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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 19, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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process. host: whether or not is it is convention -- contested, the chairman aims to beat switzerland-- be with his role. our minds around the idea that this could very well become a reality, and therefore those of us involved in the convention into respect to that. he spoke to reporters on capitol hill during a briefing. here i >> here is what he had to say. speakerd after becoming so i will obviously have to bone up on all of the rules. my goal is to be dispassionate and neutral. the ruleke sure that of wall will prevail. rule requires me to do that.
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i am pretty busy trying to get congress moving in the right direction. will be tough to be switzerland in a brokered convention. oure really is so much leaders can do. change a lotally of things going into the convention. for paul ryan, this is all he can do right now. night.come in as a white even floatedhner him as a potential nominee. --t: been supporting bernie sanders up to this point.
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my concern is that you look at the history. you had a brokered convention in 1968 in chicago. the democrats were basically out of office until watergate. realistically, it would have not .een for the watergate scandal my concern is as a sanders reporter -- supporter, is the fact that millions of voters have chosen for their candidate and the bosses have the option to ignore them. wonderingd, i am whether a million voter march in cleveland with help people do the right thing. give these invisible voters who they neglect.
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would be a little harder to neglect them if there were 2 million people standing outside the convention. fort: it would be very hard republicans to deny trump the nomination. on the dirt democratic side, it is slightly different. you have unpledged delegates who are free to support any candidate. essentially, on the democratic side is hillary clinton or bernie sanders wins the contest, of them have superdelegates. the superdelegates are going overwhelmingly for hillary clinton. she has an almost insurmountable lead to sanders.
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it is not until you get multiple rounds of voting that they can support wherever they want. good morning. ins talk about bringing another person. i'm a trump supporter. at his businesses. this country is in such trouble, a financial mess and i don't like the demonstrators. . cruise --cruz, he is
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getting things off of donald trump's message. he is copycatting. ,nd hillary we talking about the potential for a brokered convention in cleveland. we looked at how unobscured committee could decide the gop nomination. they could control the balance of power in a contested national convention. he writes that the rules committee would wield enormous power to influence the outcome. guest: the rule committee could
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play a role. if they want to make it easier for one candidate or another. says you have to win a majority of the delegates and eight states. only donald trump has done that. the reason this was put in place in the first place is because of 2012. campaign was worried that ron paul was stealing delegates. romney was worried about this. of have to have a majority delegates and eight states. could come back to bite the republicans this time around.
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that is the type of role they could change. committeew this will could help a non-trump candidate to become the nominee. host: delegates could even change the rules when we before convention. normally this is usually business as usual. it is pretty important what they decide but it is important to that --host: c-span has covered many of these rules meetings.
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caller: thank you for accepting my call. is we aremment dealing with partisan politics and the party has the for establishing rules for the party. we only deal with two parties usually. at the years ago election of president barack : the tea party became on the scene. it should have been an organized parties separate from the republican party. happened, the takeover of congress would not have
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happened. now the dilemma is some of the in the republican party came on the scene as a result of the tea party. now they are faced with the dilemma of having to deal with the established republican party that has been in business for many years. i would like to hear the gentleman's comment on party and why third parties do not work. sometimes do not organize third parties. we have had a a lot of talk on third parties. iscourse, the problem there
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a conservative running as a thed-party, it hands election to a democrat. that is the concern here that republicans have to grapple with. nominee and conservatives run as a third-party or trunk does not become the nominee and he runs as a third party. they would be splitting the republican vote three ways. host: independence. peace in the national journal. now it is up to bit convention delegates to stop donald trump.
