tv 2018 Miami Book Fair Sunday CSPAN November 18, 2018 10:30am-12:31pm EST
college for the miami book fair. today is a full lineup of author event in interviews including collins on the middle class, racism, populism, and more. it's a full day of nonfiction authors and books here on your tv and online with behind the the scenes pictures. first up it's a conversation with authors about the u.s. supreme court. live coverage on booktv on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, miami. good morning. welcome to the 35th annual miami book fair. we are so delighted to be able to host the fair again at miami
dade college. we ask that you please acknowledge all of our friends of the. please regime for helping to make this possible. [applause] we are also very grateful to the college and also the support of the knight foundation and the bachelor foundation. i am dean of the honors college at miami-dade college and i'm one of the hundreds of volunteers that helping us make this their possible so please let's get a round of applause for all of the volunteers. [applause] >> this morning's session promises to be a very exciting one. we ask that you please turn off your cell phones at this moment. most of the discussion will go on for about 45 minutes. we will have q&a, and at the right moment i will appear in order to end the session. i ask that you please transition
at the appropriate time and the book signing will take place to the right of the elevator. at this time i have the distinct honor to introduce our extraordinary panelists. first we have alan dershowitz, one of the most famous and celebrate her lawyers in america picky was the youngest school professor in harvard law school history where he is now a professor of law. the author of numerous best-selling books from -- the reversal of fortune, and to the case for israel. he has advised and ascended many of the most famous legal course over the past 50 years including o.j. simpson, michael milken and mike tyson. he is author of "the case against impeaching trump." please join me in welcoming alan dershowitz. [applause]
>> joining him will be david kaplan whose books include silicon voice, the accident president and mine is bigger than for a graduate of cornell and the new york city universal block him he teaches journalism and ethics at nyu. in third edition of the ninth and the brethren, the most dangerous branch inside the supreme court assault on the constitution takes us inside the secret world of the supreme court. please join in welcoming david kaplan. [applause] will. [laughing] >> i hold it up. >> does your book belong to the
right of mine? >> we'll see. [laughing] >> like a i said, it all depens on one's perspective. thank you for coming. this is a great group. this is my first miami book fair and i am just totally impressed. the line of speakers and to see so many readers and people appreciate books is a fantastic so thank you to miami book fair for having us both here. we talked a little bit about how to proceed and i think what each going to talk for five, six minister with an argument each other and then we go to questions and answers. his book is about impeachment. mine is about the supreme court, but we had something in common i think in that both these books are contrarian on their respective topics and alan and i have each kind of been voted off our respected islands. alan quite literally had a dust
up with his former friends upon martha's vineyard. i think i read in the paper who didn't like his independence and contrariness and, and for me i'm not invited martha's vineyard that often but my own wife pretty much hates my book. [laughing] are at least half my book. hello to her if she is listening at home. she's probably not since is pretty much sick of listening me to talk about my book. when i give the book, she's my best reader and first reader. when i gave her a copy of she said i don't agree with half of your book and i said i didn't ask or i just want you to make it better. she said i don't want to make about because i don't agree with it. so let me give you a brief summary of my book. it was a tense to do two things. one, it's an inside look at the
justices. they are not demagogues. they live in this great marble temple but they are just people. so whether it's chief justice roberts vanity or clarence thomas still being enraged over his confirmation hearings for 30 years ago, or how neil gorsuch has performed the impossible come yet succeeded in unifying the court. nobody likes him. [laughing] or how elena kagan is the hardest working of the justices in but it works for clerks hard. and, of course, the arrival of brett kavanaugh after his recent unpleasantness at the confirmation hearings. maybe the book will have questions and about to talk about that, but i think what i like to focus my few minutes on is this serious argument in the book, which is that the court is to involve in american life here
it's too powerful. it's too interventionist and it ask because it can and not because it should. that isn't a liberal perspective. it's not a conservative perspective. and my book criticizes the court in roe v. wade, which constitutionalize the right to abortion. criticizes bush v. gore which resolve the presidential election. criticizes the gun-control ruling in 2008 the said there was an integer right to own a handgun in your own home. criticizes citizen suge knight on campaign finance regulation and shelby county which guided most voting rights after 1965 and more candidly suggests that a burger fell, the gay rights willing going to clean the right to same-sex marriage, while probably correct by festive and put off by the court and allow legislatures and perhaps congress to do.
that's the thrust of the argument and it's a difficult argument as a guard at home because people confuse outcomes they like with whether the court to reach them. my own views are extremely liberal as a political matter on abortion. i think that in the tragic choice between the rights of a woman at the right to the fetus i would err on the side of the woman. but i think that decision is best made by legislatures, and you should win, and the victory that roe gatewood better have been achieved in legislatures that at the corporate i argued that for all those of the cases as well. bush v. gore was the worst decision because there was a case which the constitution itself calls for resolution in congress. we could talk about a number of those cases but that's the thrust of the book. and it's not merely a
theoretical argument in favor of democracy. i have plenty of problems with democracy. look who's president. look who's in congress, but short of making me a monarch which isn't going to happen, i would read and trust our faith to democracy than nine unelected, unaccountable judges. and in the long run i think we can do better. i don't want to impetus to the supreme court. the court needs to step up on a range of individual and structural rights which we can talk about but i think the court has too often inserted itself. that's bad for the quartz reputation. it helps in siebel congress and state legislatures. it distorts the presidential election i can 2016 when many voters on both sides of the aisle didn't much like the candidate the said they were voting for who they reporting simply because of who they
thought the candidate would put on the supreme court. that was borne out for trump voters in getting gorsuch and cabinet. everything also leads to some of in part the confirmation circus that we had with kavanaugh. because the stakes are so high because a single vote can mean so much. you wind up having a president and the senate in voting, producing the kind of results that we had. i want to give the floor to alan. i may not get it back, but let me throw out the question to you that tries to illustrate my point spirit by a show of hands tell me who thinks roe v. wade was a good exercise of the courts power? raise your hands. most of the room. not as many in san francisco. keep your hands.
