Skip to main content

tv   Call-in with Crystal Fleming How to Be Less Stupid About Race  CSPAN  November 18, 2018 10:23pm-10:56pm EST

10:23 pm
isn't there a factor we have become addicted to debt? back like a consumer society that is true so talk about teenagers but the debt is not a flatscreen entertainment system or computers those cost the same or less 20 or 30 years ago. it's education, daycare, health care, housing the basic needs. i don't know what you would say to that so for some generation mayn, say they just by their kids education.
10:24 pm
>> host: squeezed is the name of the book. the author is alyssa court thank you for being with us in miami about tv. >> what a pleasure. >> live coverage of the miami book fair continues we will introduce you to a sociology africana studies professor krystal fleming come also the author of a couple of books , the most recent is how to be less stupid about race. who is stupid about race? . >> double country. - - the whole country anyone raised it has social c stupidit. that is where it starts that i talk about my own learning experience so as a young person i absorbed racist ideas but the difference is that cthey don't benefit me we can make the argument it doesn't benefit anyone but because of
10:25 pm
the way racism works that disadvantages be the way it doesn't disadvantage white americans. >> host: break that down so what racist police did you absorb so first of all, tell us about yourself. >> i'm from chattanooga but i grew up on the east coast we moved to new jersey when i was young so thanksgiving is coming up. a lot of it has to do with who is left out of the historical w narrative and who tells the narrative so we learn thanksgiving was from a joyful holiday the encounter we don't know the real history of colonialism or how religion has been used to justify racism since the inception of the country. i did not a learned a lot of systemic racism or where it comes from or that it exist in the first place. unconsciously the idea whites were superior in many ways
10:26 pm
this is the american religion the superiority of whites but also white men that is a huge part of the repertoire that by virtue of growing up here you are exposed to these ideas and i write about that in the book how i first learned to realize what was happening then challenge it and explore the issues and research. >> host: on the flipside what advantage do you see me having? . >> not you personally but one llthing that i explain in the book in addition to talk about systemic racism it's about broadening the publicli understand of white supremacy people think of it as the kkk or white nationalism and it is that but it is the social political and economic dominance of people socially
10:27 pm
defined as white but to be encountered as white and socially recognized as white carries with it a host of economic social privileges and those conversations you just had c a clear example of dominance so the institute for policy studies estimates by 2020 that median white households are 86 times the wealth of the median african-american household and white families will have 68 times the wealth by 2020 less than two years. the racial wealth gap is wide we can look at white men in politics but they hold 65 percent of all elected offices so whether politics or economics to see that white
10:28 pm
dominance isn't just about the kkk about whiteness and economic and privilege. >> but the pushback is that i feel like i earned whatever i get i work hard. >>t. exactly people of color work hard but then also deal with the burdens of racism. one of the things i write about his racial denial and the fact is even if you are a working-class white person or even poor there is a way because ofc the history is systemic racism it is easier for you to get out of intergenerational poverty or working-class status than people ofty color we can look at everything back to the homestead act how many built wealth through hundreds of
10:29 pm
millions of acres of land quite literally given exclusively to white q people. look at the g.i. bill in the 20h centuryry to see many white families could build middle-class households and scess college and build wealth and way systematically denied to people of color. at any point in history to see even if you aspire to be a fair-minded person our country was built on racism. if we are going to do anything about it we first have to acknowledge that reality. >> racism supremacy in the racial divide krystal fleming is the author.
10:30 pm
a quote from the book from a critical race perspective the us is not and never was not a benevolent nation of immigrants. >> yes growing up in this country having to do with racism that american exceptionalism is a land of opportunity. . . . .
10:31 pm
particularly for white folks is to get educated about it, so of course there are many books i referenceha and if you read my book, read the notes i point to further reading. but to get educated and also tot understand that the racist past is not over. you must know who mike is. earlier this year he said there's been no oppression for 100 years. so he thinks there was no oppression in 1918 before the civil rights movement. and that sort of denial is systemic in our society in large part because people don't study this history. i think understanding that we've been indoctrinated to believe
10:32 pm
that we have an equal playing field when we really don't is a first stab. then realizing where you are in your neighborhood and institutions and educational system we can use our influence to bring attention to this history and explain how disconnected to the present. >> host: why did your family leave? >> guest: i was raised by my mom, so my mom left for marriage. she married my stepfather and part of leaving the south for her also meant leaving where her family lives. one of the things i talk about is my mother never talked to me when i was young about racism. it wasn't until i started studying these issues that i began to share -- she began to share some of her own experiences.
