tv Discussion on Race Economic Opportunity CSPAN December 23, 2020 10:18pm-11:17pm EST
house live on c-span, the senate live on c-span2. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> next, african-american business leaders discuss race and economic opportunity. "the new york times" hosted a virtual event with former xerox corporation ceo ursula burns, vista equity partners founder robert smith, and hip-hop artist, entrepreneur and social mike" render.er andrew: welcome back to "deal book." we have a very special and important conversation to be had this afternoon, and i am thrilled to have the privilege to spend some time with our following guests. my goal with this next conversation, and i want to be very clear, is to discuss some real concrete steps that this , audience that is with us, the tens of thousands who are with us, and corporate america, what
-- and corporate america can take to create some lasting change and benefit for minorities in this country and close the inequality gap in the boardroom, and in people's paychecks. ursula burns is here. i should tell you she was the first and only black female ceo of a fortune 500 company when she ran xerox. today, she is on uber's board, she is a senior advisor to another company and i've had the , honor and pleasure to have known her for quite some time. we've had some very important discussions over that time. also with us, robert smith, founder, chairman and ceo of vista equity partners. he is the wealthiest black american in the country, and i should tell you, and you probably know, you watched the day he ended a student debt crisis, if you will at , morehouse. we are going to talk about that
and so much more, and he has the 2% solution, and we are going to discuss that as well. we also have michael render, he is killer mike, cofounder of greenwood, which is a mobile banking platform. he's a rapper and entrepreneur who moved me and so much of the country after george floyd's murder earlier this year when he gave a speech impromptu in atlanta. if you have not seen it, you must. i just re-watched it, and mike, i have to tell you, it will bring you to tears every time. but it is so moving and such an important commentary on where we are in this country, and frankly all the work we have to do. , i want to talk about that work and what we need to do. and talking about that work, let me start with robert, if i could, to talk about this 2% solution. because you have been very public in talking about this,
and i think, having success in corporate america. companies are starting to do this. so why don't you tell everybody what it is that you are advocating and what they are doing? robert: sure. thanks, andrew. good to see you, and ursula and mike, good to see you both. the thing we have learned is that there has been a systemic removal of goods and services from the black community for , frankly for generations. ,and when you start thinking about the irony of it, the opportunity is for corporations back into these communities and infrastructure for economic development. i think about creating the capital base to permanently close these racial wealth gaps, and the 2% solution takes from the tradition of families who donate, on average 2% of their , income to charity. so what we are saying let's call , on top companies across key
sectors of the economy to donate income over the next two years to help close these racial wealth gaps. it, if youk about have companies that have industry-based initiatives with what they do, they have the ability to drive their best thinking, their best use of resources to solve problems in areas like modernizing banking systems in the african-american beauties -- the african-american communities eliminating food , deserts, health care, education deserts, and we have the capability and know how to do it. one argument is 2% of that net income, or you take a unique approach that bank of america did, and they offered a bond. and with these low-interest rates, they were able to issue about $2 billion of this bond and actually drive capital into affordable housing, deposits, and investments for minority development institutions or depository institutions and to
invest in minority funds. if you think about it it is , targeting part of their economic activity into the communities that need it most. and by the way, it's not just a moral imperative. it's an economic one. and it will add $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion to our country's gdp. so that is it in a nutshell, the components. and we've been working with everybody from the business roundtable to mckinsey, at&t, verizon. a number of our partners are now actually starting to deliver these solutions in communities throughout the u.s. andrew: just to follow up, speak to the issue. you just said it it is not just , a moral imperative. it is an economic one. but speak to the economic imperative, or market opportunity if you will for , companies involved in this. because this is not philanthropy. robert: if you think about it, all americans really want certain things.
