23 Burst results for "Bryan Stevenson"
Why Hasn't Economic Inequality Between Black and White Americans Budged?
"Our goal going into this was to understand a bit more about the racial wealth. Gap it's been fifty years since the end of segregation and jim crow why hasn't economic inequality between black and white americans budged at all. It brought us back to slavery in everything that grew out of that system. And the truth is that as a country. The united states has never really reckoned with slavery or any of the racist violence and oppression that followed. We have created a narrative of denial. We've created a narrative that says we're not going to talk about the mistakes we make. I think it's because we become such a punitive society. We think we own up to our mistakes. Something bad is going to happen to us. We're going to get punished. And i'm not doing these projects because i want punish america. I want us to be liberated from the change that this history has created. That's bryan stevenson. He's a lawyer. And the executive director of the equal justice initiative in montgomery alabama in two thousand eighteen. Three years ago this month he opened the first memorial to the thousands of black americans killed racial terror lynchings from the end of the civil war up to nineteen fifty the museum and the memorial in montgomery and the national museum of african american history and culture which opened in two thousand sixteen in washington. Dc are steps towards correcting historical record in the us but also universities media companies and investment banks are increasingly owning up to the ways they participated in or benefited from the slave trade earlier. this spring. The virginia supreme court ruled that the city of charlottesville can go ahead and remove statues of confederate soldiers. An effort that's happening around the country but there are plenty of people who choose to ignore this part of america's history and how it connects to the present
The Fight for Civil Rights and Freedom
"This is such a great honor for me to be in this room with you to have this conversation. I can't tell you what it means to me to have this opportunity. You represent something so precious to so many of us not just wanted to start by thanking you for that for your willingness to wrap your arms around people may and to make me think that it's possible to do difficult things important things and i just want to start by asking you to talk a little bit about that experience. Growing up in rural alabama and the black belt of america and how that cultivated the spirit that shaped your life and your vision. You used to have to pick cotton on your family's farm while usa fuss as a young child complaint. Why this to. Emma motherless. Avoid so many things we can do. She's to his hard work with. What are we going to do. We have to make a living. But i was hoping in prynne. What a day. When people wouldn't have to work so hard in hot sun she was hoping also the thing would be better much better for us as a as a people and for my family my mother She was always thinking ahead. Did we get up early and going pick as which climb as we could. We get more money. 'cause she knew declining would be heavier. Coulda do we own it so it was weighed. Miami will be increased. Your mother sounds really strategic my New mother one day. She came across a little newspaper in downtown short. That says something about the school in nashville tennessee. That blanks students could attend. She encouraged apply for that. Even though that met you'd be leaving. The house should be leaving the farm. You would not be contributing that that extra labour will out was willing to go to try to do what mine. We'll call during better yet to get an education but in the beginning i wanted to choice state you wanted to. To desegregate. estate submit an application. High school transcript and never heard from the school saw. I wrote a letter to dr king at india. my mother. My father enema sisters brothers in an teachers told him i needed his help. He wrote me back. iran Around bus ticket invited me to come to montgomery to meet with. You can never ever forget it. You knew about dr king even before the boycott you'd heard his sermon The apostle paul preaches to american christians. It's the speech she gives to. All the people in montgomery four days after rosa parks has been arrested by at the end of the speech. He says one day they're going to tell a story about a group of people in montgomery alabama and then he says a black people who stood up for their rights and they stood for their rights. The whole world changed and you had an immediate response to that call to action. The message really appeal to me. Yeah it was sort of a social gospel message. I wanted to do what. I could make things better coinc- something that is not variety of just you have to assess something you have to do. Something was like a fine burning up in your bom and you cannot be silenced. My mother was said to me. Boy don't get in trouble. Don't get in trouble. you can get hurt. You can get killed. Dr king and rosa eating nixon and others that are read about done it time and later met in spine. Rena get when the trouble necessary trouble. And i've been getting in trouble. Ila sems- the citizens to freed awry. You went to nashville mcgann. The work of leaning nonviolence winded nonviolence become an essential part of your worldview in the theology and the activism that you wanted to create grown up wanted to be minister. I felt that dr king was saying in his speeches in keeping of jesus so readily accepted the saadia nonviolence. The philosophy disappoint a nonviolent. We talked to respect the dignity in the worst of every human being
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on On Being with Krista Tippett
"Is that in this era. I don't think our righteous would put their stones down. I think we have too many people with despite that exhortation still cast the stones they feel insulated from the hypocrisy judgment that that implies and so i think it's co- it's incumbent on some of us to intervene to catch the stunt. It doesn't mean that those. Those vulnerable should be condemned. It just means that some of us are going to have to be stone catchers and. That's the idea that I've come to embrace that just because people won't recognize the right in just thing is to do that. It's not right in just to cast those stones doesn't mean that that's the end of the struggle. We have to stand up. We have to step in front of those who are vulnerable and we have to catch those stones. And i think that is one of the callings for this moment and i think the other calling for me is that we have to begin this process of truth telling that we have to recognize that. We can't get well if we don't identify if we don't diagnose the disease and we have this instinct for quick fixing quick your. Yeah and if you don't know what's wrong with you are not going to know. The cure that you've been prescribed is sufficient and i think this process of diagnosing. The many ways that we are not healthy is not something we should fear but something. We should embrace. Because once we've done that. I think we have the capacity the genius strength the ingenuity the wherewithal to begin to address these maladies this illness and emerge as a healthier society a healthier nation a healthier place in the world for everyone. And that's what animates the work that we're trying to do now. Brian thank you so much to spend everything. I hoped for glad to hear that well. We'll we'll let you know When we're going to air this. I i can't remember when that is that it'll be pretty soon and just so grateful for your work in the world. Do you know the only time i've been to montgomery is when i came on that Congressional pilgrimage with john lewis in two thousand thirteen. I think it was incredible and extraordinary life changing experience. But i want to come back the next time to see you. Or i want to be at the memorial and the museum. We absolutely want you to come and see the world in the world changes again there. You go that's right lessons to you. Thank you so much and you as well always a thrill talking with you and thanks so much opportunity..
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on On Being with Krista Tippett
"A lot to our quest for full equal justice. I mean when you're broken you actually Appreciate you know something about what it means to be human you you know something about grace. You learn something about mercy. Learn something about forgiveness. It's the broken amongst contagious and things and knowing that you don't have to be perfect and complete gives you a way of moving through challenge. That will be hard if you think that. That's not something that possible. And so i tell my young staff You can't do this work. You can't be in some of the painful places where end you can't hold chiltern who've been abused and not be impacted by that. You're going to shed some tears you are and you're going to be overwhelmed. You're going to get tired. you're going to get pushed down. All of those things are going to happen and it doesn't mean you're week it doesn't mean that you're not up to the task it doesn't mean you're incompetent incapable. It just means you're a human being. And that's what i want. I want human beings and so what sustained to me is in part this knowledge that you know i. I can't always feel confident and shore and clear that there are times when it's uncertain what's going to happen and i have tried to appreciate that and once you recognize that it doesn't make necessarily easier to cope with but it allows you to kind of have a perspective on what you're doing and i do think for me looking back and understanding the legacy that i've inherited enslavement and lynching and segregation but the kind of strength. It took a mention my great grandfather. Who had the vision. The wisdom the courage to learn to read while that's part of the legacy the strength it took to bring love into the world to love somebody in the face of oppression and brutality and enslavement the strength and courage it took to to create a family with ten children amidst incredible challenges economic and political courage. It took to go into debt to buy something that everybody else question like the world buck encyclopedia for your children. And that's part of what. I think sustained me and i do feel at times. Lifted up by the spirit of people who have endured way more in. I talked to john lewis just before he passed away and it was such an honor knowing him. And you know. And i was just saying to him. I feel so privileged as a result of what you did. And i and i told him i've i've had hard as we get death threats and all that kind of stuff but i've never had to say my heart is. My head is bloodied but not bow you down and when you realize that those injuries created spaces that some of us could occupy that. We're little less violent. You begin to appreciate what you can do and why you shouldn't feel overwhelmed and why you shouldn't feel not dan when we opened the memorial in two thousand eighteen I've been talking about this a little bit more. I was just such a surreal experience to have twenty five thousand people come to montgomery to see these spaces that we create and and i wanted everything to be perfect. We had all of these great thinkers and activists and musicians coming to perform in on the morning of the dedication at the memorial. It looked like it was going to be. It was going to rain. And i'd been just terrified at the idea that it would rain in up this year. I was so worried about it and people are saying you can't do anything about the rain said yes i can. I don't want to rain and it was. We were all going to the memorial which has a cover on the inside and that's where we did the dedication but the clouds were just getting darker and darker and just as i was getting ready to stand up to speak. I mean the the clouds just open up in all of downpour and this thing i had been dreading all of a sudden became something completely different and i was listening to these raindrops. Hit the top of this memorial and looking up at all of these monuments which are dedicated to to lynching victims and all of a sudden. I had this awareness. That this wasn't something i should fear that this wasn't something i should dread in that moment it didn't sound like rain. Hitting the top of the memorial sounded like tears being shed by the thousands of black people whose lives have never been honored whose names have never been mentioned and it sounded like they were shedding tears of joy that there was this moment of reckoning. And that's the gift i think have been given by this legacy. By the ancestry that celebrates struggling for justice that honor struggling for justice. And hold onto that i do. And it's sustained me in times when i need it and An absolutely compels me to keep doing as much as i can say hugh you use the word beauty a lot and i don't know if you've used it so much in this conversation but i also have this sense. You know you see the beauty that comes from what happens to people when they come to the memorial the beauty that comes from truth telling and i- dissents i sense kind of delving into you that that also sustained you whether you're even conscious of that are not only the absolutely does i mean i feel like that's the great joy of my work is that i find beauty in places where people think beauty can't exist. I've found it on death row in the lives of people who've been told that they're they're so beyond hope and redemption and purpose that they should be killed. I founded in places of extreme poverty. I found it in places that have gone through incredible challenges of of injustice and bigotry. And yet there it is. Have you gotten to play the piano more this year and this year of i have. That's been the one upside okay. Because i've been home every day. And you know. I didn't have a house until about twenty years ago when i decided i have to have a pianist. I bought a house. So i could get you know. It looks like that if you come from else but yeah it's been great because i've been able to play a lot more without travelling and it's been a great comfort to me during these really challenging months. So here's my last question. I think a lot about you know. What are the callings for this time. Being alive at this time and i think there's so many of them I hear one in your phrase we have to be stone catchers. I wonder if you would just reflect on what you mean when you say that and and what else if there's a way you would want to expand on callings for this time. Well i do think we're at a time when it's just become so easy to judge people in these really harsh and extreme ways and even people of faith have been pulled into this habit this instinct for condemning the others who don't share their beliefs and views for reducing people to their worst act and i've always been struck By that parable that scripture that story Or jesus encounters the woman who's been caught in adultery and what's powerful about. It is no one says. Oh she didn't do it. It's not an innocent story. That's not part of it And those who are there to judge her say that the law says we should stone her to death and the scripture reveals that jesus says will let heave us without sin cast the first stone and they're convicted by that because they know that none of them is senlis and they one by one their stones down and they walk away and then she's assessed to the woman go to no more and it's a powerful story about mercy and redemption and grace and what i've realized.
