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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 29, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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05/29/14 05/29/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from philadelphia and new york, this is democracy now! >> you may write me down in history with your twisted lies. me in the dirt. i willike dust, i'l rise. >> the legendary poet, playwright, and civil rights activist maya angelou has died at the age of 86. she would rise to become one of
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the world's most celebrated writers. we will hear from her in her own words and speak to her friend and sister poet sonia sanchez. >> great souls die in our reality bound to them takes leave of us, our souls dependent on their nurture, not shrink, risen. our minds form and informed by the radiance fall away. we're not so much maddened is reduced to the ignorance of dark, cold, caves. thehen ta-nehisi coates on case for reparation. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president obama has laid out his vision for the direction of u.s. foreign policy in a speech to graduates of the west point military academy in new york. obama offered no major policy changes, but said u.s. military
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force should be used more cautiously than it has in the past. >> here's my bottom line. america must always lead on the world stage. if we don't, no one else will. military that you have joined is and always will be the backbone of that leadership. but u.s. military action cannot be the only, or even primary, component of our leadership in every instance. we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail. >> is by calling for restraint, obama endorsed continuing a policy that allows for u.s. military action to defend what he called the nation's core interests -- not just in cases of self-defense, international norm. >> the united states will use military force unilaterally if
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necessary when our core interest demand it. threatened,ple are when our livelihoods are at stake, when the security of our .llies is in danger in the circumstances, we still need to ask tough questions about whether our actions are proportioned and effective. >> and only new policy to come out of his speech, obama proposed a multibillion-dollar tied to tourism partnership fund to train u.s. allied forces throughout the middle east and africa. is poised for an overwhelming victory egypt's presidential election, becoming the sixth military leader since the overthrow in 1952. turnout was at just 44% compared to the 52% that came out for the
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election of former president mohammed morsi in 2012. sisi led the military coup that ousted morsi last year. the egyptian authorities scrambled to boost voter turnout and it appeared many egyptians were staying home, extending voting for a third day and declaring a public holiday. several islamic and liberal political groups boycotted the election in protest of sisi and the military regime. girls have been found hanging in india following their gang rape by five men. the girls from the community in desh state were 14 of 15 years old. police say they believe the girls took their own lives after they were raped, but some reports say they may have been strangled. three people have been arrested, two of them police officers. in u.s., federal judge has ordered a three-month ban on all executions in ohio following a botched killing earlier this
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year. the execution of dennis maguire in january lasted more than 30 minutes and saw him gasping for air. ohio had planned on using higher doses of the same lethal injection drugs, but on wednesday, district judge gregory frost ruled ohio's new protocol is insufficient. the ohio ruling is the latest in a series of developments challenging lethal injection in the united states. three executions have been stayed nationwide in the week since oklahoma botched the killing of clayton market who died of a heart attack 43 minutes after the execution began. a supreme court ruling striking down death row guidelines in florida could hold scores of executions nationwide. the decision this week overturn a florida law that limited how death row prisoners can prove their mentally disabled. the loss of prisoners must have an iq below 70 before being allowed to present any additional evidence to prove their case. that meant despite a federal
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barring execution of the mentally disabled my brister scoring just above the numerical threshold would be eligible for death. the ruling will noww force florida and eight other states to come up with new guidelines. the new york times reports up to 20 prisoners could be a legible for new hearings challenging their death sentence. the mayor of chicago has unveiled a series of new measures that would make it harder to buy firearms in one of the nation's deadliest cities for gun violence. the proposal from rahm emanuel calls for videotaping all gun sales and limiting them to one per month. retailers would be required to undergo background checks, complete training, and face quarterly audits of their inventory. then buyers would also face to 72ng period of up hours. guncity report claims lax laws in neighboring states for the spread of firearms in
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chicago. 60% of guns used to commit crimes were originally purchased out-of-state. georgia police are being accused of brutality after video emerged of an officer showing an african-american writer and activist -- shoving him to the ground. 69-year-old dhoruba bin-wahad was being questioned for officers on his front porch. the tape shows an officer grabbing him by the wrist and pushing him down. at a rally outside the clayton county police department, dhoruba bin-wahad said he had been mistreated. i was not out of control. i was not a flight risk. i was not cussing them out. let's assume that i did. let's assume i was verbally uncooperative. let's just assume all those things. does that justify me being slammed on the ground? panther,er black dhoruba bin-wahad was wrongly imprisoned for 19 years after
