Skip to main content

tv   Michael Eric Dyson Long Time Coming  CSPAN  February 1, 2021 6:39am-8:00am EST

6:39 am
look, the fund simply means
6:40 am
6:41 am
6:42 am
6:43 am
6:44 am
6:45 am
6:46 am
6:47 am
6:48 am
6:49 am
6:50 am
6:51 am
6:52 am
6:53 am
6:54 am
6:55 am
6:56 am
6:57 am
6:58 am
6:59 am
7:00 am
we want to move resources like in a $150 million toward other issues away from the police. public safety is notexhausted by the police . there are other means, mechanisms and media for policing in america or at least for public safety and maybe if we decentralize the
7:01 am
police departments so that there task could be outsourced and at least among many other departments, then they could participate but they wouldn't be dominant and they wouldn't be exclusive because right now they are relatively exclusive so when you call the cops because somebody's having a site and the cops show up, they've got no experience, many of them. they don't have training. they don't know how to identify a person coming at them in thinking that person may hurt them and to de-escalate or to contain the threat in acertain way . so defunding the police means let's figure out new ways to assign value to a human being by assigning funds to other arenas of public safety that would then undercut the swelling and swollen budgets of police departments because as other departments are being cut, police people are
7:02 am
seeing a ride rise and uptick in some of the investments in theirparticular departments . we don't mind defunding education. we don't mind defunding social services for poor folk but we seem to have a problem with defunding the police because they have extraordinarily powerful unions that are literally out of control that need to be policed themselves so i wish our formerpresident said it best , had at best a profound sensitivity towards those who feel desperately outraged by the apparently unlimited exercise of power that these police departments do and we know that because of qualified immunity, even when they get arrested it's a rare thing. and usually they are not going to get convicted or usually because of qualified immunity they are not held to
7:03 am
personal accounts by the constitution as a public service for acting on the job in defense of the public good as they might define it and therefore even at the loss of life they are not held personally accountable so i think when many people talk about the fund the police they're not talking about yanking thepolice off the streets and making sure they don't have jobs . it's assigning them to valuable intervention that might mean less carnage for black and brown and indigenous communities and respect for human life and i'll end by saying this in this section. you saw what came out a couple days ago where the white guy is talking to the police after they approachhis suv . he's got a gun on his feet that they see. and they begged him to get out and he refuses to. they draw their weapons at least some of them talking to the man and he says how dare you and i have a right as a
7:04 am
citizen of america. he is fighting with them as if he is equally armed, not just with his gun but his knowledge and his whiteness and he is pitting the belief that they will not get engaged in a hostile act that will take his life from him. he has such utter confidence, that's the revelation there that he will not be shot, that he will not be heard, that he will not be harmed, that he will not be killed that he takes off while they have their guns drawn and they do not shoothim . jacob blake in wisconsin is walking around his car and when he opens his door they claim to have seen a knife in there and shoot him five times. shot at him seven times, i think it him five times just by spotting with theireyes . no attempt to pick the knife up and this young white man
7:05 am
stands next to him. this is the kind of thing i wish obama would show some sensitivity towards and charles blows article says it's a peculiar post-presidency where you're basically trying young back black people and for the first time there's progress. obama has been facing a little criticism within black communities that were low to critique him before but are now more willing to at least engage him in some reasonable conversation that we should have engaged in when he was president of the united states of america >> your letter to george floyd for me, that chapter was probably the hardest to read. you break it down almost 2nd by second. it's devastating. and you identify what appears to you to be ghastly satisfaction that shows that they seem to having crushing george floyd's neck . given that the policing of
7:06 am
the boundaries of white supremacy and for me i want to say i don't relate to a police officer but i have not suffered from the system. i have my own system of internalized white supremacy so how do you see a similar ghastly satisfaction in white people who would be horrified at seeing and were horrified at what they saw on that day. what is the more mainstream, every day version of that look like from well-meaning folks likeme ? >> look, you felt the construct and edema apologized what whiteness acts like, how it behaves, the enemy of whiteness. my dear friend jennifer wiley of the former president of franklin high school, doyou
7:07 am
know her ? >> i saw her saying hello. >> hey doctor wiley, an extraordinary woman and many conversations about her, robust conceptions of introspection, of self critique as you present of really self critique and willingness to put that on the line to say in the vulnerability i was speaking about and can white and black peopleknow each other , you and i, michael and jennifer. to know each other because we expose our innards to each other and we take the masks off so the every day version of the kind of ghastly satisfaction might not be the need of derek chauvin boring into the column of george floyd so that as he begs for breath, he is denied.
