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tv   Lectures in History Ronald Walters Civil Rights Career  CSPAN  October 3, 2019 10:02pm-11:16pm EDT

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>> today, we are going to be talking about the life of ronald walter's from 1969 a 2010. doctor walter's was an imminent political scientist who talked about more extensively about black leadership and wrote about reparation and anticipates the rise of donald trump in the
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2016 election with white nationalism. walter's was one of the leading figures in african american intellectual circles talking about -- really talk about how institutional racism enacted back lives in the seventies, eighties and into the 24 century with. when you talk about ronald walter's it's important to remember that ronald waters was one of the leading if not the leading intellectuals and right now, the public intellectual isn't is something else then the proliferation of social media but ron walter was a scholar and activist that impacted policy debates and shape the way in which black policy matters were presented at the local regional and national and international level. when we think about ronald walter's, he
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really gives us a window into how we think about black politics and its evolution and the post war period. ronald walter's was there in 1938 in wichita kansas. he's going to an african american family who aren't quite professionals but are well-known and they're black fleming in wichita kansas. ron grows up and becomes a race man. he has a segregated elementary school and predominantly white high school. he become somebody who's interest in activism and a lifelong interest in democracy and political affairs and he graduates from the high school and attends wichita stayed for a short time. before transferring because of racism that encounters and tells professors you want to studies africa. when he wants to become
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somebody who works through the state department and is investigating african affairs, he's going to eventually enroll and a ph.d. program in political science in washington d.c. and his interest in africa are going to converge with providing interest in american politics and the rising tide of the civil rights movement and the black power period. the when we think about the heroic period it's between 1954 1965 between the brown desegregation decision and kansas and the 1954 all the way to the passage and voting rights act. in 1965, what's coming up is that this period unfolds in a cinematic intensity so when we think about 1954 and the brown decision which will spark hope within the african american community that full and equal
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citizenship is on the horizon. it's also going to spark scholars called massive white resistance. the resistance movement that is contoured by white nationalism. white nationalism in this sense is white nationalism which is really a political philosophy and ideology of white group interest. the idea of protecting your own citizenship rights but also protecting your own privilege vis-à-vis racial injustice and racial inequality. the idea of back presence in white schools is really pushed back by white citizens who have economic backgrounds and religious backgrounds and when we think about massive resistance which is not the clan. it's not tattooed what had two dogs who are getting into school and
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massive resistance is for people that are part of the clergy. and will attend church and women who are part of the pga and a massive resistance is organized by both white men and white women so it's protecting light interest and the white citizenship away from black perspective so i think of a massive resistance, it certainly white nationalism and white supremacy but by another name and we call that name massive resistance but massive resistance is why we get the confederate flag and the rebirth of the confederate flag. it's in the mississippi and in georgia which has become symbols of white and racial pride. and ronald walter's is a mix of all this and a massive resistance that's also the year that they are assassinated and
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emit ill is a black boy from chicago who is assassinated by whites and lynched in mississippi on august 28th. we now know he did not whistler say anything to this woman caroline bryant. he was killed just for being black and 14 and going into a store in mississippi. it's in very important for us because his body recovered from the tallahatchie river and mississippi and a cotton gin fan belt it is mutilated and this grotesque symbol and in the fact that black life does not matter in the united states of america in 1955. jet magazine from chicago and jet magazine was part of this publishing empire published tills mutilated face and is open casket. his mother allows his body to be seen in open
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casket and says he wants the world to see what they have done to her son. this is hugely important and still becomes an icon before black lives would matter and you have emmett till. 1957 is the rock central high school crisis where the president eisenhower has to send troops to protect black school children who are attending the all white or integrating all white central high school. 1960 is the start of the movement and one of the things that we need to know about iran waters is that is part of a doctorate of drug stores in wichita kansas in 1958. which predates the 1960 movement in north carolina and that lunch counter is now civil rights museum in greensboro
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north carolina. for black students at north carolina which is historically black college in north carolina started a sit in in 1960 which is going to evolve and your 50,000 students across the united states sitting in to try to desegregate both in the self and also in the north and west coast in the midwest. 1961 is going to be the freedom rise and the groups of interracial activists from the times of racial inequality. including wesley carmichael who are trying to really prove that the segregation in interstate travel is actually occurred. were going to connect with massive violence in places like anniston alabama around may 14th 1961 as going to force the kennedy administration to send federal marshals into the self and for the first time take a