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that's a pretty high hope. when we enter the first round of balloting at a convention, most of the delegates are unbound. once you get to the second and third round more than three fourths of those delegates can become unbound. in a lot of ways, this may be the best last chance for republicans who want to stop donald trump. it is to turn these delegates against him at the convention. rule 40. mentioned we had a tweet about that. does that rule require eight state wins to put in the nomination apply only to the unclear.lot and a majority of
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delegates and eight states. you do not necessarily have to win eight states. it is probably going to get rewritten regardless. so, the way it is in place now would only be through the first ballot. after that, the rules change. to steve ingo minnesota. caller: thank you. for sharing your time with c-span viewers this morning. they sure did a good job with donald. if donald is jilted at the convention and does not get the
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party's nomination and hillary begins to stumble over her , would there be time for donald to get on the ballot in all 50 states and run at 30 -- third-party candidacy? thank you very much. that is a really important point. short.eline is very the deadline is coming up in many states. elsenald trump or anyone waited after the convention, it would be too late to be on the ballot. how would a contested gop complicates the vice
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president nomination. unique on the aspect of this. convention,ontested a vice presidential slot could be a very powerful marketing chip. if you are a candidate coming in and you want to win over delegates, you can at least say that we don't agree on everything but i'm going to pick this person, someone were conservative or moderate. .hat could limit time like to haveaigns theiro that there -- picks. caller: hello.
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i am calling, i am a democrat. i am calling in reference to donald trump. i have followed him for years. he is showing that he is too rich to fail. puttingowing that he is black and white against each other. i am trying to figure out what his issues are. and theyunknown to me threaten our democracy. also, donald trump came in as a republican. i also feel that he could've walked in as a democrat. all he is doing is hijacking the republican party and i think the republican party needs to stand and fight what they stand for. she had an interesting
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point. is it easy for him to run as a republican or as a democrat just in the term of getting delegates? guest: it would be easier for the republicans. they wish they had the same democrats to support a debit -- different candidate. thank you. i appreciate the time. my first question is in regards to rule 40. i would like to know the speaker's opinion on whether you believe the gop is going to attempt to modify or change rule 40 in order to block donald trump.
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now, -- thes right way it is right now now, he would not need rule 27. please comment on that. my second question is if you could comment on the e-mail issue pertaining to hillary. -- hat a divergent divergence or is there a criminal indictment possibility. guest: rule 40 would not manage -- matter to donald trump. majority of delegates and eight states. i brought that up as an example but it could be rewritten before the convention.
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about the e-mail issue? guest: i think it is going to continue to come up for her. it feeds in to the argument that she is untrustworthy and that she's hiding something. this is something republicans are going to attack hillary clinton on all the way into november. my beef is with the primary system. we end up getting romney and now trump. he reminds me of aaron burr. i will take your comments. thank you. guest: this is an overlooked part of the primary process.
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open caucuses.d a lot of states have closed caucuses. so far, trump has done better in the open contest because he has relied a lot on bringing new people into the process. polls,look at the exit he is doing just as well. success has also found among ideological republicans. it helps someone like ted cruz. we will also be covering a donald trump rally in arizona. that is this afternoon at 2:00 p.m.. the wall street journal asked the question, can the wisdom of
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the crowd pick the next president? they are bringing together the guesses of thousands of people. in particular, on the issue of a brokered convention, they pivoted their poll and here is what it said. this is the track. rising upe the number until tuesday. in then it kind of drops off. i also want to show a tweet. some interest in people of whether it is a media idea.
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a brokered convention would be much more exciting. out thatth to point donald trump could have a great shot of wrapping this up before we get to the convention. it is tough to stay with that idea right now. knowobably won't even whether it will be contested until june 7. that is when these big states will vote. donald trump is still in a good position to have this thing locked up. i have a fundamental problem with the concept of superdelegates and particularly
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winning an entire state. how is this the concept of the constitution was based upon? i am not a trump supporter but this seems unfair. if they are not going to accept him as a nominee, why did they let him to submit in the process at all? why did they not to stop him from being? to havet fair superdelegates that have their own choices and then you have people who go to the polls and vote and select the candidate that they want and then superdelegates will turn right around and select two they want. who they want. there is not actually.