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on On Being with Krista Tippett
"I mean when you're broken you you know something about what it means to be human. You know something about grace. You learn something about mercy you learn something about forgiveness. It's the broken among us. That can teach us on things and knowing that you don't have to be perfect and complete gives you a way of moving through challenge. That will be hard if you think that. That's not something that possible. And so i tell my young staff You can't do this work. You can't be in some of the painful places where end you can't hold chiltern who've been abused and not be impacted by that. You're going to shed some tears you are and you're going to be overwhelmed. You're going to get tired. you're going to get pushed down. All of those things are going to happen and it doesn't mean you're week it doesn't mean that you're not up to the task it doesn't mean you're incompetent incapable just means you're a human being and that's what i want. I want human beings and so what sustains me is in part this knowledge that i can't always feel confident and sure and clear that they're going to be times when it's uncertain what's going to happen and i tried to appreciate that and i do feel at times. Lifted up by the spirit of people who have endured way more. I talked to john lewis just before he passed away and it was such an honor knowing him and and i was just saying to him. I feel so privileged as a result of what you did. And i told him i've i've had hard days. We get death threats. And all that kind of stuff. But i've never had to say. My head is bloodied but not bow you. Dan and when you realize that those injuries created spaces that some of us could occupy that were little less violent. You begin to appreciate what you can do and why you shouldn't feel overwhelmed and you shouldn't feel not dan. When we opened the memorial in two thousand eighteen it was just such a surreal experience to have twenty five thousand people come to montgomery to see these spaces that we create and and i wanted everything to be perfect We had all of these great thinkers and and Civil right activist and musicians were coming to perform in on the morning of the dedication at the memorial. It looked like it was going to rain. And i'd been just terrified at the idea that it would rain mess up this experience. I was so worried about it in the cloud just getting darker and darker and just as i was getting ready to stand up to speak. I mean the the clouds just open up in a downpour. And this thing i had been reading all of a sudden became something completely different and i was listening to these raindrops Hit the top of this memorial and looking up at all of these monuments which are dedicated to lynching victims and all of a sudden. I had this awareness. That this wasn't something i should fear that this wasn't something i should read in that moment. It didn't sound light rain. Hitting the top of the memorial sounded like tears being shed by the thousands of black people whose lives have never been honored whose names have never been mentioned and it sounded like they were shedding tears of joy that there was this moment of reckoning. And that's the gift. I think i've been given by this legacy. By this ancestry that celebrates struggling for justice that honor struggling for justice. Hold onto that. I do and it sustained me in times when i need it and An absolutely compels me to keep doing as much as i can say hugh you use the word beauty a lot I also have this sense. You know you see the beauty that comes from what happens to people when they come to the memorial the beauty that comes from truth telling and i descend cy sense kind of delving into you that sustains you whether you're even conscious that are not only -solutely does i mean i feel like that's the great joy of my work that i find beauty in places where people think beauty can't exist. I've found it on death row. I found in the lives of people who've been told that they're they're so beyond hope and redemption and purpose that they should be killed. I founded in places of extreme poverty. I found it in places that have gone through. Incredible challenges of assault of injustice and bigotry. And yet there it is. So here's my last question. I think a lot about. What are the callings for this time. Being alive this time and i think there are so many of them I hear one in your phrase we have to be stone catchers alert if you would just reflect on what you mean when you say that and and what else if there's a way you would want to expand on callings for this time. Well i do think we're at a time when it's just become so easy to judge people in these really harsh and extreme ways and even people of faith have been pulled into this habit this instinct for condemning the others who don't share their beliefs and views for reducing people to their worst act and i've always been struck by that parable that scripture that story Were jesus encounters. The woman who's been caught in adultery and what's powerful about it is no one says. Oh she didn't do it. It's not an innocent story. That's not part of it and those who are there to judge her. Say that the law says we should stone her to death and the scripture reveals that jesus says will let he of you who is without sin cast the first stone and they're convicted by that because they know that none of them is senlis and they one by one put their stones down and they walk away and then she's assess to the woman go into no more and it's a powerful story about mercy and redemption and grace and what i've realized.
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on On Being with Krista Tippett
"Your social worker a teacher you should not underestimate the power you have to affirm the humanity and dignity of the people who are around you and when you do that they will teach you something about what you need to learn about human dignity but also what you can do to change age. They don't they will show you. Yeah i will will reveal. Yeah and you know. Another of your of your pieces of council is be willing to do inconvenient and uncomfortable things switch which may also entail getting what feels like unsafe and i. We are so segregated in so ways in this society so thrusts together with people who are like us That i feel like getting proximate in this culture is May often mean getting uncomfortable and inconvenience. Yeah no. I think it requires a kind of intention. -ality human beings are biologically program to do with comfortably. Yeah we do with convenient. It's how we get through. Yeah which means to do something uncomfortable or inconvenient. We're going to have to make a choice. We're going to have to make a decision to do. Everything around us is telling us we shouldn't do but it is that process that yields progress athletes understand this. I mean every great performer understands that the path to greatness requires an uncomfortable commitment. Sometimes even preoccupation with the skills necessary.
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on On Being with Krista Tippett
"Museum just. I'm curious if hugh reflect at this remove on on that evolution. What's that ben about at heart. It's essentially terrific question because you're absolutely right. This is definitely been a journey of discovery. Had we succeeded with just providing legal services to people in achieving the things that we thought needed to be achieved. We wouldn't have kept looking but of course that wasn't sufficient until you keep digging and I would not have imagined that today. You know we. I'd be kind of working on a museum a memorial these reports but it really was about a decade ago. I guess or maybe twelve years ago. That i began to question whether the law was enough and it was largely triggered by this awakening. That even though i'm a product and brown versus board of education about twelve years ago. I i realized. I don't think we could win. Brown versus board of education to. I don't think our court would do anything that disruptive on behalf of disfavored people on behalf of marginalized people and that terrified me but it also energize me to recognize it. We were going to have to get outside the court and create a different consciousness. The question is why wouldn't we win. And it's because we haven't really reckoned with these larger issues of what it means to be a country dealing with our history of racial inequality. And what you. I think that language you used about Even you because you are. A product is culture as well when you thought about people in prison. You didn't think about their humanity. Thought about what they've done and even how we use. I mean you speak a lot about the narrative right like even how we use the language of. It's not somebody who stole something. It's a fee right. it's a murderer and also He has somewhere you said you. Slavery doesn't end it evolves. In the end you go back to lynching and there's fist presumptive criminality. Just by virtue of being black that then turns up in who is in our presents and who on death row at what you uncover. Is this callousness. It extreme callousness and coarseness and dehumanisation. That is so dot with you. Know who we want to think of ourselves and want to be. I believe As a country. Yeah yeah and i think a lot of it has to do with how we're governed. How're acculturated i think in the nineteen seventies part of what happened is that our political leaders began relying on the politics of fear and anger as a way of shaping policy and so we declare this misguided war on drugs. We say that people who are drug-dependent and drug addicted are criminals. And we're gonna use a criminal justice system to respond to that problem now. We could have said should have said that people suffering from addiction independently have a health problem and we need a healthcare response. But that's not going to generate the kind of energy that demonizing people for addiction will. That's how we got to the point where we were putting people in prison forever life without parole for writing a bad check. I presented people are serving life without parole for simple possession of marijuana taking away the minimum age or trying children as adults when you step back and you think about it. It makes no sense and they're thirteen states today. That have no minimum age. We're trying a child as an adult and you can't really rationalized that unless you are distracted by these narratives of fear and anger. And i think that is part of the condition. That gives rise to the brutality in the cruelty that i've seen in my work and of course when you are governed by fear and anger when you're shaped by you tolerate things you would never otherwise tolerate you accept things you would never otherwise accept and i think for me getting at that pushing people to step back from fear anger. Getting people to think more critically about this. Larger legacy of racial inequality is the priority now. And that's what led me into the racial justice. Work that we've been doing and this effort at trying to pull apart american history in a new way in a different way than the way in which we have tended to hear right as something we have to reckon with. Must reckon with on our way to reckoning with all of that all of these these what infect our consequences and so the reckoning that has to happen in this country has to be rooted in a moral awareness a moral awakening consciousness that evolves in a way that we begin to do the things that we must do if we're going to not only save the country but save ourselves and this is where for me faith traditions. Become so important. Yeah because in the faith tradition. I grew up in. You can't come into church. And say oh i want salvation and redemption and all the good stuff but i don't wanna admit to anything bad. I don't want to have to talk about anything bad. That i've done preachers will tell you. It doesn't work like that. You got the i repent and you've got to confess and they try to make you understand that that repentance and confession isn't something you should fear but something you should embrace because what it does is open up the possibility of redemption and salvation. And we kind of have a very religious society where we talk about these concepts on sundays. On yeah i haven't we haven't embracing we have employed them in our collective lives and i think that has to change I'm krista tippett and this is on being today with lawyer bryan stevenson.