african-americans want to pursue their dreams without the hindrance of racism. we want to raise our kids safely. we want to send them to great schools. we want our communities to have opportunities to work, which cases funding entrepreneurs, because that is typically were most of our -- typically where most of our jobs come from. we want health care. we want great parks and a houses and affordable markets. all of that means if you create the capital inflows into those communities, it becomes utilized effectively, and by the way, consumption goes up. and that creates a virtuous cycle that we all as americans can now embrace. i'm in the world of software, and i tell people, the real challenge is there are 7.5 billion on the planet. and only 20 million of us know how to write code. and we have to activate all 300 million-plus people in the united states to be effective
contributors to the economy. you can't do that if you starve them of resources, and education, which i think is the biggest gap, and health and nutritious food and access to opportunity. if you do that well, then the economic effect in those communities are better skills, more contributions to the productivity of america, which actually makes us a more competitive country. andrew: i get the macro argument. i think we all get the macro argument. the question is how do you , persuade people on the micro? meaning a company is going to have to make an investment decision, they have a cost of capital and they want to make x x percent. x%.ke
can they make moreover here or , more over here? robert: it's simple examples, and her. one of our companies provides learning systems for schools. we looked at all 13,000 school districts and said 36% of , african-american committees don't have broadband access, which means kids do not have access to learning management systems. that is what covid has brought out so starkly. but if you actually go into a community and put in broadband as a broadband provider, number , one, school districts can teach the kids. and by the way, it also enables telemedicine. so now health care companies have an ability to create economic opportunity. by the way, it provides and broadband infrastructure for businesses, small to medium businesses. when businesses utilize software, there is a 900% roi. because they become more efficient, more active, and actually create more jobs in those communities. everyone knows when you have an increased economic activity in a community, it becomes safer. it becomes a better place.
the increase in the value of the houses and the real estate goes up, which creates more mortgage activity. we've seen it so many times, but now, the question is how do we make sure it hits everyone in community,-american that has been starved of resources for so long. andrew: ursula, we've had this conversation unfortunately for far too long, you and i over the years. do we feel that this is an inflection point? i recognize that it is a journey. it's a journey that has taken , as i said far too long, but , where are we in it? ursula: i think that we are at a very important and high opportunity point. this is probably the most excited and optimistic i have felt in a long time, and it comes from some of the worst situations that we have, the murder of a man by the police, a pandemic that has disrupted the lives of the world, but the poorest people, the people who
need the most help in the world and a government structure that , is not supporting bringing us together and solving the problems. what has happened is that people, regular guys who walk the streets, like me, robert, killer mike, you, but also my kids, people who march in the street have realized that they can't leave it to anybody else anymore. have to get involved. they have to be involved. that linis statement famous -- before we had these moments where everybody got into the moment and then went back to our other way of living, because of the pandemic and the discourse, this kind of pulling apart, the moments are becoming a movement. so even if we decided to not have this discussion, there was enough disruption today in the system sprinkled around the united states, and around the
world that we are not going to , be able to slow it down. i don't think we are at the point yet where we can turn away, but we are getting close. so if we stop talking i think , there will still be a level of energy, but we have to talk longer and be engaged longer. we have to deal with the 2% solution. we literally have to speak up when we see injustice, when we see a lack of opportunity, when we see literally people being left out of participation. we have to speak up and to be very aggressive about it. one of the things we did was start this board diversity -- start this board, diversity action alliance. it is straightforward. after george floyd is killed, i get a call. i fly home and land on the day , and find out this man had been murdered by police. i take a shower, get out and get , a call from a ceo of a very large company, and he says, have you heard what happened? i need to talk to you. and i said, what about?
he said, i think i've got this -- i feel i'm missing something. and i said what is this thing? , he said, people are in the streets marching. white people, young people, asian people, black people are marching because this guy got killed who nobody even knew, nobody even heard of what is . what is happening? and my first response to him was why are you calling me? ,thank you for calling me, but why are you calling me? why don't you call your board members or management team? and he said, because we have no african-american board members and management team. i talked with him and a lot of ceos. all of the black leaders got these calls, i'm sure. what i realized was they , shouldn't have to call us. they should be able to look in their rooms and literally pick up the phone to their board their c-suite executive
that have experienced or know they are close to the action and are part of the movement and engage them. and the board diversity action alliance, one black director, one latinx director at least on each of the fortune 1000, 500, 4000, whatever. we have to have representation because without representation, you have blind spots. if you don't have diversity, you have blind spots. so the 2% solution, the board diversity action alliance. mike., love, love, killer organize, mobilize. we have to do that for every single problem, every opportunity we have. we have to use these five action verbs to literally move the problem along. so i think we are at a point where there is too much excitement, it has gotten to broadly dispersed actually clamp it down. we are not over the point, but we are getting damn close.