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who are delegates deciding this. i think it can be a little confusing. even if delegates were planned, i think that is something a lot of trump supporters are going to bring up. if we do end up having a contested convention. host: question for you on twitter. says, who is eligible? could someone like romney seven? guest: technically yes. looks like after multiple rounds of voting, the rules would allow for another
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candidate to step in at that moment to try and bring the delegates over to his side. the possibility of that would be pretty slim. as a donald trump supporter, if they knock him out, we will all write it in his name. and i to be a democrat changed and voted for romney. what if we end up getting, an empty suit. thank you. republicans do not face a lot of good options at this point. either you are for trump or against him. you will have a large faction of the party that is not happy. it would be very tough for them to beat hillary clinton who will
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likely have a united democratic party behind her. host: obama's approval rating rises as election heats up. it is higher than the 37% average of residence. -- presidents. guest: we've seen some reporting this week that obama is ready to play a role and help it did nominee win. he wants his legacy to live on i think it certainly helps. obama is not occupying the spotlight that he was a year ago.
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president obama can certainly play a role in raising money and at rallies. host: let's hear from our republican line. i just wanted to mention to donald trump supporters crying if they have more delegates than anyone else, i am one none of them cried president gore. this great dealmaker should be able to make a deal to form a coalition. that,.cannot do this is an empty suit. it will destroy the republican party and this country. leaders do not whine.
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weler: adam, i was wondering were talking about congressional districts. the delegates that are chosen that can go to the convention, have you ever read a book called america's lost opportunities 2012? it was the latest edition in october 2015. variousd about all the shenanigans that went on in the 2012 convention. the rules committee of rnc at the convention actually changed the rules to change the threshold of states needed.
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this book is very factual. it was not a matter of romney worried about ron paul. it was actually the opposite. .t was an orchestrated in fact, the changing of the rules right before the convention, that was something the media put under the carpet. ron paul campaign was certainly organize and make sure they had all their delegates organized in 2012. this is going to be very important. they need people to run for delegate slots. they need to make sure those people remain loyal to them. host: you can read his reporting at national and also follow him on twitter. guest: thanks for being with us.
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guest:thank you. >> live every day with policies that impact you. coming up on sunday morning. he will join us to talk about the congressional elections. henderson -- wade henderson will join us to discuss the nomination of chief garland to the vacant seat on the supreme court and the history of nominating and voting to the high court. hart who will talk about the efforts to bring attention to poverty. c-span to watch washington journal beginning.
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join the discussion. on the communicators. bring broadband the fcc is expected to take of the proposal at the end of march. we will talk with the policy director of the benton foundation and a visiting scholar at the internet policy. we are drawing brendan sasso. low income consumers need access to broadband. it is unclear to me that congress would be able to pass a support that is directly aimed at low income users. this congress has not been particularly supportive of folks
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in poverty. the conversations on the hill have been hard to decipher. >> there is a potential that the fcc is putting the cart before on the horse. they are adopting broadband service, but we don't know if we need nine dollars a month for 10 million.r $45 and the fcc has simply not done that level of analysis. announcer: watch the communicators monday night on c-span two. documentary filmmaker ken burns and harvard professor henry louis gates junior were part on a discussion on black lives matter and the 2016 presidential campaign. from the national press club this is one hour.
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>> welcome to the national press club. i am the washington correspondent for the salt lake tribune and the president of the press club. our guess today are documentarian ken burns and henry louis gates junior. i would like to welcome our c-span and of the radio audience. you can follow the action on twitter. #npclive. i have asked that each of you stand briefly as your name is announced. please hold your applause. from your right, michael fletcher, senior writer for espn and the moderator of the luncheon. [applause] channel nine.
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and jeff ballou, news editor at out to zero. sharon rockefeller, president and c.e.o. of weta. elizabeth, washington bureau chief of "the new york times." skipping over our speaker for a moment. alison fitzgerald kojak chairman of the press club's board of governors. skipping over other speaker for a moment, lisa matthews, vice president at hagers sharp and a member of the speaker's committee who organized this luncheon. patricia harrison, president and c.e.o. of the corporation for public broadcasting. amy henderson, the historian emeritus of the national portrait gallery. joe madison, host of "the urban view" on sirius-x.m. gil klein, american university and a former press club president. and finally, john hurley of hurley consulting, a press club member. \[applause] >> thank you, all.
