WEBVTT 00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:07.000 Hello thank you for joining us today, first I would like to take a moment to thank the sponsors who made it possible for Western Oregon University, 00:00:07.000 --> 00:00:16.000 To bring Tim Wise to our campus. The University Diversity Committee, Dr. Mark Girod, dean of College of Education, 00:00:16.000 --> 00:00:24.000 Dr. Gary Dukes VP of student affairs, and Dr. Rex Fuller Western Oregon University President, please help me thank them. 00:00:24.000 --> 00:00:31.000 Applause. 00:00:31.000 --> 00:00:38.000 Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist, writers and educators in the United States. 00:00:38.000 --> 00:00:46.000 He's lectured internationally in Canada and Bermuda on comparitive racism, race in education, 00:00:46.000 --> 00:00:60.000 and racism in the labor market. He's the author of seven books, including his latest "Under the Affluence, Shaming the Poor Praising the Rich and Jeopardizing the Future of America" 00:01:00.000 --> 00:01:05.000 Wise has provided antiracism training to teachers nation wide. 00:01:05.000 --> 00:01:09.000 And has conducted trainings with physicians and medical industry professionals. 00:01:09.000 --> 00:01:13.000 on how to combat racial inequities in healthcare. 00:01:13.000 --> 00:01:23.000 He has also trained cooperate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials on methods on dismantling racism in their institutions. 00:01:24.000 --> 00:01:28.000 Wise has appared on hundreds of radio and television programs, 00:01:28.000 --> 00:01:32.000 Is a regular contributor to discussions on race on CNN 00:01:32.000 --> 00:01:36.000 And has been featured on ABC's 20/20. 00:01:36.000 --> 00:01:46.000 Tim gradated from Tulane University in 1990 and received antiracism training from the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, in New Orleans. 00:01:46.000 --> 00:01:52.000 During the question and answer portion of Tim's presentation, if you have questions, 00:01:52.000 --> 00:01:56.000 We ask that you please use the microphone which is located right up here in the front. 00:01:56.000 --> 00:01:61.000 This will ensure that everyone in the audience can hear you. 00:02:01.000 --> 00:02:10.000 After the presentation and the question answer portion, Tim Wise will have books available for book signing and book sales at the back of the room. 00:02:10.000 --> 00:02:14.000 Please help me in welcoming Mr. Tim Wise. 00:02:14.000 --> 00:02:24.000 Applause. 00:02:24.000 --> 00:02:32.000 This is really healthy size audience, extra credit is a serious commodity as Western Oregon University. 00:02:32.000 --> 00:02:37.000 No shame in that, I know how it is, I was a college student once. Extra credit is good I don't care. 00:02:37.000 --> 00:02:44.000 Whether you're here for that or whether you're here because these are the issues that get you out of bed in the morning. Either way we're all in the room together, 00:02:44.000 --> 00:02:51.000 It's only ten after four in the afternoon, I can't fathom there's there anything else going on in Monmouth that you'd might want to do this evening. 00:02:52.000 --> 00:02:57.000 I'm not trying to be cruel I'm just saying it's 4. I'm sure it really gets kicking around 9, you know. 00:02:57.000 --> 00:02:64.000 It's ten after 4, you might as well hang out and we'll spend about an hour together and then I will release you to do whatever it is that you do. 00:03:04.000 --> 00:03:15.000 It is really good to be back at Western Oregon, and I will say that even though my guess that even the folks who organized my visit this time don't realize that I've been here before. 00:03:15.000 --> 00:03:22.000 Most people would not realize that I've been here before it has been a long time, and it was a far smaller crowd. 00:03:22.000 --> 00:03:30.000 Than this, it was actually October of 1995, so almost 20 years ago to the day, maybe a week or two away from that. 00:03:30.000 --> 00:03:38.000 And I was brought over here by a professor at Willamette where I'd been speaking the night before and he said "Oh you know, I do a class over a Western Oregon" 00:03:38.000 --> 00:03:44.000 I don't remember this professor's name by the way. This individual could still be here and if so, raise your hand and I'll totally recognize you. 00:03:44.000 --> 00:03:49.000 I mean I wont recognize you, but I'll call you out and say "Yeah, that's the guy, whatever." 00:03:49.000 --> 00:03:55.000 And he said "You know, I teach a class and we've got this class this evening, and why don't you come over." So I did, 00:03:55.000 --> 00:03:65.000 So we made the drive, you know, from Willamette and came over here and I spoke to about 11 people. So I think that this is progress, this is good. 00:04:05.000 --> 00:04:10.000 Sort of what you want to see. It would have really sucked to come back two decades later and have like 8 people. 00:04:10.000 --> 00:04:16.000 And then my ego would be horribly bruised and I would crawl up into a corner and cry or something, I don't know. 00:04:16.000 --> 00:04:21.000 Anyway, its good to be here. And it's interesting to be back after twenty years. 00:04:21.000 --> 00:04:30.000 Because when you come to place after a period such as that it's probably not just me, but any speaker, 00:04:30.000 --> 00:04:36.000 And particularly on a subject like the issue of race, racism, and racial inequality in America 00:04:36.000 --> 00:04:46.000 Would feel compelled, as I do, to at least for a minute engage in something of a retrospective of what that twenty years has brought us. 00:04:46.000 --> 00:04:52.000 In term of this subject. Because when you've been at this kind of work for that period, and I'm sure there are many others in this room 00:04:52.000 --> 00:04:59.000 Who have talked about and taught about and been active on issues of racial equality for at least that long. 00:04:59.000 --> 00:04:62.000 Several of you probably even longer than that. 00:05:02.000 --> 00:05:11.000 It makes sense that you would look back and ask the question "What has changed and what has largely remained the same" 00:05:11.000 --> 00:05:16.000 And I think in both of those categories there are a number of entries that we might 00:05:16.000 --> 00:05:20.000 discuss. In some ways I don't think it's hard to imagine, 00:05:20.000 --> 00:05:27.000 that a lot of things have changed in that twenty years. On the one hand, the nation's attention to matters 00:05:27.000 --> 00:05:36.000 of race and racial inequality and one might even say racial tension, I would suggest that the nation's attention as intensified. 00:05:36.000 --> 00:05:47.000 For a number of reasons. First of all of course, during that period of time, in the last eight years, we've seen the election of a man of color as president of the United States and in the push back, 00:05:47.000 --> 00:05:55.000 that came with that, some of which was that was race related, others of which was pure politics but without question, 00:05:55.000 --> 00:05:64.000 That has intensified our acknowledgement of a racial divide in the country. Whether we're talking about the actual election results, who voted for whom and why. 00:06:04.000 --> 00:06:12.000 Or the way in which that election has been responded to my millions of people, I should point out, that just because the election of a man of color, 00:06:12.000 --> 00:06:22.000 as president intensified our attention to matters of race is not the same as suggesting, and make no mistake, that we have as a result of that election have obtained 00:06:22.000 --> 00:06:31.000 this place this vaunted location that we refer to a post racial America. And though I shouldn't have to say that, 00:06:31.000 --> 00:06:41.000 After seven years of this individual's political prominence in our country, I guess I do because there are those still around this nation whom I meet, 00:06:41.000 --> 00:06:52.000 Who want to suggest to me that the conversation that you've come to here this evening, isn't one that we have to have anymore. Precisely because of the election of a man of color as president. 00:06:52.000 --> 00:06:62.000 In fact that discussion, that conversation, that kind of comment began the day after his election in 2008. Before he'd even been inaugurated, I woke up the next morning 00:07:02.000 --> 00:07:09.000 at about 6, I hadn't slept much. I had been up watching election returns, and I get up around 6 in the morning, 00:07:09.000 --> 00:07:18.000 hadn't even had the first cup of coffee, I open up my email and there is this entirely unhinged email and I knew it was going to be crazy. 00:07:18.000 --> 00:07:24.000 Because it was all capital letters, and it was in red font. 00:07:24.000 --> 00:07:33.000 Which means this is not going to be a rational conversation. By the way, if I piss any of you off tonight such that you feel the need to write me with angry and hostile commentary, 00:07:33.000 --> 00:07:42.000 You can take the caps lock off sweetheart and just write me in black font. I'll still read it, in fact I'll be more likely to read it if you do it that way, just so you know so, 00:07:42.000 --> 00:07:48.000 just be angry in normal way, in a normal color of print, okay? 00:07:48.000 --> 00:07:58.000 Because this person this writes to me the day after the election and says "ha ha ha" oh ha ha ha it's 6am I haven't had coffee why are you e-laughing at me? 00:07:58.000 --> 00:07:64.000 e-screaming at me, and he says "I guess you're going to have to find a new hustle now" 00:08:04.000 --> 00:08:12.000 Right, because Barak Obama had been elected and this work against racism is obviously just my hustle. 00:08:12.000 --> 00:08:20.000 This is what I was thinking to myself at the age of 22, when I was trying to figure out what am I going to do with my life, what is going to be my hustle. 00:08:20.000 --> 00:08:31.000 How am I going to get my hustle on, and then it came to me, oh yes oh yes oh yes, the best possible hustle I could have is to fight white supremacy, because that always works out. 00:08:32.000 --> 00:08:41.000 So well for those who decide to take that on as a vocation, that always one brings one fame and fortune and lots and love and adoration and never violence or hatred so, 00:08:41.000 --> 00:08:50.000 By all means let me do that hustle, but that was his implication, was that those of us who speak out against racism really didn't have a job to do anymore because the election, 00:08:50.000 --> 00:08:61.000 of a man of color demonstrated at least to his satisfaction if not mine, that racism must be ended for how could such a person as that be elected to the highest office in the land. 00:09:01.000 --> 00:09:07.000 if racism was still a thing? Oh I don't know, let's process it for a minute shall we? 00:09:07.000 --> 00:09:15.000 It's really not that complicated, and you are all in college, which means an institution of higher learning which means this should not be a difficult lesson. 00:09:15.000 --> 00:09:24.000 I don't know, perhaps racism can remain a problem even in a place such as this with a man of color as president for the same reason that 00:09:24.000 --> 00:09:34.000 I'm guessing that sexism and the patriarchal oppression of women, still are operative in Pakistan despite the election of Benazair Bhutto, a woman, not once but twice. 00:09:34.000 --> 00:09:43.000 As the head of state in that Country. I'm guess that the women in this room know better than to believe that at the end of this talk their best bet would be to go back to their 00:09:44.000 --> 00:09:49.000 residence hall, or their apartment, or their home and pack their bags and move to Karachi. 00:09:49.000 --> 00:09:54.000 Just so as to take advantage of equal opportunity that will certainly await them. 00:09:54.000 --> 00:09:58.000 As the result as Pakistan having has a head of state who was a woman. 00:09:58.000 --> 00:09:60.000 I'm just guessing. 00:10:00.000 --> 00:10:02.000 Applause. 00:10:02.000 --> 00:10:11.000 I'm guessing that we would know that the election of an individual from an otherwise marginalized group says absolutely nothing in an of itself. 00:10:11.000 --> 00:10:16.000 About the treatment of others from that group. See we know that. 00:10:16.000 --> 00:10:26.000 About women in Pakistan, despite Benazair Bhutto's two time election. By the way she is since been assassinated so that lets you know how much some folks love her. 00:10:26.000 --> 00:10:36.000 I imagine that we also know that sexism has not been eradicated in Israel, or India or Great Britain or the Philippines, or Ireland, all of which have had females heads of state. 00:10:36.000 --> 00:10:41.000 See, the individual accomplishments from otherwise 00:10:41.000 --> 00:10:46.000 marginalized groups doesn't tell us anything in and of itself. 00:10:46.000 --> 00:10:53.000 About the larger structural experience. And we know that and in every one of those examples no one would even argue the point. 00:10:53.000 --> 00:10:64.000 But in this country, I am to believe at 6 in the morning after the election of a man of color that ha ha ha the hustle has been blown up. And those of us who talk about 00:11:04.000 --> 00:11:08.000 race and civil rights must find new work. 00:11:08.000 --> 00:11:12.000 So the election of that individual of color has certainly brought out some of this. 00:11:12.000 --> 00:11:19.000 And now our attention has been focused on it for the last seven or 8 years, we also now also see, relative to 20 years ago 00:11:19.000 --> 00:11:28.000 An intensified, a renewed hostility and aggression towards new immigrants, but only those from south of the United States border. 00:11:28.000 --> 00:11:35.000 Never from the North. The minutemen never ever seen to camp out on the Canadian border worried that sneaky Canadians will be coming across, 00:11:36.000 --> 00:11:45.000 trying to take advantage of our superior healthcare system, because that would be crazy, why would the do that? 00:11:45.000 --> 00:11:56.000 The minutemen never camp in little dinghies and boats off the coast of Nova Scotia trying to keep the crafty Canadians from sneaking into the country, it's only 00:11:56.000 --> 00:11:65.000 those from south of the Unites States border, a border by the way artificially created as the result as the war of aggression begun by this country on false pretense. 00:12:05.000 --> 00:12:11.000 Now I know that's not what they told you in your high school history text book, but that's what went down. 00:12:11.000 --> 00:12:15.000 So when Mexican folk come back here, let me be clear, they are coming home. 00:12:16.000 --> 00:12:18.000 Just so you know. 00:12:18.000 --> 00:12:21.000 Applause. 00:12:21.000 --> 00:12:27.000 Oh I know we don't want to hear that, I know we don't want to hear that, I know we don't want to hear that. Coming home? My goodness, no no no. 00:12:27.000 --> 00:12:32.000 We won the war, might makes right, we had better guns, we had more power, we jacked your stuff, now it is ours. 00:12:32.000 --> 00:12:39.000 Imagine the morality of that if were to come to your house, put all your shit on the street, and then you were to say "Can I come back in?" 00:12:39.000 --> 00:12:43.000 And I was like "Nope, changed the lock." 00:12:50.000 --> 00:12:59.000 Alright, that's what some say, "I'm going to build a wall like you wouldn't believe" What the hell is a wall that I would not believe? 