andrew: mike, contextualize this for everybody. mike: i am a product of the wish list. let me first of all -- i know the wrapper shows up in the baseball cap. [laughter] i want people to know, like ursula said you better find a , way to monetize. we are trying to grow, and we are going to compete with great places. but i didn't have a haircut. ursula and robert have a much better haircut than me. i am a product of what they are talking about. well, michael, how are you a product if this has never been done? well atlanta is a very unique , place. for over 120 years, atlanta has been a place of economic opportunity and prosperity. now the conundrum is atlanta is just like america, it is the chocolate version of america. although we still have high -income inequality, for the most part, all of your heroes have
been white. we have an amazing mayor in maynard jackson in the early 1970's, who mandated that any city contract you wanted with the city of atlanta had to deal with minority-owned businesses. this allowed a company to grow. now that company is partnering with bigger corporations and companies, and that all started in the 1970's. before that, as early as 1948, the neighborhood i grew up in was a neighborhood of mixed -income black neighborhoods. everyone from hermann russell to billy mckinney major bob lived there, and then you had all of these working-class black folks. like, my grandparents lived there. because i grew up in that mixed community that was gentrified by people, they took this neighborhood. the schools that i went to were comparable to rich kid schools. i went to collier heights elementary. i went to frederick douglass high school. and then, thanks to andy and
jean young, i went to morehouse college on a scholarship. i got an opportunity to receive the best education possible, because the tax base was a great tax base. because you had people who were rich, to be very frank, there. i was in an education environment where i was not a minority. i didn't have to get bussed anywhere. i was comfortable where i was. soi was comfortable where i was. a lot of times, you get lonely being the only black person in the room and the only person getting that phone call. rendon since before you today not only as someone dancer, myger and goal here today, as a person who is being meant toward by some of the best business minds, i married a very business-minded woman, and i am sitting here in,use the city i grew up
not the city that started, but was people like john wesley dawes, people like hermann russell, people like maynard jackson understood the importance of private and public cooperation. the investment my grandparents made in 1952 and it up helping me as a kid who went to kindergarten in 1980. so they had the ability to see if i invest in plans i have now, 10, 15 years down the line, it is not only going to be fruitful to me because my house goes up in equity. it is not only going to be fruitful to my community because my community is going to have a stronger tax base it is going to , be helpful for these children walking up and down my street. how does it become fruitful to us? michael rendon not only became a singer and dancer for a living, he became a small business officer. the chief judge of dekalb county was my roommate and has written a program about restorative justice that the state is picking up now. you also had a kid who was a year behind us who is now married to a copyright lawyer, and they go around helping us start businesses, whether it is church's chicken or popeyes.
mac will bond -- mac, an older person, you have people that graduated with me, cameron dollar, ucla champion. i had the chance to be around a pedigree of children that fought this hard because the potential , we heard was all around us. all we saw was success or failure based on choice. it was not based on race. the kids who went to school with me who chose to congregate with the kids who were studying, who chose to go to college, they did best. the children who chose not to didn't. because we were in atlanta, we didn't have an excuse to say, it's racism. it didn't mean racism didn't exist. it didn't mean it didn't pull banks out of our community, it did, which is why andy young gave me the call and give me a chance at greenwood, but i understood how important banking was. my grandmother marched me into a bank and helped me open up my first bank account.
my sister, who paid to the most attention to her as an accountant and made the most money my sister went to trade , school and understood the importance of education post-secondary also has done well for herself. so for me, i am a product of what we are talking about today. i'm a product of self-reliance. i'm a product of public and private cooperation, whether that was ted turner and his programs, and i'm a product of believing in oneself and returning the dollar to the african-american community. the exxon we went to as children was owned by ms. barbara, who was a black woman. the grocery stores that we went to were owned by black people. and that doesn't mean we had a problem with jumping with other people or with corporations it , means the dollars we put into that community should be immediately put back into our community. for me, it was partnering with mac, who had the number-one selling popeyes, who has helped many people in this community.