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race continues to be part of the american fabric and the two men joining us today have opened the door to compelling discussions of how it impacts much of american life and culture. through their works, filmmaker ken burns and harvard professor, henry gates jr. shows how politician influenced our economic future and past. burns' documentary have given us insight to facinating and troubling parts of the american story, be it jazz, the civil war or baseball. i'm particularly fond of burns' national parks documentaries and am proud to say he's a fellow national press club member. gates has extended his work beyond the classroom to his pbs series "finding your roots" which shows how diverse racial, religious backgrounds challenge our myths. late last year, they launched a series of conversations about
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race. hoping to provide a forum that would encourage participants from having an either/or response to racial components. both have documentaries on pbs. burns'mier of documentary on jackie robinson is on april 11 and 12. gates documentary will premiere in the fall. today, a break from our tradition, i've asked john fletcher from espn's the undefeated to moderate his discussion given his expertise in the field of sports. the undefeated is a digital site will explore the intersection of race, sports and culture. the new effort will generate stories and content for its own site as well as other espn platforms. it's scheduled to launch this spring. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the national press club, ken burns, henry louis gates and michael fletcher. \[applause]
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ken: good afternoon. i first of all want to thank the national press club for inviting us back and for giving us the opportunity to change their normal format in this way and i'm very grateful to be back here. i have a lot of thank you that are necessary. first of all, the film that was referenced, that thomas referenced on jackie robinson was produced and directed by sarah and david as well as myself and written by sarah burns and david mcmahon and i wish they could be here to participate in the discussions of this project. i do not go anyway without my beloved network. as represented by its extraordinary president, now 10 years in office, paula kerger. \[applause] ken: or my longtime production
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partners and longtime even for ken burns means 35 years, 40 years and that's weta. many people here from weta. but the person, sharon percy rockefeller who is also a good friend. and we've enjoyed funding from two organizations. principally the corporation for public broadcasting and i'm glad that pat is here. and also we've enjoyed the support for 35 years from the national endowment for the humanities and its chairman, bro adams, is also here and i'd like to thank those who i have forgotten. [applause] the events in charleston of last june disturbed and disrupted skip's and my equilibrium tremendously. it's not that we're unfamiliar with that level of violence. it's just too much. and we reached out to then-mayor joe riley to talk about what we could do. we were pleased that the confederate flag were removed
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from the columbia, south carolina, state grounds. [applause] and it's true. i'm glad you're applauding. symbols are important and this is a hateful symbol. not of even people's history but their resistance to progress. most of the presence of the confederate flag arrives in our consciousness after 1954 when brown vs. board of education. so it's not somebody's history we're taking away but in fact we're acknowledging this represents resistance to an american ideal of equality. but we felt that while it was important that a symbolic change could be made, it was equally important that we just not leave it alone. it was like oh, good, now we don't have to talk about race anymore. which is what always happens after that, and skip and i were looking for ways to figure out how to do that. and mayor riley asked us to come down and we began a conversation about race. we continued it in pasadena. we just came yesterday from austin where we were at south by southwest.
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we're heading to george washington university tonight and to the brooklyn academy of music on wednesday night. and i, you know, we sincerely want to do something that is preoccupied all our of our lives' work but doesn't exclude people but includes people and to try to move the discussion a little bit further. and so my greatest thanks today is to my friend, dear, dear friend and partner in this crime, professor henry louis gates. \[applause] henry: i have the same angels on my list of thanks. to whom i owe so much, but i have to start with, and of course it's sharon, it's paula, and pat. and -- but i have to start with sharon rockefeller. i met sharon rockefeller in 1967 in the hills of west virginia because we both are west virginians.
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here transplant west virginia. my family lived in the 30-mile radius of where i was born for 250 years. so you could say either my family had great stability or we were incredibly lazy. \[laughter] but when sharon married jay rockefeller i was an undergraduate -- well, i was finishing high school and i went off to yale and i wrote my senior project, the scholar of the house project at yale, about jay rockefeller's 1972 gubernatorial campaign. you remember teddy white, theodore h. white, president? well, i was going to write theodore h. black. one small problem, jay lost. so i had to write the unmaking of a governor. but they were here in washington. sharon became involved in public television. and, you know, from the beginning we had a very close connection, unusual connection,
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and she would say, you should think about making documentaries. and i was premed like every smart little black kid i knew at yale. like smart kids, what's his name, ben -- ben carson, yeah. i ran into him -- ran into him at labs every once in a while. and i found a way. and i started watching this guy ken burns who had this capacity to tell stories. i love great storytelling and i love great storytelling because my dad, god rest his soul, whom sharon knew, was a fabulous storyteller. and i thought, i could never be a storyteller like my father but maybe i could find my way in this new medium and maybe through some back door i could become a documentary filmmaker. and paula kerger was in new york, and executive there before she came here and i got to know her.