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stand and terms of civil rights. 1962 they become the first in the black student to enroll penhaul miss and three days of rioting in mississippi and federal marshals again are going to be deployed and when you think about 1962, you can see the civil rights movement is in 1963 is able pivotal peak here of civil rights demonstrations and in 63 is the year where birmingham alabama and king junior who really has come into national spotlight alongside rosa parks and 55 and 56 on the montgomery alabama busted ministration. that's 182 day boycott and the 332nd day and montgomery alabama. that turns king into a national
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figure in time magazine and published by the new york times. when we think about king by 1963 he's a political mobilize or but it's really the struggle to end racial segregation in birmingham alabama that's going to transform our than lizard king junior. the king writes the famous letter from birmingham jail and in that letter, will see but ronald walter's is a big believer in democracy and his idea of small democracy and enabling him jail while he's in prison, he writes that young people who are being arrested and birmingham alabama in an effort to desegregate from birmingham alabama in the future can be remembered as heroes of the united states of america for what king characterizes as bringing all back to those deep founding fathers. and the thing about 63
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is a 63 is what's going to push john f. kennedy to really have his finest moment as far as i'm concerned as president of the united states. june 11th 1963, kennedy does a 20-minute live addressed the united states about the crisis in america. it's about racial justice and racial equality and that governor and george wallace is to learn from president for over 10 million votes and in his infamous stand at a school house store outside university of alabama right to step aside so that lucy and folks could go in and desegregate the university of alabama. kennedy talks about that but kennedy also in that speech talks about race of black babies die compared to why babies. he talks about racial justice and civil rights movements being a moral issue. he's using the
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language of martin luther king and civil rights activists and this is extraordinary. can me does the most potent presidential speech since lincoln and the welcome home address of 1965. the morning after kennedy speech early in the morning of around 1 am. the civil rights activist and naacp secretary of 37 years old was shot through the heart of the high powered rifle by a white supremacists by rain delay back with will not be imprisoned until the nineties on federal charges and we think about june of 63 there's 15,000 people arrested in the united states vis-à-vis civil rights demonstrations in 1963 so i think about 63 when it's an inflection point and birmingham
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is a global humiliation for united states because everyone from the soviet union to china and to folks in africa and other parts of europe stop calling americans savages and say that white supremacy is a global shame. there is no genuine democracy in united states. it's a critical crisis of american democracy and america standing in the global world and it's hard to remember that by 63. 64, certainly think about march on washington in 1963 and that's going to be the first and last time john f. kennedy here is martin luther king junior say speech. it's important to remember, came talked about reparation in that speech and vaulters is going to be a huge advocate and will discuss that. september 15th, 1963. four black girls are going to be killed after white supremacist
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plan a bomb at the baptized shirt and birmingham alabama. of course, on november 22nd 1963, john f. kennedy is assassinated and alex texas. these are these pivotal moments in 63. 64 is going to be the summer or threes civil rights workers are murdered in mississippi and philadelphia and show by county and in 1964 and the student committee which was an interracial civil rights activists came out of the sentence of organizing the freedom somber of the small democracy of the state of mississippi. they're going to organize and bring over 1000 volunteers and many of whom are light who will go in and try to get anything from register people to vote and to the
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creation of over 41 freedom schools and southern theater is there doing performances and in the self. mississippi freedom summer is huge in a sense of highlighting the depths of racial poverty and white supremacy. one of the things we see when we read about ronald walter's. in his last posture of fighting slavery, he makes an argument that there was slavery into the 20th century and into the 1960s with black people who were share crop-ing in mississippi and alabama in the deep south who were not allowed to leave these plantations and who are literally victims of modern day slavery that go away pass what the time period douglas blackmon to talk about in slavery by another name in that system and there's a
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documentary about it as well. 1964 is the passage of the civil rights act in july 2nd, 1964. the civil rights act is hugely important and the civil rights act is really set up both race and gender as a protective class by the federal government. it is segregates all public nominations in a accommodations. and certainly when we think about 64, civil rights activists are a major legislative victory and finally in, terms of the civil rights movement, 65 montgomery demonstration when we think about march march 5th 1965 and bloody sunday there was a turnaround tuesday and on march 15th 1965, johnson is going to
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make his speech to the joint address of congress where he said that civil rights is a national issue and he joins that struggle. he said the people that -- the demonstrators that are beaten on that bridge on bloody sunday by alabama state troopers, lyndon johnson is going to say that they are patriots and are part of this long tradition of american freedom which is really extraordinary. the president of the united states on march 15th really says he's going to push voting rights to be passed in 19 -- on august six 1965. he then would say that is basically revoked by supreme court by 2013 and shelby versus holder decision. the voting rights act provides a context for millions of african americans who have been disallowed from voting in the deep self tend to have access