7:08 am
he is ignored so to me in the everyday world it's when i go down the street, i must tell you. i go into buildings. and unless i white folks first, they rarely me. black folks it's how are you doing, the head nod and i know that's cultural telegraphing and that's symbiotic black identity , the significations of black masculinity but black people in general and the kind of connectivity that we articulate as a predicate of our cultural and racial understanding so i'm not trying to impose that on everybody but it is sometimes extremely harsh and i'm a well-known black person who gets along with all kinds of folks and i've been in the white world all the time but
7:09 am
if we're in a gathering if i don't go up to the circle they're not coming around me . they seem to be uninterested in who i am . even as a well-known black person and when i'm around some of my colleagues in media or sometimes in academia, well-known people it's as if you don't even exist. so the reason i'm so intense and passionate and defensive of ordinary black people because i know what that feels like and i've got a name and some celebrity and some status and i am rendered invisible. that kind of casual discussed , the displacement. it doesn't have to be an active passion or disgust, it can be a kind of structural prohibition that denies the legitimacy that you even make a difference. that you don't even register.
7:10 am
and i have felt that. and it smarts. it hurts. and i feel i have to take it upon myself, let me interject myself in that circle. let me speak first and they're talking to each other as if the worlds are full of their own joy and ecstasies about the things that they are occupied by. as if the world in which i exist has no meaning, doesn't matter. not curious about me in the same way. so yes, i think that's the kind of parallel in everyday fashion by well-meaning white brothers and sisters, not intending any harm, hurt or danger to come to me but are blindly indifferent or blissfully ignorant of the means, of the pains, of the
7:11 am
struggle. the very bodies in existence of black people. >> the kind of willful not knowing. it seems to me like there's nothing new going on but now it can be proven through video. up until now as long as that happened over there and kept you over there and kept my equity high and kept my neighborhood borders, i could turn away from it. we can't turn away from it now. do you see this moment as any different from other moments in the past ? there was a time in which your northern white folks that we saw the fire hoses and the dogs that was a galvanizing moment. i think that the george floyd video at the same time that we had ahmaud arbery killed, this is a galvanizing moment. what should we pay attention to because we've been similar
7:12 am
places? >> great point. there have been philosophical circles about the use of the optic nerve as the basis, as the grounding metaphor for knowledge. ocular centrism, where we see that epistemic authority is derived from the ability to see when richard rorie talked about the minds of the glassy essence, thinking and echoing cartesian epistemology and i don't want to get all dirty about it but it's these big arguments and intellectual circles and in what they call the humanities. where the non-hard sciences and where there have been arguments about that knowledge and it'sbased upon
7:13 am
who you see , what you see and how the mind is performing and how the sites of a particular reality mediates a certain conception of truth. i think about that when it comes to these arguments about it testimony that i've so poorly and crudely been reductive about but i think about them when i think about what we see suddenly, a kind of cartesian dualism between the south, the self and the other. and when white brothers and sisters, when black full finally hit the horizon, pierce the fall, become visible to them. become known to them. the optic nerve registers their presence. a glancing blow against that optic nerve. a dark dark apparition of years and this is everything from taylor branches opening
7:14 am
about race and the optic nerve and his masterly trilogy of doctor king and richard reuter who i've mentioned or descartes and about art and more generally all this comes together when you see white folks finally seeing black fault and not as if i'm an invisible man with ralph ellison. seeing us as existing figures and knowing for the first time there's a gutenberg shift in consciousness through the mechanism of this phone . the smart phone has revolutionized relations in a certain way because now we are just dimestore stephen spielberg's. we are pavement spike lee's and we command i think of solder bird has made an entire film on an iphone.