who thinks that bush v. bush ve was a good exercise of the courts power? and all the hands come down. my impossible task today and in the book is to try to convince you that that's wrong and hypocritical. alan? >> well, thank you so much. you didn't have to persuade me. in 2000 i wrote a book in which i argued that roe v. wade was the predecessor to bush v. gore and made the argument that although like you i support a woman's right to choose, the constitutional case for roe v. wade had not been made and economic weight and and that the decision was largely political and basically led to the supreme court's hyper activism in bush v. gore. what a matter to talk about your book. i think it's a great book. i i did a blurb for the major tk about my book. >> if you want to talk obama
book that's fine. don't let me stop you. >> i want to tell you a story about how my book got written which it was not the story about me pick us astray about hyper partisans him in the united states. my book is entitled "the case against impeaching trump" but that was not the original title. i started think about writing this book when we all knew that hillary clinton would be elected president. and when republicans were vowing on the day she was inaugurated that they would move to impeach her. remember the cries at the republican national convention, lock her up, locker of. i actually started to draft and think about writing a book called the case against impeaching hillary clinton. in fact, my publisher later came up with a cover to make that point. this was the book case. when donald trump got elected and a somebody who strongly believes in the shoe on at the
foot test that chapter neutral principles, i decided to take the research i had done on the case against impeaching hillary clinton and apply to donald trump wide voted against, who i had campaigned against. and had i written come had she been elected and had a written a case against impeaching hillary clinton, they would build a statue of me in martha's vineyard. [laughing] [applause] but but i wrote the exact same k substituting the word trump for clinton and that they don't want to even see me anywhere near martha's vineyard. >> have you thought about vacationing in texas? >> texas is notified if you're a very happy in florida, but in which is also very deeply divided. and to make it clear how upset people were about me writing the book, the case against impeaching trump, i had my publisher, with a third cover of plain brown wrapper --
[laughing] -- of the kind we would use when we were reading kind of the dirty books in high school that nobody would know. and so now my friends at martha's vineyard who want to read my book but you don't want to ostracize can put this cover on it. so it is just an illustration of how divided our society has become. my case against impeaching trump is the case against overusing the power of impeachment. i'm a constitutionalist. i in reading the constitution at least initially literally. i believe and a living constitution but but i also bee the constitution means what it says. and when the says you cannot impeach except for treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors, it means that pickett doesn't mean maxine waters has said that we can impeach anybody as long as there's a majority in the house of representatives, or she wants to know not only impeach donald trump but she wants to impeach
vice president pence. there are those who can buy a book together for me to want to impeach justice kavanaugh for what he did when he was 17 or his testimony in front of the senate. i think impeachment is a last resort in a democracy, and it should only be used in extreme cases. we've only had one proper impeachment in our history. it was not andrew johnson. he was a properly impeached and almost removed renewed for exeg his constitutional authority any case the supreme court alternately said was in his favor. he was not bill clinton who committed a low crime, not a high crime. it was richard nixon who was properly subject to impeachment because he committed clear obstruction of justice. he destroyed evidence. he allegedly bribed witnesses. he paid hush money. he had his people live to government officials, all of which are felonies, and he would have and should have been
impeached but i don't think that anyone else who was now subject to impeachment fits the constitutional criteria. now, maybe evidence will emerge in the mueller report. maybe evidence will emerge in the seventh district investigation which i think it's a far more serious risk to president trump in the mueller investigation because the mueller investigation, , yes constitutional defenses took stock of justice or collaboration occlusion with russia but he would that have constitutional defenses to anything that he did prior to being elected president in his business use. they would constitute impeachable offenses but they may constitute indictable offenses after he leaves office which i don't believe the the president can be indicted while in office. that's a thesis of my book, as you say they're both contrary and books. i think we're both kind of neutral objective civil libertarians who have different views than the mainstream about
results and if you look at process rather than results. and tell me what you think what happens, let me pose the questions you to start a conversation. what if president trump were impeached? and what if he did was removed by the senate, unlikely, but for matters that were not constitutionally authorized? and what is the president, president trump said, it's interesting the house impeach me, it's interesting the senate and teach me but i'm not going inward because i believe the acted unconstitutionally. do you think the supreme court would and should at that point decide that case to avoid a constitutional crisis of a president refusing to accept impeachment and removal by the house and the senate? >> i guess per cycle process question. i i would to a different law school. do you still get to ask me questions? >> i do. not knowing that, if the people to ask the questions i'm a socratic teacher, i'll get to
ask you questions. so prepare your questions. >> there enough. this is popular alan and i differ. alan and i would argue that the court has a role in that question about what constitutes high crime and misdemeanor. and i do not. i think this would be the classic question that the court should stay away from. maxine waters notwithstanding, it's up to congress to determine what the constitution means. do i think the court would intervene? i'm not sure. i along with most of the people i interviewed back in 2000 when i was legal affairs at a news week, nobody thought that the court would go anywhere near bush v. gore, classic political question involving state law. nothing for the court to get involved in and everything to stay away from. we of course were wrong in my prediction are invariably wrong.
don't buy the stocks i recommend. so i could see at the court might intervene but i think it would be horrifically wrong and it could be, it could be a high point for the court in such hypothetical to say not our jobs. we are staying away. and speaking my question was a slightly different one. >> i would deny the premise if you had a president, for example, donald trump, who says they are impeach impeaching ifg that ain't impeachable, i'm sticking around. i'm not sure that such a president would abide by a supreme court ruling. and, of course, the notion of not leaving office when you're supposed to, which would present a constitutional crisis come a real one, not like a lot of the fake constitutional crises that are alleged on cable each night. suppose it leaving aside impeachment what a president
after four or a jew says i'm not leaving? nothing to do with impeachment. you could have a scenario where a president doesn't leave town when he or she is supposed to. i don't think it's message of an impeachment situation, but i like anything would probably be left to the other branches to figure out? >> i should just a summative one. i agree you if congress said that abstraction of justice is a high crime and misdemeanor under the constitution, that the supreme court would leave that interpretation of the congress. i was talked about a given situation, that maxine waters or gerald ford situation where present was impeach him removed, to something that didn't pretend to be treason, just maladministration of office. the framers specifically rejected a proposal by some people in the constitutional convention calling for impeachment to be permissible for maladministration of
justice. and if the congress decide to completely ignore the constitution, i think that the supreme court would and should decide the constitutional issue, and i think a president, take a trump, for example, said look, i'm not leaving because the congress acted unconstitutionally and i asked the president have the same authority to interpret the constitution as congress does, i think he would have supported his base. but if he then decided to defy a supreme court decision, i think he would lose the support of the american people just like he would lose the support of the american people if you simply decided not to leave office after his eight-year term. so i do think it's a question of whether the supreme court maintains its authorities as the final arbiter. remember we now have an acting attorney general of the united states who does not believe in marbury v. madison. i suspect notwithstanding your
criticism to the supreme court, i suspect you still believe in marbury v. madison. >> marbury v. madison is also important decision initiative established the course power to strike down an act of congress as unconstitutional. such a power on the part of the justices is not stated in the constitution. it is making the law as many republicans these days accuse court of doing. of course, of course judges make law. you have two when you're interpreting these vague and sometimes conflicting clauses. what republicans say is it's making below what you don't like what judges do it when you like what is being done then it's interpreting the law. in the same way nobody claims to be a judicial activist everybody
believes in judicial restraint and tell it's time to do something that is activist. it proves everybody is an activist now. i interviewed a majority of the justices on background for the book. i can't tell you which ones i talked to do, when i would so much to them they would ask for a 30 seconds of what the book was about, and the response was, i half agree with your position on the court. of course they would say that. they agree with this half of the decisions and a liberal would agree -- in truth, the courts belief in its own supremacy on some of different issues at the expense of the other branches is astonishing. i would argue that the public, it's possible public support for such oppression would dwindle after the court has ruled, but i'm hardly sure it was not the
case of public opinion polls for example, in push the court. let me ask you a question. >> sure. [laughing] >> if i might pick of the democrats took the presidency in 2020, just say, and -- [applause] >> the president might be watching. >> good. >> the morning shows are on now turkeys watching them. >> he knows, he knows, he knows full will. >> they pay for a dvr at the white house so you watch later. the democrats take the presidency and the senate and the house. the democrats get their act together and get better at being bad. the democrats have never been very good at being bad. republicans are very good at being peppered the democrats get their act together and say we're going to pack the courts. fdr tried in 1937 but it was knocked down resolutely at both sides of aisle. we live in different times to the democrats and we'll add two seats to the court, plenty of room and building, with a 11
justices we will take back the merrick garland's heat that was denied as the merrick garland was barack obama's dominique. [applause] and we will undo what was wrong with capital and gorsuch be all it takes an act of congress signed by the president to add seats to the court. it doesn't take a constitutional amendment. any problem with that? >> yes. it would be -- i would defend the president power to sign such a bill and congress' power to do it but i would strongly oppose it as it would have if i'd been alive during the 1930s when president roosevelt for every fy good intention try to pack the court to make sure that his new deal could be put in place for it just would set a terrible, terrible president. >> is an argument to be made and were to say visitation you have to burn it down first? >> i don't agree with that. the supreme court is operating, i've never been a complete supporter of everything the
supreme court has done. i agree with you that definition of an activist to some of the rights and opinion you don't agree with and to judicial conservative somebody writes anything to do agree with. the debate over whether it's a lively constitution for a dead constitution is an absurd debate. i used to fight with my friend antonin scalia what known since he was a law professor. he would talk about the constitution was a dead constitution. my response is you are partly right. there are parts that are dead. the requirement you be 35 to the president is dead. if you are 34 and ten months enjoy the most brilliant accomplished person in the world, you can be president. if you're 117 and senile, you can be president. there is no prohibition against it. that's bad. on the other hand, how can you say the part of the constitution to talk about equal protection or due process or cruel and unusual punishment doesn't require some interpretation? even justice scalia wrote a
brilliant decision about whether or not the fourth amendment applies to gps that put on the bottom of cars so please can track people. what he did is wrote it alive and said our framers if that note about gps probably what it said that it's a violation of privacy without some word or a least some probable cause requirement. i think everybody see some leading parts of the constitution. everybody sees some dead parts pick that dead parts are easy to know what he disagrees about that. whether the impeachment provision, the patient this has high crimes and misdemeanors is living or dead is a very difficult question. i think it's dead. i think the framers didn't want impeachment to be done for reasons other than criminal conduct. nothing has changed. there are no new gps. the very issues that madison and hamilton argued about other
issues we argue that today so i think that's a dead part. i don't think we should try to be creative woodwork using people of serious crimes and removing them from office. criminal law should never be alive. criminal law should always be dead. you look at the words of the statute and if they don't apply, that's the end of inquiry. check out whether there's a worth collusion in the kernel statute. >> high crimes and misdemeanors i would argue closer to those databases like to processes of the law. if you want to give a laundry list of specific violations or crimes that are impeachable, they could've done so. >> let me tell you a story baha'i crimes, very interesting story in my book, the story about a man named alexander hamilton. while he was secretary of the treasury had an affair with a woman and it turns out that the woman was sent to them by her extortionist has been in order to seduce them into having the affair and then the man demanded
extortion payments and he paid them. and he paid them. and then the man said i need more money or else i will accuse you of taking the money to pay me out of the treasury. alexander hamilton who helped draft and defend the impeachment provision decided to write an essay, embarrassing , embarrasse terribly, admitting the affair admitting thank the money but denying that the money came from the treasury. it didn't come from the treasury. why? because he understood the difference between a high crime and a low cry. and look on his adultery. adultery was a felony punishable by substantial prison truby admitted to that. he admitted to the extortion. that was a crime but he did not acknowledge that he committed aa high crime because he understood the difference between high crime and an ordinary crime. the framers understood that. >> we are getting a signal should allow questions. >> okay. >> anyone who wants those what questions i guess there's a
microphone. i'm not sure i can answer your question about marbury. the argument about marbury against madison has largely been settled but there are intelligent smart scholars who think that it was wrongly decided. the interesting thing now about our acting attorney general who i would describe as a political hack, not -- [applause] i haven't agree with all attorneys general in recent years but he does not have any of the last or credentials that others have. ..
