been a victim of crime. there's a a sort of idea of wha victim of crime, a white family who is in suburbia. victims of crime also black people in poor neighborhoods. ask them did it feel like they got accountability when someone sent off to jail or prison and they'll say no actually. it didn't feel like i got accountable to. i still don't have a job. there's still crime in my neighborhood. i still don't feel safe. >> host: they are dating doingh the criminals in their community, quite often when the police show up, things get really bad. >> guest: exactly. i think the of the piece is that we've spent the last 40-50 years completely investing in police and completely investing in
12:23 pm
prison, and not investing in other things like housing. people having access to healthy food, people having access to public education, adequate public education. we've seen the impact of it. so imagine if we flipped it. imagine if we even put half of the police budget and took a portion of police budget and put that into social programming. what can we do for human beings? what can we do for some like my father? imagine if he was given more resources to thrive and not just survive. i believe i would still have them today. imagine if my brother was diagnosed much earlier instead of given a juvenile hall or a youth authority camp or county jail or state prison? i think would be able to hold a job. i think he would not have compounded ptsd with schizo affective disorder victors way which in turn have a much larger conversation. i'm not dissing get rid of
12:24 pm
something. i'm saying replace it with something else. >> host: i've known you for several years now. i feel you as a person of great joy, of great efficacy, of the great self-esteem. you seem very hopeful and optimistic, and i read your stories and it just is pain and deprivation. you know, dad is in jail. brother is in and out. the homophobia you were dealing with, struggling to find love come all the sorts of things. and i'm like, how does this person get to this person, and how are you -- am i wrong? are you not have the inside? >> guest: i am happy inside, but it doesn't mean i don't battle with sadness or depression. if you're living in this country, , especially at this moment, and you are not on the side of white nationalists, it's pretty sad to be in this country. >> host: so how do you get to
12:25 pm
the joy and the optimism that you seem to have when so much has gone wrong? >> guest: that's a really good question. one part of it is i have a mother who has been through way worse than me. and literally is like wakes up at five in the morning singing. like what part of personality can like i was race ran very joyous people. she is happy, and, of course, she is like a source of my joy and i see her. i call my mother every day. i talk or three to -- talk with a three to five times a day. she knows everything. she's a source of my resilience but also i'm just so proud to be a part of a movement that is a part of changing the world. i mean, it's hard work,, challenging work but it's also, it's work that revives my spirit and my soul to be a part of something that hopefully that in 100 years we are not having the
12:26 pm
same conversation. we're having you conversations. >> host: the joy that you ascribe to your mother is not in the book. she's a serious character, an important character but also one who seems to have, she is carrying the world on her back. you see don't remember ever going to a movie with my mother or window shopping. i don't remember us together as relaxed as human beings. we've always had to be humans doing. it seems like she's just always working and she's always stressed and always filled with the guilt. turkey it was hard witnessing that. we really had -- >> guest: we had to unlearn a lot of things we felt about each other and relearn each other. i've been very dedicated to my relationship with my mother and growing with her throughout the years. she's one of the primary childcare providers for my child. that brings are such a great
12:27 pm
source of joy being a grandparent to shine. she was a manager. my mother, she had to make sure our environment was managed because she was doing everything. she was making sure we had shelter. she was figuring out how to raise four children get she was coordinating schedules. she was trying to make sure we had food when we had food on the table. she was literally just trying to make sure we were surviving. i can't imagine the type of stress that can cause an individual. she had four kids by the time she was 27. she did it alone. obviously she had support sometimes but she largely did it alone. she's a super hero to me. she literally is a superhero. >> host: is your baby going to grow up and say my mom was always a doing? [laughing] >> guest: no. that's something -- that's interesting you ask that because
12:28 pm
when you witness someone else, like a mother figure work and work and work, easy to end up like that. i work a lot. that's not into but also spent a lot of quality time with my child and i try to figure out ways -- i think about my mom a lot like how do i create a different if for you. by monday the best job she could and i want to do a better job. >> host: your father is a much bigger character in the book, you will see why that happens. but man, like talking about why he has the drug problem. you talk about what is the impact of years of strip searches, of being bent over, the years before that when you were a child and no dream you had was taken by anyone that you were not someone who would be fully invested in or viewed as worthwhile, or viewed as worthwhile. what is the impact of not being
12:29 pm
