Rosa Parks, Brian Stevenson, Montgomery discussed on Cape Up with Jonathan Capehart
Come out and say, hey, hey, hey, hey, you get back out there in the hallway. You wait until your lawyer gets here. I don't want any defendant sitting in my courtroom without their lawyer, and I have to apologize to say, oh, I'm sorry, your honor. I didn't introduce myself. My name is Brian Stevenson. I am the lawyer and then the judge will laugh and the prosecutor will laugh and I'll make myself. Flaps. I don't want a disadvantage, my clients and the burden of this presumption which manifests itself in our criminal Justice system where people are wrongly, accused wrongly, convicted or unfairly. Sentenced is the reason why we can't talk about slavery. Terrorism segregation without talking about mass incarceration without talking about police violence without talking about this contemporary presumption of dangerousness in guilt. The continues to burden black and Brown people, and we live in a country today. We're one in three black male babies is expected to go to jail or prison, and nobody cares. Nobody's talking about it, it's not a political issue. It's not a campaign issue, and it is the same indifference to a crisis impacting African American communities that existed during the time of segregation that existed during the time of lynching that existed during the time of slavery. And if we don't wake up, if we don't challenge that indifference, they'll be new. Manifestations fifty years from now. One hundred years from now in part of the vision for me of this museum, I want to create a country one hundred years from now, black and Brown people are not presumed dangerous and guilty will we acknowledge this history where we recover from it, where we don't want to celebrate the mid-nineteenth century by talking about how glorious romantic it is by simply ignoring slavery. Well, we don't talk about how great our country has been without acknowledging this hardship, this brutality, and I just think we're not going to get there until we create spaces like this museum. I want to take you back to a story that you told they believe it was in a TED talk that you gave where you were invited by a woman here. And Rosa Parks was, yeah, and she wanted to hear. And then she used said Rosa Parks, told you that you would be tired. Tired, tired. By the work. You are undertaking hair the equal Justice initiative, and then the woman who invited you said that you needed to be brave, brave, brave. Yeah. Where do you draw the strength. To be brave and not be tired when what you're doing is it must just sap you? Yeah, of all kinds of energy. Yeah. Well, you know, I feel really fortunate in some ways to be doing this work in Montgomery because when you live in a place like Montgomery when you work in a place like Montgomery, it's impossible to ignore that you're standing on the shoulders of so many people who've done so much more with so much less. You know, I sit in this room and I look out that window and sometimes when I get really overwhelmed and really challenged a look out the window, nothing about the people who were trying to do what I'm trying to do sixty years ago. And what they had to frequently say is my head is bloodied but not bowed. I've never had to say that and as difficult as the task that we have to face as hard as the work is. It's been made easier because enslaved people found a way to endure and survive. And when I think about the kind of courage, it took to do that. When I think about the kind of commitment, it took to do that. I just don't feel like I'm entitled, I don't even feel like I'm allowed to say, I'm tired. I can't do this. I can't do that. I feel like I have to do it because I'm being watched by the souls and spirits of the insects. I really do feel that this street, it's so historic right down three blocks. Here's where people were brought. They will be paraded up the street where on the site of a former warehouse, all around here spaces where people were lynched. Rosa Parks was pulled off that bus three blocks from here, Dr. king's churches. This I feel like I'm being watched by the souls and spirits of the enslaved, the lynched, the segregated and with their sacrifice with their struggle with their heroism and their courage and their dignity. I can't actually stop. I can't not do what has to be done. And the beautiful thing is that when we actually do something that I hope is good, like this museum that I hope is. This memorial, I just feel watched by those souls and spirits. I feel encouraged. I hear them may be saying, okay, you keep doing that. That's a good thing. Now that you heard the elephants Bryan Stevenson, you can find the full interview on apple podcasts, Stitcher, Washington, Post dot com. Slash podcast or anywhere else. You listen to podcasts.