>> on that we can agree. >> okay. it's on. david, i heard your interview on npr and i thought it was excellent. this question is for your on your opinion on term limits for the supreme court and if so do you think there is something that citizens can do to stop the -- start the ball rolling on that. >> term limits is written in constitution. probably made sense once upon a time when life expectancy is 65 and now that life expectancy is 85 -- >> i agree. >> the last 5 justices that left served average of 30 years. every president once the current justices are gone, they can't
that i think life tenure, every president accommodates every 2 years, it will never happen. >> but you're wrong about one thing, you could apply it to justices that are now sitting. there's no limits of what the constitution can do. >> fair enough, but the party in power, the notion that you're going to get bipartisan agreement to change things, i think, is unrealistic, what can you do, lobby, lobby your representatives because the constitutional amendment in most cases begins with congress adopting such an amendment but i think the more likely reform alan wouldn't call it reform it's court packing, that's the easiest way to pleasure pressure -- apply pressure. >> the idea that we are appointing fetuses in the
supreme court in the hope that they live 120 years ago is a distortion of the process, somebody who turned 80, i think wisdom comes with age. i don't want to be on the supreme court, i'm too old but the idea that the american bar association won't recommend -- wouldn't recommend somebody who was over 60 is absurd. one of the supreme court when he was 60 years old. the fact that we are now considering people in 30 and early 40's makes little sense to me. >> alex refers to fetuses but some having barmitzvah. >> there's limitation on congress, you have been to be 25, 30 to be senator, and can be
13 to be justice of the supreme court. >> and i have two sons. >> good morning, this is for professor dershowitz since government of michigan signed legislation that would not do business with entities with engage with people who boycotted strategic partners, what is the university of michigan's responsibility with regards to a students and professors in recent light of the professor and graduate's student refusal to write letter of recommendation? >> great question, a professor rescued to write letter of recommendation when he learned that he were going to israel. you have right to boycott israel, that's first amendment right. historically legislation has forbidden actually boycotts, forget about israel. there's all kind of regulation, back in 60's and 70's, legislation forbidding and i think the michigan legislation
as long as it doesn't van advocacy of bds it's perfectly constitutional and michigan took the right position in disciplining the professor, not what he thought or what he believed but for discriminating against a student based on the country that the student wanted to go to. imagine if the shoe were on the other foot, if it was a white racist professor who refused to recommend a black women -- woman who wanted to spend african country because he disagreed with policies, there would be hell to pay. and michigan approved of its policy. >> hello, i have a comment and a question for alan. i like to point out that collusion doesn't appear in the criminal code. >> that's right. >> from what i understand it would probably be conspiracy to
commit treason? >> that's impossible. treason is the only crime to find and extremely narrowly even the worst enemies of donald trump if they have a brain in their head realize that you cannot charge the president with treason, conspiracy to commit treason or anything relating to treason. the charge would be conspiracy to what? affect the election or something like that. they have to make up a crime. i'm against making up crimes whether they're made against democrats or republicans. >> my question is related to that, i would like to ask wh your opinion related to the relevancy of a living criminal code in light of what you brought up out adultery used to be illegal and stuff, you know, it does change -- >> changes legislatively. we now have abolished adultery as a crime. that's the way it should happen.
we shouldn't look for criminal law. it's always a step behind. the criminal law can't keep up with the internet, it has to play catch-up, we have a right approach. that's why we have expose, matters that occurred before the conduct was criminalized. >> okay, thank you. >> thank you. >> good morning. i find you to be terribly persuasive i was hope to go disagree with you on a lot of your points. unfortunately agreeing with you on many. i wanted to mention the shoe on the other foot, i think harry reid was the one that implemented the 50-vote rule and got rid of super majority and look at where we are today because of that. >> exactly. >> that i think was a terrible decision and bites glow the butt. >> i agree with you completely. >> my question is you neglected to complete the phrase, high crimes and misdemeanors.
why have you chosen to cut the phrase short at -- >> no. i agree it's misdemeanors, misdemeanors at the time of the framing it was serious crime. you could get the death penalty for committing a misdemeanor. the difference between misdemeanor and felony, a felony involve attainment of blood and the family would suffer. misdemeanors were serious crimes at the time of the framing so i do include misdemeanors, remember it's not high crimes or misdemeanors, it's high crimes and misdemeanors, the con junctive is used so not the sub. >> my question is you had mentioned that you don't believe a sitting president can be indicted and could you please elaborate on that?
