Willie Jones, California, Ella Baker Center For Human Rights discussed on Toure Show
In my life and also just in my family's life you know willie jones is supporting this with and is doing and i think about that moment a lot. Now that he's gone you know he he he was you know like most people torn between kilowatt. Make some money. But also i think proud that i was choosing a Some of the more important values. You're demeanor on cnn. Throughout 2016 suggested even keeled wisdom in the midst of hyperbole. everyone else's hair is on fire. And here comes van with the comment that even people in the right have to say that was fair. That was honest. And i've been in those moments. When i see the way that the world sort of pulls you in different directions to say this or say that what were you saying to yourself throughout that period to keep yourself in. Let's say the the right thing honestly not be pulled to the left by this feeling or pulled to the right by false equivalents. Or what have you you know. It was such an interesting campaign season I'm a lot better known now. Than i was then and so i had a lot more freedom. Honestly you know during the primaries during general election because i was just one person out of you know nine hundred and forty eight people on a screen you know we have a box and we have a very big panel sixteen bucks exactly sixteen boxes that you know and i love it because i get a chance to learn so much while. I'm sitting here listening. Everybody else. But i was just literally one of it a lot of people so but i come to the stuff as you. Well know i you know. I was a grassroots activist. Frontline you know the left side of pluto of through my twenties into my thirties. You know in the bay area. Police officers And doing a good job at that You know the ella baker center for human rights. Which i was lucky to co founded in one thousand nine hundred six in the bay area you know. We closed five abusive youth prisons in the in the early two thousands and we stop them from building a super jail for kids. It's super jail for kids in oakland which was already i mean just crazy stuff. That was going on people. Forget california is like alabama when it comes to prison policy. I mean we have we built. I think twenty plus prisons in california and one university in the past thirty years. So you're living in california at a time where you know where where does michelle alexander. Come out she comes out of being a teacher at stanford being in the bay area fighting against you know the prison the what we call the prison industrial complex tele call it. Mass incarceration but you have to remember. That was my life in my world. For most of the time that i was an adult. And so when you come from the grassroots activist background especially in california. You're used to fighting democrats. I invite republican to. I got to dc working for obama. I was fighting as much as i love him now. I was fighting jerry brown. The mayor of oakland. I was fighting willie. Brown is a mayor of san francisco. Who at that time would democrats were doing to buy themselves some credibility with the mainstream they would be quote unquote tough on crime which meant tough on young black and brown kids and throwing us in jail and prison for stuff that i saw kids doing at yale and worse they would go to rehab. I mean i saw more drug use at yale than i ever thought any housing project i worked in and so you had that going on and so i came up independent of the democratic party. I came independent of all. The kind of you know you got us support them. Whatever they do. I was fighting democrats. You know bipartisanship in california is democrats in the green party. So i came up in that. And so you know you got to remember It was a weird fluke. They ever wound up in the obama white house in verse. Place we We'd started something called the green jobs corps in oakland. We were taken young folks who were on street corners and getting them jobs in the solar industry putting up solar panels. Nancy pelosi thought that was the coolest thing she took me to washington. Dc we got george w bush to sign something called the green jobs attitude thousand seven. I wrote a book about that. Two thousand eight which became a bestseller and then suddenly I'm one of the foremost authorities on clean energy and job training. The obama administration ahead look at eighty billion dollars with a b. in the stimulus package for clean energy and green jobs. Nobody knows how to combine that with job training programs. But you come to washington. Dc in other people who did but they weren't as high profile and so suddenly. I'm in the obama white house for six months. I'll leave under fire now. I wind up on cable television. But i don't come to it with a normal media. I don't come to it with a normal political background and that gives me. I think just a different perspective is. I'm trying figure out some way to triangulate. I just look at the stuff very differently. No true i remember lawrence o'donnell once said to me. You know what we see. Our people like we were covering sports. Politics would be like. We're covering not the game's not the practices but people come out of the practice and tell us what they were like..