What Happens to Unsheltered People When the Pandemic Has Passed? 2020-05-11
I refuse to beat Numb. Refuse to View this as routine that this is a crime against G. for black Americans the shooting death of Ahmad rb and its aftermath at trauma upon trauma. Sad moment to Be Alive in this country yet. We we have bounceback. I'm meet the best sue and today on the takeaway for Monday may eleven we ask Cornel West for his take on this moment from Colbert. Nineteen to the twenty twenty presidential race plus a look back at the massive legacy of Little Richard. How his loss and the loss of Andre Hurrell and Betty right as well? This weekend are affecting the music world and you. It's the nearly impactful. I found myself prying about it today. Partly because of the law you know of our elder and people who had gone to to meet or who had in my life so much but first a national checking on efforts to protect people who are homeless from the Corona Virus The cove nineteen pandemic has four cities all across the US to try and address homelessness in a more comprehensive way. Some major cities including Philadelphia New Orleans and San Francisco are putting unsheltered people into hotels to keep them safe from the spread. We recently spoke to San Francisco. Mayor London breed about the challenges. Involved as this is the age of social distancing and I think that it's a lot more challenging not just for San Francisco but for anyone with a large homeless population so to expect us To all of a sudden opened up every hotel room and have the ability to take care of houses this group of people and things will get better is is not necessarily realistic. But the fixes cities are implementing including moving people are experiencing homelessness into hotels are largely temporary. So what happens when the Cova Nineteen pandemic has passed? Many advocates are hoping the scale of this crisis will force officials to put new policies in place that will make lasting change to keep unsheltered people safe and to reduce homelessness overall. Nan Roman joins us to talk about this. She's the president and CEO of the National Alliance to end homelessness. And Jared Bray is with US also. He's a freelance reporter in Philadelphia and Housing Correspondent for the nonprofit news organization. Next City Hain. An he jared. Hello thanks for having me jared. Can you start by giving us an overview of the scope of Cova nineteen effect on people who are experiencing homelessness nationwide? And where are we seeing the most significant impact? Well these folks are among the most vulnerable in any event and so with a public health. Emergency like the one we're facing now and The possibility of a disease that so communicable folks who don't have homes are at some of the greatest risk the main public directive to avoid spreading this disease to stay at home and so for people who don't have homes that's clearly impossible and you know please like. New York have experienced with the greatest outbreak so I think that the folks who were on housed there are seeing some of the worst two cities all over are trying to figure out how to deal with housing. People who haven't been house for a long time are now at a much greater risk of harm Nan. There has been some federal relief action to support states and cities who are having efforts to try and offer assistance to people who are currently experiencing homelessness. What kind of federal action have we seen so far? Well there's been considerable investment in helping communities to address homelessness during the the pandemic so congress provided four billion dollars in emergency solutions grant funding which is a flexible kind of Formula Funding. That goes to everyone in the country and that is going to provide a lot of assistance. What needs to be done really is twofold to get people into spaces that can form with the CDC guidance so that they have enough distance between each other and they're quarantined or isolate if they need to be and then also to address. What's going to happen during the economic recovery and those? Espn resources will help with that. There's also other federal money. Relief Fund and other programs that could provide assistance to homeless people during the pandemic. And when you say four billion dollars I mean give us a sense of whether that's that's a large amount of money for this or is that a drop in the bucket. Well we didn't estimate or we actually ask. University of Pennsylvania researcher and some colleagues to do an estimate of what it would cost just to reconfigure the shelter to conform to CDC guidance around these issues and they estimated it would cost eleven point five billion dollars to do the we got four billion of that We still are going to need additional resources and that isn't really even moving people long into housing. That's really just to reconfigure the current system Jared Whitman. Speaking on this show about how many cities have been moving people who are street homeless to hotels or community centers. Can you give us a sense of how this is working in a few different cities? Yeah you know. Most cities are like you mentioned trying to Lee's most cities that I've heard about are trying to find hotel rooms to individually house homeless people who either have been infected or at least exposed to the virus certain degree. There's also sort of questions around how to shelter people in emergency ways. That don't involve know Congress