>> do you want to take that or should i? >> no, you could take one. the. >> the justice department of legal counsel had ruling years ago saying that a sitting president can't be prosecuted. the impeachment provisions of the constitution seem to apply it. they don't say it. he can be prosecuted once he leaves office, once impeached and removed and the negative to that is he can't do indicted or prosecuted while in office, my colleague larry tribe used to take that position when clinton was the president and now he's evolved and changed his mind and now believes that a president can be indicted and prosecuted while in position. my position has remained the same. >> i changed my mind. i would weigh in to the extent that it became a legal issue there was an indictment and challenges in court, i could see that kind of case being right --
i don't want the supreme court out of everything but seems to me that question is a classically political matter and that's how the constitution -- >> i have a question -- >> alan's attempt to move it in judicial system is misplaced. >> i have a question to you. why does the frames say you can't remove a president from office, only a president unless the trial in the senate is presided over by the chief justice of the united states, that was a clear intent to add a judicial element to an otherwise political process. the chief justice presides, he's not there just because he has a pretty robe, he has to respond to legal challenges and if i were donald trump's lawyer and he were impeached and i don't think he would be impeached and i won't be his lawyer but if i were the first motion i would make in front of chief justice would be motion to dismiss on
the ground that the state -- there's no stated impeachable offense and i think the chief justice as the chief justice a judicial officer would have to resolve that issue. >> with the caveat that my predictions are invariable wrong. >> i cannot imagine a chief justice or this chief justice going near that question. i think any chief justice would take as a given what the house of representatives -- house of representatives decided, you know, this chief for all of the opinions that he's written that i criticized showed his in my view, had greatest moment when he upheld the affordable care act. my book report that is he had big problems with -- with the statute and with its constitutionality and initially he did vote in conference, the private gathering of the justices after all argument, he did vote to strike down the
statute on the commerce clause ground. >> right. >> he immediately went back to his chambers and asked his clerks to draft competing opinions. one that would strike down the statute on commerce grounds and one that would uphold on taxing power and when he saw the two opinions he decide as judges often say, one of them didn't write, the commerce clause argument didn't make sense but he also in the best use of the word judicial politics, not partisanship decided, he didn't say this but decided that the court was best left out, had the struck shutdown obamacare, the court would have been central issue in 2012 presidential election and i think roberts, whatever he thought about the affordable care about decided that for the good of the court, for the good of the institution it was better to keep the court
out. i think it is possible and he has been railed at by conservatives and republicans including trump in 2016 ever since which drives him nuts. i mean, one of the things that surprised me about the book is that it bothers him. i would assume his view is, you know, you guys are going to be gone in 2, 4, 6 years or maybe a few months, just kidding -- [laughter] >> and i will be chief justice, i'm 63 year's old, i could be here 20 years, it bothers roberts. it's possible that roberts is the swing vote, he's not a moderate, he's not the mid to feel roader that kennedy was on occasion by virtue of other justices -- >> i agree. >> he would try to put brakes on the court on issues to him like racial preference and possible chief justice that says it's bad
for the institution to be in the center. so as for your question if he is the nominal presiding officer in the senate -- >> not nominal, constitutional. >> someone had to have the gig. >> no, it's usually the person who is presiding over the senate, you could have found easily somebody, remember, for every other impeachment you don't have the chief justice sitting only for impeachment of a president. i think that means -- >> i hope we get to see how that plays out, if -- [laughter] >> if not for the good of the nation for the good of my book. [laughter] >> right. >> i found your arguments compelling but i found your example of trump not leaving presidency in any event chilling. >> it is. >> i know and the fact that -- you probably couldn't say that even use it as example to any other president but for this one i could see it happening, i think there are those who say that he will never leave the
presidency. >> no, he will believe at the end of his term, i believe. i think there's a fair argument that he would not leave if he felt that he was -- >> impeached. you want to make news -- >> no. [inaudible conversations] >> i think al gore performed tremendous service to the country when he conceded the election at a time when he didn't have to. he could have fought on. the supreme court decision was unjustified in my view and he could have fought on. >> but trump is no al gore as the saying goes. >> that's exactly right. [cheers and applause] >> have you ever discussed with don mcgann or anybody -- >> my question -- >> i do not give legal advice. the only thing i said of advice is on television, i said to the president i will give you four pieces of advice, don't pardon, don't commute, don't tweet and
don't testify and he has not really followed very many of those. i don't give advice except to clients and the president is not my client. >> this can go into another civil war and what i'm asking you is do you believe that that's possible. >> i don't. i think that the structures of checks and balances of the country is secure. i think this is a constitutional challenge not a constitutional crisis, i think we are a stronger country for surviving this constitutional challenge and i have great confidence in the american public that this too -- this constitutional issue too will pass. >> it hate to be agreeing with alan on final note when we end but i think that the chicken little sky fall is falling is bit much. in 2 years, 8 years, this shall
>> and you're watching book tv, that was david kaplan and alan dershowitz, much more to come today including former secretary of state john kerry, julian castro, rick wilson, dan fieffer. here on campus of miami-dade college we are pleased to be joined by alissa quarter, squeezed, why our families can't afford america. how do you define the middle
class or traditional definition of the middle class? >> so there's a few different ways of thinking about it, one is economic, $42,000 up to says 00, or $115,000 a year for a family and another way to think about it as a category, it's people who have achieved the american dream but are still living within reason. they have some kind of security and the thing about it is kind of educational, masters, ph.d, you're part of the professional. the idea of the middle class has changed. >> host: from when? >> guest: starts to change in 1979 and it's a long process and involves, you know, everything from ronald reagan to changes in social security and changes in professions like journalism in
law and what was once almost like a trap to be middle class was something that people wanted to escape in the 1960 and now it's something that people can't always even get into. it's like -- it's often out of reach for so many of the people in my book that i interviewed. >> host: so allisa quart when you talk about being squeezed, it's post war phenomena? >> guest: there's a huge kind of up surge of certain jobs like professors and lawyers in that period as well and journalists, golden age for journalism, some people say it's a natural thing that's happening now, we could
try to be stopping -- >> host: what else, how else did we create this middle class to begin? >> guest: we created in some ways by having kind of a healthy consumer market, we had a economy in the period. it was preinternet, there's jobs in law and there was a lot of kids after the baby boom who were then being educated in schools and by professors so there was a widening of that particular job and there just were infrastructure in the period for professionals, municipal workers in cities like san francisco could afford to live in san francisco and they can't anymore. >> so you mentioned 1979 and by the way we will take some calls with author allissa quart,
squeeze, i will say them out loud, 202-748-8200, mountain and pacific 748-8201. we will get those, we are talking about economics, what happened in 1979? >> a lot of different legislative and historical forces start to conspire against middle-class workers, you just start to have a lot less, i mean, now understands when they buy health care it's less affordable than it was when -- when my parents had my, for instance. you start to see different levels of taxation and you have corporations not being taxed on the same field that they should be, amazon famously coming to
new york city and you have just a range of things, contractions occurring that many of which were local or federal. >> host: we often hear about income inequality. >> guest: yes. >> host: is that something that helps, causes squeeze on american families economically? >> guest: yeah, absolutely, what you're seeing is the upper managerial class of companies flourish and you see the people who work for them, the professionals that were once more secure not getting necessarily a part of the pie. anything from auto workers who no longer have job security to librarians, as i said lawyers, which is shocking, people say, lawyers, in many states like only 50% of people with law degrees find employment as
lawyers. >> host: what is your personal experience, did you grow up middle class? >> yeah, i grew up middle class striving, my grandparents were immigrants and my parents lived in one-bedroom apartment so i had a portal into what it would be like many of my subjects were, by the end of careers, they are now retired, they had decent good jobs teaching at college professors, their jobs are not possible now in the sense that tenure has vanished for professors and job opportunities are no longer there. >> host: when so muchment -- much activity is left to muster or will power.
>> guest: yeah, what i meant by that something called decision fatigue that sometimes takes over people and often does with people who are working poor like the people i write about and i edit at the economic hardship project where i'm editor and i run, it's a nonprofit and something that takes over with people that are unstable members of the middle class increasingly contingent that their work is freelance, going from gig to gig, worried about health care, worried about how they will pay their college stat or kids' college stat and that becomes kind of the psychological trap and for me the thing that i'm most interested in squeeze is the way that psychology of this, you know, because you start to blame yourself and you start to see that it's your fault when i was saying it's college -- public colleges cost double what they caused in 1996. this isn't your fault, the cost
of health care is no longer your health care. the real estate own major cities and crushing people out of apartments renting or own asking not your fault. >> host: but at the same time alissa quart we are making more money, we are richer than we have ever been? >> guest: who is richer, 3.7%, that's like the lowest rates of unemployment, but we are talking abunemployment rates and we have to think about what are those jobs, i don't know if i'm allowed to say on tv, bs jobs, they are not career, they are just jobs and how many jobs are people working, how much are they making, wages are now -- they've been climbing at 23% or something like that. that's not going to make most of these lives livable.
we are talking about normal people. these aren't marginal people, huge swath of america. we we need to look at gdp, who is the gdp for, i'm not sure it's good the middle-class workers that i write about. it's not necessarily helping them. >> host: so what other factors should we be looking at? >> guest: we should be looking at quality of life and standard of living and things that no longer are focusing on. that was once a major category no sociology and so much less now. we should look how many hours people work and the hours that they work. >> one of the things i found interesting in your book, uber sponsored initiatives to encourage teachers as chauffeurs. a perfect private-sector remedy
for the failures of the public spirit? >> we see privettization of things that what are we supposed to do, unionized teachers are making sometimes $33,000 a year in cities, towns and then in very expensive places may -- new york, 50 or 60,000 but if you know the real estate in the cities it's not enough. uber understood, okay, we will try to make initiative to help these people, help extra money, reading papers at stop signs and thinking of curriculum when they are in the highway and driving the parents of the kids they educate and uber is the last company to be interested in the middle class, like, as a country our leaders are not interested in how are we going to pay teachers' living wage instead the people that are interested is uber as symbolic category.