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being convicted based on fabricated evidence in a police shooting case. the house has passed a bipartisan measure that would impose new sanctions on the venezuelan government. the resolution follows weeks of protest that i've left dozens of people dead from both sides of venezuela's political divide. democratic congressmember gregory meeks of new york spoke out against the measure, calling it counterproductive. >> i know there are high emotions on all sides of this issue, and i understand why. but the house should not act emotionally. it should act judiciously. this bill does not advance u.s. interests. it will not help the people of venezuela. it sends the message to our regional allies that we don't care much about what they think. agencynational security whistleblower edward snowden has spoken out in his first interview with an american television network. nbc aired an hour-long interview
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with snowden would say not conducted by anchor brian williams in moscow last week. snowden told williams he believes his disclosure mass surveillance has helped his country rather than cause harm. >> we had the first open federal court ever to review these programs, declare a likely unconstitutional and are rolling in. and now you see congress agreeing that mass surveillance, bulk collection, needs to end. with all of these things happening, that the government agrees, all the way up to the stronger, howe a can it be said that i did not serve my government? how can it be said that this harmed the country when all three branches of government have made reforms as a result of it? >> the first of snowden's disclosures were revealed one year ago next week. in his interview, snowden blame the state department for forcing them to remain in russia after revoking his passport. >> what are you doing in russia?
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>> this is a fair concern. -- thelly, i'm surprised reality is, i never intended to end up in russia. i had a flight booked to cuba and onwards to latin america. i was stopped because the united states government decided to revoke my passport and trap me in the moscow airport. so when people ask, why are you in russia? i say, please, ask the state department. >> his temporary asylum in russia is due to expire in august. he faces up to 30 years in prison in the united states for multiple charges under the espionage act. speaking to cbs, secretary of state john kerry lashed out at snowden's comments, telling him to "man up" and return to face charges in the united states. >> the bottom line is, this is a man who has betrayed his country, who is sitting in russia, not there are terry and
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country, where he has taken refuge. -- an authoritarian country, where he has taken refuge. if he has a complaint about what is the matter with american surveillance, come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case. >> the u.s. embassy in baghdad, iraq has moved to destroy vehicles that were supposed to be preserved as evidence in the case of five former blackwater guards accused of massacring square.t nisoor political reports an fbi agent stop the destruction just weeks before the guards are set to go to trial next month for the 2007 shootings, which killed 17 iraqis. government prosecutors say several of the vehicles were damaged and one was "substantially crushed," even though embassy personnel had been repeatedly admonished to retain them. it is the latest in a series of accusations by government is handling which has caused the judge overseeing the case to
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remark last month saying -- new documents show the fbi monitors south african leader nelson mandela during his visit to the united states in 1990. mandela had just been released after 27 years in prison. the released files show the fbi was primarily concerned with mandela security it midst a number of threats from right wing extremists, but the fbi also redacted 100 69 pages of documents citing national security. the records were obtained by transparency activists ryan shapiro who has sued the u.s. government to release information on its role in mandela's initial capture in 1962 and on why it took until 2008 for mandela to be removed from the u.s. terrorist watch list. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. philadelphiaan in
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with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. much of today's program to honoring the life and legacy of writer and activist maya angelou. she died wednesday at her home in north carolina. she was 86 years old. her son, guy johnson, issued a statement that she "lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. she was a warrior for equality, tolerance, and peace." born marguerite ann johnson in st. louis, maya angelou grew up in arkansas in the jim crow south. at the age of seven or eight, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend. he was killed shortly thereafter as a result of the trauma, she remained virtually silent for five years, speaking only to her brother. she became a mother at age 17. in the 1950's and 60's, she went on to become an actress, singer and dancer. after she fell in love with a south african civil-rights
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activist, they moved to cairo. she later lived in ghana where she met malcolm x. and the two collaborated on developing his organization of afro-american unity. she returned to the u.s. to support the effort, but malcolm x was assassinated shortly after her return. in the 1968edy assassination of her friend, reverend dr. martin luther king jr., devastated angelou. it was in 1969 that she was encouraged by the author james baldwin, among others, to focus on her writing. thus was born "i know why the caged bird sings," her first of seven autobiographies and the phenomenal career for which she is known around the world. maya angelou was also an award-winning people's poet. this is maya angelou in her own words as she reads one of her most celebrated homes, "still i rise." >> you may write me down in history with your twisted lies. you may tread me in the very dirt but still, like dust, i'll rise.
