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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  October 12, 2015 11:30pm-12:01am EDT

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walter palmer had obtained the proper permits. palmer said he relied on guides and had no idea it was one of zimbabwe's treasured animals. i'm antonio mora, thank you for joining us. for news of any time head over to luis suarez is up next with "inside story". goodnight. >> this past weekend just as they did 20 years ago, black men throngd washington to talk about the times they live in. when they assess today's problems what can black men say about the last 20 years? from the million man march to justice, a mixed score, it's the "inside story."
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welcome to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. the million man march was a moment when america had to stop for a second, take a look at that symbolic stage for so many movements, the national mall and consider the state of the black american man. some families came in three and four generations. somber soul-searching alternated with cheers and praise. hundreds of thousands then left heading to buses trains airports with pride in the success of the day. a reported sense of renewed purpose and commitment. now 20 years later, black men throng the nation's capital once again. this time it was called, justice or else. what's changed for better and worse? did that title with its ominous or else income what had gone on for many these men for black america in general since 1995?
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henry lewis gates famously wrote of 20 ways of looking at a black man. diane eastabrook chose one, over the numbers since the million man march. >> in the two decades since the million man march on washington, things have changed for african americans for better and worse. sociologist yos joseph strickland said, it affected men at many levels. >> fathers engaged with their children. more engaged with the community, a lot of people registered to vote. >> african americans helped to elect the nation's first black president more than a decade after the march but despite that many things haven't changed. high unemployment remains a problem for african american men. it's more than double that of their white counterparts and blacks continue to outnumber blacks and hi panics in the
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nation's prisons and jails. gangs and gang violence have also escalated in many cities. and cities involving black men like michael brown have increased tension between law enforcement and the citizens. gag valuizing many blacks, he didn't think it sparked significant unrest. against black american men. >> shore lived because they are not well thought out. and the outcomes are more violent than the problem initially. >> reporter: in chicago local programs like becoming a man or bam are trying to make a difference. the 14-year-old program offers mentors and sports programs to keep at risk preteen boys off the streets and out of gangs. but bam
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coordinator marshawn baker says it's harder to keep kids out of trouble. >> those that are relative good with good head on their shoulders are still dealing with violence and things of that nature. >> optimistic, they say activism could spark the kind of change the million man march didn't. diane eastabrook. chicago. >> joining me now and for rest of today's show, omar mcgee the founder of the executive prep academy of finance, a charter school in los angeles. greg carr, the chair of the afte afroamerican studies program. all three of you were on the
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mall that day 20 years ago. omar mcgee did that begin something that then stretched over the next 20 years for you? >> yes, i was 20 in 1995. it was so impactful in my life. i experienced howard university, the students of howard university, the movement of black people, something i had never seen before, it impacted me so much i went to enroll in howard that monday. >> do you think you would have been going in a different direction? >> oh definitely. we don't have that much black progression, i was aware of farrakhan. but experiencing that moment of black people, black doctors, black lawyers, black people from all different type of professions, i was able to touch them and talk to them. i didn't want to lose that experience, i knew d.c. was built around that georgia avenue, the experience the peel
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the community was based on black achievement black movement. even in the poor parts it was such a knowledge that i never experienced before, i just wanted to have that. >> professor carr that was an inside the family conversation that the rest of the country got to eavesdrop on. >> absolutely. >> did it work? >> i mean, i think of course it did. it's part of an ongoing conversation. it was the first time i think that america at large was able to bear witness to that kind of critical mass. remember that minister farrakhan had been traveling for the better part of a year talking about the million man march. i never forget at dawn hearing the muslim prayer call. most of the people in the mall were not muslim but you saw hundreds of thousands of hen with their heads you abouted. this is about two weeks after the o.j. sirmso o.j. simpson ve.
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there was an electric pulse in the air. they expected violence, no one there expected violence, and by the end of the day, it put a dent in the way black america was represented to the country. >> rock, you were there, i saw you there. have the next 20 years vint caited the purposes of that day? -- vindicated the purposes of that day? the men there pumped up energized intentional, change today? is today different because of that day 20 years ago? >> let me say that perhaps we could have ended this show already, with omar's testimony, that he came that day, unaware of the reality that existed and and the possibilities. certainly, not understanding the energy and the impact that it would have, and it dramatically changed his life. we don't know what would have happened with his life, he's a talented guy so perhaps he would have gone on to some form of
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success but that was a spark. to me, and you've got to understand that there were a whole lot of omars in that crowd. and that justifies the march itself, the fact that you had over a million people there loving one another, and atoning and committing to go back to their families to do better. did it yield perfection? absolutely not. did it yield some positive results that we can be proud of? the answer is yes . >> professor, i was a little perturbed at the time by the unspoken assumption that there could be problems just from the very fact of having so many black men in one place. >> sure. >> and yet, those fears were not at all vindicated. it was a day full of surprise necessary a lot of ways. >> surprises to external communities. the question of citizenship for african americans in this community is still unresolved.