7:15 am
he takes back what the popular has taken back from his own genre and he returns the favor by using their mechanism and their machinery for his own ends so now every day people can take a smart phone and prove, empirical verification, a big word that means that which can be falsified or verified through the senses . can you see it, can you taste it, can you hear it? so black full have beensaying this is what happens .come on, mike. you must have been nasty to police. we see white folks are being nasty every day with the police and don't die and beginning with that premise, you must have spoken out of turn . white people do it every day. it's never seen as all my god, they are kind of expressive today but never
7:16 am
demonized in a sort of fundamental facts fashion. the police don't seem to shoot them with the same alacrity, with the same disregard as they do for a black person who messes up just a little bit, steps of little bit over the line you must have done something and then the tape shows, the video shows, the recording shows the tape of rodney king, the video of george floyd, people were so upset because wait a minute. all of the means, all of the tropes, all of the stereotypes, he was running and i was scared. he pulled my gun and was about to use it against me so i could shoot him but with my second gun, theone i usually throw down . there was coming else happening i was afraid for my life. the man is beneath the knee of mister chauvin.
7:17 am
many white people said there is no excuse left. he is laying prostrate on the ground. we couldn't take measure of his impressive single character, six foot six black man who could havebeen a professional basketball player . he's friends with stephen jackson, a great professional basketball player who played for 14 years in the nba and said to be his twin in terms of looks . so now this man laying prostrate on the ground and brothers and sisters saw this. there's a reckoning because the for the first time many of them went aracial eureka moment . now i get it. now i understand it. now i see what black people are saying and now there's nothing they can tell me. the man, george floyd was officer, he's calling them officer as he is laying prostrate on the ground dying
7:18 am
beneath the weight . not only officer chauvin, officer king and lane. black officer in the back, white officer on his legs. this gives the lie to multiculturalism and multi-racism and certainly diversity without equity. to white cops, black and an asian,. helped kill george floyd. this is diversity without equity . this is the nightmare of having multiple strains of racial tyranny articulated on the body of a black person that the only agreement is among that radical diversity of ethnicity is that black body must be contained. so that the internalized impression of white supremacy as seduced the multiracial lineup when diversity becomes a handmaiden for subordination and oppression.
7:19 am
so many white folks at their homes, on their screens, on their computers, on their iphones and because of the pandemic got a chance to see another pandemic. the global pandemic of a virus forced them to see the racial pandemic of anti-blackness in their own homes on their own screens and that sent a bunchof white folks into the streets . the swelling of the numbers so that it is the greatest struggle against white supremacy and the greatest but even more particularly the greatest movement or social justice, the greatest protest we've ever seen is because white bodies were involved. were invested. white for worship, were challenged and to a certain degree they had to do something that was marked.
7:20 am
that was obvious. that would counteract the routine invisibility of black men. think about when he talked about the way in which evil, the analogy of evil. the rudeness of it. it's eichmann who's an apparatchik of the state, it's not some person at the top dictating terms. it has filtered down to the everyday level, the quotidian is the instrument of a kind of inequality and in their case of evil. in this case evil as well to snuff this man's life. these are cops just doing their jobs. this is not the kkk, not the white citizens council, not the proud boys .
