tv [untitled] January 22, 2013 1:30am-2:00am EST
now having an african-american man lead this country strong symbol of progress indeed but is it a real indicator of racial equality or are there still a long road ahead for dr king's message is truly understood so to talk more about that i'm joined by matt meier carter social justice activist and editors of the new book we have not been moved resisting racism in militarism and twenty first century america thank you so much both of you for coming on to be here thank you so many let's start with you. one hundred fifty years as only a generation and a half it's a really long when we're looking at you know how do we really progress that much of where do you stand on where we are today well i must say that one of the things that i got involved with first was the poor people's campaign in one thousand nine hundred sixty eight before king got assassinated that was one of the last thing he's working on and it was only because of all the work he had done down south but saying economic justice is a key issue but i have to say this was january twenty first king holiday obama's
presidency but it's the fiftieth anniversary of the sixty three march on washington did anyone believe possible on august twenty eighth one thousand six hundred black man in that white house that's how far we've come in a very relatively short time against a backdrop of slavery that happened in this country so in a way yes still have lots to go. forward of your book. we have not been moved it was written by cornell west who's also been a very vocal opponent of some of the policies pushed by the obama administration i want to actually play something that he had to say about obama's swearing in on m.l.k. buyable. in the tradition that produced martin luther king jr and we're not going to allow it to be in any way senate. and we.
well to be her look at me. when you said you don't get it. do you agree with his assessment or you know we do have a lot of agreement and a lot of respect for dr west and obviously appreciated his forward to the book for us it's not so much about criticizing obama though there's a lot critical of obama in the book it is about saying that the vision that obama's presidency fulfills king's dream is incorrect so in that sense we do agree with dr west we were reminded that actually even before the forward in the book dr king's words about what's needed for social change about what king himself called a true revolution and dr king said in sixty eight and sixty three that a true revolution of values will soon look easly on the contrast of poverty and wealth a true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war this
way of settling differences is not just so it's really about saying that in fact the obama presidency sadly is not fulfilling king's dream and the struggle that we feel the whole society needs to take up the struggle we try to forward a bit in this book is to really look at and examine the connections between racism and militarism and to say there is systems for racism resistance against militarism must continue racism necessitates. war and militarism so really you know it just seems like yes we've gone so far but also you know i just moved here from oakland california predominately a black neighborhood in and i want to run into the video project where i was asking people initially when obama got elected a couple years ago as presidency why did you vote for him and ninety five percent of the community said because he's black. how much of it is just kind of you know racial support preventing the african-american community from really questioning.
the militarism that he is aggressively pursuing. there's no doubt some truth to that and one has to wonder if a different president with the same policies would get greater uprisings so i think it's time in the second term to say just as we expect more we expect him to not worry so much about reelection we have to also demand and we have to do as. i said make him make the policies better. and i live in durham north carolina for instance which is only several hours fort bragg camp please you name all of a member of the used to be a draft during vietnam but now we have a different kind of draft they have this program in a lot of the housing projects with black and brown called the young marines you have single mothers who are thinking well my son or daughter gets to have a uniform they have some sense of. you know a. sense of order in their lives but that's just one stepping stone into jail she
goes on and who's going into those military now when you think about people of color so for those of us who are active with the war resisters league certainly when you think about pacifism and nonviolence that he believes and yet we also see this other kind of conscription going on mostly people of color but yet i have to say when you think about the first african-american president when blacks didn't used to have the right to vote and you see how far we've come now the question is what's going to happen next four years and whether that policy afghanistan were still there good point about the war if it's you know we no longer the draft are really getting people on the streets right now it's kind of outsourcing and it's definitely affecting the poor communities still martin luther king once said you know a nation that spends more and more on military of course and programs and social uplift is a pretty approaching spiritual i mean america is undoubtedly growing its military year after year exponential growth do. do you see the spiritual death of america as