shelters. I think a lot of the typical homeless shelters we think of people are pretty close together and don't a lot of personal space and that's clearly become a problem During the pandemic in San Francisco and a lot of other cities in California local governments county governments in state government to a certain degree was trying to lease hotel rooms for this purpose and a couple of have talked about currently acquiring hotels. I know Missoula Montana recently. Just purchased a motel downtown that it's going to use for emergency housing for people who've been exposed or infected and then once the emergency is lifted. Hopefully if the emergency that relisted lifted they're gonNA plan to Redevelop Properties permanent affordable housing. So they're trying to sort of birds with one stone which is Housing question and the longer term affordable housing shortage which is which contributes to the homelessness problem in the first place we have been talking to a lot of jurisdictions that are trying to use the hotel motel strategy When concern we have is at very few unsheltered. People are being brought into shelter. Most of the people that are moving into the hotels and motels seemed to be coming out of shelters. That are trying to thin out to some degree. We also know that jurisdictions are saying telling us that they're having a difficult time staffing those hotels and motels a lot of organizations. Sheltering organizations have lost staff people. Either because they've become ill or because They're concerned about catching the virus or they have their children at home because they're not in school various different reasons and this is a challenging population that needs support. And it's hard to staff up basically on a dime but it's a very important strategy and places are starting to get better at it. And and jared what about rental assistance have made efforts to formalize rental relief Especially for people who are experiencing homelessness right now. I know that in Orange County Florida at the very sort of at the beginning of the pandemic they had opened up a local rental assistance program. It was so quickly overwhelmed with applicants that they had to shut down within just a few hours basically last week in Dallas. The same thing happened they. They opened up rental assistance program locally that people who had lost income because of the pandemic could apply for rental assistance and more mortgage assistance. And I think that lasted about thirty hours. And they had about ten times more applicants than they were able to actually serve. I live in Philadelphia. And they're opening their own rental assistance program this next week just a couple of days or so. We're going to what's going to happen with that. But a lot of cities are using the money to create rental systems programs. And then just seeing the the demand be much greater than they're ready to to me and what are is doing to keep who are living without permanent shelter safe in this moment besides finding physical shelter for them are they doing anything to provide hygiene or anything else. That's helpful to them in a moment like this. Some jurisdictions are really working with people who are unsheltered. Largely those in encampments not everyone. He's unsheltered lives in an encampment. A lot of people really live individually. You know either inattentive. Or they move around their groups of people living outside There are jurisdictions in California decision elsewhere. Where they're providing hygiene materials porta-pottys doing cleanups and so forth. But really we need to get these unsheltered into shelter at a minimum and eventually into in order to protect their health. People who are unsheltered have are very vulnerable in terms of their health. They're much more disabled and ill than people who are sheltered much less people who are in home so it's really imperative that we deal with Unsheltered homeless people and get them in and I don't think we've made a lot of progress on that to be honest Jared can you speak briefly to the crisis of food insecurity in this moment? And what efforts have been made to connect people with food. Yeah I mean I think that one of the consequences of having congregate shelters be sort of more dangerous places to be now that there's a public health crisis is that people haven't known what to do in terms of communal cooking and a lot of things like that that used to happen in in in those kinds of shelters. I know in Cambridge Massachusetts. The mayor there Instituted a program where the city is basically paying restaurants that have had to shut down because of the state homeowners to create to make to make meals for Some of the local homeless shelters. If had they had a range restaurants just made in that and are sort of creating meals that can then be passed out in safe manner to To folks who are using the shelters some of these done similar things now are their projections. For how many more Americans could become homeless as a result of this pandemic? I have not seen any projections on how many people are likely to become homeless. I would say I that because of the additional resources federal resources. At least we do have a chance. I think if we're stiff we're strategic to move a lot of people who are currently homeless into housing. But I have a lot of fears about what's going to happen as the country opens up again. Many people now are living under rent forbearance programs. They