but for me, it is about doing what made me, which is keeping it in my community longer. and people have to remember that if the black community is stronger economically the , greater community gets bigger. i watched an interview with paul the other day in 1960. paul robeson was a phenomenal actor, phenomenal athlete, but he understood first i am an african-american. i'm an african by birth. we were kidnapped and brought here, but i am an american, and i have something to contribute to this country. if america would simply water this side of the bar, i promise you your return will be 10, 20, 100 fold of anything you ever thought. and sitting before you today is a product. andrew: i'm so glad we have you as part of this conversation because that was such a , brilliant articulation of all of this. let me try, if i can, to break some of it down if i can. ,and i want to ask robert,
because one of the things you hear from michael is the education story, and the other is keeping that money in the system. and those are two issues i know you've been working on. we talked about the 2% solution. let's talk about the education piece, and what you think needs to happen. know, there isl also an effort in washington at this very moment to potentially cut some student debt, which could be a very good thing across the country, but i imagine you would think it should be done, how about -- how would you imagine it should be done? robert: we need to free our young people from this pressing debt. the short answer, in the african-american community specifically, i staggering -- a staggering 65% of the wealth of african-american families goes to servicing student loan debt. and if you think about it many , of our families don't have the option of actually going and using the equity in their home and borrowing at a low cost, so they have to turn to some of the
parent plus loans and private loans that typically have a higher interest rate, based on where their jobs are located. upper can americans after college on average have a little -- own average make a little less money and have more debt on -- 's african-americans -- african-americans after college debt ande have more make a little less money so that , cycle is frankly a spiral. if you have a sick parent, you change your job, and those payments are still do. that is a problem. part of what we have to do is think realistically about it and say the vast majority of student loan debt gets paid back to the student government. this is a problem the government can solve. ed people like us are looking for innovative solutions, but the right answer is to free our young people so that they can do things like become, not be crushed with student debt, borrow money to start a business, start on their wealth creation buying a home or securities, or areas that create long-term economic benefit for their community.
if you graduate from morehouse and want to be, a teacher, you should be able to go become a teacher and support that lifestyle in a way where you have a comfortable life. you can live in the same community as those kids. those kids see you as an african-american teacher. i have never had an african-american science teacher my entire life. --ula: andrew: neither have i. ursula: i never had an african-american science or math teacher. robert: the only african-american instructor i had was a man in my neighborhood who took a group of us and taught us about rocketry in the 70's, and three out of the eight kids in that rocket club became engineers. he just did it out of the
goodness of his heart to teach these young african-american kids about science. if you think about that dynamic, i would love to see more of our kids have the opportunity to do that. that's one of the areas we need to focus on, and if the federal government can make changes, that's an area i have been pushing specifically. andrew: mike bloomberg recently made a big donation to some of the black colleges on the medical side, to create more doctors. in large part, he argues, because they will actually stay in the community, which i think is a remarkably important thing. ursula, let me ask you about pipelines. the reason i am connecting pipeline to education is, one of the things you often hear, especially at the most senior levels but also at junior levels, people say, there's no pipeline. they don't exist. we can't find these people who should be on these boards, or should be at these levels. you know the story. do you believe it? ursula: i know the story, andrew.
you don't have to tell me, i know the story. let me make it easy for you. i will say the answer before you ask. i love the story. and this is the story. we have a playing field that i designed, this white man designed, this we have a set of referees that are the white guys. we have the rules that the white guys wrote. we have all of the judgment in the long-term that are done by this group of people. and then you say, you, robert, ursula, michael, you have to play on that field, and we will judge whether or not you can make it out of that playing field and fit into our space. if you lay out the pipeline with that narrow set of rules, i guarantee you, you will not have a lot of participation of women, , hispanics, blacks, of anything other than the rule makers. it is the structural layout.
so i say, there are people there. they are there. i am not saying that the people shouldn't be able to read and write, have college degrees, etc., but i always hear we need a board member. i love this one. we need a board member. fine, and then we want a black , board member. i said, i can give you someone. they say, no, no. a pastor sitting ceo. i say, there are 11 guys i can give you who fill that position, 15. you don't need me to find them. all of the boards we are looking at, all of the board members aren't past or sitting ceos? why, for the black order member, do we have that narrow set of requirements specified? so what i say is we do have , talent out there that can serve on a board. we did it with women, when there were no women in the u.k. or california, they mandated women. in a year, we went 8% to 30%. they weren't born yesterday.
trust me, they were always there. i guarantee you you can fill , every single spot on the board when the boards are out there with black or brown people, latinos, latinx people, you name it. when it comes to the rules, change the rules, not lower the standard. change the standard. i'm really comfortable with the top. the bottom, robert said it, we have economic, food, and god help me educational deserts out , there. you can pick a zip code. i think we have talked about this before i can pick a zip . code, and i could tell you for sure whether a child born in that zip code will get out of high school. it has nothing to do with what the family wants, how smart the kid is. it is the structure and funding of the schools, the teachers, the infrastructure. literally no one outside of that
community cares about that zip it orbecause they fund don't fund it. so i say, at the beginning you , have to fund education, you have to make it a priority. parents have to get involved. believe it or not, they do. you know the harlem children's story. all of the kids want to go to school in harlem now, because they made it -- it's a cycle of good action and good behavior. so we have to stay close to home. we have to literally have at the beginning, the beginning pipeline. it's all about education. it is all about opportunities. it's all about mentorship. it's about examples. at the top, i say there is no excuse. i will train them all if you need to. the three of us, michael, we will take them on and get them ready for board service. no more excuses here just get , people in there. in the middle, literally it is a , change of mind and change of heart.