Atlanta Hawks Head Coach Addresses NBA Strikes For Racial Justice
"The National Basketball Association put the world on notice this week playoff games came to a halt when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play on Wednesday in protest of the latest police shooting of Jacob Blake. A black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Protest in other leagues followed suit The W N B a major league baseball, hockey and football college athletes marched on campus in solidarity with players trying to raise awareness on racism and police brutality. To talk about what's next. We're joined by the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Lloyd Pierce. Thank you for coming on the program. Thank you for having me so, Coach. I understand you have been in touch with Jacob Blakes. Father. Why was it important for you to reach out to him? The level of influence and access that we have as an association is really, really high and and so just the opportunity that was presented to us as coaches Our coaches association to connect with the family, I thought would be It's really impactful trying to figure out one out. They're all doing and to what we can do from a humanity standpoint, too. Really be there in support of the family. I have to ask emotionally. Did this shooting bring up feelings that you had back in June when the during the killing of Rashard Brooks in Atlanta? Every shooting as an emotional attachment, and I think every time you see another one, you know it brings you back. They just all add on and for people that are dealing with anxiety deep people are dealing with depression, people that are feeling like There's so much stress that's occurring. You can see how that comes about, you know, n Ba players sent a clear message this week that reverberated throughout the sports world. Beyond that the protests led to some concrete commitments for change. For instance, the Wisconsin Legislature committed to going into special session on police reform. What kinds of things were achieved through this action? Well, I think the biggest thing that the players were able to do was was expressed that they want to be hurt. They wanted our league toe put racial discrimination, racial profiling, racial injustice, police brutality. They wanted to put that at the forefront. Obviously, there are some tangible items that came about, you know, with with emphasis on voting, with the emphasis on forming a coalition to address these issues moving forward with the emphasis on the policing bill. Writes and addressing that from a legislative standpoint, you've been a prominent voice in Atlanta for racial justice and a protest this summer. I'm going to quote you now, you said. I was born a black man. I'm going to die a black man, But I do not want to die because I'm a black man. Why is sharing your experience with the community there in Atlanta? Important to you? I'm sharing it with anyone that'll listen. And I think it's important to note that you know, prior to June are really, really Phil. That a lot of people in our country both black and white, and any other ethnicity. We're pretty ignorant, Teo the fact that there are a lot of people that feel and think that I in the way that I do in terms of the fear of being black, the fear of living in America and being a black man. I wonder what you say to people who And we've heard this time and time again who think that athletes should be athletes and stay away from the politics? Well, I wasn't and I'm not a person who grew up interested in politics. But what I really don't see is someone that looks like me. That's our fight. Our fight is we need to address areas of legislation. We need to address areas of representation and in order to do so. It's going to require other individuals to fight for those people to be in that position, And so if it requires us athletes on us in sports to push for new representation, and that starts with the vote, then that's what that's what we're going to be committed to. You know, you're the chair of AA Committee of the Coaches Association. That's focused on racial injustice. What what do you see? Coming next from the N B A on this subject? You know, hopefully a lot of hope. There are a lot of angles that come out of this. This isn't us saying we had the answers and we're going to. We're going to tell our players. We have the answers, and this is what we're going to do know this is a different This is a different world for all of us, and so we have committed Ourselves, too. Working with Bryan Stevenson from Unequal Justice Initiative, working with the Obama Foundation in my brother's keeper on mentoring and community initiatives for low income areas, working with various individuals who Are focused in our communities on racial justice, education, access, health care, access, police reform legislative items We want to hear from them. We want to be educated, and we want to be able to amplify the work that they're doing, and that's that's been our focus from day one. That was the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. Lloyd Pierce. Thank you so much for being on our programme.
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on The Ezra Klein Show
"Desperately poor people have always been tempted. With economic crimes that have caused them to sometimes get arrested that that was true throughout the twentieth century, but as we will begin to impose mandatory life sentences for someone who writes a bad check or someone who steals a bicycle or a pizza that we begin to create this world of higher rates of incarceration, so there is a part of it that is constructed now on the flip side. There are people who are struggling. We got six hundred thousand people in our jails and prisons who are suffering from mental illness when you are psychotic. And you don't have a place to live, and you don't have a place to go, and you're in the middle of psychosis and you're on the street. You're going to behave ways that scares people and they're going to call law enforcement, and when those lawn officers come, not trained to prepare to deal with somebody who's having a psychotic episode is going to be conflict. Of, the person who is psychotic is going to resist arrest, and that person's going to end up getting charged with felonies like assaulting an officer. Resisting arrest, and then they're going to be taken to a facility where there's no Karen be convicted of that crime and with our mandatory sentencing laws, the judge won't even be able to consider the fact that the person was in the midst of a psychotic moment a win. This behavior took place. If the judge, even those about it and we can't call that justice. We call that A. We've got to understand. The nature of metal was no most people. I understand what it means for someone to be addicted for someone to be dependent. They understand mental illness sorts to some degree. And, I just think once we have understanding are thinking about culpability are thinking about accountability and are thinking about punishment shifts. We have a tendency to not WANNA. Be punished when we make mistakes. We want people to understand all the things that we were thinking. When we said that terrible thing, we want them all the things we were going through. We did that terrible thing. We what the mitigation to shape how we are viewed, and that's because we don't want to be reduced to that worse at. and. I just think if we want that for ourselves. We have to give that to everybody else, and it doesn't mean that we don't expect things from people. It doesn't mean that we don't hold people accountable, but it does mean we try way harder than we've ever taught. In this country to avoid the conditions and circumstances that give rise across our whole model has been after. You've been raped after you've been murdered after you've been rob, we're going to really beat up on the. Who did that? And I. Know From What we've learned over the last fifty years. That we could tremendously reduce violence in this country if we were committed to gun management If we were committed to healthcare, we were committed. To mental health care, we were committed to treatment and care for people dealing with addiction independence. We provided trauma informed care. We would see something radical happen in our communities and I just think we have to understand what we are trading off by investing in jails in prisons, that just add to this kind of weight of punishment instead of investing in care. Care and treatment and that goes to the police who are over funded and being asked to do things that they can't do. it goes to our jails in prisons were spending. Billions of dollars lock up for a threat to public safety, and it goes to the other institutions because eighty billion dollars a year in prison. You're going to have less money for education. You're going to have less money for healthcare. You're going to have less money to deal with a pandemic. Special Resources and I. Just think we haven't even had that conversation. Because again. That politics of fear anger has made it impossible for elected officials to even talk about crime in a thoughtful way until the very recent past, and it was both parties in the nineties and the first decade of the century, where nobody was willing to talk about what we should be thinking about when it comes to criminal justice, because nobody wanted to be labeled soft on crime, and it's taken. All of these cities begin to realize that our silence about the police about prosecution and about. About judging and about prisons has created an environment where we are all less healthy, we are all less safe and we have not gotten anywhere closer to the kind of community, health and safety that many of us want, it is always such a pleasure to talk to you about these issues and I wish I could ask you questions here for for hours, but I know you've been doing sir. I have to leave it there, but let me ask you the question. We always done the show. which is what three books you would recommend to the audience. Let's say The souls of black folks by W E B boys. It's just so interesting to me. How a century later what he's writing about is still so relevant and still so important. I. Think the moment that we're in. Also, it's a it's a history book, but it's not really history, but she writes with such grace and beauty Isabel Wilkerson the warmth of other suns would be the second book. It's It's about. The first half of the twentieth century, when black families are forced to flee the American south and go to the north and west and that. The the the architecture of our contemporary urban landscape in the north and west is is so directly related to the terror and violence that happens in the American south in her book does a beautiful job of detailing that transformation. Third Book I'm torn because. I'm so committed to getting people to understand history more I want to recommend something like from slavery to freedom by John Hope Franklin. but I'm also worried that we need to. Engage in a deeper reflection around redemption around recovery. And that makes me want to recommend something like the brothers. Karamazov by Dostoyevsky War Gilead by Maryland Robinson more a more contemporary novel so I would say if you have time, read all five of those books I love Gilead. It's such a beautiful book all those great, though up, Bryan Stevenson. Thank you so much for being here my pleasure. Thank you Bryan Stevenson for being here. Thank you to all of you for being here. Thank you to Karma for researching Jeffrey. Producing gives recline shows vox media podcast production..