valued? so many people say he's a drug addict because he's a black man who lacks character and he lives in the hood. but you are like, well, yes. he's a black man who was always told you are nothing. so what do you think is going to happen? >> guest: know, exactly. and for my fathers character i think he was such an amazing human being. nonjudgmental, always ready to process. he was the go-between between his siblings and he was so intelligent and trees countries about learning, , about himself, very self reflective. his life was cut too short. it just really was. i remember the day he passed like it was yesterday. i remember getting that call and just sitting over that dead body as that brought them out on a stretcher from the shelter. i just said, you didn't deserve
12:30 pm
this. you deserve a much longer life. he died of a heart attack. he died of a broken heart. i just think so many of us who grew up in communities that are so impoverished that witness our families and our parents struggle so much that we deserve so much more. this book is calling for that. it's naming that we tutored so much more -- we deserve. >> host: one of the things i love these you get into these difficult moments and like the stories of black history and the stars of black history come to you and you think of them and you are like filled with his courage that's like the angels of our past like come on, we need you in your life. she did it and he did it, like we're going through that wall. >> guest: that's it. that's absolutely right. for a very long time ever since
12:31 pm
i was a child jerry tebbit has been huge influence for me. a huge influence. i remember how she was talked about -- harriet tubman, they often talked about how she was strong, very feminine and i just felt like i could relate to her character so much. then to later learn about she was much more than someone who was strong or who was disabled. she freed her own family. she was a nurse. she created a nursing home for black elderly folks who had left, had fled slavery. she just becomes such a thoughtful and important character in my own life, in my own trajectory. >> host: let's talk about the folks who you been advocating for, folks who are naked in a longer to say their own names. are there one or two of these sort of public lack of deaths
12:32 pm
that have haunted you or hurt you that more sit worse with you then others? >> guest: i get choked up thinking about her because santa bland was deeply affected by our movement. she had sandy speaks on youtube and she was, i considered a member of black lives matter, a larger movement. she was so inspirational, so brilliant she could've been, i could have been her. i could've been, still could be. i could still be any one of us black women activists who have been inside a jail cell, who have been arrested for direct action for civil disobedience. her story, she was going to go get her dream job. she was going to go get her dream job, instead of that cop
12:33 pm
letting her go, instead of him not stopping her, he didn't need to stop her. but when he stopped her, instead of letting her go he antagonized her, and then he pulled out, ripped her out of her vehicle, arrested or in she was killed in that jail so. there's no way she committed suicide. >> host: so it is your opinion that officers fashioned a noose, put her in it and hung her? >> guest: it's my opinion that she was dead before they fashioned that noose. that is unfortunately -- at the iw, a prison in california, there has been a string of suicides. they all look the same. they are women who hang themselves but when you get the autopsy back, they have blunt force trauma to their heads. they have bruises and so they probably died before they wrong. and so i think sandra did not
12:34 pm
commit suicide, no way she had committed suicide just based on time should just talked her sister, talking about she's going to be in court and the letting her out. something happened and they covered it up. >> host: are you, i mean, are you afraid of being killed? >> guest: i think any black person in america is afraid of being killed, and i think if you are a black person with an activist like me who have been the target of death threats, yes, i am afraid of losing my life in this country because of my activism. it's not something i think about a lot because i think if i did i wouldn't do it. i wouldn't go out on stages. i wouldn't show up to media events but i try to keep myself as secure and safe as possible. >> host: i don't believe you when you say it i thought more about it i wouldn't do it.
12:35 pm
[laughing] >> guest: you think i would still do it? >> host: i think you'd still do it and we talked about this before, you feel the fear. you know it's real, but you because of who you are you have to go through the wall, even as it may damage your body. >> guest: that's true. i guess there are moments when i more anxiety than others from going into a climate that i know, i went to montana once, which is like the capital of white militia groups and others very clear i needed lots of security and that he needed him to be vigilant and they needed to be there, multiple people who try to come up to the stage who stood in line waiting that they had escorted out. there are other places where i feel safe and don't feel like i need to have my guard up as much. but yes, you are right. i don't obsess about it. i do think about it for my
12:36 pm
safety, but i can't imagine not being a part of this movement. >> host: not to obsess on that, but what is perhaps the scariest moment within that where somebody was coming at you in some way and you are like, not police obviously, but -- >> guest: civilians. it's hard, right, because you want to be safe but you also don't want to create a militarized environment for your own safety. you don't want to create a police environment for your own safety. it's tricky and that's why something like him know i was created. nation of islam. a lot of us are creating our own security and safety. we don't necessarily have to use law enforcement when we go out and about but it's scary.