there you again with the symbol of the middle class. it's almost worth more as a symbol, synonym for the american dream than reality. >> host: let's hear from some of the viewers, let's begin with john in temple hill, maryland, hi, john. >> caller: how are you doing, everybody? i'm a baby boomer, i'm 71 year's old and i have experienced a lot. i come from a background where you know, my mother was the sole survivor and she took care -- he raised 12 children and i'm a product of that, i went to high school, i finished, i went to college, i was drafted in vietnam, things of that nature, so but the -- i've benefited from the gi bill and hard work and now my daughters and stuff
that they can't afford to buy a house, they can't afford to buy a house in dc area, what are people supposed to do? they work all of their lives? i mean, i was blessed to be a baby boomer but the people today that's born, they can't even buy a house, in dc a one-bedroom -- apartment just to rent $2,100 a month. >> host: so, john, are you republican -- are you helping your children? >> caller: i'm helping my children but i try to teach my children independent too because i say i'm not going to be around all of the time but they made more -- they make more money than i did and they can't even afford to live in the city. >> host: thank you, sir.
alissa quart, what did you hear from our baby boomer john. >> guest: you're not alone, this is one thing you need to remember, this is happening around the country, generational gap where you have kids in their 20's or 30's living with their parents that are in 50's and sometimes 60's and their grandchildren and middle-class people that in the past would never have made the choice but they have to now. you are seeing housing and markets like dc and new york and la becoming completely unaffordable so it is something that we do something about, though, we can try to expand affordable housing, we can recognize that potentially for different jobs like teachers, municipal workers we can set aside housing, they did that in newark, what do your kids do,
john? >> host: john is gone, he did mention they were college graduates. >> guest: you start to wonder was it worth going to college, i personally think it is in terms of identity and knowledge but i wonder if they're in debt too his kids, we don't know this, that's another thing to worry about. >> host: and two follow-ups to that, you write in your book that since 2005 there's been a substantial increase in the percentage of debt held by the middle age, some increase to more people going back to school to further education but a lot has to do with how much longer it takes to pay off the original college loans. >> caller: exactly, we need to talk about debt forgiveness to college or trying to make college itself more cost effective. what you see entire country in debt, like 80% have debt.
>> host: 42,000 going back to definition of middle class, 42,000 is not middle class in washington, d.c. >> guest: absolutely not. in san francisco 116,000 for a family qualified as lower income. every time we hear the numbers, low unemployment and high gdp, you to think about that. >> host: next call for aliss quart, carol in pennsylvania. hi, carol. >> caller: i'm interested in your nonprofit and i would like to know what you're going to be doing next, are you doing any research on other poverty issues and how can i support any researching in my 80's and retirement home, i have a little bit of time and i've been interested in this all of my life and i did all of my research at carnegie years ago in the 70's, so just tell me a little bit more about what
you're doing and what we can do to help because there's a lot of elderly people that i think could do a lot to find out the facts and present them. >> host: carol, before we get an answer, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? >> caller: yes, former home-ed teacher, i did a lot of other things after i got married and moved out of the area for a while and i ran a social service agency for hud working with poverty and did all of my research on that and have been advocate for change and humanities and social action and all kinds of things with handicap so i've been very, very involved all of my life and continue to be. and i have time.
>> host: thank you, ma'am. >> guest: economic hardship reporting project and carol, please subscribe to news letter, economic hardship, economic economichardship.org. you can donate if you can. what we are trying to do is gather voices, a quarter of contributors are lower income but are professional journalists whom are now on welfare, almost been evicted. really what has happened to journalism in the country is untold story and that's part of what we are trying to do with economic hardship reporting project. thank you for your interest. >> host: bob in tyler, texas. >> caller: great to be on, thanks so much for this, i
tweeted a question under political that i will repeat here, i was wonder wondering if you have any metrics on private schools versus success of public school students and if you have a metric on two parents in the home until the person graduates from college or whatever? that's about it. >> host: thank you, sir. >> guest: he kind of got crackly at the end, metrics alternative schools versus public schools. >> host: he's looking for success rates and also two-parent homes? >> guest: in terms of public schools to include prek, universal prek, can i speak to that the rates of success when kids have school when they are 4
and 5 and now 3 it's much better, head start has worked on that promise and middle-class people that i talked to it made huge difference when new york city instituted, 20,000 seats of 4 and 5-year-olds to 65, if that happened there would be so much less pressure in cost of day care which we haven't discussed as well as educational outcomes, it's a win-win situation. >> host: so go to the day care situation, two parents working or one parent, single parent and cost of day care. >> guest: when you think about two parents it's, you know, elizabeth warren wrote the two parent trap and what we are seeing a lot of people working because they have to and want to and same-sex couples want to and it's important thing to have meaningful work life as well as monetary level but what you're
seeing is you're seeing 9% of day cares now at off hours. after 5:00 in the evening, early in the morning. i write about the phenomena, i call extreme day care, that's because we don't necessarily have decent working hours, back to the question employment, something that's putting huge stress on the middle class, it's not the problem of two parents working, it's the problem of day care and the strange hours that they're not being asked to work. >> host: alissa quart, a city that's been transformed in the last 20 years, seattle, hi, eric. >> caller: hi, thank you, the problem that i have is, you know, with the opioid crisis and how the crack problem was treated in early 80's and 90's, but what i mean by that
i know people who still have a small amount of marijuana and it is stopping them from getting housing and employment and always the first question asked and mostly white people who are have perhaps with opioid epidemic they are making it's a health problem and what that is really not a health problem, a lot of these people on elicit drugs and they will put up under this banner they simply have the problem and also the job issue, goldwater made a joke when he was running for president, he said the lowest unemployment for blacks was during slavery, all of us had jobs, trump seems to always bring up the point but our unemployment rate is always twice as high, it's high -- undocumented people in the united states.
black people's income is lower, could you give me a basic answer on why we are always the last and first, thank you. >> eric in seattle. >> guest: one of the things i found in my book it's a known thing that there's a a lot of bias when people are hiring people of color and a lot of bias when people hiring women as well and that sets back some of the subjects of my book who are single moms, people of color and female often, they are trying to raise their kids and one subject had been layed off, journalist and she sent out 200cv's after layed off, she left her job because she knew he would be layed off and she didn't get a call back and that's bias, pr jobs that she was overqualified for and she knew it. she said, you know, i'm -- i'm black, middle-aged, how am i going to get this to change my
career, i think we need to start factoring in too when we are encouraging people to start their lives over that we have employer bias, there's ways to check that, we could have gender neutral hiring and we could have people's names redacted so a certain level of bias gets cut off of the process, right now there's not a lot of corporate hiring is happening. >> host: alissa quart, are you pleased -- is it a good thing that apple has -- should new york city and arlington be excited about that. >> guest: you mean amazon. >> host: so sorry. >> guest: the new october -- octapus in town. i don't think the tax arrangement is positive for new
york city, 7 trains to get hyperlocal is overloaded and i take the mta all of the time and i feel like that would be a real problem and i would like to see amazon helping making the city a better place, the subways better, investing some of the money in that if they will do that in our city. >> host: andy, you're on with alissa quart. >> caller: i'm wondering what remedies you have, you have named some of them and how we would go about paying for them, for example, subsidized health care, subsidized child care would make a huge difference for people who are struggling to make those payments, but what part of our budget which is already in trouble would you use to provide those payments? thank you. >> guest: well --
>> host: first of all, andy, do you support using federal dollars to -- to subsidize those things? >> caller: i would definitely support the health care because i think we have a very inefficient health care system. it could go at a certain level and private insurance could still be available to supplement it. so and as far as child care i haven't really studied that, i'm not sure. >> host: okay, thank you, sir. >> guest: well, at the very least some child tax credit, $1,500, we could have a substantial substantial child tax credit, people talk about something called universal basic income which is income guaranty where people, many citizens or all citizens oh in the country would get a certain amount of month, families would get certain amount of month that would offset some of the costs, 12,000 to 2500, i would like to see that concentrated on people
taking care of family members, be elderly or young people. you are getting paid to take care of a needy individual and that's -- there's a recognition of that and this trouble of that, so i mean, there's plenty of place that is we could be taking money from, not the military but i don't know, but i think that it would certainly create jobs, i don't think child care is that expensive. if you look at local level and you look at countries in the world that are developing nations, maternity leave, child care, this is not -- it's all sorts of countries, it's canada. >> host: you write pardon me in your book that in 2013, 28% were living with single parent, 78% of single parents were mothers and that the cost of having kids
has risen substantially including just the cost of having a kid. >> guest: yeah, the line is we can't afford to have children and also we work all of the time to pay for families we barely see and so this is sort of the really parts of the book which is not just a bummer, a lot of the people in the book have natural, you know, resiliency and bounce back and decent things happen to them, it's uphill battle once you have a kid. mothers or something like $11,000 less than childless women and less than men in general. and it becomes motherhood penalty which afflicts people once you have a child for everything from day care to the way your bosses treat you to bias at work when you're pregnant. but i personally also saw something else when i was reporting it, i call it the motherhood advantage.
