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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  February 6, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm EST

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locker about the black family. it's about the hispanic family and the white family. charles murray's book on this is illuminating. and there's no government solution to this. there's, rather, recognition of the problem and a sense that this is bad for society and for kids. it's a big, big, long, long road back, and my book bee the dream and the nightmare "the '60s legacy to the underclass is very much about what happens when attitudes changes among the upper classes first, and they have the resources to recover, but the underclass -- i would add the blue collar middle class -- don't have the resources to recover from thinks like broken families, and we're seeing the impact of this. so, i think it's unquestionable but astounding we still debate this issue rather than trying to
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address this. fred? >> it's ironic situation that the upper middle class refuses to preach what it practices. what it practices is strong families, enormous attention to children, but won't preach that because to preach that is to be critical of someone else, and that would indict them and again, one of the racism, sexism, et cetera, et cetera. so, the moe important thing that can happen is might provide some solace for this bleeding is that there's a -- the deconstruction of this postmodern frame. so much of the up irmiddle class has bought into. the other thing that comes out of this -- the lady from wisconsin remind met of it -- is the intend polarization that's produces. the democratic party now could not win without the vote of single women.
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the cartoon about julia last night. welfare mothers are married to at the government, the serial mon nothing my they engage -- mon nothing my monogan where they deal with. the people who live in states were married families are still predominant, wisconsin, they're moving -- utah -- are moving in the other direction. so wore having a terrible polarization because we weren't able to deal intel generally and honestly with the moynihan report. and let me bring up a word, i see me wife over there, some the word is "feminism." feminism has certain virtues. she kept her name. when people ask for for mr. seeingle and they're selling something on the phone i say there is no mr. siegel, and hang up. but, but, feminism is another basis for not being able to talk
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honestly, not being able to talk about empirical young in wisconsin, a legacy of -- progressivism was this commission brought together to investigate election fraud. the name of the commission -- they had midnight raids on -- knocking down the doors and come up with nothing. but the only one who covered this is "the wall street journal." what is this about? if it's in "the new york times," i've missed it. i admit i read the "times" less and less as i shift to an online subscription because i couldn't bear to pay them so much. if these things come to the fore, we have a chance of achieving in progress. i worry that if hillary clinton is elected all of the problems that steve and i talked about will be baked into the body politic for a long time to come.
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i worry about it for myself and i worry about it for my grandchildren. >> thanks, fred. i want to leave everyone with one last buckley quote. he wrote in a letter to henry kissinger what must have been fairly despairing moment in the cold war, that our task is to bring hammer blows against the bell jar that protects the dreamers from reality. the ideal scenario is that by pounding from without we can affect resonances will will crack through to the late ten impulses of those who dream within, bringing to life a circuit that will save the republic, and 50 years on, our task is style bring the hammer blows, and meese thank steve and fred for joining us at this point. >> thank you. applause. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> you're watching booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here's a look at what's on primetime tonight: we kick off the evening at 7:00 p.m. eastern with david shields' presentation of several years of war photographs from the front page of "the new york times." then at 8:30, a panel on the life of recently retired librarian of congress, james billington, and at 10:00, on afterwards the daler callersed matt louis argues for the rebecca party to return to conservative principles or risk demise. we finish up at 11:00 with a report on the largest refugee camp in the world.
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tonight on c-span 2's booktv. >> the smiley ten years ago this book came out, the covenant with black america and this is ten years later ex-first of all are, what were you trying to get at ten years ago. >> guest: first of owl, hey new years. ten years ago we were in the midst of the bush administration, and in 2005 katrina hit and kanye west famously said that president bush -- george bush doesn't care about black people those black folk who lost their lives, this book comes out in 2008 because black folk had enough. we were sick and tired of being sick and tired as we put together an agenda that laid out the top ten issues of importance to african-americans and what could be done through the national plan of action to turn the tide against all those ills and ailments that were trying to take black america under. everything from health to housing to criminal justice to the environment, to the digital
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divide. the top ten issues of importance to african-americans, education, were in this book. the book comes out, makes history, goes number one on "the new york times" bestseller list, and here we are ten years later and one has to ask the question, based upon the agenda laid out ten year ago, what progress has black america made a decade later so the book out now is the covenant of black america ten years later. >> host: in the introduction here's what you write it: black america has lost ground in every leading economic category in the last ten years. >> guest: you have to go where the data takes you, where the facts take you. unless you're certain presidential candidates which is a conversation for another day. at least in my writings i want to stay focused on the facts and the data tell us. what the data tell us what you just said, that the black folk have fallen behind in every major economic category. i went to indian university to the school of public and environmental affairs, to ask
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them to give me the data i needed on these ten issue areas so this book is not my opinion. these are the data, this is the truth. if you want the truth about the state of black america today and perhaps some statement about where the future is headed, this text lays that out. you can imagine, peter, how when the data started to come in to me and i started compiling what was in front of me, it hit me hard to realize in every major economic category black folk have lost ground over the last ten years. >> host: let's start with health care, the first chapter, written by david satture, former surgeon general of the u.s. let's go to uninsured, number one, and up at the top, hispanics remain uninsured 20% level. black pop population in the last ten years has drop from 19.5 to 11.8. whites, 7.6% up insured rate.