don't have to pay the rent at the moment but when all of this ends they're going to still owed. These are many of the same people who haven't been able to work er only worked sporadically. They're not GONNA have three months worth of back rent they don't have assets or they would have been paying the rent already. We also have a lot of eviction moratoriums around the country and in certain kinds of housing that prevent people who can't pay their rent from being victim but those will also go away and so I think we're going to have a lot of people who owe rent and Able to be a victim and I'm concerned that we need to plan better about what's GonNa Happen to them. We the alliance and many other groups have come together to request a hundred billion dollars in the next stimulus bill for rental assistance in great part to prevent replacing the existing group of Homeless People. With just a new group that comes out of this pandemic and as we're seeing different cities reacting to the needs of unsheltered people during this pandemic. Do you believe that any of these temporary solutions give way to long term solutions? Yes I do think so and I think we have resources to move in that direction and I think a lot of jurisdictions California the District of Columbia where I live just took some steps to improve the situation allowing or requiring that landlords give people time to set up a payment plan for their rent rear ages. I think it's possible that we could come out of this better Nan. Roman is president and CEO of the National Alliance to end homelessness. And Jared Bray is a freelance reporter in Philadelphia and housing correspondent for next city. Thank you both very much for being here. Thank you so much. Thank you while bobbling. Mom bound bounty the music. Industry was dealt a serious blow this weekend. The loss of three icons little Richard Born. Richard Penman died of bone cancer on Saturday. At the age of eighty seven the self described King and Queen of rock and roll little. Richard had a larger than life persona and musical chops to match with hits like Tutti frutti slipping and sliding and good. Golly Miss Molly. He embodied rock and roll and inspired future music. Legends like the Beatles David Bowie Jimi Hendrix prints and Bob Dylan. He was unapologetic about who he was on. Stage of black queer man and he was vocal about the outsize impact. He had on an industry that never gave him the credit he deserved to other giants in music also died this weekend. From Non Corona Virus Related Causes Famed Moving Executive Andre Hurrell and legendary soul singer Betty Wright who were fifty nine and sixty six years old respectively all in all an incredibly tough weekend for some legendary black performers who influenced most of the music. You here today in some way here to discuss the legacy of these three music. Legends is Hanif of Dura keyed a poet essayist and cultural critic from Columbus Ohio and the author of several books including go ahead in the rain notes to a tribe called quest. So glad to have you here with us like you asked me. I appreciate it. Let's start with little Richard. What made him stand out as a performer? As an artist. Well I think that if you are lucky enough if you have the time to watch his ultra funded says I would say from about the mid fifties too when he kind of revived his career in the mid to late sixties? Uc someone who understood the controlled? Add over audience. He was I think in elite level performer Also just kind of plainly. Music was also good as is hooked for catching. This songs were always building towards some kind of rapturous swelling that could really capture the ear inn. Hearts of many. He was a great writer and get incredible voice and I think between him Bait they kind of ushered in an era of rock and roll. That is a blueprint for what we know. Now we're his onstage and offstage personas the same not particularly and I think that also that question also depends on the season of life. That will which was in. I mean I think that and of course I'm speaking of somebody did not know him at all but you read stories about how he was sometimes. Earn the men's sometimes. Aslam as he was on stage but I think that he seemed to come. Alive is mostly and there was an audience. So I do think that I I the more people that were around to kind of watch him or be a party to his personality being more tuned into it. Who are some of the artists that we might not know about today? Had it not been for Little Richard James Brown and Jimi Hendrix the Beatles? All these people who started with him Hendrix Guitar player for So there are artists who I think. The thing that I hope doesn't not get Boston discussing of little. Richard's like he was that he was so kind and generous to artists. Who were coming up a bit after him and I think one thing that hurt him. A great deal was that some of those artists after they surpassed in popularity perhaps did not share that same generously him the notorious interview from the ninety s and early stone. I think maybe nineteen ninety-three after Paul McCartney Gotten some lifetime achievement award in in little. Richard was genuinely hurt. That McCartney in thank him. He thanked all these other originators. And all these other people help the Beatles and little Richard had helped him to be else in wasn't thanked us. I think that there's some it's always seemed to me like there was some sadness there for someone who was very