7:21 am
this is eichmann. not in jerusalem, but in minnesota. this is the way in which the ordinary practices of the state are rarefied and reinforced, articulated through the practices of the ordinary carrying out of jobs . those officers doing their job and it is to murder and contain blacks so white folks hit the street. i think there's a point of reckoning but here's the problem. that was six months ago. every day on television we are dealing with systemic racism. robin angelo, number one bestseller . but ibram kendi, michael eric dyson's book, ta nehisi
7:22 am
coates. people are engaged, they're investing, they're studying, remarking on life and it's beautiful and it disappears and it's beautiful because white people say are going to make a difference, they have blackouts on social media. they have black lives matter inscribed on their buildings. they take it seriously at their places of work. they are committed, and were going to give budgets and money like a funeral and i've been a baptist preacher for 41 years, when the loved ones of those who have died are paid attention to, flowers come to them. we have a funeral, oh my god, i'm so sorry for your loss and we love them. the hardest part is always two or three months later when all of the cards are gone. all the flowers. they are fragrance, communicating a kind of empathy. they have dissipated and
7:23 am
there is no one there. to deal with the hurt and trauma you endured. that's where black america is now. white america attended the funeral for one of our loved ones and they expressed outrage and horror at the fact but now six months later , these things have disappeared the only way we can reckon and my book wasn't saying the reckoning is here. my book is saying the reckoning must come and the reckoning is conversion, since on talking about being a baptist preacher. you don't get converted one time or whatever your religious experience is, if you have one. you've got to keep reaffirming it, you've got to keep reassigning value to it. it's like race and romance have similar traits. ifwhite folks were in love with us , we love you at that
7:24 am
moment of black lives matter. we love you hitting the streets and even dying for us against socialist constructs. the two men who died in the black lives matter protests were white men so they put their bodies on the line, on the front lines to die. like heather heyer, people who die all the time who never get recognition so we're not elevating those on other debts but we're not going to destabilize in one sense, we're not going to take away the value and the importance of that white life being lost either. but the romance, we love you. we adore you.we black lives matter you, we see you. then in romance after a while , you don't open the door no more . you're always standing up when i come into the room. you're not trying to hook me
7:25 am
up like i want to be hooked up on next her toilet paper rolls she gets when she goes out . we get the signifiers but they get deeper in the interim between the ignition of romance and the long-lasting love that stretches out our awkward period and that's where we are when you're trying to find your love language because nina doesn't love you anymore doesn't mean we're not connected anymore, does it mean we are now seeking a divorce because i don't feel about you the way i felt then . no, it means it's getting deeper and you got to stay in the relationship long enough to reap the long-term benefits. black people have been in america a long time looking for lovers in white america for a long time . doctor king said we're not trying to be your brother-in-law, where just trying to be your brother . no doctor king, sometimes you need to be the brother you've been in a relationship back and down and up and forth and
7:26 am
we know the black white divide is not exclusive in terms of race. we know race is much bigger. latinx people and how complicated that is, if you are a cuban from miami it's different than being a black dominican from harlem and watching tonight but we know even within latinx communities themselves there are cultures that are differentiated according to color with all these differences we know the white black divide is not the only one but the white black divide has been the major artery through which the blood of bigotry as flow through the body politic from the beginning of this nation and even before so we don't want to as we knowledge the complicated nuanced conversions of multiplicities of identities, we don't want to deny the fundamental basic truth that even lighter versus darker in latinx
7:27 am
communities makes a difference. race plays a difference among similar ethnicities so our point is yes, there's a reckoning but we are at the point of the long-lasting, long existing love affair that must have not just episodes of ecstasy like when george floyd died or the morning that attends black trauma but how do we on an everyday level, what do we do in corporate america, how do we deal with our schools, we pay attention to differences in our relationships and go to our homes when we go home for thanksgiving or hanukkah or christmas and we confront the bigoted people, we love and tell them thetruth and say you are wrong .so all of that is real. i think the reckoning's possibility is here that we have to intentionally do it and as you pointed out in your brilliant work and i talked about jennifer wiley
7:28 am
