20 Episode results for "Freedom Democratic Party"
The unstoppable Fannie Lou Hamer
"History lovers. I'm Mike Rosen with retro pot a show about the past rediscovered. She walked with a limp. She had a blood clot behind her eye from being severely beaten in Mississippi jail. Her name was was Fannie Lou Hamer. She was the youngest of twenty children born to black sharecroppers in Mississippi and in late nineteen sixty four for president Lyndon B Johnson was absolutely terrified of her why she was about to make make an appeal before the credentials panel at the Democratic National Convention. The potential implications were profound. Hamer represented the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party a racially integrated coalition of delegates Hamer wanted to challenge the seats of the current aren't all white democratic delegation from their state saying that they were in violation of the party's rules because they had systematically excluded excluded black citizens according to Time magazine. Johnson was worried that Hamer speech could offend the Southern Democrats whose votes he needed for reelection he wanted her silenced but Hamer had a following that rivaled that of Dr Martin Luther Author King Junior and she would not go unheard. Hamer was born in one thousand nine hundred seventeen in the Mississippi Delta. The share cropping system kept her parents in debt and without enough food to feed their twenty children in the Winter Hebrew tied rags on her feet because she often didn't have shoes. She started picking cotton when she was six years old. Aw Hamer started her civil rights work in nineteen sixty one after she was sterilized without consent during what it should have been a minor surgery she tried to register to vote in one thousand nine hundred sixty two but was turned away after she failed illiteracy literacy tests which were used in the south to discourage black people from voting the clerk asked Hamer complicated questions like interpreting the state constitution after she failed the test. She told the clerk she'd be back when Hamer returned to the plantation in that day. She was fired from her job but she wasn't defeated. Hamer became a student nonviolent. Coordinating Committee a community organizer and helped found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in reaction to the lack of integration in the state's Democratic Party party as a candidate from the party. She ran for Congress in nineteen sixty four against democratic incumbent Jamie L whitten at that year's Democratic Democrat National Convention. Hey made her way to the stage through a crowd of men who refused to make space for her other members of the civil rights movement including Martin Luther King Junior spoke but all eyes were on her. She then talked for thirteen minutes Mr Chairman and to could dentures committee. My name is Mrs Fannie Lou Hamer. She called for mandatory delegation an integration and recounted her experience trying to register to vote. It was the thirty first of all the night being the eighteen of US travel. Put the six miles the county courthouse in in the normal tried to register to become first. I player Hamer describes being arrested in beaten in Mississippi jail after white waitress at a rest. Stop refused her service. That's how she got the blood clot. All of this is own account. We won't be registered to become first-class. NFL Freedom Democratic Party is not beating not after her testimony humor and other other Freedom Party members discovered that Johnson a wildly tough politician had held a news conference so that national television networks could he cover her testimony live. She was livid but Johnson's efforts to silencer didn't work that that night in a hot Atlantic City Hotel Room Hamer and the rest of the country watched her testimony broadcast in prime time on the evening news news less than a year later. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act and at the nineteen sixty eight convention in Chicago. He became team the first African American to be seated as a delegate. She received a standing ovation. I'm Mike Rosen walled. Thanks for listening special thanks to Deneen Brown who reported this story for The Washington Post and for more forgotten stories from history visit Washington Post. Dot Com slash retro pod.
Election Sunday: Fanie Lou Hamer vs Lyndon B Johnson (1964)
"Hey there I want to tell you about a special summer series from one of my favorite podcasts today explained at Vox they've started something called today explained to kids in each episode they'll take kids to the island of explained to help them understand important topics like vaccines and elections and actually have some fun along way listen in the today explained feed and visit vox dot com slash today explained kids for activities and discussion guides to accompany each episode. Hello and welcome to this day esoteric political history from radio. Topa my name is Jody Avirgan. This Day August twenty third nineteen, sixty four Fannie Lou Hamer appeared before the credentials committee at the Democratic National Convention she was there as representative of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to ask for recognition as official delegate on behalf of the State of Mississippi, her remarks were preempted a speech from president. Johnson. But then later rebroadcast by many of the networks, we'll get into some of the details of that and why it matters but suffice it to say the. Stanzas. Major showdowns in convention history and in the political history of the civil rights era and censuses. Sunday, this is our election. Sunday special will also use this as a chance to talk about this moment but Hamer's career and legacy the convention showdowns of the sixties and lots more and here to do that is as always Nicole Hammer of Columbia. Hello Mickey Hey dody and our special guests. For today is Dr Kelly Carter Jackson Assistant Professor at Wellesley College. Kelly thank you for doing this. Hey, thanks for having me. So do we WANNA start painting a picture of that actual day? I? Mean I called a showdown correct me if you think that's too dramatic of a word but what exactly is going on here and we have fan and Hamer trying to give remarks at the And then the president of the United States pre MCI with a speech Yes oh, she had come as part of this Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which was basically a challenge to the all white Democratic Party delegates slate, and she's there to testify about the ways that the black vote has been suppressed in the violence that she has faced in trying to exercise her right to vote which we should note she's only known. She's had that right for. Two. Years, she found out when she was forty four years old that she had the right to vote and so she's here to testify everything that she's been through and then all of the sudden out of the blue president. Johnson is like I need to have a press conference and so reporters actually throw to the press conference because they expect him to name his vice presidential running mate for the nineteen, sixty four election and instead he goes to. Let everybody know that is the nine month anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, which is super normal right lake noting that by. Yes. So end of. Explain why you're giving a little skeptical face here because nine. Nine months is completely random and unnecessary, but also I mean during finding humor speech, he's giving like the gruesome details that she has experienced as a woman as a black woman who was beaten by police who was taken into custody, who basically they used other black people to beat other black people and she talks about these really violent variances in a lot of very specific detail I mean if you listen to the recording speech, it's very gripping to listen to and it's quite remarkable bed. In this moment in nineteen, sixty four, you have a black woman speaking on national television talking about her experiences with state. And violence from the police violence against her in her attempt to vote. Yeah and I mean we should also say people could watch this on TV and she was she was wearing a nice dress. She was carrying her handbag like there was something just so compelling about her as someone who you tell that she was. Ordinary American who had shown up at this convention in order to testify her experiences and I think even just like seeing her make her way to the the table the microphone to talk about her experiences was itself a powerful moment in this room full of mostly white men in suits. So you know I mean I think it's a reminder to some extent. Of, how strategic and savvy civil rights organizers were about messaging and positioning and working the media Kelly I wonder if you have thoughts on that but then also sort of related to that I'm curious about this moment where Johnson steps in I mean is he trying to preempt political maneuvering or does he have a sense of just sort of the power of? Oratory, that is at stake as if some larger Kinda like messaging narrative the he's trying to get out ahead of or is it really about who's going to be the delegate at this time in this sort of contested convention? Sure. So I I will say that soon, activists are keenly aware of the media and of the press and how they are being. Covered and how they are being engaged or looked upon. So every single detail matters every single word matters and I would say that they went to great lengths to carefully curate their image and their message and to make sure that they were heard and really received in a way that drew sympathy or empathy to their costs. So I think that's really important. Secondly, I would say all of the above for Johnson. As we've seen. Political Theater for sure I. Think he is very much. In controlling the message and making sure what is said, caters to his own party line and his own. Reality but platform and politics, and so he wants to make sure that nothing's being said that will detract from his own ideas and his own investments if you will. So yeah, he definitely knows what he's doing. This is not happen stance. This is not a oops I, forgot you're on TV like he knows what's happening and I think he's definitely intimidated by what she could say and how she might undercut. Or undermine Wood Johnson is trying to achieve and Johnson. So aware of the Fisher lines and the Democratic Party, and he is trying to hold it together with his two hands and I think it was maybe a month earlier when the Republicans had their convention, it had been a mess. It was clear that the Republican Party was coming apart at the seams and Johnson wanted there to be this image of harmony. And we're on the same page and there's no friction here, and so he's trying to find ways to kind of I mean ultimately kind of buy off the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to say, Oh, well, we'll give you a couple of at large seats. So you'll still have a presence here like we hear you but we're not actually going to do anything real with you until at least the nineteen sixty. Eight convention you talk a little bit more Nikki about kind of what happened why a credentials committee fight so important, I mean credentials, can I get? I get bored halfway through saying the phrase credentials committee you know it seems arcane it seems like in the weeds, but also this appears to be a major fight. So what's at stake? Yes Oh credentials committee doesn't sound like must see TV Mo- does not yeah. Well. This is really important because. There had been an effort in Mississippi in order to. Black people to vote in order to have them represented amongst the Democratic delegates and they were as they always had been shut out of the vote and so it was all white slate that ends up going to the convention and what they're doing is they're saying okay credentials committee you get to decide which delegates represent Mississippi do you want it to be the delegation that got there because of voter suppression and violence or do you want it to be this delegation that has come together to expand the franchise to fight for the right to vote and that represents this freedom push within the Democratic Party you have a choice so make your choice and they well, they ultimately do. So, Kelly. Let's talk a little bit about Fannie Lou Hamer's for political career and her biography I mean I will start by saying one thing which is Nikki mentioned it in every in every by the hammer you read it and you still kind of have to pause linger and get your head around the fact that she did not know until she was in her forties there was even a right to vote and it was two years. I think before she's appearing at the Democrat National Convention that this happened. So I mean this seems like an incredibly quick political awakening an incredibly quick rise to activism for her so just put this in the context of her career and her legacy. Sure. When you think about someone like Fannie, Lou Hamer she's incredible. She is a daughter of one of twenty children from a family of sharecroppers. She experiences a lot of violence growing up from white supremacist, and then also when she is a young woman, she's given a force hysterectomy not told that basically they robbed doctors have robbed her of ability to have children. So she has this very fraught relationship with the south with politics in how she's navigating her world as a woman and when she comes. To sneak in realizes I have the ability to be able to vote but can't vote and wants to get involved and it's really interesting because Fannie Lou. Hamer, SORTA does have this rockets star rise especially with her speech at the nineteen, sixty four convention. But then also has the sort of seven demise when she doesn't particularly live a very long life when she dies, she's almost virtual unknown within the movement. Even know Andrew Young gives the eulogy at her funeral. She's still not someone of prominence. In the movement in the way that we think of a Rosa Parks, the way that we might think of maybe Ella Baker or daisy dates or someone of that statue. So she doesn't get lost in the historical of how we remember Fannie Lou Aamer and the only sort of high point moments of her life is this nine, hundred, sixty, four, convince chain in which she is dominating all television screens talking about her experiences. So line of I don't feel like Hamer's been given the credit she. Deserves and that her life is so much more than this moment but I think that's the moment that we all are with me think about her work in her activism Boyd I feel like there is a quote that she's pretty well known for that. You see on T. shirts and stuff Do you WanNa talk about that one? The quote that Fannie Lou Hamer is perhaps most notably known for is I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired and did she actually say that? Yes. Yes she actually did say that and I I feel like that is become. You know what? She's most known four. And she had every right to be tired. That's for sure But yeah, I think I hope the quote causes people to investigate more in to wear her wearin stems from and what she was working against but. She didn't create the girl, but it's definitely the one that's most attributed to hurt. It's understandable lie? Yeah. I think it's also worth adding that she ran for office on several occasions and even after the nineteen sixty, four convention and the reason that I underscore that as she wants, she realized she had a right to political representation and political power. She did so much with that in such a short amount of time she understood this as a right that she had and she was going to use it as much as she possibly could and there is just something so. There's something so powerful about that in a lot of ways, which is why I think that you right Kelly she's not somebody who is often mentioned in the Pantheon of civil rights leaders and she had absolutely should be well, you don't get surely Chisholm them without Fannie Lou Hamer I mean we credit truly miss the first Black Congress woman and she is but without even without Fannie Lou Hamer's failed attempts to run for office are even allowed to conceptualize what a black elected woman official looks like. Let's go back a little bit to the convention of Sixty four and the effect of her remarks and then bad election year. I will say we've talked a little bit about how Johnson preempted this speech. At I don't think it really worked right I mean all the network seemingly cut back to remarks that night she was all over the place. As you were saying Kelly, you don't her her star really rose at this point. So you know at some basic level, you know you have a showdown between the president and someone who didn't know they had a right to vote two years earlier and she ends up prevailing in some way, which is really fascinating. But give US allergic political context Nikki of what effect her words this effort on the part of her delegation have. Four does it actually change the nature of that of that race? So I don't know that it changed the nature of the race that much I mean in some ways she was thwarted in what she wanted. She didn't get the full seating of delegates but what she was able to do what she was able to make her case and she was able to make her case to a national audience and in the longer run what we see happen with the Democratic Party, is that the white segregationist who made up the Mississippi delegation that did get the seats in the nineteen, sixty, four convention there. Dais in the party were numbered might want to paint too rosy a picture of house or racially progressive the Democratic Party becomes, but in the long run Fannie Lou, Hamer wins that fight white segregationist have to go find another home for themselves and it's nineteen sixty four barry goldwater again is the Republican nominee he had opposed the Civil Rights Act that was signed into law earlier that summer and so those white segregationist who get pushed out of the Democratic Party see the Republican Party. As a welcoming new home work. We put this in terms of Johnson, does this moment or this year and this election? At all start to fit into what some people see as a sort of political weakening for Johnson or I mean, you know how do we? How do we understand the Hamer and Johnson dynamic? Kelly. That's a good question I think in Nikki correct me if I'm wrong on this I feel like. Johnson's more his political waking comes with the voting rights act of nineteen, sixty, five and Selma, and the interventions that he makes in Selma that allow voting rights to actually really have change on a national level, and basically he helps to make ensure that all black people can't vote by signing this legislation. So I think I would say that it precipitates his changed toward moving toward this but some was a big part of that I see some really big turning point and then the voting rights that come shortly after that I think is what puts Johnson on the map as a much more progressive president or president of the. Civil Rights, movement. Yeah, I mean black activists were constantly pushing Johnson and I think that the Hamer moment comes at this really interesting time because the Civil Rights Act passed. Hooray equal rights for everyone and it's very clear even in that moment that this is not solved all of these problems and that's I. Think why the Voting Rights Act is so important because it's a recognition that there are still so much more work to be done and for a lot of white liberals, they really feel like after nineteen sixty five. Okay. The work has been done but that is a really important moment for Johnson because he continues to show. A responsiveness if not a not in complete responsiveness or responsiveness to the calls for justice from black activists and he's not the driver of it, but he's the president and he makes it happen. So, as we start to wrap up here I, mean, maybe we can talk a little bit about just conventions in general and showdowns at conventions. Obviously this year I don't know what kind of lessons we draw from their conventions given how much of helping when Asterix, there is next to it but you know I think Nicky, touched a little bit of on this about how the nominating process has become much more. Buttoned up parties have become had much more control. So you know my instinct is to look at a moment like this and say, Oh, we don't get these kinds of big fights happening all at convention anymore convention is no longer the place where the big fishers of a party come clashing together. Nevertheless, I was there in two thousand, sixteen at both conventions where did feel like, oh, my gosh, there are real. Voices that are clashing here. So I'm arguing against myself I suppose but I'm asking I'm asking do these kinds of moments still have a place at conventions and will we see sort of hammer versus Johnson showdown anytime in the future? So there are still meaningful fights conventions they tend to have to do with lines in the platform which are indications of the direction that the party is heading. You see these over abortion. And need one, thousand, nine, hundred, and one, thousand, nine, hundred and the Republican Party. But even in two thousand sixteen, there were a lot of fights and the Democratic Party over what the platform was going to look like and you also see in conventions where they're actually delegates you do see booing in hissing and and fights that come out on the floor when delegates who supported opposing candidates clash with one another but. You know a lot less than you used to the nineteen fifties and nineteen sixties these first televised conventions. Who is going to become the nominee is still up in the air, and so these battles have much more meaning because they have a much more immediate consequence like who is the nominee going to be that I think is well in the past and if we continue to do these virtual conventions, I mean basically the only thing that they're going to be our messaging events. Watching the DNC this past week it felt like a really big PR move to show we're united. We're all things fried. We all support biting at felt like it was necessary in these unprecedented times to sort of create solidarity as much as possible, and so when you had all of or good portion of the DNC contenders are possible candidates all coming together and having these conversations and telling their Joe Biden moments and I was kind of like. Not. All candidates actually got to show up there. Wonder. That was curated to all of that was curated. I was like wow. I mean, when you when you attend to convention, even you know in the last couple of cycles, which has Nikki's describing is still a very buttoned up affair. There's a moment where you can tell like, oh, the TV cameras are here Oh this is the primetime stuff and it gets buttoned up and this year it was just. That everything was those two hours at previous conventions that made for TV where. No nothing and you know just by nature ethic of the medium and potentially serve nature of the moment you could tell that everything was going to be that it's hard to hard to pipe in booing and hissing through. Soon. Motivation. That would be amazing stuff. The spirit of conventions. Zun to say booting and storming out of the room. Thumbs down. We'll see. All right. We're going to leave it there. This has been great but Thank you, Nicole Hammer, as always. Thank you dirty and thanks Kelli Carter Jackson of Wellesley. Me This Day in political history is a proud member of Radio Topa from PR X. Researcher and producer is Jacob Feldman. You could follow some social media riposting a bunch of stuff on twitter and instagram everyday moments big and small find us at this day pod. Thanks everyone has been reaching out with comments and potential topics. They're very much appreciated or anything you have to say the show you can email us this day pod at shemale dot com. There's also a contact form at this day pod dot. com. My name is Jody Avirgan thanks again for listening and we'll see Then Day as a matter. To own a town a beautiful to register. The become first class. And Up to Democrat Party is not tweeted now. Artwork. The landlord. Of. The brain. means. Telephones. Karlsruhe threatened. America Before we go I, want to tell you about criminal another radio toby podcast you might like. It's one of my favorite podcasts and in a sea of Schlocky true crime shows criminal stands apart because it brings real humanity and curiosity to the crimes it covers the first animals put on trial the first streaker at the Super Bowl, the first detective story the first case of Stockholm Syndrome the first crime involving way lewd and Lemurs I'm sure there have been many more sense. Criminal is the first of its kind sometimes funny. Sometimes scary always human. Listened to criminal on Apple podcasts or this is criminal dot COM Radio till.
Remembering 'Freedom Summer'
"Support for this podcast and the following message come from. Disney plus and the new film the One and only Ivan a heart warming adventure following Ivan the Silverback Rila, who discovers his talent for painting and begins a journey to find who he really is now streaming only on Disney plus. From whyy in Philadelphia, this is fresh air. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross in the summer of nineteen sixty four Snick, the student nonviolent Coordinating Committee, organized more than seven hundred, mostly northern white college students to go down to Mississippi and help register African Americans to vote in. Jackson. Mississippi. The city bought a tank they increase the jail capacity they were really ready. For for riots and and they wanted to portray it as that these people are gonNA come down and make trouble today we hear from Stanley Nelson Director of the documentary freedom summer now streaming on the PBS website and also Charles Cobb who was an organizer of the campaign also Justin. Chang reviews the new film Tesla about the visionary electrical engineer and Inventor Nikola Tesla. This is fresh air. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross as debates rage about voting access in the November election, we're going to recall another time more than a half century ago when securing ballot access could be a life or death matter right now pbs is streaming documentary freedom summer about the movement in nineteen sixty four to open the polls to African Americans in Mississippi in an era of entrenched segregation. Freedom Summer was organized by Snick the student nonviolent corroborating committee, which recruited seven hundred college students mostly white students from the north to come down to Mississippi, and help African Americans register to vote the authors, students, and the black people trying to register were all risking their lives just as freedom summer was beginning to white participants, Mickey Swarner and Andrew Goodman and one African American organizer, James Chaney were murdered by racists. We're going to listen to the interview Terry recorded in two thousand, fourteen with Charles COBB. One of the organizers of freedom summer who went on to become a journalist and author and with the director of the film Stanley Nelson. He also directed documentaries about the freedom writers, Marcus Garvey, and the murder of Emmett till. Stealing Nelson Charles Cobb. Welcome to fresh Air Charles COBB. You're apart of freedom summer. What was the idea behind freedom summer? To bring the country's attention on Mississippi, we had been working in the state for two to three years pretty much time meaning those of us with Snick. The student nonviolent coordinating, committee core, the Congress of racial equality, and we decided to bring the country's children to Mississippi and when you say. Interest Children you mean college students, Yeah Country Students. We knew the people who would becoming would be mostly white and the country would be concerned. Because there were white middle class students there the danger the press would be paying attention. Yeah. would be taken. nineteen sixty four is the summer of freedom summer in Mississippi. It's also the summer July second to be precise that President Johnson signs, the Civil Rights Act into law. So that, you know that begins the official desegregation of the south. Why was the emphasis? in Mississippi Freedom. Summer. On on voter registration as opposed to desegregation I. Mean this was the era of lunch counter sit ins of other movements to try to desegregate the south. Most of the civil rights leadership in the south had come to the decision. Even before we've got involved in a place like Mississippi that voter registration was the most important thing to do in a state like Mississippi that's primarily rural weren't that many places to desegregate unless you're talking about a gas station bathroom. voter registration was the consensus that existed in the black south about what was important to do, and that was taking place not Jackson Mississippi but in Louisiana and other parts of the south. Salina film points out that within SNICK. This idea of bringing down white middle-class students from the north to help lead voter registration drives in Mississippi was actually controversial is controversial within snick and Charles car. In fact, early on, you opposed the idea of freedom. Pose bringing down white students from the north what what was the problem that you and some other members of snake had with this idea. I think the the our objection or opposition to the summer project unfortunately has been racial is more than it should be. We've fundamentally opposed to bringing a large number of college students from the outside into Mississippi essentially because we felt that we have been spending the last two or three years trying to cultivate grass roots that was still very fragile and that this large number of students. would essentially trample on those. They could do things more efficiently and while that's good in one sense, it also takes possession of the movement away from the local people in another sense We were organizers not leaders and our main concern was cultivating local leadership and we were nervous about what it would mean to have a thousand. Northern College Students, and we were talking about that number one thousand right from the beginning. Come down. South. Funny thing is you were from the outside to you weren't from Mississippi you from. Mrs Hamer when when I voiced objection Mrs Hamer Zanu. Yeah back me up against the wall said Charlie. I'm glad you came down here. What's the problem with other people coming down here and what can I say that? Well Nothing So so I said, yes, ma'am. And and let it go what that meant was obviously that I might have objections to the summer project but I wasn't GonNa Fight Mrs Hamer over this or any all the people who oppose the summer project organizers. All every single local person and I, mean, every single local person we work with was for the summer project we weren't gonNA fight the local people you can't organize people and say you have a right to take control of your life and then turn around and say well I don't like your decisions. So I'm not gonNA work with you. And you mentioned Fannie Lou, Hamer memory as being the person who changed your mind stem. Stanley Nelson. Fannie Lou Hamer's importance in Mississippi's freedom selmer. Well I mean. What was essential? I think one of the reasons why she was essential was you know she she had been a sharecropper and she was in Mississippi and and you know she as as Bob, Moses says in the film you know she had a Mississippi and her bones that's who she was and so besides being a great speaker, a great leader, a great singer. She was also a one of them. You know one of the local people they saw one of their own she had lived the consequences of trying to vote you know she she goes to register to vote and is kicked off a property and and and loses her livelihood just for the Sheer Act of trying to register to vote. Stanley Nelson, can you talk about House Nick recruited students from the North I think that you know very, very early. It was decided that to bring down. Seven hundred thousand students and and the they went about recruiting in different ways mainly from my understanding from from college campuses. So one person in the film a woman you know said she just saw poster. Up On on at her college campus and then went to a meeting and signed up one of the things that that we show in the film we found this great footage of actually you know them snack and core doing interviews, and so people had to had to go through an interview process because they really understood that this was going to be dangerous and they had to get. A core group of people to go down who also understood that this was going to be dangerous thing somebody says in the film, they didn't want a bunch of Kooks. You know down there who were going down there to try to save the world they wanted people who could as best as possible. You know understand the dangers and understand what was going to go on down there in Mississippi. So there were training sessions held for the students who were going to go to Mississippi. Give us a sense of the training sessions or like. What advice did the SNICK organizers have for how to deal with danger? Well, mainly, we could show people how best to try and protect yourself from actual physical. What to do if you're attacked by a mob how cover your body, how to protect somebody you're with without? You know engaging in fistfights without A. Something like that we could show people. that. We had some experience in that because we all came out of the sit in moved -ment and were used to being surrounded by MOMS of hostile whites. We could also tell people. How to move in communities and? Titular concerned us was that these volunteers would move in a community in such a way as to endanger local people like A black guy because this happened on my project, a black guy and a white girl holding hands walking down the streets of the town. Not only endangers them but endangers the community. So. We could teach people how to do that. Or have to not do that. Do not do. Not Do that. Yes. There was actually I mean it was so dangerous that there was actually a a list of do's and don'ts that I found to be. You know really fascinating you know Don't don't stand. At night don't don't stand with your back at the door of a house with the lights on you know don't let people pass you on the highway those kind of things you know which which for me. As a filmmaker showed, you know visually the danger that was there. During the training sessions, three of the people associated with freedom summer were murdered. Mickey shorter and Andrew. Goodman to Whitewater nurse and James Chaney who was African, American and a member of core. The congress on Racial Equality Stanley. Do want to tell the story of what happened to them of who they were and what happened. Yeah Mickey Swarner had been in Mississippi for for months before or Nizer James. Chaney was a local African American SIP who was also a part of corn and an organizer. They had gone up to Oxford Ohio to the training and and they're amid Andrew Goodman a church was bombed in in Mississippi and They decided James Chaney and Mickey Schnur decided to go down early and to see what happens because that was in the area they were working. Andrew? Goodman. Went with them because he was going to be working in that area and this was I think of a day before the rest of the group was going to go down to Mississippi. So this was really even before the actual freedom summer had started and they went down and. The day after they went down there are they disappeared. And then eventually, their bodies were discovered and Taroko can you tell us the effect that that had? On the plans for freedom summit, I mean before it had actually really begun three people are murdered just an example of the violence, the hatred and the danger that faced all the people who planned on going to Mississippi. Well. You know it affected the volunteers more than. US. Oh. As soon as we heard and we were all in Oxford Mississippi that Mickey and Jimmy James Chaney Andrew Goodman were missing. We assume they were dead because McKee Schwerin will and James Shani were experienced organizer. They would not have been silent for that long a period of time unless they were prevented from getting in contact. So we assume they were dead and the volunteers picked up on this right away and we had conversations with them. About how I mean. Sadly, it was an example of what we had really been talking to the volunteers about before the three. Were missing that you are going into a murderously violent state. And you have to understand that the danger. Affect Shoe every day all day. Long the missing workers drove that point home because we were quite frank telling the volunteers we think they are dead and that for lack of a better word or phrase sobered up those volunteers and it also had an effect on the project because as you might expect it alarm their parents. and. The parents began calling the congressman and began calling if they could the White House and saying you better, make sure that our kids get out of Mississippi alive. So. Once everybody gets to the south everybody from freedom summer. The white students move in to the homes of African Americans living in the black community there. It's the only safe place for them. But they're exposed to Oh, a way of life and a kind of poverty in many cases that they'd never seen before. Stanley Nelson you interviewed a lot of the students who'd come a lot of the people who were students nine, hundred, sixty four and came down for freedom summer. Tell us a little bit about what they were exposed to that open up. There is about what life was like for African Americans in Mississippi in rural? Mississippi. Right as you say, there was no place for the else for them to stay I. Mean there are no hotels they couldn't stay in a hotel. They really had to stay with the African American community and live as the African American community lived but I think one of the things that was so striking. About, the way they lived is you know they couldn't go back to the white community. It wasn't like okay. We're just saying you know we're staying at some black people's houses and you know now we can be white people get. You know they were in a series of of mostly small towns everybody knew who they were and why they were there. They were looked at in the in the same way as as African Americans are worse. You know they couldn't just Bob Downtown and go to a a white bar for the night and and do that no they they were in constant danger constant scorn. Ridicule and face the. Real physical dangerous too but I think also it's a psychological piece of something that's very rare for white folks in this country to experience to be part of an African American community and not be able to get out of it when they want to. Do. You think that this was a revelation to some black people in Mississippi that not all white people were racist. I think so. Yeah I think for so many black people in the community as they say in the film, this is the first time they are exposed to to to wipe people who had kind of come to help them and and who are not racist and who had very very different opinions So it was a revelation I think tank too many of of the black people in the community and and it for some especially for for some of the younger people, it was a life changing experience. So. We talked a little bit about how of the white students were trained about what to expect, what not to do, how to defend themselves in Mississippi at the same time the white authorities in Mississippi they were gearing up for Mississippi summer what they do. When the white community heard that that this freedom summer was GonNa Happen I. Think in some ways they overreacted completely I in Jackson Mississippi the city bought a tank that that they armed that you know they they increase the jail capacity. They were really ready for for riots and and they wanted to portray it that way as that you know these people were going to come down and make trouble and and and and cause riots and and and really disrupt their way of life. So that's how they looked at it. Also, you know the Klu Klux Klan which had kind of been silent for A. Long time in Mississippi. Starts to rise again you know in Mississippi, there was a a called the Citizens Council which somebody described as the uptown Klutz Klan there was up of businessmen and you know I in some ways the the Citizens Council had convinced mississippians. Well, you don't really need the clan you've got us we got the police we've got all these these these these things in place that will hold black people back and make sure the people don't get rights and don't get the right to vote when freedom summer started I think that then the clan starts to take a bigger role in Mississippi it had before. So one of the goals of Mississippi Freedom Summer was to register African American people to vote. but it was hard to do people were afraid. What were some of the things they were afraid of if they actually registered to vote Well, they were afraid of getting killed. They were afraid of economic reprisal or even being run out of their counties or towns they were afraid of if they did registered, make an attempt to register to vote. They were afraid of reprisal being directed at family members, relatives, friends. So there are a range of of of of fears around voter registration which kept the registered number very, very low even during the summer in Mississippi, which is what led to the creation of the Mississippi Freedom. Democratic Party and and a whole chain of events. Our guests are Stanley Nelson and Charles Cobb speaking in two thousand fourteen with Terry Gross. Nelson directed the documentary freedom summer, which is now available for streaming on PBS. COBB was the field secretary for the student nonviolent organizing committee in Mississippi during the nineteen sixty, four drive for voting rights. Here's a recording led by one of freedom. Summers? Most famous organizers. Fannie Lou Hamer it was recorded in Greenwood Mississippi in nineteen sixty, three one year before freedom summer. Davies this is fresh air. Oh. Okay. The. Ahead? Began, JAL. Able. Current. Support for this podcast and the following message come from the Glenn Limits New Caribbean reserve expression a new single malt with a bold tropical twist that is selectively finished and barrels that previously held Caribbean rum offering a sweet and smooth taste. Learn more at the Glen Livid Dot Com the Glenn Limit Caribbean Reserves Single Malt Scotch whisky enjoy our quality responsibly forty percent alcohol by volume eighty proof twenty, twenty imported by the Glenn Limit Distilling Company. New York New York. Let's. Get Back to two thousand fourteen interview about Freedom Summer Movement in nineteen sixty four to open the polls to African Americans in Mississippi. Freedom Summer was organized by Snick the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee which brought down about seven hundred students mostly white students from the north to help register African Americans to vote racism was so institutionalized in Mississippi that it was dangerous for black people to register the presence of the white students helped focused national attention on what African Americans were facing. Jerry spoke to Charles Cobb one of the organizers of freedom summer and with Stanley Nelson, who directed a documentary about freedom summer now, streaming on pbs dot Org Nelson explained how freedom summer led to the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Nine hundred sixty four was a presidential election year and. Lyndon Johnson would be nominated for for the presidency in Atlantic City. So the idea of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was to take an alternate delegation to the convention in Atlantic, city and try to obtain the right to be seated as opposed to the regular delegation from Mississippi the regular delegation from Mississippi. Was All white. There was no way. An African American person could become part of that delegation and that was against the rules of the Democratic National Convention. So the idea was we will we will take our own delegation which is integrated and we'll take that and get a hearing at the Democratic national, convention, and be seated as the delegation from Mississippi instead of what was called the regular delegation, the all white delegation. Charles COBB did the members of snicker organized Mississippi Freedom Summer think that the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party would actually be seated at the Democratic convention and be allowed to replace the official. Delegation did you see it as a more symbolic action or did you think now we have a chance? In the real world of politics, this might actually happen I think most of the delegation felt they would be seated and millions snick and core felt the delegation be seated our lawyer Joe row. Famous. Democratic. Party. Lawyer was encouraging on this point. If you can get the story out, you will be seated and I think the delegation would have been seated except Lyndon Johnson pulled all his political levers ruthlessly. To force sympathetic Democrats from the north and from the West in particular to back away from the MVP. Let me add something about the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and the and the convention. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party got what it wanted at the convention. It got its hearing at the convention and it had an incredible lineup which was televised from the convention. So Martin Luther. King spoke in favor of the Mississippi Democratic, party Rita Schmidt whose husband had recently been killed spoke and faneuil Lou Hamer was kind of like the cleanup hitter. She was the final speaker who spoke eloquently about what it meant to be an African, American Mississippi and denied her rights and they really won the day I. Mean They had one they had swayed the convention to their side until Lyndon Johnson stepped in. What did President Johnson do to prevent to try to prevent the Mississippi delegation from being seated at the convention. He threatened people. He said, you know you WANNA be a judge not if you support the MFA FDP. He, used Hubert Humphrey as his hatchet man in fact. dangling the vice presidency over he would humphries head saying you want to be vice president, the vice presidential candidate. You help me squash this challenge by the Mississippi. Democratic Party he used the labor unions Walter Ruth. Told Martin Luther King. If you back the MVP P, don't look for any more money from us to Martin Luther. King's credit. He never backed away from the F. D.. This is a political ruthlessness that's not unusual in American politics. I've seen it with Tammany Hall politicians you saw with the Dick, Daley political machine and you've seen it in Boston, and other places is that kind of political ruthlessness that was brought to bear at the nineteen sixty four Democratic Party national convention to make sure. That that, MVP Freedom Democratic Party delegation didn't get seated. What is your understanding of why Lbj didn't want the alternate delegation seated? He had already signed the Civil Rights Act. He worked really hard to get that passed. So what was his fear? Well I think you know Lbj was a complicated man? You know he wanted the the Democratic National Convention. To be kind of a coronation you know of him and for it to go very very smoothly from all indications he was really paranoid that you know Bobby Kennedy had a plan and that any disruption in the convention would then allow Bobby Kennedy to enact his plan and his plan then would be to kind of seize the momentum and somehow plays himself in position to get the nomination for the presidency of the United States it's ridiculous but from multiple sources that we interviewed in the film that was part of Johnson's thinking. So a compromise was reached. What was the compromise? I don't think compromise was was ever really reached entirely you should probably speak. I'll put it that way. No, it wasn't proposed announced. announced. Bob. Moses. Fannie Lou Hamer, ed king who was a member of the delegation Aaron Henry who was the head of the delegation several other people were in conversation in Hubert Humphrey's hotel suite about a compromise edith. Green who was congresswoman from Oregon had put a very serious proposal on the table saying that each delegation would be asked to swear loyalty to the Democratic Party and and to the presidential. Nominee that emerged out of convention and and delegates you swore that would be seated both from the FTP and the all white because. The Mississippi delegation had come to Atlantic City the Democratic Party National Convention. Having, announced their support for Barry Goldwater precisely because that's one of the aftermath of the nine, hundred, sixty, four civil rights act what happened during this meeting was somebody knock on the door and said turn on the television and look and there was Walter Mondale announcing compromise. Now, that compromise is not been discussed with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in the compromise he announced was that the Democratic Party was prepared to seat to Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party delegates as honorary delegates, and then they proceeded a name who those delegates would be Fannie. Lou Hamer and Edwin King. And they would be given some kind of special status at the convention. Well, what irritated the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party people was that one they presumed a name who the two diets would be and be that they had announced this compromise without discussion. Yeah. But but also you know you have to be clear. So some Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party would be given to delegates which what they were called as kind of at large delegates and the Mississippi. The regular delegates from Mississippi would retain sixty eight delegates. You mentioned the fear of southern. Democrats was that another reason? Do you think why LBJ was so? Concerned about the Mississippi alternate delegation was concerned be and this has been a continuing Cernan his administration particularly after the signing of the nine, hundred, sixty, four civil rights act that the Democratic Party was losing the southern dixiecrats. And remember as I said, the Mississippi delegation had come to the convention having already announced. Democrats are not their support for Barry Goldwater Republican was. He was a Republican candidate. So. Johnson I understand it. You know from from strictly political sense I, mean Johnson saw. The Democratic Party losing the entire southern wing of the Democratic Party and he was right in that 'cause they he did party did lose that entire so-called dixiecrats way. So the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party the alternate delegation refused this compromise. So no one from that alternate delegation was seated with the official Mississippi delegation. Charles. COBB looking back on nine, hundred, sixty, four and Mississippi Freedom Summer. What do you think the outcomes were what? What were the gains? One important gain was the challenge of Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party changed the National Democratic Party. It's out of this challenge that you get what are now known as the McGovern rules which expanded the participation of women and minorities in the Democratic Party and I think attitudes were changed in Mississippi. People saw that it was possible in a wider sense, the struggle against white supremacy, and it changed the attitude of all students who participated in that Mario Saviola who would shortly lead the free speech movement at Berkeley in California was a volunteer in Mississippi. So as Barney Frank, I think it changed the attitude these young people who came south and it's interesting to note in passing that a number of them have stayed in touch with these communities that they worked in in nineteen sixty. The. Following year nineteen, sixty, five congress passes president. Johnson. Signs the Voting Rights Act. Do you see a direct connection between the passage of the Voting Rights Act and Mississippi? Freedom? Summer. Yes. With dixiecrats, fleeing. The Democratic Party the obvious way to go would be to take advantage of the potential black voting potential that existed in the south. I, think the Democratic Party and Lyndon Johnson specifically. Recognize the reality that their old world of Dixie crat power was gone. See the voting rights act as being real politic in a way like a practical thing. Yes. Our guests are Charles Cobb. One of the organizers of freedom summer and Stanley Nelson who directed the two thousand fourteen documentary freedom summer, which is available for viewing on the PBS website PBS dot Org we'll hear more of their conversation after a break. This is fresh air. Hey, I'm Sam Sanders. Host of it's been a minute. I show we catch up on all the things in news and culture this space force I totally missed this. What is the space for to stop? It stays about spores know what? I've been in my apartment for four months. Oh man crushing it daycare feeling good news without the despair. Listen now to the it's been a minute podcast from NPR. This is fresh air. If you're just joining us, we're talking about the Mississippi Freedom Summer of nineteen, sixty four when seven hundred college students from the North came to Mississippi to his voter registration rights. Our guests are Stanley Nelson, who's two thousand fourteen documentary freedom summer is now streaming on the PBS website and Charles Cobb. One of the organizers to regrows interviewed them in two, thousand fourteen. What did the Voting Rights Act which was passed in nineteen sixty five do to help African Americans actually get the right to vote in the south. Well it dramatically expanded the number of. Voters the place I'm tempted to point out is not Mississippi but Lounge County Alabama which had no black registered. Voters beginning of nineteen, sixty, five and black voters formed a majority of the voting population at the end of one, thousand, nine, hundred, sixty, five, something similar was unfolding in mid really changed the political face in the show county Mississippi, which we've been talking about Philadelphia Mississippi has a black mayor who serving his second term now. Jackson Mississippi were Alan Thompson came up with Thomson's tank go to protect the white citizens of Jackson from these invader. Jackson Mississippi. Now has a black mayor so There's still a lot of issues that have to be dealt with, but you really do have to acknowledge why I think the political face. Of Mississippi is changed what was the provision of the Voting Rights Act that changed things? One of the things of winning rights act was put certain areas under federal protection. So in Mississippi, before the Voting Rights Act less than ten percent of African Americans were registered to vote a year after the voting rights act was over sixty percent and it's risen since then so the voting rights act very quickly changed the makeup of the electorate in Mississippi. Lyndon Johnson is such an interesting figure in the history of the civil rights movement, and there's a moment I wanna play you use in in the film of conversation that he has with the then head of the FBI. J. Edgar Hoover. And this is after readers warner who was then the widow of Mickey Schreiner? One of three. Civil Rights. Workers who were killed in Mississippi early on in Mississippi Freedom summer she meets with LBJ and Stanley. Nelson. What does she? What does she talked to him about? What she wants to make sure that the that there's a real effort to find her husband at this point, her husband and James Chaney and Andy Goodman are missing. They've been missing for the whole summer and so it's really colored everything in that summer and she wants to make sure that the federal government is doing everything they can't define them because she knows everybody else knows down there that Mississippi the state government is doing very, very little. And you point out in the film that she's very assertive and asking for this she says is this isn't a social occasion. Here's what we need to get done. Reader sworn is amazing. Figure I. Mean She. At when her husband goes missing, you know she is, is in some ways driving this search, but she's also. Keeping the focus on Mississippi freedom summer you know she's always I don't want the the story of my own suffering and what's happening to me to take over the bigger issues and she constantly says you know people have been have gone missing for for Hundred Years in Mississippi in my husband is one of them I want you to try to find my husband, but I also want protection for the people who are in Mississippi now working. So I WANNA play. A phone conversation that's featured in your phone between LBJ and FBI had J. Edgar Hoover. After LBJ meets with reassurance her here's the conversation. I saw this Miss Warton. The. Why of missing Boeing? Accommodate here. No. Now, but she acted worse than that. She's often me there. She came in. She wants thousands of extra people down there and sit down on it has they thought. I told her put all we could. Addition, La- handle and I was going to let you determine how many we could efficiently handle. I think it's very interesting because the first thing that happens is L. B. J. After Hoover you know calls the shriners Communist LBJ. Says, it's even worse than that. She's rude is ugly. And then he says back told her you know that would down as many people as we can to help out and that you hoover I, let you decide how many people we could spare. So transcribe, how do you interpret this conversation? I think Johnson felt. that if he did anything no matter how small. The right attitude should be. So he was upset with Rita. Because he didn't come in here. sand. Thank you very much for even paying attention she said. This is what you gotta do Lyndon Johnson. That's what he didn't like about her approach to him and that that. Gives you some insight I think and how Johnson Post a lot of things beyond race or civil rights there's nothing in that little clip you played. That surprises me. I want to thank you both so much for talking with us. Thank you much. Stanley Nelson is the director of the documentary freedom summer which streaming on the PBS website PBS dot Org Charles Cobb was a field secretary for Snick the student nonviolent Coordinating Committee and one of the organizers of the nineteen sixty four voting rights drive they spoke with Terry Gross in two thousand fourteen when the film came out fifty years after the events in Mississippi. Coming up our film critic Justin Chang reviews the new film Tesla, not about the car, but about the physicist and inventor that the cars named after this is fresh air. How do we reinvent ourselves and what's the secret to living longer? News Roti each week on NPR's Ted Radio Hour. On a journey with Ted speakers to seek a deeper understanding of the world and to figure out new ways to think and create listen now. Hi, it's Terry Gross inviting you to check out our new online archive collecting forty years of fresh air interviews and reviews. You can hear my interviews with people like, David Bowie aretha Franklin Johnny Cash John Updike Tony Morrison Search for names. You're interested in make a playlist for yourself or friends at fresh air archived dot org. That's fresh. Air Archive. Dot Org. The name Tesla is most commonly associated today with a popular electric car brand co founded by Elon Musk, but the new by graphical drama Tesla introduces us to the man behind the name, the visionary electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla who's played in the film by Ethan Hawke the film written and directed by Michael L. Ada is now streaming on video on demand platforms are critic Justin. Chang has this review, the writer and Director Michael? America. Is Making some of the most thoughtful and inventive biographical. Of any filmmaker working today. He's fascinated by the lives of scientists and intellectuals, but rather than merely rattling off their accomplishments, he uses the medium of cinema itself to explore how their minds actually worked. A few years ago he directed experimenter a portrait of the controversial researcher Stanley Milgram that played its own sly psychological games, the audience. I'll Meritas new film. Tesla. Is a quieter moodier affair than experimenter, but it has the same invigorating playfulness. It unfolds as a series of funny sad vignettes from the life of Nikola Tesla. The Serbian American inventor who is often been relegated to a historical footnote as the younger hip arrival Thomas Edison. But Tesla. Played here by a Superb Ethan Hawke looms ever larger these days in the public imagination he's been a character novels video games and quite a few movies like the current war and the prestige in which he was played by none other than David Bowie. Tesla. Doesn't follow the usual cradle to the grave bio PIC trajectory trajectory. There are odd ball comic asides but the scene where Tesla and Edison attack each other with ice cream cones needless to say the movie tells us that didn't really happen. Sometimes, a narrator interrupts the action run Google searches on the characters a nifty little fact checking device that also underscores the stories relevance. It connects. Tesla. A pioneer in the field of wireless communications directly to the Internet technology we use today. Aside from the occasional leaps forward and backward, the movie is told in mostly chronological order. It begins in the eighteen eighties not long after Tesla who was born in what is now Croatia has emigrated to new. York. City. There he gets a job working for Edison played with snapping wit and a rich vein of melancholy by Kyle mclachlan. Tesla is developing a new project, a motor that uses alternating current a more efficient system of harnessing. Than Edison's direct current method. Edison feels threatened and refuses to support Tesla's work as the younger man bitterly notes in a letter to a friend. The, the Kennedy. I'm finding my way Edison's machine works. With is always too much to do not enough time never enough money man. Constant. Fixes upgrades. Emergencies. Edison hardly sleeps. And expects everyone around him to sleep even less. He talks to everyone. But as incapable of listening. He has no interest in my voter. You know the proper. Nothing grows in the shadow of an Oak. Edison is just one of many powerful older men with whom Tesla will cross pads over the course of his tumultuous career. Jim Gaffe again gives an enjoyable big-hearted performance as the engineer and Entrepreneur George Westinghouse who funds the Tesla Motor and makes it a force to be reckoned with. Later Tesla fines a chillier patron in the banker J. P. Morgan who gives them the modern day equivalent of four million dollars to build a wireless communication system only to balk when the project leads. Tesla. Into Evermore Bizarre Realms of study. At one point, Tesla comes to believe he might be receiving secret transmissions from Mars Hawke who starred in Al Meritas offbeat shoulder -tations hamlet and cymbeline gives a beautifully internalized performance as Tesla, he nails the essence of a deep thinker who likes the solitude and who's more comfortable at home with his notebooks than he is out and about in society. The movie does hand a prominent role to an Morgan J. P. Morgan's daughter memorably played by Eve Houston. She becomes a close friend of Tesla's as well as a kind of stand in for the audience through her tender yet sharply perceptive gays we come to appreciate this man's genius, but we also registered the pride and shortsightedness that will again and again proved to be his undoing. Tesla has been a long time in the making. America wrote the script decades earlier, but it languished for years until the financing at last came together. Watching the finished movie, I couldn't help but feel that way to empathize instinctively with Tesla. Not because the director sees himself as some sort of fellow visionary but because he knows that in science as well as in filmmaking bold thinkers often run afoul of nay saying benefactors. Tesla is a deeply unconventional movie, but never in a self congratulatory way. The gifted cinematographer, Sean Price Williams gives the interiors a rich amber glow cast initially by candles, and later by electric bulbs, a world that might have seen stiff and static is instead wildly and flux. The movie hypnotic experience you might be thrown by some of the weirder touches like the wildly anachronistic scene in which Tesla stands in front of a microphone and sings thousand, nine, hundred, five British pop hit. But I loved it's crazy daring. It reminds us what a modern creature tesla was a figure from the past who never stopped pointing the weight of the future. Justin Chang as film critic for the L. A.. Times he. Reviewed Tesla. On. Monday show how Stephen Miller became the architect of president trump's border and immigration policies and trump's chief strategist. We'll talk with investigative journalist, Jean Guerrero author of the New Book Hatemonger Stephen Miller Donald Trump and the white nationalist agenda a hope you can join us. Russia's executive producer is Danny Miller. Our Technical Director and engineer is Audrey Bentham with help from Charlie tire and additional engineering support from Joyce Lieberman and Julian Herzfeld. Our interviews reviews are produced an edited by Amy Salad Priscilla's Myers, Sam Brigger, Lauren Crandall Heidi Soman Theresa Madden Thing Challenor Seth Kelly Joel. And Kayla lattimore. Associate. Producer of digital media is Molly seavy Nesper for Terry roasts and DVD's.