generous to a generation of artists who came in after him. When he didn't have to be at the point he would offer up. Gigs and offer slaps I think this is because of how Richard came up on me. One of those first performances consist arose at Tharp. Let him open for her and then pay the money which inspired him to to keep pursuing performance. So I think he paid that forward with generation of artists and was not always properly banked for that. What role did his race and his sexuality play? In the way that little Richard was or was not recognized his race. I could speak most clearly does race. I'm anti removal of black musicians from the history of American music is Extends far beyond little Richard died at a he is one of the most prominent cases of that. I think that he spent in a long amount of his career and his life. Kind of shouting at the powers-that-be attempting to remind them of what he accomplished. And I don't think he'd have to do that if you were white. I don't think you have to do that if he were say. Elvis but I think the idea that the public was quote unquote not ready for an artist. Like Richard to be at the height of rock and roller therapy or big outdoor or any of these people who were setting to the height of musically think. We're pushing forward. The sound and style of early era of rock and roll blues of Even Country Music. I think race played a role in in them being removed from their legacies and it was done so using the idea that America was not ready to trays. A black person as a musical innovator in the history of American music is the history of black music. There's no detaching to let's talk about Andre Harrell now another giant in the music industry who died this weekend. He was fifty nine years old. The cause has been listed as heart. Failure and Hurrell was responsible for launching the careers of some huge names and hip hop and R and B. What did his label uptown. Records mean for the industry. I think that a Tom Sizemore hero. Being the person who I kind of spotted lead account records did I think was create a style aesthetic. A sound that for me and my felt like turn the tide What was being played on the radio? What music videos look like? I remember those early marriage a live music videos and like music was being made specifically for me and for the people loud which it's which isn't the Before this there was no music a lot but I think that his men's was maybe focused a bit younger and how to get kind of R&B into the to a younger generation. Who could see it as something? Cool something new in reshape style of it. Which and this is. All I think pound was was kind of the next thing in a long line of of army. That was already attempting. That already doing it to some extent but he really wanted a world particularly marriage. I you know Joe to see there are a lot of moving parts in uptown records. I felt like they were changing. The wave of alarm be south popularity but especially army and he didn't just work in the music industry but he also expanded to film and Television and articulated this really big vision for documenting and celebrating black culture. Right can you remind us of some of his work in those spaces? Yeah I mean I remember the film Strictly business which came out in nineteen ninety. One and I particularly even the business. I remember New York undercover Tv show that ran on Fox for about forty years in from ninety four to ninety seven ninety eight And I I think that he was invested in those are just to dump the might immediately but I think beyond that scope the line that can be drawn through his music and his film and television work was that he was attempting to broaden A vision of black life and he was attempting to for black people. I think because I think there's a difference between attempting to show the interior nuances of black life With hopes that a white audience might except in warm up to that kind of quote unquote idea of a of a black person or the idea of black person's life but it seemed to me Andre was really working hard To widen the vision of what black people could be could be capable of and he was doing for black holes another sad loss. This weekend on Sunday was the soul singer Betty Wright. She was sixty six years old in the cause was cancer characterize Betty Wright's influence on the music world. Think that Betty Right Was someone who kind of sustained through generations You know I think the last for me One of the best buddy right albums is the one that came out in two thousand eleven. The movie with the roots or the risk of it And you know I think I think I think that was one of her most successful albums chart wise and you know as she in her final final five to seven years of her life. She was seamlessly kind of working with rappers. Working more contemporary artists And this is you know decades away from white. Clean Up. All that in and babysit her hits in Seventies and so I I think the the great boss that he right was at lea- Boston artists who was Seamlessly folding into a new generation of music in allowed herself to refined her voice. Again and again and again And you know her her her biggest hits of course where we're in the seventies. Her career spanned even decades. She had Really strong albums and every decade Seventies Eighties Nineties Two Thousand Twenty Times And she was kind of someone who I thought was really fearless in how she was unafraid to turn corners unafraid. Try New sounds