talks about in her work as an expert and consultant, it takes all of us writing, thinking, reading, reflecting, digging into the depths and resources of what whiteness means and what blackness means and then excavating from that enormous possibilities that can help us redeem this nation and make the racial reckoning that is necessary a reality. i know they are going to want to ask questions. i so want to hear you read just a little bit and i'm turning it over on cancel culture because i think it's connected and as someone who speaks about race don't i know youcannot get it right by everybody . so can you just give us a minute or two ? >> i want to cancel cancel culture, let me put it this way. i understand why cancel culture invites two arenas we
7:29 am
can't get right: race and gender. we just can't get it right and it's complicated, it's nuanced . so i understand why people want to cancel somebody, why you want to cancel harvey weinstein or bill cosby but most of the canceling is parallel. we're not getting that figure like that and we have to have a spectrum, we have to have continuums. we've got to be able to say that he's not the same as harvey weinstein and you can't adjudicate a bad date through the automatic discourse of #metoo. you can't begin to which people, you're like i, did you use the n-word years ago? he probably did and don't act like you don't know that's a problematic thing but what are you doing now ? imagine if you were a kid saying some stupid stuff, even racist stuff and then you get drafted by the nba and your stuff comes to
7:30 am
light. are we going to cancel that kid? no possibility of having a future? if he still believes that you can have at it and if he said that was in some some dumb stuff, like you listened to misogynistic music and hip-hop, that you just now are coming to grips with, i just don't think that we should cancel human beings. i think it's whitesupremacy by proxy . the bible says that envy not the way of your professors and it's envying its ability to eradicate. i don't want to cancel people, i want to charge them, challenge them, come at them and hold them accountable but i want to provide opportunities for them to be restored . i believe in restorative justice. an old preacher, one of the greatest preachers ever i picked up once from his hotel room to take him to church
7:31 am
and in my car and i was a kid, 21 years old and i was assigned to pick him up that day and in the hotel room as he was collecting his suitcase said young man, when you're young it's easy to dam the heap of humanity, it's easy to tell people they're going to hell and it's easy for you to pronounce judgment over their lives but when you get older he said it's better to get into the heat pile with the people and help them get the way out, figure how they can get out from the masses and morass into which they have been thrown and he said the older i get the more i preach about race and he paused and he said maybe it's because ineed more of it . i'm a baptist preacher, i need grace, i need understanding. we allmess up . it's nice to say talking about racial oppression and identifying with women, what has he done? a bunch of stuff is messed up . i'm not telling you for free.
7:32 am
i don't want you diggingit up either . so the thing is none of us are perfect. cancel culture is as margaret atwood warned us, when we begin to adjudicate competing claims about truth or justice on the internet, it's messed up. as jacked up as the criminal justice system is i'll take my chances of having a judge and a prosecutor and a defense lawyer then the mob, the digital law of cancel culture. there's another aspect of robin d'angelo? no, she has to be canceled. what did she say, did you ask her? did you ask her if there's countervailing narrative? no, it's the lynch mob that they use to kill, that they use to lynch black people that is digitally appropriated. i don't want you to think i'm hyperbolic, i'm saying people's careers have been
7:33 am
killed. like pinochet, they have been eviscerated and i think it's deeply and profoundly problematic. hold to account? consequences suffered, yes but to disappear people and to eviscerate and erase them is the ambition of white supremacy reduced to ironically and paradoxically, black thought in the digital space. it is the lynch mob. it is the digital erasure by means of a white supremacist ideal that i think has to be checked, challenged and gotten rid of. thank you. i think candy, do you have any questions? >> thank you doctor dyson, i have a lot of questions and we're obviously not going to get to all of them . threaded ic through a lot of the questions is at least a
7:34 am
recognition that it is in our institutions. at the institutional level is where a lot of big change needs to happen. i wonder if we can be begin to address some of that red of thinking by going back to what you started with. can maybe both of you describe a little bit of what you see as white culture, what are some of the main elements because i think that's something a lot of us struggle to see. >> i'll defer to robin d'angelo on that. >> i think white culture has us cut off from ourselves and from our emotions. it denies us our history. it denies us the ability to see the humanity in others. it gives us a false sense of superiority and i was thinking about this a lot as i was listening michael how much white people projecton
7:35 am
the black people the very things that we can't look at in ourselves . whose looting and robbing? who is criminal? you know, it denies us an authentic understanding of ourselves inthe sense of meritocracy . if you tell me that i inherently deserve to have the best of everything, and that i have that because i earned it, you're going to set me up for a lot of, not just self-delusion but a lot of resentment and contempt and it also makes us highly manipulative, that we go against our best interests. i think it's white culture that is keeping us from universal healthcare. from universal education, from things that would benefit so many people, but we get confused and we're looking here and not looking here.