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so there's some improvement. >> guest: there is no doubt about the fact that obamacare led to greater insurance coverage for african-americans, number one. i think in the long run, not only will the president get great create for having gotten this. >> appears it's going to stand and i hope in the coming years we can improve this. it wasn't universal health care and something he prom mitt but something is better than nothing and i and i hope we can improve on that. the insurance rate ford black people have improved. the problem is most provisions have not kinged in as yet, the motor important one is the preexisting conditions prohibition. at the moment ten years later black health is not measurably better at number one, number two even obamacare didn't do anything about health disparateys. what you read about healthcare ten years later, black women continue to die disproportionately from preventible diseases. so we celebrate the passage of
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obamacare. aawait the day the provisions kick in and hope to see the impact it will have on african-americans beyond just being covered but the health disparities and the racial element involved there yip has yet to be address. >> host: is there a personal responsibility level when it comes to health care. >> guest: not just health care. there's a level of that on every one of these issues. i just listened to your conversation with robin woodson no doubt about the fact that before black people or any people can hold others accountable, you must first hold yourself responsible. so, responsibility and accountability go hand in hand. >> host: covenant with black america ten years later. when it comes to education, the goal of providing an equal high quality education to all of america' students has yet to be realized it. >> guest: there are pockets of progress on some issues and on education there's some evidence we're making a bit of progress. number one. number two, one of my issues are with the way we approached
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education over the last ten years. this notion of racing to the top. that's been the name of the program, race to the top. that always struck me as funny and interesting because to my mind education ought not to be a race. it ought to be a right. we put so much competition into the education equation so much money to be made off the competition, it's become a race as opposed to a eight every child ought to have access to. and speaking of rights what we still have not accomplished is a way to guarantee every child to this country access to an equal high-quality education. we have not figured that out. no matter what child, no matter what state you're born, in has access to equal high quality ookayed, something is wrong when you have to wait for the ball to bounce your way in a lottery machine and hope your number comes up. something is wrong when you hope their pull your name and you're on a waiting list.
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people love talking about school school choice but it's about how we make all schools choice, and so long as public education for african-americans does not measure up we have a problem. >> other consecutive vents that smiley writes about include criminal justice, economics and economic opportunity, environmental justice, digital divide issues, rural roots, and democracy and participation in our democracy. we'll go through a couple more but we have to get to your calls. we want to hear your voices as well. rick in fairfax, virginia, republican line, you're on with tavis smiley. >> caller: hey, tavis, according to the congressional budget office, overall federal taxation is on average -- you can google that with cbo distribution of taxes. so actually with the tax
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increase we had in 2013, increase the overall effective progressivity of taxation, i think that was all a diversion from the spending side of the equation, which was this year 5.9 trillion, according to the bea, and if we wasted just 15% of that, that would be close to a trillion dollars a year. so, -- >> host: rick, where are you going with this? >> caller: i mean, isn't it a diversion from the real problem of spending and the regulations? because the average -- i don't know if your familiar with the confident of government, -- cost of got which is 51% of average income, which includes manufacturing income. so poor people can't get jobs because the total government related costs are so high, and
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so there's no business -- not enough business formation. >> guest: i'm not all toth sure of the point he was attempting to make. what i do know is this, dr. king said once that budgets are moral documents. budgets are moral documents. they're not just financial transactions. they're moral documents. and so when you can say what you say but you are who you are and we know who you are, we see who you are when you put your bit on the table. so far the black folk over the last ten years, the problem with our budget priorities we have not prioritized the lives of those who are suffering the most, and so we could have a great debate about government pending, what we ought to spend more on and less on, but if king is right, that budgets are moral documents, then our budget and our priorities ought to say something about what matters to us and so again, over the last ten years we have not put enough suspend e spend neglect right places buzz that's a debate we could have for hours.