10:33 pm
putting through desegregation is something that we didn't talk about until i i was older. the racism that my mother had experienced in her career and professional life is somethinger she didn't talk about with me until i got older and so we learn from each other and having conversations about these issues. >> host: do african-american mothers give their daughters to talk like african-american parents -- >> guest: it varies from family to family the bible say it is different for me as a black woman and having grown up with a black girl i will give you a concrete example. growing up i had no idea about there are special concerns that the communities have in relation to the police and so when i was a kid we learned in second grade how to call 911 if there was a
10:34 pm
problem. so, one day came home and my mom was supposed to be home by noon every day when jeopardy went off in the villa fortune came on. she wasn't home so i learned to call the police, picked up phone and dialed 911. theye came over and i didn't knw this could be a problem. i made popcorn, the officers watched tv, she comes home and sees squad cars out of the apartment and is frightened. this story could have gone many different directions. she came in, the officers explained that i called, nothing bad happened, no horror story that emerged and i kind of grew up thinking the cops are our friends. i didn't get the talk when you encounter an officer you have be
10:35 pm
carefully and understand you are under threat because of beliefs about black people and anti-blackness. i didn'ts. know this and so i he to actually learn that outside of my double systemic racism impacts families of color, people of color in very specific and dangerous ways. it isn't because i experienced trauma in these interactions with police or otherwise, but because i learned about them and im. spent many years in graduate school and also college interviewing people of color. my first book was about racism,i so i interviewed people of african descent about racism and the legacies of slavery across the atlantic. in doing this work into centering the perspective of people of color i realize id can't just look at my own bubble and think things are good. i've had white teachers that are supportive of me as i write about in the book that not every person of color in fact many don't have those experiences in
10:36 pm
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 don't have close meaningful relationships. if you are not having interactions with folks of color and indigenous people how are you going to know what they are going through and understand how racism works? so, we have to care about the experiences of people that might not conform to our own if we are going c to do anything about social justice and addressing these very serious problems. >> host: how to be less stupid about race, ronald is calling in from munro township new jersey. how are you doing this morning? i want to know why we don't show
10:37 pm
here mortar but the empirical knowledge of race and not just the social and cultural aspects. there's one race, the union race. before the union race existed there may have been different groups that came together separated and came back together. every one came from africa with a shared chromosome from the original mother and then migrated to different parts of the planet. the significance is we are only one people. that's the significance. there is no such thing as race.
10:38 pm
there's three to 5% genetic differences between the races. if we could address it from the empirical point of view but there really was no difference. >> guest: i agree insofar as the idea of race race fundamentally is a stupid idea but it was created intentionally by europeans who used that idea to justify their dominance and the idea of there being
10:39 pm
something called a white race that was superior to others and not just superiority between white t and nonwhite but the category also has a whole mythology about which groups are superior to others, so it is a mythology that again is created to set upat a system of power. so on this point we are in agreement and i write about in the book. >> host: north carolina, hello. >> caller: hello, good afternoon. i just want to give m wanted toy personal story. my uncle is 93-years-old and lives out in colorado and in 1962, he and my aunt bought a
10:40 pm
house for $21,000. i know that for a fact is expected in a few months ago and he told me right now today it is worth $483,000. it makes me think of all the black soldiers that are that age 92, 93 they were never able to build wealth for their families. and to that point, my aunts and orcles struggled to make that payment but they couldn't even get those jobs in order to further house.
10:41 pm
it's amazing to learn these things and try to talk to my family about it but they don't want to hear. it's so aggravating and disk imaging because in the areas of the country i live in, all lives matter. 1944 a young black boy 14-years-old was electrocuted because he was found guilty in a matter of days of assaulting a white woman -- >> host: i think we got the point. >> guest: thank you for sharing the personal family anecdotes becausanecdote becaush illustrates these dynamics that are complicated. on the one hand, allowed to have access to resources and in this case there were home loans and
10:42 pm
all these opportunities connected to the g.i. bill that systematically included black soldiers and at the same time, you mentioned that your family members struggled to pay the mortgage. so there is a reality in which it iss difficult to have some white americans understand despite theirwn own economic struggles, there is a kind of sometimes invisible privilege that allows for them to have opportunities in the first place. so, i think that you are anecdote is important, but we have to think about how systematically americans learned this history that we don't have to rely on anecdotes from one person to the next which are important but that the educational system could be transformed in ways that teach this ongoing history. >> host: at what point in the writing did you come up with the title?>> >> guest: pretty early on i had the idea and i was kind of mystified that it had never been
10:43 pm
used. >> host: at the nex the next cas from keith. >> guest: in the race and religion i will get a backdrop in the early 70s, we got one of our first african american principles. buffalo new york is not the most financially physical place but it was a good place at the time. to make a long story short in the year 78 she took 53 students to europe. the significance of me telling you about the 63 students.