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does my sassiness upset you? why are you beset with gloom? 'cause i walk like i've got oil wells pumping in my living room. just like moons and like suns, with the certainty of tides, just like hopes springing high, still i'll rise. did you want to see me broken? bowed head and lowered eyes? shoulders falling down like teardrops. weakened by my soulful cries. does my haughtiness offend you? don't you take it awful hard 'cause i laugh like i've got gold mines diggin' in my own back yard. you may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, i'll rise.
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does my sexiness upset you? does it come as a surprise that i dance like i've got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs? out of the huts of history's shame i rise up from a past that's rooted in pain i rise i'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling i bear in the tide. leaving behind nights of terror and fear i rise into a daybreak that's wondrously clear i rise bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, i am the dream and the hope of the slave. there i gorally
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rising. >> maya angelou. in 1993, she recited her poem "on the pulse of the morning" at bill clinton's first inauguration. >> mr. president and mrs. clinton, mr. vice president and mrs. gore, and americans a rock, a river, a tree host to species long since departed mark the mastodon, the dinosaur who left dry tokens of their sojourn here on our planet floor alarm of their hastening doom is lost in the gloom of dust and ages
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but today, the rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully bank you may stand upon my and face are distant destiny but seek no haven in my shadow i will give you know hiding place down here you created only a little lower than the angels, have crouched too long in the bruising darkness have lain too long face down in ignorance your mouths spilling words armed first slaughter cries out, you may stand upon it, but do not hide your face sings a beautiful song across the river says, come, breast here by my side country,ou, a bordered
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delicate and strangely made, proud yet thrusting perpetually under siege your arms struggle for profit have left collars of waste upon my sure. currents of debris on my breast yet today, i call you to my riverside if you will study war no more come, clad in peace and i will sing the songs the creator gave to me when i am the tree and the rock were one before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow and when you yet new, you still knew nothing the river seine and sings on there is a true yearning to respond to the singing river and the wise rock, so say the asian, hispanic, the jew, the african, native american, the sioux for
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the catholic, the muslim, the french, the greek, the irish, the rabbi and the priest, the sheik, the gay, the straight, the preacher, the privileged, the homeless, the teacher they all hear the speaking of the tree. they hear the first and last of every trees the to humankind today come to me, here, beside the river plan your self beside the river each of you, descendent of some past on traveler, has been paid for you, who gave me my first thing, seneca, cherokee nation who rested with me, then forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of other seekers desperate for gain starving for goal you the turk on the air, the suite, the german, the eskimo the a chante, the crew
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bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare, praying for a dream here, rigorous else beside me i am that tree planted by the river which will not be moved. i, the rock, i, the river, i do treat, i am yours your passages have been paid. the stuff your faces. you have a piercing need for this bright morning dawning for you history, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived but if faith, which kurds, need not be lived again lift up your eyes upon this day breaking for you. give earth again to the dream women, children, men, take it into the palms of your hand molded into the shape of your most private need school it into the image of your most public selves lift up your heart
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each new our holds new chances for new beginnings. do not be waiting forever and fear. the horizon leans forward offering you space to place new steps of change here on the pulse of this fine day, you may have the courage to look up and out and upon me the rock, the river, the tree, your country now than theu mastodon then here on the pulse of this new day, you may have the grace to look up and out and into your sister's eyes and into your brothers face your country and say, simply, very simply, with hope, good morning. [applause]
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, reciting theu poem she wrote for bill clinton's 1993 inauguration "on the pulse of the morning." eight years later, president awarded her the presidential medal of freedom. when we come back, we will be joined by maya angelou's post friend, sonia sanchez, the renowned writer, poet, playwright and activist. ♪ [music break]
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her 1957oe" from album. featured angelou plus tributes to family painter, ossie davis, and nelson mandela.