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>> host: malik, arlington, texas, democrat. you're on with tavis smiley. covenant with black america, ten years later, the name of the book. >> caller: hi, mr. smiley. >> guest: how are you. >> caller: doing good. first i would like to say i agree with what you're saying, the problem with black america is our family structure has crumbled. we have destroyed our family structure, black females have decided for the last 30 years to have out of wedlock child births and it's 77% of all black children being born now being born out of wedlock. those children are going to live in abject poverty because they're no family structure no more husband and wife. and most of the time the black females, their families are being subsidized by the federal government. section 8 houstoning destroyed working class black communities. home ownership and the tax revenue from home ownership would go to improve schools, but
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because our neighborhoods are crumbling, not because of government, but because of our own behavior, there is no more room on the shifting tax revenue -- >> na leak -- malik we'll get an answer but what due you do. >> an electric instrumentation technician at a manufacturing plant, for ten years. >> guest: thank you for your phone call. let me say three things quickly. he had a lot in his statements. i want to start with the fact i'm not sure that we can say that most women who are single mothers, most black single mothers on government assistance. i want to caution us on that. don't know that most single black mothers are on government assistants. number two, i would not at all argue with you about the breakdown of the traditional and nuclear family as we know it. what i would add is when you talk about the american society and how it's changed over the last 50 years we're becoming a single parent society across the
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board. not just a black thing. we're becoming a single parent society. put another way. the problem is that black folk don't get married. that's the point you made. black folk don't get married and white folk can't stay married and that's the problem. black folk don't get married, white folk don't stay married. divorce rate off the child support and we have become a single parent society. what i don't like is we have this conversation as if black folk are the only ones who are leading the way, leading the charge, for us becoming a single parent society. to the issue of housing and funding for schools i hear you loud and clear and i'm starting to rethink whether or not funding schools through property taxes is the best way to do it a lot of folk no longer have kids or kids are groin and out of the house and they have a problem paying property tacks nice don't see how they're being benefited by their money going to schools. so you see people now starting to rise up against paying property taxes. i don't know i know all the
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answers. but i'm think we need to rethink whether property tacks are the betts way to fund education. >> host: correcting the -- criminal justice reform there's been movement in the area no is there has. eric holder before he left as attorney general, made some good decisions about how they're going to go forward and prosecuting these drug crimes. i've always thought that these -- so mean of these drug crimes are health offenses first. a health crisis more than it is a criminal justice issue. i think that before he left the ag's office he made good moves in turn terms of sentencing and what kinds of crimes they were going to prosecutor. i celebrate that. still disappointed for not going after anybody on wall street. we have gone through another eight years and nobody has paid the price for the reying and pillaging of -- the raping and pillaging of the treasury that brut ordinary country.
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wall street are making more money than ever now but nobody has paid for the crime of what the did to bankrupt, try to bankrupt this country. but on criminal yates, and progress has been meat. i think going forward the only area i can come up with in this book of these ten issues is on the issue you raise, the criminal justice reform. you sea rand paul and cory booker and other senators starting to express support for some reasonable, sincible, limited reform to criminal justice. i think there's a lot obviously a lot that can be done and i highly recommend michelle alexander's brilliant book "the new jim crow." highly recommend it but it think there's finally starting to be some shifting of opinion on the hill. sometimes we do the right thing for the wrong reason. the right thing for the wrong reason. the democrats who are talking about criminal justice reform are doing it because they care about justice.
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and reforming the way we do this in the country. i'm not saying republicans don't feel some of that but my sense it most of their concern is fiduciary. the finally figured out we can't spend our way out of this and be the most -- the nation that leads the world in mass incarceration because we're spending so much money doing that. so for one group it may be a justice issue. for another it may be a fiduciary issue but at the end of the day, at my cage i don't care how we get there, i'll take it. >> host: where do you think the koch brothers -- >> guest: on that issue? that a good question. i don't know them and -- even when question people's politics and who they support, i never want to question their motivations. i don't like their practices. i don't like their strategies but i know them to say anything their motivations. >> host: ann in louisville, tavis smile isy listening. >> caller: yes. i want to say i think it was
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interesting how he diminished the previous caller's points by divert what the caller said about the black family and started talking about the divorce rate among whites. i just don't think that was a good answer. but i wanted to call about was what i see it's a situation to where when do people start caring more about their own situation and their own destiny than allowing someone else to care about it? when you get to the point where you're writing for someone else or expecting someone else to help improve your situation instead of you, the person, the individual, caring more about yourself, caring more about your children, you having the wherewithal to improve your life itch stead of waiting for someone to come along with a
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program or a -- it's teachers and schools -- >> all right, ann, we got the point. >> guest: ann, a lot of general recallities there, and because there's so many i don't know exactly what to say. i will tell you this, i started this conversation by saying that we have to first hold ourselves responsible, i repeat, before we hold other people accountable. so i absolutely agree with your message, if that it your point. i couldn't agree more. to your other point about my having diminished the previous caller, if that was your impression i apologize for that to you and the caller. i went attempting to diminish. what i tried to do was expound upon his point. i started saying i agree with you about the breakdown of the black family. i said that. i agree. so i moved on. but i wanted to expand on his point. it's not just the black family that's broken down. it's the family at large in this country. no longer nuclear in the way it was, our divorce rates are too
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high. it's true that black folk don't seem to get married and white folk can't stay married. i tried to expand upon his point. >> host: maverick tweet inside to you: what next after president obama's term is up? will you good after the next potus for not solving issues concerning minorities. >> guest: will i do that? absolutely. i've been doing that for the balance of my career, for those who follow my work and have nope me for quite some time. i love and respect bill clinton. we're personal friends and traveled around they ever world together. yet there were anyway number of issues during this presidency as a member of the media i challenged him on. our job when we're doing it, and c-span is doing a good job of it, exposing ourselves the truth. our job is to get at the truth and raise issues that otherwise would not be raised to get americans to reexamine their assumptions and expand their inventory of ideas. that's my work at public television, pbs, and public radio to try to get people to look at the world and issues through a different prism, by
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trying to put different truths on the table. i don't have a monopoly on truth but the truth i know i put out there. hold bill clinton accountable for a lot of things. didn't like his welfare deform bill is a call it. he called it reform. i didn't like the prime bill where you had to get the same sentence -- i didn't like the way he and secretary albright a sat on their handers and didn't go into rwanda to stop the genocide. the worth mistake of his presidency, he said he believed it is his greatest mistake. so i have issues with people i like. sometimes you have to fight with your friends. i did that for clinton, who i like, and the same thing for president obama who is vote ford and like and am proud to see him as the first african-american president, but very simply, when it comes to me and dealing with the presidents, my philosophy is straightforward. i respect my president. i will protest my president. especially this one. from a number of it would sprem sit attacks.