00:12:59.000 --> 00:12:69.000 What is that? I ask of those enamored of a certain candidate who likes to say he's going to do that? What is a wall that I wouldn't, you know that only wall I wouldn't believe, 00:13:09.000 --> 00:13:18.000 I wouldn't not believe a wall made of butter, that is what I wouldn't believe, so is Donald Trump purposing that we should build a wall of butter? Because if so, I totally do not believe that. 00:13:18.000 --> 00:13:26.000 I don't believe that that is possible. I do not believe that that will keep anyone out. If he's talking about a wall of bricks, I would believe it but I know that Donald Trump wont build it, 00:13:26.000 --> 00:13:33.000 because I know that Donald Trump has never built anything. You know who Donald Trump has builds stuff? Latino folk, including undocumented Latino folks. 00:13:33.000 --> 00:13:37.000 Who build his casinos and build his office buildings and build his hotels. 00:13:37.000 --> 00:13:48.000 Applause. So we don't have to worry about Donald Trump building nothing. Donald Trump inherited ten million dollars from his daddy and then went around hustling up like a slum 00:13:48.000 --> 00:13:52.000 lord publicly subsidized publicly financed housing 00:13:52.000 --> 00:13:55.000 shaking down poor people for rent, that's how he made his fortune. 00:13:55.000 --> 00:13:60.000 Let us be clear and now I will get trolled on Twitter by Donald Trump and I 00:14:00.000 --> 00:14:04.000 could not have one more shit to give, I will just let you know. 00:14:04.000 --> 00:14:06.000 Laughter. 00:14:06.000 --> 00:14:14.000 Oh we're only ten minutes in it gets better. Laughter. 00:14:14.000 --> 00:14:17.000 So, we have all this heightened attention 00:14:17.000 --> 00:14:23.000 to immigrants we will talk more about that in a minute and why that is so wrong headed, I'm not just going to snark 00:14:23.000 --> 00:14:29.000 Donald Trump though it is fun. I'm not just here to entertain, I will in fact discuss this in a 00:14:29.000 --> 00:14:36.000 much more erudite and scholarly way in just a few seconds. But introductions are for having a little bit of a good time. 00:14:36.000 --> 00:14:44.000 We also see a renewed intensified attention to issues of race as a result of the disproportionate killing of 00:14:44.000 --> 00:14:48.000 persons of color, male and female not just black but also Latino and Indigenous 00:14:48.000 --> 00:14:54.000 Native North American folk by law enforcement over the past several years. We'll talk more about that. 00:14:54.000 --> 00:14:63.000 But even as a lot of things have changed in that twenty years, including those things that I just mentioned, on the other hand a lot of things have remained the same. 00:15:04.000 --> 00:15:09.000 And it's important that we're clear about that as well. As was true then so to now 00:15:09.000 --> 00:15:15.000 it appears to me that the dominant majority in this country, those of us called white, 00:15:15.000 --> 00:15:20.000 not all of us called white, but the disproportionate number of those who are called that, 00:15:20.000 --> 00:15:24.000 and who identify as that, are still unwilling 00:15:24.000 --> 00:15:29.000 as we have long been, to confront honestly the ongoing reality 00:15:29.000 --> 00:15:35.000 of racism in America. The ongoing barriers faced by our brothers and sisters of color. 00:15:36.000 --> 00:15:41.000 And just as was true then so to now, we do not seem to be any more committed 00:15:41.000 --> 00:15:47.000 to equity and true democracy than was the case in the mid 1990's. The vast majority of those 00:15:47.000 --> 00:15:51.000 called whites seem to continue to insist as we have for decades 00:15:51.000 --> 00:15:57.000 literally for generations that people of color have fully equal opportunity in America 00:15:57.000 --> 00:15:67.000 in employment, education, and housing and even treatment within the criminal justice system so that if they find themselves behind it must be their fault. 00:16:07.000 --> 00:16:11.000 And in fact, according to a survey taken 00:16:11.000 --> 00:16:15.000 by folks at Harvard just a couple of years ago. Apparently, not only do we think that 00:16:16.000 --> 00:16:20.000 people of color have equal opportunity we seem to think they have more of it 00:16:20.000 --> 00:16:24.000 than we do. This study done by folks at Harvard found that we white folks 00:16:24.000 --> 00:16:28.000 are convinced that we're the ones who are the victims of invidious 00:16:28.000 --> 00:16:32.000 discrimination, that we're the ones who can't find jobs, is what they say. 00:16:32.000 --> 00:16:36.000 Because all the jobs are going to black and brown folks. Really? 00:16:36.000 --> 00:16:41.000 Really? Where are all these jobs that black and brown people are taking from white folks? Are they 00:16:41.000 --> 00:16:45.000 in a second life? Where in the hell are these jobs? Are they on Minecraft? 00:16:45.000 --> 00:16:48.000 Where exactly are these jobs because 00:16:48.000 --> 00:16:52.000 in the real world, the world that the labor department surveys every month 00:16:52.000 --> 00:16:56.000 and therefore the actual one as opposed to the one that we make up in our 00:16:56.000 --> 00:16:60.000 fevered imaginations, people of color are twice as likely as white folks 00:17:00.000 --> 00:17:06.000 to be unemployed. So if in fact black and brown folks are taking the jobs, they ain't taking them far. 00:17:06.000 --> 00:17:13.000 They're taking them like a block and then dropping them like a hot potato because they are still twice as likely as we are to be out of work. 00:17:13.000 --> 00:17:22.000 And that is true even when they have the same education and experience as we do. So for instance, according to the labor department, 00:17:22.000 --> 00:17:24.000 African American folks with a 00:17:24.000 --> 00:17:28.000 college degree, who did everything right, stayed in school, did what we said 00:17:28.000 --> 00:17:33.000 to do, had the right value system, the right work ethic, all the right stuff that we like to lecture about. 00:17:33.000 --> 00:17:43.000 That black folks with a college degree still twice as likely than white folks with a degree to be unemployed even when their major is the same as white folks. 00:17:43.000 --> 00:17:50.000 Latino folks with a degree, about 50-55% more likely than white folks with a degree to be out of work. 00:17:50.000 --> 00:17:59.000 Asian Americans with a degree about 25-35% more likely than white folks with a degree to be unemployed. 00:17:59.000 --> 00:17:62.000 This is especially true for younger, newer graduates. Those of our 00:18:02.000 --> 00:18:11.000 Indigenous brothers and sisters, Native North American folks with a degree, about two-thirds more likely than white folks with a degree to be unemployed. 00:18:11.000 --> 00:18:17.000 Which is to say that those who believe that people of color have even equal treatment 00:18:17.000 --> 00:18:23.000 would be wrong. To think that they have better treatment and that it is we who are white who face discrimination as to 00:18:23.000 --> 00:18:31.000 invert reality all together and yet the survey data suggests that we sincerely believe that. 00:18:31.000 --> 00:18:35.000 But again there is simply no evidence. Not only in the labor market but anywhere else. 00:18:36.000 --> 00:18:43.000 There are those who say, "Well if I was just black I would have gotten into Harvard." 00:18:43.000 --> 00:18:48.000 Yeah, okay. Here's the thing. 00:18:48.000 --> 00:18:55.000 If you'd have been black, you'd have been black for all eighteen years before you even applied to Harvard, precious. 00:18:55.000 --> 00:18:63.000 Which means that you would have been twice as likely to be in a family with unemployed parents, three times as likely to be poor, one-twentieth the net worth, 00:19:03.000 --> 00:19:12.000 You'd of had twice the likelihood of dying in infancy before you even went to preschool, let alone college. That is to say that to believe that somehow we who are white are better 00:19:12.000 --> 00:19:17.000 off were we people of color is only something you could believe if you ignored every single day for the 18 years 00:19:17.000 --> 00:19:20.000 before you actually applied for college and then 00:19:20.000 --> 00:19:24.000 supposedly got this bump, supposedly got this advantage, an advantage 00:19:24.000 --> 00:19:29.000 which I should point out has brought us to a place today where even today only 12 percent 00:19:29.000 --> 00:19:34.000 of college students at the nation's most elite schools are black or Latino combined. 00:19:34.000 --> 00:19:40.000 The idea that people of color are taking all of the quote on quote top college slots from white folks once again 00:19:40.000 --> 00:19:49.000 is completely untrue. In fact, white students are more likely than any other group of students to get into their first choice college. And that has been true consistently 00:19:49.000 --> 00:19:54.000 year in and year out, this year, ten years ago, twenty years ago. 00:19:54.000 --> 00:19:62.000 If you didn't get into Harvard it's because some richer, white kid whose daddy has better connections got their kid into Harvard, trust me 00:20:02.000 --> 00:20:07.000 when I tell you that the anger is misplaced and yet we're being encouraged to believe 00:20:07.000 --> 00:20:12.000 that when we lose out on stuff it's because of those brown folks. That's what Donald Trumps whole 00:20:12.000 --> 00:20:18.000 political message is. A rich white man trying to tell working white class people 00:20:18.000 --> 00:20:25.000 that there enemy is other working class people who just so happen to have darker color skin than themselves. Fascinating. 00:20:25.000 --> 00:20:28.000 A rich white dude saying, "Pay no 00:20:28.000 --> 00:20:32.000 attention to Oz behind the curtain, it ain't me 00:20:32.000 --> 00:20:36.000 it ain't no body like me, it's not the companies run by rich white folks 00:20:36.000 --> 00:20:40.000 who sent the jobs to Mexico, or sent the jobs to Sri Lanka, or sent 00:20:40.000 --> 00:20:44.000 the jobs to Guatemala, or sent the jobs to Bangladesh, it's those damn 00:20:44.000 --> 00:20:48.000 Bangladesh-ie workers who took the jobs. 00:20:48.000 --> 00:20:52.000 That is not how the global economy works, no no it's not. 00:20:52.000 --> 00:20:56.000 But we get mad at those at the bottom and not those at the top and 00:20:56.000 --> 00:20:60.000 we act as if those at the top are right when they tell us to hate one another. 00:21:00.000 --> 00:21:04.000 Instead of thinking about the larger system. 00:21:04.000 --> 00:21:10.000 The reason folks aren't finding jobs it's not because of affirmative action, it's not because of immigration, it's because we have an economy that 00:21:10.000 --> 00:21:19.000 two people out of work for every job opening in this country. And that's almost always how it is. During the recession it was actually eight to one. 00:21:19.000 --> 00:21:24.000 Eight people out of work for every job but you want to blame unemployed people for being on unemployment insurance? 00:21:24.000 --> 00:21:31.000 You want to blame poor folks for relying on public assistance when there's only one job for every eight people who need one? 00:21:31.000 --> 00:21:38.000 In certain urban communities and rural communities that are white on the back end and black and brown on the front end 00:21:38.000 --> 00:21:47.000 there might be as many as ten people out of work, even 14 people out of work in certain communities for every job that pays above the poverty line. 00:21:47.000 --> 00:21:50.000 And that's the problem, it's not brown folks poaching jobs. 00:21:50.000 --> 00:21:58.000 Black folks poaching jobs, poor people taking advantage, it's about an economy that doesn't believe in providing opportunity, and it's about an economy 00:21:58.000 --> 00:21:62.000 that allows wealthy white dudes on wall street to jack 12.5 00:22:02.000 --> 00:22:08.000 trillion dollars of other people's money and escape without a jail sentence. 00:22:08.000 --> 00:22:13.000 That is what the problem is because if you steal a hundred dollars worth of food stamps 00:22:13.000 --> 00:22:16.000 in this country, I promise you you will 00:22:16.000 --> 00:22:23.000 do ten years, a hundred dollars worth of food stamp fraud and you will be taken from your family and locked up. 00:22:23.000 --> 00:22:31.000 And these guys stole 12.5 trillion with a t that is 20 percent of the net worth of the United States of America which 00:22:31.000 --> 00:22:37.000 took over two hundred and thirty years to build up and they wiped it clean in eighteen months. 00:22:37.000 --> 00:22:45.000 And people get mad when I say that they were rich white dudes, they don't like me to mention that. They say things like 00:22:45.000 --> 00:22:48.000 why do you have to mention that they guys on wall street 00:22:48.000 --> 00:22:52.000 were white. That's sort of racist. No. 00:22:52.000 --> 00:22:55.000 It's not, it's descriptive. 00:22:55.000 --> 00:22:60.000 And here's the thing, if they had been black all of you would have noticed. 00:23:00.000 --> 00:23:08.000 Everybody would have noticed, if black people walk off with 12 and a half trillion dollars of other people's money, oh that shit would be pointed out. 00:23:08.000 --> 00:23:16.000 Somebody will make a point of noting that black people are obviously criminals and obviously dishonest, and will be known because of all of the loot that they took. 00:23:16.000 --> 00:23:26.000 On wall street but when a bunch of rich white dudes with high SAT scores and MBAs do the same thing, nobody wants to talk about it like a group phenomenon, isn't that interesting? 00:23:26.000 --> 00:23:30.000 See people of color do something wrong and it sticks to the group. 00:23:30.000 --> 00:23:37.000 Right, whether it's street crime, whether it's terrorism done by brown folk, but only by brown folk. White folks do it, it doesn't stick to us. 00:23:37.000 --> 00:23:45.000 Looting and theft done by black and brown folk on the street, it's a group phenomenon. Done by white folks in office suites and banks it's not. 00:23:45.000 --> 00:23:53.000 Do you have any idea, how many years it would take for all the black and brown street criminals in the history of either streets, 00:23:53.000 --> 00:23:57.000 or criminals to steal 12 and half trillion dollars, any idea? 00:23:57.000 --> 00:23:60.000 Twelve and a half trillion dollars? 00:24:00.000 --> 00:24:07.000 It would take like 5000 years, alright? And you would have to steal around the clock man, 24/7 just hand in the pocket. 00:24:07.000 --> 00:24:14.000 Hand in the pocket, stealing your stuff, stealing your stuff. Never taking a break to pee, sleep, eat, do anything. 00:24:14.000 --> 00:24:21.000 But steal and like 5000 years in, you'd be like "Hey, you got 12 and half trillion yet?" And the theif would be like "Nope, not even close" 00:24:21.000 --> 00:24:27.000 But 18 months these rich white dudes did it in. Not one of them in the middle of jail cell right now as I speak. 00:24:27.000 --> 00:24:29.000 That's the problem. 00:24:29.000 --> 00:24:31.000 That's the problem. 