we have to have no more excuses. we have to absolutely punish people -- this is where i get into quotas -- punish people who do not perform. just like we do with profit and loss, if you spill dirt into the water, you get fired. if you lose a lot of money you , get fired. if you do not diversify your company inside, there should be some negative consequences for that. and that's what i think we as consumers, we as pressure people have to make sure it is clear , what we expect. we expect diversity throughout the company. and i don't believe, i know for a fact the top, it's not they don't exist. it is you aren't looking in the right places to find them. andrew: michael, help me with this, where do you land on
quotas? it's a controversial -- there's a lot of controversy when you say the word quota. what do you think? michael: it's not a controversy when you're talking to black folks. there was no controversy on quotas when they were doing land giveaways in middle of america and they needed eastern europeans who were used to the weather. there wasn't a problem with quotas when the country was started. it's like, we don't want to pay taxes to the u.k. we have to make sure not only , for the planter class in the south, we want to make sure that the new people that were irish were coming and they were getting comfortable with the black folks we need to find , somewhere to put them so that they can achieve whiteness and they can get this camaraderie among poor people. it's interesting. i didn't know this, but i am a walking, talking example of possibility. it doesn't make me better or worse, it means the things they are proposing have been done in my life. i had three white teachers my entire life. one of them wasn't even mine. that was just a classroom i went to go visit my cousin at.
nice.miss allen sure is i only had one white science teacher my entire life. mr. sam. he was so scared of black kids, we had to pull them aside and we said we know we are bigger than , you, but you've got to teach us. my science teacher, most powerful influence in my life, was a woman like ursula named and miss wilde wasn't plain. if you came in her class, you are getting together. the atlanta that i grew up in produced me, produced more than four sitting city council members, produced our mayor. it produced ti, one of the most wordy wrappers in the world and one of my friends. so when the system works, what happens is, you can have kids who come out of historically black colleges and universities. i didn't have an excuse to do bad. she lived in that neighborhood because her loan was
underwritten by citizens trust bank. so a black bank took a historically black college university graduate, and underwrote them to live in the community that they talked and. so there was a sense of respect stability -- there was a sense of accountability and when i was 13, 14, i couldn't bullshit about my education. i understood the amount of sacrifice and work i had to put in. prior to my graduating, frederick douglass high school had only been run by two principles. lester butts replaced alonzo crim as school superintendent at one point. in the middle of the crack era, he headed the national school of x. in atlanta, 65% of schools are named for black educators and emancipators. i had the responsibility of knowing i was walking into
frederick douglass high school. without struggle, there is no progress. that is the quote i had to say every day. i had to take self accountability at that point. so i had a strong stable base, and the community i lived in house to my teachers and police men. i had self-determination with the circle of kids i was in. and i thought i wanted to be a thug. i wanted to be a rapper, but my friends said, we are going to college, and i want to go to college, too. i took accountability, and then my grandparents only dealt in businesses that were good to us or good to our community. what ursula was talking about, in terms of even black business, i define a black business three ways. it is either totally owned and operated by black people and good to my community, or it is not owned by black people, but it employs black people and it is good to my community and , lastly, the small businesses that came in from immigrant populations moving into our city, even if they couldn't hire
-- and me having a small business or two, sometimes you have just got to hire your family -- even if they couldn't hire us, as long as they dealt fairly with our community. those were the three things in my household if you treated to , my community well by reinvesting, and that included everything from workshops and helping to sponsor tutors, helping to feed the hungry, all of these things. so i never left the tradition of my community. when our superintendent called me earlier in the year, like, this pandemic has brought out a food desert shortage we didn't , understand was going on. i got on the phone with a black telecommunications company, the guy built his own phones, has done telemedicine, has done diabetes testing, just a great guy, yet freddie had nowhere to go to help. i got him hooked up.