7:36 am
so these are quick thoughts but let me bring it back to michael. >> i was listening to david wrote a girl once, i think we were in a conversation and he's written brilliantly as well about race and he said he was asked in class once, you're all talking about we got black people, what about white history? that's every other month, brother. basically, andthat's every other day . white history is american history. this is the problem because whiteness is seen as invisible because whiteness is not touted as one among many other ethnicities and race. f the cities polarized in the crucible of race into whiteness. the transmogrification into
7:37 am
whiteness, the alchemical transformations that produce whiteness out of diapers and distinct ethnicities but what's interesting is that when you look at the fact that whiteness is seen as invisible therefore and if it's invisible it's seen as universal because when we think rights, white brothers and sisters incorporated we are talking about black, were talking about white full due in the same way men don't think about gender, you've got a gender to but it's race . it's been in visible lies and therefore your normative case, that's why for a long time in the english language he stood for him and her. it's good to have these pronounspronounced so people choosetheir own pronunciation of their identity . predicate through the pronoun is a beautiful move . so whiteness is seen as universal because it's been rendered invisible about white people get upset. why can't you just be american which they mean why can't you be white like mebut whiteness has beenrendered as universal , as the great philosopher beyoncc said , it
7:38 am
has been said that racism is so american that if you challenge racism it looks like your challenging america so david roeder said since you're talking aboutwhat about if we've got a white history month or a white , what who would belong in a white museum? who would belong in white culture? they said elvis presley. and of course roeder and i get the joke. elvis was a black white man in terms of his cultural borrowing and the influence on him and the music, even white is black. even whiteness hole owes a debt to blackness. it's fluid, it is articulate of a certain kind of constantly evolving reality that is never said so just as much when robin said i think quite insightfully the projection onto black bodies of what whiteness is is like ap we herman moment.
7:39 am
i know i am but what are you? i know you are but what am i? that's what you are, you're telling me. everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you. you're projecting and that kind of thing donald trump writes about israel. it bounces onto the other but it's a protection of what whitenessis on to the other . and the lapses, the lack of efficiency. the horrible sense of lost self-confidence that is dressed up as arrogance. i think it's manifest here. for me, whiteness is a project that is constantly evolving but it has a thread going through it . as robin has brilliantly talked about , white supremacy is about superiority and it's about the myth of civility and a kind of inherent ingenuity but i'll tell you one thing.
7:40 am
if nothing else, the presidency of donald trump has once and for all, should have been true, the deathknell to white supremacy and white superiority . if that's supposed to be whiteness, dog. we've got to thank god for the kind of deconstruction that was seen through donald trump, unmasking whiteness and showing just how hollow, childish, help in fish and how insufficient and how unprepared it is for the broader world in which we live. >> one of the institutions i think maybe you could touch on that if you haven't yet this evening is has been questioned a couple of times, one question from nina and one from craig about the global system trying to redo
7:41 am
the way that we teach history in america. how do we reckon with race in our school systems and how do we prioritize the teaching or mandate the teaching of black history in our schools. >> i'll briefly say this, you've got to treat it like it's part of the history, not just the subsection. black people are american history from the get-go. do we need to turn to one of our greatest historians, stevie wonder? for the flag we now hold high , who is the black man? listen to the black man which talks about many other races and ethnicities as one, as black people are wont to do to be generous and gracious in not only talking about blackness but the whole range of diverse ethnicities and races but black folds have been there from the jump so
7:42 am
when you talk about black people you're talking about american history but it's been the willful denial of blackness. as gorbachev said we live in the united states of amnesia and what's interesting to me is that white full can't get enough of history when it's about george washington or aaron burr and the founding fathers and what ships were built 200 years ago and what abigail van buren was doing and what the president was talking about and abraham lincoln or benjamin franklin. it's beautiful and i get it but when it comes to race, when it comes to black people can't you people get over it ? can't you people get over it? this from a culture that reenacts the civil war every year. i don't think it's still going on but it is and what the south has proved, they lost the war but won the battle of interpretation and that's where schools have to be especially insightful through their pedagogical practices, through the
7:43 am
textbook makers in texas who you know if one paragraph is slavery and black culture is reduced to martin lutherking jr.'s i have a dream speech and obama as president and by the way, that's it . we have to do some serious interrogation of the institutional matrix that contains the desire to be educated but schooling is different from education. education is the lifelong practice of learning and evolving in your understanding. schooling is the attempt to institutionalize the impulse towards education and in that sense we have to bedeliberate and intentionalabout what we do to integrate black identity , black ideas and black institutions into the larger fabric of american society .