an inevitability if we continue on the same course that we're at it concerns me like i said where i live in durham north carolina the military what i'm really struck by is that outsourcing is one of the things that we haven't talked about it these drones are going over there to keep on saying well we don't have to put our people at risk but these machines that are flying over there some people think if you can't see it it's ok so it's almost gotten to a different level of the militarism and who's pushing those buttons don't have to be black or white or woman or male either way removing yourself from the ground the best icon i've seen over this inaugural weekend is this photo of king the classic photo i have a dream and then the photo of obama i have a drum oh yeah. right now really yeah. it's pretty amazing oh my god it's a striking image and i think it speaks to some of that vision of a society that would be an actual spiritual fulfillment might look like and what in fact as you say we are approaching absolutely how it should matter how much you
think a racial prejudice is prevented a successful antiwar movement from really coalesce and i know that your book kind of addresses that that's exactly right and the title of the book we have not been moved of course taken in part off of the old spiritual we shall not be moved at all civil rights anthem but on the other hand we have to remember stokely carmichael we have to remember the calls of the late one nine hundred sixty sixty seven sixty eight the calls for black power that reverberated in the student nonviolent coordinating committee the the student wing of the civil rights movement weren't just as has been in some ways characterized for whites to get out that we want black only organizations there really for whites to work in our own communities against racism and what the book speaks to in part is that we evaluate that that call has not been taken out of the white community in this country have not been moved to work against racism and militarism to work against what king called. three
pillars militarism racism materialism of evil in the country and in fact if we haven't been moved in this time what can we do what do we need to do now to take up that call and do organizing work against militarism and racism will be effective you know that the materialism aspect of the three core values that we need are bad values of a need to reject rather you don't really hear a lot about that materialistic aspect of what he was rejecting about american culture why you think that is and i know i know is when i joined when i was eighteen years old i'm now sixty five when you think about the journey of those of us who came before world war two go on and so forth and. i guess what i'm really struck by this the thing you just said previously the demographics of this country we just saw this past election by two thousand and fifty it will be majority people of color california already is so against that backdrop of what you just asked that question if ever there was maybe a point because of just the numbers numerically maybe this is an interesting time
to figure out how we kind of. configuring bring up that issue and in a broader way with maybe a younger generation as well that's huge and i think the latino community is now higher than the african-american community you know all of these things are human constructs i mean we've created all of these things these barriers to really divide us from each other how can we move beyond the i mean are we always going to be creating different constructing different things to divide us from each other a long road ahead of us i think we have a long road ahead of us but i also feel like there's some optimism you know the first chapter in the book present an unusual and a little piece of dialogue from the late fifty's before king won the nobel peace prize before some of the successes of the movement some of the civil rights act voting rights act it's a dialogue between dr king. black nationalist activist from north carolina actually robert franklin. williams who was famous later for writing
a book called negroes with guns and he actually had been part of the c.p.p. for that pacifist leader. and founder of the catholic workers dorothy day and this is a dialogue that asks those same questions what can we do to overcome these roots of oppression and in fact one of the things that gives me hope now is the memory that those dialogues were happening that that we don't need to have social justice movements that have such deep divisions such deep dichotomy between violence and nonviolence between black and white in fact if we look at the core issues struggling against racism militarism and materialism we can build bridges we can do that and we must absolutely well put you guys unfortunately out of time thank you so much for coming on. thank you and we have not been moved resisting racism militarism in the twenty first century. that
you have to go around if you like what you see so far go to our you tube channel youtube dot com breaking the sentence come to us check us out on hulu as well through dot com breaking down the set and like us on our facebook page at facebook dot com on the set down about what i'm doing when i'm not on air follow me on twitter abbi martelly took a break for now the security here but the top five bush policies continued under obama next. good lumber tour. was to build the most sophisticated. certainly doesn't sound anything to mission to teach creation why it should care about humans and. this is why you should care only. wealthy british style.