00:24:31.000 --> 00:24:41.000 Not black folk, not brown folk, not poor folk, not indigenous folk, not immigrants be they documented or not, but people with a lot of dough, a lot of loot more than all of us put together. 00:24:41.000 --> 00:24:44.000 Who don't believe in creating an economy that works for us all. 00:24:44.000 --> 00:24:50.000 But they pit us against each other and they do it very well. That has not changed in twenty years. 00:24:50.000 --> 00:24:55.000 In addition, it's really more than just twenty years, it's more than that. 00:24:55.000 --> 00:24:62.000 The fact is, this white denial, again, I feel compelled to say this. 00:25:02.000 --> 00:25:06.000 Because it's easily misunderstood. When I talk about white denial, there are always white folks who get very uptight. 00:25:15.000 --> 00:25:20.000 Like if I said that you were a serial killer and you know where you were last Wednesday, then we're good right? 00:25:20.000 --> 00:25:25.000 We're good, you don't have to get all freaked out, you don't have to bother yourself. You don't have tweet stuff, 00:25:25.000 --> 00:25:29.000 You can just like chill and we'll be done. In like a half an hour, right? 00:25:29.000 --> 00:25:35.000 So, I'm not saying that everybody is in denial, but I'm saying that in as a general rule, white folks as a corporate entity, 00:25:36.000 --> 00:25:41.000 And I know we don't like to think as ourself as such, but there really is this larger social phenomenon known as white America. 00:25:41.000 --> 00:25:45.000 And there have always been people who descent from it. Very important. 00:25:45.000 --> 00:25:52.000 There were always white folks who descent from the corporate entity known as white America. 00:25:52.000 --> 00:25:58.000 There were white folks who stood up against indigenous native North American genocide and the expulsion of native peoples from their land. 00:25:58.000 --> 00:25:66.000 They were the distinct minority but its worth noting that they existed. That doesn't mean that white America in general wasn't down with Indian removal though because they were. 00:26:06.000 --> 00:26:11.000 There were white folks, who were mightily opposed to the enslavement of African peoples. 00:26:11.000 --> 00:26:17.000 And we want to point that out and make clear that there were white folks who decent from that system but now that doesn't change the fact, does it? 00:26:17.000 --> 00:26:25.000 That white America, in a general sense, didn't do much to fight for a very long time, the system of enslavement. 00:26:25.000 --> 00:26:32.000 Plenty of white folks didn't own businesses in Jim Crow segregating. but very few white folks stood up against those who did, that's the point, right. 00:26:32.000 --> 00:26:38.000 We can make some general assertions about whiteness as a social thing. 00:26:38.000 --> 00:26:45.000 Even though we're not judging white people as individuals. It's not about white people. Sometimes people get tripped up on that "he hates white people" 00:26:45.000 --> 00:26:48.000 Let me be clear. 00:26:48.000 --> 00:26:52.000 I love me some white people. I love white people. 00:26:52.000 --> 00:26:56.000 I mean really, my wife is white, I love her. 00:26:56.000 --> 00:26:59.000 Love her. 00:26:59.000 --> 00:26:64.000 Our daughters, 14 and 12. Love them. White girls. 00:27:04.000 --> 00:27:14.000 Which is what happens when white people make babies, you get these white children, and then I love them. And then my mom oh my God, nice white lady, love her. 00:27:14.000 --> 00:27:21.000 My dad and I don't get along but that's not because he's white, that because of some other shit. I don't even have time. 00:27:21.000 --> 00:27:28.000 to talk about that tonight, that's therapy stuff so, write to me later and we'll work that out. 00:27:28.000 --> 00:27:35.000 Anyways, it's not about white people, it's about whiteness. As a social function, as a force, as an institutional norm. 00:27:36.000 --> 00:27:44.000 That's what I'm talking about, and if you look at that overtime, you find that this white denial has been an ever-present thing, like not just now, 00:27:44.000 --> 00:27:53.000 And not just 20 years ago, go back even to the early sixties, we're talking like before the civil rights act was even passed, civil rights act gets passed in '64. 00:27:53.000 --> 00:27:60.000 It makes discrimination and public accommodations and employment and those sorts of things, illegal. 00:28:00.000 --> 00:28:04.000 Before that, you could get away with a lot of discrimination and it wasn't even against the law. 00:28:04.000 --> 00:28:08.000 In 1965 is the voting rights act, 1968 is the fair housing act. 00:28:08.000 --> 00:28:13.000 So you can go back before that, 1963, that's the year of the march on Washington. 00:28:13.000 --> 00:28:21.000 The "I Have a Dream" speech, it's the year of the Birmingham campaign, where the 16th street baptist church in Birmingham was bombed. 00:28:21.000 --> 00:28:29.000 By clansmen, and where Sheriff "Bull" Conner turned his tanks and dogs on children on the streets of Downtown Birmingham. 1963 is the, 00:28:29.000 --> 00:28:39.000 year that Medgar Evers, the Mississippi head of the NAACP, is shot down dead in his driveway. 1963 is a high watermark for the civil right's struggle. 00:28:39.000 --> 00:28:46.000 Which is to say that is must have been a pretty high watermark of systematic oppression, because people don't struggle when there's nothing to struggle against. 00:28:46.000 --> 00:28:51.000 One would imagine, right, that in 1963, things must have been pretty bad. 00:28:52.000 --> 00:28:55.000 That's why 250,000 people march on Washington in last August. 00:28:55.000 --> 00:28:65.000 You ever been to Washington in late August? That is hot, people don't do that for shits and giggles. People don't do that because they've got nothing to do. It is really hot, it is really uncomfortable. 00:29:05.000 --> 00:29:15.000 So if you're going to march on Washington August 28th, of any year, I guarantee you, you must have some type of grievance. 00:29:16.000 --> 00:29:28.000 But yet, even in the midst of all that, even at a time when racism and discrimination were right there, in the news every night, 00:29:28.000 --> 00:29:35.000 Every night, because remember there were only 3 television channels in the early sixties, some of us remember these days, I wasn't alive then, 00:29:35.000 --> 00:29:40.000 But it was way until about '81, you have 3 stations they all went off about midnight 00:29:40.000 --> 00:29:44.000 Played the Star Spangled Banner and then it was static for 6 hours. 00:29:44.000 --> 00:29:49.000 And it's not like you had today, you got 300 channels, you could theoretically avoid the news now, 00:29:49.000 --> 00:29:57.000 You can just watch reality tv, and play videos games and you know, just play on the phone and never have to actually pay attention to the news. 00:29:57.000 --> 00:29:67.000 in '63 the news was the only game in town. People were riveted to it, and yet apparently, white folks could tell what it was they were looking at. 00:30:07.000 --> 00:30:13.000 because when white Americans were asked in '63 in the midst of all of this civil rights drama "hey do you think racial minorities" 00:30:13.000 --> 00:30:23.000 This was a question asked to them by the Gallup Organization, they said "Do you think racial minorities are treated equally in your community, in housing, education and employment?" 00:30:23.000 --> 00:30:28.000 And again, it's 1963 y'all, in retrospect, this is a really easy question. 00:30:28.000 --> 00:30:35.000 With the really easy answer that no one in here is going to miss, 52 years later. 00:30:35.000 --> 00:30:41.000 I mean even the clan would be like "nah it wasn't equal and we liked it like that" 00:30:41.000 --> 00:30:48.000 Even the most overt white supremacist would be like "No it was not equal, thank God" right? Everyone knows it wasn't now. 00:30:48.000 --> 00:30:54.000 But in 1963, when white folks were asked that question, a large sample of white Americans. 00:30:54.000 --> 00:30:62.000 From all across the country, different parts of the country were asked that question, 2 out of 3 white folks said "oh yeah, everything's equal". 00:31:08.000 --> 00:31:18.000 They couldn't see it. 1962, Gallup said in another poll they asked white Americans "Do you think black children have the same chance to get a good education as white children?" 00:31:18.000 --> 00:31:23.000 And again, come on it's '62, in retrospect we know the answer is no of course not. 00:31:23.000 --> 00:31:29.000 But in 1962, when the question was asked, 87 out of 100 white folks said yes. 00:31:29.000 --> 00:31:39.000 Almost 9 out of 10 white Americans looking at the same thing that we can now look at in retrospect and see very clearly, totally unable to see it. How is that possible? 00:31:39.000 --> 00:31:48.000 How is that basically decent people could be so wrong? Because I do think that those white folks were basically decent people, I think most people are good people. 00:31:48.000 --> 00:31:57.000 I could be wrong, but as a parent of two young children, I have a vested interest in believing that maybe the world is a just and a decent place 00:31:57.000 --> 00:31:65.000 And that maybe most people are good folks, so I tend to believe that when those white folks, 9 out of 10 virtually, couldn't see the reality, 00:32:05.000 --> 00:32:11.000 of unequal education, or 2 out of 3 couldn't see the reality of discrimination more broadly. 00:32:12.000 --> 00:32:20.000 it wasn't because they were bad people and it wasn't because they were uncaring, and it wasn't because they were just stupid and unable to see the truth. 00:32:20.000 --> 00:32:31.000 Had to be something else, what's the only other possible explanation. The only one I can think of is this, White Americans didn't know the truth because we didn't have to. 00:32:32.000 --> 00:32:39.000 And that too has not changed. Not in twenty years, not in 50 years, not in a century. What do I mean by that? 00:32:40.000 --> 00:32:44.000 What i mean is that if you're white in 1963, and Gallup asks you that question 00:32:44.000 --> 00:32:49.000 About your basic social reality about the country in which you live, 00:32:49.000 --> 00:32:59.000 And you don't know the truth and you get it wrong as so many did by saying that everything was fine, what was the consequence you faced for being ignorant? 00:32:59.000 --> 00:32:68.000 There was none. You didn't have to know the truth, you could be ignorant to people of color's reality because it wasn't going to be on the test, was it? 00:33:08.000 --> 00:33:12.000 And by that I mean, whatever test you had to take to graduate from high school, 00:33:12.000 --> 00:33:20.000 To get into college, law school, medical school, business school, to get a professional license in any career of your choosing. 00:33:20.000 --> 00:33:27.000 You didn't have to know the reality of millions of your fellow countrymen and countrywomen and you could still be considered competent. 00:33:28.000 --> 00:33:39.000 Isn't that interesting, that white folks could be totally stone cold oblivious to the reality of millions of their fellow citizens and still be considered competent enough to have jobs, 00:33:40.000 --> 00:33:45.000 and receive education. See people of color don't have that luxury on the other side, do they? 00:33:45.000 --> 00:33:54.000 People of color don't get to stay ignorant to the things that white folks think are important because that will be on the test, in fact that will be the whole test. 00:33:54.000 --> 00:33:62.000 Whatever's on the test I promise you is something that the dominant group decided was important knowledge and people of color better damn well know it. 00:34:02.000 --> 00:34:12.000 That's why they have to learn white literature and white theatre and white poetry and white art and yes I know we don't call it that, that is the point. 00:34:12.000 --> 00:34:22.000 When your stuff is considered the norm, you don't have to racially designate it's origins you don't have to call it white literature, you can just call it literature. 00:34:22.000 --> 00:34:24.000 Theatre. 00:34:24.000 --> 00:34:28.000 Poetry. Art. 00:34:28.000 --> 00:34:34.000 Those who are confused shall it we clear it up before February? This is why we don't have white history month, okay? 00:34:34.000 --> 00:34:45.000 Cause you got May and June and July and August and September and pretty much every other month that hasn't been designated for people of color 00:34:45.000 --> 00:34:54.000 That's ours and we will learn about white folks and we don't have to call it white history, that's just operative and normative and normalized, that's how privilege functions. 00:34:54.000 --> 00:34:64.000 It normalizes the dominant group's experience at the expense of everyone else, here's what's interesting this obliviousness that white folks are allowed to have around race, 00:35:04.000 --> 00:35:08.000 is something that every one of us has in some category. 00:35:08.000 --> 00:35:17.000 This isn't just race. Men get to be oblivious to the reality of sexism, patriarchy and rape culture and how those things effect women, we don't have to know the truth. 00:35:17.000 --> 00:35:22.000 I would argue we should, it's important for us to, but we don't have to. 00:35:22.000 --> 00:35:31.000 Those of us who are middle class, upper middle class, or affluent we don't have to know the reality of poor and low income and working class experience, we can be oblivious. 00:35:32.000 --> 00:35:42.000 Those of us who are straight or CIS gender, we don't have to know the reality of straight supremacy heterosexism, homophobia or transphobia, we don't have to know any other that. 00:35:42.000 --> 00:35:46.000 And we can still be deemed competent. Those of us who are able bodies and be ignorant, 00:35:46.000 --> 00:35:57.000 about the reality of those with various disabilities. Those of us who have the ability to hear, don't have to think about audism and how it affects those who are not hearing, those in the deaf community. 00:35:57.000 --> 00:35:60.000 You see we have an interpreter here right now, 00:36:00.000 --> 00:36:07.000 And those of us who don't face audism, those of us who've never even heard that word, 00:36:07.000 --> 00:36:15.000 Because we don't have to hear that word. We don't have to know about discriminations and marginalization of the deaf community, 00:36:15.000 --> 00:36:21.000 That's a privilege, it doesn't make you a bad person that you don't think about it, right? 00:36:21.000 --> 00:36:31.000 It doesn't mean that if you're a hearing person, that you're a bad person for not thinking about audism, but it does mean that you got a leg up, doesn't it. It means that you have an advantage, it means, 00:36:31.000 --> 00:36:40.000 That you have the privilege, the luxury of being stone cold ignorant to someone else's reality, and the danger when you're oblivious 00:36:40.000 --> 00:36:44.000 Is that when you don't have to know something, the odds are you wont understand it. 00:36:44.000 --> 00:36:52.000 And then when you're trying to build a community with the people who do have to understand it, just as function of daily life, it's really hard to do, isn't it? 00:36:52.000 --> 00:36:60.000 It's really hard to do, and then unfortunately, those of us who get to be oblivious still act like we know more, 00:37:00.000 --> 00:37:09.000 than the people who don't have that luxury. So here's the deal, I'm oblivious to calculus. 