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rye aspect him and will correct him when think he is done. i look forward to doing that in the future. >> host: something you write about in the consecutive vent with black america ten years later, eric garner, michael brown, tamir rice, walter scott, ate, have been killed. >> guest: it's going to be difficult challenging for the historians years from now. trying to juxtapose a number of thing about the obama presidency, and i'm not putting this at the president's feet but making a parallel of what happen digger this historic period. the historians have to resle with how in the era of the first black president, black boys and black men are being shot and killed in the streets and cops are getting away with that. let me save right quick, if president obama campaigned not once but twice for rahm emanuel
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in chicago, and recently the president said he supports rahm emanuel. well, the black folk in chicago don't see it that way. he as mayor knew this tape existed and sat on it for a year. you know story here. rahm emmanuel ought not be -- he has disqualified himself as far as i'm concerned from continuing to be the mayor of the city of chicago. we have to make the link and the connection to those who supported him then and still support him now after this egregious act. something is wrong in our country when that just black folk but citizen are starting to trust law enforcement less and less. that's not to say that law enforcement is a bad thing. we need that. in black communities we're the ones who are victimized by violent crime so we want to be protected and served by police and i support police. but i don't support the incidented that continue to happen where black men's lives are -- there's no -- the sank it of their life is not appreciate it. the humanity and dignity is not appreciated and the cops continue to get off. we can talk about it incident by incident but how many incidents
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make a pattern? there's a pattern here, and the historians got deal with how in the era of the first black., black folk are being shot and killed in the streets and folk are getting away with that. how in the era of the first black president did the bottom follow out for black america. they lost ground in ten years in every major economic category. the president deserves great credit -- let me be clear -- deserves great credit for the thinged had go up again the head wipe and obstructionism of the republicanned but hit 0 moist loyal con city tune circumstance black people, lost ground. how are they going to square that into the future. >> host: eric from rialto, california, on the republican line. >> caller: how come you -- i don't blame handity, talking to hadn'tty about --
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>> host: just take the first part of the question. >> guest: i go where i'm invited if people are open to truth, and because i show up somewhere doesn't mean i agree with people's policies. wear friends. our careers started at the same time. funny story. sean handity and i have been connected at the hip for 20 years. i was a radio host in l.a. and the was radio host in atlanta at the time. funny store. the day that of j. simpson was supposed to turn himself in to the police and the white branch co low-speed chase insuit, we all remember that. sean and i were sitting together on the set at cnn and because all the reporters were downtown waiting for 0oj to show up to turn himself in the studio was empty and sean i were just two radio hosts filling time talking about what this case was going to yield. long story shot, oj doesn't show up their bronco chase begins and sean and i were stuck in the cnn studio as the only analysts they had and for almost six hours, we
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did commentary and just watching this chase because we happened to be there, the right place at the right time, and i can't speak for sean but when i came off the air i had so many media calls and i startedded getting invited to go to other media places to talk about oj. my career took off because of that and sean ended up on fox news channel. so, both of us have been blessed to do well. our policies are different. but we get along. we have known each other for 20 years now, and he has invited me on his show from time to time. when i can i go on and we debate this issues. i if you believe in your particular point view you ought not to be afraid to defend your point of view, and often talking to people you disagree with can open your eye to other anothers. >> host: did you refer to donald trump as a racial arsonist. >> guest: i did. a week ago on abc, his name came up in conversation, and my
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comment as i recall was that donald trump was to my mind, an unrepentant, irwas able, religious and racial arsonist. and then i went on to talk about the media's complicity in this. so that there were two points made. the point picked 'the quickest is the point about donald trump. remarks about trump, because within a matter of hours donald trump responded on twitter. and so when trump came after me, with his tweet, for me it kind of felt like being on nixon's enemy list. the media are so it late by the media, he said donald trump called tavis smiley a hater and that story went around the world. i've been spending this whole week talking about the book and talking about donald trump. at the end of the day, my point is simply this. that donald trump is being covered by the media but not
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being challenged. he is being covered by the media but not being condemned. and when you see that xenophobe ya taking place, that religious bigotry it has to be which helpinged and the country is better than that and the immediate you ought to be bert than that if there's a co-dep send si, the media and trump are co depend depth because there's so much money being made. it's almost as if it's a quid pro quo, that it if you give us what we want, we'll give you air time. we'll give you the covers of newspapers and magazines, and so those of news the business, by and large people love this because it's not predictable, we have a cat fight on the right, dog fight on the left. who knew just a month or so go that we may have a republican nominee but those 80 guys who were all run agent one time, we may have a republican nominee before a democratic not knee because bernie sanders is on a tear right now. we thought hillary -- was a forgone conclusion and nobody