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on The Ezra Klein Show
"Low and welcome to decline show on the box media podcast network an exercise I. Try to do with his podcast boomer, trying to figure out who to have on it is we ask I ask? Whose name would I be excited to see pop in my own podcast feed? Who Do I wish I could hear conversation with. And that's usually a good guy who'd I wish. I could have a conversation worth, and as I've been asking that question over the past couple of weeks. He answers completely obvious Bryan Stevenson. Bryan Stevenson has been on the show before is when my favorite guests we re released episode before is the best of he's the founder and executive director of the equal justice initiative. He's a clinical professor at Your University School of law. He is up. Macarthur Genius was played by Michael B Jordan in the movie. Just mercy. He's the author of the Book Just Mercy. He is somebody who has done the most remarkable work. Somebody who has paved the world better as you can tell as I explain this to be somebody, I personally admire quite a bit both for the practical work. He's been able to do getting people who are wrongly convicted off of death row, working in the criminal justice system, but also using that as way to understand race relations in America and to become I think a necessary moral voice, and so we asked him back on the show, and to my great delight, he said Yes taffer conversation. That's been one that he's been talking about for a long time at one that I think more of us you need to have which is. Is? Okay, we talk now about having a conversation about race. In America we talk now about what it means to confront these old sins and these current inequalities, but what would it mean? What would it look like? What does that competition require for? But how would we structure it and their ideas out there truth and justice, commissions and various approaches. These are things he's been thinking about for a time, and so I wanted to try to get him to be specific help specific to imagine what having that national dialogue. That national confrontation might look like as always. Email is as recline show at vox dot. com here is Bryan Stevenson. Bryan Stevenson will back to the show. Thank you great to be with you. Let me to start with the the normal human question. How are you doing? It's been really intense. I would not have predicted. That, if I had four months with no travel, which was the first time that's happened in like thirty years, that I would be as overwhelmed, and it's challenged and as pushed as I've felt over the last. Two Months I. Think the enormity of managing operations in the middle of a pandemic is just a nervous for everybody, because there's still so much, we don't know tar to make good decisions like all the information before I. Make a decision about something. It's really hard to do that and there's a sort of a some stress with that. Because a lot of employees and I feel responsible for their health and wellbeing, but we also feel responsible for pushing the country forward with content and information and advocacy. And then on top of that these her horrific instances of police violence that just been so scarring and disturbing and painful, and the reaction to that has been both overwhelming and exciting and worrisome, so it's just a lot I've been really struck by how. Exhausting it's been to try to manage all of these new issues that we've never had to deal with before after being in this work for so long. It is amazing given the emotional toll of the work that you've done. that. It could get yet poor exhausting. Mel I think that's right I once. I reconcile myself to the fact that there wouldn't be much travel a lot. I think you've been canceled I thought. This will actually be a little bit of a break, and it's been far from that, but it's also been encouraging to see so much activity. So much possibility for transformation and change that's been very affirming very exciting, so it's it's been overwhelming, but it's also been energizing to imagine what we might now be able to do. One other question of this nature I I've always imagined because I. think a lot about what's going to happen to Michael. Jordan place me in the movie of My Life Blogger and then podcast ter-. How the next morning when you wake up after that that opens nationwide, just how differently people will treat you how all the problems in your life will be solved. But but you're on the other side of that. What happens after you've been played in? A big movie like how does it change your your life, or does it not visit anticlimactic? Yeah, it's a that's a great question I think the whole thing was surreal for me. I just think entertainment is its own world and I spent a lot of time with Michael Bay. With Jamie with the other cast members be Larson Rob Morgan Tim. Blake Nelson and just that world is so different than the world I'm used to. We would go play system. There's just so many people and people are so desperately. Trying to just connect just to be in a picture and all of that, there's a different ethic about what's important in that space, and so it was hard for me initially to kind of bring my own. Priorities, my narrative into that world Michael Being Jamie and everybody connected to the film. They were so great because they wanted to give me that platform. So that's been. That was exciting. That was energizing. It is sort of surreal to. Be Much more recognizable. To lose some anonymity, but you know we've been doing this work for a really long time I'm just excited that people are watching the film that responding to the film. We've gotten thousands of emails and letters from people who have expressed that they were moved by the story. Lots more people have read the book, and that's been wonderful because the film only talks about a small part. Of what's in the book so I'm I'm? I'm thrilled that there's a consciousness emerging from these stories that motivates people to want to do more. It's hard personally just because I I'm not. I'm not used stop. You know going through places in having to worry about being stopped by people who want photographs and things like that, but you spend a lot of time with people like Michael Jordan and that's talent to happen. That's for sure well then. I'm sorry about this podcast because my experiences after people appear on it, they can never get a moment of peace again. It's all to get worse from here. So I don't I don't have an easy transition to to what I want to talk with you about today so I'm just GonNa. Divide in here, but I've been following a number of speeches. You've been giving interviews you've been giving. And thinking about the way you talk about the confrontation, we need to have with our history. The. Modalities in which we can have that confrontation and what it could lead to and so I thought I'd start with this question. What is a healthy relationship for society to have with its own history? Well I think it begins with honesty true telling knowing the actual history. If you don't know your history, you can't really begin to understand what your obligations are. which are responsibilities are which you should fear what you should celebrate. What's honorable and what's not honorable? and. The big problem we have in the United. States is that we don't actually know our history. We don't know..
Report documents nearly 2,000 Reconstruction-era lynchings
"I might cross your reporting a legal advocacy group that has been documenting lynchings in America has released a new report in releasing a new report on an additional two thousand lynchings of black people in post civil war America Bryan Stevenson the founder of the equal justice initiative says in a statement we cannot understand our present moment without recognizing the lasting damage caused by allowing white supremacy and racial hierarchy to prevail during reconstruction the equal justice initiative has now documented nearly sixty five hundred lynchings of black people between eighteen sixty five and nineteen fifty lynchings came as mobs attacked black people attempting to participate in the political process or merely live freely a memorial to lynching victims the national memorial for peace and justice opened in Montgomery Alabama in twenty eighteen hi Mike Crossey up
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on What It Takes
"Was such a spectacular appointment that my picture. Salary were published on the front page of the New York Times. I was unable. To Convince. Thirty six real estate dealers in this town in the borough of Brooklyn. That I should purchase a home near Brooklyn College. Later when I saw to get a loan from the Bank of New York there was not one bank in the city of New York. That would admit that would. Grant me alone to purchase the home that I had. Found out on my own and not through any real estate dealer. Made US still. When my own English God child. moved to Brooklyn. And took up residence there in the home. Of another family. And she told this family about my about her godfather of whom she was very proud the family and told her that if she ever had the nerve to bring her godfather through that House that she would have to leave at the same time. Things are getting better. We spoke of. The optimism this morning of how important it was to be optimistic. and. It is imperative to be optimistic. It is also very difficult to be optimistic in the face of the experiences. That I've had even in the last few months. On the night before I received the Presidential Medal of freedom. In September of nine hundred ninety five is. I was giving depart part at my club in Washington. The Cosmos Club. I thought I looked fairly. Good I had on a new suit. And had on. A new tie. And I was coming down the grand staircase and it is a grand staircase because club. and. My picture hangs on the wall in the Cosmos Club because I must see winner of the Cosmic Love Award and ninety four. And when I approached the bottom of the stairs. White woman said to me. You will get my coat for me and handed me sought hand to. My her check. And I said Madame if you will. Speak to one of the uniform attendance at this club and all of them are uniform. Perhaps you may be able to get your coat. A few months later. In March of ninety s one, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety six. I was in the lobby of the. What hotel in Oklahoma City. Waiting for the manager of one of the leading bookstores of the city. Who is going to pick me up from the lobby and take me to lunch and then to an autograph party at his bookstore where I was autographing? Several of my own books. And while I waited for him. A man walked up to me and said. You get my car and handed me my key. Be His keys. And said I'm a guest in this hotel just as you are. And I walked away from him. I had begun to wonder if I. Reaching the age of eighty-one. Still had such a youthful look. that I could be mistaken for an employee. And then I remember that. For some all African Americans regardless of age are still boys. Six weeks ago I was at the. Centre the Ritz Hotel. On South Park Avenue's on Sunday Park South where I was staying. And A. Woman I was waiting in the lobby for. Twenty Drexel Duke. Old Friend. And one of the descendants of the founders of. Duke University, where I am the James B Duke Professor History Mirrors. Four Tony arrived, a woman walked up to me and said look here. Here's some for you. I can't find the trash basket, and you just put it in the trash yourself. I said I'm neither the trash nor the trash basket madam. And you'll have to find it yourself. What I was suggesting to her. was that. Somehow. She had mistaken me. For somebody that I was not. Life is still no crystal stair. And although one must continue to be. A great. And Perennial. And sometimes bland optimist. One must also recognize the realities. Of a community that is not at all colorblind. I appeal to young people. As you go about your mini exciting duties. In the future. That, you try to make this country. colorblind. Until it is colorblind and we far from it. Would you crown your own work? With the kind of mercy and understanding. And Sense of justice. That all Americans are entitled thank you. Bryan Stevenson was not there on that day in Nineteen, Ninety six, when John Hope Franklin, implored the young delegates at Kademi of achievement summit to commit themselves to mercy and to justice, but Stevenson was actually a delegate to an Academy of Achievement Summit twenty years earlier when he was a high school student, and it would be hard to find someone who has spent more of his life dedicated to carrying out John Hope Franklin's vision in fact, Brian Stevenson's memoir and the movie that was recently inspired by. By, it is called Just mercy it tells the story of Stevenson's work as a lawyer on behalf of innocent men and women on death row, and on behalf of children's sentenced to life in prison or Death Stevenson is also the founder of the equal justice initiative, and he's behind the legacy museum, and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, which explore the connections between slavery and lynching and mass incarceration. He returned to the Academy of chievements summit in two thousand, nineteen as a featured. Speaker..
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on Amanpour
"Everyone and welcome to almond poor. Here's what's coming up. Is Come for. To do systemic racism a study in contrast as the Democratic nominee steps out to combination. We speak to Vice. President Joe Biden. Senior adviser Simone Sanders, about the role of a president in a democracy then. President trump threatens to send in the shock troops against American protesters Republican Strategy Scott Jennings joins us and I talk to the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Karen Bass plus will not see meaningful change until we start this process truth investors that has been long delayed campaign of Racial Justice Bryan Stevenson tells Walter. Is it simply that America can only move forward if it truly faces, it's past. Welcome to.
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on The Axe Files with David Axelrod
"Even when people are saying horrible things to it takes a certain kind of conviction to stand up when other people say, sit down to speak when other people say quiet. And I'm holding on to that conviction. I'm holding onto that faith. I'm holding onto that belief system because I believe we still have difficult days ahead of us are going to have to stand up when people say, sit down. Some of us are going to have to speak when people say be quiet. and. I want the whole the whole tool kit and for me the people of faith. The Church has played a critical role. I think it can play an even greater role moving forward, and how does it? I'm sure you're asked from time to time. How can you defend people who have committed heinous crimes and inflicted great violins and and great hardship. On, others and great sadness, and well I mean for the very same reason that I can hope for America even though we perpetrated genocide. Even though we are a slave nation, even though we are. A nation that tolerated terrorism and lynching. Even though we're segregation and nation, we're not just a slave society. We're not just a genocide society. We're not just lynching society or segregate society. We're more than that. And my clients are more than they're worse crimes. I I believe that everybody is more than the worst thing they've ever done. I think someone tells a lie. They're not just a liar. If someone takes something, they're not just a I. think even if you kill somebody, you're not just a killer and justice requires that we know the other things you are before we judge you. And so for me because I believe that wholeheartedly. To to stand up for the accuse I hate violence. I hate that we have communities where people are being assaulted and robbed and beaten I hate the homicides that I. That I have to deal with so often and I want to get to a different place, but we're not going to get to that place by killing people back by hurting people back. By ignoring the trauma that gives rise to so much of this violence by not recognizing the epidemic, that drug addiction and dependency can be. And so to get to a better place. We're going to have to just talk more openly more honestly about what human beings require. And human beings required justice, and we don't provide justice to a lot of people in this country who are poor and accused neglected incarcerated, and so that has to change, and if we can do it for them, we can do it for everybody else. Well. The progress we make is going to be in no small part to the efforts of you and your colleagues. Thank you and We're as as at the end where I began by saying.