324: Of Being Sick and Tired
"I'm poet. Johnny Shia filling in for Tracy K Smith and this is the slowdown one of the first homes. That ripped open language for me was Pablo Rudas poem walking around. I was in high school when I encountered a translation of. I still remember the hot shock of those opening lines. It so happens I am sick of being a man and a happens that I walk into tailor shops and movie houses dried up. Waterproof like a swan made felt who spoke like this. No one I knew no one. I'd read before even if I couldn't figure out the meaning. I was captured by the velocity and shear wildness of the images and at what coursed behind the language. Today's poem of being sick and tired by AMOCO CARRIES INTENTIONAL ECHOS OF NATO's lines from walking around but within a very different context co does poem Evokes Fannie Lou Hamer civil rights icon and Crusader who fought tirelessly and unrelentingly to expand black voter registration in the south among many other political freedoms for the disenfranchised. Hamer who was born in one thousand nine hundred. Seventeen put solid faith in organizing communities and grassroots activism for her it wasn't enough to summon hope that racial injustice would shift. You had to fight for it in one thousand nine hundred sixty four. She ran for Congress as a member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party all my life. I'VE BEEN SICK AND TIRED. Hamer said on the campaign trail now. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired traces of that phrase echo throughout today's poem of being sick and tired by Amoco after Pablo Neruda and Fannie Lou Hamer. I'm tired of being a woman I walk into grocery stores and laundromats wet with a cracked face of maidenhead lurching across the Atlantic. I want to sleep like a seed in stony ground. I want the phone to stop biting my ear. I want to forget the bills and keep the lights on it so happens. I'm tired of my boots and my wrists and my hair and my waste and my womb with its weary flowers. The smell of milk makes me gag. The site of Forsythias makes me Moan out loud. I don't want so much repetition I don't want to go on being a limp sale raised and lowered at win battered and drenched filled with. What's invisible? I don't want to go on as a sale and sieve. That's why Sunday when I wake with my debutante face dusted with blush and it pushes me into bleak hotel rooms into shopping malls right as casinos into humid church pews and into the backs of all things. They're salt everywhere in the cupboard in my eye on the sidewalk. I marched with my signs. My Coat my horse singing remembering everything. I walked through. The bowels of the city pass endless windows under marble arch is through. A Park with rock scrawled graffiti. Still it would be lovely to roam the streets with foam rollers pens. Like carpe to my netted hair. It would be great to rage it would be marvellous to weep. The slowdown is a production of American Public Media. Partnership with Poetry Foundation to get home delivered to your daily go to slow down. Show DOT ORG and sign up for a newsletter.
Politicians: Fannie Lou Hamer
"Hello for Wonder Media Network I'm Jenny Kaplan and this is encyclopedia will Manica. Today's politician was a leader in the civil rights movement who ardently fought for free and fair elections. Let's talk about Fannie Lou Hammer. Fannie Lou Townsend was born in Montgomery County Mississippi to sharecroppers, Luella, and James Townsend in nineteen seventeen. She was the youngest of twenty children and grew up in poverty. In. The Early Twentieth Century, the South was fraught with racial violence and discrimination. As a young girl fanny found that portion of her family's animal stock had been poisoned. She later said that white man did it just because we were getting somewhere All of this is no secret in the state of Mississippi. By the age of six fanny had begun working with her family picking cotton on Wd Marlow Plantation, and at twelve, she dropped out of school to work instead. Even when she suffered from polio as a teenager, she still managed to pick upwards of one hundred pounds of cotton a day. Between Picking Fanny read performed poetry and studied the Bible at the local church. The owner of the plantation where fanny worked WHO's impressed with fanny's literary comprehension and selected her to serve as plantation timekeeper. In Nineteen forty-five Fanny Mary tractor driver Perry Hammer who she described as a good man with few words. Though she wanted to have children a white doctor performed a hysterectomy without her consent while she was undergoing surgery to remove a uterine tumor. This horrifying cruel practice of forced sterilization was used by Mississippi to control. Growth amongst black people and was so common that it had a nickname, a Mississippi appendectomy. Fannie and Perry adopted two children, one of whom died after being denied medical treatment because of her mother's activism. When fanny and Perry's daughter died they adopted her two children as well. In the nineteen fifties fanny attended conferences held by the Regional Council of Negro leadership which discussed racial inequity and civil rights issues. She was especially frustrated by efforts restricting black-americans right to vote. In nineteen sixty two fanny became a member of the student nonviolent coordinating, committee or Snick, and led more than a dozen volunteers to register to vote. After failing a confusing literacy tests designed to disenfranchise black voters, their registration was denied. The police stopped their bus as they drove home from the courthouse and find them one hundred dollars because the bus was to yellow. Fanny sang to the passengers to keep their spirits up. Which became a trademark of her activism. The. Owner of the plantation where she worked marlow fired fanny for her attempt to register and confiscated her car and home but forced Perry to stay on until the harvest. In addition to threats to her livelihood, fanny also had to contend with threats to her life. She survived a shooting in which sixteen shots were fired at her, and subsequently moved for three months to avoid further retaliation from the Ku. Klux Klan. Danny past the unfair literacy tests on her third try and her voter registration was finally accepted. But when she attempted to vote, she learned that in order to vote, she had to have to poll tax receipts another attempt to disenfranchise black and native voters. In nineteen, sixty, three fanny was returning from a Snick citizenship training program on her bus was stopped in Winona Mississippi. She and other activists were arrested for sitting in a whites only section at a restaurant. In jail, she was beaten sexually assaulted and left with severe physical injuries from which she never fully recovered including kidney and leg damage and a blood clot. Nineteen sixty four fanny organized freedom summer volunteer campaign of black and white student activists to register more black voters in the south. That same year she co founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. which registered more than sixty thousand new black voters across the state. When Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party members fought to be recognized as an official delegation to the Democratic National Convention. Fanny delivered such an impactful televised speech the president Lyndon B Johnson feared his reelection chances would be hurt. LBJ called for a sudden news conference during her speech to divert attention away from her but fans words about racial prejudice resounded with many and her speech was aired on the evening news broadcasting it to a larger audience than the one LBJ took over. She asked her television audience. This. Land. Of the brain. While we have to leave. Without phones. Because Lima. But 'cause, we want to live it, beat them human being in America. Her speech led to the establishment of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic. Party the State's first integrated delegation for years later in nineteen, sixty eight. That same year she announced her candidacy for the Mississippi House of Representatives but was barred from the ballot. Throughout the nineteen sixties fanny was notable activist with a reputation as a powerful speaker. Speeches across the country fighting for civil rights. In nineteen, Sixty, eight, vanish shifted her strategy and address racial injustice through economic means. She created a pig bank and raised piglets to distribute to black families. The following year, she founded the freedom farm cooperative and purchase land to build black co-ops. Bland was also used for low income housing some of which still exists today fannies work with the freedom farm cooperative led her to buy a home for herself and her successor as an inspiration for many black Americans. But in nineteen seventy, five as a result of lack of funding FFC disbanded. In Nineteen Seventy Fanny Co founded the National Women's Political Caucus which continues to empower women to run for office regardless of skin color. In the mid nineteen seventies, fannings health began to deteriorate. And Nineteen, seventy six, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A year later in nineteen seventy, seven fanny died in Mount Mississippi? She was fifty nine years old. On her tombstone, one of her famous quotes. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Fannie Lou Hammer was a civil rights icon who empower black Americans to fight for freedom. She once said when I liberate others, I, liberate myself. We were talking about politicians for more on why we're doing what we're doing check out our newsletter romantically. Follow us on facebook and INSTAGRAM AD. Encyclopedia Will Monica and follow me directly on twitter at. Jenny Kaplan Special. Thanks to Liz Caplan. My favorite sister and co-creator talk to. You. Tomorrow. Before we go, we need to talk. Twenty twenty election is here and we WANNA make sure every eligible voter has the information they need to register to vote and to cast a ballot. We're teaming up with rock the vote to help you register to make sure you have the resources you need. Don't wait until the last minute check out rock the votes resources. Now to make sure you're ready and signed up to get any election related updates at rock the vote dot org. Your Voice as powerful? Did you know that you're the biggest influencers of your friends and family? It's true. 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Replay of My Conversation with Vice President Walter Mondale
"As you know Walter mondale guide. Monday april nineteenth. And i find myself just very sad. Fritz's is no longer here. A truly wonderful man and a very good friend to all his friends and to me. He helped me when very few people thought i could win. And he stood by me when Some others walked away Fritz and i Sat down in his office in august of two thousand. Nineteen for this podcast and i thought i'd i'd replay it for you. you know it's funny His christmas card to me and franny somehow got held up and we only got Just last week and in very strong hand he wrote dear allen. Franny i miss you. Well i miss him. I hope you enjoy my conversation with vice president. Walter mondale again. This was an interview that we did in his office on august. Nineteenth of two thousand nine hundred. You know what's crazy how much these data aggregated is know about you. You see. These data leeches capture every click. You click every subject you've browsed search for watched or tweeted. Then they aggregate it and sell up to third parties. Who for all you know. Maybe unscrupulous jerks to keep my data private. When i go online. I turned to express. Vpn because express vpn keeps your digital activity private as it should be. I've told all of you that i go online to look at photos of jill saint. John's circa one thousand nine hundred sixty eight. It's just something i enjoy doing. But i certainly don't want anyone especially data aggregated to know it. Because if they did. I'd be getting junk like you'll never believe what i wanna andrus. Looks like at eight years old. I know what are slanders. Looks like like an eighty year old woman. For god's sakes did you know there are hundreds of data brokers out. There who sold business is to buy and sell your data. The part is they don't have to tell you who they're selling it to or get your consent. One of these data points is your ip address. Data harvesters use your ip to uniquely identify you and your location yak but with express vpn connection get rerouted through an encrypted server in my ip address is masked every time i turn express vpn on. I'm given a random. Ip address shared by other express vpn customers. That makes it more difficult for third parties. Identify me and harvest. My data and the best part is how easy express. Vpn is to use so if you like me believe that your data is your business. Secure yourself with the number one rated. Vpn on the market visit express vpn dot com slash franken and get three extra months for free. That's e. x. p. r. e. s. s. vp n. Dot com slash franken f. r. a. n. k. e. n. They didn't put this in the copy. My god expressed vpn. P people don't necessarily know how to spell franken my god go to express. Vpn dot com slash franken f. r. a. n. k. e. n. For god's sakes vice president. Walter mondale is my guest here. And we're recording in his office. He works at At a law firm here in minneapolis. And so we're doing that so you may hear interruptions. He is beloved here in minnesota and for reason he is ninety one years old now and has served the state. He served a safer a really long time and this country he was in the senate at a time when it was working better than it does. Now let's let's just put it that way a lot of it. I think has to do with what happened. During the period that he was there and but specifically the civil rights bill before zimrights bill we had a democratic party that was liberal and progressive and conservative and the republican party was conservative and then it had these northeastern republicans who are liberal and progressive. So what happened to get anything done. You had to work across party lines and that doesn't happen now and That is a shame. So when when fritz mondale was there he got stuff done. He got a housing bill. Don civil rights. Bill and of course Vice president of the united states. he really created the modern vice presidency. until van really the the vice president was just there in case the president died and presents us to die. Pretty so you had that. I believe he was the first vice. President have his office in the white house. In the west wing near the oval office by the oval office and not in the executive office building across the street and really invented he. Carter worked together They did not fire a shot during their four years. You're ninety one now. That's the last. I heard you know. I was thinking run for president. Yes and it'll just make the other guys look younger. Well yes but ninety two older as it. How was odd our when he retired ninety ninety. But i think he was ninety but he was. He was older on. Our was the chancellor. Yeah germany for years and was close. To ninety it all depends. How how when. You're ninety isn't that i have the opinion. Maybe it's a little old now. You teach the presidency and the law of the constitution and the constitution Humphries co at the humphrey school. Let me ask you something. Because it came up ken. The president order companies to leave a country like china candidate. I don't think so. We're a free society. People are free to do what they want. Say what what unless they collide with the law. And i don't know he's citing some law that doesn't seem to fit at all about extremism or terrorism and when that can be Stopped but no. I don't think. I don't think he's baking sense here at all. I don't think so either. It's not unusual. No he does it every day. Yeah and it's hard to keep track of. I used to think that. I could but you can't. Every every day is different last couple days. He's were said we gotta go easier on the china trade thing and it's always going to be tougher all within twenty four hours so be my guess. Yeah he increased tariffs gets to the g. Seven says someone asked him. Do you have regrets. he said. Of course i have regrets regrets all the time and he says i grew to lower them and then the his team so no no he didn't mean that and then they said he means he's going to raise them and it's going to raise them. They got the message to them. I think a lot of americans have this experience. Which is you try to collect or remember so that you can organize them all the unbelievably horrible things he's done and you can't defense he. He lies all the time doesn't seem to bother him. Allies several times a day she. He has a single about dividing people. Squatting the country up getting people fighting that seems to be what he wants to do every day and He's getting it done and we're all paying the price for. He's over there in europe. Stomping around those are important meetings. This is where an american leader all former presidents says. That is to she was created. Saw time to try to bring the western world together and and demonstrate the united states ability to listen and work with others He has none of that. In as far as i can say you two are very different. Who i hope so. I think you're the opposite the opposite of black white the opposite of trump. i mean is there such a thing but there is. It's kind of you. You have always worked to bring people together. You've stood for things like civil rights. And i wanna talk about the civil rights bill and hubert humphrey and your work with with him and when the johnson on that bill and bills it fouled like on housing and such. I was thinking about the nine hundred. Sixty four civil rights bill as a demarcation in our country's politics because before that the south had been democratic since the civil war and once civil rights bill happened and we got the southern strategy and we got it became. Republican took a while. But now it's just the dig loan now and you're there then so i wanna ask you about how long it took and how quickly you thought things change because before it you had very conservative. Democrats in the south. Get richard russell. You had this and you had very liberal. Republicans in the northeast. that's right. he had jacob javits. we had several of those moderates northeastern united states republicans that we work with on almost everything cleaning civil rights. So pretty much things got done because you had to work in a bipartisan way. Just because of the structure of the two parties and then we had the boats when issues came up. A those as you had to get sixty seven votes to close off. that's right. They change the sixty seven. So it's almost that they set the rule up so it'd be impossible and we got enough. Senators republicans democrats to ride over those rules and Was a great time. And i think america's history and i loved it of course because there had been one way or another two hundred years of paralysis on civil rights and suddenly the dam broke and we chartered a new course for our country. And i think we've been better off as a nation ever since not perfect for sure but progress. Oh there's no question. I mean i. It's almost silly to question that i i was born. Nineteen fifty one. I grew up in. Saint louis park joe. Middle-class dad was a printing salesman didn't graduate high school. I was lucky skit in the world. Yep happy guy where you go happy. Our school system sales park school system one of the best in the state. Maybe the best. And i just knew i could do anything and is post world war two. Who said this rick nolan. I think he said that You had to have a plan to fail in post world war two if you're white if you're white and because of the civil rights bill and because of the progress since then that's less true we we put aside. Maybe the most disgraceful element in american life and that is that we were willing to put blacks and minorities down input women in secondary roles Real ruling to let the white males stride around up kid in any way being a white male. i know what what that's white but Of terrible well. Well you know that's what you get used to when your kid you go your way. But that's not the way it should be in america. We got the we should be using everybody listening to everybody. Male female minority white church to shape our policies and bring us together and get things done. It's it's actually all we can do that. We haven't done it yet as betcha we should but we can. We certainly haven't done it yet. They're certainly the disparities actually are getting wider and wider because people at the very top are getting wealthier. the rest of america is not progressing. And then people i'm in many ways getting worse and the legacy of slavery did not go away in eighteen sixty five and and i think that's right but this Phenomena bilas american slipping who had been middle class americans has been phenomena the less twenty years we've had before in america life terrible thing or people of wealth and influence squeeze everybody out of mainstream american life that that's what we've been having. I think we had that last part of the nineteenth century. And we're seeing now talking about nine thousand nine hundred sixty four civil rights bill and then the publican party just becoming the conservative party and are becoming a progressive party and man they. There's no working together. And we have a president who is doing everything he can to double down every chance. He can divide people and i guess that's a strategy. That's how he won last time and that must be a strategy again. Because it must be. But i don't get it. I mean if he wanted to be successful public leader he would do. Just the opposite. You try to pull us together. Depends what you consider success gas. Well i will never accept his model as either being successful or worthy of success or never should be attributed or accepted as morally acceptable. I don't think it is no well. I mean obviously by people who vote for them. People say he's just they all lie people in public life. Why all politicians and he's at least being honest lying ran into a guy the other day shave. Well at least he's doing what he promised. Wow i said that's exactly what he's not doing. Yeah the campaigns forgotten oh promises he was going to help working people. that's what he is. All the focus was nasr. Why he he won. Pennsylvania michigan wisconsin. Here's a guy that will do it. And all the people in washington are self-serving. And they're just it's all rigged that was that was what we heard in adelaide it's rigged it's rigged the green as well. Yeah drain the swamp and what we have is what we have is. The swamp is is just creatures. We've never seen before doing things that you want avert your eyes to what they're doing and i'm not this isn't about sex about stealing about burning people's about gross immorality in our society people at work and try surely are old respect and the chance to be a part of middle class america. He's taken it from him. And i don't know what do you think she's doing. But i am appalled by this huge tax cut. Very aunt goals. This stated goal announce schools. Yeah now yeah and he. He knew what he was doing. This was typical right wing. Republican payoff off to the rich. Exactly we've seen that and now what we are seeing are these enormous deficits. Yeah and we're talking about a trillion dollars next year. That's right get a trillion dollars. Just the deficit next year so this society is going to be paying off debt for eons. You don't have my republican colleagues. Whenever when obama was president they would all end you just slashing. It would always go. What's the pay for. We've heard nothing but debts scares when democrats wanted to do something and long massive tax. Cut bill at you. you've talked about. Were all the money goes to the rich and the republicans did say. They didn't criticize it. Didn't talk about deficit scares if they did. They said we'll this will pay for itself. So you know yeah. When they addressed it was amex scoring. Yep and in fact. We've been through this several times. It pays for itself. They always use dynamic scoring. that's right and namic scoring. is this magical thing. Where if you cut taxes. It'll increase economic activity and what happened. Was these corporations bought back their stocks. That's right not so did well by themselves for themselves. Right your history your study history. Is there a another president we can point to. I don't know all what forty five i mean. We've never never had a president. Maybe go back hundred years or more. I'm younger than one hundred years old slightly. Yes we've always believed. Our public leaders should be honest and law-abiding and wow i mean somewhere. Nixon wasn't harding. Wasn't got a real trouble because he well he he had to leave. Nixon had good people around him. He had some really able people like jim baker and so on. This guy has nobody. He doesn't talk to anybody as far as i can see now. I don't wanna sing nixon's praises but he seemed to Be serious about foreign policy and and was a disaster but he didn't at phnom and. That's i think that humphry agreed would have done it very differently. You saw that very closely would gonna. And he got this this nomination and sixty four to be vice president you had to handle the mississippi freedom caucus or delegation and that must have been a lot of pressure on you. Just why don't why don't we set data because that was a. I'd like to talk about that. Because it's the one of the things in my long career that i find is subject to criticism and maybe properly so but we're trying to get through that convention elect johnson humphrey so that we move forward on civil rights. The mississippi freedom democratic party were made a fine people but they wanted everything solve right now with no regard for the broader picture we won we control that convention and then we delivered on what we promised to do and next convention came around all these freedom. Democrats were sitting in the front role as democratic party. Delegates just to frame it. For cleveland including fanny lou. Hamer and so. I think i think if you give us just a few years to work it out. I think we look pretty good just to frame it and nineteen sixty four. Basically mississippi democratic party didn't to vote in oil delegation process. It was the democratic party of mississippi was devoted to be against civil rights. They had didn't have a single black delegate in amongst the weights most of them wouldn't say they'll vote for the democratic candidate. Carter one of the reasons. Carter became gained stature and could become president was how he managed to defeat wallace and florida in the previous four years wallace. He did everything he could cripple the democratic party. But jimmy. Carter challenged him in florida in the next primaries and beat him big time so that people feel good about that i did and carter was the new south. Yeah emblematic of the new south. Well let's talk about your relationship with with jimmy carter you really the two of you took to this invented the modern vice-presidency who and some modern vice presidents haven't participated in that i think of dan quayle probably was not george h. w. bush's closest advisor. No but i. I think that After carter broke the traditions are just using vice president standby equipment and stead bringing a man to the complete work of the president himself locating the vice president and the president's office that that changed things just for us but here we are fifty years later and that's still what happening not this not now. I don't think that trump is an anomaly in so many ways the idea that he is conferring with pence is ridiculous. Well here here's pence is is in the white house. What he's doing. the right. don't know they. I keep telling them not Just stand behind the president. Go out do your own thing and help the president but don't just think that you got a chore there to be standard attention when you're president talked. Look at this guy that's all he does. He walks up behind the presence. Sanson attention president gives these. There's a creepy nece. Well you all of it. What what's he thinking. What's he doing and he contributes to the craziness. I would say i think so. Yeah quayle was creepy in his own way. But trump is creepy in a way where the anxiety level in the country has been raised because of this president and it's not irrational from people. This is people looking at this guy and take him seriously a member i think. Republicans said don't take him literally take him seriously. We're taking seriously is. This guy is You know there are people who diagnosed. I don't believe diagnosing people that you haven't actually talked to an examined. I hear that practice. Jesus there's something wrong with them. Let me say right away. I do not know. I'm not saying there is anything but he he. He is breaking all the rules. He doesn't ever ponder what you said two minutes before he started this whole tweet stuff Is new to him just sick. Running our country maybe from his bedroom or from radio he can tweet from anywhere. Yeah if you've got a second you got yeah. I just don't like i think on the one hand you can say that it's not fair. Diagnose someone if you haven't talked to them our psychiatrist but people also know what they see. And you know after the massacres. In dayton and el paso. The president gave a speech. He did this speech as it to me. It was as if it was the first time he'd read. It could be true. This is a moment where the president fulfils a role or should fulfil role that no one else in the country can feel when there is a tragedy like a massacre which we see too many times. I felt like he. He has a special obligation to speak to the nation. He's a one person can speak to the nation and megan at least feel like we're a nation that is grieving for all these people and in in a way that just reassures people that were good and that we intend to do good. We're gonna try to do good and and that we are human that we care. We have compassion. We have we grieve. Yes grieve and i saw this speech and he was like his head was on a swivel member. He used to criticize obama for using a teleprompter of course and now use it all the time And he was just you know go to the left Teleprompter for this on the right. And i'll just say these words and someone wrote the words. And i'm remember any of the words but what i do remember was his affect and to me you know. If i were to give him advice it would be read the speech beforehand. Several times absorb rewrite it yourself. So they're your words some of them. Will that a lot of sense. I will i. I may be wrong. But i don't think he'd take should wish no. But is there a difference between taking advice. Taking help i mean when when he the state of the union address is not written by donald trump. I mean that's clear so he needs help there. He obviously doesn't need help to go in front of fifteen twenty thousand people and talk off the top of his head for an hour or an hour and a half. And that's a that's a a skill and that is a skill that got him elected president. That's right and and a low. He says outrageous things. he's good. He raises the these audiences. He gets them excited he he pumps them up laugh at his jokes. Yep he's like a comedian. Who goes in front of a crowd and works him and he and he listens any finds out what hits what works and he uses it and he is so so. I'm going to build a wall and mexico's gonna pay for it was man was that was. I'm going to put that in the first time you did. It kept doing and so we shut the government down because that that that bit went over. That's true. I called you his opposite but in a way. There's some similarities. You grow up very wealthy. Yeah and i sensed and and then and then took advantage that wealth by cheating on the inheritance of it. Well if i could just emphasize the point. I grew up in salon. And then elmore minnesota. These are small talents. I made beatty small basically farm communities and i went through high school in elmore and and i loved it. We we did. We were kids. Who in small towns perfect and i. I'm really glad i grew up there. And then we. We were encouraged by our families to not just not. Your dad is a minister. He's a minister and he had a vision that he should go out and be a minister and and he went around. Losers wouldn't happen because he didn't have the right credentials didn't have any credentials. But the methodist took him as a kind of a lay pastor and for most of his career. That's where he did. He a preacher. In small rural towns along southern border over near the kerala. That's who he loved doing that. But that sounds like a big wealth generator. We we doing that. We never had anything and nobody needed anything. We were just growing up in a small town we had we had the called parsonage house provided by the church for the minister which was not exactly ready for habitation but we so we lived there and I used to be the janitor for the church. And then then i would go to school. We had a football and basketball team. Crazy legs track team and we had. We wasn't much but we thought we were pretty good Let's see other ways. In which your opposite you went to law school. I'm always glad they became a lawyer. I made most people have Negative views about why. Where's and perfect. But this allowed me to be a public servant and began with our commitment to the law to the constitution and all through my public life. That was sort of where i'd start things. And that's that's one of the things that really offends me about the current president. He i don't think he knows a thing about it wants to know thing about it And yet the law. The constitution lays down guidelines for our essential behavior citizens. Wait a minute. Is that what it is yes shoot. I've been man. I wish i knew that when i was. Yeah you should have been thinking about that. Yeah well didn't you find that the lawn the constitution very important to your service in the senate i did. And i was on judiciary judiciary has one of the few non-lawyers there. Yep but i felt that. I i had some skills that some of my colleagues didn't have had some guts. That was one of the skills. I think that lord to be a good public servant. You have to have a good mind. You have to think things through then you have to have courage to stand up and confront issues. that's what usually do you find issues. And i found issues like mandatory arbitration. That was a battle against large corporations. And i did that in terms of Consolidation of media and the those are some fights but one thing i did was i would meet with my judiciary council if there was a hearing the next day at the end of the day before went home and they will give me the briefing book. Why did you get your binders at the end of the day for. I don't think we had those. We had some review papers. But i don't remember. I used to get the testimony. Yeah i i'm sure they do. That's what you get. A binder with. The testimony of the witnesses are require toll. Some don't do this to have their testimony in so that we can take it home and read it. And then i would they. My staff will have read it by judiciary shah and they will tell me one. I'm going to read and they will tell me they all have fashioned questions. And i'll ask questions about the questions but i hadn't read the testimony yet then i'd go home and i read the binder and then i call them like ten pm and i'd say what if we did this or this or this and let's rewrite this this way or let's you know i noticed something. I noticed something here footnote. This guy says that some study said that heterosexual married couples do better than same sex couples when it comes to their children's performance in school or something like that and it cites a study. And so can we look at that and then they would look at it and wouldn't say what the guy said it said and and i could bring up and there you go and so you you do the work. Yeah that's what we're saying 'cause you want to get into issues. You told that story about the footnote. There was something he said that you thought was wrong. And you want to correct and you wanted to be make that public point in the following day. Yep and that's what i that's an opportunity you get into things you feel deeply about and you go forward and i miss that. I miss that. Oh yeah man. I do you know. I think they're actually also is on. Judiciary is especially felt that but in other committees to is having been performer else. Yep yep i mean i would send my colleagues will one colleague him particular on judiciary questions for cavanaugh and question. You know and questions for bar. He's a beauty unbelievable. Where did they find him. The he had been through general before he was some corporate. You know he was making a lot of money and now he wanted to come in basically that hearing should have been about the things he said before the report came out. Yeah and the things he said before the report came out were just lies and he knew that the american people no one is going to read a four hundred and fifty page report. They're just not so he goes there and said it concluded that the president cooperated with the investigation. So i just you know. I wrote my colleague i said. Just say just say okay. He fired the first head of the investigation right. He then ordered his legal counsel to order the deputy attorney general to fire you testimony talking to muller and then he ordered his legal counsel to write a memo saying that he hadn't told him to do do that and he kept directing Sessions yeah to fire muller and he wouldn't submit to interviews yes. The point is. I would've asked sure i would have said. The people of minnesota don't consider firing the first head of the investigation ordering your subordinates. To fire the next head of the investigation to be cooperating. Yeah that's right that's right this. This is frustrating. Yes it is. You're gonna find a way of doing it. Yeah there's a phrase called the widow of the staircase and its french. Speak french and i suffer from it all the time. Damn i wish. I had said this in hearing ours. Like do you have any of those in your career. Oh yeah you know a lot of times. You don't have time to other people are speaking. You can't get in there sometimes. you've already made another point and It's not appropriate for us trying to hog the stage Yeah you often get a position where you have been quite done all you wanted to do on or you. Just don't think of the thing that later. You think that's all that's that's all we're talking about. Yeah i remember the first debate against reagan. Your first debate against reagan in eighty four. He started to kind of talk about driving up the pacific coast highway Kind of wandered nowhere. What was the question. do you remember at all. Well he brought it up. Oh self up. This is standard speech he gave about what should be important to america or to california and what he wanted to put in the memory. File like a time capsule time cap one hundred years from now. This would be him talking to so. This was a standard speech he had. Which is i'm driving down. Pacific any got in the middle of a couldn't couldn't remember afterwards one of the reporters on the panel. Said you know you made a bad mistake care. He said when when reagan's time was up. You should've said no. I'm interested in this life and i i my time to the president because it didn't worry was now th that. Did that guy tell you that immediately after who okay so then. He starts the next debate with. I'm not gonna whole year youth experience. It's a and have you ever thought about that moment. Yes i think about it all the time. That's what i because. I thought it was ridiculous because i was fifty five. I wasn't the baby. And he was what seventy or something. Like that. And i hadn't raised point so i didn't give it the seriousness that everyone was wondering after that moment in the first debate whether he was loosened was listening. That's right so they had to find some way of getting back on the program. This is it. Yeah and it was clever thing. He handled it very well. But i didn't recognize how important that was going to be in the rest of the campaign because this this kind of told the public that yes the president was with it he would. He was doing and he could deliver a line so on. This was a sense of humor us and then he took me out on that issue. I don't think that was true. But that's the way it was taken. He was at that point. The oldest president in american history. I believe and obviously he was beginning. I think i th. I think that there was something going on there. I never said that the campaign. Because i didn't know when i couldn't prude but i i think he was starting to slip. Let's talk about losing or suffering a setback Something i'm kind of sensitive. Yeah your well and resilience and the bastard came to minnesota and tried to win minnesota to well. It's legal. it's legal but you know you'd think well by then he knew he had destroyed me and he was gonna win big and of course he did of what what hurt i guess after the campaign i would. I would sit there and try to figure out what happened. Why couldn't i have fought these things through. Why why did they get so tired when When these things came up. And and i found that i would. I couldn't sleep at night. So i just had a bunch of books next to my bed and i had read for three hours or four hours go to nap and wake up at four in the morning you start reading again and for the better part of a month. That's the life i lived. I just couldn't just a month. I just couldn't get us a month. Well it was longer in a month but the full night. Dale was that. I would say for a couple months after that. I was sleeping a little bit better but still Lesson full night and boy. Did i get tired and disoriented. Then slowly i started feeling better starting to get better sleep and i i went back to get involved in politics and my own way. I made arrangements succumb home. Which is what. I always wanted to do. And so on and then of course ambassador to japan. How long were you in japan just under four years. Yeah i love that. Yeah joe joan pretty much overshadowed you in japan. A lot of people are saying that she was beloved. Wouldn't and no one said that about me. And i remember. We had our farewell reception but six hundred people are at least four hundred. Maybe five hundred were there to say goodbye. Jones and my staff was there. Say goodbye to me. Well and people should understand. L- listeners should understand. Joan was about the arts. Yes and she. She loved to pot and the japanese love pottery and where she'd go if they want to. She's sit down throw pots with them and they loved it. I mean that's still hear about ad. She always hands out a little piece of pottery as a gift. She never sold anything and the little thing called the guano me that she would do and she'd hand people love. I'll bet you on shelves all over japan. There's little anomalies. Now what is the guano me. It it holds. Maybe some salter some peppers not very not very deep okay and this is an audio medium so when you go this is just like this this can they see it better now. Yeah he he held the closer to the gentleman. It's a small thing you said. Illinois said he'd like to talk about minnesota. Yeah what a good state is One of the things are slowly. Dawning on me as i get into these old years is indeed what a wonderful state is made a lot of nice people here. People are trying to make things work. There's a decent to minnesota life when we haven't election more people voted minnesota state and the union We take our politics seriously. We have good officeholders. You're an excellent example This this governor. Tim malls of the people in the state. They're wonderful people. All across the board received. That and i just think minnesotans should feel good about that and build on it and continue to try to be the state that we hope it is. I don't think. I can claim to be an expert on much. But i'm an expert on minnesota. I been everywhere all the time for all those years in washington here and here. Wherever and i've come to really love this state i i like being around it. I like talking to minnesota. I love to and things for the. There's a lot of things that you talked about including just the involvement in voting angle care. There's a thing minnesota nice now. Sometimes you know. I can be a little passive aggressive and you know. Yeah so well. we're not. We're not saps and others if something has to be said we want to hear it but this is an unbelievably great place to live and we also have brought in mon refugees and we brought in somali refugees and They are adding so much to becoming someone different and better. I think as a result absolutely. And i know gotta go. You gotta do something so and you don't have to tell us what it is. I want wanna tell you what it is. Okay i have what. I call a mondale lunch every week or every two weeks where i get as many of my kids and grand children who will come and we have a lunch. We talk about things or some type of talk about nothing and is the high point of my life because it's a way of stay close to my family. I love it gonna keep you from that. Oh good thank you. Mr vice president and i just can't appreciative appreciative. I am of your time and your friendship and your counsel and support. You probably love this state because state loves you. Well i enjoyed working with you. I i admire the depth and indecency of your public service. And i said the alana's. I hope we can find a way to continue that you're needed here. Well thank you. We'll cut that people wanna leave it once. You're okay thank you thank you.