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saw donald trump coming. so, the media is loving this. nobody wants this thing to go away anytime soon. too much money is being made. the powered that be love this but corporate media is complicit in this game that is being played and nobody wants to challenge or check donald trump on his xenophobe ya. so he got around to tweeting about me but hasn't tweeted as yet, unless i happened when i walked into the studio, this white supremacist group running robocalls to support him, he has not denounced them yet. you got time to tweet about me, but you can't denounce a white supremacist group running robocalls to support you in iowa? something is wrong and the media isn't pressing donald trump on this, it's a co dependency and i know what the facts tell us. he is rising in the polls. this might sound a bet counterintuitive but listen to me here. i sometimes you have to look past the facts to get at the truth. you have to look past the facts
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to get at the truth. the facts tell us he is leading in the polls but the truth is that he is leading in the polls because he appealing to the dark side, to the night side of america, and if we're going to let the candidates for the highest office in the land start getting away with is we're on a slippery slope when you can talk about people because of their faith or rails and nobody checks you on that, and in the media is all excited. donald trump is calling into sunday morning shows. they're so desperate to have him on. the guy calls on the phone. never seen -- never seen anything like it. you show up, you put your suit and tie up and show up like i did this morning. he calls in on the phone and just so happy to talk to him that they take him on known line, on these sunday morning shows. never seen anything like it in my life. so my only point here is that the media has got to stop playing this game with him and start to hold him accountable like they hold everybody else
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accountable. >> host: covenant with black america, tavis smileie is the author. barbara on foe phone from oklahoma city, oklahoma, democrats line. >> caller: good morning. mr. smiley, you touched on a lot of different subjects but i just wanted to good back to the subject about black women and their approach to -- or not getting health care. i'm in the women's business, been there for 30 years, servicing an from clientele, and one thing i will say black women do not forsake their health. they get a very low quality health care attention when they do go? >> guest: that true. >> caller: i've had more than enough african-american female
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clients who are diagnosed with cancer, went through six months of treatment, only to find out they never had cancer in the first place. so, one of the problems i see with the -- with african-american females, i can't speak on the black men because i don't deal with them -- >> all right, barbara, thank you for your call. atf advice miley. >> guest: i tack her point and couldn't agree more with her. black women still die disproportionately prevent diseases and i celebrate obamacare and i hope when the provisions kick in that benefit all of us in the meantime we're still losing the lives of too many african-american women from things they ought not to be dying for, and i should add the health care industry has to deal with the most multicultural, racial, ethnic america, we have to get severe yourself about cultural competency when it comes to health care. so long as color continues to
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expand and grow in this country amongst our citizens, and doctors of color don't keep up, you have to talk about cultural competency how these persons ought to be treated and that's a conversation for another time. myriad issues with health care hick its concern that still need to be addressed. all ills not well just because affordable health care act passed. >> host: blackmer has lost ground in every category. does that say, let's try something different? >> guest: it says over the last ten years black wealth has evaporated. we have lost more black wealth over the last ten years that at any point all the years in the history of the country. the last ten years wiped out black wealth. we all know the up employment numbers. i i was on a show the other day and the put up a new stat of the unemployment, .5% for black -- 8.5%, and i thought, that ain't the real numbers but a you have the unemployed, the
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underemployed, and those who no longer even looking for work because they've been so unemployed for so long. that 8.5 number isn't real to begin with. number two, i said to the interviewer, am i supposed to be breaking out the cool and the gang, celebrate good times, comp on! 8.5%. still nothing to celebrate here. but at the end of the day, there's work to be done north just for black folk but for all of america about how we get to a living wage, not just a minimum wage. i'm working right now -- not right now because i'm talking to you but i'm working at this point on the documentary called "getting ahead" out on pbs in the spring. it's called "getting ahead," a documentary in a deep dive, drilling down into the notion of the minimum wage and why in certain places, seattle, l.a., new york, pockets of the country, the minimum wage is starting to be raised, and to be raised significantly. so this movement is gaining