>> host: which is is? >> guest: motherhood advantage is a study done by the federal bank in st. louis that show that is mothers are more productive than women without children, they studied 10,000 women and in terms of sheer output and i have seen, this i have seen greater concentration on the people i interviewed and in my own life, greater leadership skills, recognition of other minds, you know, like you recognize how kids think and suddenly you have to deal with lots of different situations as a worker and it can help to have like force a 5-year-old to get in line in the morning. surprising advantages to being a parent and applying the skills to the workplace. >> host: susan calling from cascade, wisconsin. >> caller: i'm a scientist with masters degree and my husband and i made conscious decision not to have children when we
were forecasting what to do in our life and i have noticed that many of my friends who are in stem areas as well as colleagues, these women are not -- choosing not to have children and i'm wondering if that's a trend that you're seeing that women in the stem areas are either choose to go defer or to forego having children at all? >> guest: well, great question, generally in academia, study many more successful academics chose not to have children but -- which is quite sad but also depending on your outlook, i guess, but generally we have the lowest birthrate since 1978 in the country, 1.76 children which i always laugh what the 1.76 looks like. 1.76 kids now and the main reason that millennials have given the unaffordability of kids, so this is something that you're seeing in all walks of
life so every time you look at the rosy numbers you can sort of think about that, well, real people feel like they can't afford kids, what is going on in the country and i hear you, carol. >> host: all right, let's hear from harry in california, hi, harry. >> caller: hi, yeah, i have lived in santa maria, california, since 1971 to 2018, to present date. can you guys hear me? >> host: please go ahead, we are listening, harry. >> caller: anyway santa maria, california is mostly farming and we've had a lot of issues here with housing and-but worst thing we've got corruption, police department, code enforcement, child care, i could go on and on, i have lived here for a long time. i started volunteering 34 years ago to clean my neighborhood up and once you start getting
involved with the government and finding out how it operates, anybody can find out that there's a problem. if we don't take these individual cities, san luís obispo, salinas, find out what's what's the heck is going on in the city we will never get to the bottom of the problem, we have people standing on top of houses having party every night over here keeping us up all night, we have crimes, thousands of cars stolen every year, blah, blah, i could go on about this stuff. >> host: all right, we will have to leave it right there, we appreciate it. my guest alissa quart doesn't know about the specifics. >> guest: i don't. >> host: let's go to the beginning, i have lived since 1971, alissa quart could you afford to buy the apartment or rent the apartment that you grew up today? >> guest: you know, i think i
personally could but that might be partially because i didn't grow that up that affluent. for the most part, most of the people that i know there's a real downward of mobility and there was a study done that in -- people born in 1980's have a 50/50 chance as being economically successful as their parents and people born in 1-9s 40's have 92% chance of being as successful as their parents when they were 30's in the 70's, it's a real shift in mobility that we are talking about and just to that caller's point, i actually helped work on film in poverty in santa barbara, middle-class people living in their cars, there's huge amount of income inequality in the cities, pretty astounding. >> host: last call from sheila
in maryland. you're on book tv. >> caller: hi, how are you? >> host: please go ahead, ma'am. >> caller: yes, so i am -- i was a single african-american mother of two with associate's degree, par legal degree and i had to work 3 or 4 jobs just to provide for my family so that we could live at what is called -- what some may called then in the early 2000 average. but what it was doing was -- not only taking me away from my family so that they could be affected by other socioeconomic divisions but it was affecting my health in that i was working
around the clock, i couldn't sleep, i had to make decisions between the cost of food or getting gas, who is an average family today in america? i don't think average -- middle-class families exist. i think it's the poor and the rich. all that in between is gone. it's no longer there, what you had earlier. what my parents had and tried to show us. >> host: sheila what's your current situation, you talked about the fact that you had to work several jobs, are you still working several jobs? >> guest: no i'm not, thank god, the kids are grown but it's still -- i can see the struggle in them. i would love to have the american dream but the rent in
this area is ridiculous. outside of washington, d.c. thank you, ma'am. >> guest: gosh,i wish she was in my book, she could easily -- your voice, your tone, your honesty, the depths of your experience reminds me of subjects i interviewed for this book and i really feel for you and i just can imagine what that was like to have gone through that education and to still be working all of these different jobs and then seeing your kids reproducing many of the same issues that you had, so, yeah, i mean, and there are solutions out there we are just not necessarily as a country embracing them. >> host: so alissa quart you started off our discussion by saying that it's not your fault necessarily, i could hear my mother and her generation saying, well, if we couldn't afford something, we didn't buy it, we saved for it, we put our money away, we saved and all you kids do is want, want, want,
which is all true. [laughter] >> host: so isn't there a factor that we have become a little bit addicted to debt? >> guest: consumer society. that's absolutely true. my first book branded was very much about this, about teenagers, but when we are looking at the debt, the debt is not for, you know, tv flat screen entertainment systems, it's not for computers even, those are actually pretty much -- they cost the same or sometimes less than they did 20, 30 years ago, right, food is usually not the problem either, it's education, it's day care, it's health care, it's housing. it's like the basic needs. so i don't know what your mom would say to that. i think that's something that people of that generation, they are buying a lot of avocado toasts, actually they are probably buying college education. peter: squeezed is the name of the book, why our families can't
afford america, the author alissa quart thanks for being with us in miami. >> what a pleasure, thank you. >> host: we will introduce you to crystal flemming, how to be less stupid about race and we will be talking with her and taking calls as well. a full day of coverage here from miami on book tv ahead. thank you very much, that was a lot of fun. [inaudible conversations]
>> we want to introduce you to sociology and studies professor at stoney brook university, her name is crystal flemig, author of a couple of books, the most recent is this one, how to be less stupid about race. so who is stupid? >> anybody the country? >> you and i both? >> i talk about my own learning experience, so in fact, yes, as a young person i absorbed racist ideas just like anyone in the society, the difference between you and i, peter, a lot of the racist ideas don't benefit me, we can make the argument that it doesn't benefit anyone really in
final analysis but because of the way racism works as a minority when i absorbed racist beliefs that disadvantages me in way that is it doesn't disadvantage white americans. >> host: okay, let's break that down into two? >> guest: i'm from tennessee, i grew up in the east coast, we moved to new jersey when i was pretty young. thanksgiving is coming up, right, who tell it is narrative, so in school we learn that, you know, thanksgiving was some joyful holiday and joyful encounter and we don't learn the real history of settler colonialism, really since the inception of the country, i didn't learn a lot in history classes about systematic racism and where it comes from and the fact that it exists in the first
place, i absorbed unconsciously the idea that whites are superior, this is american religion, the superiority of whites, as a group but also particularly white men. .. .. is not about you personally but let me say one thing i explained in the book. in addition to talk about systemic racism in the book is about broadening the public understanding of white supremacy. a lot of people think of white supremacy as the kkk or white nationalism and it is that but as i write about in the book
white supremacy is a social, political and economic dominance of people socially defined as white. knowing that who counts as white has changed throughout our history but being counted as white, , being socially recognid as white carries with it a host of economic privileges, social privileges. the conversation to decide about economics, , i'll give you a clr example of what economic dominance what has been with white supremacy. the institute for policy studies estimate by 2020 that median white households will own 86 times the wealth of the meeting african-american household. that number for latin families can white phones will have about six to eight times the wealth of latin, by 2020. less than two years. the racial wealth gap is widening. we can look white man in politics, wightman represent about 31% of our population. they hold about 65% of all elected offices.
we can look at these whether it's politics, economics, and see white, this is not just about the kkk. it's about that but it's also about the association between whiteness and economic and political privileges. >> host: the push back to be i can work hard and i earned whatever i get. >> guest: exactly that. we can look at people of color, people of color were card but then they have to also do with the burdens of racism. so one of the things i write about in the book is racial denial like the denial of racism and the fact is even if you're working class, white person in this country or even poor there's a way which because of the history of systemic racism it's easier for you to get out of intergenerational poverty or working-class status and people of color. we can look at everything in our history from a come , go back te homestead act, how many whites
build wealth through hundreds of millions of acres of land in this country were quite literally given almost exclusively to white people. we can look at the g.i. bill and the 20 the 20th century and see how many white families were able to build middle-class households, access college and build wealth in ways that were systematically denied for people of color. that's not, it's just we can look at any point in our history and see that even if you aspire to be a fair-minded person, you see yourself as not seeing race, our country was built on racism. if were going to do anything about it we have to first acknowledge that reality drama the book is called "how to be less stupid about race." professor crystal fleming is the author. here's the numbers if you'd like to join our conversation this afternoon. 202-748-8200 for those of you in east and central time so.