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on The Axe Files with David Axelrod
"I characterized that era as an era of racial terrorism would happen to black people. In America is that they were terrorized. Six million black people fled the American south You know the black people. In Cleveland in Chicago and Detroit and Los Angeles and Oakland didn't come to these communities as immigrants looking for new economic opportunities, they came to these communities as refugees and exiles from terror in the American south, and we've never really address that and you can't understand why Congress during. During all of this time of bloodshed and violence were thousands or gathering to torture and torment black people says Oh, no, we're not going to pass a law. An Anti Lynching Law to empower our federal prosecutors to do something about that. You can't understand that without understanding how this. This narrative of racial differences, ideology of white supremacy was so widely embraced by people in the South and the north. That, we just did not believe we could do anything better it. Also it also enabled another narrative, which is the narrative of the zero sum game of of loss and resentment that somehow if others gain their rights than I'm losing a my rights, if I have to surrender this notion of supremacy that that that is a that is a loss. For me and I think that's something that we deal with to this day I. Absolutely agree I mean it was very intentionally curate at this idea that this is supposed to be a white society, and so if someone who is non white. Gained any power any influence in the ownership in this society. Then it's no longer the thing that has been promised to you. And that was very effectively used by a small. Kabbalah white landowners against the economic interests of poor white farmers in poor white people who could have benefited from organizing and better treatment of sharecroppers tenant farmers. We had a lot of poor white people in the American south. Who could have an easily would have been a powerful? Partner to this newly newly emancipated group of black people who are looking for the same opportunities to show what their hard work in labor could achieve. But. They were effectively divided by this narrative of racial difference, this ideology of white supremacy, and they became a tool. Black people became a tool for perpetuating that, and so you still see that today where people vote against interests, they. They vote against healthcare that they desperately need. They vote against. Employment Practices, that will actually allow. People with less education less skills to have the same opportunities to to prosper They vote against that because of some threat posed. By undocumented people or people who are non white or people who speak different language or people who have a different faith and this politics of difference, this narrative difference trumping everything else is is one of the great challenges that we face in America, and I and I think it's going to require us to be more intentional about how we talk about this larger narrative struggle I. think we are where we are. Is We'd made assumptions you know. The nineteen sixties people thought of we pass. The might act and the Civil Rights Act. we'll get past racial bison discrimination and it doesn't work like that. We didn't actually challenge people. To give up on that narrative and you had. Governors and senators and elected officials after the nineteen sixty five voting rights act vowing to never integrate, and you know. We just haven't even talked about the fact that we had this period after the civil rights, activism. Were wide elected officials would were saying I'll close the schools before I allow integration I'd rather our children be ignorant than integrated. and. You have to think about what that means. That before you can begin to realize how deep and difficult, the struggle is going to be to overcome them. We're GONNA. Take a short break.
Jamie Foxx on his latest film 'Just Mercy'
"Is popcorn where we tell you what's happening at the movies and there's a great movie out right now for your c called just mercy that has Michael Jordan and then also this ask Jamie Foxx. Yes you're not from give it up now you either are or execute chicks you have to face. This is all right Jamie before I lose complete control interview which would be fine but you made a great movie and Jess Mercy you dead. I think this is a true story. True story I think this is the opposite is this is the most important movie I've ever done Yeah I got yes because of who it's about and what it's about Brian Stephen. A lawyer of WHO's played wonderfully about Michael Jordan. who his whole life is? A Journey is exonerating people that are on death row of wrongly accused and and when I met Bryan Stevenson I was blown away about how much he's done. And what is and it's been sort of under the radar so I applaud Michael Jordan for being the biggest star in the world But always coming back to the movies like this for our cultural for us to educate is to uplift us to give us hope and like I said it is the most important movie I've ever the and who do you play. Play Walter mcmillen Watson Watt's McDonald's amendment south in in Alabama who own pulping business chop down trees for living on his way home on a country road he gets pulled over by the sheriff. And the sheriff says you killed someone it city he's never been in Never met this person. They say you're going to jail. And they put him in jail. Put him on death row without a trial he was on death. Row without a trial for six years and I've been death row before studying for movie and the one thing that I knew about death row was at the worst thing you give. A person is hope because they know that at some point At any point they could be taken off to either electric chair or however they're going to be a or expired but hope walks in in the form of Bryan Bryan Stevenson. Who has played wonderfully Michael Jordan? He takes the case. This is a nineteen eighty six. which wasn't that long ago and They pulled off the miraculous And exonorated a person who had never been in. This has never happened in Alabama person to be exonerated off of death row. And that's the store and what was amazing about how our director destination destined and Michael Be put the movie together on how it brings. Everybody and you saw this Toronto in Toronto. Where just make people crazy and you got I? I don't know eight minutes and thirteen minutes standing ovation but what I really appreciated about the movie. Was it allowed everyone in this movie tested in front of a all black audience at a ninety seven now we expect it for that to be in a high number then they tested in the mid West in front of mostly white audience and we what they say it tested at a ninety eight so that lets you know that the work that was done in the movie as the adapt tation of a book really really got it done. It really worked. Let's look at a clip from your performance Sir Ingest Mercy Screen Actors Guild nominated for I godless. So let's look list from Harvey all know what it is here. You get from the moment you ball buddy over these white folks and make them laugh and try to make him like it. Whatever that is and you say yes or no man but when it's your turn ain't got no thanks take evidence and all the witnesses they got eight thing another matter when all your thank is I looked like a WHO could kill somebody? That's not what I think the way. You're not looking at him and then you do. It's just it's devastating because he wants to get it out. He wants him to hear what was going on in in this soul and then that look. I'm sure he's done it a few times that look to see if what I told hold him really landed. Sometimes people can be in those positions and it's no pad pencil numbers. You're just another person. I'm on my way. But when he looked up so Michael be looking back at him. Engaged young ready ready to take on whatever this whatever this monster is designed to do at the end it was another thing too. I studied a film that that move to me was made famous to me by Al Pacino in The Godfather and if you remember I think it was Zena he was when he was getting ready to kill him at the dinner table. Yeah when he says. I'm going to talk Doc Italian till Michael foresaken and as he goes to talk. Al Pacino Leans up to listen but he looks this way first and and then he engaged so as you study the the art. There's certain things that you bring along with you. That are really effective. Well it sure sure works and that's what you want. You don't just see this movie and say you want to talk to people about it and you see this. You gotTa feel it because there's instead of just anger and just rage. There's a sense of. We can do something about it if we fail. Were trying to do something it. Listen the thing about. This is what I enjoyed about the way. The movie plays out is said when people leave this movie. They feel like they want to get involved. What can I do? What can I do to change his narrative? What can I do to pull back to mass of some of these injustices? And that's what's been so fulfilling with this film because Brian I Steve Isn't who still going out there every day of about his job. He needs it. He needs that people to know that these things are going on because it helps in his endeavors in taking these people and trying to you know put their lives back together. Well Walter Your Johnny on on these calls a lot of things. But he's the kind of person that grows up in this Alabama neighborhood and it was. It's very ironic in the movie. How everybody there even racist Alabama is saying? This is Monroe Kennedy. This is where Harper Lee wrote to them walking bird right which is about Wow this racist that. They don't even say dangerous sort of bouncing off her celebrity. What well here's the thing is like like I'd say all the time there were some very interesting things that wall to sit? Did I looked like a man that could kill somebody. This is the perception that were attacking what tackling the perception that a black man automatically you feel like there is some some of villainous or ominous thing that he possesses therefore of when he is accused of something. We sorta turn the other way. You know we don't necessarily we give them the benefit of the doubt. I can't tell you how many times when when there's something going on on television and there's there's some type of crime every black person to tell you man. I hope it's not a black person. Listen you know why because it continues the narrative but continues The procession so that's what we're what we were tackling in in the movie Walter. Walter says you're guilty from the day you were born now. That was something that we actually ad-libbed in the in the script really. Yeah because yes that's my line Growing up in a southern place in Texas in Texas and being met with early age age racism being called As a young kid it baffled me I was eight years old. My grandfather told me go. Get some gas and gas like twenty five cents a gallon. So he's bringing some gas. I I had to walk on the other side of the tracks. Go get the gas but I think the gas only came up to eighteen cents and I need to get to seven cents back but I didn't WANNA leave the gas out you know so I had to walk into the place I walk in and the guy says. Hey what are you doing while you bring the gas. And I looked at him. I said hey eight. I'm only eight nine. Remember marching back to my grandfather and told him what happened. My grandfather went over and talked to the man told him. You know. That's not nice and whatever you told them what He. He squatted. But I couldn't couldn't wrap my mind around a grown man looking at a child insane and saying that and so that's where I got the line I said I don't have nothing to do with this. I was just born. How can I change this? Why are you so angry at me just because because I was born? Yeah so when you're born into the world and this label is on you just because you're born. I thought that that was something that Walter that we should Add to the to the layer of his character saying I was just born because that's all of us were only just
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on Here & Now
"Think they're GONNA set my execution soon. Last lawyer said nothing left to do. There's there's always something that we can do whatever you did. Your life is still meaningful and I'm GONNA do everything possible to keep them from taking Brian. You represented countless less people who are guilty of their crimes but you ask for mercy fresh to respect the value of their lives. Can you share more on this idea. Yeah I've just learned. I've come to believe that each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done. I don't think that if someone tells a lie there just the liar. I don't think if you take something you're just a thief. I think even if you kill someone you're not just a killer and justice requires that we understand the other things you you are believe in holding people accountable. It's not that I'm opposed to punishment but I don't think we can reduce people To one act because I think you you know ultimately issues like the death penalty can't be resolved by asking to people deserve to die for the crimes they've committed. I think the threshold question is do. We deserve to kill kill. Is that what you want folks to take away from just mercy. Well I want them to take away a new understanding about these issues. I've just always believed that if people saw what I see on a regular basis. They'd want the same things I want. I don't think I have some bizarre perspective. Many people most people in this country don't want there to be inequality and injustice. They don't want people to treated unfairly or cruelly. When I just think if you get closer to it you'll be motivated to say more to do more than I do? Hope people that see this film will walk away with a greater consciousness about why we need to do better in this country when it comes to creating a justice system that is fair reliable. That's Bryan Stevenson lawyer. Social Justice activist founder and executive producer of the equal justice justice initiative his life and works portrayed in the film just mercy.
