Twelve Years, Eight Years discussed on Brian Lehrer


Convict lease system meaning you could just roundup black men for standing on the street being vagrants put him on a chain gang and put him back on the plantation so that the cut remain the leading export the United States through the nineteen thirties somebody had to pick the cotton and they were not going to pay them a fair wage now we get to the present and I wanted to give the vast majority of the segment over to the actual history so that not everything is trump trump trump all the time yeah but you do right quote few historical periods are more relevant to understanding contemporary racial politics as the reconstruction era how so well think about the key issues of reconstruction who's a citizen who has a right to be an American who can become a citizen who has the right to vote think about all the voter suppression that's going on as violence the rise of white supremacy and the refusal of the president of the United States to denounce that white supremacists terrace violence the relationship between economic and political democracy all these issues continue to royal our society in politics today and they're all reconstruction issues the reason that we're dealing with them today is that we never dealt with them in reconstruction the robot most remarkable thing about reconstruction is how short it was slavery lasts for a quarter of a millennium and reconstruction last twelve years and the roll back to reconstruction continues today and you can eat you know if you put it in a a pithy phrase reconstruction is twelve years of a black freedom followed by all right roll back Barack Obama eight years of black political power and freedom followed by all right rolled back it's obvious and so my partner dealing again I'd you'll find this interesting we have a list of black history series that we are one of bank for PBS what is on the black church one is on the Great Migration one is on reconstruction so before the last presidential election we were having a hard time explaining to people the relevance of reconstruction but guess what as soon as that the bike the next day it's in our faces we we could put that show on a hundred networks that but of course we put it on PBS that's right here's a clip of Obama and I think it's relative relevant to a couple of things you talked about the so called new Negro movement right a kind of politics of respectability from a century ago right we had to show them that we were clean we could speak proper English that we were Victorians you know that we were middle class right and it got criticized even then by some as no we don't have to show them that we're only the best of the best in order to have basic human and civil rights right that's right and and so here's Obama on talking talking to some corners of the Democratic Party who he's afraid of politically doing the wrong thing going toward twenty twenty and one of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States maybe it's true here as well is a certain kind of rigidity where we set out I'm sorry this is how it's going to be and then we start sometimes creating what's called a a circular firing squad where you shot shooting at your allies because one of them as straying from purity on the issues so that was a bomber from this spring similarly vox writer Matthew Yglesias wrote recently what he calls the great awoken name which tracks the shift that he described as white liberal views on race getting further to the left of black Americans by and large I I wonder where either you know the Obama clip we just heard about that idea from Matthew Yglesias fit into the narrative as you see it of today well the I think the date it's hard to figure out what's going on his ring with the field of potential presidential candidates in the Democratic Party is just at the beginning there are a lot of people out there and and there's a lot of improvisation is with the bar stuff myself by putting a lot of riffing and signifying going on but I think that that's that that's a healthy part of democracy the field will be weeded out and sooner or later one or two strong candidates will emerge no one knows if the parties to go to the left or to the right right now people are still you know that feeling being hit in the stomach and it wouldn't even the wind knocked out I'm Donald Trump knocked the wind of the Democratic Party and in fact much of the country as far as I'm concerned so everyone still trying to get their breath we don't know we have a low unemployment the economy is rolling no one knows exactly what to do but I think that the party will find its voice Henry Louis gates his new book is still only the road reconstruction white supremacy and the rise of Jim crow there's also a young adult related book called dark sky arising reconstruction and the dawn of Jim crow and a two part PBS series called reconstruction America after the civil war such an honor to have you here in person thank you very much thank you my brother at W. NYC we rely on listener support but what exactly does that mean I'm Nancy Solomon W. N. Y. C.'s managing editor for nature's because of our listener support we have journalistic independence when reporters pitch story ideas to me I do not think about advertisers I think about you.

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