Mississippi's Fight to Exist
"Everybody loves Mississippi because the heart and soul of how people resist and how we resilient has been learned through the souls of black folks in Mississippi. What's up welcome to this podcast about politics race and culture from a POC perspective? And I'm Laurie now. Joining us from Jackson. Mississippi is yes our L. or Ryan if you've lease made he's editor in chief at Mississippi today and President of the Jackson Association of Black Journalists Chapter of any. Vj Wasn't Ryan. Let us say a Rica. She's executive director of Mississippi boats. So these are too bad ass guests. That are joining us. We're GONNA talk about Mississippi Politics. Vote the South the Mississippi primary. That's coming up next week on March tenth munt before we get to Mississippi. Can we talk about what just happened? We're recording this on Monday. So two days after the South Carolina Primary and one day before Super Tuesday. So we don't have any results but you know. Joe Biden did win South Carolina primary. He got forty eight point four percent of the vote. He earned thirty five delegates. Here's Biden on his his Happy night those UBER KNOCKDOWN DOWN. Count IT OUT. Let behind this. Is Your campaign just days ago. The press in the pundits declared his candidacy dead. Now thanks to all of you a heart of the Democratic Party. We just wanted. We've one big because we are very much alive. No I do want to give people context because everybody is just saying God Biden is alive. This is going to change everything okay. I want to remind people that he's been in politics for five decades and he's run for president three times. This is the first ever state win of Joe Biden. Congratulations Joe. I'm just not sure that's going to change. I'm sorry I know it's a buzzkill but I just yet. But he's like. Oh my God this is going to change everything. And maybe but Bernie Sanders did come. In second. With nineteen point nine percent of the vote and thirteen delegates in South Carolina. No other candidate walked away with delegates and of course big news both Pete. Buddha judge and Tom Steyer have now ended their campaigns. Right and Amy Klobuchar. She also dropped out on Monday and both her and Buddha judge are now endorsing Joe Biden. Go figure right. So how does this all play out for Super Tuesday? So this Tuesday night. We have fourteen states and one territory. They're gonNA vote and at stake are a third of all the delegates for the Democrats all right so nearly half the states that are voting on Super Tuesday. They have sizeable African American voter populations and of course. Latino voters will be critical in places like Texas California Colorado. There's another state but Texas and California are the most states with the most delegates. You did hear his Spanish accent. He did that is there has is Laura. Yeah in in South Carolina Biden got more than sixty percent of the black vote nationally Biden Sanders or polling close and in some polls are even showing sanders surpassing bite him with black support. Of course we know polls are not reliable but a rica. This is the question for you. Is South Carolina really indicative of what we would expect or could expect on Super Tuesday especially when we know that black voters you know. They're not monolithic. So what do you think? Yeah I mean you know so. The black vote is not a monolith. You right however black. Voters are very Logical when it comes to voting and so I think we can take a note from our black aunties and uncles who had voted for Joe Biden. Because they are the most practical piece of our electorate right and so That's going to be a trend throughout the south right yeah I mean just to kind of piggyback off. Would Rica said I mean older? Black voters are to the Democratic Party. You know what we think of white evangelical is being to the Republican Party. You know not not only do. They vote along certain value lines. I mean you know like rain sleet or snow like those folks are GonNa go out show up to the polls and Cassar ballot you know. I think that that's why Joe Biden particular was like really banking on you know a lot of people were making jokes about the fact that like Joe Joe Biden is going to have to buy a house and South Carolina. If you spending more time there And so I do think that South Carolina is probably probably a little bit of a bellwether for other southern states Particularly Mississippi there. What forty one forty two delegates at stake here and so I mean I think that we should. We should expect that Based on his performance in South Carolina you know he'll probably have performed similarly in Mississippi and Alabama. Yeah where he needs to perform you know is in California and taxes and we know that standards still way out front in those in those key stays. So I gotta I gotTa ask you something about this like to me. I was trying to understand. Why the black voter in the older black voter in South Carolina? That is a pragmatic voter to me. The word that came up when I thought of what happened in South Carolina with Biden was loyalty which is kind of weird. Because I did not word that I usually am I wrong. Did something happen here like help me understand that. Kinda love for Joe Biden. That came from the older black motor but also a little bit from the maybe not the under twenty five voter. But what do you? Yeah was it loyalty. Was it like we're going to show you Bernie or we're going to show our love for the Democratic Party kind of institutional. What do you think it was no? I don't think I don't think his lawyer again. I think it's logic right. And so when we think about who can perform and who can go out and win the Democratic nomination or win president on the Democratic ticket I really feel like Folks in black communities are voting for JOE biding primarily because We know that our white counterparts are leaning towards the moderate not left leaning too far out there candidates and You Know Joe is safe and Speaks to the generational voters and you know. Like I said is is very logical. Way To be voting. I think at the end of the day like I said who whoever is the Democratic nominee. black folks are GONNA show up regardless and vote. Royally to that too. I think there's a little bit of a loyalty there I mean. African Americans are like extremely brand loyal. Right yeah like even you know so like I have. I have aunties for example like when they go out of town like you're going to eat at olive garden because like they know exactly how their shrimp Alfredo is going to tell you. It might not be the most delicious. Shrimp Alfredo like they. They know what they're getting right. And so I mean I think for a lot of a lot of older black voters you know especially ones who lived through you know folks in South Carolina lived through like the devil. No the devil. I don't know so I mean I think a lot of people felt like for better or worse they know what they're getting with. Joe By Zocalo. What about you? What was surprising about South Carolina? Anything that made you go Yeah you know it's interesting. I here's the thing I said. If Sanders didn't win Nevada I would have been the biggest political upset in the history of you know. Modern Democratic primaries and the same way of Joe Biden didn't perform well in South Carolina and it wasn't a surprise representative Clyburn. I think was kind of a kingmaker and I don't know and I was really struck by what Gilani Cobb said of Columbia University. I saw him and he said he didn't really know if there was a national kingmaker black voters but definitely clyburn endorsement played a role. I think but this comes down to me. Matia especially with Super Tuesday. Is this home. Like what is the Black Latino coalition going to be what's going to happen in California or day has and what's going to happen you know? I want to look at places like North Carolina where I think that you know. The Latino population is is a little bit more. It's higher in North Carolina than it is in South Carolina and it's important to note that there was some data that came out of South Carolina about districts that have more Latinos in them and Biden. Did very well but it was. You know it was like two thousand votes across these thirteen districts but sanders like polled higher than the state average with those districts and he did overall with the you know what I'm saying like with the overall state. I'm not saying you know. I just think this comes down to what's the coalition Black Latino and like who has it and I think it's safe to say the Bernie Sanders has it in some states. I don't know of Joe Biden. Has It in other states and you know I'm up here in Massachusetts money. I voted absentee and Joe. Biden's part of the conversation. It's IT's Sanders Warren and Bloomberg and need. I remind people that Massachusetts actually has a black population and actually has a Latino population. So you know what I'm saying. What about you money look I was on? Msnbc on Sunday night. And and Barbara Boxer was on senator from California and she was being asked about her late endorsement for Biden. Along with Clyburn late late endorsement. You guys it was like three four days before and she was like I wanted to see joe become joe again. I'm like okay. That was a Diz. I just don't know if like a Barbara Boxer. Endorsement is going to have the level of influence. That clyburn endorsement is going to have with Biden. And I think for me the clyburn thing that apparently he said to joe which was just basically. I'm paraphrasing here. Wake the fuck up Joe. Basically that's what he said. Blake dosage You need to wake the fuck up and tell me why this matters to you and I just worry about you know that it has to get to that level. Of course. There is one endorsement. That Biden could get that might change all this and he hasn't so far gotten it. It is Barack Obama. Obviously that's still hasn't happened all right so I think Barack smart enough to to stand before. Yeah he's not even GonNa okay all right interesting like all of them are painting themselves to be like Baracks best friends. Have you seen the new commercials the new ads and stuff out? Yeah even more. And she's a janitors daughter who has become one of the country's fiercest advocates for the middle class. He's been a leader throughout the country for the past twelve years. Mr Michael Bloomberg is here for eight years. President Obama and Vice President by an administration. America can be proud of everyone. Is Barack best friend? But listen guys since we have you and you guys are in Mississippi. We want to turn to the Mississippi Primary which is March tenth and when I start by grounding conversation in a very important topic The history of voting rights. Mississippi by looking at the legacy of Jim Crow and how it continues to shape The state's political power so the system that the state uses for statewide elections with the exception of us. Senator does date back to the Jim. Crow era candidates win both the popular. Vote they win. The majority fouts districts so think like the electoral college right. The states mostly majority white whites have been historically mostly Republican. Basically meaning that you know. Mississippi's a red state. Republicans are in power. That was the goal back in eighteen ninety when the Republicans who we know back then they were called Democrats. They crafted this racist Constitutional Convention to essentially end black voting power and and political power right and so by the time the Voting Rights Act was signed into law in nineteen sixty five less than one percent of eligible black voters in Mississippi were registered to vote. Wow and since. The eighteen ninety constitution was enacted. No African American has ever been elected to a statewide office like that of governor or attorney general none and of course we know that despite this African Americans have always been organizing for their rights and their electoral rights. So while most of the state constitution has changed for example. There's no longer. The literacy tests poll taxes this electoral college like voting system. Like it's still there right and so there's actually a lawsuit right now that argues that this this system right has violated the fourteenth and fifteen amendments of the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. Yes so I mean in one thousand nine hundred eighty. When MISSISSIPPI REWROTE ITS CONSTITUTION OF AFRICAN AMERICANS? Were actually a majority and know you know. The white ruling class was terrified of of African Americans gaining political power right in so when they craft at the eighteen ninety constitution they included those provisions like in order to win state office. You know you. You can't win the popular vote you also have to win a majority of of the House seats. The Constitution made the the. The governor's Office statutorily week and put the power in in in the hands of the legislature. And the speaker in the Lieutenant Governor. So we actually have a fairly weak governor in Mississippi all because in eighteen ninety like they were terrified african-americans newly freed were gaining PLU power. There were a lot of African American officials elected during reconstruction in so they crafted this document. I mean with the explicit purpose of disenfranchising African Americans in denying them political power. You know and and we see that legacy. Today I mean in terms of how we treat felony disenfranchisement and for for example those twenty two twenty regardless corrects me on the number of disenfranchising crimes. Wait how many. How many is it? It's twenty three because they just added a voter voter fraud a couple of years ago. So so we just WanNa be clear that there are twenty three crimes that if you commit you'll be permanently disenfranchised and one of those crimes is Timbre Larceny gird him larceny. If you steal a piece of timber you will be forever prohibited from and so tell us the history of that and it's real right. I mean people could actually like lose their possibility to vote because of this right yes like structure and this is so structural. And here's the thing so Kind of what? I always tell folks who are not from Mississippi but I like reading the national headlines around. What's happening in Mississippi particularly in the electoral process? That we've got to remember Yes there are things in Mississippi that are historically racist historically founded on the basis of discriminated against black people. But what black people have really always been up to is being resilient and fighting back and making sure that our folks are being heard and so you know in Mississippi we have a legacy of notches evers or Fannie Lou Hamer but the Freedom Democratic Party being found it right here in Mississippi right so the truth of the matter is yet these. These things are still intact. But we're we're fighting a hell of a fight here like we've been winning locally Since as long as I can remember so those are just things I like to highlight here in in this part like there's no woe is me rhetoric from local organizers. We understand the fight that we're in and we're we're prepared for battle The other thing is around the felony disenfranchisement. A lot of folks don't know that Some of the work. We've been up to Mississippi votes and some of the work that one voice has been doing for a long time. It's also a local Social Justice Organization is doing a lot of voter education in prisons and making sure that people who are not charged or convicted with any of those twenty three days in Franchising. Cars are being Being educated and well versed on their rights. Even ask folks who are behind bars currently right And so you know. There's a large misconception that people who possess marijuana or small offenses like that. Those things prohibit them from participating in the electoral process. When the truth of the matter is that is not but there's a wide misconception of whose rights are being taken away and so we try to correct that and go in and do as much voter education as possible when you when you think about this. This really feels like voter suppression straight up. It is feels like right like that's what it is girl straight of. Blow Suppression Right. But I'm just because it's important for people oftentimes voter suppression feels like you know. It's hard to unless you've actually been victim of it right. It kind of feels like well. What how but this is exactly what it looks like. We're you're putting the doubt like a wait. I got arrested for smoking at joint. Oh well I guess I'll never be able to vote again. I guess I just never will even try when it's like. No no no no no you can. But there's all of this information that makes you feel consistently disempowered but I love what what the people who Mississippi has taught me in my time down there my short time which is when the resistance comes. You just become more creative about how you figure out how to respond to. But I want to talk about something. That's very specific. That's happening in regards to Mississippi. And that's that's what's happening in terms of the people who are incarcerated at the Mississippi State Penitentiary and Hartman so just to give our listeners. Some context okay. So parchment was founded in the early nineteen hundreds after slavery was abolished. Be Clear parchment is a slave plantation. So thank you very much. So basically a rica straight so. It is a slave plantation. That is still being used to jail in prison. People right built in one thousand nine hundred zero four. Yeah and at least twenty. One prisoners have died all over Mississippi since the end of December mostly at Parchman and then the Republican Governor Tate Reeves key vowed to shut down the unit twenty nine which is basically a cell block which houses male death row inmates when he spoke his first state of the state. Since the start of art administration we have been working to restore order to our prison system. We said repeatedly that the tip of that sphere is in fact parchments unit twenty nine today earlier this morning. We started the process of moving the last inmates out of twenty nine major housing facilities but last week. He told the press the governor then in coming weeks the remaining inmates would be transferred to other correctional facilities and this comes on the heels of the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Investigation of four prisons including Parchman and then there's two lawsuits one filed in January and one filed last week against the Mississippi Department of Corrections that was backed by Jay Z. And Yo Gotti so I just had a toss that out so Ryan from from slavery to convict leasing to the felony band voter suppression. I mean it's just evolved over time right to look more lawful but it's still serving the same purpose right like how has this connection between criminal justice in slavery become an institutionalized method to suppress black voters? I like Parchman has always been fucked up. I mean it was it was it was sentenced to be fucked up. I was very intentionally designed to be a horrible place and you know to to to be a place of the kind of looming large in in the the imagination of Mississippians. Right you know like an parchment was like you didn't go to Parchman right in so I mean the the state you know in by the state I mean you know. The political leadership has always had like a certain kind of pride in Parchman having that kind of reputation right and the other thing. I'm sorry I like what's happening in parchment right now has been happening in parchment since I was a little girl right or probably even before right I have family who've Been subject to those living conditions as early as the nineties and sellers. It's like just people have cell phones now and they can they can record and they can take pictures of the conditions that they're in nothing new. It's kind of like people having the police have in the cameras on their uniform. Or whatever They've been harassed and black and Brown bodies for his longest time has been in existence. So just because there's a camera in place didn't mean that this is something new to the state of Mississippi. No no no. No so follows a pattern. I mean we talk about the Justice Department coming in I mean that's that's that's kind of how we govern right like we know we don't improve anything. We don't change anything until the federal government compels us to do so and then we fight. We fight them tooth and nail right states right and then with this federal government which is of a particularly racist element. It's always interesting to see how things might turn out there. But but even this Justice Department look what's going on twenty nine and said. Nah signed like young to obvious Yaw. It's too obvious we need to close down. Hey Guys Julio and you know I've been on the road with. Itt Doing Live shows for the twenty twenty election and one thing. I haven't forgotten to bring my native. Deodorant native comes in many sense. I actually have the travel pack which is so convenient because I can try different sense when I'm traveling right now. I'm using cucumber and meant it. Smells amazing so listen. Native is made with ingredients. You've heard of coconut oil shea. Butter completely safety news. It actually works and there's no risk to try guys. Native offers free shipping on every order and thirty day free returns and changes in USA so for twenty percent off your first purchase visit native Deodorant Dot Com and use Promo code into thick during checkout. That's right twenty percent off your first purchase visit native Deodorant Dot Com and use Promo Code in the thick during checkout. Hey welcome back it's in the ungainly. Horsa with by co host who were joined by Rl Ryan Nave and a Rica Bennett. Let's get back to the conversation. All right let's talk about Yes it's true that the that that Mississippi in terms of the primaries it tends to get overlooked. But let's talk about Mississippi in the primaries because oftentimes a lot of them basically it's like Mississippi is a fly over state he something's interesting that happened Mike Bloomberg. Who's still in the race as we know as the Monday before Super Tuesday? He has invested. He's getting out before dimension. Okay all right. We're talking about money because what we know is that might. Bloomberg has up to twenty people working in his office in Mississippi Twenty. Two twenty two people. The only other candidate who has paid staff in the State of Mississippi is Elizabeth Warren. With two staffers so far. Bloomberg has gotten around two dozen Mississippi endorsements from local and state representatives but Bernie. Sanders received a key endorsement. This past Friday that Jackson Mayor Show Quay on Lumumba endorsed Sanders. Away did you have something that you have something to do with? Saw An electoral justice fellow for the Movement for black lives. The Movement for black lives developed a vision for black labs and From the Vision for black started to look at political candidates whose platforms and policies aligned with that vision right and most of those folks where the Democratic nominees wasn't trump folks who were on the Democratic ticket and so they started to really carve out like what would it mean to be in the blackest cities across the United States and host People's caucus in some of my cohort members are calling them black caucus where folks are learning about policies learning about the issues And talking about how they affect communities there from first hand And so you know. We've been doing this in creative ways in about thirteen states like I said and so mine was on February. Fifteenth and the Mayor of the city of Jackson was part of that process. Not In the creating of it but he was a participant. Like everybody else He came through and he said you know what this is. This is wonderful. You know based on this exercise this will be how choose who we will endorse. Wow Yeah so so. That's what happened. It was really about policy right. It was very much again analytical understanding of Policies Sanders could so there was a couple of different things that I wanted to highlight in this space. Right so Tomorrow's point like yeah. There are two campaigns who have staff in Mississippi everybody else has maybe a volunteer base or nobody on the ground Sorry to all of those campaigns and Folks folks came out and we wanted to prove to folks that you know these are people who actually have boots on the ground. These are the issues that Mississippi and say they wanted to talk about. This is where we WANNA be reflected in your policies and you know we really had a chance to go deep in and talk about some things that are unique to to Mississippi unique to Jackson In the people were definitely a major intricate piece to have their process unfolded and shot the young people who dream and imagine what space could be So all right. So are what about you? What's your thought about that? Endorsement by the mayor of Jackson Four Sanders in terms of kind of inspiring. I don't know who will inspire. And what are you feeling in terms of Bloomberg and Biden in Mississippi Not Question Oh loaded question before before the endorsement. I think there's just a lot of talk about you know which direction the mayor would go. We know that Mayor Bloomberg has been here several times. He's given a made his philanthropic arm Bloomberg philanthropies. You know given the city a little bit of cash and then you look at like some other you know other southern black mayors who have endorsed for Vice President Joe Biden in question. Was you know whether or not he would go. You know. Go down that line. You know I think that The People's caucus was of a process. I mean the mayor's sort of like you know he. He you know he ran on this idea of you know the people right and so you know he. He came in listen to to what people had to say and Senator. Sanders has also. I mean he spent time in the state as well. He was here a couple years ago for a town hall with the mayor. You know their values are probably more lined or definitely more line than bitcoin. Bloomberg's just think that you know. Some people wonder whether or not that that endorsement was going to be bought. And you know I don't I don't. I don't think that this this mayor could could have afforded the political blowback of being perceived to having had his endorsement. Wait a minute where you're saying is that there was speculation. That Bloomberg was was going to buy his endorsement as well. Well he's funding this city blue in the city and so I mean it was just kind of just a transactional politics in Russia. But I think it would have disappointed a lot of people who supported this mayor. Absolutely what about Bloomberg? And what are you guys? Think about those two candidates Mississippi I mean gut gut going back to marinas point about the paid staff. I mean you know. Mayor Bloomberg has been a lot of TV as you know he has built this team. You know the conversation. Is You know folks trying to get paid young? How do you pay your conversation about? Let's see getting getting paid or really liking the candidate that you're getting paid to work for. It seems to me and I have to say before. I went down to Mississippi before a South Carolina and Nevada etcetera and seeing how Bloomberg was blanketing the state with his ads. There was definitely this feeling of like. Wow this this feels like you know like some kind of you know of a of a wall that you're gonNA come up against but the Bloomberg Wall. Yeah the Bloomberg spending wall but are you feeling that people Mississippi saw or talked about his his debate performances and are a little bit like Nah. You can't really so the people working for Bloomberg for example if you talk to the NFL say is that the reason they were for the campaign in unison could points though I mean they they think that no matter what happens with the nomination that building political infrastructure political power exactly and but at the expense of who right and so you have to look at who You know we just talked about. Is that GonNa Affect People in the Mississippi Delta or anywhere honestly folks Outside of this political bubble that we live in aren't necessarily watching the debates because why they have to go to work and they have to like do normal people things like politics is a whole nother monster of situation right and so for folks who don't have the luxury the luxury in a light word of like Spinning Holiday Times in this political Ram People are looking to their community leaders. Who have quite frankly endorsed Bloomberg and people who are running this campaign who are notable in those communities In saying oh well if this person is aligned with these values than certainly. This is the person that I'm GonNa vote for and so I think for me. There's just you know this kind of a misuse of political power or political influence. I won't call it power to create that kind of You know I just slow. Have mercy all right listen. Let's get real here guys because we're talking about all these Democratic candidates and it's and you know in a primary but obviously the last Democratic presidential candidate to win your state to win. Mississippi was in nineteen seventy six. My first election that I remember Muttiah was it. Jimmy Carter one so we know that Mississippi continues to be strongly you know. It's a strong red state and in two thousand. Sixteen trump won Mississippi by about eighteen points. Which is fifty seven point nine percent of the vote and he definitely outperformed Mitt Romney from two thousand twelve. Mississippi does have one Democratic Representative Congressman. Bennie Thompson Right. And last November's election in Mississippi there was contentious local elections and trump intervened in Mississippi by backing Republican candidates. Right and so with all these demographic shifts. You know that we're talking about it. But still in recent election white moderates turned out more for Republicans so Brian. This is like the loaded question. But I'm GonNa read loaded question Purple Mississippi Possible. What do what do the two thousand eighteen midterms and even the local election two thousand nineteen local elections? Those results tell us about the upcoming election. Is it really white? Moderate set of killed the Mississippi Democratic Party. I mean the question of whether Ni- Mississippi can become purple. Just an interesting question. Are we asking like how? How close are we to you know electing a Democrat to statewide office? I don't know the answer to that question. But if you go back to our gubernatorial race last year You know there are a lot of hopes of Democrats and progressives in the candidacy of of of Jim Hood But you know Jim Hood was kind of a yellow dog Democrat in conservative on a lot of issues. I mean I think a the one kind of Raya of hope for Progressives was that you know he was. He was all in for Medicaid expansion. And so like had Jim hood become governor like with that make Mississippi some like bashing of purple potluck. Nah You know I mean we would govern in in very much the same way that you know we we've always governed in. I think that you know if you look at we have another Senate race this year. You know Mike. Spn Cindy Hyde Smith. You know we're going to face off in in November again. Espy guy. Close a couple years ago but you know again. Like if he's able to eke out a win against any Hyde. Smith does that mean like Mississippi has like all of a sudden become progressive. No it has nine stay with the largest African American population. I think the hope of progressives is that you know like if you if you Max out black turnout and you get enough you know either white crossover or like White Democrats voting You can get to fifty plus one percent but you know we just saw in these last few rounds of elections just like what a tall order that is because it seems like even. If you're Jim Hood or you know the no name truck driver who didn't even vote for himself in the election like if you're a Democrat in Mississippi forty percent is like is is what you get and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Yeah so I think that the beauty of Mississippi won that I you know it is like in so many ways the cradle of the civil rights movement. And we forget because. We're not taught this enough that Mississippi has a long history of POC organizing because of people like Fannie Lou Hamer who literally put her body on the line to register to vote. She was threatened and physically harassed by white supremacists and endured a brutal attack by the Mississippi Police Department. Let's listen to the testimony. She gave about this incident in front of the Credentials Committee at the Democratic National Convention in Nineteen Sixty four where it shows Fannie Lou Hamer. She's a fighter. I began to scream and one white man got up and began to beat them in my head and tell me to hook one white man address had worked upon address. I pull him address down and he came back up. I was in jail when Matt elbows with murder. All the own account of we won't registered to become class and if the Democrat party is not feeding now I know miracles American the land of the free in the home of the brain. We have two phones because find my threatened but we won't live human beings. We Love You Fannie Lou. Hamer thank you for never being quiet. Of course there's UNITA Zalman Blackwell. Who was a voting rights and education advocate who became the first African American woman to be elected mayor in the State of Mississippi in nineteen seventy six when these people come with guns to defend keep us down from this registered to vote? This vote really must be about something and I said if I die I die. I want nothing from nothing leaves. Nothing we didn't have nothing so I was going to try to see. Could I get something? And one of those things was my right to register to vote and become a citizen of these United States of course also Ella Baker whose work with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party also being a civil rights activists there and it meant as you know sometimes giving your life like Medgar Evers who was killed. He was the Mississippi Field Secker Secretary for the end of Lacey Pe- and he was killed murdered in nineteen sixty three so Ourika as someone who is on the ground and getting folks engaged all the time there. Can you tell us how you kind of draw back into the hope of Fannie Lou Hamer or elevator or Medgar? Evers as you're doing your day to day work in a state that is beautiful and tragic at the same time. I think that one of the things that I've really been conscious about is grounding a lot of my work in understanding what happened Or what has happened in my state's history as it pertains to any kind of person seeking any kind of power outside of the status quo an really grounding My organizing skills in the processes of civil rights veterans. Who still walk among US right so like we're blessed to be among Hamas Watkins who still living who was part of snake the student violent coordinating committee in so many others right and so usually When we start a new cohort of fellows at Mississippi Votes They go through Hollis Watkins Training and go through several readings to ground themselves to to understand. What's what we're up against and You know to really understand how far we still have to go one of the things. That really keeps me hopeful though. Is that the young people who are part of our program. Challenge US every day to envision an era where true democracy is possible an invasion long term sustainable equitable governance right. And so I. I think there's there's so much to be said about the next generation of Young Leadership Mississippi and I'm just grateful to be able to in the words of my youth civic engagement coordinator Erica to eavesdrop on their conversations And to a witness there powerful come into full round up guys before we Amazing discussion. Let's move on to our final segment which we call lower thema Rommel's or the last one before you go last call. You know like the thing that you do before you leave the Monday blues. That played down there in Jackson Mississippi ribs with friends. You know out on those that Nice Jackson night one last question so. Mississippi is a state with a lot of layers. A lot of issues and for me honestly it has gone deep into my heart. I'm so thankful to have spent some time there and I plan on coming back a lot so you haven't said goodbye to me Mississippi. But here's the question. What can and should the rest of the country learn from electoral politics Mississippi specifically or in general. What should we learn and take away from the people of Mississippi and let's start with you are l? Yeah I mean I think a religious touched on it. I mean Mississippi. Todd did like the country how to organize grassroots movements happening all over the country all over the world really You know a lot of that work start here during freedom summer in so you know. It's it's always interesting when people when they bad mouth and they say you know. What are you all still live there? It's so backwards you know. It's like people come and stay here to fight into stay. You know like you can't exist here if you're not willing to fight right in so that's that beautiful spirit is like the reason why. I came back here. You know my family. You know part of the migration story there from Mississippi. I grew up in Saint Louis but you know the communities that I'm part of like everybody here is you know fighting for this place and I think that that is something that you know. Folks really don't understand about Mississippi in if they you know listen to people like a Rica you know they would understand a little bit better like why people in Mississippi are here like what we're really fighting about a rica. What what should we. What should we learn from you? Honestly people are already learning right like people to is point like I said. I taking adopting our models of organizing across the country in for better worst. Whether people organizers black folks who are organizing across the world Want to admit this and that everybody loves Mississippi because the heart and soul of how people resist in how we are. Resilient has been learned through the souls of black folks in Mississippi and the truth of the matter is so much of America is Mississippi. You know and and I said this the other day to a group of our students like there's a. There's a truth about who we are that. America doesn't want to reckon with but we've taught the country so much about fighting and so much about winning and we're GONNA continue to teach people but again i. I hope folks listen to the stories of the young people on the ground working here every day and read about our work and not just get inspired or get curious about what we're up to but really start defending Mississippi as if it was their hometown. Because that's who we are to the country like we are everybody's great great grandmother stomping ground. Damn that's so beautiful. I'm like I'm like Whoa. We didn't know that A RICO is also a philosophical preacher but thank you for that. I know my grandfather was a minister. So you know Latino heritage we have how many how many different jobs do we have as? Poc let me tell you. Save is editor in chief at Mississippi today. A recomended is the executive director of Mississippi Votes. Thank you so much for joining me on this episode of interesting. Thanks for having thank you and Stereo. And what a great show I ain't a whole side. Lorella and remember dear listener go to Apple podcasts. To rate and review us. How often do you get to hear a show about Mississippi politics? And you know it just touched you. Mississippi's and our hearts. It really helps do that for us. Also remember you can listen to in the thick on Pandora spotify. Wherever you choose to get your podcast follow us on twitter and on Instagram. At thick show like us on facebook and tell the entire world to listen the entire world tire world in the biggest produced by. Nicole Rothwell nor Saudi. Our audio engineers are Stephanie. Lebow Julia Caruso and Leah Shaw. Our digital editor is Luis Luna. Our intern is royal the music. You heard his courtesy of Nacional kept NC K. records. We'll see you on our next episode. Thank you so much for listening nausea. I'm Anne encourage you guys to be your city selves. Okay we'll do our best out. Whatevs Maria no no right now. They're they're they're like we're not. GonNa Laugh at all. Yeah no they're totally like playing the game they're going to be like. This is serious games journalists about this kind of shame. I don't understand like all right. Let's go three. The opinions expressed by the guests. And contributors this podcast are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fujairah media or its employees.