7:44 am
>> huge questions. we are talking about changing the structure of education. we need a revolution in education and i think it's going to take a little bit of civil unrest and teachers saying i can't teach truncated history. they could never understand history and separate out what we call black history as if that occurred in a vacuum and isn't american history . and they're going to have to hold firm and say i can't teach that and parents are going to have to demand that we are taught are true history so that keeps coming back to each one of us has to play arole in pushing this forward . >> we have a question here from deborah . doctor dyson, can you share your thoughts on reparation? >> we need them, let's get them as soon as we can, what's up with the delay? look, we've had reparations in many parts of the world they are due, they are old, they are legitimate .
7:45 am
there are many ways to do them, many ways to think about them. it was remarkable during the last presidential round of debates before joe biden was chosen as democratic nominee where we were having serious conversations about whether or not reparations should come forward. that's another part of we were reckoning with race six months ago and let's see how reparations get on the docket under this president about whom i have great respect and for whom i hold great hope actually. but reparations are critical. they are vital. they are necessary. they're part of the moral vocabulary of any culture and the political integrity of a culture , after all white supremacy, apartheid and racism were governmental projects that were supported by law. the supreme court in 1857,
7:46 am
the chief justice said black people have no rights that white people are bound to respect. it was inscribed into the law. we were taken as property, treated as property, as cattle. we were treated as things. we were dehumanized in such systematic fashion that we have yet to regain our standing in a culture that fails to a knowledge not only our humanity the necessity of returning to us that which has been stolen so reparations or a fundamental and foundational element of what we need to do in this country and we got to have some serious arguments, some serious advance and some serious strategies for how they will be distributed, how they will be conceived and how america has to grapple finally with that issue in order to bemature . >> thank you. i think that i might just
7:47 am
close and ask you both to give your thoughts on you know, the next few months and years, this seems to be one of those moments in history where we have a chance to change and a chance to really take a turn in a different direction. and i wonder if you can just leave us with your thoughts on how much hope you have that that will come to fruition and maybe where you see it happening most? >> you have the last word. i think about this when you were talking about the moment that we are in and what's happening six months later and it's not so easy and it's not so lackof a better word, stylish . we don't put supports around
7:48 am
ourselves, it's the forces of comfort for white people are so seductive and so powerful and i don't know that we can sustain it individually which is also an aspect of white culture is individualism . we've seen each of us as separate from everyone else and i can just do this on my own and it has to be our collective project. we have to surround ourselves with pressures and with people and accountability that will keepus going . when things, it begins to get inconvenient and uncomfortable. we have to actually embrace that and want that and i just can't say it enough that i don't think we can do that by our self. we have to find other people and be in communitywith them . we have to keep doing those worksheets and workshops and get involved . stay involved. >> that's a beautifulplace to end and i'll add that on top of all that which is extraordinary , we've got to find a way in this nation to
7:49 am
at the end of the day treat the other as you yourself would like to be treated. and it sounds like the golden rule. it sounds like it'ssimple and it sounds like that's what we think we do but we don't . there was a recent book written about the american dilemma. the new racial american dilemma and the author argues it's not what white full due against black people and others that is the same as 60 or 70 years ago, there is no undeniable change and progress. it's what white full due for each other that theydon't do for each other's that makes the difference . and what white brothers and sisters do for each other is what we want done or us, in
7:50 am
the most positive, not the destructive self, not the hateful self, not the real housewives of beverly hills self, not the donald trump itself but we're talking about the more edifying aspects of a culture where there is fundamental regard and decency that is in play when dealing with each other. consideration , giving brakes to , giving allowances to, conceding, making concessions to. and so it's like that old eddie murphy saturday night live skit where he dresses up as a white man. and he is a banker and when the black people come in it's all kind of reasons why they can't get the money and finally , he dresses up as a white man and he goes to the bank and the banker instead of telling the black people sorry, eddie murphy goes in dressup like a white man .
7:51 am
here, take all the money. by jiminy cricket, take it all. just because you show up and just because you and i are white and have a language. that's obviously a hyperbolic exaggeration but it contains a profound truth. can you get what the whitecop did to the white man who had a gun ? can we not express to you our profound pain that we are as a people so desiring simply to live so that white brothers and sisters don't keep imposing upon us the legal limits of racialized consciousness. most black people are trying to escape from and they say
7:52 am
why do these people keep talking about race? because you never let us forget that we are black. inferior, undesirable. ultimately not matching up. you love lebron, you love michael jordan and kobe or you love serena. you love beyoncc. then you discover she's black. jerrod davies and their black, until they get tarred and feathered by those are outraged that these people come from real communities. most black people are moderate andconservative. i argue with most of them in churches and theologically and philosophically. i don't agree them but i know them, i love them, i come from them which means they are more like white people than white people will ever acknowledge.