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a campaign more than hinted at the prospect of radical change was replaced with much of the same doctrine as we heard the previous eight years so right now i just want a few policies that i believe mark president obama is more like the heir to the bush administration and the great liberal hope that was once sold the american public has grown tunnel prison the president promised to close in two thousand and eight they are ocean of privacy the rise of the surveillance state expansion lawlessness of drone warfare the deadly economically catastrophic and racially disproportionate war on drugs that he promised he would not go after marijuana users and topping our list is the continued war on terror unabated and less war and more currently known as what obama rebranded overseas contingency operations mouthfull so joining me to break the set on this list is producer and well. hey manny so let's get right into this one time the prison that obama promised over and over again in this was the
main pillar of his campaign that he was going to close it sign an executive order right when he got in and then blames it kind of on the legislative branch for blocking him through and actually with these top five it's like we were discussing earlier there's countless other examples where you can talk about kind of a perpetuation of the bush era policies but you know with guantanamo you're absolutely right it was one of those kind of at the forefront of his campaign promises to close guantanamo and in fact to his credit he tried you know he signed an executive order to quickly find out found out that it's a big quagmire that's all that's all guantanamo is what you're left with is obama saying i'm going to reform the military detention ten of the way that we deal with military to to. in the united states and honestly if you're a detainee suspected of terry you were far off under the under bush policies that under mind that half of the people of already been signed to be released they're
completely innocent i'm sure most of them are and if you and if they are guilty then that's because of torture but i just wanted to say that he could have signed a signing statement i know that i'm against that because bush did a bunch of them and it shouldn't be done that way but he could assign a study and really release these people passing a buck here is kind of a cop out what we need to do is on to my favorite the surveillance. surveillance the patriot act obama has voted to expand the patriot act oh this should be no surprise i mean patriot act or unpatriotic act whatever you want to call it started under bush of course obama supported this it should be surprise to any of us that that he signed it auto pen signature while he was overseas when he signed the patriot back and you know into ratification but i mean he supported this when he was a senator we can go on the list of the surveillance aspects that obama supports fice of. being given immunity to the corporation is a surveillance absolutely and it's just amazing that a constitutional law professor harvard law professor would would sign something and
that was such a point of contention when it was when it was released i mean right after nine eleven it violates the first fourth fifth amendments of the constitution i mean this is unconstitutional piece of legislation this is something that people that were so critical of obama. the bush administration were so excited about when obama came in because he came in with these you know pretty serious words you know to close guantanamo you know no more of this warrantless wiretapping we need to do away with these with these horrible tyrannical laws and i mean all we're left with is this kind of perpetuation of the same those same doctrines yeah and of course the t.s.a. is a whole nother story but we need to move on to drones the drone king i mean he really took bush's you know brennan and bush's kind of thing with the drone warfare and really is taking it to a whole new level i mean drones is one of those things go. beyond just what we're talking about killer drones and u.s. operations in pakistan somalia mali afghanistan i mean there's a number of countries that the united states is just carpet bombing with these with these drones it's creating this like this resentment of the united states but
beyond that the drone expansion goes you know border taking care of the you know watching the border and counter-narcotics in the caribbean and central america domestic drones from. disaster drones but i think that on top of just the removal from really being and involved in the act of warfare i think we know that there counterintuitive there counterproductive because more hostility more terrorism more radicalization of these of the grounds that we're bombing out of ninety eight percent failure rate for god's sake i mean why are we using it's just amazing you know these pioneered these as the new way to go and all this is setting is setting a really dangerous precedent for all these countries that the few countries left in the world that do see the united states as a shining beacon of democracy on top of on top of a hill and the precedent that this sets that the united states is using these drones to kill people indiscriminately with no due process you know there's an arms race building up right now and it's all around drone bush were to kill someone without due process we would never be hearing the end of it's kind of swept under
the rug let's move on to the drug war eric holder when obama was running for office he was saying we're not going to prosecute marijuana clubs we're not going to go after cannabis clubs or state you know we're not going to really regulate the states of course where we see harsh federal crackdowns across cannabis clubs all over the country and we're talking to you know beyond cannabis and regardless of where you stand on this issue if you're pro legalization or against it it doesn't really matter the fact of the matter is that this is been one of the biggest most spectacular failures of failures and part of public policy from the obama administration we're spending billions of dollars wasted not just here in the united states record incarceration united states has what a fifth of the world's population of the world's prisoners many of these due to these drugs small charges of drug offenses and. most importantly and i think what gets overlooked along is what we're doing to countries outside of the united states of america that i do every one minute love so at that one of the war on terror you know what you have branded to overseas contingency operations i mean the only thing
i can really say is that continuing the fear of a nonexistent threat to really keep this militarism and expanding military industrial complex alive is really unfortunate and that in its face is probably the saddest aspect of obama's presidency absolutely military industrial complex is really a crippling thing and this is just a testament the fact that we're now seeing this rebranding of it that we're you know terrorist now the artist formerly known as terror is now overseas contingency operations whatever you want to call it this is a really dangerous thing and this is leading the united states down a really a really dangerous path and what i'm what i'm expecting to see in the fall in the coming years is really a change in the in the public sentiment but we're not going to see this from the obama administration we're going to see this from a grassroots level people and it's the people that are going to be the ones to decide how to change this thank you so much man you produce for breaking this that .