S4 E7: Freedom Summer
"A content warning. This episode includes descriptions of intense violence and the use of a racial slur. So John When you look at history the way that we're looking at it in this series. Sometimes I started to get tempted to make really sloppy historical comparisons. Because that's easy to do. It is easy to do. What's that expression? History doesn't repeat itself but it does often rhyme and it's easy to get carried away trying to those rhymes in the scholarly world. We've learned to have nuance and not to do that. But you know sometimes I myself have been guilty worked on his podcast on civil about the civil war and during that time. I was like you know everything was it was just. Everything's just like eighteen. Sixty one now. I mean that'd be like a dinner parties and people like change. We get it to understand anything like a movie you know like we have to go back to the nineteenth century we understand or you know the United States today is Germany. Nineteen thirty three right. Well and maybe it is as it seems to me but yeah you tried not to get too carried away Reading the newspaper every morning absolutely you know but that said I do think it's really important to think about the themes and continuities In lessons that we can really learn from history and today's episode has me thinking about political parties and this kind of never ending struggle that they have between what it's called. Party unity or like maintaining a big tent and then on the other hand really trying to stick to or imagine sort of more ambitious or even radical policy decisions that vulnerable groups within the base of the Party. Care about. Yeah and and you know both major parties in the US. Have this struggle really all the time to some extent but then sometimes the tension kind of gets more cranked up than other times And as we're talking here in twenty twenty there's an intense struggle within the Democratic Party in particular you know. Do you reach toward the middle or even to the right to form a coalition with people who you know. Only Kinda SORTA agree with you on some things or do you push in the case of the Democrats more sharply progressive agenda. Maybe because you think that's the winning strategy or because you just don't WanNa make all those compromises and I mean to me. It just always seems like looking at the Democratic Party. There's always like a faction pulling it in the wrong direction history. So for example I think the Democratic Party of the nineteen sixties where. We're GONNA talk about Yup. I mean it had changed a lot since the eighteen sixties when it was the pro slavery pro session party right after the new deal and liberal policies under Truman and Kennedy. Now it's the political home of most working class. People right like the Democratic Party is where most working class people have every reason identity including black people are. Yeah but you still got this coalition that includes all these elected politicians down in the south where one party apartheid Jim Crow. Politics are still explicitly enforced right and leaders the Democratic Party. The National Party. Still think they have to answer to those people in order to keep this coalition Together and this is incredibly frustrating to black people especially black people living in those southern states. Yeah so like. That's the tension you see the den and I think today right. A lot of Democrats think of the choices one between a status quo kind of used to. Maybe it's not perfect or some other authoritarian like Republican Monster. But I think they forget. Is that for some groups. The status quo that that idea of normal is totally unacceptable for for people. You know what I mean. And even deadly and it's also was like that and nine hundred sixty four. That's what makes it so interesting for me right because what they were facing then was like brutal repression and they just felt like the stubbornness and these incremental arguments coming at the cost of their lives. I mean just going back to their. It was really very intense. I almost wish we could hear from somebody who lived through that time Well let's see. Actually I think I may have an old piece of audio tape line around here somewhere. Check this out. Check ONE TO JOHN. Lewis. What were you involved in the discussions about whether to do whether to do this project to invite him norms at the time of the planning for the Mississippi Summer Project. A nineteen sixty four nationa chair of the student nonviolent Coordinating Committee so I was involved in okay so just to make this clear. That's you and then a younger John Lewis more than twenty five years ago in Nineteen ninety-four. That's right Yep okay and you and you and you're making a documentary about this plan to force the Democratic Party to kind of address its own. Yes so one thousand nine hundred four and I'm making a documentary about nine hundred sixty four and what came to be called freedom summer. Of course a lot of people have heard that term but I think a lot of people may not know a lot about what happened that summer and of course now we're coming up on sixty years since freedom summer so you know. It feels lucky that I was able to talk to a bunch of the people involved back then because some of those folks are no longer with us though many still are thankfully but I interviewed a few dozen people who took part in this really pretty radical organizing effort in sixty four right so nineteen sixty four. You have America's still calling itself a democracy but all the way after the Fifteenth Amendment and all these other things right. The Democratic Party in Mississippi and other places won't even let black folks vote much less participate as elected officials and the National Party. Really isn't doing anything. Yeah not only. Was the party not doing much to stand up for political rights of black people. It was literally not protecting them from widespread racist violence especially in places like Mississippi. So what are the people leading the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi? Do they come up with a plan? That hasn't really innovative and creative but also extremely dangerous but it's a plan to force. Democratic Party to stop having both ways and choose aside once and for all from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. This is seen on radio season. Four episode seven in our series on democracy in America. We call the series the land that never has been yet. I'm John E win producer and host of the show Dr Chenjerai Kamenica whose voice you. Just hearing is my collaborator on the series. He's a journalism and media studies professor at Rutgers Artists podcasters organizer Pie chef and Baker of Zucchini bread. He'll be back again later to help me. Sort things out this episode nineteen sixty four Mississippi and really the USA. We took apart the radio documentary. I made in the nineties and updated and rebuilt it for this season using the interviews. That my co producer. Kate cabinet and I recorded back then. Deep into the twentieth century the struggle was still very much on for something resembling a multiracial democracy in the US the struggle led by Black Americans and their accomplices of all shades. What did those young people accomplish that summer? And in what they failed to achieve. What hard truths about the United States? Did they uncover yet again? Nobody called it freedom summer until after it was over to the people who organized it it was just the Mississippi Summer Project about a thousand mostly young Americans black and white came together to place themselves in the path of white supremacist. Power and Violence Lawrence. Gadot was on the staff of Snick. A student nonviolent Coordinating Committee the lead organization behind the project. The sixty four summer project was the most creative concentrated multi-layered attack on oppression in this country. There's nothing to compare with it because you brought in different people with different talents different reasons and it was a sustained fight and there was no middle ground. You either for change or you oppose change. In the early nineteen sixties White Mississippi held most of its black residents in kind of serfdom. Many work cotton farms like their enslaved ancestors legally free to come and go but with no real options for making a living share cropping and tenant. Farming arrangements paid subsistence wages. If that public education was separate and deeply unequal the state which spent less on education than any other funded black schools at a fraction of what it spent on white schools. I guess I was born in it. You know I was born in the movement going. I was born black UNITA. Blackwell was born in Nineteen thirty three. She lived all her life near the Mississippi River and Myers Ville so all my life. I knew something was wrong. You know with with the way that people perceive me as a black person because I was born in Mississippi Delta until nineteen sixty one people doing civil rights organizing and Mississippi. Did it in secret. That's how dangerous it was. I grew up in rural Alabama about fifty miles from Montgomery near little place called Troy. So I'd seen Sergei Gatien and Racial Discrimination Moma. Mon Father could not register to vote. John. Lewis said he first went to Mississippi as a freedom rider and h twenty one. No spider grown up in Alabama of. Were you know? It's not too much different but Mississippi it was just. This was the last place When you cross that line at state line and go from the state of Alabama over intimacy tippy it just as sense of something like the climate change to air got warm. Your heart starts beating. Faster was the Internet different place. Where too many people had died? Two minute bodies have been found of like bodies in the pool. A River Tallahassee River in a state of Mississippi starting in nineteen sixty one a few young staff members with snick ventured into the state they began coaxing black people to go to their county courthouse to try to register to vote. The system designed back in eighteen. Ninety to prevent black people from voting was still in place. State laws gave county registrar's all of them white discretion to decide who could become a registered voter based on literacy tests that the registrars could easily manipulate. They often approved illiterate white people and rejected almost all black people. Regardless of their actual literacy when UNITA Blackwell and a few other local black folks went to register in Myers Ville. A white mob met them at the courthouse so that courthouse that we wouldn't allow to go in less. It was time to go over there and pay your taxes or something like that. You didn't go anywhere in the back door so we was to go to that side back to try to get in and and the look on the white spaces they was. They would just read it you know. And and the anger and the hate and we stood there and I got very angry that day and determine or something happened to me and I decided nothing from nothing lease nothing because we didn't have nothing and you were going to die anyway because they stand in there with guns and you hadn't done nothing and so I went. I went to try to register the vote. Miss Blackwell was turned away without being physically attacked but some black people who tried to register in the state were beaten jailed even murdered in June of nineteen sixty three unavowed racist named Byron de la. Beckwith fired a single bullet through the heart of Medgar Evers Mississippi leader of the N. Double ACP as ever walked into his house. In Jackson Evers was a World War Two veteran and the father of three young children for White Americans in deep willful. Denial about systemic white supremacy. Here was another wakeup call. The national leader of the N. Double ACP Roy Wilkins at a press conference. We've you cold brutal deliberate. Killing in a savage uncivilised state the most savage the more sons civilized state in the entire fifty state. When Mega was assassinated? It focused a lot of national attention on Mississippi and various individuals and groups. Were considering doing something. The leader of snacks efforts in Mississippi was Bob Moses. He was just twenty nine in nineteen sixty four but that made him older than most members of snack. Moses grew up in Harlem. Heat earned a master's degree in philosophy from Harvard and he was known for being thoughtful and soft. Spoken as well as courageous. He led those early efforts to register black voters Mississippi. He'd been beaten badly and survived a sniper attack. Moses said it was the assassination of evers that drew the involvement of key white. Collaborators Allard Lowenstein a political activist from New Jersey who would later serve term in Congress and Robert Spike who led a commission on race for the National Council of Churches because certainly Al's recruitment through his whole network of white students across the country and then spikes support through the National Council of Churches with two critical ingredients in the whole idea of having the country. Take a look at firsthand. Mississippi in the fall of nineteen sixty three Moses and his collaborators proposed a massive project for the following summer the centerpiece was a plan to launch an alternative political party as a challenge to Mississippi's closed racist. One party system the organizers plan to invite up to a thousand mostly white volunteers from northern universities to help with the project and to try to register black voters the plan to bring in a lot of white students raised controversy inside the Movement. Snick was founded in nineteen sixty under the leadership of civil rights. Activists Ella Baker. It was an outgrowth of the student. Lunch counter sit ins in places like Nashville Tennessee and Greensboro North Carolina. It's leaders were black but snick was consciously integrated it had a few white staff members from its beginnings still for the mostly blacks nick staff in. Mississippi the proposed infusion of white volunteers led to sharp debate. I was opposed to the ideal of bringing in massive numbers of people from the north. Hollis Watkins grew up in Lincoln County Mississippi. He was one of the first in the state to join snack in nineteen sixty one when he was nineteen. Hollis said what he cared most about was the painstaking work that civil rights workers were doing with black mississippians themselves. I saw people who had began to take initiative for themselves and act on those decisions that they made and to me. This was growth and deep down within. I felt that young people come in from the north. Who FOR THE MOST PART? Perhaps felt that they were better than we from the South. Who felt that? They had to be on the fast track to get certain things done because they would only be here for short period of time. I felt that these people would overshadow the efforts of people from Mississippi and would retard that development and growth that had already began to take place what what was your response to that argument. Mine was verse simple. John Lewis than the national chair of snack understood the concern raised by Hollis Watkins and others but he thought the summer project was a risk worth taking. We had an opportunity to educate America that it will demonstrate that we could build a truly interracial democracy in America to have young local Primer Pool. Likes working with primarily middle class white students from the north side by side? It was something. I think that we had to try. We hadn't been down that road before either way. I mean it was damned if you do damned if you don't that saw. And but that was Mississippi Bob Moses and the rest of the snack staff Mississippi continued this debate into early nineteen sixty four when one more death of a black man tip the scales that time of year up in that part country like January. A lot of people do night hunting and stuff up that so. It's not unusual to hear gunshots in January at night and we lived a little ways off the road to you know. Henry Allen was eighteen years old and early nineteen sixty four when someone came for his father Louis at their place outside of Liberty Mississippi Lewis Allen was logger and farmer. He'd been a witness two years earlier when another black farmer. Herbert Lee was murdered for trying to register black voters so I the hurriedly story a white state representative Eh. Hearst confronted Lee in the fall of nineteen sixty one Lee and hearst were neighbors and they'd been childhood friends but Lee had stepped out of his place. He'd started working with members of snick on voter registration efforts. And that infuriated. Eh Hearst. They argued that day. And hearst shot in the head in front of more than a dozen people including Louis Allen. Hurst told police that Leeann threatened him. So each autumn in self defense the black witnesses including Lewis Allen went along with that story knowing what could happen to a black person who testified against a white man in Mississippi but later Lewis Allen quietly told a few people that the self defense story was ally hearst had shot Lee with no provocation. Allen did not testify against hearst but word spread that. He'd spoken the truth about the murder and local police and other white men started harassing and threatening him. Civil rights activists told the FBI. That Lewis Allen was in danger but the agency did not protect him on January night. His son Henry came home from date and found Lewis in the front yard related. I meant the shooter person. In the hit you know with a shotgun at close range just just chaos man yes chaos and never wanted my mom and my little sister Elvis. Mamma wanted to go down that road but she had a stroke that she had a proud to die right there. You know just too much to look at somebody that close to you because you know we was close people you know. No one was ever charged with the murder. Bob Moses and other members of the SNICK staff were in Hattiesburg discussing whether to go ahead with the summer project when the news came. Yeah I came down to was my decision to move it And what moved me was Lewis's that was it? I decided that what was important for us. A Mississippi was to see if we could break the back of the state politically civil rights. Coalition led by Snick and the Congress of racial equality or core announced plans. For what would come to be called freedom summer a peaceful program to bring democracy to Mississippi besides college students and teachers several hundred lawyers medical professionals and clergy would descend on the State White Mississippi politicians and many of the states white journalists denounced what they called an invasion by outside agitators. Police departments hired more officers and bought riot gear the Ku Klux Klan and another racist group the White Citizens Council issued threats in June hundreds of mostly white northern college students gathered in Oxford Ohio for week. Long training sessions sponsored by the National Council of Churches. We had to tell these young people exactly what they were getting ready to get involved in Hollis. Watkins helped with the training of the northern volunteers. If they will come into Mississippi they had to be prepared for at least three things. They had to be prepared to go to jail. They had to be prepared to be beaten and they had to be prepared to be killed and if they will not prepare for either one all three of those in the probably should reconsider coming to Mississippi. Snick and core staff lectured the white students on voter registration techniques and nonviolent philosophy. Bob Zellner a whites. Nick Staff member from Alabama remembers. The volunteers were also given rules for survival in the segregated south no interracial groups Traveling Day or night Unless absolutely necessary in that if that happened only one Group would be whoever was in. The minority would be hidden covered up the blankets laying on the floor boards. Whatever training in jail procedures if you're released from jail at odd hours and so forth is not somebody there refused to leave people had done that Before and disappeared men killed people? Did that afterwards. Disappear so forth. The training sessions foreshadowed the violence. That would come. But also the racial and cultural gaps among the summer project workers. Some American snick staff members were traumatized and angry. After several years in what felt like a warzone. They saw the white students as naive idealists off on a summer adventure Robbie. Osman was a nineteen year old volunteer from New York City. He remembered the tension burst open. One day during the training in Ohio when SNICKS staff members showed a film clip a Mississippi Registrar? Turning away black people trying to become voters someone had to register and he was sending them back and being vaguely threatening and it seemed to us the young white college students that this guy was as ridiculous as pathetic as caricature Racist is we ever expected to see and we laughed and to our complete surprise. 'cause WE THINK. I I speak for myself at least I really didn't expect it. This horrified this Nick Veterans Folks stood up and said how can we go to Mississippi with you? I mean how. Can we put our lives on the line with you guys? You really don't have a clue as to what's going on to you. You know you really don't know what this guy represents in the context in which he really lives and I think it was a moment in which we all had to stop and realize that gap between us if we were to reach across. It was going to take a lot of reaching on June twenty first the day after the first northern volunteers arrived in Mississippi. Three young civil rights workers disappeared after being pulled over by a sheriff's deputy near the small town of Philadelphia. One of the men was James. Chaney twenty year old Black Mississippians and a staff member with core the Congress of racial equality his mother Fannie Lee Chaney was interviewed in nineteen sixty five. Well I knew it was something had happened too much. I because I didn't care where he went. He tell me where he goes home and when he gets there if he didn't write me a letter Call me if he were just going to be going for a few days he would always call them and say. I'd be signature time on my own my way or something like that. But at all Edmund at Sunday night and then Monday I mean I just knew it was something wrong. He was software where you can get in touch with unlike Herbert Leigh and Lewis Allen and other black mississippians whose murders went unreported outside. The St James Chaney was traveling with two young white men from New York fellow. Core Staff member Michael Sh- Werner and summer volunteer Andrew Goodman the federal response. This time led Mississippi Governor Paul Johnson to hold a press conference but job offer two hundred Marines eight helicopters to join in the search for pre civil rights workers. Missing is due to survive to me. The bodies of the three young men were found six weeks later. Buried under a Red Clay Damn Mississippi authorities failed to indict anyone for the killings. The federal government eventually convicted seven white men in nineteen sixty seven including Nashoba county. Sheriff's deputy see-saw price. None of those men served more than six years in prison. Another clan leader involved in the murders. Edgar Ray killen was convicted forty one years later in two thousand five. He died in prison in two thousand eighteen. The Nation's response to the killing of white civil rights workers drove home a central point of Freedom Summer Volunteer Robbie. Osman told me for the first time. He really grasped the double standard that valued white lives more than black lives a double standard. Not just in the south but embedded in. Us Culture the very reason that we were there as white college students was that unless the country's attention was focused by by the presence of those people that this country was accustomed to caring about namely White College Students Nothing would happen. And if it was only people who this country was not accustomed to carrying about namely Black Mississippians. Then nothing would happen. And I think that what embarrasses me is the extent to which I was capable of forgetting are underestimating that. I'm it's not that I didn't know it it's that I didn't feel it. You will look out. Their new highway patrol would be sitting in white and police would be right here. They would always be because this was the corner. You know aaliyah. During the summer of Nineteen Sixty four UNITA blackwell's home became a focal point. For Civil Rights Activity as project director for Issaquah County in the Delta Blackwell had summer volunteers sleep on the floor effort to room house. And she oversaw the county's voter registration efforts because it was album daily operation. You know it wasn't like you was at home and going to prepare Get up and clean up your house and and do a meal and sit around and talk to people are good workers. I'm this was it. You know you ate. You slept you. Did everything in terms of voter registration volunteer Joe. More of Minnesota and Mississippi and Rosie head were among those who spent the summer looking for potential black voters and members for the new Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. So men going going door to door. Usually we were in pairs. While we were always in pairs usually a black person and a white person we will go from house to house and talk to people and try to encourage them to come out meetings and explain to them how they could get registered to vote in what you know good. It would do them if they could get ready to be a home on the side of the road and you'd have to park your car and you knew that if anybody came by while you were parked there if it was anybody who is related to the clan of the White Citizens Council or some racist. They know your car and your license plate so you're immediately putting the people you're talking to at risk a lot of time. We will get put out of the people they wouldn't let us pay as the gate or they'll just say They didn't want to talk to us. They didn't want to be involved in the maze and they would just be afraid to talk on the surface. The voter registration drive failed out of half a million black mississippians of voting age. Fewer than two thousand were approved as voters during freedom. Summer but that was expected the point was to show the country. How the state systematically disenfranchised black voters at the same time though a lot more black people signed up for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party which would soon make history at the Democratic National Convention. The voter registration drive during freedom. Summer had another purpose besides shining a light on the disenfranchisement of black people it also showed the nation how white people behaved when black mississippians tried to assert their rights as citizens for several years civil rights workers in the state had to ask the federal government for protection with no success. Michael Sayer was a young white man from New York and a staff member with the student. Nonviolent Coordinating Committee he recalls that the F. B. I. Under director J Edgar Hoover was well aware of Klan violence against Black Mississippians in fact the FBI had informants inside the clan but the FBI policy wasn't to intervene and prevent clan from doing what it was doing. It was simply to report back to the FBI the FBI could be on top of the knowledge. But we're talking about J. Edgar Hoover who was very hostile to the idea of independent black political activity during freedom summer under pressure from president. Johnson the FBI opened an office in Jackson but that didn't stop the abuse or the terrorism Mississippi police arrested more than thousand civil rights workers during the summer. White supremacist burned down. More than sixty black churches and homes beat up eighty civil rights workers and fired dozens of shots into the cars and offices of freedom summer workers. You came to see white faces as something to fear. Dean Zimmerman was a white volunteer from North Dakota and of course the new come to realize that this is the this is the reality of blacks every day of their lives. Especially in that situation that as you encounter a white face you immediately. Your body takes on a whole different posture. Your mind becomes very alert. You are constantly on the lookout for what you may have to do in a big hurry just to survive. Fear was there but I must say it did not stop in anything. I can't recall in one thing that I'm afraid I'm not going to do it. Dorie Ladner was mississippians already. A veteran SNICK staff member by nineteen sixty four when she turned twenty two during freedom. Summer she was project director at snicks. Office in natchitoches where she says she spent sleepless nights. Taking threatening phone calls from white supremacists I'll suffer from trying to dodge white men and pick up trucks were about will not gonna come and bomb the house. Where sleeping whether or not we were going to get killed. And I don't like to ride in front of cars right now because I couldn't drive there in town. I was always afraid of a drive by shooting. Those problems. Ladner told us the stress was so great. She vomited most nights after eating dinner. For some civil rights workers the fears came horribly. True Matt's Juarez was on the staff of the Congress of racial equality. He remembers one night. Someone made the mistake of bringing white volunteer to an organizing meeting in the town of Canton. Just outside Jackson. We had certain areas where we knew that if a black guy in the white woman seeing together it was almost certain at that time. Canton Mississippi was one of those places. Word got out at a white woman was in the meeting with black man and a white mob including men from the sheriff's Department gathered outside core staff members decided to send out several black men in one card. Draw the mob away and then sneak the white women out in another car. Mats Juarez and another core staff member road in the decoy vehicle. With George Raymond who was a leader of core and Mississippi and about fifty pickup trucks? God behind us with white boys hanging off the running boards with chains and pipes and baseball. Bats me scream and killing niggers you know and all of this crap and a highway patrolman and a sheriff's deputy and have done to stand these. This was a a two lane highway one lane in each direction. They got in both lanes following US and put their bright lights on behind us and I told him George he said No. We can't acid. George this is no time to be stopping out here in the middle of no way it them George Protocol on a Goddamn side. They took George out. They had him behind. Call right in the headlight. So that all we could see with silhouettes and they just beat George into the ground I mean they. They literally just pulverized him all day on highway and Two highway patrolman came over to us and and he says he got twenty four hours to get your black asses. Outta Mississippi's if we ever catching he again. We don't kill you. And that ended at the turn them around. It took off and we went and picked Georgia highway. Put Him in the car drove into Jackson. But you can't imagine the fear that's gripping you at the time that that's happening that you know they add they. WanNa kill you. They can do it. There's nothing to stop them. And that stuff stays with you a long time a a long time Oh Aw George. Raymond survived that beating and several others. He got in Mississippi jails but his fellow civil rights workers say he changed from a lighthearted young man to a tense bitter one. He died of a heart attack in. Nineteen seventy-three lose thirty years old. A primary organizers put the southern civil rights movement did not meet in offices in Atlanta or Washington. Dc or New York. They gathered at night usually in black churches. In small towns on on rural back roads the form strategy and gain strength from one. Another music was a source of healing unity and motivation bobby and and down in this nineteen sixty three recording. Hollis Watkins the SNICK STAFF MEMBER. We heard from earlier led the singing at a civil rights meeting Jackson in our interview in Nineteen ninety-four Hollis explained that most of the Freedom Songs were adapted from Gospel Blues and Folk Music as tools for movement organizing in the mass meetings. You wanted to raise the interest you wanted to raise the spirit and in doing that it coincided with what would be going on in your daily active ages hang on and learn who by turn me round. Turn me around turn me around and going to live new by the turn me round. I'M GONNA keep on walking. Keep on talking fide and four my equal rise are you would say margin down the Freedom Lane. And as you're saying the different songs getting the spirit and momentum going you could eventually get to the song where you you. You're saying the question that kind of lock people in you know and we'll you register an old certain Law Registan Vo. Turn the law will. You're right just an all certain law Sir News. Certain a certain law. We Will You march downtown. Certain law will await Fannie Lou Hamer. She was good about that. You know after we get people to sing in certain songs and if they made certain commitments in song then she would hold on to that after the meeting and everything can buy that house on Monday Moan Fannie Lou. Hamer was a potent voice in the Mississippi Civil Rights movement in Nineteen Sixty two after being recruited by sneck activists she went to the county courthouse in the Indian Nola to register to vote as a result the white owner of the plantation where her family worked as sharecroppers. Evicted them a couple of weeks later night. Riders Shot Sixteen Bullets into a house where they thought the Hamer's were staying but they weren't there the following year. Mrs Hamer was severely beaten in a y known Mississippi jail after several people. She was with us. The whites only restroom and lunch counter at a bus station. I was in jail with With Mrs Hamer and Donna. You've esther simpson was seventeen year old activist at the time. I was I remember. I really was not afraid. I was just as more angry than anything because I share to sell. Its haymond remember. We I sat up all night with her applying Coal towels and things to her face in her hands trying to get a fever down and to make an help the pain go away and the only thing that got us through that was at you know we were. We were all in these sales that you know right along a wall and we sang. We sang all songs. Got Us through so many things and without that means it. I think we probably would have many of us have just lost our minds or lost our way completely a me from June through August nineteen sixty four freedom. Summer organizers tried to bring America to Mississippi at the end of the summer organizers got ready to place the reality of Mississippi before the country's largest political party to test that party's commitment to democracy and Fannie Lou Hamer was about to take her turn on the national stage a white registrars had mostly blocked Black Mississippians from registering to vote during the summer but alongside. That effort organizers had also created a new political party the Mississippi Freedom Democrats white registrars had. No say in who could join this party. So by August the Freedom Democrats had signed up sixty thousand black members and a few white ones. It was an open democratic contrast to the states regular Democratic Party which excluded black people and ran. Mississippi's White Supremacist Society. Lawrence was the new. Party's chairman we paralleled the state organization Mississippi where we could where we possible to do so and remained alive. We had our registration fall. We conducted precinct meetings. We conducted convention meeting conducted County meetings and Congressional district meetings. We elected delegation. We then put that delegation on the way to Atlantic City on in August at its national convention in Atlantic City New Jersey. The Democratic Party was set to nominate President Lyndon Johnson for another term. The Democrats wanted what major parties always wanted their conventions unity and as little controversy as possible but the Mississippi Freedom Democrats the FTP got in buses and headed for Atlantic City. Sixty four black people and four whites some of them. John Lewis Remembers leaving Mississippi for the first time in their lives and we went to the Democratic convention hoping and dreaming that this interracial party. This biracial party will be seated as the official Democratic Party of Mississippi speaking to the Party's credentials committee on the first days of the convention. The Freedom Democrats said that unlike the all white party they had followed. The party's rules. Only their party was open to everyone so only their delegates had been properly elected. Is Mrs Panel Lew Hayman and I live at six to six east. Lafayette Street rebuilding Mississippi. The Freedom Democrats chose Fannie Lou Hamer as their most important witness before the credentials committee. She spoke for eight minutes without notes. Her hands clasped in front of her. Mrs Hamer told the story of her beating in the why known jail the previous year her crime again using the whites only restroom at a bus station WHO LINE. The Bay came to my fail. One of these men were the State Highway Patrol. Said we're GONNA make you wish you would be the jailers. Put Her in cell where two black men were locked up. The authorities ordered the black man to beat Mrs Hamer with a blackjack a police baton feet on the ground state highway patrolman auto the Second Negro to take the blackjack I began to scream and one white man got up and began to beat in my head empowerment to hook one white man address had worked up on. He walked over on address. I address down and he addressed back up. I was in jail when Matt Albers was murdered. All of its own account of we won't register to become first class and up. The Freedom Democratic Party is not treated now our question a male American the land of the free in the home of brain. We have to sleep with our phones off the hook because find my threaten Dana. Because we won't to did some human being stated stated the case and she told her story and told the story of the People Mississippi and we really thought we had one today several Mississippi and said they believed that if the credentials committee had taken a vote right then they would have seated the Freedom Democrats and sent the all White Democrats home but party leaders intervened Lyndon Johnson was afraid he'd lose any support. He had among white southerners in the November general election if the Freedom Democrats the IMF DP were seated Johnson asked Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey his choice for vice president to negotiate with the freedom. Democrats Bob Moses. Johnson is the President Johnson. Says if you want to be vice president then you deliver this so it straight POW politics the MVP. You get this monkey off. Our back. Humphries young protege from Minnesota and another future vice president is Walter. Mondale at Humphries. Direction Mondale offer the Freedom. Democrats a compromise to members of their delegation. One black and one white would be seated as delegates at large members of the all white party would be seated only if they promised to support Johnson for president and the National Party promised never again to see a segregated delegation Mondale announced the proposed compromise at the Convention. It may not satisfy everybody the screamed on the right or the freemen the left but we think it is they compromise. Everybody rejected the plan. Most members of the all White Mississippi Party were goldwater supporters. After Mondale's proposal all but four of them left the convention. The Freedom Democrats said no to the compromise to UNITA blackwell. The organizer we heard from earlier from Myers Ville was one of the party's delegates The compromise was was two seats and MS Hayman said we. We don't take no two seats all of our sixty caves that no two seats I would say first of all They came with a powerful moral case. I interviewed Walter. Mondale in Nineteen ninety-four recounting the indisputable fact that Blacks and Mississippi were sealed out of the Democratic Party that the delegation that had been officially sent from Mississippi which was all white was selected on a rigged discriminatory basis and that. Our party finally had to do something about what was Moral disgrace in the end. They just didn't have the guts to do it. Snack staff member Frank Smith. Everybody agreed with us off knew it was wrong. The all new violated the constitution. They all knew it had to be done sooner or later. They all knew all of the right things they just couldn't do it at the time and Disillusioned also great deal. I this losing actually the civil rights movement quite considerably and I think it was a great disappointment. John Lewis this could have been. I think the real final Straw that set in a period of discontent and appear of bitterness and a D. Deep despair on the part of a lot of young people that work so hard right after freedom. Summer young organizers felt they had taken on American racism and got trampled lead registered few black voters in Mississippi. Their challenge to the Democratic Party had been turned aside Dave. Dennis was the Mississippi Director of the Congress of racial equality but it achieved more than it exposed to system. Okay from top to bottom and what it did is supposed to show that that there was a conspiracy to some extent unwritten. You know there was just so far that people are going to make changes to work on step on too many people's toes at this time in this country in really what type of Iraq this country was pulled others looking back later had a more positive. Take on the summer. And what it accomplished. I think that every time we got someone to register the vote every time we got someone to attempt to rich about whether they were successful or not. Every time we got someone white allowed to stay in their home every time we got someone to stand up and say yes we had changed now. You don't do that and then undo it two weeks later and go back and become what you were before that act. People came out of the Mississippi Summer Project and looked at the questions that affected our lives ever after questions about gender questions about sexuality questions about war and peace and We had Real knowledge of a way to function what we were unable to do it. Maybe IN MISSISSIPPI BUT WE ABLE TO BILL O. MISSISSIPPI BILL ON ATLANTA'S CITY. And I think we did it in some the Selma to Montgomery March in the spring of nineteen sixty five was followed a few months later by the signing of a landmark bill to Mississippi Summer Project laid the foundation created the climate created environment for the passage of the nineteen sixty-five to make it possible for hundreds and thousands and millions of blacks to become registered. Devoted John Hey. John the seems like another one of those stories. Where when you add up the outcomes there's good news and bad news right and you have to decide which to tell I but also which is more important which to emphasize yes because you know we always want to try to take the right lessons from this history and I think that it's tricky because there was a defeat right. I mean we can see despite all of that organizing five the Mississippi Freedom Democrats Johnson and then felt like they were facing this dilemma And I mean the thing is. They knew that the Mississippi Freedom Democrats proposal was to seat the delegation that actually represented the state. That's clearly the more democratic option. Yes and that had actually followed. The party's own rules for how you choose delegation unlike the other one exactly and yet ultimately they come out with in a way that can only be described as against democracy. Really in that moment And so I think you know you have this example right of the Democrats claiming to represent the most vulnerable members of the party but then they kind of feels like they sold those those members out And then they they excuse the give right is that the they have to appease conservative faction within the party. Yeah and it's a very real thing for people right people in that situation. Think they're making a hard headed political calculation. We may have to give up our deepest principles right now but at least that's going to help us win and hold onto power so we can do more good down the road right. But how did that work out in? Nineteen sixty four the SOC- that's the key question so which you have to pay attention to. Is that the southern states that they worked so hard to appease. What did they do well? Mississippi and three other states ultimately voted for the Republican President Goldwater Right. I mean it was just coming out with this explicitly racist platform and they sort of felt insulted that they were asked to be more democratic. So Lyndon Johnson didn't get those electoral college votes anyway after bending over backwards to please the southerners At the convention but mostly here. We're sort of focusing so far on the bad news side of the story. That's right yeah I mean all of that is true but I still think that. That's a short sighted way of understanding the legacy of freedom summer so there's a longer and wider story about that that has to be told and one place that you might start as like you know in the process of that really contentious convention the DNC offers the Mississippi Freedom. Democrats this compromise right. They say well we'll see two of your delegates they won't have voting rights and all this other stuff and then maybe next time or something and you know the Miss Mississippi free of Democrats reject right. You know I mean you can just see fairly. Hamer and I'm like I didn't come away. Pay For this. And but that compromise that the DNC offered sets a precedent that over time transformed the delegation process and ultimately transforms the Democratic Party itself. It winds up becoming kind of institutionalized in seventy two when they create like this McGovern Frazier Commission to figure out to to look at sort of contentious moments like that and once that stuff is institutionalized it paves the way for this like unprecedented increase of black elected officials at the local level. Some at the national level judges etc And their policies really do make a difference in a number ways. Yeah so it's really. It's it's a really powerful legacy of the Mississippi Freedom Democrats And speaking of the longer view there's an aspect of the Mississippi Summer Project Freedom Summer that we really haven't even mentioned up to now And you and I agreed we have to at least touch on it here and that is the freedom schools. That's it you know I mean again. This is one of the limited ways that I think. Sometimes people only look at the success of things in terms of like specific electoral victories. Or something but you know. Social movements are also like these places where people are learning new strategies new ways to organize and the Freedom. Summer was a really incredible example of that. So you have this while. They're doing the voter registration and building the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Some black civil rights workers and white student. Volunteers actually spent the summer running these schools all over Mississippi. They invite black children to spend their day at those schools. The teaching black history including African history the talking to them about the political and economic realities of Jim Crow. And you know the goal was really to plant seeds in the minds of those young people who were definitely not supposed to think for themselves according to the racist power structure. Yeah exactly the. The education system was not only profoundly the actually the the white schools got four times the funding that the black schools got and even the white schools were poorly funded. That's right so imagine right. And then and then also the schools Mississippi schools at the time. did not teach foreign languages and they didn't even teach civics. Yeah I mean it's just you see scholars and people who lived through there and they say you know this was a system explicitly designed to stifle independent thought and self determination not teach civics. Ri- adding this yes. Oh the freedom. Schools were part of a really a long term strategy built-in to freedom summer to really build democracy by creating politically aware young black citizens who would understand that they had to get involved and to stay involved if if this if their world was going to change the it's really just interesting brilliant grassroots movement building strategy. That's right and you know all those things like protests and that deeper organizing inspire students struggles beyond the southern southern movement. Right you see it in groups like the students for Democratic Society Than Northern Stirred Movement etc and some of those movements right there. There are also taking past simply electoral politics. I mean even like looking at the school and other places right. Ask sites for for expanding democracy But I do think it's important that in the wake of what would seem like. I mean what was like a devastating electoral defeat at the convention. The SNICK leaders still don't see the territory of the vote. That's really important right. They don't give up on electoral politics because they understand too important. It's you know. And and that effort this starts in Jackson actually continues years later and other places right one of the most important places is the Lowndes County Alabama Organizing Kwami. Torri formerly named Stokely Carmichael and other leaders with down allowance and form something called Lowndes County Freedom Organization the Lowndes County Organization has also the origins of the Black Panther Symbol. Because they choose that symbol. Yeah and and I had learned that in the process of doing this freedom. Summer thing but one one thing. I didn't know that until you told me. Just recently. The Democratic Party the all White Democratic Party in Alabama at the time it symbol was a white rooster. Yes Alabama Democrats ever white rooster and a slogan that says and I quote white supremacy for the right so white supremacy is in the slogan of the Democratic Party in the nineteen sixties in Alabama. That's right and so you know. And then like the kind of get rid of the slogan but they keep the symbol which kind of evokes that slogan all the way up until nineteen ninety six and so this choosing of the Black Panther symbol was in partner respond to that. Because you know they had the saying they were like okay. You got a rooster but Black. Panthers eat roosters. Yeah Right. I put my money on the Black Panther every time against the rooster right. So that was the origin of the Black Panther being adopted as a symbol and then it was adopted by the much. More famous Black Panthers of Oakland California. That's right because you know. They became aware of that symbol. And the other part of the of the message. Which was that you know what happens when a panther is backed into a corner and they have to fight right and so he. Bobby Seale adopted symbol but they also later recruit stokely. Carmichael as Honorary Prime Minister of the Party. Wow so yeah but going back to the Lounge County Freedom Organization. I mean it wasn't just that they had like a December. I mean they did some concrete organizing right. I mean in nineteen sixty six. They registered over two thousand people and then five years later. They elected their own activists as Mayor County Commissioner and Sheriff. Right so you know that. That's not necessarily like you know the end of the revolution or something but it did have concrete effects on black life in that area and when. I look like local politics. I mean here in Philly. We have you know. City Council members like Helen Gim Kendra Brooks who was recently elected Larry Crasner RDA. I mean whether we're talking about sanctuary cities. The Corona virus relief that ability to control politics at the local level has been really important for vulnerable groups to push back when the National Party feels that their demands are too radical. And I think this is important. This point you're making Because I think a lot of people look at we look at mostly politics at the national level and and we think that what matters are the leaders themselves who who are we gonNa vote for the actions. They are taking and people out in the world maybe engaging in activism at the local level. But that's mostly about local issues and doesn't really have much to do with what's happening nationally right. It's the that's kind of a separate thing and I think that what can get lost in. Those narratives is the way that local activism really can make stuff happen at the national level to and this is a really powerful example. Now the thing we haven't mentioned yet is that it was during the summer of sixty four in July of that year that Congress passed and Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act huge landmark legislation along with the voting rights. Act of sixty five the other major piece of legislation of that period that really dramatically pushed civil rights ahead in this country remember. The Civil Rights Act banned segregation in public institutions. And it outlawed discrimination on the basis of race sex religion or national origin. That law was passed because of Activism. Black folks in places like Birmingham and Alabama people forget. The Kennedy was dragging his feet civil rights during the first couple of years in office. You know yeah I mean you know people people like Martin Luther King too sure about Kennedy. Actually you know. But the movement and the violet white response to it finally forced him to act. Yeah and then after Kennedy is assassinated. Congress passes you know the law and Johnson's signs it so it's not some biased partisan argument. Right it's the verdict of history. That is what works sustained activism overtime relentless pressure by people's movements on the ground. The other thing that it seems like we keep learning though. Chenjerai is Is that victories. Like these victories that advanced democracy and equality they're never one permanently. Are they know the history of struggle and you have to fight to maintain those rights because there's always forces try to take them away next time the second redemption the anti-democratic backlash that followed the new deal and to civil rights movement. The right wing campaign to put democracy on a leash started long before two thousand sixteen. The show's website where we post transcripts and other goodies is seen on Radio. Dot Org follow us on facebook and twitter at seen on radio. Chandra is APP. Catch a tweet down our editor. This season is Loretta. Williams music consulting and production help by Joe Augustine of narrative music. Our theme song. The underside of power is by Algiers. Other music this season by John Eric. Cada Eric Novo and Lucas be win. The freedom song recordings in this episode were courtesy of Smithsonian folk ways archival audio from the Mississippi Department of Archives and history the episode was adapted from the Nineteen Ninety four documentary. Oh freedom over me produced by me with consulting producer Kate Cabinet. It was a Minnesota public radio production from American public media. Big thanks to Michael Beth. Second for production help in making this adaptation seen on radio is distributed by P R X. The show comes to you from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University Ex.
Mourning in the Black community
"Throughout the nineteen eighty s strange phenomenon with sweeping North America. They were in a panic and like people in a panic. They want solutions allegations of underground satanic cults, torturing and terrorizing children. The thing is. There were no satanic cults preying on children and nearly thirty years later. The people touched by it all are still picking up the pieces. A work of fiction. This is a work of history. Satanic panic. The latest. CBC, I'm cover. Available now. This is a CBC podcast. Off. Back. Protests continued this weekend across the United States and Canada against police brutality, and in member of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police two weeks ago after a memorial service last week in Minneapolis, and in his birthplace of North Carolina over the weekend. Floyd's body is returning to Houston where he spent most of his life today there will be a public visitation followed by funeral tomorrow, Pastor Patrick in Wollo, lawyer and founder of Resurrection Houston and it's also. Also a good friend of George Floyd he will be helping to lead the memorial service course of the next hours. We'll be speaking with him coming up on the program shortly in the meantime, this is a difficult time in a difficult moment for black communities around the globe. It is a moment of grief, but also of morning, and you're seeing that on the streets and the protests. There's a lot of anger, but there's also a general sense of exhaustion. And people feeling as though they are grieving something collectively that sense of grief, and that sense of grieving will be felt as we mentioned in Houston, but it's also being felt in cities around the world. The home going is the culmination in Houston of six days of ceremonies happening in three different cities. A Gray! How. We. The. Our. In Minneapolis. Torch Floyd was honored with Song and prayer and family members shared fond memories. Slow. You know my brother. We did a lot of things together from like talking with my mom dancing with my mom cooking, mom, brothers and sisters. So much we may, but now menes sandwiches together you know. It was. It was a family thing you know. And then the civil rights leader the Reverend Al Sharpton delivered a Eulogy Calling for Justice and Change. Frauds story, has, been the story of black folks because. Since four hundred and one years ago. The reason we could never be who we wanted and dream being is you kept your knee on our net? As I mentioned today there will be a public visitation and a funeral tomorrow George Floyd Pasture Pack Patrick Anglo is a lawyer and founder of Resurrection Houston a good friend of George Floyd as well pastor good morning. Good morning how I'm well, and I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you. What's? kind of friend George Floyd who who was he as as a friend to you. you George Floyd. I've met him. top of flow of the decade. I was a student pastor trying to do ministry work in the third ward. you homes project area of of? And he? was. Instrumental in. Helping me break into the neighborhood. He New People that I didn't know He. helped us as far as Meeting folk in talking to folks kept. Our Events in things like that say. And Just hospitable! He was gentle giant on so my old. Louis Fluid. How have you been processing the last two weeks in what you've seen across the United? States here in Canada and right around the world. Man I. Did it number of. Energy? Put. Possibly it's real. it underscores rights that off couple of weeks ago. From. Death. That's. An inflection points in your in your country. Yeah On the mopped. The center of racism is GonNa. Amass the US. We were going to go towards chaos or towards limited. I don't think we can go back to the way things used to be. There have been protests against racism and police violence in for decades, throughout the United States and around the world. Why is this moment? Do you think different? Why do you think because of what happened two weeks ago? You can't go back as you say. I think that what I don't think people may appreciate is. Every time. There's a Hashtag in particular segments of our society. Is. Unbearable anger that a arises, put in. quickly. They're able to put it away, but these hashtags up over time, and I think this one. Most people who side or the people who who've been angry after every Hashtag I think there was just a level of man. I'm tired. I'm setup I can't. The level frustration boiled over to the point of and this particular death was so singular in that you could see it from all angles and It shouldn't matter, but I mean. I it just for most people resonated. I'm tired. We're going to do something. Is that oh? I think man, Y, Y, you think you're at the end of the rope as I say. Is that how you feel I mean there's we've been talking about that sense of collective grief and exhaustion. Is that how you feel coming out of? This is just being tired. I, think initially I was I was tired. and I think I spent some time lamenting in grieving and man. It's time ago where doing some things here on the ground, and so now you could feel that there was this collective sense, and then I think after his funeral. You'll probably see people spring to Action. With their various campaigns and such. What would you like to see happen in the days following I mean today and tomorrow will be huge events in in Houston and the community will come together, but what happens in those in those days following. I think that you see people. calling out governments into account And I'll masive into town out churches into account saying hey, bid needs to be a national whether it's day time year of repentance from systemic. Slash corporate racism. What do you make what's happening? In Minneapolis where city council, there's pledging to to dismantle the police department, the Police Department that was responsible for the death of George Floyd. I actually think that that's a good thing. When say dismantle if we mean. Sinking about rethinking how we do, releasing I think that's a good thing. police corps so I sent you. To any. Any thriving. Third World Country But I think that all the structures. Economic legal. political needs to be examined the reexamined in light. Of The fact that racism is at the fault line. Most of Western civilization. What do you expect to happen today? I suspect a city to come out and to celebrate. His favorite of and I think it'll be a great time. I mean you know bittersweet time. But the time of memories in celebration of life that. was cut down in, the prime. I'm sorry for your loss and I appreciate you speaking with us this morning. Pastor, thank you. It was my pleasure. Thank you very much. Pastor Patrick England is a lawyer and the founder of Resurrection Houston close friend as well as George Floyd. He was in Houston. Texas. I'm Dr Hillary Bride. Let me, take. You or microphones rarely go into my therapy office. It's where my clients hurt. He'll and ultimately thrive. You'RE GONNA. Hear private conversations that we rarely ever have with ourselves. Let alone share with others. Welcome, to other people's problems. Maybe along the whale discover that other people's problems are a lot like your own. season. Three's out now. Subscribe on CBC. Listen Or. Wherever you. Get Your podcasts. We've been talking about that idea of grief. And mourning the kind of public outpouring of grief and anger has a long history in black communities and in political movements, the murders of black people in the memorials to them have been crucial in struggles for civil rights desegregation, and the ability of slavery joined now by two people with insight into that history in the pain of collective grief and the power of collective morning Kenny Fletcher. At Albright College in an expert in African American culture in history, so so the president of the collective of radical deaf study now Ford is a minister and activist PhD candidate as well in religious and African American studies at Princeton University and the son of a black funeral director. Good morning to you both. Good Morning Morning Cami. We just heard pastor in willow, talk about exhaustion, and just being tired that sense of a collective. That is hanging around people? Is that how you feel? Yeah you know when he was talking. I thought about Sandy Lillehammer. You know who coined the phrase I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired and nineteen sixty four rights activists. in wins the political route. You know the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and what's so telling is a few days ago, I just her great niece on TV. She had been shot with rubber. Bullets may lose an is you know in experiencing the same thing and it was just crazy. You know in which she kept saying was. We can't keep going through. You know if any little Hamer sharecropper almost lost her life. There's absolutely you know collective tiredness, but when black folks get tired, we gather strength together collectively, and we get active that that's part of our history now Ford. What have you been thinking about over these last few days as you've seen to point to that that kind of collective exhaustion? Well. In many ways I. think that we're recognizing that something is very unprecedented. But at the same time as all too familiar. I'm black. Folks entire. Centuries in this country, but I think we're reaching the combination of an expression of not just exhaustion, but of rage and I think those things are inseparable part of the reason why folks are so angry. Is that because have been so tired? and I think that it's inspiring to see people with their backs up against the wall who had been quarantined for much at this point? To essentially walk out into the streets and risk their lives in order to save other lives. I think it's truly inspire funeral rituals. We know are important in all cultures. What's the special significance Nile in black communities? What's distinctive about what happens in black communities? So much I, mean historically. It's been central to how we forge African. American life you can go back to slavery and see how slave rebellions plotted at the funeral of enslaved folks Gabriel proser Nat Turner. After that tournus rebellion. The Commonwealth of Virginia passed legislation to actually ban black preaching at Lazio generals because they saw as threatening. We see that all throughout African American culture and history I think the most familiar example is mammy kills decision to keep the casket open, so the world could see what they've done to her baby. And I think it's important to realize. Many historians argue that that the pictures of the images of her son Emmett till actually spark the civil rights movement. We see that all the way through. Even the black lives matter where you have breen newsome, climbing a thirty foot pole, and taking down the confederate flag the day after Obama eulogize Reverend, pick me, and she said in an interview that when she saw his. His casket role by the flag. It's a part of what agitated her to do it and we see the same thing to that. He expressing grief out in the street Chemi pick up on what comes out of these collective moments of of morning, and and how do you see I mean the whole idea of the home going the funeral rituals that have been so important as NAS to to black liberation movements. Thinking about it, you know historically in some of these first laws right in the colonies in Virginia was against black folk gathering for funerals and one of the things that we know about how black folks were using You know funerals as a form of resistance is that slaveholders diaries and writing that have come down to us. They kept writing out right and it was this idea that Oh, you know. The slave holder is accepting. This is no black. Folks are refusing to roll over you know, and they're continuing to memorialize, and I think in our rituals what I've seen in my own research, definitely in the twentieth century. Is this idea fighting? Fighting back against that stereotypical near right, so if white society you know sees you as definitely during the Jim Crow ear, the nineteen twenties nineteen forty as this brute. You know this angry, animalistic black man. You know, mammy. Here's the black woman here you know to serve why folks in that General Right? You are the untethered to your community. I'm a mother I'm a sister, an aunt, and then shown through first of all the number of mourners at come right. There's hundreds of people that want to gather in to pay their last last respect. Then you look at how black folks have used material culture right, so we're having horses that are drawn glass casket. Multiple floral arrangements to say no. We are a three dimensional human. That was part of this community. That's missed about this community. You know we're not just your here. In this moment where people are connected in ways part of this. Pandemic, where we haven't been able to go out, and you can't do the things he could you know rub somebody in the back or give a hug or something and in a moment of grief. How has this moment changed? That context can. Yeah. you know that collective coming together? for black folks is essential and I'm saying you know many white Americans, really leaning into You know digital whether they're leaning into zoom and saying you know I wouldn't have had to find time to this funeral anyway and really embracing it. in different ways I'm saying in the collective black community and I. WanNa be clear about this. You know this collective black community is this consciousness. Is this identity forced or slavery? So there's differences as it relates to. To religion, as it relates to economic region for the most part, they're feeling really incomplete I'm hearing that I'm hearing cheated. in folks are opting to wait you know you can. They've done the fifteen person in funeral home? You know funeral. Wake all in one but a good friend of mine. She's waiting in November. which we think outside of open up again or either you know next year to have full home going. You know you're not fully celebrated. If everyone, the newest person you know is not able to really. Gather up and remember all about celebrating the life that that's a big component of ritual. Now now you grew up in a funeral home. Myself? Cami No, no, but not in the Nile now grew up in a funeral home. In Newark New Jersey, and what did you learn about grief and those rituals academy was talking about. Where you grew up. I think several things one is how we've turned a ritual of death into a celebration of life. you go to any black funeral? Most blacks through knows at least. You're GONNA see joy and sorrow being inseparable. You'RE GONNA see folks, shouting and jumping and dancing and clapping, and you're going to see a eulogist and. Sweating and A frenzy while folks cry, but also a lot folks shout out and last you're gonNA. See A repast after the funeral where folks are telling stories and eating food. So I that the way that black folks have responded to loss and death is remarkable. How we made a celebration of and I think that's also reflected in the protect. The chance the dancing the energy the pageantry that we see funeral sort of reflecting over in the way that we protests. I think the other thing is how we given in death. to are deceased what times they don't receive in life, and that's also historical, so the pageantry the adornment, the ways in which we treat the body we beautify it I. think that's part of the reason why Ferguson exploded because when you leave a black boys body on the pavement bleed. For, four and a half hours I think that local community refused. To accept that in part because of how dear we've treated our debt, so I think a celebration of life and a way in which we've given to I dead in debt. What they haven't had him life just in it. We only have a few seconds left, but do you see as the Pastor said Nile? A moment that has momentum beyond what we'll see in the next couple of days. Absolutely. we see people rising up in the street. We see folks also organizing. We see folks demanding that government officials define law enforcement budgets, so yes, we see grief. Yes, we see rage, and we also see strategizing organizing movements that are going to. Go Pass this particular moment, and so I'm very excited to see the latest iteration of this movement, and I'm very excited to see folks translating and concerning their grief into rage, and into something that will outlast this particular moment. It's really great to speak with you both this morning. Thank you for your time. Thank you. Thank you so much? Now Ford is the son of a black funeral director also minister activists PhD candidate in religious and African American studies at Princeton University Cami. Fletcher is a professor at Albright. College. Who Studies African American deaf practices. For more CBC PODCASTS TO CBC DOT CA slash podcasts.