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this society is built on antiblack racism. the assumption that there would b beviolence is absolutely expected. it was a workday. >> unlike this past weekend. >> it was a workday in which millions of women, men who could not travel stayed home. and it sent a message as i said before, this country got a glimpse of a sphere that is very common to the people who live in that sphere. so you know we knew there wasn't going to be any violence. >> gentlemen, stay with me. one of the persistent themes of the original million man march was self reliance. taking it out of the hands of an unfair society and putting it in the hands of the black mem men themselves. demanding something that society was unwilling to give. stay with us, it's "inside story."
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story," i'm ray suarez. when i sat on the maul 20 years ago at the million man march, i saw men fired up about showing the country who they were and the possibilities of self-directed change, being better students, workers, fathers, husbands. did recent events spur a gathering of a different spirit of demand rather than introspection? a mixed score this time on the program about. back with omar mcgee greg carr and rock newman. do that affect recent events inside black america? >> very clearly it does. i think it would be important to frame things as follows. you look at an individual, i'm talking about louis farrakhan, talking about how this was not
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an event this was about him. it was about those who he was trying to communicate with and trying to communicate with on -- trying to communicate for on behalf -- trying to communicate with the government open behalf of those who have been harmed. you look at how the general media treats him. he is public enemy number 1, in mass media. and i would say it needs to be examined, acknowledged, talked about, that he's probably the only person on this planet that could have made the call 20 years ago, and over a million people came. and he made the call three days ago, two days ago, and over a half a million people came, and they came to hear about substance and making their lives better. >> omar, when you see that the second event happened, is that really about the intervening 20 years or the last two? >> well, it would have to be 20 for me.
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because just experiencing that again, with my father and seeing all the things that i accomplished, i mean i came to the white house today, i'm here endorsed by bill clinton, i would never ever having dreamed having my expectations that high without having experiencing that. leaving that and going to howard university, giving us high expectations, i know that i left with the confidence 20 years later or right after i graduated from howard, it is nothing i can't accomplish and i think that's why i'm here today is because of the first million man march. 20 years later to come back with my father and be the man i am today is priceless. >> but there are a lot of people professor who couldn't be there saturday because they're dead. >> absolutely. >> ray mar li graham, walter scott,ful others. >> trayvon martin, you name it,. >> did that fuel saturday's conversation qupts.
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>> oconversation ? of course it did. in between there was the million families march. the agenda that was reintroduced at yesterday's meeting, the million families movement in 2005, here we are 20 years from that, convening the or else. the or else isn't up to the mall. this is cause and effect. injustice leads to the type of structural rupture you have today. many have died in the last two days and that energized a lot of the speakers who came and presented just before minister farrakhan. trayvon martin's mother who has emerged around people who have conyield said this is about our humanity. that is not a black or brown thing, it is a human concern. that is where we are. this country has to ask a fundamental question, is the price of extending justice to everyone so steep, or
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alternative ly, isn't the or else going to mean the destruction of the society from within? >> but rock couldn't this lead to a feeling of helplessness, that these things happen or continue to happen despite the feeling in a lot of place necessary this country, good things are going on the right things are going on yet the death toll, the list, continues to lengthen. >> i will plagiarize professor cornell west when he says we must remain prisoners of hope. that is the one thing we cannot give into is hopelessness. you ask that question about two years, the two-year spirit. i would want to piggyback and say absolutely, it did. martin luther king talked about the fierce urgency of now. and that is what there is now, an urgency of now. he talked about the moral arc of the universe being long but it bends towards justice and he might not be exactly right about that.
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not only justice on its own but a march like saturday forces that arc to bend more towards justice. >> gentlemen, stand by. what do you tell a young black man today when i ask i mean more than just the talk about how to handle yourself in a white majority world, i mean what do you tell them in 2015 about america and their place in it? how do you encourage energy and optimism and temper it with an awareness of past wrongs? 20 years after the million man march a mixed score. stay with us.
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he. >> welcome back to "inside story," i'm ray suarez. 20 years after the million man march, a weekend of calls for justice or else. okay so now what? what would you tell a young man let's say 18 years old, about the country and his future in it?