202-748-8201 for those of you in the mountain/pacific time zone. we'll get to those as quickly as possible. quote from the book from a critical race perspective the u.s. is not and never was a benevolent nation of immigrants. >> guest: yes to what i learned growing up in this country that has to do with racism, it's that myth, the myth of american exceptionalism that this this is a land of opportunity and went to unpack that and see for whom was the opportunity of the american project conceived. we know that from the very beginning it was mainly conceived by and for white men. and so those with try to widen that american project about to fight against a foundational principle of white male supremacy. that's hard to do when it was bacon from the beginning. it is something that's an ongoing struggle. that white folks, white and
every sets an important part to play again, that is the white supremacy that is baked into our political and economic system. >> host: how do you challenge that? how do you change that, professor? what is one way you are recommending? >> guest: one way i recommend changing it, particularly for white folks, is to get educated about it. of course there's my book but there are many books that also reference. read my book read the endnotes 1.2 further reading. but to get educated and also to understand that the racist past is not over. i don't know, you must know who mike ditka is, right? earlier this year he said that there's been no oppression for 100 years, okay? so the 90 thinks it was no oppression in 1918. that's before the civil rights movement. that sort of did not the systemic in our society in large part because people don't study
the history. they don't have to take a required course on it, most people don't. so i think understanding we then indoctrinated to believe that we have an equal playing field when we really don't is a first step. and then realizing that wherever you are in your neighborhood, in your institution, and your educational system we can use our influence, seer of influence to bring attention to this history and explain how it is connected to the present. >> host: why did your family chattanooga? >> guest: my mom says -- my mom left for marriage. she married my stepfather and part of leaving the south for also meant leaving my family lived. when the things i talk but in the mother never talk to me when i was young about racism. like she didn't address it. it wasn't till i get older and i started studying these issues that she began to share some of her own experiences, that should
kind of tried to protect me from growing up. >> host: such as? >> guest: living through desegregation is something we didn't talk about until i was older. the racism that my mother has experienced in her career, interprofessional at the something she didn't talk about with me until i get older. and so we have learned from each other really, and having conversations about these issues. >> host: to african-american mothers give their daughters that talk, like african-american parents give -- >> guest: it varies from family to family but i will say it's very different for me as a black woman and having grown up as a blocker. i'll give you a concrete example. so i write about systemic racism and the police in the book in my teaching and in my writing. but going up i had no idea that there are special concerns the minority communities have in relation to the police.
and so when i was a kid we had learned probably in the second grade we just learn how to call 911 if there's problems, emergency. one day came home, my mom was supposed to be behold. i knew every day when like jeopardy jeffrey went off and we lafortune came on come something like that. i knew it that the mom have to be held that she wasn't home. i just learned call the police. picked up the phone and dialed 911, and they came over and i didn't know that this could be a problem. i make popcorn. the officer, they watch tv with me. my mom comes home, she sees squad cars outside the apartment. she's devastated and frightened. this story could've gone in many different directions. in fact, she came in. the officers explained why i called. nothing bad happened, at least not that i could see. there is no horror story that emerged from this. they grip, thinking the cops are our friends. i didn't get the talk.
i didn't get a talk like weight, when you encounter an officer you have to be careful, understand your under threat because of racist beliefs and ideas about black people, and the blackness. i didn't know this. because i grew up in the bubble i had to actually learn that outside of my bubble gum systemic racism and tax them is of color, people of color very specific in dangerous ways. so it's not because i experienced trauma in these interaction with police or otherwise but it's because i learned about them. i spent many years in graduate school and also involved anything people of color. my first book is about racism in france. i've interviewed people of african descent about racism and the legacies of slavery across the atlantic. in doing this work, i realized i can't just look at my own public think things are good. i had white teachers were very supportive of me as a write
about in the book, but neither the person of color, in fact, many people of color don't have those experiences in the classroom. and so i think if you are a white person in particular you need to realize you are in a bubble. most white americans do not have closed meaningful relationships with people of color. the history of segregation which is been throughout history really imposed by whites tried to distance himself from people of color. that means if you have interaction with black folks and people of color and indigenous people how are you going to know what they're going through? how do you understand a racism works? we have to care about the experiences of people that might not, i can't conform to our own if a country think about social justice and about addressing his very serious problems. >> host: "how to be less stupid about race," crystal fleming, author. ronald is calling in from monroe township new jersey. you are on booktv. >> caller: how're you doing,
ms. fleming? what i want to know is one, we don't talk more about the empirical knowledge about race and not just the social and the cultural aspects. empirically, there is only one race, the human race before the human race existed there may have been several groups that came together, separated, came back together. anyone came from africa with, they share a common y chromosome am the original mother, and then they migrated to different parts of the planet. and -- >> host: ronald, what is the significance of that to your question for professor fleming? >> caller: the significance is we are only one people. that's the significance.
there is so such thing as race. >> guest: exactly. >> caller: there are three to 5% genetic difference between the races, and the biggest difference is between a man and a woman, which is about two to 3%, which is enough to be different species. i think if we would address it from an empirical point of view, people would have made a better understanding that there really is no difference. >> host: thank you, sir. >> guest: ronald, i agree with you insofar as race was the idea of race, modern idea of race, completely fabricated. that something address in the beginning of the book, "how to be less stupid about race" is to understand race fundamentally is a stupid idea but it was created intentionally. it was created intentionally by europeans, take a european capitalist settlers who use that
idea to justify their dominance, to justify the idea of having something called a white race that was superior to others and not just superiority between, from whites to nonwhites but the category of whiteness, this made up category also has a whole thicket of mythology about which european groups are superior to others. it's a hierarchical mythology that's incredibly damaging and that was again there intentionally created to set up a system of power. on this point where an agreement at a right about that in the beginning of the book. >> host: sugar grove, north carolina. >> caller: good afternoon. how are you? >> host: please go ahead. we are listening. >> caller: sure. she was talking about the g.i. bill and it just want to give a personal story. i i haven't local, he's 93, he lived out in colorado and in
1952 he and my aunt bought a house for $21,000. i i know that for a fact becausi just spoke to him about it a few months ago, and then he told me that right now today it is worth $483,000, which just like his mind boggling and just makes me think of all the black soldiers that are that age, 92, 93 from world war ii. my uncle fought in world war ii. they are languishing in nursing homes never able to build wealth for the family. and to that point my aunts and uncles, they struggle to make that mortgage payment. they worked in grocery stores, post offices, phone companies. but even the black soldiers they came back from world war ii couldn't even get those jobs in order to get the mortgage further house. my other point is once social
security came around it didn't cover domestics and farmers. those are mostly black people. it's just amazing to learn these things and to try to talk to them about it but they don't want to hear it. it's just -- aggravating and discouraging because people in the area of the country i live in, you know, scream out all lies matter. it's like, welcome here's another example. in 1944 a young lack boy 14 was electrocuted because he was found guilty in the matter of days whistling at a white woman or assaulting her. >> host: i think we got the point. we want to hear from crystal fleming tragic thank you so much for sharing that personal family anecdote because it's very much illustrates these dynamics. they're complicated.