not only did he help her, he said, michael the john lewis , district, which douglass is housed in, used to be a 70% -80% house ownership district, and it was much more stable. and it was producing the type of students we want. now it's a 70%, 80% renters , district, and our kids are moving around so much they can't even eat. said, -- freddie said i would love to sit , down with the city of atlanta and figure out a broadband solution so kids will have an opportunity to be properly educated at home, and won't miss a step. i think it's time for the circle of the black business community, black working-class and middle-class to plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize and take our plans to the federal government and say, to only is it enough for you wipe away student loans, not just black people, but everybody, but after that, we have given so much to this
country, i have been watching paul robeson interviews, and we've given so much of this country, we deserve some special treatment, and i don't want welfare. i don't need social programs to take care of everything. i like social medicine, but not everything. what i do want to see is a targeted investment in communities like the john lewis district that says, we are going to produce in 20 years -- it's a 20-year plan, but we are going to see increases in two months, two years, 12 months, 20 years. we are going to put, as a plan in placeyear where we take kids who are pre-k and kindergarten and follow those kids and give them the inspiration they need. and on the other side of that, what you will have to do is people who are able to be in, in , a circular way, that circle of victory, to come back to those communities, to be the teachers, doctors, lawyers, and dentists you need, and what you will be able to do that is replicate
that in atlanta, jacksonville, tampa, birmingham charlotte. , 54% of african-americans in this country live in the south. the fact that the south has food and educational deserts is something that is systemically evil, and if we do not something to change that narrative, our country is going to be the biggest, strongest giant with a torn achilles heel. and i don't care how good you run and how fast you are and how high you jump, if you are an athlete and you have an achilles heel, you are not an athlete. you are just a performer. this country needs to stop seeing itself as the preeminent, best at the helm of the world states when we are not. , we have a torn achilles heal. and if we invest in the community whose free labor was the cornerstone of the country's wealth, not only would we have a healed achilles' heel we would , have a faster and stronger athlete in terms of economics and education. and all it takes is making sure the people who helped build this
country are truly a part of it by way of tapping opportunity -- by way of having opportunity. andrew: let me ask a question. i will pose it to robert and ursula, building off what michael was saying. it's one thing to persuade the black community to create systems -- for the black community to help the black community. i want to be sensitive how i say this. part of what has to happen is persuading the white community that they need to do this. that's a huge part of this. and the question is whether a way to do that not , just about the moral imperative, because people are often selfish, they are not selfless, and there are people in the white community that look at quotas or look at targeted goals, even, and they say, you can get out the smallest violin that you want and say, if we do this, it's going to be bad for me. i'm just saying, that is what
you hear. what do you say to that? because part of this effort has to be to make the case. ursula: can i start, robert? robert: why don't you start, ursula? i will, in -- i will come in blazing behind. ursula: i will start with the quotas story and make sure we are clear. i think michael said it to start with. it's interesting how this becomes a divisive issue, when it is not you. [laughter] quotas are used every single day all the time, particularly in , government programs. so that is one. the second, we have a world where 60-something percent of the population is not white and male. more than 60-something percent of the population is not white and male. the wealth of the world, because
supremacist belief and structure, is concentrated in whites and males. i don't want to fix everything at once. but if we are fair, and if you have reasonable economic acumen, mathematical acumen, you understand that participating in a fight for greatness when two thirds of the population is hindered, is hampering your progress, is a stupid idea. that's why after a long time they start to include women. like, my god,ere half the world is women we can't , make progress without bringing some of these women along with us. quotas is the result of failure by business to do what they should be doing naturally. you don't have to have a quota if you do what you should be doing which is being equitable, , diverse, and inclusive. if you are not, then we are going to put quotas on you. california said, we tried it for
years. black people, for hundreds of years, to wait and hope that the people who have it, that got it off the backs of black and brown people, the people who have it to give some of it back. , i don't mean just -- we will work for it, but they said no. the government said, no problem. or shareholders say, no problem. or board members say no problem. , we are going to force you to do it. you don't have to do quotas if we do the right thing. i don't think we do the right thing fast enough, so quotas are just fine. on the rest of the story about convincing people, the last time we were on the tv i said it's like asking a slave to please convince the slave owners not to have slavery anymore. go to psychology. have them deal with that. i just want equal opportunity based on opportunity, based on skills and ability. give us the skills and ability.
you and by the way if you don't , own and then open it up. i don't want that to have to defend or explain -- don't want to have to defend or explain to people why their unfair grasp of things, hopefully it will be nice, but if not, we have to have forcing functions. some of the forcing functions are quotas. that's the safest, easiest way. there are other forcing functions we don't want to talk about. robert: thank you for that. that is exactly right. i will tell you the thing that martin luther king said was that we are tied together in a single garment of destiny. killer mike talks to that saying, if you have a torn achilles heal, i don't care what kind of athlete you are. you aren't getting up and doing the things you want to be able to do. that is america. there has never been a single solitary concerted effort on the
part of the vast majority of white americans to address equality for black americans. -- wea time right now will do all we can for our community, but our community does need some help. of aed a modernization banking infrastructure that gets to our community. there is work that is being done, but we need that to work. we need that to happen. we need the government and people to charge those banks with capital. we are seeing netflix and reed hastings and people saying, let me deposit $100 million. bank of america and j.p. morgan, let's open 2000 branches into these communities but we also , need to charge them with capital and loan capacity. a man who is going to be on the transition team with biden, he runs an organization.