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you can go to our website to see all of her selected speeches from our archives with full transcripts at this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> we're joined now by maya angelou's post friend -- close and one ofa sanchez the foremost leaders of the black studies and the black arts movement. she is the author of 20 books including "morning haiku," "shake loose my skin," and "homegirl's and hand grenades." >> we welcome me back to democracy now! it is such a pleasant to be with you in person, though sat on this occasion. and angelou lived 86 years died in north carolina. talk about how you first met her and share your reflections about her life and her contributions.
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>> you are right, it is a very sad occasion, but anytime i can hear and see her perform, you know, she will live forever. i first met sister maya in the 1960's. that was when we were all gathering together to change the world. i saw her a couple of occasions where we already are poetry. i most especially remember her in the play "the blacks." she came out and her tall, six feet majesty, and you were just stricken by her, by her beauty and by her grace. when memory, i still have lumumba was killed, louise meriwether and sister maya going over the walls at the u.n.
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they were protesting. to have seen that, you stood there -- >> the first president of the democratically elected president of the congo. >> it was amazing to see. it over the years, i got to see road atr on the various occasions and going to her home their north carolina when she was giving birthday parties. she had everybody you can imagine. you imagine that person, that person was there at sister maya's house for birthday parties. you could call her on the telephone and cry and say, what a terrible mistake i made. you could call and say, i don't know if i'm doing the right thing, and she will listen and say, dear, dear, you need to come on down to the house and just rest for a while and sleep.
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you need for me to cook you some good food. >> sonia sanchez, she lived in a lot of pain. she was raped and she was a child -- when she was a child. the rapist was her mother's boyfriend and he was murdered. is it true she stopped talking for five years to everyone but her brother? >> that is what we were told. this is an interesting thing, this idea of people not talking. audrey lloyd also stopped talking at some point in her life. when my grandmother died, the trauma was so great that i began to stutter. luckily enough, that stutter saved me a great deal because my sister and i after my grandmother died, we were sent from house to house to house. as i walked into the house, it
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was announced my sister was the beautiful one and here comes s-sonia, so just give her a book about her in the corner. it is amazing when you're quite like that, you're filtering out perhaps all of the damage that was done to you, all the pain gets filtered out. finally when you do speak, you are healed. >> sonia sanchez, i would ask you, maya angelou was already an accomplished singer, dancer, actress. it then she gets involved in the civil rights movement. could you talk about the relationship between her art and her activism? she worked with both martin luther king and with malcolm x. later. >> there was no separation for us between our art and activism at all. sister reagan talks about the blues singer montgomery who said
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we all come here naked. even though we all come here naked, one of the things we have to do is we have to make arrangements for other people -- you know, those of us who are , began tod activists make arrangements for other people beyond ourselves. this is what she did. yes, and she raised so much money for the civil rights movement. people forget that. she and brother harry belafonte raised money because the movement needed money. yes, she marched and did all these things that other people did and she wrote and she knew brother malcolm and brother martin. she was in africa. this is a woman who simply at some point moved constantly with her art and activism, and saw no problem with the two of them. >> i want to turn to maya angelou talking about her close friend coretta scott king.