12:37 pm
it's stressful feeling like you might be attacked, and i think for many of us we just kind of power through it. >> host: when i first heard the phrase black lives matter, so powerful and it meant so muc much. it contained multitudes already and it was like we've had this feeling that we didn't put those three words together and related bike i am a man and the things that reverend jackson had been preaching and dr. king back to the '60s, et cetera. but within your circle just before pushing this out there was a discussion of like maybe not. maybe that's too much. talk about that a little. >> guest: the first time we used black lives matter and took her to her own movement, people at some comments, i don't know
12:38 pm
about them why not our allies matter to cut it encompass black and latino communities and other marginalized communities? people were worried it was to black. if you ever try to look for funding, i don't think they will. we were clear, we have to talk about black people. know when you start that black people anymore. but is talk about a postracial america. so we have to talk about how black folks are one of the most vulnerable groups, if not the most vulnerable group in this country and across the world. >> host: so do white lies matter? >> guest: white lies matter, asian lies matter, brown lies, of course. but black lives matter is the calling, the call to action because as we believe when you deal with the massive mess of k racism, you could actually deal with lots of different issues at the same time.
12:39 pm
>> some white people may not realize is the phrase white lives matter doesn't need to be -- the inherent value of their lives it's obvious to them in society. the inherent value of black, round, day, female lives is not, and that's what comes down to. some of them are offended by black lives matter because they are like fish summing and water going what is water? they don't realize the inherent value of whiteness is just assumed by the society. >> guest: that's exactly right. that's what makes white people feel so angry. but unlike what about us? that's the wrong question to be asking. it's always been about you. >> host: all about you. try to the question is how do we participate in this? as lack lies matter, we can be
12:40 pm
in better consciousness. we can have just a better society. we can have a more just society to anybody should want that living in this country. >> host: i asked this in my podcast by want to go through it again because black intentionality is so important i can think about, i think of the heineken commercial that had been in bending the hip-hop scratch by accident. like, no, it's not an accident. it's always described as accidental or instinctive and the things they do are thoughtful. part of this story black lives matter is, alicea wrote the letter. you added a hashtag and it went viral and who we are. no, and you described more specifically here that i seen before some of the careful, thoughtful work, communications work, online work that you did
12:41 pm
to make this go viral. so talk about how you made this go viral. it bothers me to have folks think like it just went viral. who knew? let's hop on board when you made it work. >> guest: yes. and also trained to help make something go viral, not some just about social media but also resonate in the streets. we are trained organizers not everybody who joined is trained that many of us are. that's okay and that's good bejeweled people are trained to help develop something and develop infrastructure. but as we created black lives matter we knew we had to get people on board. we have to interrupt when people try to co-opt black lives matter that we spent a significant time it wasn't co-opted. challenging people in her own movement sometimes, people that we love anarchists to not save our allies matter, to not use to say other communities matter but
12:42 pm
to really focus on black people and to be okay and be allies and the a solidarity with black people. then we took it out to the world and asked the world to see this as a call for themselves, as a banner for themselves. i'm really proud of black lives matter has permeated our culture crickets been everywhere. every major tv show has a black lives matter character or seen. it's because it's become a part of american culture to have it homage to push and challenge and honest conversation about racism in this country. has it resulted in law enforcement changing their actions? not yet. and i think that's the next phase of black lives matter is how do we actually shift our elected officials and how do we shift the state and really and truly challenging law enforcement and those individual officers but also the agency itself to change the way that
12:43 pm
they relate to black people. >> host: okay. if the next step is to work with the state, the first step was not with the state. right? the next step is working with the state to create laws and policies that will give you freedom, justice, liberty, peace. >> guest: i don't think it's working with the state. there will be some elected officials as we seen that on the side of black lives matter. we have to utilize them. any good elected official, in the good movement can challenge elected officials. what i am saying is the next iteration black lives matter is challenging the state come challenging elected officials to create real and sustainable actions that will ensure that black folks are stop being killed by law enforcement. let's take los angeles for example, with the district attorney who has not once prosecuted, cops.