a year ago, they processed 50 loans. when they modernized the lending infrastructure they processed , over 7400 loans in four months. that is what modernization can do. the average loan was $11,000, which changes the dimensions of a small business. part of what we have to do is get this concerted effort across many dimensions. michael, i'm going to get to you because andrew and i, our alma mater cornell, the agriculture school, we are working with them on ways to spearhead racial equity across health and food in the u.s. part of what we have to do is work and give institutions, corporations, and hopefully the federal government to come in and write some of these wrongs and repair this achilles that has been torn. otherwise, we will be hampered in the face of global competition.
michael: i want to tell white folks, it's in your best interest. i'm not going to waste too much time trying to convince you. if you look at the olympics, you don't care what color the athlete is. you want to win the olympics. you want us to have the most medals. you want us to run faster. i don't care what i'm watching. it could be lacrosse. if they have the united states on it, i am cheering for it. start to look at the african-american community. what we have done for baseball -- we have made baseball $1 billion. what we have done for basketball, the nba of the 1960's is radically different. we've done the same for football. these african-american minds can do the same things. i -- you have to see it. i am proud to be of african heritage. i'm as proud as any scotsman or
irishman, but i am affirmatively american. you are not denying black americans. you are denying all americans. the fact that black children know who john brown is as early as third grade and you didn't know who john brown was, it shows you you have been as mis-educated as we are. your educational level had a ceiling put on it so you don't know the full history. if you don't know who crispus addicks is, if you don't know alonzo herndon started the atlanta life insurance company from a barbershop where he only served the white business class he learned about bonds and , stocks and insurance and brought those to his community he got those from the bigger , companies. his company helped the bigger companies grow. we have to start to understand we are not a bunch of subgroups living next to each other. i am an african-american. i am an american. if you invest in my community, i -- in my community, my community returns tenfold, 20 fold to the greater community.
white people are going to have to start understanding that. we are not trying to replace white people. there is not some grand design to genocide white people away. we don't want to shut down all white businesses, but when we say we went fair and equitable opportunity, it simply means, don't hinder us from the start and ask us what is wrong at the end. don't say there is no pipeline when you know most bankers have been involved in lacrosse. i was like, that is why my white friends want to play lacrosse? i was like man, i would sign my kid up for lacrosse and not football. if we don't do those very simple things of opening the door, and on a very individual level, the same way ursula got that call at 3:00 in the morning, i got that call. mike, what do i do? that call should not be a distraught call. it should be an engaged call once a week saying, ursula, what
do you think we should do about this? it should be a call and engagement with other people you know. that are not just the famous people. famous within the corporate structure. you should seek to mentor and build that. i speak at white colleges and at black colleges. i tell white kids, if you really want to help, the best thing you can do is leave the campus of m.i.t. or harvard, find a bright child or an average child with the potential to do well, and mentor that child so they take your place at that college. if you get a ninth grader as a college freshman and you guys have an educational relationship, by the time you graduate, that child will be going to morehouse or harvard. just saying that individual relationships count, making sure you open up that pipeline counts, and i think the white community in this country has to
get over their fear of revenge. if black people have not tried to take revenge in a 100-some years and kilo white people, we are not going to do it now. closed off our communities like the amish and refused to do business with you, that means we want to be in the greater spectrum of business. when we grow, the whole community grows. it has been interesting to see people like the world economic forum and others who are saying, let's at the high end were capitals being raised and delivered and making decisions as to who is on the boards, they are all engaged. what is the standard, what are the measurements, how are we going to hold them accountable? that is the biggest change we have seen. we are seeing our kids and a the straight, enough is enough. we are seeing the business roundtable and others saying,
let's figure out ways to solve this problem were capitals actually being floated into these communities. ursula: i know we are running out of time -- the question you that always makes me uncomfortable. andrew: it makes me uncomfortable too. pits choices of equal things. this is not a zero-sum game should it is not have if we give money here, we do not give money here. the united states has never been a zero-sum society. we have 7.5 billion people living in standard as high as when we had a million people on this planet. we know it is not a zero-sum game, but we always feel as though we have to explain it from that perspective. we are going to support the
black community or the latin community or the poor community and if we do that, that must mean we are not going to support some other. in the short-term, that might be true, but we know by fact that that is not the case over time on average and overtime. we have to change the question. it is not give money here or give money here. it is how you give money here and give money there. it is not that we have to fight against each other. we don't have to have a scrum in the middle of the streets for a scrap of food. andrew: this is been a fabulous conversation. momentve to pivot for a before we finish this conversation. robert, you have been lauded and rightly so for the for p you have done and for using your voice on this very issue. doing thisbout conversation a long time ago and since that happened in the past couple of weeks, there was a headline.