Also I think she was. A vocalist feels respected and beloved by vocalist. And those are the ones that I think really special. I mean she was also known for her mentorship right much. Like mentioned with Little Richard and with Andrei Hurrell in terms of influence of in ushering in new talent. It seems like right took a very active role in her mentorship with artists like Johstone and Jennifer Lopez. Why was mentorship so important to her? I think that they're artists legacy to extend beyond just their their work record. She someone who was sampled and she is someone who is well respected in hip hop but also I think that she took a real investment in doing what she could to make sure that her style and our influence in our sound live beyond herself and lived in younger artists as well I think mentorship is the thing that extends legacy more than almost anything else Passing down what one knows to someone else is A way to keep the name either. Keep their sound alive and I think perhaps Betty Wright was invested in that because of those reasons last week on this show we talked about how the pandemic has really affected the live music scene and really decimated at right now. But we're also seeing some very creative bright spots like the verses instagram battle between Jill Scott and Erica do over the weekend and I'm wondering what you make of these kinds of round performances and what it means for the performers and what it means for the viewers right now. Yeah I mean. I'm often wondering how sustainable this'll be whenever You know for to understand that there are some things on my fell be Irreversibly changed that's understandable. But when Lee? Whenever the day comes that we will be able to gather in groups again outdoors will sustain because. I do think that there is a real excitement around Not even necessarily the songs themselves in these song quote Unquote Battles The the dialogue between the musicians and the ways that the song accounting stories back and forth in the way the musicians are kind of you know particularly with just do it seemed like they were just really invested in the language in in storytelling that their music was doing and they're stealing a battle it. All it felt like two old friends really Enjoying each other's company and and and commentary. I think I preferred. That was much was much warmer to me. Much exciting to me And I'm interested in sustainability on. This is a model. Is it something that can perhaps be transferred to live space real life space? Is this something that could be expanded upon in the outdoors any away or is this something that we just get once a month for the rest of you know the rest of maternity or or twice a month or something like that You know I I do appreciate the inventiveness of the way musicians have found out how to use the platforms to reach people during this time. But I'm also thinking about sustainability and what people have the bad with or and how actually eager people be be outside among other people. I think that too has yet to be seen You know if tomorrow something happened. Where magically virus entirely gone and people could go outside and Gavin large groups again. I still think there'd be a lot of tentativeness about about that. I still think people might not go to go to music. Festivals as eagerly if there were one next week and so I think that these lays set folks have adapted at bought a lot of pleasure to people and I'm interested in seeing how they could continue to adapt as as restrictions loosened and things like that avid a neef. Abdur Akib is a poet essayist and cultural critic and the author of several books including go ahead in the rain notes to a tribe called quest and thank you for being here. Thank you so much. Enjoy the rest of your day. And you've been telling us what these artists meant to you at eight seven seven eight mile. Take high calling for my garden no grin. It was nineteen seventy the Olympic auditorium in Los Angeles went to see Jerry Lewis with a bunch of other people Albert King but no country on fish were supposed to play but they never got to be on stage because when little Richard was onstage. He invited everybody up to come on the stage and dance and sing and there were people on top of the piano and we were screaming and yelling and dance and and all of a sudden the stage K in all you could hear little. Richard cussing from underneath the stage and concert. Had To stop there because there was no stage. My Mom gave me the best gift I get. She told me the story of when we were in Hollywood boulevard. I was about five little. Richard came down limousine. And you'd have the and he was yelling and singing and just being monitored and for some reason he stopped in front of my family. Got Out pick me up. Did a little dance gets my little inconsistent. Shook my parents hand so you got a beautiful family. Got Back in his car in Joel Book. We lost to legend all yesterday. And thank you restrict recipes. They don't research was pioneer and a hero complicated as all heroes on profane and spiritual talented and yet they hope to keep his memory alive by listening to his music teaching my daughter about him. L. Helping inspired by and not be paid this Eka. I'm calling in Palm Desert Highs. It's Kathy calling from Portland Oregon Little Richard. She will live on forever through his news vic. Hi this is John. I'm calling from Vashon Island in Washington state. I thought he was the most dynamic