00:37:09.000 --> 00:37:12.000 You know why? Cause I didn't take it. 00:37:12.000 --> 00:37:16.000 You know why? Because they didn't make me. 00:37:16.000 --> 00:37:22.000 And if they weren't going to make me take calculus, I sure as hell was not going to take calculus. 00:37:22.000 --> 00:37:31.000 No offense to math folks in the room who love or teach calculus, I'm glad you are all doing it, someone has to, it just wasn't going to be me, that's all I'm saying. 00:37:31.000 --> 00:37:37.000 So I didn't take it, as a result, I wouldn't know how to do it. So if I were to stand up here and start doing it on a chalk board or something, 00:37:37.000 --> 00:37:49.000 Or on a screen, on an overhead projector, you would all be like "wait a minute, didn't he just tell us that he didn't know how to do, he didn't even take the class" exactly. 00:37:49.000 --> 00:37:56.000 But see, that's how identity works in America isn't it? Those of us who are white like to tell people of color that we know their reality. 00:37:56.000 --> 00:37:61.000 Better than they know their reality and we didn't take the class. 00:38:01.000 --> 00:38:08.000 Men like to tell women that we know their reality better than they know their reality and we didn't take the class. 00:38:08.000 --> 00:38:13.000 Those of who are straight or CIS gender like to tell those who are LGBT that we know their truth, 00:38:13.000 --> 00:38:21.000 better than they know their truth, and we did not take the class. You see what this is? This is the blue pill from the Matrix. 00:38:21.000 --> 00:38:27.000 Is what this is. You ever seen that film? There's that scene early on, right, where, 00:38:27.000 --> 00:38:33.000 Laurence Fishburne's character Morpheus, offers Keno Reeves's character Neo, two pills one is blue and one is red. 00:38:33.000 --> 00:38:40.000 And he says something along the lines of the following, I'm paraphrasing but this is pretty close, he says "you can take the blue pill," 00:39:13.000 --> 00:39:18.000 That is always a perfect metaphor for privilege and identity in this country. 00:39:18.000 --> 00:39:25.000 Because when you're a member of a dominant group you get to take the blue pill as a matter of daily routine and not even know you're taking it. 00:39:25.000 --> 00:39:30.000 You get to walk around with a blue pill I.V. drip. 00:39:30.000 --> 00:39:38.000 And you don't even know it's attached to your arm, rights? So white folks are like, and black and brown folks are like "you don't see this racism" and we're like, 00:39:44.000 --> 00:39:53.000 Women are like "don't you see this?" and dudes are like "No, blue pill" and I know that men and blue pill means some different shit. 00:39:53.000 --> 00:39:57.000 Since the Matrix that's taken on like a whole different meaning. 00:39:57.000 --> 00:39:63.000 I realize that, you can thank Pfizer for the fact that you get that joke, that's the power of pharmaceutical marketing. 00:40:03.000 --> 00:40:09.000 So I realize that, but I'm not talking about that blue pill, I'm talking about the Matrix right. 00:40:09.000 --> 00:40:16.000 So here's the thing, everyone of us in here, takes the blue pill on something, guarantee it. 00:40:16.000 --> 00:40:25.000 So it's not just white people, it's not just white men, it's not just straight white men, everybody in this room has at least one area, I guarantee, where you are the dominant group. 00:40:25.000 --> 00:40:31.000 And in that area, you don't have to know the truth about somebody else, so what I'm really asking us to do is to start to really think deeply, 00:40:32.000 --> 00:40:37.000 about what it means to have that luxury, and how dangerous that is, see when you don't have to think about the truth, 00:40:37.000 --> 00:40:45.000 And you get to ignore it, it's really hard to build communities, so you can't address some of these issues we're seeing right now. Like the problem in law enforcement. 00:40:45.000 --> 00:40:54.000 Right, if you don't have to know that reality, either now or historically, how do you have a conversation across racial lines with people who have no choice but to know that reality. 00:40:54.000 --> 00:40:63.000 See right now, in the midst of this current crisis of law enforcement where the data tell us that in the most recent period that young black men are 21 times more likely than young white men to be 00:41:03.000 --> 00:41:08.000 killed by police, and it's not because they commit crime 21 times more often. 00:41:08.000 --> 00:41:15.000 over a ten year period, 9 times more likely to killed by police. 2 to 3 times more likely to be killed unarmed. 00:41:15.000 --> 00:41:21.000 Relative to their white counterparts. I't's not about dangerousness, it's not about posing a threat to officers, it's about something else. 00:41:21.000 --> 00:41:30.000 But it's very hard to have that conversation across racial lines because people of color, even if they don't know those exact numbers they know the context and history behind those numbers 00:41:30.000 --> 00:41:36.000 And a lot of times those of us who are white, we don't. So we don't understand how black and brown folks see cops so differently than we do. 00:41:36.000 --> 00:41:39.000 We don't understand that, we get real uptight about it. 00:41:39.000 --> 00:41:44.000 Because we've experienced by enlarge, law enforcement one way. 00:41:44.000 --> 00:41:48.000 And people of color really have experienced it another way. 00:41:48.000 --> 00:41:53.000 That's not a hyperbole, that 's not exaggeration, that's history. But we might not know that history. 00:41:53.000 --> 00:41:62.000 So we don't know that history, and black folks stand up and insist that black lives matter and then folks are like "no, all lives matter, no" 00:42:02.000 --> 00:42:12.000 Yes precious we know. The point is all the rest of our lives already were presumed to matter, particularly if we were white so we don't have to proclaim it. 00:42:12.000 --> 00:42:16.000 You see you have to proclaim that which is usually ignored. 00:42:16.000 --> 00:42:20.000 White folks lives have been valued in this country since the jump, you see? 00:42:20.000 --> 00:42:24.000 Black and brown folk not so much, that's why we have to say it. 00:42:24.000 --> 00:42:28.000 Law enforcement folks say, "Black lives matter, that's a police assassination group. 00:42:28.000 --> 00:42:33.000 They're going to go out and kill police, police are increasingly being subjected to violence. 00:42:33.000 --> 00:42:40.000 Actually again facts matter, your hyperbole, your opinion means nothing in the face of actual evidence. The truth is that we are right now 00:42:40.000 --> 00:42:46.000 on a particular course to have a year which will show the lowest number of law enforcement deaths 00:42:46.000 --> 00:42:50.000 on duty in the last 25 years. That is the truth. 00:42:50.000 --> 00:42:54.000 So no black lives matter is not out killing cops, no one affiliated with that movement 00:42:54.000 --> 00:42:61.000 has killed any law enforcement officer and even of the 36 or so 35, whatever the number is, 00:43:01.000 --> 00:43:09.000 law enforcement officials who have died on duty, five, six, seven of them weren't killed at all. They died in traffic accidents, one of them had a heart attack at the gym. 00:43:09.000 --> 00:43:16.000 One of them was detailing his motorcycle and dropped dead of a heart attack. I mean it's a horrible tragedy 00:43:16.000 --> 00:43:22.000 but unless black lives matter is putting extra cholesterol in the donuts I don't think you can actually blame them for that. 00:43:22.000 --> 00:43:26.000 Just saying, you can't blame that on an activist organization. 00:43:26.000 --> 00:43:28.000 So let's stop lying because the 00:43:28.000 --> 00:43:32.000 number of young black and brown folks killed by law enforcement, unarmed is at a forty year high. 00:43:32.000 --> 00:43:37.000 The number of law enforcement killed by black and brown folks is at a quarter century low. Those facts 00:43:37.000 --> 00:43:43.000 do matter and they explain the differential way in which some people see law enforcement as others do. 00:43:43.000 --> 00:43:46.000 But white folks don't have to know that history, we don't have to think about that. We act as if 00:43:46.000 --> 00:43:50.000 police are the nice friendly people that come get your cat out of the tree. 00:43:50.000 --> 00:43:57.000 And drive you around in a ride along to show you how exciting it is to be an officer. That's not the black and brown experience. 00:43:57.000 --> 00:43:60.000 Historically, law enforcement 00:44:00.000 --> 00:44:05.000 were the folks who caught run away slaves. 00:44:05.000 --> 00:44:08.000 They were the folks who enforced the black codes after enslavement. 00:44:08.000 --> 00:44:16.000 They were the folks who participated directly in the lynching of thousands of black and brown bodies. They were the folks who participated actively in programs, race riots against 00:44:16.000 --> 00:44:20.000 black communities in places east Saint Louis, Illinois, Tulsa 00:44:20.000 --> 00:44:24.000 Oklahoma, and elsewhere all around this country from coast to coast. They were the ones 00:44:24.000 --> 00:44:28.000 who pulled civil rights demonstrators off of stools, they were all in uniform 00:44:28.000 --> 00:44:32.000 they all had badges, they all had guns, they all had the power of the state, they were 00:44:32.000 --> 00:44:37.000 law enforcement. So to ask black and brown folks to act like that history doesn't matter of that they should ignore it. 00:44:37.000 --> 00:44:40.000 Everyone knows that not all officers are 00:44:40.000 --> 00:44:44.000 implicated in that but let me ask you, how many officers during all of those things I just mentioned 00:44:44.000 --> 00:44:50.000 actually stood up against the people who were doing them? You can count them on a couple of hands. 00:44:50.000 --> 00:44:52.000 So if you have a culture within law enforcement 00:44:52.000 --> 00:44:56.000 that doesn't speak up against the brutality of some, then that is to suggest that 00:44:56.000 --> 00:44:61.000 a handful of bad apples, it is a rotten orchard from which some decent officers emerged. 00:45:01.000 --> 00:45:04.000 But until they are willing to turn in their brothers and sisters 00:45:04.000 --> 00:45:08.000 in blue, until they are willing to rat them out and end their careers 00:45:08.000 --> 00:45:14.000 as professional law enforcement officers, then no one should mouth the words, "not all police." 00:45:14.000 --> 00:45:20.000 Applause. 00:45:20.000 --> 00:45:27.000 As long as law enforcement is enforcing the war on drugs, which I beg to remind you is not really a war on drugs 00:45:27.000 --> 00:45:32.000 then I really don't want to hear lectures about how we have to go easy on cops. 00:45:32.000 --> 00:45:38.000 I worked 15 months in public housing in New Orleans as a community organizer and I saw fewer drugs 00:45:38.000 --> 00:45:41.000 in those 15 months, poorest communities 00:45:41.000 --> 00:45:47.000 in the city of New Orleans, some of the poorest in the United States, I saw fewer drugs being used or dealt 00:45:47.000 --> 00:45:55.000 in those communities in 15 months than I saw in a typical Saturday in my dorm room at Tulane University. 00:45:55.000 --> 00:45:59.000 I also knew that I wasn't going to get arrested, I wasn't going to jail. 00:45:59.000 --> 00:45:64.000 So the war on drugs has nothing to do but as long as law enforcement keeps enforcing it 00:46:04.000 --> 00:46:08.000 as long as law enforcement keeps playing that game, then they're implicated in it. That's why black and brown folks 00:46:08.000 --> 00:46:12.000 have a hard time trusting law enforcement. See we have to rebuild trust 00:46:12.000 --> 00:46:16.000 on the basis of facts and history and understanding but when people get to be a 00:46:16.000 --> 00:46:21.000 oblivious. And even those good cops out there, and there are lots of them, those good cops don't know that history 00:46:21.000 --> 00:46:24.000 right? They find themselves unable to change it 00:46:24.000 --> 00:46:28.000 They find themselves unable to push back against it because they don't even realize it. 00:46:28.000 --> 00:46:32.000 So caught up in that idea that they're good people and that there's just a handful of bad 00:46:32.000 --> 00:46:36.000 ones but if you don't understand this long history of oppression, the way that law enforcement 00:46:36.000 --> 00:46:40.000 has been the cutting edge of that and you're a good conscious officer, you're 00:46:40.000 --> 00:46:44.000 going to end up going up against a culture you can't defeat. 00:46:44.000 --> 00:46:49.000 Because you don't even know what you're up against, that's why a a lot of good officers end up leaving. 00:46:49.000 --> 00:46:52.000 Because they can't make the kind of changes that they want to make. 00:46:52.000 --> 00:46:56.000 There's this one young guy who looks about 12, I guess he's probably in his late 20s 00:46:56.000 --> 00:46:61.000 early 30s in Baltimore, I can't remember his name. But he's all over Youtube, he's been doing a lot of media lately. 00:47:01.000 --> 00:47:06.000 This young white dude, who was run out of the Baltimore police department for speaking up 00:47:06.000 --> 00:47:14.000 against the brutality and the corruption of his colleagues. And his career has been ended by trying to do the right thing. 00:47:14.000 --> 00:47:17.000 Because when you cross that thin blue line and you call out folks for doing 00:47:17.000 --> 00:47:26.000 illegal activity and framing people and brutalizing people in the name of crime control, they end your career. See that's a good cop right there. 00:47:26.000 --> 00:47:33.000 But he's not now because he's not a cop. He's a good man, but he can't be a cop anymore because he's not allowed to be. 00:47:33.000 --> 00:47:36.000 In a culture that says you have to keep your mouth shut 00:47:36.000 --> 00:47:42.000 and whatever a cop says go. See that's what we do in police states, that's the kind of stuff they do in other countries that we condemn them for. 00:47:42.000 --> 00:47:49.000 And we turn around and we do it and we act like nothing is wrong with it. But if you don't know the history 00:47:49.000 --> 00:47:52.000 it's very difficult to get your head around that let alone 00:47:52.000 --> 00:47:55.000 change it. Same thing with immigration. If we don't understand 00:47:55.000 --> 00:47:59.000 see we have all this debate about immigration and the biggest thing getting in the way 00:47:59.000 --> 00:47:65.000 of an honest conversation or a productive immigration policy is the mythology of this country. 00:48:05.000 --> 00:48:08.000 That so many folks have bought into, especially 00:48:08.000 --> 00:48:12.000 white folks but not only white folks. And not all white folks but again mostly 00:48:12.000 --> 00:48:16.000 so. White folks who will say things, "Well I don't mind immigrants coming, I just want 00:48:16.000 --> 00:48:20.000 them to come the right way like my family did." 00:48:20.000 --> 00:48:25.000 Really, okay. Let's talk about that then. 00:48:25.000 --> 00:48:27.000 The right way, what does that mean? 00:48:27.000 --> 00:48:32.000 People say, "well my great great grandfather came legally, why can't they come legally?" 