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steam. there's momentum there. might even become a movement. we need some real action and real movement on a living wage in this country and that would benefit not just black folk but all of americans. so this stat we have lost ground every major indicator category, when youch get into it, it's textured, layered but the underemployment, unemployment, issue of black wealth, all these issues are real. >> host: hans is in long meadow, massachusetts, calling on the independent line go ahead, hans. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. mr. smiley, just wanted to ask you a couple questions. first, your rice as a public intellectual is very impressive and i love your show. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: i wanted to also just comment that these are structural systemic problems, a lot of the callers are trying to
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reduce it down, and the previous guests to the individual witch wasn't to be careful with that. 40% of americans are double the poverty rate, and almost every one of them are on some sort of public assistance. income inequal is rising sharply and instability and stagnation is a long-term problem. so that's a comment. but here's -- i'd like to take us back to your mention of dr. king's moral budget. dr. king pushed this idea of a freedom budget, which i think is crucially important, and tied all this back into the issues of race, back into the structural problems of the economic system, and i think that a very important thing to get back to. one more comment and i hope you'll address this also. once we get to a moral budget, we're not just talking about a
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racial issue. it becomes both black and white issue. that majority of people that are poor are white. now, that's not to say we don't have racial problem. i think you're right on by pushing this book. important when it came out during the bush era. if have not read the most recent version, mr. smiley -- but a -- >> host: hans, we'll leave it there and get a response. >> guest: hans, thank you for your tone call on the issue you raise about structural inequality, you're right. the issues are textured, layered, long-term. i always have to remind audiences, certainly if i'm talking to african-american audiences -- i am very clear about the fact that these issues exist evidence prior to barack obama's presidency. things got worse as we laid out in the text and -- don't lay out. the data tell us that. black america has not gained much ground and i don't know if
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we can redeem that time but i recognize these issues were conundrum for the nation long before barack obama ever showed up. so we can't blame him for these issues and i want to be clear about that. they are structure and you're right. sectly to your point about the moral document, king's point that budgets are moral documents, you're right. and to my mind, when you talk about moral -- before the the budget being a moral document, you are talking about humanity, you're talking about dignity. so it's not just a black. the put another way, when you make black america better you make all of america better, and we can tot continue to ignore -- we 'can't continue to render the suffering invisible of a community this large and this significant as part of america, saying nothing of the fact that so long as this community continues to lose ground in all these major economic categories and can't seem to close the achievement gap, america is letting a lot of talent go to waste. we can't regain our position as the world residents leader in so
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many areas where we have lost that distinction. we can't regain that if wore going to let all the good talent in black america and brown america go to waste. there's too mach talent there to tap into. we don't have a single soldier to waste in this country in the fight if donald trump were to make america great again. so everybody has to play the role that they've been given to play in our society, but we can't do do that if we push some people to the margin. >> host: educational attain next the u.s., 21% of white students attain ted batch already roz degree, 13% of black students did the same. 12% of white students, ph.d or masters, 6% black americans, and african-americans, bachelors or more, 19% overall, with the white students having 33%. >> guest: for all of these students, black, white, and other, education is getting more
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and more difficult to afford. we are going to have to figure out a way dish know that bernie sanders is talking but and it hillary clinton is talking about. to heir great create. i don't know what the republicans are saying about it. we have to have education become more affordable is in country, number one number. two, there are 50 states, 50 different ways of doing education and that's not fair to young people who, if they're born in one -- born in mississippi, you don't have access to as good an education as you do in washington state. how is it your fault you're born in mississippi? so, 50 states, 50 different ways of doing and that's not fair to america's school children. and then thirdly, education -- this is part of the data in the new book --ed of indication isn't even a great equalizer it used to be. those degrees are stat. you just -- the charts you just looked at. if i'm an african-american -- and i am -- and i have the same level of talent and the same resume, the same qualifications you have, you get the job.
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i if we equally qualified, you still get the job. and if you happen to be a black woman, and they have a diversity issue, we're going to going to lose out to black woman. they can check off the woman pockets and the diversity box. so there isn't an -- there's not a level playing field. people aren't competing fair live, all kinds of opportunities, because of the way that race factors into all of this and class factors into all of this. at the end of the day education isn't the great equalizer it used to be. i know african-americans who are ph.ds who are unemployed and looking for work. so the economy is slowly -- i hope its -- slowly starting to turn but when it makes that turn, will black folks still be left behind? even those who have degrees and advanced degrees. >> host: bernie sanders ex-gone 0hbcu tour. is he going to get the kind of black support that bill clinton got, that barack obama got, or will hillary clinton get it.