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to the franchise over a period of time. and the voting rights act is something that ronald walter's devotes his life to among other things. we did when we think about ronald walter's black the black power from it is what really is going to incite ronald waters and mark the shift in his own scholarship. the movement for black studies is really going to be a movement that argues that black people are being to serviced by euro centric or white supremacists educational institutions in the united states. from kindergarten all the way to higher education. when we think of a black studies, what is it? it's the inter put this in erie on all of the fields and in terms of black study it has history,
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political science, at the apology and women study and all of these different disciplines and it does it from what walter calls a black perspective and it's a perspective that critique western civilization and critiques white supremacy and critiques racial slavery that enslaved africans which had the intellectual abilities and enslaved africans that had a real perspectives that should be shaping how we think about that history and how we think about contemporary american democracy. the thing about this move for black slaves and student unions is that this was a move to try to disrupt the institutions of white supremacy. one thing i'll push back against we take about the author and i think he does a terrific job in this book overall. he makes an argument that black studies is not quite as impactful as i think it is.
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we underestimate the black studies. it's a game-changer because this happens at both white institutions like the university rich recruits ronald waters and the black studies in 1969 to 1971. but also howard university and ronald walter spends the bulk of his career and a political science way in running different centers and if institutes and leadership and black studies transforms power as well. even historically, black colleges and universities and white power university are going to be transformed. when we think about black power and black studies, the movement for black study is the counter movement that is critical of western with a pistol malady. a pistol
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mythology is the knowledge and production of black slaves says it's not just to replace interlock for western civilization is the history of colonialism, racial slavery and we need to talk about slavery we. and by talking about the black experience in the west and will reformulate and rethink and reimagine paradigms and frameworks. not just an intellectual history, but frameworks of culture and politics and frameworks of gender, leadership sexual orientation and war, violence civil society and black study is a huge intervention of which this book underestimates. when
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we think about ronald waters, he did not underestimate. he understood it and push back against the 19 sixties and seventies were we saw the white interest in black study and black subjects. ron walter's pushes back against this idea of why control over black intellectual independence. he pushes back and the national science in ford foundations and are trying to shape or indifferent white liberals to shape the black studies by giving money to gayle and giving money to different departments as long as those departments are not militant and are not radical. this is a good time to talk about ronald waters and black power and black nationalism and his firm form of black nationalism. black black nationalism rests on three pillars that we can
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talk about how those pillars can grow and evolve. we're thinking about this idea of racial unity and this idea of cultural politics and race in this idea of self determination. ron walter's tried to pass all of those into a parodying of african unity leadership but also african leadership that was accountable to day to day ordinary black people and that is the real tension. waters went from an outsider and a black intellectual who is connected to the 1972 convention and the black political convention who's connected to these insurgent outside movements to try to reimagine black politics to becoming an insider and somebody who is advising jesse jackson as part of the national black leadership rounds and who is in a privilege but is not
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really white privilege and wisconsin it's black elise trying to convince those elites to be more accountable to ordinary people. and often failing to convince to be more accountable to ordinary people. only think about ronald waters and white nationalism, ron waters was a black nationalist and wasn't a narrow nationalist he was somebody that thought that they should have coalition but he felt that black interests were not being served within the context of american politics. even ignoring the civil rights movement and black power. there is always this pushback and is always pushing when and the black agenda, when it's the 1972 convention and this black power movement and the decade of black power which is a call to radical social,
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political, cultural information and a local regional national and global way. i disagree with the author who says that black power is fundamental and i don't think that's true. we have reform elements in black power and the nixon administration in subsequent presidential administration tries to take the movement hostage and point the movement and absorb the movement in a very specific direction. when you think about black power as reform, it's richard nixon advocating black capitalism and even though nixon advocates black power, he refuses to provide the entrepreneur and the unfettered access in the federal government to become these probable capitalist. so when we think about a black