00:48:32.000 --> 00:48:38.000 First of all, when your great great grandfather came, there was no law in place to break. 00:48:38.000 --> 00:48:44.000 So the fact that your ancestor didn't break a law that didn't even exist to be broken 00:48:44.000 --> 00:48:55.000 does not get your great great grandfather any brownie points, cookies, flowers, or awards. It means nothing. It says nothing about your character when you don't break a law that doesn't exist. 00:48:55.000 --> 00:48:60.000 It's hard to break a law that doesn't exist. Ever since 1790 00:49:00.000 --> 00:49:04.000 when the naturalization act was passed, the first law congress passed 00:49:04.000 --> 00:49:08.000 after the constitution was ratified, ever since 1790, 00:49:08.000 --> 00:49:12.000 all free white persons and only free white persons were allowed to become 00:49:12.000 --> 00:49:17.000 citizens of the United States. So when our ancestors came, even if they caught hell, and many of them did, 00:49:17.000 --> 00:49:21.000 as Irish as Italian, as eastern European Jews, etc. 00:49:21.000 --> 00:49:27.000 even if they caught hell they were able to access certain rights and privileges and immunities that were off limits to 00:49:27.000 --> 00:49:30.000 virtually anyone else. So let's stop the mythology 00:49:30.000 --> 00:49:37.000 that we came the right way and their coming the wrong way, whatever that means. And let's also stop the mythology that says 00:49:37.000 --> 00:49:40.000 our ancestors came for freedom. 00:49:40.000 --> 00:49:44.000 And they're just coming for stuff. That's what people are saying. 00:49:44.000 --> 00:49:48.000 They're coming to take our jobs or they're coming to take our welfare. First of all 00:49:48.000 --> 00:49:51.000 which is it? Because it's really hard to be both. I just want 00:49:51.000 --> 00:49:56.000 all I ask for from bigots, I don't have a very high threshold of intelligence from them, I just ask 00:49:56.000 --> 00:49:59.000 that if you're going to be a racist you need to pick a stereotype. 00:49:59.000 --> 00:49:64.000 Because if in fact brown folks are coming to take all the jobs, they are not going to qualify for any 00:50:04.000 --> 00:50:08.000 of the welfare. And if they are coming to just take the welfare, I'm fairly confident 00:50:08.000 --> 00:50:12.000 they are going to have no jobs, let alone all of the jobs. 00:50:12.000 --> 00:50:16.000 So let's just pick one and not be a moving target. It's much easier 00:50:16.000 --> 00:50:21.000 to argue against stupidity when it is stationary. That is all that I am asking. 00:50:21.000 --> 00:50:27.000 But so we say they're coming for stuff, our people came for principles like freedom and liberty. No we didn't. 00:50:27.000 --> 00:50:34.000 Our ancestors didn't come for freedom and liberty are you kidding? If we were coming for that we would have set up freedom and liberty. 00:50:34.000 --> 00:50:41.000 But we didn't. Not only did we enslave some and steal the land of others and expel others from their land in acts of cultural and even physical genocide, 00:50:41.000 --> 00:50:48.000 But we even took it out on each other. Man, we were killing each other in Salem just taking people we thought were witches and burning them. 00:50:48.000 --> 00:50:52.000 And hanging them and drowning them in the name of what, freedom? 00:50:52.000 --> 00:50:61.000 Liberty? No. In the name of presumed religious superiority and religious inferiority. So we didn't believe in freedom or liberty. Our people came for stuff too. 00:51:01.000 --> 00:51:08.000 That's the dirty little secret. Stuff like opportunities, stuff like the ability to feed our families, that's why we came. 00:51:08.000 --> 00:51:13.000 Who are we to be high and mighty about brown folks coming over that artificial boarder for the same thing? 00:51:13.000 --> 00:51:16.000 Because that's why our families came. Make no mistake 00:51:16.000 --> 00:51:24.000 Europeans who came to this country were the losers of their respective societies. I mean no offense by that, I'm just saying. Think about it for a second. 00:51:24.000 --> 00:51:28.000 They were the losers, they were the ones who couldn't make it, they ones who were starving 00:51:28.000 --> 00:51:35.000 as James Baldwin said. Some of them were convicts and they couldn't make it in the old country so they came to the new country. But we have this fiction 00:51:35.000 --> 00:51:40.000 that acts like our ancestors were these noble wonderful people. Noble? 00:51:40.000 --> 00:51:49.000 People say things like, "My family came over on the Mayflower." Okay shush, might not want to talk about that. 00:51:49.000 --> 00:51:53.000 If you knew who was on the Mayflower, those weren't the winners of England, that wasn't like 00:51:53.000 --> 00:51:60.000 you know who wasn't on the Mayflower? The king. That's who wasn't on the Mayflower. The king wasn't and not anybody that the king knew or liked 00:52:00.000 --> 00:52:05.000 was on the damn Mayflower, that's why they left. If you were winning in England, you were not going to get on the boat were you? 00:52:05.000 --> 00:52:13.000 No if you were winning, if things were going well for you, you were not just going to wake your family up one strange summer morning and say, "Well you know 00:52:13.000 --> 00:52:21.000 it's been going pretty swimmingly over here but I don't know, sort of up for an adventure, what do you say? 00:52:21.000 --> 00:52:26.000 I think the best thing we can do for our family would be to get on a boat, a rickety 00:52:26.000 --> 00:52:33.000 old god knows if it's even sea worthy kind of vessel and set out on the high seas 00:52:33.000 --> 00:52:41.000 for weeks at a time. We might drown, we might be eaten by sharks. But it'll be fun." 00:52:41.000 --> 00:52:44.000 No if you were the winner you didn't take that chance. 00:52:44.000 --> 00:52:52.000 There was no need, the winners stayed put, the losers got on the boat as an act of resistance and there is no shame in that. None. 00:52:52.000 --> 00:52:59.000 No shame in that. There is no shame in that when we do it but by the same token there is no shame in that when they 00:52:59.000 --> 00:52:64.000 do it. Those who we have suddenly made impossible to see ourselves in. 00:53:04.000 --> 00:53:08.000 There is no shame in any of it. And we should not create such shame. 00:53:08.000 --> 00:53:14.000 See, but if we have created this fictional narrative that separates us from them, 00:53:14.000 --> 00:53:19.000 and makes them seem as if they have less belonging and less right to a land that was actually 00:53:19.000 --> 00:53:23.000 their ancestors in many cases, much more so than it was ours, 00:53:23.000 --> 00:53:28.000 then we create an oppressive system that isn't based on justice because it isn't based on truth. 00:53:28.000 --> 00:53:31.000 It's based on falsehood, it's based on fiction. 00:53:31.000 --> 00:53:36.000 And that's never good. Because when you base your policies on fiction you don't' really deal 00:53:36.000 --> 00:53:40.000 with the problems. You can't deal with the problems facing working people in this 00:53:40.000 --> 00:53:44.000 country if all we talk about is building walls and deporting people and 00:53:44.000 --> 00:53:48.000 closing the border. Think about that. Just basic economic policy. 00:53:48.000 --> 00:53:52.000 Basic economic theory. If you close a border 00:53:52.000 --> 00:53:62.000 to working people. If you close borders to labor so that labor cannot go in search of the best price for it's work product, for it's best wage. 00:54:02.000 --> 00:54:07.000 But you allow the border to remain open for capital to move across borders. 00:54:07.000 --> 00:54:14.000 And you allow the border to remain open for goods to go in search of the highest price, for the highest rate of return 00:54:14.000 --> 00:54:16.000 then basic economic philosophy 00:54:16.000 --> 00:54:22.000 basic theory has told you you have permanently tilted the game in favor of owners and against workers. 00:54:22.000 --> 00:54:24.000 Because what you've done is you've said rich people can 00:54:24.000 --> 00:54:28.000 sell their stuff anywhere they want, they can move their money anywhere they want 00:54:28.000 --> 00:54:32.000 but if you're a working person you will be chained to your country of origin. 00:54:32.000 --> 00:54:36.000 How does that help working people north or south of that 00:54:36.000 --> 00:54:43.000 any other border? It doesn't by definition. It makes all working people permanent economic slaves of capital. 00:54:44.000 --> 00:54:48.000 But we don't see that problem when we're talking about building walls and limiting 00:54:48.000 --> 00:54:52.000 what working people can do even when we put no limits on capital at all. That's the problem. 00:54:52.000 --> 00:54:56.000 The problem is right now that we have approximately 00:54:56.000 --> 00:54:63.000 one-tenth of one percent of the American population that has the same net worth as the bottom ninety percent of Americans. 00:55:03.000 --> 00:55:07.000 One-tenth of one percent, that's 325-330,000 people on this hand 00:55:08.000 --> 00:55:14.000 three hundred and roughly twenty million people over here who have the same stuff. 00:55:14.000 --> 00:55:16.000 Ninety percent of the population 00:55:16.000 --> 00:55:23.000 is the same as one-tenth of one percent. We have thirty people in this country. The wealthiest thirty people in the United States who have the same 00:55:23.000 --> 00:55:27.000 amount of wealth as the bottom half of the American population. 00:55:28.000 --> 00:55:33.000 one hundred and sixty, one hundred and sixty-five million people over here, thirty people over here. 00:55:33.000 --> 00:55:37.000 That's a greater level of disparity I should point out that existed in the Roman Empire 00:55:37.000 --> 00:55:43.000 It's a greater level of inequality that exist in any of those countries that we like to call Banana Republics in 00:55:43.000 --> 00:55:48.000 so called third world nations, underdeveloped nations. In fact 00:55:48.000 --> 00:55:54.000 the six heirs to the Walmart fortune, the Walton family, 00:55:54.000 --> 00:55:57.000 five of whom were born into the family, one of whom married into it. 00:55:57.000 --> 00:55:64.000 Those six heirs, four of them are the principle heirs, the other two are not quite as rich but let's put them together for the sake of argument. 00:56:04.000 --> 00:56:08.000 Six Walton heirs have the same amount of weath, 00:56:08.000 --> 00:56:14.000 just between the six of them, as the bottom forty percent of the American public. 00:56:14.000 --> 00:56:18.000 Approximately 130 million over here, six people 00:56:18.000 --> 00:56:26.000 over here. In fact the Walton family has so much wealth that they could buy every home, every condo, every townhouse in the city of Seattle. 00:56:26.000 --> 00:56:32.000 Or the city of Miami, or the city of Dallas and still have forty billion dollars left. 00:56:32.000 --> 00:56:42.000 With which they could still buy all the homes in Napa if they like wine, or all the homes in Anaheim, California if their kids like to go to Disney. They would still have five or six billion left. 00:56:42.000 --> 00:56:47.000 They have so much money that if you take the collective net worth of pretty much every rich person whose name you know 00:56:47.000 --> 00:56:53.000 right from Mark Zuckerberg, to Phil Night, to Donald Trump, to Mark Cuban, to 00:56:53.000 --> 00:56:59.000 George Lucas the film maker, even Bill Gates the worlds wealthiest man, you put them all together and they still don't have 00:56:59.000 --> 00:56:68.000 as much wealth as just those six members of the Walton family. This is true even as the typical Walmart worker makes sub-poverty wages. 00:57:08.000 --> 00:57:12.000 And makes so little in fact that they have to go on food stamps 00:57:12.000 --> 00:57:16.000 in many cities and many towns, Walmart workers are the largest single group of SNAP 00:57:16.000 --> 00:57:19.000 recipients, SNAP is what we now call food stamps. 00:57:19.000 --> 00:57:24.000 I want you to think about that. A company that has so much money that six of the people 00:57:24.000 --> 00:57:28.000 at the top of that economic ladder own the same amount as the poorest forty 00:57:28.000 --> 00:57:32.000 percent of Americans and they got people who don't make enough to eat so they have to go on 00:57:32.000 --> 00:57:40.000 government subsidies. Which means you the tax payers are subsidizing the wealthiest corporation, possibly on the planet and the largest employer in this country. 00:57:40.000 --> 00:57:44.000 But who do we bash? Do we bash the Walton's for not paying 00:57:44.000 --> 00:57:48.000 their workers sufficiently or do we bash the workers who have to go on food stamps just to stay alive? 00:57:48.000 --> 00:57:52.000 You know the answer to that. Folks at Walmart are having to set up food 00:57:52.000 --> 00:57:56.000 drives at Thanksgiving, watch it'll happen again this November. They set up food drives 00:57:56.000 --> 00:57:65.000 for their colleagues asking one employee to help donate a turkey so that another employees family can have a thanksgiving meal. This is out of Dickens. 00:58:05.000 --> 00:58:08.000 But it's happening now, in our country. And here's the greatest 00:58:08.000 --> 00:58:12.000 irony of all. Do you know where those Walmart employees who have to go on food stamps redeem their 00:58:12.000 --> 00:58:19.000 food stamps benefits. They redeem them at Walmart. 13 billion dollars 00:58:19.000 --> 00:58:24.000 every single year that Walmart makes from food stamps, a disproportionate number of which are used 00:58:24.000 --> 00:58:28.000 for their own employees. They are making it on both ends. They pay their folks on sub-poverty wages 00:58:28.000 --> 00:58:32.000 they have to go on welfare benefits, they redeem their welfare benefits at the very same 00:58:32.000 --> 00:58:36.000 place that wouldn't make the money if they just paid them 00:58:36.000 --> 00:58:40.000 up front. That my friends is the problem. Not Mexican folks. 00:58:40.000 --> 00:58:44.000 Not black folks, not affirmative action, not multiculturalism 00:58:44.000 --> 00:58:53.000 not diversity, not immigration of any kind but an economic system that is rigged for the benefit of not one person I assure you in this room 00:58:53.000 --> 00:58:56.000 while they sit back and they watch us as we fight 00:58:56.000 --> 00:58:60.000 over the pieces of a pie that not one of us in this room 00:59:00.000 --> 00:59:06.000 actually owns. Until we decide that we will be as angry about that 00:59:06.000 --> 00:59:11.000 as we are about someone trying to feed his or her family coming across that artificial border. 00:59:11.000 --> 00:59:16.000 Until we decide to be as angry about that and put that 00:59:16.000 --> 00:59:20.000 in the cross hairs of our politics as we are at things like affirmative 00:59:20.000 --> 00:59:28.000 action or the paltry benefits received by those at the bottom of the economic ladder we as a country I assure you will be doomed. 