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>> guest: bernie is fighting for and it i love it. said over a year ago on a sunday morning show -- and the minute itch said it all he broke loose. i'm always in trouble. but got trouble for saying this when asked a direct question. i thought and i said then, that hillary clinton needs a challenger. this not 0 core nation, not a coronation, it's an election. more an auction than an election but not a coronation and i said hillary clinton needs a challenge ever for three reasons. go going to make her address issues that otherwise wouldn't be addressed and push her to be a bit more progressive. number two, it's going to make her, irhope, little less hawkish on foreign policy. love secretary clinton. i've spend time with her interviewing her and hanging out. but to my mind, on foreign policy, still a bit hawkish for me, so i was hoping that challenger on the progressive left would call into question her views on foreign policy.
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thirdly, inknow this is even thinking -- i know that barack obama became a better candidate because hillary clinton pushed him. and if hillary clinton has a real challenge and then goes on to win the nomination, she is going to be a better candidate because bernie sanders pushed if if she is to be the nominee. for although reason is wanted her to have a challenge. didn't know it would be bernie sanders and that bernie would be coming hard. feel the bern. you can feel the bern and you see what he is doing. i'm delight told know he is only a college campus tour. >> host: with cornel west. >> guest: now what you have is the black vote being competed for. that's what you want. you want your vote to matter so much that people ask you for it. they compete for it. they take this book, they they look at these issues ten years later, they see where black america is and start to lay out our own version of a marshal
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plan, if you will to make black america bet sore you don't feel you're being taken for granted. i love to see this fight. whoever is going to win is going to win but i love to see black people being fought over. i don't see their issues matter. people have to put an agenda ton the table i, this sunday night there's a democratic debate in charleston, south carolina, the only debate of the six democratic debated that will focus on black issued. we'll see how tough the issues are. i sent the book to all of them to so they would know the truth about the state of black america. we'll see what they get into with regard to their alleged to make black america bet jeer the debate i sponsored by the congressional black caucus institute. britain is in garland, texas, republican. >> caller: thank you for taking my call in the vein of the discussion you were just having, when you encounter in almost
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every aspect of society voluntary organizations of individuals who are coming together based on their race, like the black caucus, or hbcus or black student organizations, do you believe or how can you reconcile that with the overall steam of a desire of diversity and unity among the races if it seems like organizations of those nature are at least passively or suggesttily encouraging an us and them mentality? >> guest: because i don't agree with your assessment they're passively suggesting this issue this is not an either-or question. it's a both reality. black people can vote, support each other, at the same time be happy and proud to live in this great country. on my tv show on pbs the other night, we were talking about this issue, and what came up in the conversation was a breakdown, a chart, that breaks
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down how a dollar turns over in a particular community. and i don't recall the exact numbers but in the asian community a dollar turns over like five or six weeks. jewish community, turns over 20 days. the the hispanic community turn -- all the numbers went on and on and on, for how many days a dollar turns over in a particular community. in the white community it turns over multiple days. in the black community, a dollar -- this die remember -- in the black community a dollar doesn't turn over for days. it turns over for six dollars. a black dollar spent only turns over in the black community six hours. everybody else turns their money over for days. that's not being separatist. what we're saying is that you can't expect black folk to come up if as a black person you're not even willing to help your own people. i said that for the third time this morning we have to be responsible to ourselves before we can hold other people accountable. that's not a separatist
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movement. i think donald trump is calling for that. muslims can't come in and hispanics and immigrants can't come in. i think this is -- that's donald's alleged, not mine. you got us confused. what i'm superintendenting is that black people have to look out for themselves, and again, when we make black america better, we make all of america better. these problems -- these issues may appear to be black america's problem, britton, but they're white america's burden, as goes black america so goes the nation. this is too significant a slice of our population to just write off. nobody is trying to be separatist. but i believe that a true patriot, real patriot, rebukes its country when one country is wrong you forgive the sins but rebuke the country and black folk are still the best patriots not because of but in spite of. we love the country. we're trying to make sure ewe our dignity and humanity is respected and that's at the heart of the dat laid out in
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this text. >> host: denice bush tweets into you, mr. smiley, your authorities on the ft. water crisis. >> guest: strag tragic. one issue in the book this then issues important 'oblack folk, issues of environment, and specifically where black folk are concerned, they're the ones who too often get subjected to racial and environmental injustice. so look at the black population in the city of ft.. it is significant. not exclusively black but significant. but for all those persons who have been forced to drink this water, and for those persons who died, lost their lives and those who have contracted illnesses, this is just sick, and these things are going to continue, these environmental hazards will continue to pop up so long as we don't take our -- these environmental issues seriously. on my program this week i -- having as one our guest -- todays tuesday texas last night, go to pbs.org and you can see the show. last night erin brockovich was a guest, talking about the ft. issue and for that matter,
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touchdown street from my house in l.a., porter rank, the environmental hard there the spill there we're going to keep seeing these things happen from time to time and so often they tend to happen in poor communities because that's where these issues exist and plants are placed in the first place. in harlem, one in three children in harlem has asthma. one in three. these environmental hazards, these realities are real and it's always black and brown folk -- that's why we call the environment of racism --er forced to live near these tookics dumps, that's wastelands, horrible pollution producing facilities. we are subjected to that and well have too care about the environment but a particular slice our our country are subjected to these ailments worse and more often. >> host: last call for tavis smiley, ed right here in washington, dc. >> caller: yes. i how are you doing? >> guest: good morning. >> caller: c-span and tavis smiley.