on the one hand, whites were allowed to have access to resources, in this case there were loans, home loans and all these opportunities connected to the g.i. bill that systematically excluded black soldiers. at the same time you mention your family members struggled to pay the mortgage. there is a reality in which it's difficult to some white americans understand that despite the own economic struggle this really kind of sometimes invisible privilege that allowed for them to have opportunities in the first place. i think you're anecdote is very important that we have to also think about how can systematically americans learn is history so that we don't have to rely on anecdotes from one person to the next which are important but that our educational system can actually be transformed in ways that teach this ongoing history. >> host: at what point in the writing of this book did you come up with the title? >> guest: pretty early on. i had the idea and i was kind of
mystified that it'd never been used. okay, i tried to google, did someone do a rewrite this title and it didn't exist yet? so pretty early on. >> host: next call is keith in buffalo, new york. please go ahead. >> caller: how are you, peter? how are you, crystal? all right. you spoke of some information in regard to race and religion. i'll just give you a quick backdrop. in the early '70s a lady by the name of nan wood became one of buffaloes first african american principles. also new york is not the most financially fiscal place but it was a good place at the time. to make a long story short, in year 78, she took 53 students to europe. the significance of me telling about the 53 students, the name of the school is public 53. at the time all 53 of the
students are all business owners, all african-american men, women and all grandparents, business owners that when we talk about race, we should talk about one thing with europe, they found out people are werel one color. it didn't matter on in america though, the only country and world that it actually mattered. but one thing -- >> host: do you agree with that? >> guest: no. but i do agree that that is a common, i call it a mythology, and experience amongst ex-pats. my first book i lived in france for a few years and got to know the ex-pat community as well in the course of the whole history of everyone from james baldwin, josephine baker and other african-americans had gone to france and other european countries and experienced a different kind of racial system where it seemed to them that the
race didn't matter of didn't matter as much. one thing i would say is that there is an american, i call it my first book "resurrecting slavery" i write about a kind of african american exceptionalism that only really exist outside of the united states, i can african american privilege where our kind of contextual acceptance in places like france, for example, allowed for the country to kind of brush their own issues of racism under the rug. so if you're black or brown person who is actually french in france racism does impact your life and the united states and partially gets used as like the global racist bogeyman to kind of brush issues of racism that exist in general and globally under the rug i think we have to be skeptical of that narrative and kind of understand from the works of whom it doesn't work. >> host: back to this cup is this book how to be less stupid written to white people or is it
written to everybody? >> guest: why people are included for sure but because i also reflect on my own extremes of the black woman who went on about these issues, it's a book for hope everyone is book for anyone who wants to better understand the origins of systemic racism at functions they. now listen it's probably not a book for white nationalist. i'm not trying to change people are committed to white supremacy but if you understand that white dominance, , it's not somethingo be proud of as part of this country legacy, that something that needs to be challenged, this book is for you, whatever your background is. i'll submit a clear in the book against we are all exposed to racist stupidities of white folks in particular because of segregation, , because of the wy systemic racism works, they are implicated in particular ways that i don't want to act as though everyone is equally exposed to racist stupidity. exposed because people of color and black folks experienced expe racism. we also have knowledge about it.
even though when i was a kid i didn't have much of personal expense to speak of but i understood is really into racism. as he got older i had my own personal experience but that also informed my research. >> host: is one of her classes at stony brook required or self-selected? >> guest: up until now it was self-selected and we just added a diversity requirement where it's not the student will have to take a course on race but it's one of the options. i think it will be interesting as an instructor to see other changes the teaching dynamic because right now i students who want to be there, who find the topic interesting. stony brook is majority-minority campus. we have an incredibly diverse student body, students from all over the world who speak so many languages in many cases, and i love teaching all my classes but it's a special close to my heart. heart. i love learning for my students
the verse expresses, students who come meet with me outside of class, folks from poland, folks from latin america, folks from south asia who share their unique experiences. and i think as an educator what of the things i am very clear but is unlikely to resume based on how you look what your expenses are or would even what your identity is. i really love it when my students tell me their stories and we can learn from each other. >> host: let's hear from richard in vancouver washington. richard, you're on with crystal fleming. >> caller: thank you. [inaudible] to look into the military -- >> host: i apologize, we're going to have to put you on hold. i think for whatever reason are both having trouble hearing you pick so we're going to put you on hold and will go to larry, larry is an phoenix, arizona,, and larry, you're on booktv. go ahead. >> caller: thank you for booktv and thank you also for
the books. i want to get that. i was wanted to know if she is aware of the economic imperative of the white supremacists do it, whether based on organized crime and especially the crystal meth industry. that's what my question is. thank you. >> host: anything you want to address? you don't have to. what about the economic, what about the economic argument that he was making in a sense that there is a supremacy in the economics of this country? >> guest: i started off at the beginning of our conversation, sorokin speak to the crystal meth industry in particular, but there's a way in which you can understand the settling of this land, indigenous land some people might think about as organized crime. there are ways in which racist ideas and beliefs were for the
majority of the countries history defined as legal. way to think about the difference between the law and ethics and morality. and for again the of this countries history it was moral and ethical to say that resources can economic resources for whites only. it was considered moral, ethical, legal to say that the political leadership of the country should be whites only. this countries very first immigration law, the nationalization act of 1790 restricted citizenship to free white people. i was considered normal, legal, ethical, and it's not ethical. and so i think that we can think about this in terms of how laws have changed, but the overall pattern of economic and political white supremacy hasn't changed as much as many of us would have like. sorry i can't speak to crystal
meth but but i can speak to tht history. >> host: and voting was restricted to land owning basically white males. >> guest: exactly. will look at this ongoing history of voter suppression. i think there's a lot when we look at political participation and a people of color have been systematically excluded from that. poor folks excluded from voting. we have to look at race and class intersect so the book also discusses the term intersectionality which comes out of black feminist thought in which an vice is to think it's a fisc it weighs about how racism, class oppression, gender oppression, these things are intertwined. >> host: professor fleming, from page 117 of your book "how to be less stupid about race," millions of white people being racist is somehow completely unrelated to articulating racist views and supporting racist policies. >> guest: yeah, yeah, this idea that you can support politicians who express beliefs
but not be racist. that you can support policies that disproportionately disadvantaged people of color but not be racist. one of the things we see in our society, and a truly again global, it's this resistance to acknowledging complicity with racism. and that really shifted in our country around the time of the civil rights movement where again as i been explaining most of this countries history what we now call racism was the countries political project. we get to a point in our history where on paper it's considered wrong to be racist. and so then the natural inclination for people is to distance themselves from the term and not realize if you're supporting racist policies, , yu supporting racist politicians, that is racism. it doesn't get more racist than that. we have to think about what does any to support politicians are endorsed by the kkk? what does it mean to support
politicians who would are endorsed by nazis globally as donald trump was? we also have to see that even on the left and one thing to talk about in the book is how people on the left sometimes try to portray racism is something only republican to do. something only concern is due and that's a lie. if we understand the racism is systemic and we have to see how both of the major parties are deeply indicated. >> host: would you consider identity politics have a racist patina to them? >> guest: i would say that this countries first and foremost identity politics was white male identity politics. i mean, it continues to be the case. in fact, the term identity politics also comes out of -- it's been turned in ways that don't reflect how black feminist the rise in the first place. but to answer your question, the only really majorly successful
identity politic project in this country was identity politics of white supremacy, and it's an ongoing problem. >> host: one thing we didn't talk about in "how to be less stupid about race" is the black feminist perspective that professor fleming brings to portions of the book. time for one more quick call and we will try more in seattle one more time. mark, you have about 30 seconds. >> caller: thank you, peter. chrystal crystal turned out to y intelligent interview and she's got a lot of good data. i just think you're missing it on the color. it's more economics than color because a white person can get very can buy going to jamaica but are they still black or you are light-skinned black, you're more brown. does that make you -- mohammad ali might, he was more white and
black. >> host: i think we got that point. mark, , very quickly, tell us about yourself. >> caller: i have worked with black folks on my life. they are just like me. in fact, i feel black because i've in sports and everything, but i would just like to ask the doctor, what's the solution? .. changes in how your race is viewed but that's not the case in latin america,