The Working Families Party
"It's time for class giving just doesn't begin and end on election day. This is Sunday. Civics the home for the civically engaged with political strategist L. Joy Williams Sirius. Xm's urban view. Welcome welcome welcome to Sunday. Civics the home for the civically engaged. Happy Easter Sunday. Everyone I am your host your civics teacher and your neighborhood political strategist l. Joy Williams and I hope you and your family are safe and healthy so many of us have been impacted by the covert nineteen pandemic and so many of us including In my own family have lost family members had to file for unemployment trying to manage healthcare coverage and much more and I want all of you to know that I may not know your names individually but I am praying for all of you for all of us now. Some of US are more impacted by this crisis than others. And it's important to acknowledge that while yes. This is a global pin. Dimic that we are all experiencing everyone will not experience it the same and different people within the different levels of support while we're in crisis and during our road to recovery. But we'll talk more about covert nineteen a little later in the show right now. I have a great guests to bring to the front of the class. We've talked a lot about political parties here on the show and their role in our politics and our political discourse and I want to introduce you to more than just the two dominant parties so cheesy Nonaka a season community or go nizer and national leader in the progressive movement who has been her career building power for working people. She's the daughter of Nigerian immigrant. Parents born and raised in New York. She attended Yale and she began organizing their with local. Union of Cafeteria and custodial workers. Today she is the director of the New York State. Working Families Party so not welcome to Sunday civics. Thanks so much for stopping by. Thank you for having the joy so one of the first things we do any times there someone joining us for the very first time we liked to get a perspective on who you are by giving us a story we believe in the power storytelling here. Sunday civics so. Why don't you give us a quick story of Your First Civic Action Thank you? That's a great frigging question So you can tell you a little bit myself I wore inbred here in New York. My parents are with African immigrants And so My childhood my early years or really formed by a sense of Quest for belonging right living in the country that my parents not call Their own Always feel offensive marginality yet really Hungering for for full community and so Well actually got to college. I go to college and this was the place that my parents had you know. Pushed towards for so long had really invested in our education and really thaw our Education of being like a pathway for headlines of possibility Got The collagen felt immediately disillusioned That the space the space of learning what stone mapped onto clear lines of differential of food in and who is out That public service was really free. The strong careerist way And I had a hunger and thirst for something that felt different for. You know what I know but you know it in my early readings in College of Politics. Deliberation and black feminists literature. I really wanted to me. That was that was rooted and Follow Bertie and so I got involved in Labor organizing actually happening on campus Somewhat innocently it started with a lot of wonderful conversations with other black women on campus on the dining hall staff on campus With obviously not coincidentally majority black folks and so building real relationships as of sisterhood and momentum talking to you in particular Shirley Lauren cafeteria worker in the dining hall There who was telling me about how spent more time outside of work at our time. Spent outside of work was organized. Never Community of knock younger neighbors doors talking about the new city that they all deserved talking about the fact that the university the largest employer but failed to actually provide Real tacklers opportunity for their workers. Children did not pay taxes in the city so left the city quite disinvested Despite the fact that this was one of the largest you know universities in the world. Who are the wealthiest universities in the world? And so the what was really relational work Talking to other women talking to matriarchs Embarrassed Community. You can do not feed them formerly leader. But we're doing more to transform outcomes of their children and their neighbors was. What got me excited about organizing and what helped me realize that yes. I'M GONNA try to figure out my own narrative and my own story of how fit in in the country whatever country in mind to transform it all starts with solidarity based struggle at all started people connecting on shared experience and shared Northstar. And so I always know remember early conversations with Shirley Where you realize that organized across different but most powerful that we can do And having a clear shared You know vision With people like our best way to build the world that we want to so I've taken a lot of those lessons and all the work they do. It's fundamentally based in relationship and a desire for People to understand their faith are ultimately completely interlinked. Wow would you say that given the history in terms of the connection of what your political values are now and how that connects to your values with your parents because we we we talk a lot on the show about will? I advocate for people personally. In my opinion that people need to develop their own political values and not have it be swayed because you have a party identification for a lot of people. Their political value stem from how they were race stemmed from their parents people pick their political party based upon what their parents have always been and assume well my parents were Republicans. That's what I'm supposed to be. You know kind of taught how the the the mechanics of how you develop values on your own and that could be from political to to anything right now. I think that's really interesting. I think What's hard especially in the country and our two party system right and so we are automatically taught that you know you're basically picking a letter two evils and he goes to the ballot box. And so your party has never actually really presented at a direct reflection of who you are and so you know the ballot box and parties are tactical if you say but not personal not transformational not really representative and so I think in part of what inspired and excited me to do work with the Working Families Party but what if we actually had political vehicle that knocked on much closer to who we are as people and the type of world that we want. We think we deserve right. Can we actually build political homes for people where your individual values right? But you're taught when you're young about about connectivity and fellow Derradji and Carrying for your neighbor and You know and not building off of baton on dot mapping values based on difference If we can actually create a political homes that reflected in body though that actually also can win right people say the Democratic Party or people. Stick with You know Incumbent et Cetera because there was a belief that they could win right. There's a Experience there's the security there the familiarity at all But what if we can actually vote? Vote our values that but with our heart and believe that our politics are knocked onto our political identity. And actually we've got a chance to win at the ballot box by doing so. We're hoping Other countries obviously have multi-party system We're really hoping that by being viable non delusional third party people don't feel though they're quote unquote big politics right. What they perform outside which way they make have to be disconnected from Not Related to who they feel the are as a person and what their communities represents and wants now before we're going to get Down a little bit further and talking about what? Working Families Party is and what the values are of the political party but I to expand a bit about. This conversation is something that I advocate here. All the time is that while I may identify currently as a Democrat that could change. It can change because party platforms change. It can change the political atmosphere and landscape changes and even having identified as a Democrat. I too believe that the two parties have way too much power over our political system in general and so and that starts from me from ballot access right. A ballot access is controlled by parties. Particularly if you have parties control invalid access on the state That is a problem for me. Having identified in a particular party and I think people don't know how to as part of the reason I have the the the the show and teaching civics to adults right. It's people don't know how to separate the two. They believe that if I'm a Democrat and I have to go down with the ship that's Mark Democrat and don't have an opportunity to say well. Republicans should exist in Conservative Party and Liberal Party work all of those institutions in this at the same time. Yeah no obviously a third party. They believe very strongly ballot access. We think that voters have been clamoring for more choice. Not Let always right. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was a reflection of voters. Being like the Democrats are not leading in. The Democrats are literally not giving a participatory power in this process. Right they're always been freedom movements that have maps their Their quest for liberation on hugh additional political parties because ultimately the way the system is Is You know can be seen cynically at the power sharing model right where we can bath late between. Republicans or Democrats each you know For eight years but ultimately You know people feel walked out of the system and so we have to figure out what are the politics allow as many people as possible to see their hopes and dreams do political manifestations to feed the participation and go the poll ad actually connected to outcomes and LIMP EXPERIENCES? Right the point to the votes that they're making At connected to changes in our community changes in their impossibilities exists in their life And it's our job. I think it's progressive at access. Honestly the connects those two things For people because that is not says unfortunately not where political system is right now You know we talk a lot about in the party about Glock people in particular and being taken at assumed passengers in the Democrat Party. You Know Party Bucks Right The seats are are held. You know seats are expected me. Still no one's doing turnout. No one's inviting the part of the early. But you know you know that there's a seat for you there The that have real choice in the back of the but And we actually have to really change the way our parties tree all voter and definitely be pushing the Democratic Party to look at the big ten's and ensure that the voices of priorities of all people `specially marginalized and directly impacted. People are represented the platform of the party. Well we're GONNA talk more about that later when we get past this but I wanna get to Give everyone at baseline. Because I'm familiar with Working Families Party and I know that. Wfp as the acronym is known. It has several presence in several different states across the country for those not familiar. Explain Working Families Party so the Working Families Party you know. We're building a multi racial Working People but feminists party across the country and so we are in multiple faith in you know in the South West. We're in The South we are in the northeast And really trying to build real genuine political homes for people and to look a little bit different in some places. Our values are the same And in some places we have a ballot line so in New York state that I run into the Working Families Party. We have a ballot line Which is based on this principle of fusion That exists that exists in across the country but in certain states that's a right members as it's not And basically what it means is that multiple parties can choose to endorse the same candidates And so what it means. What voting on the Working Families Party line for example for You know we. We Endorse Board in the primary for example if she was the Democratic nominee and on the working families party lines you can vote your value on our line and show I support. The candidates also endorsed a Democrat dive reported on the Working Families Platform. That means I support. You know a green new deal Medicare for all Guaranteed housing. It's Saturday away to show both the candidate and the The Primary Clinical Party that we may have the same candidate but the platform that. We're pushing the reason why we're supporting. The candidate is based on these values. But it means that put a third party can action be really viable and it's not you're not playing boiler there's a boiler effects philosophy to build based on value to put on your own canvas which we do also run candle in New York state. People like Diner Richardson with you. Know the W. P. only candidates while we ran You know Letitia James Campaign before she became you know ag right. We've really been able to run transformational candidate. That may have been discounted by the primary party by major-party On our lines and so In New York. We're really looking forward to expand the number progressive. Leka champion but they have their clearly connected to message that resonates with working families in a broad sense right working people to You know Workers to the unemployed to marginalize folks. Right we really consider ourselves a party of the front lines and we want to make our politics so responsive to those needs on the ground. How does one become a party? Member of Working Families Party was he can sign up online there Broadly right you can sign up to your party. A member of the Working Families Party You can find them online And you are a do. The memberships paid organization so we have a basic contribution ten dollars a month And we have all sorts of clinical education Curriculum that we really think about ourselves education and investing in our base For Our party sorts of political development for our party it could be a place where yoga cultivate a pipeline of new canvas Where we could create meaning creek community around the politics that we share A New York state you can also become a registrant of the working families party by registering Like if you choose Democrat or Republican or Conservative at center on your voter registration form That is also that is also an option And so you know you build be concerned felt one big National Party and so our membership we think of as a shared membership because ultimately trying to push politics across the whole country And we know that no one not one state can lead alone nor do update deserve to be left behind some analysis of progress over where Progressive Politics Kanter cannot flourish So we're trying to build that movement fully nationally and. I know you're in like you mentioned not only in New York but Connecticut and again in Ann Pennsylvania I believe Pennsylvania and being upset the past year. We elected of EMPATHIC Community leader a black woman in Kendra Brooks who became a WPN only member of the city council Note seep that had been held by Republicans for generation about the two party system. There was a balance between Republican Democrat and so had really been shifting the conversation around housing and The role of working women of black women of mothers and the movements after doc untouchable Vania. We have a party in Oregon and Maryland. Dc in New Jersey Rhode Island South Carolina. Uh Regina Work in Georgia New Mexico. Where like you know. We're a little bit all over the place and really trying to build strong connected so if you are interested in learning more you can go to working families dot org to see not only the endorsements you can become a member see what their platform is if membership is being a party member is for you. We'll take a quick break and then when we come back I WANNA talk to you associate about coming out of politics in this covert nineteen reality and particularly for how campaigns are changing that. What are what particular issues are more prominent now that we have this reality so I will take a quick break and come right back two programs that you must do to stop being this. These guys who is not shop. Shaw welcome back to Sunday civics. I'm L. Joy Williams your neighborhood political strategists and civics teacher. I have with me the New York State Director of Working Families Party. We call her so she here. We definitely know the context that we're living in these days Given the reality of how covert nineteen is impacted so many communities and so many countries across the world. You know it's GonNa be a different reality for us coming out of this. We are all trying to push through our current reality of staying home and and trying to flatten the curve. If you will but there are still politics that are happening. Even with US combined in our homes talk to us a bit about before we get to post covert nineteen talk to me a bit about your perceptions and your reality of what's happening Now while we're still in our homes. Yeah No. This has been a deeply trying moment. Obviously New York where we're at the epicenter You know my parents live in new Rochelle New York which was the first kind of Cova. Did epicenter I live just north of the Bronx which right now we're seeing has the highest rates And so you know. I think that there are couple of things one governors here to Georgia part by really engaging in social distance thing And we see that social distancing itself the practice is a luxury for for many right that You know I've job in which I can work remotely My son is home with me. That is challenging But the frontline workers were seen. Who are still going out and doing the essential work that are allowing most of us to stay home secure right those are jobs that are people that be you know. A progressive movement have always fought for the decency and knowing essentially if that works. So we're seeing that now right the recognition of essential Work that we need to imbue with way more dignity and Bermuda ration- right people need to be paid Especially based on the risks that they are they're flowing down towards them so we're seeing in. Cova that they're fissures in our society that we already knew existent right across racial lines across geographies Across age across wealth. That are being more. Clearly you know made visible in this moment They're you know. The impact is not going to be the same both in terms of the public health reality right now and also the after effects and so I think for us. You know we know that transformational politics are the only way out of this We know that you know what at the National Level? The establishment is we not as emergency measures right Talking about Some relief for renters than homeowners. Talking about You know paid sick. Leave you know considering you know people bailouts of of of certain degrees right. They're picking pieces. Offense as emergency measure either foundational political necessity guaranteed housing is a necessity health. Care for everyone. That's not connected. Solely to an employer is absolutely in the faculty and so this crisis has to be a moment and opportunity for us to actually talk about the type of policies that we know will not allow our and our people to survive. This crisis will actually mean. Leave a fighting. Chance to thrive after it and at the after effects continue to exacerbate and to widen the inequality gap. That's ravaging all parts of the country And so I think it's both humanitarian crisis and we have to think about. What are you know? What are the values That needs to come out along with a stimulus. What is the value that our legislation have to reflect? How do we make sure that we're not deciding who does and who does not deserve to come out of this okay? You know. I'm talking about alive and in talking about sheltered then talking about with a child who going back to school that's funded. And that has the social safety net and the social worker and the therapists and you know all of the things that we know that our kids will need. Come out of this okay. WE'RE TALKING TO BILL can go back to their job. Good workers who have security and have not were not let completely devastated by that's And so has to be the moment for kind of moral alarmed. We have to think that our politics are fundamentally about. How do we care for people and show real valued all of our live and I think that ultimately has and the challenge that lies ahead of us right now at definitely think one of the pieces in particular in having conversations from an equity standpoint on our healthcare system and health care delivery and sort of the health of our communities overall and knowing how how much the deaths particularly in communities of color because it's a respiratory disease and you have communities that disproportionately have high rates of other That impact that right. So it's it's not that the virus which has no race context which you know. Remember back early in a couple of weeks ago when people were like you know black. People can't get it and I was like by results. Don't care about race. Wake up from a science. I mean we said this last week on the show when we had an immunologist Someone who actually works on viruses and diseases on the show. Inches wake viruses. Don't care about this like that's not what happens and And so it was the beginning. It was like black people can get it and now people are like emailing from an ACP standpoint at first people were emailing me and we're just like we're protected you know. Melanin is going to protect us and sort of all this stuff and now people are like. They're they're trying to kill black people and I'm like Oh my God but it's because we already. From a community standpoint have underlying conditions and so when you have something like a virus that impacts the respiratory system in you know if you have high rates of heart disease if you have high rates of diabetes if you have high rates of asthma if you already have these issues something like cove nineteen sort of highlights for people. The disparity the health disparities and also the disparity in healthcare delivery. Absolutely no absolutely thing completely right. I think especially right. This is a disease of the lungs. Right and we know Environmental Justice standpoint. The highest childhood asthma rates rise are in the Bronx. Right are traditionally Historically Black Brown low income communities right. That's you know. Health that health disease knock on two lines of color as well so that you know that personal individual health plus we have to stomach failures right Elmhurst hospital. They're the most overtaxed. Underfunded hospitals are in the color Where I live for example right now in The Bronx Westchester border is the Hawk Logan fighting to not be closed for the copier. They're fighting for knocked the closer than a pandemic happens when already the epicenter and we're still fighting to to demonstrate that the community needs a hostile. Kinney needs an e R And so we're the crisis manifold Were already starting from you. Know a couple of back in fighting for basic needs and then in its Chrysler fighting just to be able to survive. And so I think it really reveals Reveal THE LAW REVEALS URGENCY. And the intersection of you know health and race and wealth and how they disparity that we really have to address and work on flattening But right now we have to know care for people. Make sure that you know are frontline. Workers are getting the protection that they need Make sure that lives are not being You know soccer sites for our collect the public health without US actually in the best team in public health right. We can't defend worker or even B. O. E. officials that we're seeing now B. O. E. clerical workers who are doing the hard work of sorting through manifold petition and government documents and getting sick and perish moments so The crisis is real the crisis affecting also quite deeply. And we're seeing right. Now that it's mapping onto Black Needs Brownies. Core communities the most. And so we try to beat the prize but we are furious and we have to figure out how to change those out. Trump's very quickly and how to make sure we all move out Come out with crisis. Okay it reminds me as you talking about the fight for the hospital there Just back in two thousand twelve Here in Brooklyn in Aa C. P. and medical center workers from the two unions that represent staff there. We were all in a coalition to save the downstate medical center which was proposing to like cut budget downsize. Staff sort of all of this stuff that we had to do. A you know a fight to preserve that and now those same hospitals are have been designated sort of fighting the day to day to serve patients given his Co. Nineteen Reality Right. And so it's linked dismiss pushing pools like we are always fighting for the basics basics of what is needed for our communities and then we have crisis like this it highlights for. I it sort of proves our point that if we invest financially and in People resources in these institutions where there are these glaring disparities than they are. Go to win. The crisis comes is it. You know it just made me think about soon as the announcement was made governor so the designated these hospitals in Brooklyn as covert nineteen. I was like the same hassles. We had to fight you to pollute not Clinton and at the same time on the city level. You know they're using the excuse of safety but you know the agencies in New York City are cutting completely cutting the Summer Youth Employment Program right so let's not find a way to see how we continue to service this vulnerable population right boneless overall. Why are services and support from a political standpoint for those who are most vulnerable for those who most need them are always available at the quickness to be on the Child? And that's the kind of political humor talking about political values. I want to align myself with candidates and with people and with parties who believe that we have to attack an invest in the most vulnerable. Not immediately throw them off the ship in order to save the wealthy in order to save the people value the most absolutely no. I think that that's that's the fundamental says the fundamental things that people see as you know extracurricular added are actually essential services. Right that is You know you can point isn't essential started and it's in that provide Protect us from future crises. Right in moment. Verna think about You know kids whose parents already been. Displacements economy right. Social Safety Nets already eroded school year. That was already cut short And so we're what we're what he can think about is that were further divided Furthering the death scene in this in this disparity when we make choices like That the question of who we choose to bail out this moment are we. Choosing to bail out. Primarily corporations are reaching to actually bail out and provide just full recovery for For people for you know especially those who are both impacted. We need candidates who are absolutely prioritizing. The ladder yeah. Oh boy I feel like we could talk a little bit more about more more things you mentioned early on that. Working Families Party had previously endorsed Warren. Then she dropped out and now I believe you guys have you guys. I'm trying to stop saying guys. You all have endorsed Bernie Sanders. In the Democratic presidential nomination for the presidential nomination say track in the presidential primary. We've we've endorsed birdied bander. What are your thoughts on the presidential context during this crisis? Clear move already known that there is no leadership from the White House. Right now right we are. We've been fighting for what I seven years now to a For four years now man. It's like it's been so long We'd fighting for many years out to push back the trump administration. Now we have a real opportunity needs to remove him from the White House and we have to think about it. We've already lost ground in the past four years. How who can push this? The furthest right who can make sure that we are making up for the The higher racial unemployment rates the kind of Growth of of corporate you know protections and powers right that came out the trump tax cam symphony out who can take up a further and this moment the firm moment especially in this crisis right I talked to before about democratic establishment emergency measures versus real transformational change the platform but Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth. Warren put out is what people are starting to pick out right now and trying to take little pizza's up to try to quell the crisis. In this moment right if we had had medicare for all what different situation would be in right now if we had guaranteed housing. What different situation. We'd be in right now. We have to think about. We have an opportunity to push for the most bold and necessary responses to what can be the trump to be the greatest crisis of our lifetimes now time for moderate tweaks and were forms right now. Time for Apathy or for short sighted fixes now the accident time to think what war generation remember from these years. How will my three year? Old Son have McAfee. Different outcomes at growing up How do I ensure that my parents are aging with dignity And you know are not pushed into the workforce for longer to make up for what will definitely be strong after effects of this slumped in employment of the moment and so this I feel like every year obviously say this is the most important election of our lifetime. This one feels very very to me And so I think you know it's an opportunity for us to really put out. What are the type of country and world that we deserve to live in and one of the politics will help get us there. We've seen through the stimulus that the government can do really really big stains. The question is who do they do it for? I'm behalf with who the interest in mind and so we have to think you know scale is not the problem it's people political willingness and political courage to make sure that the scale knocks the impact. And everyone right. Everyone actually moves forward out to whatever intervention that we choose. I've been a partner in a number of fights with with you now given the organized the the way that WFP organizers both on the ground in person how are you all shifting and changing your engagement strategies not only in this particular moment for candidates for campaigns that may be on the ballot or issues that may be Of immediate importance but just looking towards November. This is something that I'm asking sort of all political in in sort of putting these various plans together and how we engage people to think about their voting rights. And thinking about this at the same time that you're also thinking about your health that you're also thinking about your job how wfp p. framing that absolutely but in terms of tactics we've had to adapt very quickly to To do digital work to ensure that we're talking and meeting people whether it's on the phone or through virtual town hall or through faith buck or through texts. Appear to protecting tactic that we have to ship. We'VE FUNDAMENTALLY RUN GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN. Grassroots campaign thrive on faith the conversation thrive on people really meeting the candidates drive on expanding the electric which means need reaching You know harder to find voter. Not just relying on people who have high information who have stable directors etc but really thinking about increasing parts of the patient We're still we're still trying to push very hard on that front digital tools are are meeting people are. Kansas are also doing really fantastic Like mutual aid and have community support work which are necessary extension of the campaign many Buchanan's that we support are naturally whether formerly titled Or Not Community Organizer And so when they're organizing grocery store rose first seniors in their neighborhood or You know other forms of mutual aid that their campaigns already embedded in you know infused with that notion of community care and politics have been an extension of community care so that are in terms of the tactics right. There obviously are challenges The digital divide is real right. Racine for example. You know students in the Bronx who are coming home to promote learning. Who you know. Forget ipod your laptop. They don't have WIFI connection. Right actually actually be able to learn Fully in the moment so that the same voters if returning to tax right moment people Campaigner fell phone bill right returning to Internet and moment where many people don't have Internet out where where we're still seeing the structural Disparities that will not onto you know People let their parts of the patient. Riots Tenth How to break out of our jobs figure out how to break out and not to rely on the digital. Divide in that in that kind of way and you know. We're seeing a puppy in Wisconsin right now. We can't let New York or other states gets that same place. Would Assistant. Instructor are not well-designed That people are literally forced to choose between going to the polls and carrying out their constitutionally protected rights vote and taking care of their health their their public health their personal health Their physical health dot should not be a balance of any person should have to make and so. We have to make sure that whether it's vote by mail absentee voting eltron whatever. It is Our leaders a pass to consider to be have real systems and structures that actually allow all people to participate in our political process to actually build a robust democracy. Or are we going to be more divide on the level of wealth or age geography about? Who could actually Tap a ballot. Who can actually choose to participate in our products in this moment? to those that's a big choice of the big talent. That's ahead of us right now. Well so thank you so very much for joining us on and having this conversation I do hope to have you back as we have more conversations and include the work and the focus of working families party. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much algi. These take care how can old was so. It's Easter Sunday and in a few minutes. I'm going to grab my Easter Fascinating and tune into service at my home church but before I get ready to. Sing my favorite Gospel Song from the grave. He I wanNA share with you a few ways that you can stay civically active during this pandemic now the first thing. I want to say the number one thing on this list is one use staying safe and staying healthy. This means following all the guidelines that have been given us about staying inside about washing our hands about covering our mouths About interacting with people and limiting our interaction with people isolating ourselves if we have symptoms calling our doctor on or scheduling or. Make an appointment to get testing all of that so the first thing is taking care of yourself that is being civically active And politically active because politics is about self preservation as well. But you know that's where another show so the first thing is stay safe and stay healthy yourself. The second thing is helping others if you can if you are in a position to do so now there may already be community groups that you belong to your church or mutual aid groups in networks that have popped up to help provide support to seniors in your neighborhood or families with children That need additional support in your neighborhood and you can contribute you like you need to do something We want to encourage you to stay safe while doing it. But also if you are in the position to help others to please do so now third thing. I want you to do. Complete the census. Yes that's right Maybe you thought it was over because there was census day. But it's not over. We are still in the period of self reporting and the administration has actually extended that. And even though you don't see people out on the street because we're all in our homes we still need to complete the census. Think about this right. Some of us in our communities are experiencing our hospitals being overrun Are experiencing or understand the resources the lack of resources on different agencies on a local level a state level Our hospital funding and support those numbers. Come from the census right. There's a direct correlation there in terms of understanding how many people are in a neighborhood. How many people are in a community in order to have the resources to service that population and that includes something like medical care so completing the census is a civic action that we can complete right now and if you have done so already text a friend call a friend Even in your ongoing conversation this week if you need an opportunity or something to talk about with family and friends since this is an opportunity and just set up a call set up a conversation and let's say let's all poor glass of wine and complete our senses together or help somebody complete. There's the next. Item is preserving our voting rights now Election Bates are changing and there is a national conversation about supporting financially. Mailing voting or absentee voting. So you need to check your state's rules on absentee or mail in voting because there are a number of states that already have this in practice. Twenty eight states already even before this process on the covert nineteen Process Could vote by absentee some states. Have you know you need a particular excuse? Like you're sick or things and in other states have no excuse absentee ballot where you could just request a ballot to be mailed to you In order for you to Castro ballot for an election. So I want you a later. This week If you have an opportunity to look up your state's rules and see how the conversation is shifting and changing about Mellon voting and. Make sure that you know the dates and the deadlines you know how to apply. And if there's already the process up and running go ahead and apply and you can get it out of the way and your you know your ballot will be mailed to you so that you can still do that. Part of your civic duty of Voting in our process last lean. Because it didn't WANNA give make this list too long. Linda voice to the recovery As Congress your state and your local government is passing laws and implementing policy to get us through this crisis. Your Voice is also necessary. Your experience is necessary. I've seen a lot of conversation on social media on the different platforms about people in different categories. Whether you're a good gig worker whether you're a small business owner Attend Ninety nine worker All these different categories who are saying that they didn't quite fit in the box that is being established by certain Legislation coming out of the federal government of the last three bills that have passed on some small business. Owners are saying that while this may exist it may exist on paper actually applying for it is difficult if it's based upon two thousand eighteen numbers twenty nine hundred numbers so you lifting up your voice and saying how The recovery needs to impact you and whatever category that you are in is extremely important and look all of our elected officials are trying to stay engaged with folks so they're doing zoom calls and Google hangouts and facebook live and you know having lots of conversations with their constituents in a in an effort to maintain contact with the people they represent so this is a perfect opportunity to Maintain that dialogue. If you've already done so and if this is your first time connecting with those who represent you. This is a perfect opportunity to do so well. That's all I have for this morning. Thank you so very much for taking the time to join us and to stay. Civically engaged even by listening to the show. Please stay safe. Please stay safe and healthy and we'll be back next Sunday with more Sunday civics and more opportunities and ways to learn and to stay civically engaged. Have a good Sunday. Aw I'm sorry.
America's Reckoning With Racism: The History Already Made In 2020
"Support for on point and the following message come from MIT system design and management offering on campus hybrid and Distance Education for over twenty years earn a master's degree in engineering and management join a virtual info session on Wednesday September sixteenth from nine to ten a M S D.. M.. Dot Mit. Dot Edu. From NPR, WB, you are Boston, I, Magnin, Chalker Bardy, and this is on point. This country has moved in epic periods of three quarters of a century at a time. The nation's founding civil war Jim crow the civil. Rights movement. Well Bob Moses said that a couple of years ago and the thread he draws through US history would put the nation right on the event horizon of another epic period. So Mr Moses, he's on the line with us right now. Would you agree it is the country poise right now to enter another epic period to possibly even Lurch forward what do you think? So. Thanks so much of Magna, for having me on. So we are in. Such a period where lurching. The issue is. which way we're. On. And in the other periods, we we lurch fullwood only to lurch backwards. Some I mean I, think the net result was allergic forward in some respects. But also a refashioning of what had been going on. So. That there was also back. Right and Please Mr Moses if I may forgive me for interrupting but I. I wanted to just tell people why we're so thrilled that you could join us on the program today and why we really wanted to hear what your thoughts are about this time that we're living in because. For folks who don't know Bob Moses was a key figure in that last epochal phase of US history. He is a legendary civil rights activist. He was a field secretary for the student nonviolent Coordinating Committee or Snick, and he had already been working on civil and voting rights in Mississippi in the early sixties when in one thousand, nine, sixty, four, he organized the freedom summer there. Now that was the historic voter registration and education movement. That was met with a great deal of resistance in violence and for example. Mr, Moses I was reading back on the things that you experienced. During that time, you've got your shot at you were imprisoned. You were beaten for your efforts there and I was remembering a story that. There was a time that you you were beaten so badly that you were bleeding from your head, but you stood up anyway and continued walking to a county courthouse in Mississippi, and you're still bleeding from your head when you entered the courthouse and told the clerk there that the two men who were with you wanted to register to vote. So that is that is the person here that we wanted to invite to the show to give us a sense as to of history and where we are now and I'm so glad you could join us but. You had forgive me for interrupting I wanted to say all that number off. Do, you think that we're poised to lurch forward or are you concern that concerned that there could be a lurching backward now? Yes. So To be poised to, forward. the country has succumbed to grips with its constitution. I. Think. Basically. the path that we've followed as a country was laid down in the constitution on seventeen eighty, seven the two. Pieces Really the preamble. And Article Four section to Paragraph Three So those two pieces of the constitution lay out classes of constitutional people. Right. The preamble says well, these are the constitutional people ordain and establish this constitution, and as we know they were white men who own property. article four section to progress three says something about not only what kind of property they may own who? And so we have a class of. People who after Africans and they are the property of the form of the preamble people. And that you mentioned freedom Summa So Freedom Summa was an attempt in in the broadest sense. to look at the preamble. And to say. To sharecroppers in Mississippi I African American sharecroppers in Mississippi You constitutional people and you are part of the United States as constitutional people I Li, it's an attempt to broaden the reach. Of the preamble, an attempt to break down the caste system basically that all lurches right The civil war and then the Civil Rights Movement somehow. The caste system is so deeply ingrained. and I think it's ingrained in the beginning of the constitution that we have not really been A. The issue that's really. Interesting now at stake is the recognition that. We actually of money a caste system I now CONAN. I remember James Conan. He was president of harbor right from thirty three to fifty three when he left. he went to Germany came back wrote a book slums and suburbs So he took a look at some what he called slum schools in suburban school high school. and what he said was that. While the country. With agreement from all of its Congress people, you know president so forth. set up a caste system after the civil war. And Would he hadn't himself come to really understand and appreciate. was that the clearest manifestation of the cats system was the education system? Now. Don't get confused people. It's not that the education system is the caste system. No. We have a caste system. and. It's manifested in our education system, but it's manifested all over the place and we will we'll. Go ahead so. You'RE GONNA have to forgive me if it sounds like I'm interrupting you because I don't really i. Mean I do want to. Draw from as much of your experience as I possibly can. So if I could. I just wanted to play a little bit of a of an excerpt of a young Bob Moses in the nineteen sixties in one thousand, sixty four this is a this is from a PBS documentary called Freedom Summer and here you are describing the work that you're. Doing in in one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, four as part of sneak in Mississippi. Young people working with the student on Violin Coordinating Committee. Nick because we call it. A characterized by restless, energy. They. Seek radical change in race relations in the United States. Their world is upset. And they feel that if they are ever going to get straight. They might upset it more. So that was a young Bob Moses featured in the PBS Documentary Freedom Summer now. I read Mr Moses that also at the same time while while you called for the obligation to perhaps upset people out of their complacency, you also said. Of the efforts. Of activists across the Freedom Summer in Mississippi that quote maybe we're not going to get many people registered this summer maybe even we're not going to get very many people into freedom schools. Maybe all we're going to do is live this summer in Mississippi that will be so much. So can you? Can you talk about that today about? Balancing the need for. For pointed directed change with the reality of the situation in that particular historical moment is, are we how? Do we does that echo in the streets of America today. Yes. So Of course, the issue there were the almost a thousand volunteers almost all of them white college students coming down to Mississippi and really understanding that their job. was not to somehow overturn voter registration in Mississippi, the job was to. RAIN THE COUNTRY INTIMATE MISSISSIPPI and. Also debris Mississippi into the country. and. They could do that individually. As a collective group. By just living with African American people in Mississippi was struggling themselves Ri- against this caste system. So. This, the active living right they didn't have to do. We were asking them to do something courageous by. What was courageous was just going there and living with african-american people and. AM experiencing their lives right he it was shot to some of them that they couldn't walk downtown. What they think is America but it was dangerous. You know just to walk downtown. Right so here we are now in this situation. where For the first time I think. the lodge or at least a large segment of the larger population hit home to them with that video of Judge Roy. that and this of policemen. That we are living in a country. That we don't know. We we did not really understand. Country We. Well Bob Moses standby for just a moment because we have to take a quick break here, we're listening to legendary civil rights activist Bob Moses whether once again, the United States is at the edge of what could be an epochal moment in this country's history. When we come back, we'll also bring into the conversation Pulitzer Prize winning historian Taylor. Branch. Stay with us this point. This is on point I. Bardy, this hour were asking whether the United States is in the moment or at the beginning of a moment of what could be epical change in this country's history and were exploring that question with an activist and in a moment, a chronicle or. Last moment where the United States underwent sea change as a nation Bob Moses is with us. He is the legendary civil rights activist and now want to bring into the conversation. If I could Taylor branch, he's the Pulitzer Prize winning historian author of many books including the trilogy America in the King Years Taylor branch. Welcome to on point. Thank you. Nice to be here. So. You I. Just I am looking forward to hearing both you and Bob Talk with each other about how the two of you see this moment. But let me just get US started here by asking you you know. Bobby. was talking to about the seventy five year cycle roughly that he sees of epic. Change. In this country, not that long ago. You actually told one of our producers when she was a student in in North Carolina that you Kinda know when the when the country is going through a moment like that when everyone feels like their teeth or getting rattled and you really felt that in one, thousand, Sixty, eight, for example. In Two thousand and twenty is this is this a tooth rattling moment for us all in the United States. Well I think it could be. I think it's in the early stages I think as in the Early. Civil Rights period when people were galvanized by certain images. Like the image of immaterial and his casket are some of the images from the freedom rides and sit ins or your children being marching into dogs and fire hoses in Birmingham that today the images like George Floyd have really galvanized and broke down. Through a lot of people's resistance. But I still think it's the early stages and I agree with Bob. We don't know exactly how It's going to Lurch I. Think it's too early to tell. I think from the last one of the only point I would offer an I defer to Bob on all of these things I've been studying him for. Forty years almost I think from the last lurch it. Went simultaneously forward and backward in the sense that we're still reaping some of the benefits that the black lead civil rights movement set in motion by really breaking through to the country on what equal citizenship Matt and does mean opened doors for women for for. We have never had a female rabbi in two thousand years until the civil rights movement started raising those questions within Judaism a gay rights didn't exist. So empirically I think we're still reaping benefits from that period, but our politics, our political discourse has lurched backward on to in cynicism about what government can do. That's largely driven underneath it by by tribal racism I don't want the government that's GonNa Put me in concert with the different kinds of people so. I think that kind of politics may have run its course. President trump, Kinda Pitta, MI's. Tribal AW reaction backlash. Politics. And positioned us for. Alerts forward. In. Politics. Too. But My overall belief is that we don't know yet and I'd be very interested whether. What other signs beyond the energy and the reaction to the to the images of that that Bob, sees the that may take hold here so that we can have some footholds in history to turn us in a better place. Yeah. Yeah so let me ask a question of of both of you This issue that Taylor said that The benefits of the civil rights movement have accrued to a wide range of categories of people. But. Not, too. Young. Black Man. And I just want us to think about. in what I think of as the first constitutional. era from seventeen eighty seven say to roughly around eighteen, sixty five. Africans were not in jail. They were property You did not part your property by you used it. And so they did not go to jail. In the second era right. Circular. Thirty five ninety one why Attorney General General Biddle by On December twelve right five days after Pearl Harbor. He's instructed by Roosevelt to issue the circular, which says, look you gotTa Stop the business of arresting young black men for vagrancy and sending them away in effect to another form of slavery, and so he wrote that circular to every state of county prosecuting attorney and brought to an end What black men in his book slavery by another name brought to our attention by the rounding up of young black men. Not. Just. Black men and women and families on plantations but young black men into the minds, and now here we are, and we are the young black men in prison. But There are no jobs for them. We, we did not and we still refuse to educate them. And they have no safety net. and. So they are going to prison and we can defend every single police department in this country. but if the kids don't get an education which is appropriate for the century in which they are going up and have to live. they will be pot still of this mass and conservation. So so we went from nobody in jail put them in jail in the minds to put them in jail and the jails right and they are in the jails. They they are working to to create masks or whatever by for the population that's out. So we I just wanted to put that out on the table. As to where we are. Well. Yes, and Taylor a let you. Respond to this in a second but if I could just. Ask Answer Your your question with a question Mr. Mr Moses. I mean education was part of your work that the freedom summer tried to accomplish right? Because they were the freedom schools there in Mississippi that we're founded, and since then you've been heavily involved also in education with the Algebra project trying to bring mathematical education to underserved students. So with your reasoning of this question though what is it that you would tell activists today who are out on American streets calling for the defunding of? Police departments, for example. They should defend police department. But they should not think that funding police departments and doing something with that dimension of the caste system is going to impact the see the manifestation of the caste system in our education system. And here, there's a lesson from the sixties The fifty-seven Civil Rights Act created the civil. Rights Division of the Justice Department and created an assistant attorney general for civil rights and it created them and gave them permission right to work directly with people who had the problem in this case African Americans across the southern part of the United States right and. They. Therefore. It didn't matter what the State of Mississippi said, right? In some sense, they say. They will committed to working directly with African Americans who wanted to vote by now. Do we we need such a thing that's what I would say to the activists. We need a similar age -ment for education. We need a something from the federal government which is going to be able to go directly to The. Students that in my mind getting the twenty first century version of sharecropper education by and we need to be able to directly invest. In, the opportunity structures we've invested in the accountability structures right attesting nonstop. Without any opportunity structures in place for the teachers or the students write a for their administrators in the school system is all. That's what. One one step that has to be and I would put that out to activists So we are working with Gemma. who is one of the young people in the Detroit kits by To See. If we can begin that kind of organizing. You know around this issue. We'll Taylor branch go ahead, jump back in here. Well. I think what you're you're you're hearing from from Bob is is a diagnosis of the depth of racial injustice that has always been a far beyond conscious realization in American history and yet at the same time. Bob Is is reaching deep. For. Constitutional routes that might address the problem a constitutional right to education. You know that's the great paradox here. Bob, and I discovered in that in common in our in our public talk these days we often began are in by reciting the preamble to the Constitution all which is breathtaking in its audacity. And says we the people it doesn't say. We the property, owning white, people. So you don't fall out the constitution just by saying it was written by slaveholders or they didn't really mean what they said. It is where we can search things like a an educational, a right to education that's appropriate and that can change this country or for that matter A. On affirmative right to vote in the. Constitution. They didn't put that in when they wrote the Fifteenth Amendment because they were afraid it were blood a women and Chinese workers on the transcontinental railroad. So the Fifteenth Amendment is written negatively to apply only to men and prohibit all you know discrimination on the basis of color conditioner, previous condition of servitude. So. There are basic fundamental things. That, a new movement to move us forward would be struggling with. That, do have a constitutional base and when you see that kind of struggle going on among the people, Bob is talking about it will be a positive sign that all of the energy. That's opening up this education can connect to something in our constitutional heritage that will shove people are allow them to go forward remember the he said, the the Civil Rights, division of the Justice Department was created in the nineteen fifties Just in time for the Civil Rights Movement, the Justice Department itself was created in eighteen seventy specifically to enforce the fifteenth. Amendment giving black men at the time of the right to vote before that the attorney general had just been. The, an adviser to the president. So We have deep in our history, an unrecognized pattern that we wrestle with constitutional questions when we're dealing with race. So. Let me come back to something though. That I can't quite let this go just yet that. Maybe, I'm hearing a note of caution in both of your voices, and that caution is born by experience, which is what we want to learn from today and at the same time though here we have this moment this year in American history where. Not only with the protests nationwide that followed the killing of George. Floyd. But. We have laid over that this this pandemic as well which both together make it inescapable make the inequities of America. In escape. -able for anyone who if they didn't have their eyes open before perhaps now, if they dared open their eyes, they cannot see anything bought the evidence everywhere of fundamental inequities in American society. Is Not just even that sort of. Mass realization or? Even, if people don't realize that mass confrontation with the Truth About American society. Is that not enough to make this one of those epochal moments we don't know which direction it's going to break but. Certainly it lends itself to the possibility of some kind of. Great Change Bob Moses. Don't you think so. Yes I mean. It lends itself to that. And I actually think that. For a great many. People in this country that happened. they woke up. To understand that the country they thought they knew was not exactly the country you can contrast bad image with the image of the. Sheriff rainy in the show but county, I don't know if you remember that image on life magazine. The front cover their at their arraignment or some legal proceedings and they're sitting up there with bag lunch eating and laughing right and this goes out to the whole country radicals. Life magazine is you know is what people are reading right. So what they look at that and they say that's not us. Right there's no way they can see themselves insurer rainy right? So the switch from that to looking at this police officer. And his intrepid you know. Gays. Rights forward. Right are the impunity of it. It's drug people. that's us to we're not him. But we we have allowed the conditions that produce him. And the kind of actions that he does. But the country didn't think that about. Sheriff rainy. They didn't think that they had allowed the conditions. I share Laney to become what he became and two murder of those civil rights workers. They didn't think that that was part of their problem that was well. And just to To. Underscore the history you mentioned Sheriff Rany, Lawrence, Rainey, Initial County Mississippi that was the same county in which activists James Chaney Andrew Goodman Michael as you just mentioned were murdered just days after the beginning of the freedom summer. In nineteen, sixty, four in Mississippi. So Taylor branch, I'm going to get your answer to that same question. When we come back after a quick break, we're talking with legendary civil rights, Activists Bob Moses and Pulitzer Prize winning historian Taylor Branch about whether we are at the precipice of another apple moment in US history. This is on point. This is on point I'm magnet chocolate bardy. This hour we're listening to Bob Moses and Taylor branch talk us through whether you the United States is at a pivot point in its history. Bob Moses was a civil rights rights activists during the last major pivot point in US history. He was field secretary for the student nonviolent courting committee or Snick one of the organizers primary organizers of the Freedom Summer Mississippi in nineteen, sixty four. He also helped co found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and is president and founder of the Algebra project as well. Taylor branch is a Pulitzer, prize, winning writer and historian author of several books including the trilogy America in the King Years. Now. Taylor before the break I had asked whether the sheer in escape ability. Of the inequities that have been lay bare in two, thousand twenty makes this possibly. One of those epochal moments when we heard Robert Moses answer and I'm just wondering how how you might answer that question. Well I agree I think it's unquestionably possible that this is a transformative moment and if it's not. The consequences I'm afraid we'll be dire because The need is so great and and one of the things about Kobe is that it has It is so transformational in our daily lives. What we can do that it is opened up the possibility of a major change you know and and people's everyday lives. So. And all of the energy and the demonstrations Israel but but it hasn't taken hold yet in in in something that can last focused in in the way the Bob Mention, and we always need to remind ourselves. That voices are already here that are Miss Remembering, mischaracterizing, even challenging the vocabulary that we're using today and that's to be expected there there are it's easy to be cynical and just cost the government and sneer at things you can get elected being dumb. And there will be people who would who would rather be a tribal white nation than a democratic nation if push come to a shop so. It's not going to be easy. I I agree that it is a it's a big turning point and I hope we go forward but I keep Dr King. Recognize him gave a totally ignored speech in nineteen, sixty five saying that George Wallace the governor of Alabama had retooled his stump speech for segregation. into an ingenious, what he called a minor little classic saying he had never been a racist. He had never uttered a word that would denigrated black people and that Wallace has only purpose was to restore local government from the tyranny of big government and tax and spend liberals and pointy headed bureaucrats on invented basically the vocabulary of modern politics. So we should be well aware that things like that will be going on now to make the job of restoring this country and addressing the caste system and and and really advancing equal citizenship in reality Nick that job as difficult as possible. so I just want to emphasize that I don't. I'm not saying that that. Looking at at history and overlaying, laying it on today that there will be a one to one correlation there because every every every movement is also of its time but for the sake of this conversation Bob Moses, let let's let me just put it this way. Okay. So if two thousand and twenty isn't the analogous, say nine, hundred and sixty four. In the civil rights movement, and as Taylor said earlier, maybe what? The better period for us to think about is the nineteen fifties. What would you say based on your experience? Are the steps that need to be taken now to kind of have the the Movement Gel. Gel to a point of effectiveness where perhaps the very the very policies that you were talking about can get get past can't get code into law. How do we get there? Yes. So that's what we don't know. How we get there. So You know. My experience talking about my experience but my experience was really with the Mississippi. Theater, of the civil rights movement. We didn't do direct action and he has an important point We mounted what I think of as an armed insurgency. Right and People bristle about the idea that you have to earn your insurgencies. But first, we had to earn it among the people we were asking to to register the vote. Why should they was their lives economic livelihood? It's their families. To go down. On some Me About they are going to be given the right to vote by so in the end. We earned their right to do that by a very simple act of getting up every time we got knocked down. So yes, knock US down but we're GONNA get back up and just because there was nothing you could say. Mississippi show crop. Pos. That was going to convince them that what you were talking about real. what convinced them to work with you was the fact that. You you went out there and work, and when you got down, you got back up and you kept working I. so that was one group I. The other group was equally important. And that was the small group of lawyers at the Civil Rights, division of the Justice Department, maybe a dozen or so working under John DOE and Marshall I because they actually held the key of the House doors by the Act Fifty Seven Act said of the state couldn't interfere with people trying to register people trying to help them. So once naked decided that all it was gonna Mississippi was voter registration. Then the presumption every time we got arrested was that we were arrested for doing voter registration, but then we had to earn. The respect of the Justice Department people because they were not required right to go in and get us out of jail by they weren't forbidden but they were not required by they would permit it to do that. But that's a judgment call and they have their other forces that senator eastland and so forth. Mutt in the end I think we earn D-. Their respect for the work we were doing, and so the result was that we could do the work. Now the words every time we got arrested Mississippi. US But Mississippi, in this case in all the jailhouse skied right think what happened to the freedom riders and direction it it couldn't happen in the sippy right because they will face with long-term jail sentences if they were going to be serious about long-term direct action I so nobody was willing to do the Nelson Mandela right in stay in jail. Were you know? God knows how long. And then third. We had earned the right to call on the rest of the country coming they could go look at itself. I and it was only because we were down there doing that work organizing work. all that time that we earn the right. So now the country is is trying to look at it so but who are the people that have earned the right to say to the country look Not that way this way. Yeah. Well, Baba was this. You're right that what you said may not land so so Welcome Ling. May Not land. With open arms on the ears of many listeners because I. Think of one of the natural response is well because of the work of you and civil rights activists in the sixties that right has been earned right and the the the right to make these demands of the country has been earned and in fact when you were talking about. Who holds the keys to the jail cells? It's that very hand. It's the people who those vary those keys that that activists are asking to change so so I mean Taylor Branch respond to that that that even. That it's the. The, the what Bob Moses is saying while it's absolutely true perhaps. It's not actually seen in the same way by activists today. Well I. I'm not. I talked with many activists who are discussing historical context in that depth as Bob is Bob is just A. Gone back through fundamental truths from his experience that really were a vital part of a history. That's that's. A lot of people have read my books and followed what he's done, but it's not really part of the everyday vocabulary of how difficult and what a struggle and what a profound intellectual and psychological and courageous struggle that was so. You know I I don't think there's any disagreement here in the sense that the the freedom rides and nineteen sixty and the early demonstrations represented a tremendous burst of energy that wound up opening doors but but the next phases went through the the the kind of self examination. and and strategic calculation and trial and error and sacrifice all that that. Bob. Just described I mean before they had freedom summer they debated for months whether or not. It was wise to bring in a the white college students whether they would overshadow with the gains that were being made. With, difficulty by less educated black people in Mississippi but also whether it would be fair to those white people because they were in some sense being were guinea pigs being brought down there because the country would care when things bad things happen to them and when they weren't caring that they were happening to black folks. and Bob was raising questions existential questions. How do you stop being a victim without becoming an executioner? So there will be profound things ahead if this movement deepens into something and makes use of this A. Tremendous opening that we have here to to fashion a turn in history and make something constructive out of the dislocation that is undoubtedly among us right now with the demonstrations in. Kovin. On top of each other. Just pick up on one point that Taylor may about a guinea pigs of because yes. That was the charge and that was part of the conversation, but they was another. Conversation going on. Which is Who who are? The? Americans? and. What does it mean to be an American? And? Are. You does being an American mean that you are. Hard of what's going on in Mississippi. and that coming. down. To Mississippi is in some sense is dabbling for the first time in your life right. An experience about what it means to be an American that you never dreamed of or anticipate right and that's what's happening to the country now. And so will it take it and who will take it they're? Exactly exactly I think. To me what that means is that the longer this movement lasts the the the the more certain. It will be that everyone in it will have a different sense of what it means to be an American based on the experiences that they go through trying to make change. In this time. I Bob. My memory is that the ultimate resolution to that question about whether it was fair and necessary. To bring these white students out was. That we have to assure ourselves that we are taking the same risk right alongside them all so that we can do this in in good conscience and and expand the notion of what it means to be an American in in a period of strict segregation. Yes Actually I think of that as part of the earned insurgents success. In other words, we had earned the right to call on the young people in the country to come work with us. Are we seeing but the so this is this is then actually I would say additional cause for hope because one of the things that we saw in the protests. In many American cities was. A. Whole. Protesters of many races actually there were white. In, our way protesters out there as well. So so perhaps that is a meaningful step forward. Absolutely. Yes and we're watching to see if it if it keeps up right if it somehow. It can't sustain itself on the streets. It's gotTa look at well, how do we get into actually? Working System organizing our people right. How. Does that happen right at the grass roots so that we develop at politics which is Able to actually. Address some of these issues, right? Yes There are incredibly hopeful I just WanNa mention one quick thing that last weekend Saturday morning my wife and I were sitting on our porch in in in the city of Baltimore and all of a sudden death, the hill through our neighborhood came marching. Children. Carrying black lives, matter signs, and there were at least five hundred of them with adults black and white on marching on a Saturday morning So. The surprises continue and and I and I and I hope very grow grow wings. Taylor branch is a Pulitzer Prize winning writer and historian author of many books including the trilogy America in the King Years Thank you so much for joining us today Thank you and. Thank you and Bob Moses Civil. Rights Activists Field Secretary for the student nonviolent coordinating committee in the nineteen sixties in one of the primary organizers of the freedom summer also president founder of the Algebra project as well. Bob Moses it's been an absolute honor to talk with you. Thank you so very much. Thank you so much this same year. Magnet. Crazy. This is on point.