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the two shared a close on is dr. martin luther king was assassinated on maya angelou's birthday. they would talk every year on that date, april 4. in 2006, maya angelou spoke at caretta scott king's funeral in georgia. >> on those late nights when coretta and i would talk, i would make her laugh and she said that marching can use to tell her, you don't laugh enough. and there's a recent book out about sisters in which she spoke about her blood sister, but at the end of her essay, she said, i do have a chosen sister, maya angelou, who makes me laugh even when i don't want to. [laughter] and it's true. i told her some jokes only for no mixed company. [laughter] many times on those late after evenings, she would say to me,
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sister, it shouldn't be an either/or, should it? peace and justice should be known to all people everywhere all the time, isn't that right? [applause] now, said then and i say you're absolutely right. i do believe that peace and justice should be known to every all theeverywhere, time. and those of us who gather here, principalities, presidents, senators, those of us who run great companies -- who know something about being parents, who know something about being preachers and teachers, those of us, we owe something from this minute on. so this gathering is not just another footnote on the pages of history. [applause] something. i pledge to you, my sister, i
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will never cease. to see a say, i want better world. i mean to say, i want to see some peace somewhere. i want to see some honesty. fairplay. i want to see kindness and justice. this is what i want to see, and i want to see it through my eyes and through your eyes, coretta scott king. ♪ i open my mail to the lord and i won't turn back, no i will go i shall go i will see with the and is going to be ♪ >> that was maya angelou speaking in 2006 at coretta scott king's funeral. and this is her speaking in 2011 around the time when she was awarded the presidential medal of freedom. first, i thought about this morning, actually, is how wonderful it is to be an
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american. we have been the best of times and the worst of times. we've actually enslaved people and been enslaved. and we have actually liberated people and then liberated. amazing. amazing. if i had my druthers, i'd rather female black, american, in the 20th century. and i was. what luck i have. i'm trying to be a christian. i'm trying to be a christian and it is like trying to be a jew or buddhist or muslim. i'm always amazed when people walk up and say, i'm a question. i think, already? you already got it? i'm working at it. which means, i try to be as kind and fair and generous and
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respectful and courteous to every human being. seeing myself as him, not as his keeper or her keeper, but really seeing myself. black, white, asian, it of american -- i try to treat everyone as i want to be treated. and that is no small matter. really, that is trying to be an american because we have to say, i am a human being. nothing human can be alien to me. the statement is made by a black , a slave sold to a senator. he was the most popular playwright in rome. from 154 bc, ius am a human being. nothing human can be alien to me. my suithe time i leave
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and they leave me, some of me have ingested some of that. be proud. not haughty, but proud of what you have achieved. as yourthe future career, your job. this is not a rehearsal. this is your life. >> maya angelou speaking in 2011 around the time she was awarded the medal of freedom are president bill clinton. sonia sanchez, among the many collaborations that you had with overfriend maya angelou many years was on a peace mural in philadelphia. could you talk about that? >> oh, yes. i became the poet laureate here in philadelphia. one of the things i wanted to do -- the first thing was to have a peace mural. i called sister maya and sister toni morrison and alice walker and said, i want you to send me
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three lines about peace. and they did immediately. i got in contact with brother carmen and we put some -- three lines from brother martin. it is a beautiful mural. we ended up doing a book also. good, we needid, peace. one of the things we wanted to do was to have her words there. i chose words from her book "amazing peace," a christmas home she had put out. if you're ever in philadelphia, come too broad and christian street and you'll see this beautiful mural with the words of these women and these men, simply talking about peace. because peace is indeed a right for all of us on this earth. our dear sister maia was a peace warrior. she was a cultural worker. she was a woman who insisted about peace.