performers that I had ever seen. Still think he was a marvelous person Have kind of the same opinion that I had Ali who was very outspoken and and straightforward and express themselves. Well Richard did that to hi. I'm Karen Kelly from San Jose California. I'm sixty four years old and I remember being amazed at health world accepted. Little Richard even though they might not have accepted others like him at the time meaning is makeup and hair and dress et cetera. Music can break down so many barriers. I calling from Miami As an African American artist the passing of Little Richard and Andre Hurrell. And now betty right. Who is from Florida? Miami also is really. It's severely impactful. I disowned myself. Trying about it today partly because of the loss of elders and people who have gotten to to meet or who've been packed in my life so much so my father told me about the history of little Richard and and how he was the architect of rock and roll and how and he came out. Dressing is way speaking this way behaving this way. It was something people. Were not accustomed to seeing outside very small sex of our community and so he was a real true laser. Andre Herrero Teen Years Thoughtful Person Writer artist heave brought all of his music into my life. That has been some of the most impactful and profoundly wonderful thing as it relates to shaping who? I am as an artist Philip person now I know. I can't be the only nineties kid who remembers little. Richard giving in unsurprisingly electrifying performance in recording the theme song for the Magic School bus. His Voice. Tuck us on that wild ride rafting down a river of lava getting baked into a pie. And Hey our phone lines are always open. You can give us a call anytime at eight. Seven seven eight nine eight somewhere spring in the month of April alone. More than twenty million people in the United States lost their jobs and the data that women people of color and low wage workers were most affected by this crisis but it's not solely because of covert nineteen crisis. Those economic viruses were already at work before the corona virus hit. That's Cornell West an American philosopher and longtime racial justice activist. He says this crisis exposes loan standing problems in this country especially around race and wealth in this unprecedented moment. We Got Cornell West on the line to hear his thoughts on everything from the economic situation to the upcoming presidential elections and the shooting of a MoD rb in Georgia and he shows us where those all connect brings tears to my eyes with to sing. you know very sad Decay decline and deterioration of the American Empire. Very clear that a commitment to public goods our commitment to our common life. is so weak. We've got individuals citizens who are marvelous bag memphis it but our institutions and our structures so money driven and so- profit maximizing in. Its aim that we lose sight of the needs of of our citizens and we see it in the healthcare we see it in government we see it and business. We see it in education. It's it's it's very sad. Sad moment to be alive in this country. We hope we have bounced back. I think that we still have some bounce back left. This is not the decline and fall of the American Empire but certainly is the decay of the American Empire. We'll see how how much democratic bounce back we really have. We'll go to mind that we are and the people I wanNA talk about Ahmad Aubrey the unarmed black man who was gunned down in a suburban neighborhood in Brunswick Georgia grand. Jury was called to investigate but that was only after very recently when a video was leaked and the incident happened in. February is any part of. You still shocked that these stories are happening. That were still here forming anytime I innocent person is If gunned down and in in in in that case of course it seems to be a white supremacist crime. So let's in black brother gunned down I'm affected I'M NOT SURPRISED. I mean and vicious legacy of white supremacy shut to every institution and structure every nook and cranny of this country so I'm not surprised in that sense but I refuse to beat. Numbed refused to view this as routine. That's this is a crime against humanity and we've seen this for four hundred years in this nation but are the major problems you know. My the is that it's so easy to talk about it and feel bad for a day or to go through Catharsis and still not be able to intervene and do something about it. And this is what makes me sad that the we see the cycle over and over again of talking about so many manifestations of white supremacist attacks assaults crimes against people of color this case black brothers and then that's just part and parcel of what it means to be in America. Therapy is not a mature Society is concerned about the weekend. Vulnerable Society worships money and status and celebrity and waited has time through philanthropy charity. It might make some symbolic gestures in regard to as suffering and misery among poor and working people but it seems as if we just don't have what it takes we don't have the cultivated capability to be a full-fledged democratic society concerned about all of our citizens especially the least of need especially the weak and the vulnerable. Well Dr West. Let me ask you about that that repetition that you're talking about because I feel like when a video like this surfaces there is a very visceral reaction. It gets shared widely on social