Mississippi Freedom Summer, 1964
"Walt disney world resort is the perfect escape and now as an adult. You can experience it in an entirely new wait. Cinderella castle received a royal makeover. And you won't want to miss taste of epcot. International festival of the arts. Now till february twenty-second walt. Disney world resort provides what you need to know before you go on disney world dot com valid admission impart reservations required entertainment and offerings are subject to change without notice relive the nostalgia of disney or create some new memories. Now's the time to escape to your happy place. At walt disney world resort visit disneyworld dot com slash history for more. Hi this is bill. Clinton doing me on my podcast. Why am i telling you. What am i telling you this. Why am i telling you this for conversations with some of the most fascinating people on. We'll talk about ideas deserve more attention. About how science technology and design or improving our lives and about why we should be hopeful and optimistic about our future. Listen to why. Am i telling you this on the iheartradio app apple podcasts. Or wherever you get your podcasts. Welcome to stuff. You missed in history class. A production of iheartradio. Hello and welcome to the podcast. I'm tracy wilson and i'm holly fry over the last few months. The state of georgia made a lot of headlines. When it's voters elected joe biden for president and then in a runoff elected. John often rafael. Were not as senators. This broke a decades long pattern of georgians. Electing republicans rather than democrats into these roles these elections followed just years of organizing and advocacy legal work and voter registration efforts in the state. And the person who's become most widely known for all. This work is stacey. Abrams really though it. Involved multiple civil rights and voting rights and labor organizations along with individual people and abrahams has made it entirely clear that it was not work that she did by herself. So i just wanted to call that part out to you as i was watching all of this unfold the oh my mind kept returning to other earlier voter. Registration efforts in the united states and one of those is the mississippi summer project nineteen sixty four which is now better known. As freedom summer. This project was met with an extremely violent and deadly backlash and in some ways that backlash has overshadowed the work that the project set out to do and that were actually involved a lot more than registering people to vote. So that is today's topic for the show and before we start. I just wanted to shout out the podcast seen on radio especially its fourth season which is called the land. That has never been yet. That is a twelve part series exploring the history of democracy in the united states and the many many ways that it has not actually been all that democratic episode seven is on freedom summer. And it's what inspired me to put it on the topic list when that episode. I came out in april of two thousand twenty because it kind of contextualized freedom summer a little differently than i had learned it before so for some context about what led up to freedom summer in the early nineteen sixties mississippi existed in a state of deeply oppressive violent racism most of its black residents. Were still working in the same jobs that their ancestors had done while enslaved things like tending and picking cotton doing manual labor or doing domestic work and these were overwhelmingly the only kind of jobs available for them most of mississippi's black population lived in poverty. The us supreme court had ruled that public school segregation was unconstitutional and brown versus board. Nineteen fifty four but in the early sixties mississippi was one of the places where schools were still segregated in spite of that ruling. Some of the school buildings for black students were actually relatively new. The schools themselves were deeply deliberately on funded fewer than one percent of mississippi's black students graduated from high school. At the time and many black people in mississippi could not read or write. This wasn't a case of pettiness or the mississippi government just not caring about the quality of education for black students. It was an intentional effort to keep. Mississippi's black population. In a state of ignorance. It was the same logic that had led to laws making it illegal to teach enslaved people to read a century before in many parts of mississippi white people were in the minority and like enslavers of the past. They knew it would be harder for black people to organize if they lacked literacy and a basic education throughout the south white citizens councils had formed in the wake of the supreme court's decision in brown versus board. These organizations were made up of powerful high profile white citizens and they were dedicated to maintaining state of segregation and white supremacy in the places where they operated. Although white citizens councils and their members could be violent. The organizations tended to be more focused on things like legal and economic oppression than there were on physical violence and mississippi. The white citizens councils were so effective at maintaining the racial status quo that the ku klux klan which tended to be more overtly violent. Didn't have much of a presence there until nineteen sixty three and on top of all this as we said at the beginning. Mississippi was a place of violent racist hostility. Black people were expected to maintain a demeanor of total deference and subservience to white people any perceived lapse was punishable by violence or even death more people were lynched in mississippi than anywhere else in the south including the notorious lynching a fourteen year old emmett till which took place in money. Mississippi in nineteen fifty-five the nwa cpi started establishing field offices in mississippi in the early nineteen fifties in late nineteen fifty four medgar evers was appointed and w. c. p. field secretary for mississippi and by nineteen fifty-five the nwa was the most powerful civil rights organization in the state along with mississippi progressive voters league and the regional council of negro leadership. The nwa cpa worked primarily on issues related to voting in mississippi including offering voter education and support and registering to vote and wctc. Youth councils also offered civics education for young people. Prepare them to register to vote once they were old enough to do that. Most of this work was done discreetly because the level of racist violence in mississippi was so extreme but just the act of registering to vote was incredibly risky under the fifteenth amendment to the us constitution. Quote the right of citizens in the united states to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the united states or by any state on account of race color or previous condition of servitude but mississippi. Anyone who wanted to register to vote had to face a white registrar and those registrars routinely denied voter registration to people. This was not just a matter of the registrar. Saying no though. Two dollar poll tax was financially out of reach for. Mississippi's poorest people. Who were disproportionately black. There was also an extremely unnecessarily complicated application form. There was a test as well and once again. This test was unnecessarily complicated. Even to the point of being unpassable it involved interpreting a section of the state constitution. It was up to the registrar. What passage you were given and it was also up to the registrar whether your interpretation passed the test black people also faced intimidation and threats during the entire process. Things like the sheriff standing in the room with one hand on his gun and the other on his baton while people tried to take those impossible tests especially in small towns in rural parts of the state where everyone knew each other the sheriff or the registrar might pointedly mention that they knew your employer or your landlord who would not be happy if they found out that you were trying to register to vote beyond the convoluted process and the threats and intimidation black people who tried to register to vote in mississippi often faced actual retribution afterward whether they were successful at registering to vote or not. If you were black and you tried to register to vote you might be fired from your job or victim from your home. Or run out of town entirely. Somebody might burn a cross in your yard or firebomb your house or you might be arrested beaten or even killed as a consequence of all of this by nineteen sixty to less than seven percent of eligible black voters in mississippi were actually registered this was the lowest percentage in any state and that was after years of work on the part of the acp the mississippi progressive voters league. The regional council of negro leadership and other organizations one of those other organizations was the student. Nonviolent coordinating committee or snick snack had been formed during the lunch counter. Sit ins we talked about on the show. In january of twenty twenty was formed after ele baker convened a meeting of youth activists at shaw university in raleigh north carolina members of snick started arriving in mississippi in nineteen sixty one. Snake activists quickly realized that the kind of direct action they'd been doing during the lunch counter. Sit ins and other demonstrations was not what the people of mississippi we're really looking for the threat of violence in response to such an outward. Protest was just too great but on top of that many of the direct action campaigns that had taken place earlier in the civil rights movement just weren't relevant to a large portion of mississippi's black population. If you're a sharecropper living in a rural part of the state there probably was no lunch counter for you to patronize at all. Nor were their services like municipal buses to integrate as had been done through the montgomery bus boycott so as snake activists established themselves in the state. They started looking for a way to turn their attention to what was relevant to the people of mississippi. And what mrs he's black residents wanted was to be able to vote so that they could vote racist officials out of office. And we're gonna talk more about that. After we pause for sponsor break on march fifth. Disney invites you to travel to the fantasy world of commander in riot and the last dragon. What an evil force threatens the land dividing its people. It's up to lone warrior riot to track down the last dragon and restore peace from the studio that brought you milana and frozen comes the next epic adventure featuring the voices of kelly marie tran and aquafina directed by don hall and carlos lopez estrada see riot and the last dragon the way you want in theaters or order it on disney plus with premier access march fifth. This episode is brought to you by clorox. Listen at our house. We've been hanging out inside a lot. Maybe getting a little bit circuit easy now and again. So one of the things that i've started to do is just go out for a little walk now and again through our neighborhood and that means that like i love it and i get some fresh air and i get to see the world although it's pretty quiet out there for us but it also means when i come home i'm trailing in whatever i have troops through in the great doors and on the sidewalks where i live and i don't want any germs to you. Know get tracked into our house. And i certainly don't want them to be tracked onto our floors where pets can have access to them. And so to combat these things. I have been counting on clorox. Disinfecting mopping clause these mobbing clause kill ninety nine point nine percent of germs that includes the covid nineteen virus and they're easy and their safety us on multiple floor types. Don't have to worry about the imaging anything and moreover i don't have to worry about germs. The clouds work when used as directed on hard nonporous surfaces kill sars cove to covid nineteen virus a series of events mississippi in the early nineteen sixties led to the creation of the mississippi summer project and nineteen sixty one. The freedom rides which were organized by the congress of racial equality or core tested whether bus lines had integrated following the supreme court's decision that interstate bus segregation was unconstitutional and this included integrated groups of freedom riders making their way into mississippi. Many of whom were arrested and abused while in prison once they got there. There's of course a whole lot more to this. This is one of the many things that has come up in the episode so far that we have previous episodes on we actually replayed previous on the freedom rides as a saturday classic back in two thousand twenty also in nineteen sixty one. James meredith applied for admission to the university of mississippi which was still not admitting black students and that launched a legal battle that went all the way to the supreme court in nineteen sixty two. The kennedy administration announced its voter education project. Which would provide funding and tax exempt status for organizations that were working to register. Black voters. part of the project's goal was to encourage the civil rights movement to shift away from direct action demonstrations and to focus instead on voting which the administration saw as less confrontational and divisive civil rights organizations. Knew that this was a strategic. Move on the government's part to try to influence what they were doing but they also saw it as an opportunity and as a result in one thousand nine hundred sixty to the council of federated organizations was formed to act as an umbrella organization. It brought together snick core and double. Acp to focus all of their efforts on voting rights and registration in mississippi in the fall of nineteen sixty to the of supervisors of leflore county. Mississippi voted to end its participation in the federal surplus food commodity program that was a critical food source for thousands of the county's black residents. Snick field organizers concluded that this decision was in retaliation for their voter registration work in the county other the board of denied this allegation comedian and activist. Dick gregory brought about fourteen thousand pounds of basic staples including baby food to the area in a chartered plane. Dick gregory's donation got a lot of media attention and activists and mississippi is trying to figure out a way to keep that focus going to make the rest of the country more aware of what conditions were like in mississippi. And an idea on how to do. This was proposed by snick field. Secretary robert moses known as bob and allard lowenstein who had been a freedom rider and had worked with snick to coordinate a mock gubernatorial election in mississippi in november of nineteen sixty three that mock election had brought in about one hundred volunteers. Most of them white the try to demonstrate how black voters could shift elections if they could freely vote freedom. Summer was more ambitious than the nineteen sixty three mock election. They would bring as many as one thousand volunteers. Most of them white to mississippi the involvement of white students would mean that the white media and the general population of the of the country might actually pay attention to what was happening. There and organizers also knew that white parents were likely to start contacting their representatives in the federal government and otherwise demanding action if they thought that their children were at risk move idea was deeply controversial though the groups that made up the council of federated organizations were integrated and they had worked with groups of white activists before the civil rights movement as a whole had also involved the ongoing work of jewish and christian activists in clergy and plenty of black activists who were already in mississippi. Had come there from somewhere else. As an example bob moses himself had been born in harlem but this idea of just so many young white students all coming from other states into mississippi was really troubling to a lot of people. There were also concerns that these students who would mainly be recruited from prestigious universities in the north would be too idealistic or unwilling to work under the direction of black people. This was compounded by the fact that many of the most experienced activists mississippi were by this point exhausted and burned out plus this was inherently dangerous work and anyone who participated was putting their own lives at risk. This idea had its supporters as well though one of them was fannie lou hamer who is definitely on the list for her own episode in the future at some point. Hamer was a sharecropper and timekeeper on the plantation. Where she worked she had become an organizer for snick and had been forced to leave that plantation in august of nineteen sixty two after she led a group of black people to register to vote in an interview with terry gross snick activists charlie cobb who had been born in washington. Dc described hamer is backing him against a wall and saying charlie. I'm glad you came down here. What's the problem with other people coming down here. The controversy went on until the summer of nineteen sixty three on june twelfth of that year thirty-seven-year-old nwa acp field secretary medgar. Evers was murdered in his own driveway. Evers had been born in mississippi and he had been involved in boycotts of service stations. That refused restroom. Access to black people along with other boycotts in protest activities and he had also helped investigate the murder of emmett till he had faced a series of death threats before being murdered two different. Juries failed to reach a verdict. His murderer white supremacist. And ku klux klan member byron de la beckwith was finally convicted in nineteen ninety-four. Evers murder was what led many of the people who had opposed the project to put those reservations aside. The mississippi summer project is this idea. Came to be known was announced in february of nineteen sixty four by james farmer of core james foreman of snick and bob moses of both snick and the council of federated organizations. They would train young white volunteers and activism and nonviolence then. These volunteers would come to mississippi where they would live in the homes of black mississippi residents and work on three interconnecting projects one was talking to black residents about registering to vote. Another was to recruit these same people into a new political party. That was the mississippi freedom. Democratic party and the third was to teach at freedom schools which were independent schools that were meant to fill the gaps that had been left by. Mississippi's intentionally bad public education system for black students. The voter registration effort was an uphill battle. Volunteers went door to door. In pairs one black and one way to encourage people to register to vote and to offer support with the registration process. But most people they talk to you. We're understandably afraid to register. Although about seventeen thousand people tried to register to vote during freedom summer only about sixteen hundred were successful but many more people are willing to join the mississippi freedom democratic party by late summer of nineteen sixty four that group had eighty thousand members the freedom schools were also a success and they grew in number over the course of this project in the end they were more than forty schools that served more than two thousand students. They met in church basements homes and parks and in places where children were working farm labor. They held their classes at night. Some of the schools had night classes for adults as well. The day often began with freedom songs. Like ain't gonna let nobody turn me round and from their volunteers taught reading and math. Black history black literature and art civics dance drama music storytelling and other subjects. Some schools had their own newspapers or they staged their own plays. Although the volunteers teaching in these schools were nearly all white. The curriculum was developed by black people from mississippi according to their own needs as we noted up at the top of the show. The white response to the mississippi summer project in mississippi was incredibly violent. And we will talk about that. After a sponsor break this episode is brought to you by apartments dot com apartments dot. Com is the number one rental search website with the most listings of apartments condos and townhomes and the best tools to find a new space without leaving your place with three d virtual tours and hd videos and photos including interiors neighborhood images and even drone footage of exterior views. You can explore floor plans and amenities offered in thousands of units. All from the comfort of your couch. 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Organizers of the mississippi summer project were selective about which volunteers they accepted for this they needed people who were responsible and level headed and who would carry out. The instructions of their black hosts an organizers without hesitation. They had to be willing and able to follow the projects principles of nonviolence. And that meant not resisting or fighting back. Even if they were physically attacked and they had to understand the risks involved including the risk of being seriously hurt or killed because of this work. Many of the volunteers went through a two week training and orientation at miami university and oxford ohio which included everything from how to behave to how to nonviolently protect themselves while being beaten. Volunteers were also trained on how to keep themselves and others as safe as possible. They would be staying with black families and working with black organizers and they needed to know how not to put those people at risk through their actions and this training really highlighted the fact that a lot of the volunteers had good intentions but they didn't really comprehend what they were about to face in one session. Group watched a video of the registrar from forrest county. Mississippi appearance and demeanour and speech seemed almost like an exaggerated character was not an exaggeration at all. He was a real person when volunteers started laughing. Snick field staff were conducting. This training were understandably outraged this level of caution and effort to train and prepare the white. Volunteers was absolutely justified. During the mississippi summers project the homes of at least thirty black families and more than thirty black churches were firebombed or otherwise destroyed in just one night. The ku klux klan conducted a coordinated cross burning simultaneously burning crosses in almost eighty percent of the counties mississippi. There were thirty five documented shootings in at least eighty. Volunteers were beaten with four of them. Being critically wounded there were also six known murders. Volunteers for this project started arriving in mississippi on june twenty first of nineteen sixty four and the very next day while others were still training in ohio. Three civil rights workers disappeared. They were james chaney of mississippi. As well as michael schnur he was known. As mickey and andrew goodman sh- werner and goodman were both from new york sh- werner and cheney were both fieldworkers for the congress of racial equality and goodman was there for freedom summer and had just finished his training at miami university. It was goodman's first day in mississippi. The three men had volunteered to investigate the bombing of a church where sh werner had been working for core. Cheney was driving them back to meridian mississippi when the shelby county deputy sheriff cecil price pulled him over for allegedly speeding and arrested all three men. After cheney was allowed to pay a fine at about ten pm that night the three men were allowed to leave the jail and told to get out of the county but they never reported back in with their friends or other activists at the time. The fbi did not have a field office in mississippi so f. b. i. Agents from new orleans started a kidnapping investigation. On june twenty third authorities found the station wagon that the men had been travelling in that had been set on fire and was still smoldering when they found it. This led the fbi to call this. The mississippi burning case most of the activists from mississippi had concluded that the men were dead as soon as they did not check in scheduled but for the white volunteers. This really brought home. How much danger. They were really in worried. White parents started calling the capital to try to ensure that their kids would be safe. And sh- warner's wife. Rita meet a series of media appearances in which he consistently put the focus back on the project and on conditions in mississippi. Yet she was one of the people that made a lot of demands for increased like federal attention on what was happening in mississippi honest investigation. J. edgar hoover called her and her husband communists and there's a like a phone recording between hoover and president lyndon johnson were lyndon johnson says that she was worse than a communist that she was ugly and means a him like their treatment of her was not good at all. The fbi established a mississippi field office during all of this. And although they didn't really investigate other crimes that were going on they did search for chaney sh- werner and goodman. They found the bodies of eight other people during the search. After receiving a tip law enforcement finally found the bodies of cheney swarner and goodman buried in an earth dam on august fifth nineteen sixty four all three had been shot and cheney had also been severely beaten although more than twenty men most of whom were members of the ku klux klan were added in connection with this crime. A mississippi judge dismissed the charges against them. The only way for the federal government to have jurisdiction was to file civil rights charges rather than murder charges in one thousand nine hundred sixty seven. Eighteen men were tried for having violated federal civil rights law in relation to these murders. An all white jury found seven of the men. Guilty including deputy sheriff price. The jury deadlocked in their verdicts for three of the accused and acquitted the rest. None of the convicted men served more than six years in prison and the only person actually be tried for murder in connection of all of this was edgar ray killen who had orchestrated the attack. He was convicted of manslaughter. In two thousand five and ultimately died in prison president. Barack obama awarded chaney and goodman the medal of freedom posthumously in two thousand fourteen and their bodies were discovered just a day before the mississippi freedom democratic party held its state convention in jackson mississippi to elect a delegation that would travel to the democratic national convention in atlantic city new jersey. Later that month throughout the national convention the mississippi freedom democratic party also maintained a twenty four hour vigil for the three men and a protest which included signs bearing slogans lake. One man one vote as we noted earlier by this point the mississippi freedom democratic party had about eighty thousand members and the party's goal was to represent mississippi at the democratic national convention rather than the democratic party is all white delegation and their case for this was really clear cut. The mississippi freedom democratic party had followed all of the democratic. Party's rules and procedures about its own convention and its own delegate selection. Meanwhile mississippi's democratic party had systematically excluded black participants and many of its members had orchestrated a campaign of racist terror against the state's black population. Multiple people testified on behalf of the dp before the democratic national convention credentials committee including rita. Schnur martin luther king junior and fanny lou. Hamer hamer's testimony was particularly damning and compelling. She talked about her own experience trying to register to vote after which the owner of the plantation where she worked and lived had told her to withdraw her registration or leave. She also talked about being in a house that someone fired sixteen bullets into ansi talked about her arrest while returning from a voter registration workshop on nineteenth nineteen sixty three while in jail after that arrest she could hear officers beating and shouting racist slurs at other people who had been arrested with her then officers forced to black prisoners to come into her cell and to beat her so badly that she had permanent kidney damage. Hamer ended by saying quote. All of this is on account of we want to register to become first class citizens and if the freedom democratic party is not seated now i question america is this america the land of the free and the home of the brave where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our lives be threatened daily because we want to live as decent human beings in america during all of this president lyndon johnson was worried that he was going to lose the support of white southern democrats if he showed too much sympathy toward mississippi's black population. He was also generally fearful that something was going to go wrong at the convention and he'd wind up losing the nomination so he held an impromptu press conference while hamer was speaking one that people thought was going to include the announcement of his running me but which instead announced that it had been nine months to the day since his predecessor john f. kennedy had been assassinated this strategy. On johnson's part did not work out. Though the fact that he had preempted hamer's testimony became its own story and many news programs pleaded in its entirety during their next evening broadcasts so johnson instructed hubert humphrey to negotiate with the mvp suggesting that he would be selected as his running mate if humphry was successful. Humphry tasks walter mondale with working out a plan and that plan which mondale was the one to announce was for two members of the mississippi freedom. Democratic party one black and one white to be seated as delegates at large while the all white democratic delegation would be seated as normal if they would support johnson for president. The national democratic leadership also promised not to seat any segregated delegations in the future. Although this was framed like it was a compromise. The dp did not see it that way at all and refuse to accept it a decision that divided the movement as a whole many of the all white democratic delegation from mississippi also withdrew from the convention rather than promising to support the democratic candidates afterward many the md fps delegates were able to get badges from delegates from other states. Who are sympathetic to what they were doing so they could enter the convention hall but the chairs for the mississippi delegation were removed. There are people mostly people from outside mississippi who were involved in the civil rights movement. Here were like you got something you should take it. But the delegation for mississippi was like it is not enough and it is unacceptable so this attempt to appease racist white people did not really workout for johnson. Although he did win the presidential election most of the southern states he was trying to hang onto including mississippi went for republican candidate barry goldwater and after another tumultuous democratic national convention in one thousand nine hundred sixty eight which came up in our partner on. Coen's help row. In two thousand twenty. The democratic national committee established the mcgovern fraser commission to try to reform their entire nomination process. So as we said earlier. Although seventeen thousand black people tried to register to vote during freedom summer only about sixteen hundred were approved by county registrars in the mississippi freedom. Democratic party was not seated at the democratic national convention as they had hoped and overall had thought that they would be so in terms of the three initial projects of freedom. Summer the freedom schools were the most outwardly successful for a bigger picture. Look at things. Aaron henry who was president of the mississippi state conference of the nwa cpi during the nineteen sixties described one of the biggest positive outcomes of freedom summer as quote the human relations aspect or in the words of fannie lou hamer quote before the nineteen four summer project. There were people that wanted change but they hadn't dared to come out. After nineteen sixty four people began moving to me. It's one of the greatest things that ever happened in mississippi. In addition the freedom schools served as a model for the federal head start program which provides early childhood education and health and nutrition support for low income families as well as various programs that were part of the war on poverty and on a national level. Johnson signed the civil rights act of nineteen sixty four on july second of that year during freedom summer and on august sixth of nineteen sixty five. He signed the voting rights. Act which outlawed things like poll taxes and literacy tests as well as harassment and intimidation when people tried to register to vote it also specified that jurisdictions. That had a history of this kind of discrimination had to have pre clearance from the district court for the district of columbia or from the us attorney general anytime they tried to change their voting laws and policies. Freedom summer's work raising awareness about conditions in mississippi contributed to the passage of both of these laws particularly the voting rights act and the voting rights. Act in turn. Dramatically affected voting access mississippi by one thousand nine hundred sixty nine more than sixty six percent of eligible. Black voters in mississippi were registered which was more than five percent above the national average. However in two thousand thirteen. The us supreme court issued its ruling in shelby county vs holder which invalidated that pre clearance requirement in the voting rights act and this has led to an increase in voter suppression efforts. They're often not as obvious as they were in. Mississippi in the nineteen sixties so today they are things like disproportionately purging black indigenous and people of color from the voting rolls or shutting down the polling places in those communities while keeping them open in predominantly white communities or passing voter. Id laws that disproportionately target people of color. Cutting polling hours to make it harder for people who don't have flexible work schedules to vote and then signature matching requirements which are often really subjective and they disproportionately affect older voters and voters of color who signatures and thus votes are thrown out if they don't exactly match that signature match thing who among us can replicate their signature particularly if one of them is on like a digital screen versus yet and paper. It's so hard and also like my mother physically cannot zayn anything. My my father's a signature has looked like an indistinguishable scrawl the first letter of his first and last name is like as a discreet thing but the rest of it is just kind of a wavy line. Somebody's comparing those two things by dj active criteria. And you know they were both seventy five years old. They're in the categories of people who are likely to be thrown out under those kinds of requirements once again Before we wrap up this episode the whole the land that has never been yet series from seen on. Radio is highly recommended. The freedom summer episode includes interviews. That hosts john buick conducted with people. Who were part of freedom summer so that is another great way to get additional context on this whole topic. Yeah i part of me doesn't want to describe it. Because i like having the experience of listening to it myself was so marvelous but a lot of the people that he has interviewed are people who i love to hear speaking Many of them are no longer with us and they are from a documentary. He had done some years before so more of the people that he was interviewing. Were still alive then. Then are now But that whole series. I listen to you as it came out and it is is extremely worth listening to you as are there other. They've done other. They did Seeing white which is about the history of the idea of race and racism and there's one called men that's the history of patriarchy. They're all very very good. Do you have very very good listener. Mail from april. An april and says good evening tracy and holly before i begin i just wanted to say thank you for continuing your work throughout the current madness that we have found ourselves in. Your podcast is a much welcomed at informative distraction. I recently listened to your unearthed. You're in two thousand twenty episode released on. I think january thirteenth. Twenty twenty one. I can't remember if it was part one or two but you both mentioned the recent discovery of a thermo liam in pompeii. You described the beautiful imagery on it. Some that possibly described the menu items like the rooster and fish and others that were more decorative like the water nymph. He also described these somewhat odd inclusion of a dog highly. I believe you said your husband was particularly concerned about the fate of the dog. Well he might not need to fear. I'm not sure if the two of you are aware but there is a precedent of canine imagery in pumpkin artwork. Balu you should find the link to a bbc article which shows a picture of a mosaic depiction of a guard dog. It's literally a centuries old version of a aware of the dog signed based upon the fresco. It may have served the same purpose as the mosaic. Although i'm not quite sure why a guard dog would need to be a food cart. But hey ancient. Rome was a lively place. Obviously this is merely conjecture. Although i have studied art history i do not claim to be an art historian and archaeologist. Thanks again for your work. i really love. Your podcast is a nice balance of instruction and laughter. Which as a teacher. I can appreciate sincerely april and thank you april. Land this email about the dogs and both because of the like providing possible context. Why the picture of the dog is there. But also it just made me imagine a food stall whose clientele are so unruly that they just got to have a dog on hand. I presume it's so people don't the've directly from the things The good news is my husband because he was very worried about this. Ancient dog found. That seem so. Yeah i but i super appreciate it and it's it is one of those funny things you know you get fixated on something and you are looking up. Ancient dog imagery in pompeii. So thank you again for emailing us april. Am if you'd like to email us about this or any of their podcast. R- history podcasts. At i heart radio dot com and we are also all over social media at missed in history three find our facebook and twitter and pinterest and instagram. You can also subscribe to our show on the iheartradio app and apple podcasts than anywhere else to get your podcast stuff. You missed in history classes. The production of i heart radio for more podcasts from iheartradio visit the iheartradio app apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to your favorite shows for the ones who know. Safety isn't a catchphrase. it's a culture and the ones who helped make sure everyone makes it home safe for the safety minded who watch everyone's backs grainger offers supplies and solutions for every industry has willa safety assessments and training to keep your facility safe and your people safer call. Click grainger dot com or just stop by grainger for the ones who get it done. Hey y'all with that. It's just hilarious and i'm just making sure y'all know that i got okay. It's called kambli. Reckless on the black affect network. I'm gonna be selling your business and nobody's business to you and ain't no limits of the things i talk about. Y'all know that if your no meek from baby mama drama to healthy relationships from charles the poster stimulus checks. Louise a setback. You realize that we all go through crazy stuff but we got stories to tell those situations do define you but they do make full ruge conversation in a worldwide click and cancelled contract. And tell you story before you do. I'm creating the outlets of remind people that we still him and crazy and we can all laugh about it. Don't stress over it. Bring your problems to me. i promise. I won't judge you might crack a joke. Don't be skirt it all in messy at the same time does make sure you tune in listen carefully. Reckless every wednesday on the iheartradio app apple podcasts. Or wherever you podcast.
The unstoppable Fannie Lou Hamer
"History lovers. I'm Mike Rosen with retro pod. A show about the past rediscovered. She walked with a limp. She had a blood clot behind her eye from being severely beaten in a Mississippi jail for name was Fannie, Lou Hamer. She was the youngest of twenty children born to black sharecroppers in Mississippi and in late nineteen sixty four president Lyndon B Johnson was absolutely terrified of her. Why she was about to make an appeal before the credentials panel at the democratic national convention, the potential implications were profound Hamer represented the Mississippi freedom Democratic Party a racially integrated coalition of delegates Hamer wanted to challenge. The seats of the current all white democratic delegation from their state saying that they were in violation of. The party's rules because they had systematically excluded black citizens. According to time magazine Johnson was worried that Hamer speech could offend the southern Democrats whose votes he needed for re election. He wanted her silenced. But Hamer had a following that rivaled that of Dr Martin Luther King junior, and she would not go unheard. Henry was born in one thousand nine seventeen in the Mississippi. Delta the share cropping system kept her parents in debt and without enough food to feed their twenty children in the winter Hamer tied rags on her feet because she often didn't have shoes. She started picking cotton. When she was six years old. Hamer started her civil rights work in one thousand nine sixty one after she was sterilized without consent during what should have been a minor surgery. She tried to register to vote in one thousand nine hundred sixty two but was turned away after she failed a literacy test which were used in the south to discourage black people from voting the clerk asked Hamer complicated. Questions like interpreting the state constitution after she failed the test. She told the clerk she'd be back when Hamer returned to the plantation that day, she was fired from her job, but she wasn't defeated Hamer became a student nonviolent coordinating committee community organizer and helped found the Mississippi freedom Democratic Party in reaction to the lack of integration in the state's Democratic Party as a candidate from the party. She ran for congress in nineteen sixty four against democratic incumbent, Jamie l Whitten at that year's democratic national convention Hamer made her. Way to the stage through a crowd of men who refused to make space for her other members of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King junior spoke. But all eyes were on her. She then talked for thirteen minutes. Mr chairman. And two they could dentist committee. My name is MRs Fannie, Lou Hamer, she called for mandatory delegation, integration and recounted her experience trying to register to vote. The thirty first of all the the night food. That eighteen of all travel put the six miles who the county courthouse in in the null to register to become first class Hamer described being arrested in beaten in a Mississippi jail after a white waitress at a rest, stop refused. Her service. That's how she got the blood clot. This is the own account of we will to register the become first class. If the freedom democratic fun if not feed enough. Question amount. After her testimony Hamer and other Freedom Party members discovered that Johnson, a wildly tough politician had held a news conference. So that national television networks could he cover her testimony live? She was livid, but Johnson's efforts to silence her didn't work that night in a hot Atlantic City hotel room Hamer in the rest of the country watched her testimony broadcast in prime time on the evening news less than a year later, congress passed the Voting Rights Act, and at the nineteen sixty eight convention in Chicago Hamer became the first African American to be seated as a delegate she received a standing ovation. I'm Mike Rosen walled. Thanks for listening special. Thanks to deneen Brown who reported the story for the Washington Post and for more forgotten stories from history. Visit Washington Post dot com slash retro pod.