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and she was so encouraging. why couldn't you think about making documentary films? and why don't you find your home here in new york? and as soon as i did that, she welcomed me so warmly she left and went to washington. but when she did, she introduced me to not a force of nature but a force of culture. and a woman who was running the corporation for public broadcasting. and the three of them will be my guardian angels, my advisors, my protectors, giving me sage advice all along my career and through a miracle -- i don't know about you all. who each of you has a day job. i have a day job. professor at harvard. in english and african-american studies. i moonlight. i have a second job. i made 16 documentary films.
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if i could -- if they were all dedicated appropriately, they would be dedicated to sharon and paula and pat, with a little footnote, in homage of my hero, ken burns. [applause] >> i wanted to start a little conversation about race. people talked about this for decades. i remember covering myself when i was at "the washington post" bill clinton's conversation on race. i'm curious what you two hope to come from this conversation a, and b, about preaching to the quality, how do you get those other views involved? ken: well, i think the thing that limits anything about race is we tend to do it dialectically. it's complicated. i think what we tried to do in our own work, in his scholarly work and skip's documentary films and the work we've done over the last four decades there
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is a kind of nuance, there's undertow, there's complications, it's something that something may be true but also the opposite might also be true at the same time. and it's very important to understand all of those sorts of nuances so that you can have a discussion that doesn't just add fuel to the flames of our already divided rhetoric. we are so dialectically preoccupied right now. everything is black or white, old or young, red or blue state, rich or poor, gay or straight. we wish to describe a more inclusive thing. we'll give an example and let skip respond too. when you're in charleston, south carolina, and having a conversation with 1,800 people in the center just a couple blocks away from mother emanuel, where the tragedy happened in june of last year, we were in a town which welcomed 48% of the
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africans who were stolen from their country, their continent, and brought to the united states. it's the ellis island of the african narrative but without a welcoming statue of liberty. and what mayor riley, even though ex-mayor riley proposed to do and is in the process of doing -- and skip and i are helping -- doing a memorial. it's very ambitious. very important. but it's not trying to say that if you add this story you are taking away someone else's story. what you're doing is adding to the story and that's what we need to have. we know that we are, you know, in pursuit of happiness, that we are a nation in the process of becoming and that requires process and that requires inclusion. when thomas jefferson said, all men are created equal, he men all white men of property free of debt. that's not what we mean anymore. henry: some people mean that.
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ken: we find ourselves now in a particularly retrograde moment where this discussion is more critical than ever before and a discussion that stays out of sort of the superficially and conventional wisdom of what passes for media in the conversation. i think skip and i are just hoping some way to see if we can join a discussion and warn people as a white manned and a black man that is the conversation we wish to have that brings everybody around. it doesn't try to make anybody wrong. henry: ken and i are i think in a pursuit of a more complex narrative about the american past which is another way of commenting on the american president, of course. any historian knows that. any journalist knows that. that you're writing now but it's an analogy for something that happened a long time ago. if you're writing something about what happened a long time ago it's an analogy of what's happening now.