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on Here & Now
"Listen and subscribe to life gave the film. Just mercy is out today in theaters across the country and it tells the true story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his efforts to exonerate a man on death. Yeah throw why are you doing this. Why am I know you lower down in Alabama taking these cases that ain't nobody GonNa pay for when I was a teenager? My grandfather was murdered over a black and white TV. We kept waiting for someone to show up to help. And that's when I realized last that outside my community. Nobody care to sit him. He's just another black man killed in a projects. I know what it's like to be an shadows house while I'm doing this in the film. Jamie Fox portrays the role of Walter. mcmillen a black man from Alabama. Who was wrongly accused and convicted of murder and sat on death row for six years? Michael Jordan plays the role of Stevenson. This film comes at a pivotal time. As states throughout the country are reexamining the use of the death penalty joining us now for more on. Just mercy is the inspiration behind the movie and Executive Producer Bryan Stevenson. Welcome to here now. Now and congrats on the film. Thank you it's great to be with you. Yes we'll Brian. Just mercy is based on your memoir of the same name and I hear you were a big part of producing this film contributing to the writing of the script. How does it feel to have your story on the big screen like this? Was it something you always wanted to do. Well not really. It's kind of surreal to be in this place. I mean I think you know after thirty five years of going into jails and prisons and standing next to condemned people facing execution. It never crossed my mind that You know that would turn into an experience like this. When I wrote the book I I was just trying to get people? Closer to the reality of over incarceration in America To the problems that we have in this system that I continue to creep treats you better if you're rich and guilty than if you're pouring innocent and even after the book was finished I'd I'd really didn't have any clue or idea that someone would want to make a film so it's been really surreal but it's been pretty exciting You know the the people involved have been so committed and so Dedicated to getting this right That I feel really good about the film and I'm excited that the people will have a chance to see. This movie offers a small L.. Slice of your life and work. You're the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative which represents people on death row and you've also been instrumental in pretty significant reform Twenty twelve US Supreme Court decision to ban mandatory life parole for minors convicted of murder. This story in this film focuses on one of your earliest cases. Says Walter mcmillen. How are you able to narrow your work to this story? Why was this one specifically an important one to tell? Yeah when I was writing the book it was just going going to be one of maybe twenty or so cases that I talked about at length but there was so much richness in the Walter mcmillen case I mean first first of all the crime took place in Monroeville Alabama Which is where Harper Lee grew up? Is the setting of the fictional novel Tequila mockingbird in that community so embrace this romanticized that story it was surreal when I began working on this case to have a whole community. Indeed directing me to the Tequila Mockingbird bird museum talking proudly about their relationship to that story While I was trying to get them to pay attention to the plight up an innocent black man who had been wrongly accused of killing a young white woman and I just thought there was a lot to exploring the case Mr Macmillan was poor he was a person. It's not color The people who convicted him I think had every reason to know that he was not guilty and yet he was convicted and sentenced wants to death. Anyway they put him on death row before he would actually been tried or convicted of any crime and too many elements that exposed the way fear. Your anger has shaped our criminal justice policy making in this country and it just was a really powerful medium through which to talk about these issues. MHM I watched this film with my twelve year old daughter and I thought to myself as we watched it was a difficult but really important introduction for her to some of the major major flaws in the criminal justice system and twenty fourteen forty two percent of those on death row were black. It's a big question I'm about to ask you. But how do we begin to grapple grapple with the racist legacy that is really led to these disparities. I think we do have to begin talking more honestly about our history of racial injustice. I don't think in our country has ever engaged in any meaningful process of knowledge The injustice inequality. I think we're a post genocide society what we did to native people was a genocide and we haven't acknowledged that and we've allowed You know systems to continue that have been compromised by these narratives racial difference I think the great evil of slavery was an involuntary servitude. It was this idea that black people aren't as good as white people and that continues after the thirteenth amendment. And it's why argued slightly doesn't end it just evolves and we had one hundred years of terrorism and lynching and violence were black. People were pulled out of their homes and beaten and murdered and drowned tortured and lynched. And we've never really talked about that and even though we pay more attention to did the civil rights era. We haven't confronted the fact that this presumption of dangerousness guilt that gets assigned to black and Brown people is still with us. It's why I. These police encounters with young black people that end up with lethal violence or so disruptive and so painful. So I think we're going to have have to commit to a process of truth injustice in America you go to places like South Africa and Germany and you see evidence of nations that have grappled with their history of apartheid And the Holocaust. But we haven't really done that in Germany. You can't go two hundred meters without seeing markers or stones or symbols that have been placed next to the homes homes of Jewish families that reducted during the Holocaust but in this country we haven't created that kind of architecture created that kind of landscape to cause people to remember and reflect on the challenges created by slavery and lynching and segregation. And I think that leaves us vulnerable to content to new manifestations of that AH legacy which is what causes people like Walter mcmillen to be wrongly convicted sentenced to death and almost executed in our contemporary system. I WanNa talk with you about your depiction in the movie. After you graduated from Harvard University he decided to move to Alabama. And there's a scene Where are your mother clearly worried about your well being says goodbye to you and essentially tells you you're exceptionalism won't save you and it's something the thing in the film that McMillan says well let's take a listen Rizwan from harvey you'll know what it is? Here you get from the moment you bowl you can buddy over these white folks and make them laugh and try to make him like it. Whatever that is and you say yes or no man but when it showed earning got ahead no fingerprints Brian? Did that really happen. And how do you negotiate your identity and safety with your work. Yeah I I always tell people that you can't do this kind of work but just ideas in your mind to make a difference in this space. You've got to have the ideas in your mind. Fueled by conviction in your heart and the great gift I have have is that I am the grandson of people who were enslaved. And they believe in freedom when it wasn't rational too and I'm the grandchild of people who were terrorized by lynching and they believed in a better future even though that didn't seem a logical the child of people humiliated by segregation and Jim Crow and yet they believed. I could be anything I want. And it's that orientation of hopefulness Sustained me You know we say in the film and I say when I give talks I believe that hopelessness is the enemy of justice. If you WANNA do justice work you have to be prepared to believe things you have in seen in. And it's what continues continues to to define work tried to do today. This film is called just mercy and it it really. Is this idea. That mercy appeals your work the the film primarily follows a story of Macmillan who is innocent but we also see the story of Herbert Richardson. WHO's homemade bomb killed a young girl? Let's take a listen. I.