Activists: Ella Baker
"From Wonder Media Network I'm Jenny. Kaplan and this is encyclopedia will Manica. Very. Excited to present our. September. This month we're talking about activists. Women who stood up and fought against injustice and for a better world today, we're talking about a woman who doesn't often receive the recognition she deserves for her behind the scenes activism. As a prolific activist, she had a hand in society changing work major civil rights leaders turned to her for her organizational skills. Let's talk about Ella Josephine Baker. Sisters in the struggle for human dignity and freedom. I am here to represent. The struggle that has gone on for three hundred years. Ella Baker was born on December thirteenth nineteen o three in Norfolk Virginia. She grew up in North Carolina on the very same land where her grandparents were enslaved a few decades earlier. Ella's mother was part of the Local Missionary Association. She helped feed their hungry neighbors and encouraged women to be a force for positive change this activism and kindness stuck with Allah. Ellis studied at Shaw University in Raleigh North Carolina and graduated as Class Valedictorian nineteen twenty seven shortly after she moved to New York City in Nineteen thirty ELA joined several women's organizations and served as national director of the Young Negroes Cooperative League that organization focused on supporting the economic development of the black community in nineteen forty Ella started working as a field secretary for the N. Double A. C., p. she moved up to work as director of branches after just three years. She later also served as the president of the New York. City branch. Then in Nineteen fifty-six, Ella Co created the organization in French. Which bought the oppressive Jim Crow laws in the south. The following year a move to Atlanta to help with Martin Luther King Junior's Organization the southern Christian Leadership Conference. At that time, the SC L. C. was a brand new venture. It was created after successes like the Montgomery bus boycott black leaders including Martin Luther. King Junior created the organization to assemble more boycotts and. Throughout the south. But for the venture to be successful, it would take a masterful organizer while Martin Luther King Junior took the reins as the SEC's public figurehead Ella worked behind the scenes setting the organization's agenda and framing the issues. She organized the crusade for citizenship a campaign to support voting rights. For African Americans, she also helped Rodney Atlanta s ELC headquarters and even served as a temporary director for several months after the resignation of the previous office holder, Ellis desire to focus on the issues and to have influence over the. Direction often clashed with the group's main. Right, as ellos considering resigning in nineteen sixty radical act of civil disobedience inspired her to take a new direction on February first black college students in Greensboro. North Carolina where I'm from refused to leave a lunch counter. Worth's where they'd been denied service for Joseph McNeil Franklin McCain and their to college dorm mates that time was February first one, thousand, nine, hundred, sixty. The day they walked into a Greensboro. Woolworth's and sat down at the segregated lunch counter. Ella wrote a letter that encourage students across the south to join forces and take similar acts of protest. She also organized a meeting at Shaw University for the students who spearheaded the citizens from those meetings, the student nonviolent coordinating committee or Snick was created. snick would have a profound impact on the civil rights movement. Ella encourage snack to focus on practicing group centered activism rather than leader centered activism in contrast to the SE L. C.'s leadership style with Mlk at the forefront. Under, this method, of Leadership Snick ran many successful initiatives including the nineteen sixty one freedom rides and the nineteen sixty, four freedom summer and Mississippi L. continued her activism through the sixties. She was also a consultant for the Southern Conference Education Fund and organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic. Party she later returned to New York City and continued her work until she passed away on. December thirteenth nineteen eighty six. She was eighty three years old. Ella Baker was an incredible driving force behind much of the public civil rights work. We learn about in school while she never sought the spotlight she was committed to improving life for future generations all month we're talking about activists for more on why we're doing what we're doing check out our newsletter manteca weekly. Follow us on facebook and Instagram at Encyclopedia Will Manica, and follow me directly on twitter at 'em. Kaplan special. Thanks to Liz Caplan favorite sister and Co Creator Talk Tomorrow. I WanNa tell you about an organization that's doing great things. Over the past twenty years, the number of people who are malnourished has been reduced by fifty percent and more children are in school today than at any time in history. Global poverty can seem daunting. Success in alleviating suffering is occurring across the globe. To learn how you can volunteer at the Borgen Project and take action locally to help our global community visit Borgen Project Dot Org. That's www dot B. O. R. G. E. N. Project DOT. Org Check it out.
Ella baker born - December 13, 1903
"Growing up in reading fairy tales is pretty much a universal experience. The new season of Kevin Williamson's tell me a story takes the world's most well known fairytales and reimagined imagine them. As a dark and twisted psychological thriller. This season explores an entirely new set of characters and features three legendary stories beauty and the Beast Sleeping Ping beauty and Cinderella. It's streaming December fifth exclusively on CBS. All access sign up today for CBS. All access by going to CBS DOT com slash Flash This Day get your first week of CBS. All access for free stream the new season of tell me a story on December fifth. That's CBS DOT COM. Tom Slash this day to get your first week of CBS. All access free this day in history class is a production. I heart radio. Hello Hello Hello again. I'm eve and you're listening to this day in history class where we examine the past from the present today is December member Thirteenth Twenty Nineteen the day was December thirteenth. Nineteen three Ella. Josephine Baker was born in Norfolk Virginia. Baker is known for her organizing work in the fight for black civil rights and human rights. Baker grew up in Littleton. A small rural town in North Carolina. The second of three children born to Blake Blake Baker. A ferryboat waiter Anjana Baker. A teacher her family and upbringing instilled in her a sense of communal responsibility. Historical awareness pride and rebellion. There were no secondary schools in Littleton so her parents sent her to Raleigh to attend shock boarding school. After high school she enrolled at Shaw University in Raleigh where she majored in sociology during time at Shah she already had social justice inclinations nations speaking up against restrictive school rules in nineteen twenty seven. She graduated from Shaw University as Valedictorian of her class and moved to New York City eighty there. She got jobs as a server and factory worker and her social and political consciousness grew as she witnessed poverty and suffering in Harlem and and the effects of the Great Depression descended on the city. She worked as a correspondent for black newspapers and she helped found the young Negroes Cooperative League which helped up to people gain economic power by buying collectively. She became the organization's first national director in Nineteen thirty-one throughout the nineteen thirties. She was involved involved with many other. Organizations like the workers. Education project part of the works progress administration which hired her to teach consumer and labor education and she was also involved with the women's Day workers in industrial league. The Harlem Housewives Cooperative and the Harlem Young Women's Christian Association in and she wrote about economic oppression in one thousand nine hundred five she in Marbella Cook Co authored. Expose on the exploitation of black domestic worker Earth by the early Nineteen Forty S. Baker has become an assistant field secretary and later National Field Secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of have colored people or in Aa C. P. C. traveled around the south US organizing N.. Double ACP branches and starting membership drives though she worked with the ACP for a while. She resigned from her post. As director of branches in Nineteen forty-six she was disillusioned with the organization because it was so bureaucratic and because it relied so heavily on legal approaches to fight discrimination Baker supported more control from the branches rather than the existing assisting top down approach around this time. She married Thomas Roberts and took on the responsibility of raising her niece Jacqueline but she's still associated with the end of lease EP as President of the New York branch and was an advisor to the organization's Youth Council when activists in the south were preparing for the Montgomery bus US boycott Baker. Along with eighth Randolph Bayard Rushton and Stanley Levinson founded a group called in friendship in friendships supported ported desegregation in the south and provided financial assistance. To the boycotts in the wake of the successful boycotts civil rights leaders for the southern Christian the leadership conference or SC L. C.. Baker emerged as a leader. WHO's organizing with integral to its projects and she became director in the SEC though she coordinated organizations voter rights campaign and ran the office she rejected is hierarchical? Charismatic leadership centered around Dr Martin Luther King senior in favor of a group centered leadership. Also women in the organization were often relegated to administrative roles. Baker resigned from the SEC in nineteen sixty. She turned her attention. To the students were initiating in the South and she helped organize the student. Nonviolent Coordinating Coordinating Committee. Or snick which led more thins voter registration drives and other civil rights. Initiatives Baker helped organize the Mississippi has to be freedom Democratic Party a grassroots political organization that talent the all White Mississippi Democratic Party and she joined the Southern Conference Educational Fund an interracial organization that advocated for White Support of racial justice throughout the rest of her life she remained committed to championing civil and human rights working with groups like the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee and to the African National Congress. Baker died in New York when her eighty third birthday day each jeffcoat and hopefully you know a little more about history today than you did yesterday. If you're hungry for more history you can find us on twitter twitter facebook and Instagram at T. D. H.. PODCAST and you can email us at this day at Iheart Heart Media Dot Com. Thanks for going on his trip through history with best. We'll see you again tomorrow with another episode From our podcast. iheartradio visit the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to your favorite shows finding the right pros for home. Projects can be tough and sparked a lot of questions. Like how do I find a pro. Oh who can help. Will they do. A good job will get a fair price. That's where homeadvisor can help from. Leaky Faucets to major remodels homeadvisor connects you to the the right pro for the job in seconds and even helps you get a fair price you can also read reviews. 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Ibn Battuta Completes His Travelogue / Ella Baker born - December 13
"What's up everybody. It's jill scott. And here's one of my favorite moments from j. dot il podcast brought to you by netflix's new film iranian black bottom golden. Oc yes yes. She wasn't a solved woman either. Meaning she didn't say okay. I'll do whatever you say. I'm gonna listen to a new episode of j. dot il the podcast every wednesday and check out my rainey's black bottom in select theaters now and on netflix. Six december eighteenth. This film is rated r. Support for this. Podcast comes from the first one with. Dj khallid a new podcast only available on amazon music. Up this dj cabinet and this is the first one. I talked to the most iconic artist on the planet about solve that didn't change the gain but changed their life from all the music stars like j. baolin now. Is kelly rowland who tell their stories about the first seats that took them to be overlooked to be an booked. Join me every thursday. Only on amazon music. Hey y'all were rerunning to episodes today which means you might hear to host. Enjoy the show. Welcome to this day in history class. From how stuff works dot com and from the desk of stuff. You missed in history class. It's the show where we explore the past one day at a time with a quick look at what happened today in history. Hi there and welcome to the podcast. I'm christopher haciendas. Temporary hosts sitting in for tracy view wilson. He'll be back in four days. But today is december thirteenth and by tuta completed the account of his world travels on this day in thirteen fifty five. The man born i will abdullah mohammed. Eban butter became one of the most accomplished travelers of history. He was born in tangent on the twenty fifth thirteen. Four now ten years in what's today known as morocco but the city's history may go back as far as the phoenicians in the tenth century bc e even buddha was born. Morocco is ruled by the marinades one of several berber dynasties from medieval times but left hanjour when he was twenty years old setting out on the hajj to mecca. He wrote. I left tan's years my birthplace on thursday the second version job. Seven twenty five. That's seven twenty five in the history islamic calendar with the intention of going on pilgrimage to mecca. I set out alone having neither fellow traveller in whose companionship. i might find cheer nor caravan. Who's part i might join but swayed by an over. Mastering impulse within me and desire long-cherished in my bosom to visit these illustrious sanctuaries so brace my resolution to quit my dear ones female and male and forsook my home as birds forsake their nests. My parents being yet in the bonds of life it weighed sorely upon me to part from them and both they and i were afflicted with sorrow at the separation. I was then only twenty traveled east from the maghreb along the southern mediterranean coast through tunis tripoli and alexandria. Sometimes he joined caravan for safety in numbers. Sometimes he met people along the way he married a woman in sfax. For instance in what is now. He's been ramadan in. Damascus then went onto medina and finally completed his hajj in mecca but after performing his pilgrimage. He just decided to keep travelling. He could have returned home but instead headed to. What's now iraq. Iran somalia the eastern coast of africa. Anatolia crimea in pakistan indonesia. He did over his lifetime. Returned to mecca for several hajj pilgrimages. But on his travels he met with many rulers emperors shakespeare's he served for a while as a local judge. The islands known as the maldives which had then recently converted to islam while there he married into the royal family in fact even to head a number of marriages over the years and in multiple countries. He made his way to china under mongol rule while there he saw paper money and was very very impressed by the time but to wrapped up his life of travel he'd have visited forty four different countries. If you're judging by today's boundaries he hit up central asia and south asia china and parts of southern africa and eastern europe. He covered the majority of the islamic world. Also known as dr rally slum even but to traveled seventy five thousand miles or one hundred twenty one thousand kilometers. These spent twenty nine years traveling. He was geographer. A botanist scholar qadi or judge and he finally did make his way back to tangier in thirteen forty nine. Both of his parents have passed away by then and upon learning that news but to set out to explore the sahara he went to bat in timbuktu in the mali empire and finally returned to morocco and thirteen fifty four now throughout his travels. He didn't keep a diary he didn't keep journal and it was only in thirteen fifty four that he dictated his travels to a man. Named giuseppe. there are no sources that been cited and some passages that he wrote were the same as other sources there. Some conflicting information and again all of this travel was remembered by even tuta but it was eventually published as two fought. Alan figuera alum. Sorry why. Jibe alice fire or a gift to those who contemplate the wonders of cities and the marvels of traveling now. That title can be a bit much but but tunis travelogue is generally just referred to as the richter or the journey was published in thirteen fifty five after that the details of does become a little less certain. He was appointed a judge in morocco and eventually died in either thirteen sixty or thirteen sixty nine. Now to-to was little known outside the islamic world until the eighteenth century when his works began to be translated. he's often compared to other world. Travelers like marco polo for instance for more about even by tuta. Give a listen to the august. Second two thousand seventeen episode of stuff. You missed in history class. it's called urban butter. The traveler of islam thanks to casey pilgrimage. Chandler maze for their audio work on this show. You can subscribe to this day in history class on apple podcasts. The iheartradio app or wherever else. You liked to find your podcasts. Please tune in tomorrow for the anniversary of ambitious expedition. Finally reaching its goal now snow is falling leaves turning brown and crunchy as we approach a festive season. The wellbeing of those we care for is the most important use clorox regular bleach to this infect your home with used as directed on hard nonporous surfaces it kills ninety nine point nine percent of germs from your laundry white to highly trafficked areas like kitchen floors and sort of bathroom counters. You can count on clorox. keep home protected. When accounts trust clorox at target we know a good deal means a great deal this week through saturday december nineteenth. It's time to finish off your list with deals on apple save up to thirty percent on home appliances and up to thirty percent off toys and games with the holiday clock. Ticking it's never too late to make a lasting impression with last minute gifts for everyone on your list shop in store and at target dot com bring more to every moment for less only at target exclusions apply. Hello hello again. I'm eve and you're listening to this day in history class where we examined the past from the present the day was december thirteenth. Nineteen o three ella. Josephine baker was born in norfolk virginia. Baker is known for organizing work in the fight for black civil rights and human rights. Baker grew up in littleton. A small rural town in north carolina. The second of children born to blake baker. A ferryboat waiter and georgina a teacher. Her family and upbringing instilled in her a sense of communal responsibility. Historical awareness pride and rebellion. There were no secondary schools in littleton so her parents sent her to raleigh to attend shock boarding school. After high school he enrolled at university in raleigh where she majored in sociology are ready had social justice inclinations speaking up against restrictive school rules in nineteen twenty seven. She graduated from shaw university as valedictorian of her class and moved to new york city. There she got jobs as a server. Factory worker and her social and political consciousness grew as she witnessed poverty and suffering in harlem and effects of the great depression descended on the city. She worked as a correspondent for black newspapers and she helped found the young negroes cooperative league which helped people gain economic power by buying collectively. She became the organization's first national director in nineteen thirty one throughout the nineteen thirty s. She was involved with many other organizations like the workers. Education project part of the works progress administration which hired her to teach consumer and labor education. She was also involved with the women's day workers in industrial league. The harlem housewives cooperative and the harlem young women's christian association and she wrote about economic oppression in nineteen thirty five. She in marbella cook co-authored and expose on the exploitation of black domestic workers for the early nineteen forty s baker become an assistant field secretary and later national field secretary for the national association for the advancement of colored people or in double. Acp traveled around the south us organizing n. Double acp branches and starting membership drives though she worked with the n. Double acp for a while. She resigned from her post as director of branches in nineteen forty six. She was disillusioned with the organization because it was so bureaucratic and because it relied so heavily on legal approaches to fight. Discrimination baker supported more control from the branches rather than the existing top down approach around this time. She married thomas roberts and took on the responsibility of raising her niece jacqueline but she's still associated with the n. Double acp as president of the new york branch and was an advisor to the organization's youth council when activists in the south were for the montgomery bus boycott baker along with a philip randolph. Bayard rushton and stanley levinson. Founded a group called in friendship in friendships. Supported desegregation in the south and provided financial assistance. To the boycotts in the wake of the successful boycotts civil rights leaders for the southern christian leadership conference or sc l. c. baker emerged as a leader who's organizing was integral to its projects and she became director in the sec. Though she coordinated the organizations voter rights campaign and ran the office. She rejected is hierarchical. Charismatic leadership centered around. Dr martin luther king junior in favor of group centered leadership. Also women in. The organization were often at relegated to administrative roles. Baker resigned from the l. c. in nineteen sixty. She turned her attention to the citizens students initiating in the south and she helped organize the student. Nonviolent coordinating committee or snick which led more thins voter registration drives and other civil rights. Initiatives baker helped organize the mississippi freedom democratic party a grassroots political organization that challenge the all white mississippi democratic party and she joined the southern conference educational fund an interracial organization. That advocated for white support racial justice throughout the rest of her life she remained committed to championing civil and human rights working with groups like the puerto rican solidarity committee and the african national congress. Baker died in new york. Her eighty third birthday jeff code and hopefully you know a little more about history today than you did yesterday. If you're hungry for more history you can find us on twitter. Facebook and instagram. At t. h hot podcast and you can email us at this day. At iheartmedia dot com. Thanks for going on his trip through history with us. We'll see you again tomorrow with another episode for more podcasts. From iheartradio visit the iheartradio app apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Nearly six hundred years after the invention of the printing press the most important book in the history of the world has arrived. There might be overstating things stuff. You should know an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things. It will change your life forever. Well that's not necessarily true. Most scientists agree that stuff. You should know an incomplete compendium. Mostly interesting things is proof that time travel is possible because that is the only way to explain how a book this impressive was possibly made. Why what stuff you should know an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things will re grow hair. Whiten your teeth and improve your love life. That's just not at all right. We'll the love life part. Maybe if you find someone who thinks smart as sexy stuff you should know an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things available now at stuff. You should know dot com and everywhere. You buy books now that is true. Hey guys it's bobby bones. I host the bobby bones show and pretty much always sleepy. Because i wake up at three o'clock in the morning a couple hours later i get all my friends together. We get into a room and we do a radio show. We sure allies we tell our stories we try to find as much good in the world if he possibly can and we looked through the news of the day that you'll care about also your favorite country. Artists are always stopping by to hang out and share their lives and music too so wake up with a bunch of my friends on ninety eight point seven w. skew in washington. Dc or wherever the rotates you on the iheartradio app.
Freedom Summer, 1964
"History this week? June, twenty, first nineteen, sixty four. I'm Sally. It's around ten PM in Central Mississippi. Three civil rights workers have just been released from jail. They were arrested earlier in the day allegedly for speeding. They've paid their twenty dollar fine and been allowed to leave. As, they had out the door. The deputy tells them see how quickly you can get out of Michigan County. These men don't need telling twice. They know what can happen. Civil Rights Workers in Mississippi. Two of them James, Chaney and Michael Schnur are experienced activists. The Third Andrew Goodman is a newly arrived volunteer. Cheney is Bach, born and raised in Mississippi shorter and Goodman are white New Yorkers. All three of the men are young. Twenty Twenty One and twenty four years old. Start to drive home Donna dark rural highway. And then they realize they're being followed. By two cars and a beliefs cruiser, all full of white men. They turn off the highway trying to get away, but it doesn't worry me. Their pursuers catch up to them. The three men are forced out of their station wagon into the police cruiser. They're taken to a remote spot called rock cut road. The cruiser slow to a halt. The next morning headline in the local paper reads three civil rights. Workers reported missing. We didn't try to wait until they found the body given the circumstances new, they were dead. Today the story of a pivotal action in the civil rights movement. Freedom Summer. What happened when experienced block organizers teamed up with hundreds of white volunteers to take on the structures of power, and how did the disappearance of these three men finally make the nation? Take a hard look at what was happening in Mississippi. For history anytime anywhere sign up for a free trial of history volt. Stream. Full episodes of over two thousand award, winning history documentaries and series all commercial free on your favorite device. Plus new videos added to the vault every week. Sign up now and explore the greatest stories in history. From ancient civilizations to American history, modern warfare and more. To Start Your free trial visit history vault dot com today. Cheney at Schwerin and Goodman were initial county that day in June to investigate an act of violence. The Ku, Klux. Klan had attacked a church that had been gathering place for civil rights activists. They set the building on fire and then beat up black parishioners as they tried to flee. This kind of thing wasn't rare in Mississippi. The state had the highest rate of lynchings of any state in the nation. The perpetrators of violence were lawyers, judges sheriffs doctors. Black Mississippians had to fear for their lives and most were forced to live in extreme poverty. That day in June nineteen sixty four. The burning of Mount, Zion Church was just the latest in an unending string of violent attacks. People were fed up and tired. It fell to three twenty something men two of whom had grown up in New York to investigate this crime. And to understand that part of the story yet meet Bob Moses. If you own New York City, and where Yankees Stadium is on the edge of the Harlem with We moved in there when I was two years old. Moses spent his formative years in New York City. then. He went to Hamilton College where he was one of very few black students in nineteen sixty. He's in his mid twenties. He's a high school math teacher and he's following the unfolding civil rights movement. I watched newspapers with the pictures of the sitting kids that were all of sudden young black kids appearing on the front page of the New York Times it never. Before and I felt like well, I have to see this up close. Lot of the action is taking place far away in the south. And Moses decides to go down and get involved that summer. He ends up taking a bus trip through the south to help recruit people to the cause and there. He sees violence. That hasn't been making the front page. For example in Birmingham was just. Bombing. In a black neighborhood and none of the news. Available. Just working. On that same trip, Moses's travels into the very heart of racist violence in the south. Mississippi! In. Cleveland Mississippi in Doubt Better Net MT Moore. Who actually knew what to do? He said you know there's there's no particular reason to come and sit in the delta, but is every reason to work on voter registration. At the time there were about one point, two million white people living in Mississippi, and just over nine hundred thousand black people, but only about five percent of the state's black population was registered to vote. Some counties didn't have a single registered black voter for a reason. If you registered to vote. Your name would be printed in the paper, and that might make you a target for violence and intimidation. You could be fired evicted even killed, and it blew my mind. Guy I've been listening. You know all through college and I graduated everywhere about behind the curtain. Need for the people behind it. Vote and everything. No one ever mentioned. We had a whole congressional district on majority black and nobody was folding. So I signed up I said Tansy. I'M GONNA. Come back and work with you by the way Amsi more. The man Moses just mentioned. He's a civil rights leader, and one of dozens of people Moses credited in our interview. I mentioned but. VACO change Denver retained on door. Tanking Jones. Close. Most is a civil rights icon, though not necessarily a household name and in our interview, it became clear that he's the type of leader who doesn't see himself working alone. He kept crediting this huge network of people all working together. Moses ends up moving to Mississippi and starts registering voters alongside Amsi more and many others. They're working at a very grassroots level, and in the country at large in the early sixty s, the civil rights movement is picking up steam. In August, nineteen, sixty three. There's the famous march on Washington where Dr Martin Luther King makes this I. Have a dream speech. But Mississippi really feels like a place apart. Through his work Moses is becoming intimately acquainted with the violence there. He's been beat up by the highway patrol. He's seen friends and colleagues murdered without consequences, and that drives home to him this difficult truth. To black people was not important country. What happens to way, kids I'd prestigious universities. This becomes the seed of a powerful political idea. Tell me about the idea for the summer project. Where did that come from well? That's the interesting part because we weren't really into well. Who's idea is this? that. The idea was this. What, if we bring privilege white students into Mississippi to help with voter registration efforts. What kind of extra attention could that bring to the cause? Of the economy and building among black people in Mississippi. Was You so? socially. Culturally revolutionary, it added never happened. And, so they brought the country with. And the country. They are. Forced to take a look at itself. Just doing that? Was a goal. Among the black organizers, this idea was controversial to this day to well, that should never happen. Fast members felt that this was sort of the project, and that was important that it was really run by Young African American. She'll send creatures, but we actually position to see if we get a much larger commitment. A commitment from white people around the country. Who didn't seem to care about what was happening in Mississippi? And so in the summer of nineteen, sixty four, the organizers launch the Mississippi Summer Project later called freedom summer. In June about eight, hundred white, mostly middle class. Students gather on a college campus in Ohio for training. They'll be taught by experienced black organizers. Among the white students is heather booth an eighteen year old from New York. We talked to her about what it was like in Ohio. So they were role plays that we were subjected to where we there had to act as the white racists, calling other freedom workers, attacking them, and then also playing volunteers. Not Succumbing violence ourselves and the overall importance of just protecting people's lives. There were also talks about the history and politics of Mississippi at one white volunteers saw a video of a weight registrar in the state who prevented black voters from exercising their rights, and he's a huge guy. You know maybe two hundred pounds. The volunteers burst out laughing and that the settle feel tech occurs. This person wasn't a joke, but a real serious impediment to their freedom. They knew him personally. There was a real tension that many felt. In, part the question of learning about each other's cultures and background in the history, but also making sure the white northern students understood the black people have Mississippi were the people who were taking the risks. They were the people who were doing the work doing the work for years and as white volunteers we were there to help and support that we were not coming down with the arrogance that we often had of to show into teach to tell the people of Mississippi what we knew, and that tension broke out in one of the large plenary sessions that we had where some of the blacks Nick Staff. said. That we would be sacrificial lambs. I was stunned by that. On June twentieth the first wave of volunteers heads down to Mississippi the next day. Moses gets a terrible phone call. Cheney Sh- Werner and goodman are missing. Assumed dead. Beverly Student. Food? At that time, Heather and the rest of her training class are still in Ohio. And they gather to hear Bob Moses. Address the volunteers. Were Bob convened us into. One of these auditorium centers sections. To tell us that three of the young volunteers. Were missing. They probably were dead. Because they about to walk into it. And pay half to understand that this is real. So I basically talked to them. In a way I thought maybe they might relate to, because they will read tokens up it. I remember. He told us the story. Of The Lord of the Rings and out power can corrupt and distort people's views. And the impression I got is that we're really in a struggle for people's lives for the sharing of power. And then we have Somebody's saying on, and then they had to think through. But if they could stay on. Because, you know, you can't do political rally cry and say we're GONNA, do. It's just the opposite. Insight you. You Up to. Every person there to go inside him or herself. And to get that out. What's important that they do that? On their own. Some. Be Real introduction. And if anything it increased my commitment. And My will to. Almost every single one of them stayed. I didn't know what to expect actually, so it's not that I was surprised by it. I was gratified. Deeply gratified by it. And I think that. head to staff. This felt like the beginning of that broader commitment organizers had hoped for. The eight hundred students had to face the fact that their lives were at stake. and. They went to Mississippi Anyway. The cause was worth dying for. A few days after Moses's speech, the second wave of volunteers leaves Ohio. Getting to know each other on the bus, a lot of chatting remember they're teenagers. There was a lot of singing singing always helped. Bind us together. And meanwhile every news outlet in the country is reporting on the three missing men. And the idea that now all these other young white college kids might be danger, prompted parents all over a immediately began wearing that Congress people White House. You know. Their daughter son. That's going down to this place where people at the end up. One hundred and fifty F. B. I.. Agents have been dispatched to Mississippi to launch an investigation into the disappearances. And in Washington, DC president Lyndon B, Johnson is under pressure. He's been in the Oval Office for less than a year. He'd been Kennedy's vice president up until the assassination and Johnson is facing a big piece of legislation. The Civil Rights Act. It will offer significant protections for black Americans, but for Johnson signing. This bill is politically risky. He faces an election in the fall, and it will be his first time running at the top of the ticket. To win, he'll need at southern voters. Voters who will almost certainly turn on him if he signs the Civil Rights Act, but with the media coverage on the growing outrage over these disappearances. There is intense pressure from the civil rights movement and its supporters to pass the act. Less than two weeks after Cheney at Schwerin. Her and Goodman wanted missing. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law. It's a huge victory for the movement right at the beginning of freedom summer. But in Mississippi. The project is really just getting started. We spent a lot of time getting. People signed up getting ready to go down to the courthouse and register to vote. When we brought them down and supported. They're taking this courageous steps to register. We were arrested. The volunteers were arrested and we were held overnight. All over the state, local government and the Klan are working to prevent voter registration. But progress is being made. Over one thousand black voters get registered summer. Forty freedom schools are teaching literacy and black history and sparking conversations about civics and activism and government. The. White volunteers are living side by side with block families and block activists. Meanwhile. The FBI is investigating the disappearances, and as they search for Cheney showed and Goodman. They find something else. became drought to shovel murders. Of Young. Boys. Discovered women started investigating. Eight bodies are found. None of them is Cheney, Schnur or Goodman. All of them are young black men whose murders hadn't been investigated. Today we still only know three of their names. Henry de. Charles Moore. And Herbert Ormsby. In the shadow of continued violence, while volunteers continue to focus on grassroots activism. Bob Moses and other leaders decide to focus on a national plan. I spent a lot of time working on. Conventional Challenge? The convention challenge the Democratic National. Convention is set to happen that August in Atlantic City and Mississippi's delegation is completely white. They're known as the DIXIECRATS and they've threatened to turn Republican. They're angry that Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. So civil rights leaders see an opportunity. If the dixiecrats leave, someone could take their place. They've been organizing this new political party run by black voters the Mississippi. Freedom Democratic Party, and they decide. Let's see the MVP, at the convention. Then FTP holds local elections with newly registered black voters to pick delegates. And in August, they're ready. And they had up to Atlantic city. If you are enjoying history this week you should check out flashback a new podcast from the IHEART radio podcast network, and Ozzy. The creators of the Chart Topping Webby nominated podcast the thread, the law of unintended consequences is a simple, but often misunderstood rule of universe. Flashback explores the reasons. Some of our best laid plans have gone ride from policy making too personal lives from the courtroom to the environment, and it reveals those surprising stories that the history books never told you about Ozzy's. Sean Braswell takes on a journey through history that will change how you look at the world today. Listen to flashback on the iheartradio, apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. I WANNA! Tell you about another podcast. I think you'll like. It's the last archive from Harvard. Historian and New Yorker Writer Jill Lepore. Lepore asks the question who killed troop. She looks for clues in events across the twentieth century from a brutal death in Vermont to the invention of the lie detector to the release of the polio vaccine. This show is unlike anything you've heard before its history animated by archival tapes and documents, intrepid field, reporting and old timey radio drama reenactments. The last archive unfurled like a Classic Nineteen Thirties gumshoe mystery, but it takes on the big issues of today. Wouldn't you like to know who killed truth? Subscribe in Apple podcasts or wherever you listen brought to you by Pushkin Industries. The NF DP is ready for their big showdown on the convention floor. But two days before the convention, they get some terrible news. The bodies of Schnur Chaney and Goodman have been found. Buried in an earthen dam on the property of known clan member. They already knew the men were dead, but the discovery of their bodies brings even more clarity to the movement at the convention. And it brings more national support to their cause. On the boardwalk outside activists, full posters of the three slain civil rights workers. And inside. They make their case to the credentials. Committee will get to decide who the official delegates will be. The strategy was to go before the credentials committee and the start course. Sandy Lou Hamer had grown up in share cropping family in the Mississippi Delta when he tried to register to vote, she'd been beaten and shot at. She's still registered, but then she was fired and evicted. G become an importance of rights organizer and at the Convention. She gives this powerful testimony. She sits at a table with her hands folded in front of her speaking to this Sea of white faces. I WanNa mail. The law of the home of the brave. We have to sneak. Without a phone. Call. The, reading! The Post. Season human beings at a math. The. Testimony is broadcast on national TV. But in the Middle President Johnson holds an emergency press conference. That day marks the nine month aniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. Seemingly he's just trying to get. Fannie Lou Hamer's Syrian speech off the air, but it backfired because they replayed speech that night on the three networks. We only had network thin. The activists have momentum. They feel like they might win. And Johnson is worried. He thinks that seating the MVP could lose him the entire southern vote in the upcoming election. He's working behind the scenes to wrap this up quickly and quietly. A one point Moses and other leaders get called into a meeting with representatives from the DNC apparently to talk about a compromise. A. And having Henry Indie, March, thirteen or ten in the middle of this. They're not doing the reporters all outside. Are Now to at it has already eappen there could be. Maybe build it. While leaders are in this meeting. A compromise has been officially passed. The MVP will get to quote delegates at large at the convention along with a statement that the Democratic Party stands and opposition to White Supremacy It's a sort of made up olive branch. The term delegates at large doesn't really mean anything. These delegates have no real power. To Moses it's not acceptable. There was. This crew that Pecan those back. And he stoned community at least I did the white dixiecrats are mad to? They refused to make this anti white supremacy statement. Instead they walk out. That night the convention's opening night. The activists decide to organize an auction. They'll be seated at the convention. No matter what it takes, I found. representatives from mid West. African American. LONELY THEIR BADGE and. I wear one. And then make. I don't know twenty or more trips I the. Door. We could go through and one by one. Gordon the members of Bamako P to pick them pension poor. They staged a sit in in Mississippi's open seats. Eventually, some white delegates and security guards surround them and escort them from the hall. The next day when the FDP returns to the convention floor. took away all the chairs. Mississippi and Protect the age and and rounded back. To the old convention. So the activists stand. Facing freedom songs, and at the end of that final day they watch as Lyndon Johnson is officially nominated for president. This loss at the Democratic national, convention becomes freedom. Summers unfortunate end. It comes with a sense of both change and stagnation. On the one hand, the violence and disenfranchisement of block people in Mississippi really is in the national spotlight now. and. Within a year, the voting rights act passes. By nineteen, seventy, roughly sixty seven percent of the block population in Mississippi will be registered to vote. Remember it was about five percent at the beginning of the decade. And the FBI does eventually arrest eighteen of the men who are responsible for the murders of Chaney Sh- Werner and Goodman But on the other hand, none of them serves more than five years in prison. Until two thousand five, when just one of the eighteen is finally charged with murder. He ultimately dies in prison in two thousand eighteen. He was ninety two. Many of the people that his crimes impacted didn't live to see justice done. So the legacy of freedom summer never really been. A particular lated in a way that I think the justice. First quarter foods and ship. A struggle that goes on to this day fifty six years later as protests have spread across the country police brutality. The names of George Floyd and Brianna. Taylor and Aubrey are some of the most recent that grief-stricken activists are calling out as they demand justice. The idea of citizenship has never been. Fairly realize for African Americans in. The population in the country from the very beginning, and so part of the legacy. Is the idea that. We the people that coach to. People. Should actually reach down and embrace. Everybody a crude in. African Americans. The legacy of freedom summer he says is an idea. Not yet a reality. Thanks for listening to history this week for more moments throughout history that are also worth watching. Check your local TV listings to find out what's on history today. and. We've been talking about voter registration. Don't underestimate the power of your vote for more information. You can go to vote Dot Org and learn about your upcoming local elections. This podcast is produced by me. Linh Ama-, Fredericks Julie mcgruder Bendix teen and meet Sally Helm. Ar- editor and sound designer is Chris. Yellow are executive. Producers are Jesse cats and Ted Butler. Don't forget to subscribe rate and review history this week. Wherever you get your podcasts and we will see you next week.