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i'm a ph.d scientist -- [inaudible] i have three concerns and i'll try to get this quickly. concerns a., b., and c. a., the concern i have is this right-wing hate media. something needs to be done about that. and there's a lot of hate media against female, female bashing, and the african-american women, the strongest building block in the done tray and i believe it's aimed at african-american women to stop them from voting as far as hillary clinton. part b., our people are people of power. we have power of the vote, and tavis, i agree with you. i want to get your book and definitely going to get that book. i've been reading several books right now. the thing is our people are -- we made a difference in the country and we can make a difference again. part c., the thing here is that
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the thing about this bernie sanders rising up in the polls i can support bernie sanders in a lot of ways however i think the best chance for our country to game the democrat in the white house again is hilary clinton, she is super commander-in-chief quality material -- >> host: ed, we'll leave it there. thank you. >> guest: i appreciate the comments. his second comment most expressly help is right that the black community does have power itch don't want to see us powerless. i don't like see the pack community economically exploited, socially manipulated or politically disenfranchised. that troubles me and paints me the same way it does you. there's great deal that black america has, and always will contribute to this country. no doubt about that. but those worry me though is how much power we have left to turn
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if the tide, and i'm concerned. i don't know. i'm never an optimist. give yo reason to believe that -- aisle knock an optimist because the data doesn't give recent to but i am a prisoner of hope and i believe that you can always build a life on hope. these days we have to admit that hope does need some help, even hope needs help, and so i hope this book will be the kind of help we need need pointing us at the truth can giving us the data about the state of black america and what can be done, in fact, to turn that around. i love my people. i love all of humanity but i have a particular and peculiar love for african-american people, and i just don't like seeing black people forced to live beneath their privilege, and so this book in the small contribution to the effort to try to make black america better and i close on this note again you make black america better you make all of america better
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and we can do better on these issues confronting the african-american community. >> host: who is on the cover, the photo on the cover. >> guest: i don't know the name of the p. but i went through -- you've do this when you put books together and this is a book published by smiley books. i was involved in design thing cover and wanted a picture that would speak to the times that we live. the covenant came couple ten years ago, had a different cover, here hopeful cover, the face of a child. made up of hundreds and thousands of photos of african-americans and a beautiful -- we asked our black radio people to send in photos of their loved ones and took all the photos and created the face of this but little girl which presented hope for the future, but this book in this year, at this moment, these are the cover that would speak to what the times are and a number of ways to view that. i love going to places and book signings and lectures and asking the audience what they see when they see that picture, and quite frankly the most moving part of my interaction with peopling
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talking not just about the data or about the truth in the text but what they think of that picture, what they see. people see so many things. some people see a black man on his knees with his hands on the back of his head, assuming the position that police want to put you in. some see a black man who is frustrated, hough did we get here and what's next? so many ways and so many things people see, frustrationings and angst and anger and hopelessness. so much in that picture. but they say you can't judge a become buy its cover you can judge this book by its cover because the data inside isn't stuff you want to jump up and down and shout about. but i will say very quickly tech end of every one of those chapters there's a list of things that every individual can do. what you can do. a list of what government can do with public policy, prescriptions and suggestions. what the private sector can do. what the community can do. these are all sections at the end of every single chapter,
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what can be done, and. the examples, short stories of what is happening on these issues that is good, because people are making a difference and we cite examples of things being done that we ought to try to scale up in our country. so the book is not a book full of hopelessness. we put the dat out there, tell the truth, and then at the end of every chapter we kell you how we ticks this situation. it is a national plan of action to make black america better and there you have it. >> the afterward is a call to action, written by professor cornel west. tavis smiley, we appreciate you coming on. c-span, and it was year ago that tavis smiley was on booktv's in-depth program go to booktv.org and type in tavis smiley and book and you can watch three hours of tavis talking about all of his books. >> guest: thank you, peter. block here's a look at books
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being published this week: "then all hell broke loose. "a look at the first federal congress from 1789 to 1791. in "break through" the unanimous' cohen considers the barriers that women face and rising potential of a female president. also being released this week, "the nine presidents who screwed up america." robert kaplan, senior fellow at the center for new american security, looks at the history and current significance of romania in europe's shadow. ...
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>> just a few housekeeping items before we get started. take a moment to silence your cell phone. pleased to have c-span here. tonight all states conversation. an

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