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it's inevitable. an example for me and you know this and most of the african-americans in this room would know this, i have a contrarian nature when it comes to writing about the black experience. i don't believe in being an ethnic cheerleader. i don't think that helps anybody in the black community. i want to -- i did two different kinds of documentaries. one set of my documentaries are about africans and african-americans. the other thing is about finding roots and we'll talk about that. i'll give you an example. there are 42 million african-americans today. since 1970, the percentage of african-americans whose income is over $100,000 has quadrupled. since 1970, the percentage of african-americans whose income is over $100,000 a year has quadrupled and the percentage over $75,000 since 1970 has doubled. we have the largest middle class
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and upper middle class in our history. at the same time the percentage of black children living at or near the poverty line since 1970 was over 40% as of the 2010 census. the percentage of black children living at or beneath the poverty line is just over 38%. it's the worst of times in the black community. both of these realities are true at the same time. there are more african-americans than all the people in canada. and that always is a stunner. it is as martin delaney, as you know, martin delaney said the negro is a nation within a nation. in 1852. and we are a nation within a nation. so that any rhetoric that attempts to describe a nation within a nation of 42 million people, with one set of
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distributors is a dishonest. we have differences among us. we have major class interest and racial interests and habits and traditions and they're not all the same. what brings us all together is racism what unifies the jewish community, anti-semitism. what brings us together is racism. when that goes away, then we're all fighting again, right? what i'm trying to do in my films is show the complexity of the black experience, to show on the one hand how there is no american history without african-american history. how we don't -- to me black history month, i love black history month. i celebrate it. ken and i were joking, it's the coldest, shortest and darkest month of the year. [laughter] the one that was left over was the one that we got, right? but my goal was like day job and evening job, is to make every
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month, every day in the school system black history month. you can only do it by creating a complex narrative. a complex narrative about the human beings who were of color and who interacted with white people and native american people and later hispanic people to create this great patchwork that we call the american republic. and you can't do it by taking shortcuts. you can't do it by being an ethnic cheerleader. you can't do it by pretending all the black people who walk the stage of history were angels and, you know, had no bad things. and i think that makes for a more compelling case. and finding roots, the whole point of finding your roots is to show no matter what the law says, in any society and any point in american history or history, no matter what the law
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said whether you could or could not sleep with, when the lights came down -- michael: jackie robinson as the subject for your latest documentary? ken: i covered jackie robinson in my series. some part of the narrative didn't obtain and yet at the same time you had a sense, too, that we were repeating some of the more familiar things about him. so his widow, rachel, who's now 93, had been pressing me to do a stand-alone on jackie and at some point care sarah burns and david mcmahon had the bandwidth to do after the film on the central park five. and we dove into it and over many, many years we began to realize that in some ways jackie has been burdened, has been smothered by the barnacles of
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sentimentality and nostalgic. he's been made in a two-dimensional figure, almost christ-like figure but it doesn't reflect the whole person. what we could do is liberate him. what skip was talking about, a complex narrative. if you take away some of the tropes that have become familiar to. reese put his arm around him. that didn't happen. branch ricky like god reached down by heaven and michelangelo touched his son and turned his cheek. branch ricky had important motivations which we made clear in our old film. he had deeply held religious and moral -- he was intent to bring several african-americans up. there was an active african-american press for decades that was pushing for this. there was a left-wing american press, a communist press. the daily worker was arguing. we don't like to talk about
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that. there was a left-leaning republican. i have not lost my mind. left-wing leaning republican from new york city who was pushing for this. there were lots of want for this progress in the pent-up emotions -- after the pent-up emotions of the second world war. we wanted to do a multigenerational complex story of an african-american family. to talk about a love story. this is an amazing story. we validate that love story in some respects by having the president and first lady there who also goes through their own kind of version, there are different couples and different spaces in time but me do interact with the same dynamic and so they both can comment on eave other in very interesting ways and it was possible for us to scrape away some of those barnacles. we assume in revisionism that the pendulum swings the other way. oh, thomas jefferson, man of the millennium. owned slaves. worst of the millennium.
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in fact it's neither and it's both. you have to do that. in the case of jackie robinson, making him more complex made him much more interesting and permits us not to focus safely in that narrow year of 1947 when he came up but to do his birth in 1919 and jim crow, georgia, and his death in 1972 as a 53-year-old man feeling that he didn't have it made, that he still didn't have it made. he was a black man in a white country. so what happens to him before baseball? how did he get there? what happens during baseball when he no longer has to turn the other cheek? what happens after baseball as a republican and african-american republican, all of these things disrupt the familiar convenient story that we want to have. michael: but this is a story that you would have heard. henry: remember, i was born in 1950. every two weeks i'd go to the barbershop, right, and listen to the men, as we call it.