i. for many of you celebrating president obama's inauguration it's important to realize what else this day symbolizes. the life of dr martin luther king jr the greatest civil rights activist of the twentieth century and for that reason i want to take a moment and make a tribute to one of those inspiring figures that ever lived was born in one nine hundred twenty nine in atlanta georgia the son of a baptist minister and a school teacher dedicated academic he entered morehouse college where he received a degree in sociology later he received a degree in a bachelor's star in divinity and in one thousand fifty five taint a ph d. from boston college that same year would prove to be a pivotal moment in american history it was set the stage for a new era of social justice because on december first one nine hundred fifty five rosa parks was arrested for refusing to sit at the back of the bus in the section designated for blacks despite what we've learned about rosa parks in our history
books that she was a woman that decided randomly one day she had enough it's important to realize that revolutions don't happen overnight this was merely the turning point of an ongoing struggle one that had been building for years rosa parks just happen to be the catalyst of a movement on the verge of breaking on the day of the mcgovern bus boycott dr king's stepped up to lead the charge for the next three hundred eighty two days those in the movement were heavily targeted with violence threats and arrests until finally in one nine hundred fifty six the us supreme court ruled against racial segregation on public transportation refusing to bask in the small victory king was relentless in his leadership and continued to fight for equal rights against all odds he said injustice everywhere i'm sorry anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere dr king committed himself to the principles of mahatma gandhi's sought the a hop which advocated peaceful protest and nonviolent civil disobedience above all
in fact while he was incur. did in one thousand nine hundred sixty three he wrote in a famous letter a quote it's a duty of an individual to protest and disobeying unjust laws and protests he did later that year he led the largest march in washington d.c. with an unprecedented two hundred fifty thousand people that's the day dr king spoke his most famous words i have a dream the monumental event was a turning point in the fight for civil rights because one year later the civil rights act of one hundred sixty four passed which ended racial segregation and the following year nine hundred sixty five the voting rights act passed and sure in the voting rights of african-americans the king knew racism wasn't the only social ill he immediately sought to fight for a new struggle unfolding beyond the borders of this country vietnam for the next three years he became extremely outspoken against the war his words transcend time
and space and rings so true to the values that we as human beings should strive to uphold when faced with any unjust act of aggression. to do since. you lower your. nation. to use every method. something is happening and people are not going to be. there should be told. it's right the truth must be told no matter what the cost there are what the stakes even if it meant death and tragically that was the case for king on april fourth one thousand sixty eight he was assassinated and there's still
a lot of speculation surrounding his death and the fact many question whether or not the f.b.i. actually played a role in it considering how cain was subject to cointelpro federal surveillance against him for years he was in the coin the most dangerous and effective negro leader in the country and quote by the us government on the day of an assassination it was robert kennedy who broke the news of his death while speaking to an all black audience motions around a high kennedy spoke words that dr king himself would be proud of. the united states it's not. what we need in the united states is not hatred. what we need in the united states is not by lens and lawlessness. but is love. and wisdom and compassion toward what i know about. the feeling of justice. to what those who still suffer within our country whether they be quite whether they be black
guys mace or race might not be the dividing factor it once was but we continue to be a country divided nonetheless you know i tend to end the show with a lot of cynicism we would be blind to not recognize at face value alone the milestone this country has reached and electing a black man as our president when only fifty years ago blacks and whites couldn't even sit together in a diner as much criticism that i have for this administration it's important to recognize the revolution that has occurred in this nation's social consciousness and with all the division hatred has been is and that exists at this moment among the populace we don't heed dr king's most profound advice of all he said darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that.