media. But I feel like something different seems to be happening this time around where I feel like. I've been seeing more and more people saying this time. Please just stop sharing that video and I wonder how much that has to do with the moment that we're in right now with a with isolation with trauma are we all being re traumatized and maybe over traumatized in the sharing of these videos or do you believe that there is a power in sharing them. I think that you can't live in a state of denial. You can't go or voidance of the criminality are meant and so it's easy to say. Well let's not look at it. Let's not show it in the end. Maybe let's not talk about it too much. I've got enough on my plate. And yet the only way you engage an injustice is to confront the injustice and then try to individually and collectively intervene. And do something about it such that. It doesn't happen again. Happens much much much less so than it. Ordinarily does and this is true in terms of this look at all the bodies around the hospitals most of those body disproportionately black and red and brown but depressed really then focus on those bodies in those costs under the hospital inside out insane. We're the Perez doesn't keep track of all the bodies coming back from our wars. No we go. We knocked on highlight that that. That's just too much travel. We can only take so much you said. Well we'll wait a minute now I just think that It it you know. We can't be a country that has grown wealthy and grown powerful and yet we have not grown up and when you grow up and become a mature nation just like a mature person. You do not live in a condition of denial and he's agent and avoid. It's you have to learn how to confront the suffering yet to learn how to wrestle with the misery and try to come out on the other side and if we cannot come out on the other side then we do go down. We do go down as the democratic experiment has an empire and sadly so it looks as if that's where we're headed denying ecological catastrophe. That's impending with denying nuclear catastrophe. That's possible and of course when brother burning thank God. He's trying to raise the issues of the denial of the economic catastrophe. The wealth inequality not just a crisis but the chronic systemic wealth inequality that creates a crisis every day. Well I'm glad that you brought up Bernie Sanders because I'd like us to turn to talk about the presidential race. You were once a Bernie Sanders surrogate for campaign rallies. But when Sanders dropped out you decided to endorse. Joe Biden I I'm curious to hear you talk about Sanders. Lasting legacy on the Democratic Party on their platform for this year and really without a push from sanders will Joe Biden meet the expectations of the most progressive voters in the party. Well I'm glad you asked that question though because I think in Dorthe might be too strong a word my dear sister I do more. How do you feel about so I put. I'm part of like myself. Part of an anti fascist coalition against the gangster in the White House and the question becomes. How do we get him out before the Democratic experiment completely runs out? I consider my dear brother. Joe Biden a mediocre milk. Toasts Neil liberal responsible for in many ways along with strong determinant of the largest most vicious prison system in the modern world. That's what those crime bills going from. Eighty Ninety did and he bragged about it up until a few years ago. I consider his support. The invasion occupation of Iraq. A crime against humanity. You just go in ended up killing half a million precious human beings in Iraq at not. Have some kind of reflection at deep apology. It was based on lie as we know. I consider him supporting Wall Street. Greed gone all the way back glass steagle so that you can see. It's hard for me to say am door thing. A mediocre meal toes meal liberal like brother Biden. No I'm calling for us to Kinda hold on noses and vote. Because he seems to be at this point even though he's no friend of working people he's no friend of poor people at this point he seems to be the only thing we can do to get out the neo-fascist gang sent away down what it is be part of an anti fascist coalition with many in your coalition. But Not really your friends. But they're your allies in the same way. Almost like United States had to join hands with Soviet Union. The push out against the name Hitler. Right and war to the Soviet Union didn't become our close friends became our allies because we had to work together. Neil Liberals who are of the Biden's killed by me. I love him as stupid beans. 'cause I'm Chris but politically. They're not my friends about I my back up against the wall. That's what I call for a vote for him as the closed doors. We gotta tell the Truth About him. Even as we recognize that he's better than than blow the trump's brother trump is ted up bad news dangerous narcissistic in the PHOBIC guy. Big Big military will do anything projects himself and food do irreparable damage to this Democratic Experiments Cornell West Joe Biden has been accused of sexual assault by a former Senate staffer Tara Reid Biden has denied the allegation. What will you Cornell West? Be Watching for in Biden's ongoing response to this and in voters ongoing responses to this. We've gotTA give sister Space so that her voice heard and we've got to make him accountable based on the evidence. Of course he is innocent before proven guilty. But