7:53 am
there would be far more black republicans if there was not such vicious nuggets of hatred for blackness white people and have shown their asses . and what their assesare and what their assets are and they are the same . and they will worship whiteness above anything else . above party, above culture. above politics, above country . how else can we explain that donald trump still to this day as of this recording has not received a public rebuff from mitch mcconnell or for the lindsey graham who is doing his huckster ring for him. please spare us anymore white people, white republicans proclaiming you love this country and how dare you call in her neck bow down and disgrace the flag. you are the disgrace. you have refused to live up
7:54 am
to the high ideals, the noble aspirations, the mighty perception of an undeniably flawed but ambitious group of men and women who forged compact in the dusty shores of their memories, of our memories as they gathered together under the rubric of a nation the fractious identities and the combustible energies of democracy. they took a risk on each other in founding a nation. yes, even as they denied legitimacy to women or access to black people in america but the beauty of black people is that we take the leftovers and crumbs of your democracy and put together the greatest feast from which you can nowdine . and so what we want is to be treated like you. to be given the benefit of the doubt.
7:55 am
to be mediocre as she and her new brilliant book talks about. mediocre white men running the world. you're not interested in intelligence and skills. so at that level, i think it is extremely important for us to understand that what we want as people is what you want. malcom x says don't ask me what i will do when i'm in the situation, ask yourself what you would do and then i'm going to do the same thing except more of it. he said that in a way that frightened people but take it as an acknowledgment . that we love and desire humanity. and i'll end by saying this. one of the things that white people fear is black people will do to you what you've done to us. that we would be vengeful. that we would be hateful.
7:56 am
we would, even when nine of our people died in a tent for the bodies of hope wewill express forgiveness . this is not an exception, not aná. this is who we are. we are a mighty majestic and great people. we love and embrace this country despite its flaws and we want the same in return. i am hopeful because as a christian i don't believe in optimism which is a shallow virtue, but okay, i feel good. no, says wind blowing, water dancing against the rocks, we say we're standing right
7:57 am
here, we're not going anywhere. we believe in america. black people are jim clyburn, white america is joe biden . we've been saving you from the beginning. when jim clyburn said we know joe, we appreciate joe but much better, joe knows us. this is the beauty of who we are as a people. when we know america and at your best we know that you can find a way to know your selves well enough to accept and love us. that's my hope and i continue to invest in it despite the negativity that i see. ithink we can overcome . >> thank you thank you so much. i think i can say for the whole audience that we be happy to stay here much longer and hear you, doctor dyson. i want to thank both of you for presenting with us tonight and attending to the heart and soul of america as
7:58 am
you have. thank you for your work and everything that you do. i want to thank the audience here as well for joining us tonight. i want to encourage you to purchase a copy of doctor dyson's book . support a local bookstore if you can. the link we havehere goes to the bookshops, amazon alternatives . but support your local stores if you can. i also want to just mention the town hall, it's very early and it's understanding how to be an antiracist organization but there were questions coming up that might suggest people are looking for things to look to . maybe particularly locally so feel free to reach out to town hall and we can try and work together and find alternative searches for you.
7:59 am
again, thank you both so much. this has been such awonderful evening and i hope you both stay safe and have a great night . >> thanks robin. >> anytime, michael. >> here are some of the current best-selling nonfiction books according to the los angeles times. topping the list in the first volume of his presidential memoir a promised land, barack obama reflects on his life and political career and then in a swim in the pond in the rain, author george saunders looks at the lessons writers can learn from for russian novelists and after that pulitzer prizewinning author isabel wilkerson explores what she calls a hidden caste system in the united states . that's followed by breath, journalist james nesbitt's report on the science of breathing and wrapping up our look at some of the best selling books according to los angeles times is activist glenn and oils memoir untamed . some of these authors have appeared on book tv and you


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on