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power. when the radicalism of black power is in trying to fundamentally alter the way in which democratic institutions in the united states work. sometimes people who are militants and radicals don't realize the radicalism of that. somebody like martin working junior, hooded and malcolm x by the end of his life does and he's pushing back against voting. we owed anyway you're going to transform this democracy is too utterly transformed the institutions of democracy. if these institutions are producing unequal outcomes, if you radically transform those institutions, you may not access but you can actually reimagine the way in which power relations between blacks and whites between rich and pour actually play out. that's what ron waters try to do so
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when we think about black power and for black studies, black studies radically alters the institutions of higher education i. matt saying it's a complete revolution but if you look at a place of a rat in the texas university of austin it changes and transforms and not just academically but is connected to support, six connected to culture and to art and to public policy. we can't underestimate that even as black studies didn't fulfill mission necessarily of its most revolutionary architects in terms of being something that was institutionalized and committed to the community. another case it happens in other cases it's deep parallel to the ivory tower. in terms of black studies. when we think about ronald walter's in this
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idea of life perspective. in 1972, the convention meets the gary of indiana and he's one of the behind the scenes figures and that national political agenda. what was the agenda? it was for urban, rural, local, regional, national and international public policy transformation. this idea of ending black poverty and ending the gap and ending racial segregation and living accommodations and also in public schools and ending the wage gaps one. of the things that ronald walter's talks about is that he spends his life talking about the wealth gap and connects the wealth gap to racial slavery and its aftermath. one of the reasons why the public sphere has a hard time, not just
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organizing itself but past the economic and political power is because of the wealth gap and where racial slavery does is it has brilliant books from everyone from the price of the pound of flesh two ed baptiste and to walter johnson and to serve then back hurt me and city a hartman and so many different others which has a study but ronald waters is arguing that the racial slavery creates enormous wealth in the united states and really is a violent transfer of that board from black labor into black hands. empirically he's correct he's. absolutely correct, one
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of walter's is pushing for black leadership and pushing for black political power he makes the claim that black people never have the political power without closing the wealth gap and what he thinks about arguing is that is not talking about wages and not talking about a good job or good salary. he's talking about assets and is talking about wealth that can be a legacy that will help generations of african americans. that's why ronald waters before they contemporary conversation of the build hour having and that what we know about in the case of reparation, ronald waters with randall robinson is talk about reparation and there's a long history of this with going back to the 19th century and
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bishop turner and of course the national coalition of the blocks and reparations in america and others. james foreman is part of this as well and going up to the united churches of half a billion dollars in 1969. this idea of reparation and he chapter of shooting for the moon and reparations we just looked at a comprehensive policy solution and something that we think about wealth and income and we think about segregation, we think about inequality and we think about why are their racial outcomes. in the 21st century, the way in which we can identify racism is by looking at outcomes. when we think about reparation is connected to the mass incarceration as well. now, by the 1970s one of the things that walter's becomes interested in presidential
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politics. he wanna talk about president politics and white power. may have studies in 1976 and 1984 and political conventions and political corrections that is very much interested in the way in which the presidency is impacting the civil rights and the movement of black political power. and they're usually interested in between grace democracy and citizenship and the rhetoric post 1960s starts to attack the moral basis of black claims of citizenship. black claims of prepared citizenship and we think about martin luther king junior in 1963 in washington. one of the main things that he says in that taxed as that we came here today in washington
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d.c. under national law to cash a check. a check that spin stamped insufficient funds and refused to believe that the bank of american democracy is bankrupt. that's what he says. in the 1960s, there's a point or even the president of the united states in kennedy and johnson justify that moral claim. kennedy says it on arsenal television in 1963. president lyndon johnson says at the university on june 4th 1965 at the very famous howard university commencement speech where he says that he can have two runners and that's been shackled and you expect in the run the race equally. and you see president johnson talks about outcomes and not just equality an opportunity and it
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involves outcomes. the moral claim in the citizenship unprepared citizenship and what were preparing is the crime as racial slavery is another century of racial segregation and anti black violence. it continues even post 1965. when you think about 19 seventies and eighties one of the things that ronald waters really challenges in a community on this is that the rhetoric coming from the united states from both republicans and democrats is a rhetoric that is abandoning this idea of black citizenship. way towards bill clinton and robert smith talks about jimmy carter and a man of the black community. jimmy carter with the nobel prize did not have black folks when he is president of the united states.