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on Relevant Podcast
"Our conversation that we that we put to. You'll be hearing today later on but I asked Bryan in Stevenson. Told himself if he'd known about twenty twenty years ago. Is it Micheal Jordan playing you and he said I just sort of started working out more. I think you always WANNA be. That's one reason if you need a little extra motivation. Yeah the gym if that was part of your party or news resolution you never know when someone's GonNa decide to make a movie about your life and you don't want people to be alright. I don't see that at all. You don't WanNa you know I just don't want somebody to cast say A Tom Cruise Brad Pitt or something and have everybody like I don't know about that. Well I mean honestly I even though both of those Gentlemen Ryan Gosling Lina. I mean we can name a few identical to me and many photos. The conundrum realized Bryan Stevenson was in. And you know I think I have more Eric Kill monger. You know boxer then maybe a lot of people so now I could see. I could see someone that shape play me but I I empathize for Bryan Stevenson. You somebody to play you have to go into the mail. Niger Aja the marvel movie machine. Obviously just Jack to just to to just barely superhuman just barely superhuman doesn't yeah. I WANNA preserve the accuracy of my life. I mean there's no point if watching Albany will be as accurate as possible and I. It's life and art. You know so I think for me. It'd be you get one of those actors where everybody talks about. How brave performance was and they've been a bodily transformation? They drink milkshakes firm for six months and only milkshakes to prepare for this role a a mesmerizing perform and then people worry about their health. Like man I hope they bounce back. I don't know how you do something like that. That's what I want to. I hope that's inspiring. Whoever does play me enjoys that time is able to get back on the road to recovery soon after Shooting Reps? Yeah I you know. Let's say it's like Chris Evans for me my one adviser. Because I'm sure he's listening and he's he's he's been thumbing of my bio pic which. I wrote Myself Tom. It's mostly a monologue. It's very very unconventional conventional box episodes about four. It's about four and a half hours shopping. It's Netflix right now. And I told Chris Evans in the script Dora behind a sweater. My friend don't go. Don't go big woolly sweater on this one to you. If you just own own the role here you know. Full full tank top every every scene. skin-tight just two sizes too small like a theater from old navy situation that you repeatedly like bust. Albany get angrier like rips at the scene into central to the pot will not make sense. And let's as Chris Evans in Tank Top protrayed. So but hey hey tower also coming up. It's not just Brian. Yes I just Bryan Stevenson. Yeah we have new music spotlight. Yeah excited we'll. We'd love when Brian Kato. uh-huh join us to talk about some of our favorite couples working in the music industry right now. They have an EP anticipation. They were kind enough to join us. Talk about you'll we'll be here in a little bit from them as well coming up later in the podcast while some music from that EP. Also WanNA mentioned really briefly. We gotta get to obviously. I won't take too much time away from that. People want to hear what Brian Brian Essay. They want to hear. What the tour walls say? I mentioned that I was in London. Nice very long this is. This is a brief stopover. My wife is working on her master's degree she says. The Paris we had a few days decided to take before she. She went back to Paris to continue on her working on her master's bring in the New Year in London which we did was ran for staying Through for a couple of days here on New Year's Day which was yesterday. We woke jet LAG. Book late. Decided we're going to go down down to the tate art gallery Because my wife and I are we are lovers of the art scene we have people refined tastes obviously of class. When did it go oh to the tate? Modern armies which is which was free had a great time people who live here in London have that right at their doorstep are very fortunate if people can lend they should go to the tape as we were walking there we were about a half a block away from the tate. It was very quiet it was about noon but it was very close near. There's not a lot of people out. There has been five or six other people bowl walking around us and this is what happened. Jesse I looked up. I saw something falling from the sky. I couldn't tell what it was. It landed about five feet in front of us fell with enough force that it was clear to come from like from very very high up. Okay Hi Because it was it was very heavy a loud thump. I walked up closer. It was a box an animal an animal but had fell and I don't it was the dead. Obviously when I don't know if it'd been dead before it dropped or not but the people who are out we're very. I don't think this happens in London. People expressed a lot of surprise. Is this customary London New Year Fox. Drop so you're walking and you're not in a wooded area your urban area this is we are. We are downtown landed. And you're downtown London. It's not like there's like a canopy of trees or something about there's no tree any. There's there's only buildings I have to think it. It came out of a out of one of the. I don't know somebody threw a Fox is from their people. Do Throw Fox's that maybe an England seems very unsafe. It could have landed on somebody and I think it would have hurt if it had landed on. I was close to landing on me and Liz when you walked by matching going to the hospital and being like well what happened. It doesn't well. Fox fell on my face. I mean okay. Were there buildings around. It could have liked there. Were buildings around that it could have been like I guess on top of a bill in the US. Fox's are urban animals you don't now is is downtown anywhere you rarely see. Fox's at all yeah exactly yeah for my knowledge of Fox's which mainly derives from a show I watched a kid You know the Fox sweat David the GNOME press. I know you're talking about I. Mean Swift was fast and he would let gnomes ride him him but he was also very elusive yet. No Fox's are kind of shift the animals I mean maybe. The Fox was attempting to Park War from one building to another didn't what's he wearing like.
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet
"Hope and action action by good leaders admit to wrongdoing and the necessity of a National Truth and reconciliation process continues to resonate with me. I'm sure you'll feel the same. That's coming up. Stay tuned Bryan Stevenson. Thank you so much for joining us on the show. I'm happy to be with you. I gotTa tell you this I feel deal long overdue. I've been following for a long time huge admirers. We know a lot of people in common. So I'm glad finally you get to share some of your wisdom with US thank you. I want to congratulate Angela. You also on the continued success of your book. Just mercy which is now out for four years. Yeah for years and continues to be extremely popular other really meaningful for a lot of people and in more recent news is going to be made into a motion picture right. Yeah and so what ordinary actors is playing you. Well Michael Jordan Jordan. Yes see some modest yes. I told him he needs its creed bottle and he plays them the show up looking wimpy or anything you feel some obligation to get into better shape to be in very good shape but no. I was really thrilled that he he wanted to take this on. And it's exciting. You know I'm hoping that I mean the whole point for me. In writing. The book was to get more people to understand these issues until obviously film you. You know allows that to happen in an even broader way. And I'm excited that people like Michael Bay and Jamie Foxx and Bree Larssen incredible talented actors and actresses Are Contributing to this now. It's amazing should say Michael Jordan is one of my middle son's favorite actors maybe favorite. Wow and when he gets a chance to read your book you might might become a second favorite author and forcibly required to love his father yes. Of course they're more of courts. Let's talk about some of the things that you talk the book your experiences as a death penalty lawyer. You'd like to call yourself a death penalty lawyer. I call myself a human rights lawyer because I work has broadened but I absolutely will the answer to the description of death penalty lawyer. It's the work that I think. Routed me in the kind of human rights work that I do now. I mean when I was in law school oh I was sort of. I was frustrated because I went to law school because I was concerned about racial inequality in poor and social injustice and. It didn't seem like anybody was really talking about those issues issues and I laughed and went to the School of government pursue. A degree in public policy came back to the law school still frustrated and started doing that. That thing that a lot of lawyers do where they begin to rationalize accepting a career in the law that they know isn't really going to be a firm it's not going to be fulfilling to give up on their ambitions and and it was going to Atlanta Georgia to work with a group of human rights lawyers who did death penalty cases that changed my relationship to the law. Aw a meeting a condemned person on death. Row Getting to see that person's humanity seeing the difficulties in and the challenges really radicalize my interest in the law. When I came back? You couldn't get me out of the law school library. I needed to know everything about comedy in federalism and Appellate Procedure in criminal procedure siege and constitutional doctrine. Because I wanted to help condemned people get justice and so in that respect it. Is The death penalty that created a portal for me to see the law as a tool to help people and I tell folks all the time if I've had any success in my career I've helped anybody as a lawyer. It's because I went to death row. Oh Matt a condemned man who showed me the kind of humanity and dignity and decency. That made me appreciate that. We're all more than the worst first thing we've ever done and that really created a new relationship to what it means to be a lawyer for me. So you use an interesting phrase a minute ago you said your relationship with the law and people think of relationships occurring between people. What does it mean to have a relationship with a law? Yeah I mean. I grew up in a racially segregated community community. I grew up in a community where black kids could not go to the public schools. There were no high schools for Black Kids when my dad was a teenager so he couldn't go to high school and our county. The county was twenty seven percent black and there was never a time when the majority of white people in my community would have voted to end and racial segregation in education. It took lawyers coming in to the community to make them open up the public schools to enforce Brown versus versus board of Education. That changed everything for people like me. I got to go to high school. I got to go to college and so my pathway to becoming a lawyer you're the becoming someone who could go to college was changed by an intervention from people practicing law and but for those lawyers getting proximate to poor black kids like me. I wouldn't be sitting here and that's why I characterize it as a relationship you know. People with the ability to enforce the law all had to care enough about folks like me to use that ability to create access and I saw them as people who I I had a relationship too because they open doors for me when I got to college and got to law school and and was empowered to practice law. I wanted to have a relationship to people who were marginalized who were disfavored. who were incarcerated? who were condemned? And it's not about knowing law and applying what you know for someone. It is really relational because what people need is sometimes more complicated than just what. The law outlines and details people need justice and for me. There's a difference between law and justice. You know law says if you don't file a petition within thirty days you're forever band. That's not just that's just law so we've got to figure out what we do to recover from the way in which the law sometimes doesn't achieve justice and that's relational and that's why I talk about it that way so let's talk about the the relationship between you and some of your clients who had been on death row condemned men as you've said. What was it like the first time just for you as a person slash lawyer meeting someone in that legal and personal predicament? What are you talking about? What is the first thing you say? Yeah do you talk about the the law. You talk about their family to take us. Yeah well I'll describe the first time I met someone on death row. When I was actually still a law student you know I was very nervous purpose? I didn't think I was acquit as a law student to be meeting someone on death row but the lawyers asked me to go down and just explain to this person that he wasn't that risk at execution anytime in the next year. They just didn't have enough people to go meet. Everybody and I drove down to Jackson Georgia. Which is where Georgia's death row is? I parked my car. They took me back to the visitation room. I got so nervous because I was persuaded that when he discovered I was just a law student he was going to be really disappointed. It's all kept pacing back and forth trying to rehearse exactly what I was going to say in your alone. Just you I'm alone. Yeah and this condemn man they bring this condemn. Am Men into the room. And what I remember about him. How burdened with chains he was? He had handcuffs on his wrists hit a chain around his waist. He had shackles on his ankles. It took them ten minutes to unchain him and I got so nervous. And when he was free to walk over our He came over and I said I'm so sorry I'm just a law student. I don't know anything anything about the death penalty. I don't know anything about criminal procedure appellate procedure civil procedure. You admitted that off the bat right off the Bat. I just didn't want him to have any false expectations and then I said what they sent me down here to tell you that you're not at risk of execution anytime in the next year and as soon as I said that the man said wait wait say that again. I said Said you're not at risk of execution anytime in the next year and the man said wait wait say that again. You're not at risk of execution anytime in the next year. And that's when this this man grabbed my hands and he said thank you thank you thank you. He said you're the first person I've met in the two years I've been on death row. WHO's not a death row prisoner death-row guard he said I've been talking to my wife and kids on the phone but I haven't let them come and visit because I was afraid they'd show up and I'd have an execution date and I didn't want them to have to deal with with that? He said now because of you I'm GonNa see my wife. I'M GONNA see my kids and I couldn't believe how even in my ignorance being proximate being being in a space with someone and trying to do something could make a difference and that man and I started talking. It turned out. We were exactly the same age. Same birthdate same months. I'm day same year. He started asking me questions about my life. I asked him questions about his life. And we fell into this conversation. And even though I don't scheduled to be there an hour we just kept talking and got to two who hours and then we got to three hours in the guards were waiting outside and they were getting angry that I had an end to visit and finally they just came bursting into the room and they were mad. They couldn't do anything to me. took it out on this client. They threw him against the wall. They pulled his arms back. They put the handcuffs back on his rhys. I could see the metal pinching his skin they wrap the chain chain around his waist and put the shackles back on him. I was begging them to be gentler. I said look. It's not his fault. It's my fault but they just ignored me. And then they started shoving this man toward the door and they got him near the door and I remember they were about to shove him through the door when I saw this condemned man plant his feet and the next time when they tried to move him. They tried to shove him. He didn't move and then he turned to me and he looked at me. He said Brian. Don't worry about this. You just come back. And then he did this thing. I have never forgotten. And he stood there and he closed his eyes and he threw his head back and he started to sing. started singing this him. I used to hear all the time he started singing. Being I'm pressing on the upper way new heights. I'm gaining everyday still praying as I'm alward bound in the Lord plant my feet on higher ground and everybody. Nobody stopped the guards covered. They started pushing him down the hallway. And you could hear the chains clanging but you could hear this condemn man singing about higher ground and that radicalized my interest in the law would happen to that man we ultimately got him off of death row. He's actually parole eligible and I'm hoping he'll be released least very soon. But it was the kind of encounter that caused me to believe to recognize that. I wanted to help condemned people get to higher ground but I also realize that my journey to higher ground was tied to his That he can't get there. I can't get there and that relationship. Hip was really formed by the intensity but the humanity of that encounter with someone who had been told was the worst of the worst. And that's the way it's been for me with clients. It's you know there. I've met a lot of people who are really burdened with mental illness. were troubled who are traumatized to have have a lot of challenges. But I've never met anybody about whom I can say. That person is beyond hope or beyond redemption or beyond worth sufficient to care for to represent. You have a view it sounds like you.