00:59:28.000 --> 00:59:35.000 Only when we decide that there are real adversaries out there worth tilting out rather than the windmills 00:59:35.000 --> 00:59:41.000 we have been tilting at up to now while we actually have a chance at building real democracy. 00:59:41.000 --> 00:59:44.000 Thank you all for being here. I appreciate your time. 00:59:44.000 --> 00:59:56.000 Applause. 00:59:56.000 --> 00:59:61.000 Thank you very much I appreciate it. We have a microphone down here 01:00:01.000 --> 01:00:04.000 if you can get to the mic that is the best possible 01:00:04.000 --> 01:00:08.000 way to do it, just so folks can hear you. If you are physically unable 01:00:08.000 --> 01:00:12.000 to do so then we can run the mic to you, I don't want to leave anyone out. 01:00:12.000 --> 01:00:16.000 But I want to encourage you to come to the mic if you can. Yes, we'll start right here. 01:00:16.000 --> 01:00:20.000 Audience member: I remember being as excited when I was in 01:00:20.000 --> 01:00:25.000 college as you've made many folks in this room. I was arrested in the free speech movement. 01:00:25.000 --> 01:00:32.000 I realized later that the police had hurt me an African American more than they had other people. I wanted 01:00:32.000 --> 01:00:36.000 to make a difference. I married a white man, we have been married for fifty years. 01:00:36.000 --> 01:00:40.000 We really thought that our beige babies would make a difference. 01:00:40.000 --> 01:00:52.000 Last week I was walking in the streets of Salem, appreciating my market town and a car went by and yelled dirty n word to me. So here's my question for you Tim. 01:00:52.000 --> 01:00:63.000 Your writing is amazing. Have you ever tried to put on black make up and go out into the world as black? 01:01:03.000 --> 01:01:09.000 No I don't do black faces as a matter of routine just for lots of reasons. Mostly 01:01:09.000 --> 01:01:16.000 because I think that for us, those of us who are white, though I think that experiment had real 01:01:16.000 --> 01:01:20.000 purpose when John Howard Griffin did it in 1959, 01:01:20.000 --> 01:01:29.000 and wrote the book Black Like Me, I've long believed that the better course of wisdom for those of us who are white is to simply believe you 01:01:29.000 --> 01:01:33.000 and to believe other black folks when they tell us what it is to be black. 01:01:33.000 --> 01:01:42.000 Rather than having to go to sort of see for ourselves, is it really happening? It is really true? Like I feel like that was the weakness in Griffin's experiement. 01:01:42.000 --> 01:01:44.000 For those of you who've read Black Like Me, 01:01:44.000 --> 01:01:49.000 and many of you if you're like me you had to read it in high school and it's still being taught and it's fifty some odd years after the fact. 01:01:49.000 --> 01:01:52.000 It's great and all, it's fine. 01:01:52.000 --> 01:01:56.000 And if you want to do that experiment I suppose go do it. But 01:01:56.000 --> 01:01:60.000 I learned a long time ago that I should just trust people 01:02:00.000 --> 01:02:04.000 to tell me about their lives and assume that they haven't lost their minds. Like 01:02:04.000 --> 01:02:08.000 to me that's the flaw in his experiment was 01:02:08.000 --> 01:02:12.000 white America couldn't hear it from people of color, maybe we still can. 01:02:12.000 --> 01:02:20.000 So as a white person what I'll do is I'll go and I'll add my voice to the cacophony of people of color, 01:02:20.000 --> 01:02:27.000 hold up the work of folks of Black Lives Matter, and I'l hold up the works of writers like James Baldwin and I'll hold up the work of scholars 01:02:28.000 --> 01:02:32.000 like Bell Hooks and Kim Crenshaw and others who have done such amazing work on intersections between 01:02:32.000 --> 01:02:36.000 race and class and sexually and sex and gender. 01:02:36.000 --> 01:02:43.000 And I'll do that as a way of introducing people to their work rather than me having to go and experience first hand what I 01:02:43.000 --> 01:02:44.000 know is happening 01:02:44.000 --> 01:02:48.000 and I don't have to experience first hand to know that it is. Just like I don't have to 01:02:48.000 --> 01:02:52.000 be gay to know what my gay brothers are experiencing, or be trans 01:02:52.000 --> 01:02:59.000 to know what my trans men and/or trans women for that matter are experiencing. I don't have to be disabled to know 01:02:59.000 --> 01:02:65.000 about ableism. So I hope that we can get to the point where we can hear about those stories. 01:03:05.000 --> 01:03:13.000 And start with the assumption that it's real. That it's happening, that people aren't exaggerating, that they're not seeing 01:03:13.000 --> 01:03:16.000 things, that they're not hallucinating. If we could do that 01:03:16.000 --> 01:03:20.000 we wouldn't have to adopt the epidermal camouflage 01:03:20.000 --> 01:03:29.000 like John Howard Griffin did in 1959 when he did that experiment and wrote that book. We would be able to simply start from a position that says 01:03:29.000 --> 01:03:32.000 if this many people tell me over and over 01:03:32.000 --> 01:03:36.000 and over and over again that it's real and I 01:03:36.000 --> 01:03:40.000 refuse to listen to them there's nothing that an experiment is going to do 01:03:40.000 --> 01:03:44.000 to save me. I've got to begin by believing and by learning to listen. 01:03:44.000 --> 01:03:48.000 So I would say that that would be a more helpful thing for white folks 01:03:48.000 --> 01:03:52.000 to do then to sort of live vicariously 01:03:52.000 --> 01:03:56.000 as a black person for a while until it gets really tough and we take the make up off. 01:03:56.000 --> 01:03:60.000 Alright, because that's what Griffin did. He was black for the summer and then the drugs wore off and he was 01:04:00.000 --> 01:04:04.000 white again. And that's the thing, we can always go back. 01:04:04.000 --> 01:04:08.000 So the better course of wisdom for me is to just believe you when you talk to me 01:04:08.000 --> 01:04:12.000 about what happened during the Free Speech Movement and what happened with law enforcement and the experience 01:04:12.000 --> 01:04:16.000 that you said you just had in Salem. That's real. I don't need 01:04:16.000 --> 01:04:20.000 to be black to know that it's real. I just need to be an alert, compassionate 01:04:20.000 --> 01:04:24.000 empathic person to know that it's real. But thank you for the question, I appreciate it. 01:04:24.000 --> 01:04:26.000 Next question please. 01:04:26.000 --> 01:04:36.000 Audience member: So I'm a professor at Western and I was talking to my students about you coming and I don't really know that much about your background but I'm glad I came. 01:04:36.000 --> 01:04:44.000 So I asked my students if they were going to come and one of my students had read something in your bios or something that he found disturbing. 01:04:44.000 --> 01:04:54.000 And so I said why don't you just come and ask that question and he said you can't do that. and I said why not? And he said well 01:04:54.000 --> 01:04:62.000 the administration of the college will get you and I said no they won't if it's one thing we value it's free speech. 01:05:02.000 --> 01:05:12.000 So here's his question and I don't think that the roof is going to fall down and I don't think you're going to be that embarrassed about it. So his question was 01:05:12.000 --> 01:05:16.000 he said, you know he lives in a gated white community 01:05:16.000 --> 01:05:20.000 Tim: No I don't. Man: I know I'm just telling. Tim: I know but I don't. Man: Okay 01:05:20.000 --> 01:05:24.000 and that most of the people in that area are white. 01:05:24.000 --> 01:05:28.000 So I want to notice that the roof didn't fall down when I asked that and there's not going to be a problem. 01:05:28.000 --> 01:05:32.000 And so that's the main reason I'm asking the question, I don't even care about the answer. 01:05:32.000 --> 01:05:36.000 Well I do, and I care about the answer and I care about the fact that 01:05:36.000 --> 01:05:44.000 people believe things that they read without doing a little bit more homework. See Google is a dangerous thing. 01:05:44.000 --> 01:05:50.000 So a couple of years ago, a white supremacist organization started circulating this 01:05:50.000 --> 01:05:54.000 idea that I lived in a gated community. I've never lived in a gated community. I live 01:05:54.000 --> 01:05:61.000 I'm not going to tell you exactly where I live, I'm not going to tell you exactly and the reason I'm not is because white supremacists showed up at our door 01:06:01.000 --> 01:06:04.000 and threatened me and my entire family a couple of years ago. 01:06:04.000 --> 01:06:12.000 They came to my very much non-gated community, which they then could see was not gated, but continued to lie and say that it was gated. 01:06:12.000 --> 01:06:16.000 I do live in Nashville, Tennessee. I think everyone knows that. 01:06:16.000 --> 01:06:21.000 And I live in the city, I don't live in the suburbs, I live in the city 5 minutes from downtown 01:06:21.000 --> 01:06:26.000 And I live in a, I'll just say in a zip code, we're going to keep it general. 01:06:26.000 --> 01:06:32.000 Because I don't really want to give too much away, for obvious security reasons. But i live in a zip code that is about 38 percent black. 01:06:32.000 --> 01:06:36.000 Which is actually more than the black population of the City of Nashville. 01:06:36.000 --> 01:06:44.000 I live in a zip code that is probably about 5 percent Latino, which is probably about the percentage in the greater Nashville area, 01:06:44.000 --> 01:06:49.000 So it's a multicultural, multiracial community. 01:06:49.000 --> 01:06:54.000 But what i found interesting about the question, right, is the premise. The premise is still very interesting. 01:06:54.000 --> 01:06:62.000 Now I do think it's a problem to live in a gated community actually, I think that's a real problem. I think that premise would be valid, if that were true that would be really disturbing I think. 01:07:02.000 --> 01:07:06.000 Because I don't think we should lock ourselves behind gates. 01:07:06.000 --> 01:07:12.000 But to suggest let's say, that a white person who does live in a mostly white space is. 01:07:12.000 --> 01:07:17.000 ipso facto therefore invalid, I just want you to think about what this means. 01:07:17.000 --> 01:07:20.000 And what the logic suggests. 01:07:20.000 --> 01:07:30.000 It suggests that a white person who speaks out against racism should almost by definition go live in a virtually all black or brown neighborhood. 01:07:30.000 --> 01:07:36.000 And I want you to think about the implications of doing that, because we actually see all around the country, 01:07:36.000 --> 01:07:45.000 what happens when large numbers of "well meaning" white people move back into mostly black and brown neighborhoods it's called gentrification and what ends up happening, 01:07:45.000 --> 01:07:49.000 is that it actually drives people of color out of their own neighborhoods, 01:07:49.000 --> 01:07:55.000 by jacking up the rents, by jacking up the property taxes, so that the people who've been living there can't even live there anymore. 01:07:55.000 --> 01:07:63.000 How would that be an antiracist move? Like if I were to do that in the name of making myself feel better or pleasing someone who thinks I should do it, 01:08:03.000 --> 01:08:11.000 Then if enough people did that pretty soon what would happen is that the folks who'd been there the whole time would find themselves pushed out, that's happened in Nashville. 01:08:12.000 --> 01:08:16.000 In many of the communities in question like that, it's happened in Portland. 01:08:16.000 --> 01:08:20.000 God knows it's happening in North Portland tonight. 01:08:20.000 --> 01:08:26.000 Right, and every night. So it's a really complicated thing, I think the issue is not that white folks shouldn't live, 01:08:26.000 --> 01:08:35.000 in black or brown communities but we have to be real intentional, and it shouldn't be that we do that just so that we feel more, I don't know, connected to something. 01:08:35.000 --> 01:08:45.000 And if we do live in communities that are almost all white or 80 percent white, or 20 percent white, we do the work either way. You do the work no matter where you live. And in fact, I think, 01:08:45.000 --> 01:08:56.000 it would actually be valuable for some white folks to live in virtually all white communities and subvert the paradigm in the those communities. I don't want to be the one to do it, 01:08:56.000 --> 01:08:64.000 But I hope some people do it, because even though I want to live in an urban area that is more diverse but I understand that if you are someone who 01:09:04.000 --> 01:09:14.000 Lives in a place that is not as diverse as Nashville is or New Orleans, where I used to live where I did live in communities that were up to 70 percent black in some cases. 01:09:14.000 --> 01:09:23.000 if you happen to live in a rural or a small town area maybe that's where you're form maybe that's where your folks live, maybe you're going to go back and live in their home and there's nothing wrong 01:09:23.000 --> 01:09:24.000 with any of that, 01:09:24.000 --> 01:09:28.000 But regardless of the makeup of that communities, try to raise these issues. 01:09:28.000 --> 01:09:37.000 With your neighbors with the folks on the school board, with your colleagues, with the folks you go to church with, or whatever so as it turns out 01:09:37.000 --> 01:09:40.000 His assumptions about where I live are incorrect 01:09:40.000 --> 01:09:44.000 But even had they been correct, there are still these deeper issues, 01:09:44.000 --> 01:09:49.000 about what it means to be an ally and at the end of the day, to suggest that white folks can't, 01:09:49.000 --> 01:09:58.000 be antiracist and live most around white folks or somehow that makes them hypocrites would mean that anyone who cares about poverty has to go live in a poor community. 01:09:58.000 --> 01:09:68.000 You know, that any man who cares about sexism has to just go live around women. I don't even know how you'd do that entirely, but I'm sure there's a colony somewhere. 01:10:08.000 --> 01:10:14.000 where we could go live, I don't know how you'd do that, just to me that's a very tendentious 01:10:14.000 --> 01:10:16.000 interpretation of ally-ship, you know. 01:10:16.000 --> 01:10:25.000 And a very simplistic one, so I think in this case it's unfortunate that the internet is filled with partial truths, inaccuracies, 01:10:25.000 --> 01:10:35.000 Bad data and people who are more than willing to use that in a particularly discrediting way without really looking 01:10:36.000 --> 01:10:41.000 into the deeper issues and I think that's what was going here. But you're right, the sky didn't fall, 01:10:41.000 --> 01:10:49.000 it's a perfectly valid question it just so happens that there's an even more valid answer and there you have it, so next question. 01:10:49.000 --> 01:10:59.000 Woman: I appreciate your encouragement that we get angry about this issues and I feel lucky that I surround myself with people who talk about this regularly, 01:10:59.000 --> 01:10:67.000 And think about it and try to educate ourselves more about it and understand other people, but what do you suggest we do with the anger? 