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the convergence of a republican racism started in the 19 sixties and seventies. we only have this idea of a moral repair a black citizenship and there's a consensus for several years that the crises are occurring and it's 1963 to 1968. and the tragedies with assassination of martin was urging junior and you have a symbol globally who was recognized as a symbol of that claim of moral repaired of citizenship. what's interesting for ronald waters when you think about civil rights and black power and black history is that he recognizes that by the 1970s, american politics has shifted towards neo-liberalism. the rhetoric of jimmy carter is the rhetoric of
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bill clinton and what ronald waters argues that there is a strain of that continues and barack obama and pushes back against that even as black leadership and the black community has unapologetically and phrases the obama administration. we talk well walter's in the 19 seventies and eighties, even before talking about walter's and ronald reagan. walter is pushing back against the democratic party and the fact that the democratic party by the 1970s at the presidential level and national level is abandoning black folks part of the pushback is trying to organize the folks that are part of the black caucus and the elected officials. he's trying to push them, not just further left but he wants them to adopt unapologetically a black agenda. he's pushing back against this idea that black folks are the literal bed of
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the democratic party. that it's a chain reaction that set and blow canton chose by going presiding of the mentally ill black man in arkansas to show the white folks that he's having but people being president in 1982 and the shoulders love it but you still only get 43% of the vote because white people aren't having it to vote for the democratic party which has been staying by its allegiance to blacks since the 1960s and the fact that the white electorate refuses to vote for the democratic party is a moral sin among that electorate but the party doesn't look at it that way. they do everything in our power to distance ourselves from black citizenship and from racial justice. ronald waters is a strikingly eloquent voice
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and the cbc in black leadership so may claim this will not stick. when we think about the reagan era, ronald waters looked at the ascendancy as the rise of what he calls white nationalism. he looks at white nationalism that could be racist and also something that can be just about white people trying to protect their group interests. he sees it as a combination of those things. he sees -- he makes an argument that there's a scholarship on white nationalism that from a political scientists and scholars look at black a public opinion and latino public opinion and other group public opinion and don't look at white public opinion and have that as an interest group that they block group and this society of white people trying to protect white interest. and this case it's, not just irish it's this amalgamation that is
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constructed throughout the 19 and 20th century. when we think about this idea of white nationalism, in the 19 eighties, what it appeals to is this idea of pushing back against repaired of claims and moral claims of black citizenship. affirmative action is reverse racism and black poverty is not a result of policy in institutional racism but also racial violence a glanced black women and also our bold black peoples behavior and the society in literal programs which are distorted the african american irony because the african american black work ethic is built up the united states of america kia. it continues to build it up but the argument is going to be that black people are morally defective and we continued to
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see the sign from a whole host of preservative scholars and have authors i look at a scores and into the 1990s and ron vaulters is a stalled worth figure pushing back against that. when you think about what does walter tried to do?? he makes a few claims in talks about presidential leadership and 1970s and eighties and says that black people as an electorate can do a few things. they can decide to stay home and not vote and the democratic party and they can withhold their vote and will allow democrats to be in a better bargaining position but they also say one thing that black people can do is create independent black political party and an independent political party and if black
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votes of independent black political party in the party apparatus would negotiate with the democratic party or the republican party for policy demands in the next cycle. in a way, that independent black party is never materialized even though it's indifferent movements and enumerations of national black independent political party in 1980 and others. jesse jackson and especially in 1984 was less so 88, was an example of what walter's wanted to have a black person run for president and utilize the publicity and utilize the power that they would get from the presidential run to do what? to really have leverage. they talk about independent leverage versus dependent leverage. they would mean that you can negotiate
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with white powerbrokers independently. dependent leverage which is what jesse jackson achieved is that jesse jackson was too weighed to the democratic party. you asked for concessions within the framework of the democratic party. when you think about the 84 presidential run of jesse jackson, it was usually important and jesse jackson does as the universal candidate and determined as a black candidate and tries to run universal health care and ending power pretty and all these different things and you talk about 84 being a great example of how ronald waters is transitioning into a political insider but a political insider who still concerned about black
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power and its impact on the grassroots. he's a campaign manager for domestic issues and in the jackson campaign of 1984, he's the person that's writing memos and is handling the press. he becomes a leading figure by the 19 eighties in terms of a black public intellectual but policy advocate. before bill clinton in 1992, he anticipates the rise of the liberal politician who are burning the black communities but these black communities are held hostage because the republican party under reagan and subsequently continues to be vociferously anti black in terms of its policy position. its policy position will say that if this party racist and the answer all the racist think so in love the
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party. then that's your answer. if all the policy positions or anti black, then that's your answer. but the democratic party had its own democratic party starts to fear that its connection to black votes is making less hospitable and white voters. when we think about the democratic party, under carter and clinton, tries the triangular and the affirmative action and welfare reform is really not aimed. it's aimed at a policy that is criminalizing democratic party and though loyal constituency. it's criminal justice reform and these are the thing that ron walter's pushes back at about how can you continue to have allegiance to this party that is criminalizing the black mothers who are single and criminalizing teenagers and
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throwing all these people in jail about this idea of the extortion of black power of independent political party. a party that could be the balance of power when it comes into play. that is a hard time coming into existence and because so many black elected leaders hang in the democratic party and it the two party system which really serves to preclude the strategies of creating an high policies even though there is the freedom now party and the mississippi freedom 64 and there is the county of the freedom organization of 1966 and that county black panther party is what inspires they open black panther party that we think about in this military contacts.