12:44 pm
we've had the most killings of all the cities have happen in los angeles city by lapd and our da has not prosecuted one. so we have our local chapter and allies going on the street and challenging the district attorney to prosecute law enforcement. and i think that's an important piece of the work. we've done the shutdowns. we done the civil disobedience. we will continue to do that but how do we change legislation and ensure we can have changed that will last for decades? >> host: okay but if you're talk about the next at involving legislation, and why we do not more verbal in attacking trump? >> guest: we were. >> host: you were, you are quite often saying we are big, we've will make the difference. we are not, like i am not
12:45 pm
legally part of this intellectual conversation. there's a bigger system. people talking about like hillary will not usher in freedom. no, but this is far worse. it seems like obama, romney, black lives matter could say yeah, yeah, six and one half a dozen. but trump versus anyone. >> guest: let me say this. the tactic of taking on democratic party i think was very useful in that moment, and still is because the democratic party has really milked a black voters and has historically really not been on our side. in fact, have been some of the biggest proponents of mass criminalization of black leaders. it's important to intervene on this idea that we're going to have our lives saved by hillary
12:46 pm
clinton. and at the same time donald trump and the republican party, as we started to really see donald trump might win the republican party seat, many of us started going to those protests. they were extremely dangerous, even remember. those were not safe protests. it was much more about how do we save our energy? we don't have to show up and interrupt them all the time, although many of us did. lots of black lives matter protesters. but i think for folks across the country, including the democratic party, we didn't believe he's going to win. that actually is a factor. we didn't believe he is going to win and so the time that people spent, the time that the democratic party spent, because i don't want to blame our movement for the reason why trump got -- some people might see it as such. they could get a much better job at who they decided to run for
12:47 pm
president. i personally, you know, i think that we have to have an honest conversation about how much the democratic party doesn't relate to black people, doesn't relate to young black people. and even after the defeat against roy moore in alabama, is the democratic party shifting its investment and priority? it should be on black women because that's who is at the help of the party at this moment. >> host: like women remain the core, the base of the democratic party and people didn't even realize that. i love the story of the first march in beverly hills on rodeo drive. and it's revolutionary but it shouldn't be. i participated in, i've seen so many marches through the food protesting the killing of what have you. and like, you are preaching to the choir, but you said no,
12:48 pm
let's go to their communities. >> guest: it was actually a group of us, melina abdullah who is the leader of black lives matter los angeles, she brought a class full of students to the village and again. we wanted to do a protest and we were protesting the acquittals, and one of her students actually said, let's go to beverly hills. like let's not take this to crenshaw. we done that already. what about rodeo drive? everybody was like let's go. it took us two days. >> host: y rodeo drive and not -- >> guest: rodeo drive is the epicenter of whiteness, the epicenter of wealth. and it's the epicenter of, it's the antithesis of poor black communities. it's where corporations thrive.
12:49 pm
it's where the cardassians and the sort of like big celebrities are sort of scene, and we wanted to take the experience, the pain, the frustration, the greek. we wanted them to see the impact. i remember the day of the protest because helicopters were out, police were out and we took the steps to rodeo drive and i forced the people that were eating at the surrounding restaurants to put their champagne glasses duncan put their full extent and take a moment. you don't have to live like this. you don't have to see helicopters enabled all the time that we do. imagine the impact. they did. it took a moment and took that prayer for trayvon martin. with trayvon the big hero in that story are his parents, it's sybrina fulton and tracy fulton. they remember listening to set bring his voice as a crack and
12:50 pm
she said don't forget about my subject she said don't forget about him. that come hearing her voice over and over again is with what drove that protest. >> host: the first thing that i knew about that case, i saw this beautiful images of him on horseback, in a civil uniform, and this horrific image of george zimmerman, the mug shot. it was like this is the first time that a black family has one the early media war which set up, like he's a good kid. we take him on vacation to where there is no picky should be respected, and look at this monster. and over time the imaging started to change in the use an image from the game, the rapper picks pics and i were trying to change trayvon. but that was testing to see that happen. we talked so much about your work and the police, , and that it's incredibly important that
12:51 pm
this book is also about your love and your relationships. his relationship that works out with this straight man and then aims because you choose it to end, and then another relationship. one of the things you talk about in relation to your current relationship with a trans man, i am attracted to steps, you say. for those of you are straight and don't know the world and don't know the lingo, what are studs? >> guest: there's an instagram called studs. studs are masculine, people who are born as women. we don't really use it. it's kind of like language i use as i was younger. i think a masculine scent has taken over then narrative world. but i was attracted to studs and in you is attracted to masculine women and inuit from like a long time. >> host: it's interesting that