01:11:07.000 --> 01:11:15.000 Tim Wise: I think that the first order of business 01:11:16.000 --> 01:11:25.000 is to take a deep breath when we find ourselves enraged by something whether that's in the news or something we read in a class, 01:11:25.000 --> 01:11:32.000 Cause a lot of times that's our first exposure to some of this stuff, might be in a college class, most of us didn't have a lot of this in high school. 01:11:32.000 --> 01:11:36.000 You know, unless you had some really great teachers who brought this to your attention, 01:11:36.000 --> 01:11:40.000 You might never had a class that looked at systems of inequality, 01:11:40.000 --> 01:11:44.000 And naturally if you've never been exposed to that, and then you are, 01:11:44.000 --> 01:11:49.000 It's pretty overwhelming and if you're a good compassionate person, like I think most of us are, 01:11:49.000 --> 01:11:57.000 That can be really infuriating and then the natural thing for a person with some type of privilege to do, 01:11:57.000 --> 01:11:67.000 when they find out about a horrible injustice, is our first reaction is "we've got to fix that, my god, we got to get busy on that right now what do we do?" I've been there, we've all been there. 01:12:07.000 --> 01:12:12.000 And it is a impulse, it is a wonderful impulse, it is a compassionate impulse, 01:12:12.000 --> 01:12:18.000 but we have to take a breath, and the reason we have to, is because first of all, it's a matter of humility. 01:12:18.000 --> 01:12:22.000 People of color have been angry about this for centuries. 01:12:22.000 --> 01:12:30.000 And not just angry, but they've been active fighting it for centuries and it's still there, so let's just be honest and humble enough to say, 01:12:30.000 --> 01:12:36.000 That if people of color have been pissed off for a long time, and have been fighting these systems for a long time 01:12:36.000 --> 01:12:43.000 and haven't been able to break them yet, the odds of us nice white folks coming along and being like "oh I got this," 01:12:44.000 --> 01:12:48.000 Very unlikely. I'm 47 years old, been white for a long time 01:12:48.000 --> 01:12:54.000 reasonably intelligent, and for me to stand up and think that I at 47 01:12:54.000 --> 01:12:58.000 have the answer, to the problem that black and brown folk have been trying to solve 01:12:58.000 --> 01:12:63.000 for hundreds of years just would be incredibly arrogant, so I think take a breath and say okay, 01:13:04.000 --> 01:13:12.000 First, let's try to figure out why we keep having to reinvent the wheel and deal with the same issues. 01:13:12.000 --> 01:13:17.000 Why is that smart people, compassionate people can't seem to flip this system? 01:13:17.000 --> 01:13:25.000 After hundred of years? Cause we're smart folks, and I think that most people who talk about this have good intentions and want to do right by each other. 01:13:25.000 --> 01:13:31.000 And we keep, I guess failing or only partially winning, so we've got to be clear on why that is. 01:13:31.000 --> 01:13:33.000 And I think a lot of times, we're not. 01:13:33.000 --> 01:13:41.000 A lot of times we keep coming back to that question of oh we got the racist over here, and then the non racist over here so if we cant just stop these bad people, 01:13:41.000 --> 01:13:48.000 then we'll win. Well that's not, it isn't about good people and bad people, it's about systems that suck people in. 01:13:48.000 --> 01:13:55.000 And trap us and so number one continue to educate yourself about how systems like this operate. 01:13:56.000 --> 01:13:65.000 Read more and don't just listen to the words that I offer, go out and read the sources of wisdom, black and brown folks scholars and activists and educators of color. 01:14:05.000 --> 01:14:10.000 Learn about the history so that when you're seeing these things in the news, you can being to put pieces together 01:14:10.000 --> 01:14:17.000 that form a cohesive narrative. The second thing we can do is to being to interrogate our own role in this. 01:14:17.000 --> 01:14:26.000 I think sometimes we're so focused on the activist work, we're so focused on hey if we can just get out there and have a march or have a demonstration or get 100,000 people in the street, 01:14:26.000 --> 01:14:31.000 Everything will be fine, but the reality is that's not how political movements are sustained. 01:14:31.000 --> 01:14:36.000 Political movements are not sustained just cause we get out in the street with a bullhorn and some signs and we sing songs. 01:14:36.000 --> 01:14:43.000 And that's all we do. The movements that have actually been effective in our countries history have developed counter narratives. 01:14:43.000 --> 01:14:49.000 That were able to sustain the work, and those counter narratives could be, an in the case of the Civil Right's Movement 01:14:49.000 --> 01:14:57.000 This idea that America had betrayed its promise or as Dr. King said in the "I Have a Dream" speech that is had bounced a check to black Americans. 01:14:57.000 --> 01:14:60.000 And it had come back marked insufficient funds. 01:15:00.000 --> 01:15:04.000 Like that was a narrative that said "you told us this, and you did this" 01:15:12.000 --> 01:15:19.000 We don't have so many of those narratives today, it's just sort of this anger and vituperativeness and this bitterness instead of saying "you know," 01:15:28.000 --> 01:15:33.000 That we're in a place in this culture right now, where we look down on poor people, 01:15:33.000 --> 01:15:36.000 Not just black and brown, but poor white folks too. 01:15:36.000 --> 01:15:40.000 And the reason that we valorize rich people and hold them up like geniuses, 01:15:40.000 --> 01:15:47.000 so much so that if a billionaire runs for president people are like "well at least he can't be bought." 01:15:48.000 --> 01:15:54.000 That's your endorsement? He's got so much money he can't be bought? No he can just buy you, see that's how it works. 01:15:54.000 --> 01:15:59.000 But why are we in a place like that, where we venerate and valorize the wealthy, 01:15:59.000 --> 01:15:62.000 And shame the poor? 01:16:02.000 --> 01:16:06.000 Is because historically we've had this myth in our country 01:16:06.000 --> 01:16:14.000 that anybody can make it, if they just try hard, and I say myth because even though hard work matters, we know people who've worked hard everyday and don't have anything to show for it. 01:16:14.000 --> 01:16:18.000 And a lot of us know people who were born on third base, and still think they hit a triple. 01:16:18.000 --> 01:16:24.000 And they've never had to work really hard in their entire lives. So we know it's more complicated, we know that systems, 01:16:24.000 --> 01:16:30.000 Keep us from rising many times, regardless of our work. If you've got two people out of work for every job, 01:16:30.000 --> 01:16:34.000 it obviously isn't about your work ethic, it's about your system 01:16:34.000 --> 01:16:37.000 But A, we don't believe that. We believe that it's just about us. 01:16:37.000 --> 01:16:41.000 And so what happens is we look down on the people at the bottom, 01:16:41.000 --> 01:16:47.000 and if they're disproportionally of color, we end up saying what that they don't work as hard, their values are weak, their culture is bad. 01:16:47.000 --> 01:16:52.000 We look at women who don't have that many positions of power and say they just don't work as hard, they don't want it as bad. 01:16:52.000 --> 01:16:56.000 We look at poor folks, if they'd just be more like rich folks it would be fine. 01:16:56.000 --> 01:16:61.000 So that's the first problem, is we really have to push a back against that narrative that we just get what we deserve. 01:17:01.000 --> 01:17:08.000 That's never been true in American history. It wasn't true during segregation, but we still said it even then didn't we? I mean, that myth 01:17:08.000 --> 01:17:13.000 of rugged individualism, that was the American myth even when segregation was in place. 01:17:13.000 --> 01:17:17.000 That was in place even when enslavement was in place. So clearly we never meant it. 01:17:17.000 --> 01:17:24.000 But we said it and it trapped us, because it makes it really easy to look down on people doesn't it? It makes it really easy to vote for politicians who bash the folks down there. 01:17:24.000 --> 01:17:32.000 And the second thing we have to do to craft that narrative is we have to actually tell our own stories. This is something we can all do, you don't have to be an activist. 01:17:32.000 --> 01:17:39.000 Right, you don't have to be an organizer, who goes around and does really difficult community work, if you want to, 01:17:39.000 --> 01:17:46.000 Please do, we need people to do that. But everyone of us can take control of our story and make sure that we tell it honestly. 01:17:46.000 --> 01:17:50.000 And when I say our story, I mean the tory about how you ended up where you are. 01:17:50.000 --> 01:17:57.000 because every single one of us has got a story that involves unearned opportunities that came our way, every one of us not just white people. 01:17:57.000 --> 01:17:60.000 Not just men, not just rich people. 01:18:00.000 --> 01:18:05.000 Every one of us if you're in college it's because someone encouraged you to do that , you were raised on an island. 01:18:05.000 --> 01:18:11.000 Alone, without social input, without encouragement. You had mentors, you had relatives, 01:18:11.000 --> 01:18:14.000 You can connections you got lucky sometimes, we've all had that too. 01:18:14.000 --> 01:18:23.000 Some of us, our luck has been about racial advantage, or gender advantage or class inheritance. But sometimes it's just people that come into your life and steer you in a certain way. 01:18:24.000 --> 01:18:35.000 Think about how much different our political discussion would be if we could all just admit that. Rather than getting wrapped up in "I came from nothing, I was a poor white child in Appalachia" 01:18:35.000 --> 01:18:40.000 Every poor white person who doesn't want to talk about white privilege is apparently from Appalachia all of sudden every 01:18:40.000 --> 01:18:48.000 Every white person in America is from Appalachia when we start talking about whiteness. "well I grew up in the hills and hollers of West Virginia" 01:18:48.000 --> 01:18:55.000 Well first of all, you probably didn't, but even if you did here's the dirty little secret, why do you think white folks in Appalachia are so poor? 01:18:55.000 --> 01:18:62.000 And so invisibly poor, so we don't even think about them. You know why? Cause we've racialized poverty in this country. 01:19:02.000 --> 01:19:04.000 And we've racialized the idea of need. 01:19:04.000 --> 01:19:11.000 So that we don't even see white poor people because we're so busy bashing black and brown poor people so that the white folks become invisible but that's not the black and brown people's fault. 01:19:12.000 --> 01:19:19.000 That's the fault of wealthier white folks who don't want us to see any of those poor people, so if we could just get clear on our narrative and just acknowledge, 01:19:19.000 --> 01:19:22.000 how much unearned stuff has come our way, 01:19:22.000 --> 01:19:28.000 Then it would much harder, wouldn't it? If we share those stories and we're honest and upfront, and we create those narratives. 01:19:28.000 --> 01:19:35.000 And we share them with people, it'd be very difficult to look down on people who need help when you've jut acknowledged how much help you've gotten. 01:19:35.000 --> 01:19:43.000 See, part of this is just stuff we can do every day, to really get clear. To interrogate our position in this world, and if we do this enough, 01:19:43.000 --> 01:19:50.000 Then we go forward in the world with a very different mentality and then we can build solidarity and then we can build ally-ship. So those are some of things 01:19:50.000 --> 01:19:53.000 that we can do right now. And I talk about a few other things in the book, 01:19:53.000 --> 01:19:59.000 And in others of my writing but I think that's a good start and I think it's important that we stand up 01:19:59.000 --> 01:19:68.000 And that we stand up with those persons of color who are leading this work, whether its in Black Lives Matter, whether it's Leaders of A Beautiful Struggle in Baltimore. 01:20:08.000 --> 01:20:17.000 Or lbsbaltimore.com doing some amazing work around police violence as well as education reform in a real progressive kind of way not a reactionary kind of way. 01:20:17.000 --> 01:20:24.000 Malcolm X Grass Roots movement, I mean go look up these folks, look at the kind of things that they're talking about, share them with your friends, share them with your colleagues. 01:20:24.000 --> 01:20:30.000 And then really spend the time critically assessing your own position in the world and a lot of door will open up. 01:20:30.000 --> 01:20:32.000 Thank you. 01:20:32.000 --> 01:20:35.000 Yes? 01:20:35.000 --> 01:20:40.000 Male student: So systemic racism is a problem within this country but 01:20:40.000 --> 01:20:48.000 How does it vary from location to location? Being from Oregon many of us think of ourselves as open minded and so on, 01:20:48.000 --> 01:20:55.000 Are we? I think we've also been hearing the myth that it's the southerners or that it's those people. 01:20:55.000 --> 01:20:60.000 Tim Wise: Yeah, it's my folks. 01:21:00.000 --> 01:21:08.000 Well, here's the thing you know, the only difference between southerns and everybody else is that we're very aware of our crimes. 01:21:08.000 --> 01:21:11.000 We're so aware of them, that we lie about them just so we don't have to deal with it. 01:21:11.000 --> 01:21:17.000 But that's a matter of awareness, the only way you can lie about your crimes is to know you did them. 01:21:17.000 --> 01:21:24.000 And so, in our case, you know, we have some people still wanting to wave the confederate flag because they're lying to themselves about what it means, 01:21:24.000 --> 01:21:29.000 They're lying to themselves because they can look and see the words of the people that form that government. 01:21:29.000 --> 01:21:33.000 And use that flag or some iteration of that flag as a symbol of it. 01:21:33.000 --> 01:21:41.000 And see that that was all and only about slavery and white supremacy no other purpose was that government created for. None. 01:21:41.000 --> 01:21:45.000 And we lie about, the problem with non-southerners, 01:21:45.000 --> 01:21:50.000 Is that they think that because they were on the right side of the civil war, they're done. 01:21:50.000 --> 01:21:58.000 And it's one of those what have you done for me lately kind of things right. Here in Oregon this is a territory, let us remember 01:21:58.000 --> 01:21:68.000 That told black folks that they could not be in at a certain point and expelled those who were and threatened any that were found in the territory with beating and whippings and even death. 