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they were all for that but it does not happen in a way that he anticipated. all open it up. >> i have a simple question. do you think that black power was a logical extension to integration of the civil rights movement? >> i think it's both. i think it's separate and distinct. when you think about civil rights and black power you think about these black freedom struggles as a huge play in california. they are many many branches and sometimes those branches intertwined and sometimes are separate. black power is rooted in the same tree and is definitely a different branch. we have to remember, the way politics works, people are very complex. people who are part of both movements and the naacp will
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participate in aspects of black power and i'm not talking about roy will cans. but black power and civil rights can birds but one thing we can say about black power and i think even in the past is the rhetoric and understanding is that black power and what ron waters has done is a structural critique of what's going on in the united states it's. a critique about what's going on domestically and globally. they want to understand why the convergence of militarism and racism. how those things are connected and i want to understand how it's connected at the local level and in the north and in the south and the west coast and also nationally but also in vietnam and africa and in latin america. it's to understand these things and one
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of the biggest differences and sometimes people deflate this is a black power activists because of their critique of american democracy don't believe in american democracy. by the end of his life he was making the argument that he's just talking about put war escalation. i don't think he's talking about organizing to transform the democratic institution. including black power activists who are socialist and or of revolutionary feminists who have the seats of democracy on a whole different kind of system we. when you think about ronald walter's, ronald waters was talking about how do we leverage black power to transform the democratic institution. transform those institutions and he's interested in policy and why -- why is white politics just in ten on public policy and
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illustrating one of the things waters does with white nationalism is cast a light on something that we saw nationally and globally in quote surprise in 2016 and the idea of white nationalism and the white group interests and converging around a few things. when anti black racism but converging around white privilege economically and white privilege -- it's a privilege has been borne through racial slavery. the privileges racial slavery and one of the things that walter sees is at times, black people -- black elites were not ready
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to robustly criticize against that privilege. once they became ensconced in the democratic party an economic privilege they were toast at times to go back against the levels of privilege and levels of racial animist that marked policy in the 19 eighties and nineties. it's all about brock elected officials and reagan and trump laws and crime reform. black elected officials and anybody who voted for the bill and the reform. these negatively impacted but these folks that are no longer accountable and walter's is a trail blazer and doesn't have a prescription how to win but
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sometimes we illustrates but the problems are with a huge intervention and another generation to try to answer those questions and that's what walter is did. and a lot of ways, in a moment i want to switch to happiness but the presidential leadership and white nationalism what walter sees is the fact that black politics in the way in which it moves for protests to politics at newly level. when you think about a study like this, it's all kinds of grassroots happening in the eighties and nineties and were not covering it here. walter is is connected somewhat but this is actually absolutely happening. were talking about black politics at its organized as an early level. in terms of protest the politics not mobilizing the demonstration. it's not to say
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in 1972, we saw charles digs from michigan aligned himself with richard hatter and also pan african us at the convention. that would not happen today is not happening from the 19 eighties. walter says we have to reach out and tries to connect this as a national black leadership roundtable and a faculty and all those things that are never well resourced to become institutionalized. briefly when, it comes to white nationalism, walter's sees what were all experiencing today that there is white, not just ethnic but whiteness as a socially constructed identity and the 19th and 20th century and post war precludes all kinds of
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previously marginalize white ethnics. people who cannot be part of a white anglo-saxon protestant nation. they saw that and took on the whiteness by reagan and it was catholics it was gentle say, was jews it was irish and was portuguese and it was greet. it with this or white identity that is really trying to protect its interests and these are interest that fundamentally constructed on the blacks of calling that out. black people have to understand that and work with in the context of this. the final thing all say on this until the conclusion is that walter's really understood and tried to push back against this loss of moral authority and the loss of moral authority. it's not just elevator, it's malcolm x. malcolm x is the
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person who is constantly saying that what has happened to black people and what happened to him when he spent seven years and three different presses in massachusetts was because of a series of crimes that happened against black america. he's saying it at a point in the fifties and early sixties before black power that people don't want to listen to people saying how dare you. tony morrison calls him unspeakable and unspoken truth and that's what baldwin does to. when we think about what ronald walter's tries to do. he tries to call this out and say here's what's happening and here's why we have to organize all of this. questions will. >> a lot of the strategy now alters talked about seems will be a lot easier to execute on a state and local level and that much easier task than trying to pull the leaders accountable to