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freedom now, peace now, we insist. >> heretical nature, she's being remembered now, sure the palme the presidential -- her radical nature, she's being read member now, she read the home at the presidential inauguration. she climbed the wall. friending fidel castro in cuba. meeting malcolm x in africa, coming back with them to help him organize the organization of african unity. we're not hearing as much about it. >> that is what you do as an activist. she always said simply, we have to listen to everyone's story. we have to be involved with everyone. we cannot separate ourselves. manspoke at the million march, if you remember that march. she was there with a problem. she was every place. anyplace there was any action, you would find sister maya, constantly talking, constantly intruding people to find a way to resolve and solve problems. >> her books, some have been
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banned from libraries as she unflinchingly described her life and the experience of people, african-americans, and others. i remember when i was in high school, our library invited maya angelou to speak. hundreds of people came out. a rainbow of people. she did not just be, she spoke, moved, danced, and she everyone together. >> my dear sister, when she got on stage, -- we do it ourselves. programs,one of the "well cut this warning with my eyes on maya, going to resist, going to love just like her ♪ we learn how to mix the song and the poem and the poetry and the
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love. when i brought her to temple university, there were 3000 people standing up waiting to hear her. there were little children lined up who recited her poetry. this is, was, a great woman. but i was told yesterday that she had made transition. i sat up in my bed. say, how areant to you, dear sister? say, i amr voice well. i am well. i am well. and we are well because this great woman walked on this earth, my dear sister. >> we will in twin maya angelou 's own words. in 2005, she spoke at riverside church in harlem during the funeral of ossie davis, the famous actor, director, activist. he and his wife or renowned civil rights activists. in her address, maya angelou
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reads from her poem "when great trees fall. >> when great trees fall, rocks on distant hills shudder, lions hunker down in tall grasses, and even elephants lumber after safety. when great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence, their senses eroded beyond fear. when great souls die, the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile. we breathe, briefly. our eyes, briefly, see with a hurtful clarity. our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid, on promised walks not taken.
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great souls die and our reality, bound to them, takes leave of us. our souls, dependent upon their nurture, now shrink, wizened. our minds, formed and informed by their radiance, seems to fall away. we are not so much maddened as reduced to the unutterable silence of dark, cold caves. and then our memory comes to us again in the form of a spirit and it is the spirit of our beloved. it appears draped in the wisdom of the voice grace.
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we hear the insight of frederick ofglass and the boldness marxist garvey. we see our beloved standing before us as a light, as a beacon, indeed, as a way we're not so much reduced suddenly, the peace blooms around us. it is strange. it blooms slowly, always there regularly. spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. we see the spirit and we know our senses, changed, resolved. never to be the same, they whisper to us. from the spirit, remember, he existed.
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he existed. he belonged to us. he exists in us. we can be and be more. every day, more. larger, kinder i'm a truer, more honest, more courageous and more loving because ossie davis existed and belonged to all of us. [applause] inthat was maya angelou 2005, speaking at riverside church, remembering the famous actor and activist ossie davis who survived by his wife ruby d ee. as we remember maya angelou today, she died yesterday at her home in north carolina at the age of 86. this is democracy now!,, the war and
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peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we will be speaking with ta-nehisi coates about, "the case for reparations." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> the famous davis sisters of philadelphia. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman on the road in alezadelphia with juan gonz in new york. "the case for reparations. years of slavery. nine years of jim crow. 60 years of separate but equal. 35 years of racist housing policy. until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, america will never behold. so begins an explosive new cover
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story in the june issue of the atlantic magazine other hand as a guestt. the article is being credited for rekindling a national discussion on reparations for american slavery and institutional racism. >> in the essay, ta-nehisi coates exposes how slavery, jim crow, segregation, and federally backed housing policy systematically robbed african americans of their possessions and prevented them from accruing intergenerational wealth. much of the piece focuses on predatory lending schemes that built potential african-american homeowners. this is a video of -- that the atlantic released a preview its new cover story, "the case for reparations." represents there poorest of the poor in the city of chicago. >> of always wanted to own my own house, because i work for white people when i was in the south. they have beautiful homes also always said, one day i was going to have me one. >> white folks banded together. it drives me crazy even today