01:22:08.000 --> 01:22:12.000 That happened in this state/territory so, 01:22:12.000 --> 01:22:22.000 It's obviously a national problem, and it always has been the city of Portland is a really good example of a city that the first time I came to it, 01:22:22.000 --> 01:22:33.000 I had this, image of this Portland, just like the first time I went to Seattle, first time I went to San Francisco, first time I went to all of these hip, progressive places, 01:22:33.000 --> 01:22:38.000 And I was expecting, cause I'm from the south, I'm like "Oh my god this is going to be awesome" 01:22:38.000 --> 01:22:45.000 And there's a lot of great things that I like about Portland by the way, lot of things I like about Seattle, lot of things I like about the Bay Area, 01:22:45.000 --> 01:22:54.000 But I discovered, much to my surprise, how incredibly racist at a structural level many of these progressive places are. 01:22:54.000 --> 01:22:61.000 So first time may second time I came to Portland, I was Lewis and Clark and the young black man that picked me up who was a student there, 01:23:01.000 --> 01:23:06.000 got me at the airport and we're driving back to the hotel and he was a junior, 01:23:06.000 --> 01:23:13.000 and he's telling me his story, his story involves over the two years that he had a car, freshman year he didn't one, sophomore year now junior year he did. 01:23:13.000 --> 01:23:18.000 That he had been stopped by police 58 times in two years. 01:23:18.000 --> 01:23:23.000 And I said how many times did you get a ticket, and he said zero. 01:23:23.000 --> 01:23:33.000 Now i want you to think about that, what are the odds of being stopped 58 times if you'd actually done something illegal and never getting a ticket. 01:23:33.000 --> 01:23:37.000 Probably not very likely. The first or second time I came out to Oregon State, 01:23:37.000 --> 01:23:40.000 was back in 2000, and some of you will remember this, 01:23:40.000 --> 01:23:48.000 So back in 2000, there was a young man who was a running back on OSU's football team who's names I've now forgotten but he was a preseason Heisman favorite. 01:23:48.000 --> 01:23:51.000 he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated he was a brilliant athlete, 01:23:51.000 --> 01:23:59.000 Turned out OSU did not have a great year that year and he had a bad year, rough year as well so he ended up not figuring into the Heisman stuff at the end. 01:23:59.000 --> 01:23:68.000 This was 2000/2001 as I recall, and I went to OSU I spent like a week in Corvallis talking to law enforcement, talking to the athletic department, 01:24:08.000 --> 01:24:13.000 talking to this young man, and he would come to the stuff where was speaking and he would get up and talk about 01:24:13.000 --> 01:24:23.000 his experience. Now keep in mind, this kid was like most visible, best known athlete on the campus probably in the whole state at the time. 01:24:24.000 --> 01:24:32.000 And he's talking about he'd been stopped over Easter Break, I want to say he was from California originally, whatever it was he couldn't go home. 01:24:32.000 --> 01:24:36.000 for Easter Break or something so he stayed in Corvallis when a lot of other folks were off campus 01:24:36.000 --> 01:24:44.000 And he was driving around, and just in the week of Easter break or whatever it was, he got stopped 7 times. And a couple of times by the same cop. 01:24:44.000 --> 01:24:51.000 Who never seemed to recognize him, he's been on Sports Illustrated they kept acting like he didn't belong in Corvallis. 01:24:51.000 --> 01:24:58.000 Finally he got the point where we took his license, his registration his proof of insurance put it in a zip lock bag, put it in his glove compartment and every time he got stopped, 01:24:58.000 --> 01:24:67.000 He would just open it up, flip it on top of the hood and just sit and finally at the end of the week, or the ten days or whatever the break was he just sold his car and said I'm just going to walk. 01:25:07.000 --> 01:25:16.000 This is a young man known to everybody in the community still perceived as not belonging. So let's just be clear 01:25:16.000 --> 01:25:20.000 racial biased may not look the same in every region 01:25:20.000 --> 01:25:24.000 it might seem more subtle over here and it might seem more obvious over here. 01:25:24.000 --> 01:25:28.000 But at the end of the day, the difference is really only qualitative 01:25:28.000 --> 01:25:33.000 not quantitative. I would say that sometimes the qualitative differences 01:25:33.000 --> 01:25:38.000 and the qualitative differences are not necessarily worse 01:25:38.000 --> 01:25:40.000 in the usual suspect places 01:25:40.000 --> 01:25:48.000 sometimes they're worse in the ones you don't suspect. Madison, Wisconsin is dane county. People in Madison who are white think it's a very progressive place. 01:25:48.000 --> 01:25:52.000 People in Madison who are not white will tell you that it is often 01:25:52.000 --> 01:25:56.000 exactly the opposite and in fat Dane county, where Madison is located 01:25:56.000 --> 01:25:60.000 it has the biggest racial disparity in law enforcement regarding drug arrest 01:26:00.000 --> 01:26:04.000 and prosecutions in any county in all of Wisconsin. 01:26:04.000 --> 01:26:08.000 So what does that tell you? It tells you that even though Madison and other places 01:26:08.000 --> 01:26:12.000 like that and San Fransisco and Portland and Seattle which have similar realities regarding 01:26:12.000 --> 01:26:16.000 prosecution, differences in suspension rate, differences in school 01:26:16.000 --> 01:26:20.000 might be sort of liberal and anti-racist 01:26:20.000 --> 01:26:29.000 in their affect, in their outward sort of commentary and they might be more politically progressive, but at the institutional level 01:26:29.000 --> 01:26:32.000 there's virtually no differences and sometimes when there is one 01:26:32.000 --> 01:26:36.000 it's not in the favor of those places and I think it's important 01:26:36.000 --> 01:26:40.000 to remember that. Thank you. One more. 01:26:40.000 --> 01:26:44.000 Audience member: Hi, I have two questions 01:26:44.000 --> 01:26:48.000 I'll accept as much answer as you have time for. 01:26:48.000 --> 01:26:52.000 What information do you trust? I don't 01:26:52.000 --> 01:26:56.000 necessarily trust the media, I definitely don't trust the internet, 01:26:56.000 --> 01:26:59.000 how do you find the truth? 01:26:59.000 --> 01:26:64.000 Do you want me to ask the second one? Tim: No it's a great question I think the real task 01:27:04.000 --> 01:27:08.000 of anyone who wants to know the truth is you have to really 01:27:08.000 --> 01:27:12.000 open yourself up to multiple sources of information, even the ones that 01:27:12.000 --> 01:27:22.000 you know at first blush and you find it really difficult to stomach or difficult to believe. I remember back in 1996 01:27:22.000 --> 01:27:28.000 I was getting ready to debate, a name that won't mean much to you to some 01:27:28.000 --> 01:27:32.000 it might, he's for the last 01:27:32.000 --> 01:27:36.000 twenty-four, twenty-five years been one of the leading conservatives 01:27:36.000 --> 01:27:45.000 commentators originally around issues of race, he does other stuff now and also went to jail for a minute for 01:27:45.000 --> 01:27:48.000 voter fraud, or I guess he went to a half way house, I don't know 01:27:48.000 --> 01:27:52.000 if he was really in prison or not, I can't recall. Anyways, good times. Anyway 01:27:52.000 --> 01:27:56.000 Denesh and I were going to be debating back in '96 01:27:56.000 --> 01:27:60.000 and he wrote all these right wing books 01:28:00.000 --> 01:28:04.000 that I found to be exhaustingly bad 01:28:04.000 --> 01:28:08.000 and wrong headed and factually inaccurate but I knew I had to read it. 01:28:08.000 --> 01:28:12.000 If I was going to debate him, I needed to know not only 01:28:12.000 --> 01:28:16.000 that he was wrong in my own head and why he was wrong. So I needed to read 01:28:16.000 --> 01:28:20.000 his stuff and then I needed to do some research and find out why it was wrong. 01:28:20.000 --> 01:28:24.000 So a lot of this is about critical thinking and let me say you 01:28:24.000 --> 01:28:28.000 should do that with all the things I said today. 01:28:28.000 --> 01:28:32.000 I can footnote everything that I said today factually and I've got 600 footnotes 01:28:32.000 --> 01:28:36.000 approximately in the new book I guess that I'm totally going to sell you when we're done here 01:28:36.000 --> 01:28:40.000 in just a minute. That was my subliminal marketing 01:28:40.000 --> 01:28:48.000 so you like that? And I think all those footnotes are solid and I think that the data is very solid but I invite you as you should 01:28:48.000 --> 01:28:52.000 to look into it, to look up that information 01:28:52.000 --> 01:28:56.000 and to cross reference it with other information. On my website 01:28:56.000 --> 01:28:60.000 I have a recommended reading list 01:29:00.000 --> 01:29:04.000 of books written by scholars on these issues that are 01:29:04.000 --> 01:29:08.000 incredibly well researched and I think are 01:29:08.000 --> 01:29:15.000 good sources. So if you go to TimWise.org, which is my website over on the right hand side when you scroll down underneath 01:29:15.000 --> 01:29:20.000 the pictures of the books that I've written, there's a recommended reading list 01:29:20.000 --> 01:29:24.000 and it's subdivided by category, so there's a bunch of books on race 01:29:24.000 --> 01:29:28.000 and criminal justice, race in the labor market, race in history, 01:29:28.000 --> 01:29:32.000 race in education, so you can look at those. I also have a blog 01:29:32.000 --> 01:29:39.000 or set of links to organizations and individual scholars that I think do really strong research work 01:29:39.000 --> 01:29:45.000 on these issues. Different non-profit organizations that have amazing research staff. And I also 01:29:45.000 --> 01:29:48.000 use a lot, like in the new book, I use a lot of 01:29:48.000 --> 01:29:52.000 just raw data from the labor department 01:29:52.000 --> 01:29:56.000 from the department of health and human 01:29:56.000 --> 01:29:60.000 services, from the FBI, from the department of Justice, 01:30:00.000 --> 01:30:04.000 you know various sorts of official sources. Because sometimes even though that stuff is really 01:30:04.000 --> 01:30:08.000 dry, when you look at it and when you start to think about what it means, I mean there's a great example 01:30:08.000 --> 01:30:12.000 of this. You've probably heard at some point 01:30:12.000 --> 01:30:16.000 that when it comes to something like unemployment or poverty, 01:30:16.000 --> 01:30:20.000 that white folks are 01:30:20.000 --> 01:30:24.000 almost twice as likely to be unemployed, almost three times, oh no sorry 01:30:24.000 --> 01:30:32.000 black folks are almost twice as likely to be unemployed and almost three times as likely as whites to be poor. But it's actually a little more than twice as likely to be unemployed 01:30:32.000 --> 01:30:36.000 and a little more than three times as likely to be poor but the official data 01:30:36.000 --> 01:30:44.000 obscures it and it's important to know how to read official data. So if you look at the data for instance, in the labor department, or the census bureau 01:30:44.000 --> 01:30:51.000 that it doesn't look like the disparities are as bad as what I'm claiming here. But the reason is 01:30:51.000 --> 01:30:57.000 what the census bureau calls Hispanics, what I've called throughout the speech as Latinos or Latinas, 01:30:57.000 --> 01:30:67.000 are classified about 88% of the time as racially white in official government data. Because Hispanic ethnicity is not a racial 01:31:07.000 --> 01:31:15.000 designation so in those tables that you see in official data, Hispanics are being counted twice. They're being counted in the Hispanic data 01:31:15.000 --> 01:31:25.000 and they're being counted 88% of the time in the white category, about 5.5% of the time in the black category, 1.5% in the Asian category, the rest in the Native American category. 01:31:25.000 --> 01:31:28.000 The reason that's important is because 01:31:28.000 --> 01:31:32.000 if you have the Hispanic numbers, most of the them also in the white numbers 01:31:32.000 --> 01:31:36.000 and the Hispanic population, the Latino population has a higher rate of poverty 01:31:36.000 --> 01:31:40.000 and a higher rate of unemployment than non-Hispanic whites, putting them in 01:31:40.000 --> 01:31:44.000 with the white folks will artificially inflate white unemployment. 01:31:44.000 --> 01:31:48.000 It will make white folks look like they're doing worse because you just included 28 million Latinos in the white totals. 01:31:48.000 --> 01:31:52.000 So now all the sudden it actually obscures the level of 01:31:52.000 --> 01:31:56.000 disparity. So we have to look at those tables but we also have to look at them with a 01:31:56.000 --> 01:31:64.000 very critical eye because sometimes they conceal as much as they reveal. So I would say start with that recommended reading list 01:32:04.000 --> 01:32:08.000 start with those footnotes in my books or on my website. A lot of my 01:32:08.000 --> 01:32:13.000 articles certainly the blog posts and essays that I've written in the last four or five years almost always have 01:32:13.000 --> 01:32:22.000 imbedded links that are highlighted that you can follow for the source material on criminal justice issues, or unemployment issues, or on any of this stuff. 01:32:22.000 --> 01:32:24.000 And so I invite you to do that 01:32:24.000 --> 01:32:29.000 and never trust anything definitely just because it's on the internet. The internet is a great thing 01:32:29.000 --> 01:32:32.000 It's a great thing in a lot of ways and social media 01:32:32.000 --> 01:32:36.000 can be a very powerful tool and a very useful tool. The only downside 01:32:36.000 --> 01:32:40.000 is it means, I mean the good thing is is that everyone can have a voice. 01:32:40.000 --> 01:32:44.000 The bad news is it means everybody has a voice and it creates a lot of noise. 01:32:44.000 --> 01:32:48.000 Right? So it's a matter of figuring out how do you sift through all the noise 01:32:48.000 --> 01:32:52.000 to get to what's real and when you see a number that seems outrageous 01:32:52.000 --> 01:32:56.000 you should follow it up. I mean you should absolutely do it. For example 01:32:56.000 --> 01:32:60.000 the six Walton family members having all that money seems ridiculous 01:33:00.000 --> 01:33:04.000 but go look it up, it's really easy to find, as outrageous 01:33:04.000 --> 01:33:08.000 as it happens to be. So never trust anything automatically just because someone 01:33:08.000 --> 01:33:12.000 says it and especially don't trust it if you 01:33:12.000 --> 01:33:16.000 are inclined to believe it. If you're inclined to believe the things I say, 01:33:16.000 --> 01:33:20.000 be especially critical. I want people on my side who know 01:33:20.000 --> 01:33:28.000 why they're on my side. Just like I wanted to know what I was on that side and it became very important to me to make sure that the argument was strong and solid. 01:33:28.000 --> 01:33:32.000 We don't need people who just sort of agree with stuff just because they like the way it sounds, we need people 01:33:32.000 --> 01:33:36.000 who are willing to go out there and look it up for themselves and then have the courage of 01:33:36.000 --> 01:33:40.000 their convictions to go forward with a certain politic in mind. 01:33:40.000 --> 01:33:45.000 Thank you all so much. Applause. 01:33:45.000 --> 01:33:47.000 Applause.