Director Destin Daniel Cretton Honors Lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s Work in ‘Just Mercy’
"Hello and welcome to another edition of they call spruce and unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asia America. I feel you Jeff Yang and we're here with a very special guest a filmmaker crater of note storyteller of many things including a certain upcoming superhero movie. But we are not GonNa talk about that Superhero movie. We're GONNA be talking today about a real life superhero movie His film just mercy which is coming out from Warner brothers. In Limited release in December December twenty fifth. I believe and wide in January January tenth. It is the story of Bryan Stevenson. Anson the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative which is a critical nonprofit organizations that advocates for death. Row inmates providing them many cases a gasp of hope before the the actual kind of Mon execution occurs in the context of that Destin tells the story of how Brian Created this organization and some notable first cases that it that led to the organizations becoming a pillar of this particular movement so destin first of all welcome welcome to the show. It's great to be here so we want to start with a little bit with some of your background. I guess you're from Hawaii originally right. Yeah I grew up in Hawaii. And how did you actually embrace still making as a career. It was a it was along the long road to getting to the place where I actually admitted that I was embracing it as a career I I grew up. There is six kids in my fam family. We lived in a small town on Maui called Haiku Right next to a huge pineapple apple field. And we we we. My mom barely let us watch TV. So we're always outside kind of forced us to have to do creative things things and when my my grandma got her first. VHS camera that that she allowed me to borrow That that became kind of the thing that that I would do to pass. The time was make little commercials and short films with my five siblings things as my actors and so from an early age. I knew that I loved it. Loved the process And and so it was a hobby of mine All the way through college. I didn't I didn't go to film school. I got a degree in communications. And it wasn't like 'til my senior year that I did my first short film and then just kept doing short films for fun for about ten years. And eventually it snowballed Walden started to turn into something that I made money out. The short shorts got less short so it was that short film. The one that actually Connected with Brie Larson or was that that I short film without later one short term twelve was was was was a short. It was actually my eighth short film Every other show had been rejected from sundown and short-term twelve is the first time that but I got the call from Sundance saying that we're we got in and then The stars aligned and ended up winning the jury prize at Sundance Site Year And that that was like a big first stepping stone into being able to do this as a job. The film that got the feature that got everyone sort of noticed that. Notice you in a lot of people's minds was was the future for short-term twelve and I look really revisit just looked at the the credits for that film and I was like stunned to see all these young actors. There's who are now like huge stars sort of planning their seeds there. I was wondering like when you look back at that. Like what is your impression of their careers. Your career now like looking looking at all that it seeing like wow. I really had an eye for talent. I don't really see see it that way I I just see as Wow it's so cool to see my friends being doing what they love. And being so successful at it I Yeah I mean I feel really really kind of grateful to that Our our little group has all kind of gone on to do such extraordinary things. It's it's really cool so One of the screwing things. The one we're going to talk about today is is of course this film just mercy and we saw it like I mentioned to you before stories started taping last night at the screening. I was so moved that I actually donated to equal justice initiative before I left the theater I I was struck by how necessary the film was the the story was telling and the work of equal justice initiative in an era where feels increasingly like people of Color immigrants Poor people live under a different system. Like like a different set of laws than people who have more and who have the power to and resources to fight fight back. What what it drew you to the story initially? And how did you actually connect with it. Thank you for donating TJ. Let's a a- and and your reaction is really what we hope. This movie does is introduce people to the amazing work that Brian has has been consistently doing back when you wasn't a hot topic when it was actually it almost looked down upon to to be doing the work that he's doing It's it's the way that the Brian puts it as the our our system. Treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor innocent And and that is just Incredibly sad but the thing about Brian that that was so so inspiring to be around was that he is not this cynical kind of depressed guy walking around doing this this this works. That is so difficult. He actually has a bounce to his step he has so much energie And and he has so much hope He he actually believes that. You can't do the type of work that he does without hope because hope is the things that allows you to have vision for something that you cannot see and every project that he he embarks on feels impossible at the moment that he's starting But it's the the hope that that allows him to to zinc that. This could change that. There is a way to to change the hearts and minds of the people behind a broken system And and as as much as you know as much as this movie was may taking place in the late eighties early nineties And there there are a lot of things especially recently that that has have even gone backwards And there's a ton of work and and to be done I also Brian Stevenson's work and his life has proven that one person can really make a difference in the difference. That he has made is pretty incredible. I think the hope speak of definitely shines through in the film and it's a light light in serve the most bleakest services you know air hope seems to be short supply in and this really gross systemic abuse injustice and it would make anybody the most cynical I think but the thing about is like you're talking about a real person and so it's not just a fictional movie like superhero or real person right. I wonder what kind of burdens you felt. If at all I mean about representing his story about the writ you know the real life person You know you're dealing with real facts. Real real real personality. I mean what kind of things that you go through in making the film that you kind of pressure to put yourself A lot of threats a a lot. I it's rare as a filmmaker to be able to to tell a story about a person who is Still as active right now in the work that that he does as he was thirty years ago. We're not we're not telling a bio pic of someone who it has passed away or who were not just trying to you know Glamorize somebody's life just to just so you have the information Where where telling a story that you can actually leave the theater and donate to this organization or we're going volunteer somewhere or go and listen to Bryan? Stevenson speak He the day before he came and visited us on say he was. He was arguing in front of the Supreme Court He's he has actively he's actively doing words that he speaks and his words are incredibly powerful because he backs it up with his life and I just just never met a A man or or or woman who has more Dedicated to to to just making the world more fairer place for the most vulnerable people in our society. So I mean I I had a lot of pressure put on myself to not screw it up Because anytime around Bryan Stevenson I just feel so unworthy but he he's very inspiring person to be around.
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on The Ezra Klein Show
"Here is Bryan Stevenson, give us one time. You will not regret it. Bryan. Stevenson, welcome to the show. Thank you. It's good to be with you. I wanted to begin by asking you about something that you say often and every time I've heard it. I've thought that's interesting. But I'm not sure I quite understand it, which is the opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is Justice. What do you mean by that? America's credibly wealthy country. But we've always had enormous stratification the wealth of the colonies was built on ah genocide of removing native Americans from lands that they occupied we kept their names, but we made them leave. There were millions of native people on this continent before white settlers came and we killed them through famine Warren disease, and we didn't really knowledge the injustice of that the unfairness of that. Because we were persuaded that our economic security and our political development required. The acquisition of these lands. And it began this way of thinking about wealth that is disconnected from the inequality injustice, the abuse the oppression that is sometimes used to create that wealth, and that that habit was reinforced through slavery and. And we created great wealth in new territories and the south and the colonies by relying on enslaved people and the labor and the benefits that that created without any real thinking about how that wealth was sustained by abuse and oppression and inequality and injustice, and even after slavery. I don't think we ever really dealt with the unfairness of exploiting people for decades centuries. And then doing nothing to help make them whole. And it wasn't just formerly enslaved people. It was poor white that came to this country as immigrants who were also often abused in working places in minds. And this idea has emerged in America. That wealth is created by people with great talent in great ability. And we value wealth, we respect wealth, we admire wealth and. We disdain the poor. We blame the poor. We fought the poor for not achieving more economic security, and we have a I think really unevolved attitude about about how to address poverty when I look at our history of using power and abuse to sustain and creates structural, poverty and institutionalize it without any Shane. It makes me question with we truly understand what poverty represents there are a lot of countries across the world that are poor. But in most of the developing more ninety percent of the people eighty percent of the people are poor..
"bryan stevenson" Discussed on Katie Couric
"Bec has been done yet but i suspect at some point something will and maybe that's a good thing maybe we should take these statues down but i have to say that it's i've had to come go through a process to come to this decision you know as a southerner over the course of my career i worked with a lot of people from all over the country and from time to time i would hear people make remarks that were derogatory about southerners so you know i had this little element of defensiveness and also pride in the south but i think bottom line is it's probably time to take these statues out of places where they are exalted or looked at is some wonderful thing and preserve them in some fashion and put them in a museum thank you lied like thank that caller for such a thoughtful voicemail i really appreciate it and i think she she explained sort of the process you have to go through you know sometimes i have felt defensive about things and much of my family is from the south and i think that you have to have a better understanding of the full picture of this confederate iconography to come up with an opinion that was a beautiful voice mail in my opinion brian because i also think we have to feel liberated to admit that we had to struggle to get some place and that it was a process and so i just wanna say thank you to the caller so much for sharing her experience and her thoughts you know bryan stevenson uses the phrase truth and reconciliation to talk about where we need to go as a society i think that caller is a good example of the kind of thought process and introspection that needs to happen i think people need a little bit more hand holding and education to get through the process of understanding.