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them on this level and think about jesse jackson with the primaries and thinking if you just working on the state levels which will look to achieve this more easily. and louisiana and is there a disconnect there or is he deferring to other people and with that level of action? >> i think he wants a collection connection. one of the reasons why herald washington of chicago won and became a or after the 83 election and that was a big inspiration in 1983. it's supposed to do both but one of the things i saw in jesse jackson was that he mobilizes the black voters which have not previously voted. they did the
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same thing in chicago and inspired brock obama in their move to chicago and herald washington is the mayor of chicago and when you think about that state and local parties. the theory or the thinking was that he had someone that runs for president and in 84, there is three and a half million votes by 88 and it's about 7 million or 8 million votes. that person is going to mobilize the constituency that will be easier to mobilize if people are running for president. i'm sure if chisholm had run in 1972, that there hadn't been unity she was able to get some black votes in the black panthers support but it was a
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coalition of whites and blacks and different progressives. where jesse, even though he had 15% of the white vote it's this third world coalition that's behind jesse and has a lot of black voters so i think the electoral strategy is national to get regional and local and even municipal by in to see people do this. and a lot of ways, initially the obama run in 2008 helps people and helps candidates at the local level by in subsequent elections it doesn't. because the push back and he organized pushback is so hard and the disappointment by people who supported him is so apparent that as early as 2010,
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state by state you're seeing a diminishing so that on his eight years, you'll see democratic party who is the most official that it ever at lost. not just to congress but state by state. because organized opposition run so deep. i want to talk about ron walter's as a pan african honest. we talk about walter's and a pan african asked. when we see it in the support in the movement to end the tide in south africa and he worked with trans africa and huge advocate and african independence and make sure africa is not a victim of policies and i have policies that restrict the way in which africa rolled into an
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economic superpower and walter's travels to south africa and travel to see reconciliation and pushes back in south africa as reconciliation on just how he pushes back against conversations in raised domestically and wants which is not happen in south africa a wealth transfer from white hands and white power to black hands. it's a political elite that is represented by nelson mandela. they identify the problems that will see in south africa and everything from political corruption two huge endemic poverty that will stand up to aids an hiv ease and the hot unemployment in south africa and the thing about
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ronald waters as that as huge as a functioning radically pragmatic was interested in the united states having sanctions against south africa which is something that eventually was successful despite the reagan administration and not sanctioning south africa and he's interested in real dialog and africans and not trying to do this whole idea of black people as the leaders and trying to teach the africans about their own independence and when we think about walter's and this idea of reparation, he is most domestically and globally. this idea is both wealth transferring and that is not just income because. martin is the king junior want to guarantee income which would not be enough because
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generationally, in that these wealth transfers from black labor was holding on and were aided and abetted by the government and the federal housing which was in ways that whites were able to buy homes and subsidize and even when you were gi's not able to do this. it's a source of generational wealth among whites and black people never had a chance even in the forties, fifties and sixties and you compound that with black people being shut out from the industrial way even though like the scholar joe trotter said that black folk were workers upon arrival it was not part of the unions that was part of that lack of access to income and wealth. it
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allowed the white working class to get access to homeownership any single driver of the generational wealth among ordinary whites. i'm not talking about the white elite, i'm talking about the gulf and the ordinary whites. ron walter 's, when we think about this idea of reparation or pan african isn't. this notion of power is cosmopolitan and he's usually interested in black people setting the agenda for themselves. so, it's important to remember that walter's and his idea of a black perspective is not just intellectual, he wanted to be a practical application that black people can identify the problems that are impacting their communities locally and nationally and globally. they could also organize around those problems. since its pan-africanism for
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ron walter's view as this and i generic concept. it's real tangible, constructive and institution for falters. in a way, we think about walter's in the university in the 90s is that it didn't feel really appreciated by how the upper administration before his death was planning to turn to the university but as idea of ron waters was in black institutions for the most part was very important. given no he was a black a public intellectual. you've seen him on seaspan a bunch of times, he was really connected and his idea of black power was part of the way. it's not ideological to expect walter's didn't necessarily find those liberal