10:44 pm
it's the only country thatne actually mattered. i call it a mythology experien experience. it's everyone from james baldwin to jesse baker and others have gone to france and other european countries. it's a different system that seems to them it didn't matter or didn't matter as much. the one thing i would say is that thereld is an american i cl
10:45 pm
it resurrecting slavery i write about an african american exceptionalism. the united states unfortunately gets used like the global racist bogeyman and we have to be skeptical of the narrative to understand for whom it works and what doesn't. white people are included for sure but i also reflect on my
10:46 pm
experiences for us to learn about these issues. it's how it functions today and it's probably not a book for the white nationalists i'm not trying to change people who are committed to the white supremacist. but if you understand that white dominance is not something to be proud of as far as this legacy that needs to be challenged, this book is for you. i don't want to act as though everyone is equally exposed. we are exposed because people of color experience racism and we also have knowledge about it. i didn't have much of a personal experience.
10:47 pm
>> host: is one of your classes at stony brook? >> guest: we added a diversity requirement where it's not that students will have to take a course on race but it's one of the options, and i think it is going to be interested to see a teaching dynamic because i have students thatig want to be there finding the topic interesting. we have an incredibly diverse student body from all over the world who speaks fo so many languages in many cases. i love teaching all my classes but race and ethnicity in particular is especially close to my heart and i love learning the diverse experiences. i get students to meet have stuh the outside of class on the
10:48 pm
folks from poland, latin america, south asia who share their unique experiences and i think as an educator of the things i'm very clear about i'm not going to presume based upon how you look what your experiences are or what your identity is. when they told me there stories, we can learn from each other. we are going to put you on hold player he is in phoenix arizona
10:49 pm
with the economic imperative of the white supremists whether it be based on recognized crime especially a but as with my question is anything you want to address? you don't have to. >> guest: i can't't speak to the crystal meth industry in particular but there is a way in which you can understand some people might think about it as an organized crime. we have to think about the difference between the law and
10:50 pm
ethics and morality and the majority of the history is moral and ethical to say that resources, economic resources were fores whites only. it was considered legal to say the political leadership of the country should be whites only. this country's very first immigration law, the naturalization act of 1970 that was considered normal, legal, ethical. we could think about this in terms of how it has changed but the overall pattern of economic and political white supremacy hasn't changed.
10:51 pm
it's how people have been systematically included from that we have to look at the race and how it discussesec intersectiointersection a lady s out of the black feminist thought and invites us to think in sophisticated ways about how racism and class oppression and gender oppression and these things are intertwined. >> host: in the book out to be less stupid about race for millions of white people being racist somehow completely unrelated to articulating the racist views and supporting racist policies.
10:52 pm
>> it's how you can support policies but is proportionately disadvantaged in color but not to be racist. one of the things we see in our society and again it is global is a resistance to acknowledging complicity with racism and that shifted in the country around the time of the civil rights movement where i've been explaining most of the country's history what we now call racism was the political project. can we get to the point in our history now where it is on paper considered wrong to be racist at a distance from that term and not realize if you are supporting racist policies, you are supporting racist politicians that is racism. it doesn't get more racist than that and we have to think about what it means to support politicians endorsed by the kkk and what it means to support those as donald trump was. we also havbut we also have to t
10:53 pm
even on the left one of things we talk abou about in the book r peoplhowpeople on the left somey to portray racism is something only republicans do and conservatives do and that is a lie. we understand it is a systemic. the identity politics comes out of this thought and it's been turned in ways that don't reflect how black feminists theorized in the first place. to answer your question, the only majorly successful identity was the identity politics of white supremacy and it is an
10:54 pm
ongoing problem. >> host: one thing we didn't talk about is the black feminist perspective. time for one more quick call and we are going to try mark in seattle. you've got about 30 seconds. >> caller: this turned out to be an intelligent interview and there's a lot of good data. >> host: i think we got the point. very quickly tell us about
10:55 pm
yourself. >> caller: i've worked with black folks all my life. i would like to ask the doctor what is the solution. >> guest: some of what you said is this notion that we are going in the wrong direction talking about color. you should read my book claims how race is defined.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on