we've got a follow through and and based on the evidence see where it goes. I don't believe with shutting down in any way and I think that the the metoo movement is part and parcel of the progressive movement and he has to be accountable and answerable and responsible. I hear you when you say that. your plan is to hold your nose and vote for him but what do you say to voters perhaps Bernie Sanders supporters? Who are feeling disillusioned by Biden as the democratic option. And are maybe just trying to think. Of what their other options are. I think that despair and disillusionment ought to be our intimate companions given garth situation right now all of us to feel certain kind of disillusionment and a certain kind of despair but just not allow either one to have the last word you know. The great girder used to say here. Shoes never despair it is ever lived and as a black man in American foreign it years of Slavery Jim Crow One and now Jim Brochu. I've been dispatched for the last fifty years battle. At the fair that have left the blues to the Blues. Man Takes the despair and transfigured into songs into life. Feed practice action so the specialty young folk. I tell them all the time. I'm being the disillusioned brother less good. That means you're not now. Now what are you GonNa do with that disillusionment or you're going to be debilitated and no longer fight or you're gonNA fall out of the political process in such a way that you don't vote in any way someone would go degreen folks. I got a lot of Conrad's than the Green Party. I disagree with them. This time. I'VE AGREE. Put them before still comrades. We just have a disagreement in terms of how we deal with this particular election and keep in mind. Voting is just one small part of the largest sense of what it means to be and you try to create counter voices countervailing institutions Coun- availing cultures against the culture of big money. Big Military Zena Phobia losing sight of humanity of Jews and Muslims and Palestinians and Arabs and Mexicans and women and gays and Lesbians Expresses Trains and so forth so that the creation of a progressive countervailing culture. The larger project is not just who you vote for. And so we remain part of that counterculture even some of like Noam Chomsky and other say we hold our noses in full for the mail tells Neil Liberal recognizing that we have to be not just rendering him accountable but putting tremendous pressure on him because he's still tied to Wall Street he feel his part of the Neil liberal wing of the ruling class and the way that trump is the neo-fascist wing of the ruling class. We WanNa keep the ruling class and stuff accountable and in the end we want to fundamentally transform catalysts American such a way that the almanacs Berries and poor whites and appellation are addressed. You see me then part of the larger larger project. These are the kinds of issues that Martin Luther King. Junior was concerned about militarism racism and all of his form poverty and all of this and then materialism unethical spiritual issue is right now. America has a spiritual crisis is tied to much degree and contempt of weaken vulnerable in indifference to the others who are degraded and corruption and when you get greed and corruption and contempt all together. You've got a lethal combination. That leads toward the collapse of your social experiment at the collapse of your empire and the collapse of democratic experiments. And we're all we're all at the same time we are and we're a precious democratic experiment with in the bowels of that empire and at the same time like any social experiment we can come and we could go to Cornell West. Let me ask you one last question with so much inequality and unemployment and hurting and pain right now in the world. What's giving you hope? Oh Good God Almighty Hope. For me is As much of her as virtue which is been motion. Nothing's GonNa stop me from being in motion until the worms get my body and nobody can steal. My Joy Got Precious Memories of mom and dad and loved ones. Mark King X and stranded Lou. Hey Curtis Mayfield. Aretha Franklin John Coltrane Dizzy. Gillespie those Joe is can never be taken away. They could send you to jail. They could lie about you. And those joys the fruit fruits of the love supreme that you have for Truth and beauty and goodness and other people love of neighbor. That's what it is to be a revolution Christian in my own humble opinion see and so in that sense whatever. The circumstances are the fight. The spirit of engagement can never be snuffed out. It could never be suffocated. It could never be eliminated. It's a kind of defeat list despair wrestling with despair but refused the defeated see. That's what it is. It'd be a Muslim woman in a blues man to it so in that sense you know going down with a smile. I'm going down swinging Ella Fitzgerald at Bob at least with style and a smile and pass it on to your generation my system Doctor Cornell West. I really appreciate you being here to speak with me. He is an American philosopher and racial justice activist. Thank you so much Dr West News. Well that's our show for today as always thank you for listening you can call in and share any thoughts about any of these stories at eight seven seven eight my take you can also send us a tweet at the takeaway and you can tweet at me at shoe. That's S. H. U. B. A. S. U. I'm Shumita Basu in for tenzing Vega and this is the takeaway.