12:52 pm
you are, use the word and you choose masculine energy. so like where does that fit in your head? if you want to choose a a womar you feel compelled to women, but -- >> guest: sexuality is so fluid, and the relationship of sexuality is so fluid. this idea of like gender and masculinity and femininity i think can shift and change because also a lot of the men that i am attracted to our very feminine. so there is this way which i am very interested in like fluidity and at different people play with gender. that's what i most attracted to. >> host: so your baby shine, 22 months. i know for me having children, for a lot of people it really opens this up to the world and makes a start to think about where is our world going and
12:53 pm
what kind of world do we have? you are already in that place from age ten. [laughing] so i wonder how does or how does having a child open you up further? politically speaking, how is becoming a mother changed you? >> guest: it's changed everything because i am both, i think having a black family as a part of resistance, being able to sustain black family and sustain black children as part of our resistance, and it's also been a big market for me. i get to go home to this baby who at this point has not been touched by the angst of racism and sexism, homophobia. like he is still so present for his own joy and his tantrums, and that is a great reminder about our humanity. >> host: i mean, yeah, i mean,
12:54 pm
you are so much and yet you have those moments like shine, pick up your clothes, , stop crying, eat your vegetables. just like all of us. >> guest: regular human stuff. >> host: do you have moments like where i shouldn't have yelled at him? >> guest: we have such a good support. he is so mild tempered but i mostly and like in moments where i am just, i need you to stop crying or yelling. like, i feel bad. my kid is a kid. if you have this time for a little bit. >> host: every child eventually rebels against their parents. how would shine rebel against, i'm going to become a republican? there is no further space left. [laughing] >> host: it's cool, baby. this is cool, baby, but you are like -- what have you done with
12:55 pm
them? what would it be? >> guest: i would be very challenged to see, you know, right now he's a boy. i don't know. i don't know what gender he's going to choose but if he were to grow up to be super patriarchal and sexist, i would be very disappointed. that's part, right, being this man that you be influenced by that there we think about that a lot as parents, lease myself and the family that is raising shine. how do we raise him to be feminist? how do we raise him to respect the women in his life and he is being raised by so many different genders. i think that so important for his health and well-being. >> host: thank you so much for your book and for your time and for everything you're you try r the sole country.
12:56 pm
>> guest: thank you so much. >> c-span, or history unfolds daily. in 1979 c-span was c-span was career as a public service on america's cable-television companies and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> for nearly 20 years, in depth on booktv has featured the nation's best known nonfiction writers for life conversations about their books. this year as a special project we're featuring best-selling action biters for a monthly
12:57 pm
program, "in depth" fiction edition. in march we will be live with historical novelist the author of gods and generals as well as to the last man, story of world war i and his most recent book, the frozen hours on the korean war. visit for more information. >> i'm not an expert on patriotism but as much as anything, the effort of the book is to start a conversation about patriotism, what is in this time, and to make sure that people do understand that by dictionary definition there's a difference between patriotism and nationalism. patriotism is of course a deep love of country. but one key of being a patriot is humility. we don't, a true patriot, you
12:58 pm
don't go around beating on your chest and saying we are better than everybody else, we are the best, the strongest. that your humble enough to know that we are in search of a more perfect union, in the very beginning our founding fathers in the constitution said in order to receive a more perfect union. so that's patriotism. nationalism carries inherent in it a certain amount of arrogance, and the danger with nationalism carried to extremes, you have come you can have extreme economic nationalism and also racial nationalism. we know this, the one of the things i wanted to do with what unites us is remind people of the historical perspective that follows, that extreme economic nationalism in the 1920s led to the great depression.
12:59 pm
and every unit nationalism, racial nationalism led to a docility, suggesting we're at this point. i am suggesting that with the authoritarian nature of the present presidency, sometimes it's only a short distance to extreme nationalism, which can lead to nativism and then that can lead to tribalism. and then integrate historical never before in history of mankind experiment that is the united states, that tribalism if we ever to send to tribalism, then we are through as the land of the free and the home of the break. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> you are watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. tv, television for serious readers. >> it's three days a booktv on
1:00 pm
this presidents' day weekend. honor "after words" program you will hear from ira shapiro, he argues that the u.s. senate has lost its lyrical center. he's interviewed by former senate majority leader tom daschle. emily dustin provides a history of marijuana in the united states. .. [inaudible discussion] [inaudible discussion]


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on