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black barbershop, you go on saturday and stay all day. you have lunch. [laughter] you hear the man talking trash all day long. and they would say two things. jackie robinson was not the greatest black baseball history who was alive. and nor should he have been the first one. they liked jackie and most black people from dodger fans. not my dad who loved willie mays and loved the giants. they said he was being destroyed by the rage inside of him. and jackie robinson was to me killed by the pressures of being black and that -- and playing the pioneering role that he did. and more especially, as ken points out, by the fact that richard nixon refused -- he implored richard nixon to use his good offices when he was candidate. richard nixon for presidency of the united states. get martin luther king out of jail.
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at the same time black democrats were imploring j.f.k. and j.f.k. did it and richard nixon didn't and jackie was very embarrassed for the black community that he didn't have the juice to persuade nixon to do that. and he -- i don't think he ever recovered. that is just my barbershop version. i think that was a big difference. ken: skip is right. they brought up different names -- probably you would never know. sam jethro, roy, some of the folks that came later. but jackie happened almost accidentally by several forces. i disagree about that. rachel said he died of congestive heart failure and diabetes. he got up every day to help the lives of others and he was -- but in his eulogy, jesse jackson said he had carried this weight for everybody. and if you think about when he arrived, april 15, 1947, martin
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luther king was a junior at morehouse college. harris s. truman had not integrated the military. there was no organized sit-ins. rosa parks was a decade away. he refused to give up his seat in the lunch counter until he was served. henry: he was court marshaled. ken: and he was a sit-in before sit-ins and a freedom rider before freedom rider. jackie represents the beginning of the modern civil rights era because he takes our national pastime, walks through that door and carries it single handedly. michael: with do you talk about the myths? i thought i knew something about jackie robinson. i went to school in brooklyn. and the pee wee reese thing. ken: you know, i have to be honest.
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we perpetrated it -- we passed it long the way they passed it on. they are simpler, easier, they don't represent the complicated narrative -- and there is a statue out of the great american park. in 1947 when the dodgers went to cincinnati, the racist stuff that attended every place he played for brooklyn and sometimes even there was just horrific and that pee-wee reese supposedly went and put his arm around jackie robinson in a sort of symbol of solidarity between the white man and the black man. henry: iconic moment. ken: it's in children's books. there's that statue and rachel says in our film, we asked him not to do that because she had a better picture of them coming off the field. their hands touching momentarily. and we know from roger, the historian, that pee wee reese had never shaken the hand of a black man until he met jackie and was from kentucky and that's where it came about. and red barber promoted this.
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there is no mention in jackie robinson's auto biography and no mention in the press and black press which had done 20 related stories if that had happened. baseball etiquette suggests you don't do that. jackie is at first base. pee wee is at short. you don't walk across the diamond. i think white people seeing the nobility of this story wanted to have, no pun intended, some skin in the game. and they wanted to show that this were supporting this. and they put themselves forward in this way. i believe what happened is several years later when jackie was playing second base that they made a good play together, told each other a joke or something and ended with arms around each other. that migrated. stuff in history migrates all the time so this migrated back in time to become a symbol of solidarity with this lone action of jackie robinson. you can understand why it is, but it's really important we don't perpetuate it. baseball, hall of fame is in cooperstown because we think
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doubleday which we don't have any record he saw a game -- but the real story in hoboken is not good enough and so we perpetuate this myth and we're happy or reassure ourselves of this myth about the creation of baseball so, too, with jackie robinson. there are so many things which the sort of conventional wisdom, the superficial conventional wisdom obtains no matter what. we have to say, look, it's so much more interesting this way. henry: we as society needed that myth at that time. society produced myths that recognize sides of the aisle irreconcilable things. ken: if you go and look for it you don't find it in the mythology of jackie. you find another kind of mythology that maybe itself frozen but later on it sort of gravitates, as books get written and people's stories get handed down and red barber, the now-deceased broadcaster, told us this story that worked its way into our film.