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that we don't admit that. this is the best example i can think of the institutional racism. >> to talk about "the case for reparations," we're joined by ta-nehisi coates here in new york city. welcome to democracy now! you start your article with one particular figure, clyde ross. tell us his story and why you decided to begin with them. >> mr. ross is really diplomatic much of what is happening to african-americans across the 20th century, and i emphasize 20th century. mr. ross was born in the delta region of mississippi. his family was not -- they were quite prominent farmers. they had their land and possessions taken from them through a scheme around allegedly back taxes and were reduced to sharecropping. in the sharecropping system, there was no assurances over what they might get versus what they actually picked. when i first met mr. ross, the
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first thing he said to me was he left mississippi for chicago because he was seeking the protection of the law. i did not quite understand what he meant. he said, listen, there were no black judges or prosecutors, no black police -- basically, we had no law. we were outlaws and people could take what they wanted. that was very much his early life. he went to chicago thinking things would be a little different. on the surface, they were. you managed to get a job, got married, had a decent life. he was basically looking for that one more emblem of the american middle class in the eisenhower years, now is the possession of a home. unfortunately, due to government policy, is to ross at that time, like most african-americans, was unable to secure a long due to policies or redlining and deciding who deserves and who didn't deserve loans. there was a broad consensus that african-americans, for no other reason besides blatant racism, could not be responsible homeowners.
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mr. ross ended up in the legitimate loan market and got caused up in the system of contract buying, which is essentially a particularly onerous rent to own scheme for people looking to eye houses. ended up purchasing a house, i believe that $27,000 he paid for in the person who sold it to him had bought the house only six months earlier for $12,000. mr. ross later became an activist, helped form the contract buyers league. i should add that it is estimated that 85% of african-americans looking to buy homes in chicago boxer contract lending. >> let's hear clyde ross and his onward speaking a in 1969 on behalf of the contract buyers league from a coalition of black homeowners on chicago's south and west side from all of whom had been locked in the the same system of predatory lending. >> they have cheated us out of more than money. we have been cheated out of the right to be human beings and
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society. we have been cheated out of buying homes at a decent price. now we got a the contract buyers league has presented a chance for these people in this area to move out of this group of society, to move up. stan on your own two feet. be human beings, fight for what you know is right. fight. , can youisi coates talk about this example and others in this remarkable piece thehow you then talk about bill for reparations that has been introduced by john conyers year after year in the house, and what reparations would actually look like? what i try to establish as there is a conventional way of talking about elation ship in america between the african-american community and
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the white community, and it is one that we are comfortable with. i basically call at the lunch table view, the problem with racism is that black people want to sit at one table and why people want to sit at another lunch table. if we could get black and white people to love each other, everything would be solved. these are inventions of racism. if you trace back to history to 1619, better way of describing the relationship between black and white people is one of the constant stealing from the taking of black people that extends from slavery after jim crow policy. slavery is the stealing of people's labor and sometimes the outright theft of their children , the taking of the black body for whatever profit you can bring from it, after jim crow south three of the system of sharecropping -- which isn't much different minus the actual selling of children, you're still exploiting labor and taking as much as you can from it. into his system when you think
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about something like separate but equal. we traditionally picture covered only water fountains, white only restrooms. the thing people have to remember, if you take a state like mississippi or anywhere in the deep south where you have a public university system, black people are paying into that. they aren't getting the same return. this is theft. this is systemized. what we try to talk about the practicality of it, i spent 16,000 words almost just trying to make the case. at the end, the actual thing hr44 thew is to support study of what slavery has done, what the legacy of slavery asunder black people and what remedies might -- we might come up with. i wasn't dodging the question, but to sketch out what this might be -- we have to calculate what slavery was. after calculate what jim crow was, what we lost in terms of redlining and come to some sort
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of ostensible number and figure out if we can pay back. and if we can't, what we might do in lieu of that. >> you mentioned the system of plunder that has occurred. this is not ancient history. in the most recent economic crisis in the country, there was this enormous reduction in the wealth of african-americans in the country as a result of the housing crisis, yet the narrative which raise it as the housing crisis -- the conservative narrative is why affirmative action policies of fannie mae and freddie mac to make it easier for african-americans with low credit to get loans. talk about that in this enormous wealth loss that occurred recently. >> there's an interesting paper out specifically about the foreclosure crisis that happened recently. one of the things he demonstrates in the paper -- the thing that made this possible, segregation was the driver. if you think about it, it makes sense.