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or integration but certainly was a strong grace man. this idea goes back to raise women of harriet to men and w e b do boys and these race women were believed in racial justice me who wanted to be racial justice and then just have one set so alters is going to talk to people who he disagrees with and is willing to adopt multiple overlapping strategies. for the lack of a better word and alters is reminiscent of what malcolm x talked about and others who carmichael talks about it and
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to organize some black issues., briefly and then all openness up. ron waters and barack obama -- rioters writes about barack obama and he passed away of cancer in 2010 and he's around for the oh election and had his weekly column for decades on black politics. he's both impressed by broke obama but also disappointed that obama refuses to listen and understand that his job as president is to be open to a black agenda along with other agendas. that's what he's disappointed by any realizes that broke obama's president of the united states poet waters makes an argument about in his criticism of obama is black leadership and black people as that as president of the united
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states, you have to listen to multiple agendas and then decide the importance of those agendas before you're going to attack those agendas. they listen to armenian americans, turkish americans and listen to multiple way and what walter is saying and when they're being disingenuous and they were advocating for black agenda. you can only follow the law because walter said that if you're in a society there listening to multiple agendas and how is this first black president the black president saying that he's not saying that he's even going to test, listen test listen to a black agenda. and i think that's a fair question so black people get elected in the first black president and the price is that your agenda is out for the next years, that's the prize. the
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price is a psychological prize and you cite about bronco bahama and michel obama is beautiful and their children are great. for but that is the prize. that's what walter's argues. black people can't just say that because you like the first black president that there is no black agenda and to quote that walter said is that there are so enthralled that they let this one pass. they gave this brother a pass so he's speaking with black vernacular and gave your brother or sister a past and just because you're black this is fine. it's an in house deal. when we think about barack obama and black politics walter's pushback is not because obama wasn't trying to run as a black power, he realized that obama ways the
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black power sign at the democratic convention, if obama came out on the lawn with the malcolm x t-shirt, that these things would be politically disastrous. but i mean that obama was the black president and had to ignore a black agenda. i think that is fair criticism and is much different from other criticism that trying to attack obama for not just solely advocating which no president can do. although, one of the things that waters remind us is that you got ronald reagan who was adopting throughout eight years a white agenda. ronald reagan was crippling the social economic -- when you think about the great society program that help so many poor people about trying to cripple affirmative action and civil rights
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litigation that through the two terms of reagan and subsequently by other presidents, they were following the white agenda and the anti black agenda. they were repudiating the idea of the black agenda and they were criminalizing during the 1990s by correcting black bodies to what they thought was a cultural poverty in a cycle of shame. walter's pushes back against obama for preaching about morality for black people. he says he was elected to be president with the idea that obama was about fatherless nurse or black people were about talking about myths of black people and black kids fearing that they're smart they're acting white and are all anecdotal and these myths
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persist so the bottom line for all these myths including cnn anchors telling to clip there pants is that it's their fault. and the bottom line always is racial slavery and massive incarceration and anti black violence and black women are dying at higher rates who are pregnant and no matter what their economic situation is and the bottom line, is always our fault. ron walter's push back against that. when you think about walter's for black power all the way to break obama was pushing back against the idea that in what's so interesting about that is that that narrative is so deeply rooted into the american consciousness that there's aspects of black politics to reflect that now. it's not just respectability,
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it's access to the black church and the elected leaders and the black intellectuals and being of your fault. walter is pushing back and pushing back to the age of black lives matter and all those movies are pushing back against this idea and in black bodies and its inferior and degenerative and it's politically culturally and the black genius as long as it food and as long as it's in a way where we can have a black nurse but what the responsibilities are and the burdens and the loathing and the lore is the billion dollar
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cultural industry and they push back against that and in a lot of ways that's his legacy. he's one of the most important black political figures as an intellectual and a policy advocate and someone who's willing to speak truth and not just white conservatives but also to black leadership. that's it. thank you and that's it for this week and will meet again next week.
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