it is incumbent upon me to ask you about that headline, which is that you admitted to evading taxes and you agreed to paying 130 nine dollars in back taxes, interest and penalties. i know as part of that settlement, you cannot talk radically to the settlement, but i would hope that you could talk to perhaps the lessons you think you learned as a result of this experience and also what impact you think it might have on your ability to have this kind of voice and participate in this kind of philanthropy? robert: sure, and thanks for asking. a big part of life is you make mistakes. you have to two in some way clarify and clear them up and get beyond them. i can learn from my mistakes and i have. it is clear to me that in order for me to focus on the problems of the present, i need to resolve the issues of the past. the settlement offered me that ability to do so. i am moving forward.
i am absolutely committed to continuing my important work. my philanthropy. returns to all the stakeholders. the employees of my company. it is critically important i and others step up now more than ever. that is where we are. look to the future and decided i have the opportunity to clean up the bed. -- the bad. michael: before we get out, let me interject you because i'm a fan of ursula and robert. we have been firm in our defense of robert. people make mistakes. i tell people all the time. hey, i'm going to mess up one day. apologizing get back on the path. i make right. never forget that this country was founded by people who did
not want to pay taxes. never forget that our forefathers who we love and adore who on the dollar bills we have in our pockets with the exception of this guy were slaveowners. let us never forget the sins of our past because when you do, you start to judge people as though your moral authority is higher. you start to guess to kate people -- start to castigate people for the mistakes they have made. as hard as it may be to forgive a rich guy, it matters to me did at morehouse before that. it was his honest and true heart. i just want to tell black people defendothers that that him vigorously when you are arguing in your barbershops. if you do not, you prevent the pathway for the next one. people are going to messed up --
going to mess up. the irs are my business partners. wille been defended and i continue to defend. i appreciate you as a morehouse guy robert. keep doing the good work. ursula: let me tell you what, if you made a mistake and you fix a, this is not rocket science. because it is him. [laughter] mistakes -- ig don't know, mistake for sure. cannot pay $140 million because i do not have it. i probably have made as many mistakes as robert has. it is important that we step -- if youealize screwed up, you say got it.
screwed up. fix it and go on. there is no way in the world to operate. when people see me, they say are slow, you have such an amazing life. it is so perfect. i used to always tell them, you should be a fly on the wall in my house. you would have said, this he crazy family. [laughter] we are just regular old people trying to make a way. some of us have been more successful than others on the monetary side. and therefore, we have a light shined on us. i say to robert who i did not follow all of the story, keep going. i want to grow up and be like you. [laughter] thank you for all of your support. andrew: we are going to end the conversation there appeared i am
grateful for all of you joining us on this very important topic. i wanted to thank everybody who has joined as online for your questions and comments throughout this conversation. we will have lebron james on the other site at 4:00 p.m. in just a little bit. thank you all for being with us. see you in a moment. president trump has issued a veto on a $740 billion authorization bill for 2021. the legislation was passed by the house and senate with a -- with wide bipartisan support. president trump says he finds fault with the failure in repealing section 230 of the communications decency act, which grants liability protections for social media companies. he is also opposed to a provision of the bill that proposes renaming 10 military
installations currently named after confederate leaders. isos reports the house already planning to reconvene for a vote to override the president's veto on december 28 with the senate to follow on december 29 if the house is successful. this all comes as president trump is also objecting to a recently passed covid-19 relief bill. in a video posted on twitter, the president called on congress to increase direct payments from $600 to $2000 per individual. the house and senate are holding pro forma sessions thursday. house speaker nancy pelosi says the house will seek unanimous consent on approving president trump's request, but that could tol if one member were object. i've ought -- as always, you can follow the house live on c-span. the senate, live on c-span two.