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the african-american community is the most segregated in the country, and what you have is a population of people who have been traditionally cut off from wealth building opportunities. they're anxious to get wealth-building opportunities. if you are a banker looking to rip someone off, there are your marks right there, and the same place. essentially, that is what happened. >> ta-nehisi coates, i want to go to this issue of reparations and the examples you have seen, for example, after the holocaust, germany and the jews. can you talk about how those reparations took place? >> it is very interesting. one of the reasons why i included that history is, as we know, reparations for african-americans all sorts of practical problems we would've to deal with and fight about. i wanted to demonstrate even in the case of reparations to israel, the one most cited, this is not a sure thing. one thing that people often say
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about african-american reparations is, welcoming or just talking about savory and that was so long ago. talking you're just about slavery and no so long ago. the fact it was so close made it really really hard for people, made it hard for some israelis who did not want to feel like they were taking a buck off oh mothers or brothers or sisters or grandmas to adjust been killed. germany, if we look at the opening surveys, they were -- germans were no more apt to take responsibility today than americans are for slavery. it is a very difficult piece. one of the lessons that can be learned is, the way it was structured. germany did not just cut a check . what they did was they gave them vouchers. those vouchers that were worth a certain amount of money, they had to be used with german companies. essentially, they structured the stimulus west germany while giving reparations to israel the same time. it gives us some horde of
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creative solutions we might have in the african-american community. >> one of the issues you raise is reparations demand is not new in american history. you talk about melinda royall who in 1783 had been a slave for 50 years, the camera freed woman. she petitioned the commonwealth of massachusetts for reparations. >> i think people think of this as something that just came out. -- reparations is basically as old as this country. it is also why people who understood at the time some great injury had been done. many of the meetings -- basically, they would excommunicate people who did not just free their slaves, but gave them or pay them reparations and return. great quote from the president of yell who said, to liberate these folks and to give them nothing would be to entail a curse upon them. effectively, that is what
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happened. many, many people of the revolutionary generation, the generation that fought in the revolutionary war, understood that slavery was somehow in contradiction to what america was saying it was. many of those folks at least gave land to african-americans when they were liberated. some educated them. they understood to cut somebody out into the wild, which is what happened to black people, would not be a good thing. >> ta-nehisi coates, thank you very much for being with us. we're going to do part two right after the show and we will post online at ta-nehisi coates is a national correspondent of the atlantic -- at the atlantic where he writes about culture, politics and social issues. he has just written a cover story for the magazine called, "the case for reparations." he is also author of the memoir "the beautiful struggle." democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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>> hello, i'm john cleese. have you heard of the 13th century sufi mystic whose poetry outsold all other poets in the united states for over a decade? when unesco declared 2007 as "the year of jalaluddin rumi," they rightfully recognized his contribution as an advocate of interfaith tolerance and respect. they described rumi as "one of the great humanists, philosophers, and poets who belong to humanity in its entirety." the u.n. recognized that the spiritual evolution and, quite possibly, the survival of our very world is directly tied to the ideas that lie at the heart of rumi's


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