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it must be a daunting prospect. how to be encouraging and realistic. telling them of a nation of high ideals and one that is too often fallen short especially in its dealings with black americans. back now with omar mcgee, greg carr and rock newman. you're teaching undergraduates, how do you walk that line, what do you tell them? >> we recently hosted coats, i'm not going to lie to you, i'm not going to sugar coat it, you must protect your black body because it's perpetually at risk. extreme inequality in terms of poverty, extreme inqueanlt in terms o inequality asfar as access to e. work together so you can somehow help to balance the scales and
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increase the possibility that you'll be able to live to the fullest of your human ability. >> rock newman, you looked out at the crowd 20 years ago, did you think the conversation would still have this tone in 2015, what would we tell our boys? would we be still asking that question? >> i had an optimism that day and afterwards for a good period of time that things were -- we weren't to the promise land but we were headed in the right direction. and since the onset of the elections in early 2000, i think that there has been a role back of civility, there has been a roll back of voting rights, there has been a roll back of opportunities for people of color that is unconscionable. that forced the coming-together of this coalition of people that were on that mall on saturday. keep in mind: there was a theme, black lives matter. justice or else.
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but that was a very big tent that took in hispanics and asians and native americans. so i think if we can out of the leadership conference yesterday, number one on the list was education. that we must address, confront the educational system that currently exists that still has people believing that in 1492, columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered something. >> omar mcgee you're teaching those education being a theme aleads me right to your doorstep because people are still at the age that you've got them, they're figuring out how to be. how to handle themselves. how do i walk into the world? what does the world see when it looks at me? how do you balance realism and optimism? >> so at executive prep we ask first, if you want omillion dollars you have to look like a million dollars, suit and tie.
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from there we design a life plan for every cave. we work every day on their life plan to make that dream a reality. we give them hope, we give them courage, we give them courage. we don't believe in prep school, four year college at all. four years ago i had the lowest performing students in l.a. now i've got the highest performing students in l.a. >> but if you go into that process encouraged by omar mcgee but believing that it's unfair how do you handle yourself without going crazy? >> we understand this, we know the world is not fair, we know that life is not fair. steel sharpens steel. i don't let my students use that as an excuse. we don't have excuses. we find a way to win. we keep dreaming we find ways to get across the mountain, we headache that happen. i'm happy to say we are on a
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course of our first graduating course next year, 100% graduation. our kids right now are out performing the average high school in l.a. like 50%. >> so i'm going oclose with quick final dproments my two old heads here. on 20 years are we still going to be having the same conversation? >> i certainly hope not. there needs to be an energy, saturday wasn't a moment that indeed it is a movement and it is a movement for positive change that will make the country a better place not just the lives of minorities. >> i absolutely think we're going to have the same conversation. this country is on a trajectory, that there is a deep structural revolution, we'll be back here in 20 years. >> but is it an essential ingredient that you have to believe that america is improvable, perfectible, that it has to be fixable? >> not at all.
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national mythology is a fragile thing. it's based on nostalgia for things that never existed. united states didn't exist 250 years ago, and it may not exist 50 years from now. it is not a barometer of how individuals form community together. me. >> are you more optimistic than it sounds like the professor is? >> actually i'm not. there has to be some serious systemic changes. >> you're somewhere else on the time line. >> definitely. i understand with the recession we can look at the negative but also for our generation, a lot of us it forced us to explore entrepreneurship and understand that we don't have to look for a job but to create one. a lt of us to fail under the recession but at the same time, it sparked a lot of minds to create their own. >> thanks to my three guests,
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omar mcgee, the founder of , rock newman the host of his own television show. i'll be back with a final thought, black americans looking back over their shoulder looking back over the century. and send us your story @aj insidestory am. what did you think about the weekend's observances? we'd love to hear it.
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>> i was once talking to a legendary news executive about a hire he was about to make. of a black reporter, a handsome guy with a great set of pipes who has since gone on to have a terrific career in the news business. this exex ran downing, and he isn't angry about anything. i watched his face to see if he was kidding but he was dead serious. i told him i thought if i was a black man i'd be angry every day of my life but still try hold on to the other emotions that lend for a happy life. but i would venture any black man in the final decades of the 20th century who wasn't angry about anything, clearly wasn't paying attention.
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the angry black stereotype embed in the heart of that notion is that anger is a misplaced emotion. year after year, black americans tell opinion pollsters, other americans say it still matters a lot so i guess context is important here . pour gasoline in a fire and it lends more to the fire. burn gasoline in a careful way and it gets where you you're going. it seems almost ludicrous to council black men not to be angry. gasoline can burn down a building or fuel engines to get an entire people to where they're going. thanks for joining me, i'll see you next time. i'm ray suarez.
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>> three palestinians killed and two israelis critically injured in the latest wave of violence. hello, welcome to live from doha. i'm elizabeth puranam, also ahead. funerals from victims of saturday's bombing in ankara as turkey blames i.s.i.l. for the attack. new concerns about russia's involvement in the war, and syria, and the type of bombs used. more than a year


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