Episode 31 Divisiveness Part 3
"The listeners this is labor. Now your rates podcast. I'm your host dave. This episode is brought to you by the national league justice and security professionals where the members can i contact information can be found in the show notes including our toll free number which is one eight five five six two. I'm five eight six one zero. Please check out life on record a gift of record messages for any special occasion change to a loved one see our show notes for details. This is ron michael president of the n._l. J._s._p. The national league of justice insecurity professionals where the member comes. I enjoy this podcast and the time conservative reaction became manifest pro-war unions had their say may nineteen sixty seven at a sport the boys labor march in new york see led by members of the international longshoremen's association association the dockworkers joined by rank and file from teamsters in the maritime union as well as members of the john birch society and and the american legion streamed down new york's fifth avenue shoving arguing with young antiwar protesters by now the young people had ran out of patience robert kennedy concluded before a dinner hosted by the americans for democratic action that year labor has been in the forefront of mini a great uh-huh but you looks with other is in their view is very different they think ab- labor as grown sleek and bureaucratic with power sometimes frankly lee discriminatory casually even corrupt and exploitative a force not for change but for the status quo by nineteen sixty seven the civil rights movement ed attained many of its initial objectives at least formally equal treatment in public accommodations the civil rights act of nineteen sixty four and voting rights the voting act of nineteen sixty five the young black activist tired of the lack of real movement in the so right area mississippi freedom summer in nineteen sixty four million one thousand white college students from the north to teach in row schools and served in voter registration drives but news news of the investigation into the june twenty first nineteen sixty four ku klux klan flash police murders of an integrated team of civil rights workers james james chaney andrew goodman and mickey sh- werner the mississippi freedom democratic party im- f._t._p. Wanted to have the elegance replaced by them. Leader strengthened by president johnson should attempt down martin luther king junior perceived as did the younger activists that america's racial problems were linked to intractable challenges that no federal legislation could necessarily touch in he shared their frustration who southern christian leadership conference operation breakfast began in atlanta and chicago thought to address the core economic tensions that created the race rights by using consumer boycotts to demand equal hiring and investment in black neighborhoods by businesses that that prophet there on april fourth nineteen sixty seven king spoke out against the war at new york's riverside church where he asserted that it lacked moral and strategic validity evaporating resources need at home to rectify social and economic crisis and that edison predominantly poor minority young men to fight and die king did not single handedly who the moral indignation of the civil rights. It's coast to the antiwar front but his public pronouncement has coming out against the war could not help skin a national turning point and and if she was at least two years ahead of the mainstream media and the general public in souring on vietnam he paid a considerable price for his courage wjr even fellow civil rights leaders were refusing to comment upon his words baseball legend jackie robinson stated that he respectfully excellent disagreed with dr king the jewish war veterans of the united states of america took him to task for comparing the u._s. Military to the nazis carl rowan a black columnist who has sailed king in the pages of reader's digest accusing him of having developed an inflated idea of of his own influence the raiders goalie king for having a bed the humble methods and philosophy of social change they had characterized his montgomery bus boycott and other civil rights victories king replied by reminding rohan adding america's speaking out even unpopular terms did not signify this loyalty and he branded the allegations about communism as tired red baiting king was right on the these points of course no matter what one of his views on vietnam but ruins harshly worded chastisement had struck a nerve king became involved in a labor dispute in memphis with civil rights overtones on february twelfth sanitation workers of local one seven three three of the american federation of state county and municipal both plays a of s c._m._e. Staged a wildcat strike as a result of increasing grievances including a recent accident in which to workers had been crushed to death by effective machinery the local head one thousand three hundred members all but five were black and had long endured paid promotion disparities and other sites. Even if the city for five years have saved up the union's demand for recognition the mayor the city henry loeb was arguing that it should take a worker five years to get the going rate of a dollar eighty out because he said it takes five ears to learn the skills to empty the garbage. Can the men were so poorly compensated received no overtime vacation pay. Many were forced to rely on on welfare and food stamps. The city agreed to some of the demands a more jest promotion system improved health and retirement benefits and a streamlined grievance ed's procedure but refused to negotiate further until the workers returned to work refused recognition of the union threatened to fire any worker she did not return to work uh-huh when loeb authorized the hiring of scabs to man the garbage trucks with police reading shotgun chechens rose the union defying a new court injunction against picketing and demonstrating marching down main street carrying signs saying i may man showing it was a strike about dignity. The the community launched a boycott of downtown white businesses on march fourteenth nine thousand people filled a church to hear civil rights leaders bayard reston and ray wilkins wasted their support for the strike this sparked the idea of a nonviolent march led by king and was scheduled for thursday. I ate march twenty eight. Unfortunately king and his staff did not have the chance to fully understand the specifics. This lack of intelligence on what was going on in memphis was compounded on the day of the march when his plane was delayed and he arrived at the clayton temple emmy church where six vows marchers awaited him two hours late neither he nor his aides were told the that earlier that morning black high school students trying to leave school to join the march had clashed with fleas hurling rocks and empty soda bottles finally under way along st with keen gene lead having gone just three blocks when young marchers at the rear begin taunting cops in smashing shop windows police edgy from earlier at highschool surged into the crowd flailing with right stakes individually using both mason tear gas the march stopped then split with the older marchers offers retreated to their homes are the clayborn temple gene was taken in a car driven away streetfight exerted by the time order was restored lord fifty people required medical attention over one hundred people have been arrested mayor lobe called out four thousand national guard in to king the plight of the black sanitation workers in memphis illustrate precisely how issues of economics and race intertwined and he announced another march would be held in memphis this time organized by his own staff king recognized that it was important to take the young men seriously instead of scolding them he listened to their complaints complaints and seemed to succeed at convincing them to in their ways for the rescheduled march which was to take place on friday april fifth the city he had obtained a federal court injunction against the event despite the pleading of the u._s. Attorney and city officials key insisted he would be fi the were however he agreed to postpone the protests until monday april eighth in order to allow national labor allegations time to make it to towns participate the night of wednesday wednesday april third memphis was deluged by heavy rains and king assumingly weather would diminish attendance at a scheduled church rally for the striking gene sanitation workers said his chief lieutenant raymond ralph abernathy to speak in his steed soon abernathy was on the phone to king's is room at the lorraine motel to report that the turn out at the church was both sizable and spirited despite the bad weather and that his presence was earnestly desired abernathy no doubt that it would be beneficial for king who is still upset by recent events baskin the edge relation of a a sympathetic audience in the familiar settings of a black church when king arrived at the gathering he went to the pulpit and seemingly wind declare his troubled mind launch into prophetic ruminations while i don't know what will happen now but it really doesn't matter with me now because i've been to the mountaintop like anybody. I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place but i'm not concerned about that. Now i just want to do god's will and he's allowed me to go up to the mountain and i've looked over and i've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you but i want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land so i'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man i n- is have seen the glory laurie the coming of the lord thursday april fourth even the skies above memphis had cleared in humanity four six from a a purchase street assassin james earl ray looked up from his raffle to see men wearing a crisp black suit white shirt and tie emerged emerged from the second floor room and come to stand alone by the railing of the motel balcony. The vietnam war was bound to split labor. The most fragile relationship. She ship was meany reuther partnership of the a._f._l. C._i._o. Memory solid relationship reuther mid nineteen fifties denouncement of the love <hes> donen cold war meddling that mini fathered and while relationships improve the two leaders joined to respond to the mcclellan committee's dayton of labor. The thought ended in nineteen sixty three when meany refused a._f._l. C._i._o. endorsement of the march on washington which cruiser and the u._a._w. They w supported most recently reuther had donated fifty thousand dollars from the u._a._w. The memphis sanitation strike only then serbia informed that southern u._a._w. Members had refused to lower flags to half-mast after king's murder on report reuther sought to reestablish the <hes> movements tie to liberals and intellectuals he called for more direct aid to farm workers and instance defied efforts to organize the nation's. It's public service employees and folke finding ways for the u._a._w. Play a large role in combating racism. He played up the need to develop common when burgling goals for auto workers in all auto producing nations as a means of counter acting glow away competition and recommended the country turn its attention to repairing bridges roads and other infrastructure reuther remarks in december nineteen sixty seven good parent body. The american labor movement suffers from a sense of complacency and adherence to the status quo and is not fulfilling the basic abramson simpson purposes which prompted the merger of the a._f._l. C._i._o. In the first place many rushed off roofers criticism saying we resent being called tottering old men who do not know what we are doing but he consented to a special meeting ruth requested describe the u._a._w.'s plans and early. I don't make frustration with the federation our when meany insisted that meeting beheld with the understanding that the the u._a._w. Would accept its conclusions no matter what reuther replied that his organization was not about to give anybody a loyalty of and the gathering was cancelled in early nineteen sixty eight bay u._a._w. Began withholding dues of ninety thousand dollars a month and in may of that year following an exchange of threat warnings between the two leaders you a._w._s. Dropped from the f. l. c. i. o. For non payment of dues news on july first nineteen sixty eight announced its formal separation once in office president nixon appeared to have no immediate solution for the war and domestic impatience deepen over the summer of nineteen sixty nine bet in part by news of shocking war crime perpetrated by u._s. Soldiers it was revealed that in march nineteen sixty eight an american infantry brigade had entered the amis village of song may and it's six hamlets it's name by les and killed more than five hundred beat me civilians they atrocity help usher in a new phase of antiwar concerns after after my lay observed coney mizuki a veteran labor organizer with the oil chemical and atomic workers o._c. A w it it was a broad spectrum of to say that turned out on october fifteenth nineteen sixty nine when a national one day moratorium against the war left no doubt that antiabortion at trust our whole into the mainstream mizuguchi a new york native who was a combat veteran of the second world war organized anti-war speeches and labor's most prominent antiwar efforts full page ad that ran in the washington post on february twenty fifth nineteen seventy signed by one hundred and ten individuals from the american federation of teachers the u._a._w. The teamsters and end the f. l. c. i. o. headline rich man's war and poor man's fight the ad listed the worst cost to life inland by may nineteen mm seventy washington labor for peace. The ad hoc group founded to place the post ad joined business executives move for them peace to hold four hundred person public fast in fayette square across from the white house. Additional outrage came on may fourth win ohio. National guard <unk> fired on a group of student protesters at kent state university killing four and wounding eleven or shootings of young people and student protesters occurred in august augusta georgia in jackson state in mississippi triggering massive protests numerous colleges across the country close by stewed dude strike several unions from the left leaning local one one nine nine to the conservative team search telegrams to the white house demanding the president reverse. I course walter reuther who demanded the country's immediate withdrawal of its forces on may six. He issued a statement saying it is your responsibility wants billy to lead us out of the southeast asian war to peace at home and abroad tragically. It would be his last public statement on the night of may ninth. He and his wife may along with four others road in a private jet to pellston michigan to inspect a u._a._w. Family education center will attempt to add in fog and rain. The pilot crashed a mile and a half short of the airport. No one survived in one one of the most shameful instance in labor movement history occurred the assault on may eighth by hundreds of new york building trades workers on lunchtimes times student anti war protest in lower manhattan this students from york university hunter college an area high schools had rallied peacefully really all warning at the corner of wall street and broad street. The construction workers had wondered over from their jobs on the world trade center site. The construction and workers forced their way to the front of the assembly and began using their yellow hardhats. S bludgeoned to attack the young people as well as adult passersby spy who attempted to intervene they pursued their victims through the city's financial district knocking them down kicking and stomping them before heading to to nearby city hall where liberal republican mayor john lindsay head ordered the american flag flown at half staff to honor the students killed at kent state bihar hard hats demanded the flags be put at full mask. The police arrange for this but the mayor's aide had been lowered. They rushed the building in the flags flags. Were again raised some then proceed to cross the street to the campus of pace university and smashed the first floor windows that night the the news was filled with video unhampered by police showing the students being bombed and beat young men and women covering defensively on the ground peter brennan of the building and construction trade council of greater new york explained that the incident had not been orchestrated by the union <unk> higher ups a claim proven false by subsequent press investigations of this brought about for some desire for normal seat in restoration asian of thirty. The republicans would cleverly explain this yearning convincing some blue collar workers to leave their traditional democratic support support makes it watch the nineteen seventy midterm elections closely determined to similarly gain blue color support december nineteen seventy seventy one he commuted the sins of jimmy hoffa who had served four and a half years of a thirteen year term in federal prison helping to secure the -dorsements of the teamsters answers the l._c._i. Refused to endorse the democratic candidate george mcgovern because of his dovish views on the war mcgovern was a decorated combat veteran of the second world war. Imagine attuned to the historic difficulties of organized labor. He had recently co-authored a well regarded book about the lead low massacre of nineteen fourteen election day america rejected him overwhelmingly this bright about one good thing the passage of the occupational safety and health act also known as osha which for the first time established a federal apparatus for the creation of health and safety standards for the workplace and the monitoring a related illnesses and injuries the publication in nineteen sixty eighty two rachel carson's silent spring an account of the dangers of the commonly used pesticide d._t. Served as a template inquiry into other industrial products like leaded gasoline and food tips three years later another landmark book by ralph nader unsafe. I'm safe at any speed exposed the inherent risks built into automobiles eventually influencing laws and attitudes as head no other work since upton upton sinclair's the jungle a half century before it required in especially horrific industrial health scandal for from west virginia urging to grab the attention of congress and the nation in nineteen thirty six either village of gray bridge several thousand thousand black back and wait laborers worked for lewis thirty cents. An hour on the hawks nest tunnel a union carbide project today for water from the new river to create a hydro electric power. The workers called hawks nest tunnel of debt due to the prevalence of silicosis a leash lee slow respiratory disease they contract because the three mile long excavation was being bored through rock drilling turning turning up fine silica dust against which the workers had adequate protection <music> <music>. Please <unk> our podcast on itunes. It helps other spite us. If you want to contact us to suggest a topic have a question or just want to say hi our contact act information is in the show notes good evening. This is james napolitano international rice president of an actually just security festivals where members come i.
J. Edgar Hoovers FBI - Black Bag Job | 5
"Maginness two pm on March eighth nineteen fifty-six you're walking through the halls of the White House towards the presidential west wing. President Eisenhower has some in you and the rest of the national Security Council for a closed-door meeting. You've worked at the White House for two years long enough to know that something's awry. You walk into the cabinet room and close the door president sitting at the head of the table looking concerned. Please everyone seen. We received intelligence about a coordinated attack by the Soviets on the US. I have asked FBI director Hoover to brief us on the nature of this threat and outline what the bureau intends to do to stop it. Hoover sits a little straighter in his seat in your two years in Washington, you've rarely seen him in person much, less up-close. He's smaller than you expected real-life, but he's still exudes power and confidence gentlemen, their enemies. In our midst communist for years, they've been living among us. But now we have reasonably that they are infiltrating our cultural and industrial institutions, and why well the writing on the wall, you mean, the fifth call, Yes, Mr President precisely the fifth column the fifth column for years you've heard the term, but you always assumed it was more cautionary tale than plausible reality, an enemy working to destroy the American government from within Mr. Hoover. Our main concern is the potential for an attack on American soil. Do you think? Moscow has the power to coordinate and execute attack through the fifth column here in the US, Mr President, please excuse my frankness, but I cannot overstate this threat the Soviets want to spread their communist system to every country in the world, but nowhere more so than our United States, they'll use trickery of possible but force if necessary with the aid of the fifth column in countries around the world. So the ability to bring one third of the world's population in one fourth of the earth surface under there, Tarango control. So how do you propose the stop the organized communists, this fifth column from being successful in US today? Our focus has been on the collection of information mongering of communist activities, we have within the limits of presidential authorization law continually gathered and compiled information on communists in the US for more than thirty years. Unlike most Americans, the better in Washington insiders around the table, no the F B I has a secret domestic spying operation. It's understood as the source of Hoover's power and longevity. You've. Sometimes even wondered what my he know about me, Mr President has a plan a method based on our information gathering today to penetrate, the communist movement, placing informants inside comments influence organizations, and then to actively disrupt their activities we propose an all out counterintelligence program, including infiltration and covert actions. Could you explain the counterintelligence techniques you plan to use to disrupt these groups it is essential? Given the stakes involved at the FBI use every means available to secure information and intelligence, we've cracked safes intercepted mail, wiretapped planted microphones inspected trash infiltrated organizations on occasion. When necessary for the sake of national security. We make surf tissues entry to photograph secret communist records, then based on that intelligence. We infiltrate Hannah trait disorganized, and disrupt those organizations. Hoover takes a drink of water at this point, Mr President. I would like to ask if there are any questions, but there is silence around the table. Then Eisenhower extends a hand to Hoover. Thank you director Hoover. It's all very good. Just like that the meetings adjourned, but you're trying to make sense of everything you just heard did the FBI director just propose moving from domestic spying to waging a covert war against dissent. Among American citizens. You're a true believer in the communist threat yet you wonder whether what Hoover has proposed as even legal what if any of your colleagues share your trepidation. They've kept it to themselves. American history. Tellers is sponsored by audible listening makes us smarter. More connected people. It makes us better citizens, parents and leaders, and there's no better place to start listening than audible, for instance. If you wanna learn more about the FBI audible has you covered enemies history of the FBI by Tim winer is told like a thriller, but relies on seventy thousand newly declassified documents. And on the record interviews. You can get all eighteen hours and thirty two minutes of it free with his obstruction to audible, audible members get a credit every month. Good for any on your book in the store, regardless of price and unused credits. Roll over to the next month. Didn't like your audiobook you can exchange it no questions asked. Plus your books are yours to keep with on while you can go back and religion anytime, even if you cancel your membership. Start listening with a thirty day audible trial, and your first all you book, plus to audible originals are free. Visit audible dot com slash tellers or text tellers to five hundred five hundred that's one audiobook and to audible originals free with thirty day trial at audible dot com slash tellers or text tellers to five hundred five hundred. From wondering, I'm Lindsey Graham. And this is American history tellers our history your story. What Hoover described to the president and national Security Council that day kicked off a fifteen year covert war on American citizens by the nation's top law enforcement agency, the F B I gave its war on descent and internal codename that has since become an indelible stain on Hoover's legacy. Co Intel pro between nineteen fifty six and nineteen seventy one the F B I carried out more than two thousand top secret co into pro spying operations aimed at American citizens. The goal of co Intel pro was not as narrowly constrained as Hoover suggested to the national Security Council in nineteen fifty six the council and President Eisenhower understood who was planned in the context of disrupting violent communists, who are bent on harming American citizens, but Hoover implemented, a broad campaign of infiltration and harassment against the entire American political left co Intel pro targets did include the communist party and other clearly subversive organizations. Other targets though, included groups, legally advocating. For change in society. Not for the overthrow of government groups, like the civil rights movement, the anti Vietnam war movement, and the so called new left a social movement that included civil rights, but also feminism gay rights abortion rights and drug policy reforms co Intel pro agents joined activist groups informed on members foment dissent and even organize illegal acts to discredit the movements. No one in. These groups was safe from scrutiny and the more high profile, the activist the more Hoover's FBI paid attention and in this period. No one was more high profile than Martin Luther King junior. This is episode five black bag job. No one, but J Edgar Hoover could've gotten away with such a sweeping effort to undermine dissent in America by nineteen fifty six Hoover had outlasted more than a dozen attorneys, general and four presidents the director and the bureau were I cons universally known almost universally admired more than three decades into his tenures director Hoover was essentially untouchable co Intel pro was the result of Hoover's lofty status combined with Eisenhower's fear of communist violence. But the truth was the communist movement in America had faded significantly by the late fifties. The communist party had about eighty five thousand members at its peak in the nineteen thirties, but by nineteen fifty two membership had dipped to just over thirty thousand according to the I s Mets out of more than one hundred fifty million Americans and the dour trend continued by nineteen fifty nine a typical American was one hundred times. More likely to be struck by lightning than to bump into a communist party member. Yet Hoover argued that communists, had merely gone into hiding inside other political activists movements and even inside the news media in nineteen fifty eight Hoover published a book on communism called masters of deceit. A New York Times review of the book accused Hoover of overstating the communist threat, the reviewer John B oaks noted that there were more than one hundred fifty million anti communists in the US day with the help of the FBI could probably handle the handful of communists in the country. He continued it is quite possible that the high crime rate, juvenile delinquency, bad, health and housing conditions and infringement or denial of civil rights may be more of an internal menace to our institutions and our security than a communist party of the United States Hoover mobilized, his public relations machine to respond to the review a crime record section agent wrote a letter to conservative columnist, George secorski saying this review, of course. Proves a point that director has always made that starry eyed liberals can be as much menace as the communists themselves agent. Encourage secorski to respond to the review in his nationally syndicated column broadcast the week of March seventeenth nineteen fifty eight. He did I wonder how oaks can possibly know what one hundred seventy million Americans except but apart from that of what importance is such a statement except to belittle J. Edgar Hoover Sikorsky's response. Trivialize oak point and demonstrated how closely Hoover's friends in the media dented with director any criticism of Hoover's judgement or actions would be viewed as a personal tack on Hoover and his allies. Imagine it's October nineteenth nineteen fifty eight. And you've just been called into director Hoover's office as director of the FBI. It's your job to oversee the many covert operations of coin's. Pro. In fact, co into a pro was your idea normally the director would invite you into his inner office, a comfortable space with comfortable chairs today, though Hoover secretary has ceded you in the formal outer office, which can only mean one thing it will not be a friendly chat. Hoover enters holding up a copy of the nation magazine. Have you seen this? Yes, sir. The magazine features a fifty eight page article by journalist, Fred j cook that systematically dismantles the bureau's public image. It formerly challenges bureaus authorized history. The F B I story published just two years ago in his article cook describes an out of control bureau obsessed with policing descent, and controlling the media and every word of it is true. This is an outrage can't understand with all our alleged contacts informants, how we had no inkling of this hatchet job. I want you to tell me how this could have happened. I don't think we should worry too much about it, sir. Cokes alone wolf, he's a copy editor for the New York, telegram and son, not even a member of the reporting staff, you think this just bloomed out of nowhere. It is a plan literary garbage barrage against the FBI by a dedicated commune's apologised it is a coordinated smear. Yes, sir. I take full responsibility. Hoover opens up the magazine and begins to read FBI infallibility is carefully. Cultivated myth J. Edgar Hoover and the agency with which his name's inseparably linked because in effect. He is the agency has been placed by public sentiment on a pedestal and made the center of a cult of hero worship Hoover's faces red his eyes wide. His jowls shaking telling me Sullivan. What are you prepared to do about it? I'll have agents look into cook. Now will pull his Bank records and tax returns. Calm or files will have agents watching him if need be we'll bug is home, if he's a communist we will find out I'll create a memo covering our plans for cook. Hoover. Snatches your pad scrawls note of the bottom and hands. It back who note in blue ink reads press every angle kisses exactly the kind of thing that we should be aware of before to peers in print. Don't we have contacts with the nation's printer? Yes, sir. We work with their printers. Frus- before every issues published but only gives us a few days lead on them. Then we should know when someone cook is asking questions about the bureau once we had a proof. We did an analysis of the article, then we compile more than four hundred pages of facts to counter coax, these were stands and throws the article down on his desk. But what good does that do us? Now, we need to know about these kind of articles before they are published. What else are we are in touch with our special service contacts in the news media, if there's more like this coming we will know, of course, there will be more. You saw what that parlor pink vermin Cyrus Eaton said, he called us propagandists eaten a wealthy. Industrialist was on TV earlier this month and referred to the FBI as an American Gestapo. I did see that we are working with our friends in the media to counter Eaton's Commons. No doubt this is coordinated by the Kremlin Sullivan. I want you and your staff to investigate whether subversive factors in the personal lives of prominent journalists might be behind on this. Yes, sir. There is far too much communist news content. That is discrediting our American way of life. We need to neutralize these scum. I agree. We'll get right on it Sullivan. Yes, sir press every angle. As you leave you mentally prepare list of other journalists you will need to begin investigating. You don't want repeat this meeting. Assistant director. William Sullivan did is word he and his investigators produce an eighty seven page dossier, titled moulders of public opinion, the document was made up of individual memoranda detailing the alleged communist ties of thirty nine prominent American journalists, including fame CBS broadcaster Edward r. Murrow New York Times columnist Murray Kempton and syndicated columnists. Walter Lippmann the information the dossier contained was heavy on innuendo and light on verifiable facts the conclusions. Drawn were conflation of the FBI's presumptions bias assumption stood in for analysis and rumors for facts, the Molder document was a collection of what the bureau referred to as blind memoranda documents that fail to a dentist by the FBI. The sole source of the information, they contained blind memoranda were intended to be individually shared with friendly, journalists and members of congress that way, the FBI could get damaging information out to the public anonymously with plausible denial. Ability blind memoranda were shared, for example, with friendly journalists guide their publish take downs. FBI critics without giving away the bureau's role in the transaction. These journalists supported the FBI's mission. But they believe they were reporting on verified information, not insinuation and speculation Sullivan included, a detailed and scholarly introduction to the moulders of public opinion memos. He wrote looking at the following Representative segment of those molding public opinion today, we can raise the question as to whether or not many have made themselves worthy of American ideals. So that they may be entrusted with carrying forward human progress. Indignity. But there was nothing dignified about the contents of the memos fame. Syndicated columnists Joseph also was outed as a homosexual something. He did not deny yet his sexual orientation was clearly evidence of subversion in the FBI's view cartoons Alcan character, smooth from his Lil Abner comic strip was in the bureau's opinion, a cartoon communist. Subversively influencing readers by lampooning big business because Dorothy day publisher of the Catholic worker newspaper was a pacifist. She was also a communist according to the bureau and Lipman one of the most famous American intellectuals of the twentieth century was likely communist because he was once friends with an American author who was according to the blind memorandum buried in the Kremlin, the moulders of public opinion memorandum long with hundreds of investigative files on individual journalists guided F B I relationships with the news me critical. Journalists would find themselves discredited by other reporters sometimes in print, but sometimes through professional gossip and industry rumor Hoover's attempts to isolate and neutralizes enemies in the media were successful. So by the early nineteen sixties he was turning his sights to yet another group of you as a threat in the war on communism. The civil rights movement. American history tellers has sponsored by ZipRecruiter. The office is in chaos news, just broke your company won the contract all around you. Your employees are celebrating. This is big. 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First day right now, you can try ZipRecruiter for free at this exclusive web address ZipRecruiter dot com slash AH, t that's ZipRecruiter dot com slash A. H T. Ziprecruiter, the smartest way to hire. Maginness August twenty third nineteen sixty four you're an FBI agent assigned to infiltrate monitor civil rights activists. You're meeting with your boss FBI assistant, director Dc Deloitte in a room at the Atlantis hotel and casino in Atlantic City. Hotels, adjacent to boardwalk hall side of this year's democratic national convention loads. Looks at his no pan. Let's say you're working on the Mississippi freedom Democratic Party, congress of racial equality and student nonviolent coordinating committee. Yes, sir. Plus Martin Luther King impaired reston. What's the status of the electron avalance? We have devices place in all hotel rooms and meeting rooms that those groups will use during the convention, the only hold up as the king and Russ and rooms we are yet where they're stay the president and director are counting on us. We cannot have any surprises Deloitte is number three official in the bureau. He's leading the Cohen, tell pro operation the convention, you know, he's ambitious and views himself as Hoover's heir-apparent long with. Just about everyone else in the bureau and this operation was commissioned by president Johnson himself. So you wonder if deloche is maneuvering to have LBJ appoint him to replace the director sooner rather than later, we are prepared, sir. Once we know where king arrested will be well, install microphones and get wiretaps. We'll be doing black bag jobs nightly on all rooms looking for documents drugs and other contraband, the directors especially interested in Dr king, as you know, we've been monitoring his tell rooms for months. Yes, sir. I supervise one of those installations, then you know, he has been involved in several the as on with women late night parties and things. Yes. Those sorts of details should be included in a separate report for the directors is only and should not be shared with anyone from the White House. I cannot stress that enough. Understood sir, king's room should be monitored by a trusted agent to his notes in the tapes should be brought directly to me to not hand them over to clerk for transcription. Yes, sir. I'll be updating the. White House director Hoover in real time. So reports should be filed in a timely manner. Absolutely, sir. And they're very interested to know of any demonstrations picketing press conference other public events ahead of time. Okay. What about disruption, we have informants and all of those groups? Yes. And we have someone in every strategy meeting. They have orders to create disgreements disruptions complicate the discussions you page through your notes, we've arraigned for NBC press credentials for fourteen agents. One of our reporter agents has gained the confidence. Several leaders in the Mississippi freedom Democratic Party good. Have they obtained any insights? You'd be surprised how many people are to open up to reporters we've had several off the record conversations with leaders of the target groups already. Excellent. I can't stress enough. How much is riding on that? The president is really putting pressure on the director your orders in this monitoring operation have come to wreck from president Lyndon Johnson. The president believes his reelection depends on the success of your work is civil rights becomes the focus of media coverage. He could lose white votes in the south you shut your notebook shove it into your bag. Your I ask is check your informants to see. What room the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King junior will occupy that room when he bugs and wiretaps. FBI assistant director Dc Deloitte, later claimed in his memoirs that the civil rights monitoring operation was legal under a law that allowed the FBI to contribute to presidential security, but security was not the goal of the nineteen sixty four democratic national convention authorisation and most of the tactics placing microphones tapping phone lines without a court order and break ins what the bureau referred to as black bag jobs were simply illegal Hoover and Johnson had a personal connection for years. When Johnson was majority leader of the Senate, the two men were neighbors northwest, Washington DC, they also shared the bond of strident anticommunism Johnson's views on communism were shaped by his observations of how president Harry s Truman was damaged politically after the nineteen forty nine revolution in China that installed a communist regime Truman's critic said he lost China, and he paid a substantial political price. Johnson was determined not to lose any. Nations to communism. You're my brother Johnson told Hoover in a phone conversation. The week after president John F Kennedy was assassinated you have been for twenty five thirty years. I've got more confidence in you than anybody. In town. Hoover would likely have had an operation of the conventional ready, but he was unusual for him to share his findings in real time with anyone outside of the FBI. So when Johnson asked to to monitor the democratic national convention for him who had personal reasons to comply. But there was another factor. Driving the directors 'obedient Hoover was approaching the mandatory retirement age for federal employees on January first nineteen sixty five he would term seventy but Johnson had recently signed an executive order waving mandatory retirement for Hoover. He announced the move in a rose garden ceremony law says it you must regard January when you reach your seventy. And knowing you is I do know you won't break the low, but the nation cannot afford to lose you and therefore by virtue of pursuant these already vested in the president United States. I have just now signed executive order exempting you from compulsory time on indefinite period of time. And again, it gets -gratulations and accept the gratitude of grateful. The key phrase in Johnson's announcement was for an indefinite period of time. In other words, while mandatory retirement was waived Johnson could rescind the order and call for Hoover's retirement at any time therefore Hoover intended to remain indispensable Johnson size. Meanwhile, assistant director too low too was waiting in the wings deloche was known within the bureau for his southern charm and driving ambition his official position put him in charge of the crime record section among other things. But he also served as the FBI's liaison to the Johnson White House overtime, Deloitte, also developed a close relationship with Johnson had Johnson not decided to bow out of the nineteen sixty eight election. It was widely expected that Hoover would be forced out in favor of Deloitte in nineteen sixty four though, Deloitte, Ted his hands full simply trying to control Hoover's hatred of Martin Luther King, the director believed that civil rights movement in general was a communist front, and he. Believed that the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King junior. In specific was a communist agent because king was the most charismatic important leader of the civil rights movement. Hoover in the F B I focus much of their investigative intention on him. In addition to bugging king's rooms at the nineteen sixty four democratic national convention, the F B had on Hoover's orders monitored king and hotel rooms as he traveled around the country, those bugs sometimes captured parties the sounds of kings liaisons with women other than his wife on the bottom of one memorandum. Reporting those findings who were scrawled blue ink note and his distinctive handwriting and colorful language. King is a Tomcat with degenerate sexual urges. But Delos his job was complicated. In late nineteen sixty four when his bosses anger at king boiled over in public on November eighteenth, nineteen sixty four Hoover held a press conference with eighteen members of the women's National Press Club Hoover rarely met with the press in any uncontrolled format from time to time though, he. Would meet with friendly reporters carefully scripted and controlled meetings, typically held at the director's office to Loach was surprised then when Hoover agreed to meet with women reporters to Loach's staff spent days before the meeting generating dozens of pages of briefing materials for Hoover materials included, updated crime statistics information about the current most wanted criminals and other FBI boilerplate. It was delicious attempt to keep Hoover on message. But this was typically difficult, given the directors mercurial nature and self righteousness. Deloche would later write in his memoirs, we knew briefing session meant Amman, log by the director in which he would give them a history of the agency and highlights of current policy Deloite to his only partially right? Hoover kicked off the press briefing with a long speech covering highlights of F B I history beginning with his early days as director as is began to glaze over Hoover since he was losing the audience and apparently decided to give them something more news worthy launching into a blistering take down of. King. Concerned about the political fallout of such a tirade Loach past Hoover notes. Three times urging him to take the briefing off the record Hoover ignored the notes and continued his attack. He not king. I claim that the FBI wasn't interested in protecting civil rights offenses in the south and Hoover concluded his rant with the line. That would lead news stories that afternoon and the next morning. He said in my opinion. Dr Martin Luther King is the most notorious liar in the country. As Hoover concluded the reporters dash from the room to call on their stories. The next day New York Times editors published an editorial headlined time to retire questioning Johnson's decision to waive Hoover's mandatory retirement, but even in the wake of widespread criticism Hoover redoubled his efforts to undermine king. Hoover ordered deloche to meet with Newsweek editor Ben bradlee, November nineteen sixty four offering copies of the FBI's microphone surveillance transcripts of kings hotel, rooms deloche was told to push hard since Hoover. Saw the transcripts is compelling evidence. Supporting his criticism of king the transcripts, of course, included kings liaisons with various women. The same information was offered to Los Angeles Times Washington bureau chief David crabs low with a further transcript describing an alleged orgy in king's room. Chicago daily news reporter James McCartney was shown FBI photos of king leaving motel with a white woman implying that he had a rendezvous with her. To none of the reporters accepted the material, but they also failed to report that the F B was shopping around derogatory stories about king when these efforts to entice the press failed Hoover attempted to blackmail king directly when he learned in nineteen sixty four that king would accept the Nobel peace prize that December Hoover and the F B I systems director. William Sullivan crossed yet another ethical line in late November Hoover in Sullivan wrote an anonymous letter and mailed it to king's wife credit, Scott King enclosed with the letter was a graphic audio tape of king committing adultery along with a transcript of the tape. There was no indication that the FBI with the source of the letter tape or transcript the letter itself referred to king as a claw so fraud and an evil vicious wanted that adding like all frauds. Your end is approaching it closed with a blackmail threat. The tape would be released to the press. King did not take action. The letter went onto. Apply that the action king should take was to commit suicide. The Leonard read the American public, the church organizations that have been helping when no you for who you are an evil abnormal beast. So we'll others who have backed you. You were done king. There's only one thing left for you to do. You know, what it is? You were done. Here's but one way out for you, you better take it before your filthy. Abnormally fraudulent self is bared to the nation. King ignored the letter. He would continue his civil rights work for another three years until his assassination in Memphis and Hoover survived. The fracking surrounding his press conference characterization of king co Intel pro continued expanded in the mid sixties the bureau still had one more secret weapon waiting to be deployed in the battle against the so called fifth column. American history tellers is sponsored by calm. Some of you might want to know how my DIY studio remodel is going. Well, it's going I'm sore bruised and tired and progress is slow because I make mistakes the professional should have hired would not make and just recently. I ruined the day's work and hundreds of dollars a fabric because I momentarily forgotten how scissors work it keeps me up at night. Life is stressful where working longer hours and more is coming out as the we can handle stress his apart of life, but it can very easily affect our overall wellbeing. Introducing calm. The number one apt to help you reduce your stress and anxiety and help you sleep better. More than forty million people around the world have downloaded it. If you had to call dot com slash tellers. You'll get twenty five percent off a calm premium subscription, which includes guided meditations to addressing Zayed's stress and focus relaxing, adult. 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All home lending products are subject to credit in property approval rates program. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice not all products are available in all states or for all amounts. Other restrictions and limitations apply. Owning products offered by. Jp morgan. Chase bank. NA an equal housing lender. In nineteen fifty eight ACLU co-founder Morris. Ernst had urged Jag a Hoover to consider a bureau authorized television series earns was not the only one pushing for such a program between nineteen fifty five and nineteen sixty five various entertainment executives, tried more than six hundred times to entice Hoover into helping make a primetime TV show earns those executives understood the appeal of stories about the FBI they could point to the success of Don Whitehead's bestselling authorized F B I history fifty six as evidence of the public's thirst for FBI stories as well as the nineteen fifty nine hit motion picture, the F B I story based on Whitehead's book. And starring Jimmy Stewart Hoover was a television junkie himself every night. He was known to park himself in front of the TV and his home in northwest, Washington DC, he was especially fond of westerns like bonanza and considered himself. Something of an expert in the potential of televised drama. In response to one request from a media company in nineteen fifty three who were scrawled a note on a memorandum noting that there are being done. Now, some excellent TV crime series such as dragnet and treasury men in action, but he was Warner Brothers, founder and entertainment industry pioneer. Jack Warner who finally convinced who were to collaborate on television series as with most FBI media collaborations, however, Hoover demanded total control over all aspects of the program. The FBI would write some scripts but approve all of them. The bureau would have an agent onset to ensure that FBI policies were not violated by any action in the series. The bureau would investigate an approve all actors directors writers and crew members worked on the series, and the F B I would even have final say over. What companies advertise during? The FBI premiered on the American broadcasting company on Sunday night, December twelfth nineteen sixty five. Be I. Production. The FBI spent thousands of man hours investigating everyone involved in the production and the crime Richard section was responsible for providing abstracted cases editing and rewriting scripts supervising the team at Quinn Martin productions who was hired to create the series and above all, maintaining control. Maginness August fifteenth nineteen sixty five you're an FBI agent assigned to work with Quinn. Martin the producer higher by Warner Brothers to create the FBI television series. The two of you are meeting in a bungalow on the Warner Brothers studio. Lot in Burbank. And what have you brought from me today? You pull out a thirty eight caliber revolver from your pocket and set it on Martin's desk once this. It's an FBI service revolver, our laboratory disabled it when the director viewed the dailies, he didn't think the prop gun, you are using looks realistic. Wonderful. Thank you. May. I ask about the script review. Yeah. The director won't sign off on the scripts too many killings. He just not want to sensational show. All right. I will I'll ask the writers minimize violence. But do we have any clearances for the actors we discussed you hand over documents from folder in your lap? Martin shelves through them. We approve Robert Duvall, Tom Bosley, and Sharon Tate. We do not approve Bette Davis or Nancy Sinatra may I ask why you may ask first Nacho her father's organized crime affiliations philandering problem. And as you know with Davis there were allegations. She murdered her husband. But but unproven in both cases, nevertheless, we cannot approve them. Helen Hayes approved despite her pass membership in the national council for American Soviet friendship. What's this about Robert Blake? We haven't attempted to contract with him. We are preemptively banning late because he was quoted in a news story, sympathising criminals. So he cannot. Not ever appear in the series. Okay. Anything else? Yes. We have a list of acceptable sponsors, but we will provide that to Warner Brothers ABC anything. I should be aware of Colgate Palmolive is out. Mr. Hoover objects to ads about toilet items and mouthwash, no alcohol or tobacco either. Of course, Ford is acceptable. Alcoa is acceptable. Minor stand and one more thing Mr. who would like Ephram Zimbalist junior to come to Washington next week schedule's pretty tight. He's the lead actor Mr. Hoover picked him. Yes. Mr. Hoover thinks it's important that Mr. Zimbalist understand the bureau from the inside Mr. who've referred to it as indoctrination into the bureau's approach. I'll see what I can do have his Asian contact my office for instructions you stand and shake Mr Martens hand, he gives you a tight smile. You can tell he's frustrated, but he's smart enough to keep it in check. There's no profit in pitching. Fit and well here used to people complying with your quests after thirty years your bosses manage to make his agency the focus of public fascination, you'd be lying if you said you didn't revel in the power. The FBI show was a hit garnering top ratings throughout its two hundred forty one episode run on ABC with so much money involved though relations between Martin and Hoover deteriorated badly. Over time Martin was an experienced producer with hits like the fugitive and twelve o'clock high on his resume Hoover was an American icon. Accustomed getting his way tension started. When the bureau's intrusive investigation of actors, directors and crew members made news late nineteen sixty five Jack, you'll the New York Times entertainment critic reported that the Screen Actors Guild was raising concerns about the F B I blacklisting actors from the show Hoover wrote to his crime records chief we most certainly will check out. Any person connected with the show irrespective of Gould's peevish nece or Screen Actors Guild sensitivity Hoover directed. His crime records division to plant an article with a friendly. Journalists countering Gould peace within a few weeks. The new York Daily News ran a piece quoting the star of the FBI Ephram Zimbalist junior. Zimbalist told the paper that it seems perfectly logical that the F B I one of whose duties is to be involved with subversives, and the activities of communist would not want to be portrayed by one. Most of the difficulties surrounding the series though, involve disagreements about the amount of violence in strips just ten episodes into the series Hoover wrote a memorandum to his crime record section staff requesting information on violence in the series. Tell me how many have been killed in the first ten scripts crime records agent Milton Jones reported that there were ten killings in the first ten scripts five by F B I agents and five by criminals, there are entirely too many killings in our TV scripts associate director Tolson wrote to his agent onset. Please see that this kind of violence for violence sake is corrected and by nineteen sixty eight Hoover and Tolson weren't the only ones concern by on-screen violence on June seventeenth of that year, a New York Times. Article highlighted group of Hollywood producers directors and actors who pledged to stop participating in violent television, productions in reaction to a growing grassroots movement against violence on television Hoover may have agreed with the sentiments of movement. But he saw jeopardy for the bureau. If there was a public pushback again shows like the FBI within weeks. Hoover wrote to Warner Brothers and ABC pledging to end the FBI's cooperation with a program. If violence was knocker tailed, the November tenth nineteen sixty nine episode entitled blood tie included, the last three killings to appear on the show, which continued airing through nineteen seventy four the end violence did not end the controversy, though, reporters began questioning whether it was appropriate for the FBI to use taxpayer dollars to support a four profit television series responding to reporters question about that. Who were simply lied saying. We do not have any F B I personnel who are signed solely to assist in the production of the series. But throughout the nine year run. Two agents were assigned to the production fulltime and dozens of other agents contributed thousands of man hours of support reviewing editing and even writing scripts for the show. The financial agreement behind the production. Also became the source of controversy. Warner Brothers paid seventy five thousand dollars for the rights to Hoover's ghost written book masters of deceit and five hundred dollars for each episode produced that money was deposited by something called the F B I recreation association. It was later discovered that the account was little more than a slush fund under the control of Hoover, and is associate director, CLYDE Tolson. The FBI television series was the ultimate expression of Hoover's more than three decades of public relations campaigns millions of Americans were treated to a weekly display of F B, I efficiency and innovation and crimefighting the programs dealt with old fashioned crimes, like theft, Bank, robbery and embezzlement. The bureau's other focus Coen, tell pro and domestic spying on Americans was never mentioned by the late nineteen sixties though. Hoover's total control of the FBI's public image began to falter. His health began to fail which loosened his grip on the agency's operations, and he became increasingly paranoid, forcing out his most capable lieutenants like to Loach in Sullivan. Meanwhile, bureaus critics grew in number and became more vocal as American culture shifted and a post World War. Two generation came of age, the elderly Hoover and his unchanging agency. Did not adapt. Its message the decline of the FBI had begun. Ironically, at the same time of the rise of its greatest public relations triumph the television series. The next seven years of who is live would be the most multis years NFL history. Next time in American history. Tellers revelations about the FBI's illegal Coen, tell pro operations spark some of the harshest criticism of the bureau yet and Hoover's nearly fifty year reign as director comes to a sudden end from wondering this is American history tellers, I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did subscribe now on apple podcasts. Spotify Google podcast wondering dot com or wherever you listen to this right now, if you're listening on a smartphone, tap or swipe over the cover onto this podcast. Will find the episode notes including some details. You may have miss you. Also, find some offers from our sponsors by supporting them, you help us offered this show to you for free. We'd also love to learn a little bit about you. Please complete a short survey at wondering dot com slash survey as wondering dot com slash survey. We'd love to learn what you're listening to what you like what heirs of American history. We might tackle next. You can also find us and me on Twitter and face. Book follow the show at a h tellers, and I'm at Wednesay Graham, and thank you American history tellers hosted edited and produced by me, Lindsey Graham for airship sound design by Derek parents. This episode is written by Matthew edited by Audrey doing at it didn't produce any lower back men. Our executive producer is Marshall Louis created by her non Lopez for wondering.
Part One: The Bastards Who Killed the Black Panthers
"Here's the thing saving money with. GEICO is almost better than playing pickup basketball. Because there's always that guy who joins your game. He never passes the rock. He constantly bricks threes. And who completely hack you. And then put his hands up and say no foul no foul with GEICO. It's easy to switch switch and save on car insurance no need to fake. An ankle sprain. Because you're absolutely exhausted. So switching save with GYCO. It's almost better than sports accepted that this is the best introduction Schema. I'm going to put together and I should just roll with it. My eight Robert Evans who boy that was rough. That didn't go well This is behind the bastards. A podcast about terrible people And today My guest is Rap Artists musician Propaganda say. Oh West West just how you doing man man. I'm honored to be here. You know I'm toning down my phantom. I've been listening ever since you. We started following me on twitter at listen to your music number times and I like it a lot particularly board of education. I think that's probably my favorite one that I've heard so far it's man And I thought you'd be a good a good guest for this episode especially since you have some like family history with the subject. We're talking about Before we're going to do you want to introduce introduce yourself differently than I introduced. It was great. Yeah no I Yeah hip hop artist Do a couple pods now Once called Hood Politics X. which may we'll talk about that later but and One with my wife called the red couch and I yeah do random poetry for a living L. A. Native two daughters and a cat now frustratingly. Anyway I love cats. Yeah Yeah Yeah well you can have ours. Yeah do you WanNa she. Should I call you for this episode. Should you WANNA go by propaganda. Should I call you Jason I it's mostly it's been shortened to prop that's but okay consensus. Yeah all right all right So today we're gonNA talk about The Black Panthers and specifically the bastards who killed the Black Panthers Yeah and that's is going to involve a lot of talk about what the Black Panthers did what they believed Which I is one of a subject I find really fascinating And this was a frustrating episode right in part. Because there's so much that I had to leave out just because you know this is an eleven thousand words script only you only get in so much This this is going to be one. We have a number of episodes like this where like people will hit me up after the wedding you bring up this. Why didn't you bring up that? And it's like yeah that's one of the when you cover something as complex six as the panthers. You're you're going to leave stuff out just because we have about two hours two and a half but yeah you have some some family history. Well yes and I thought it might be good to go into that first year. Yes so my father was a member of the south. La I guess they call it South daily really now we call it south central Chapter of the Black Panther Party In the sixties or at the end of the six thousand six nine hundred sixty eight. My father was Vietnam Vietnam War Vet Essentially as a matter of fact. When we say we're going to do this I like I called him to make sure I had my story line right and fact straight on it get up here embarrass myself But yeah so. He essentially landed from Vietnam back in Los Angeles and almost made a beeline alike. Forty I in central enjoying the joined the Black Panther Party and Yes so he was a part of the sort of after school tutoring Par Program he also was was like basically they all took turns as far as like the which. I'm I'M WE'RE GONNA get to like the policing the streets so he was you know standing behind as like you know. Interactions is with the police. Were there because you know police. Brutality was such a big deal so he was a part of that He was at the UCLA event that got shot up. He was a yes in the he said it was the the span of time he was by the time that like FBI got involved so his office got bombed outings. Yeah so and at that point my my grandmother was like baby. You can't do more so she she kind of pulled the card on him but you know but yeah he's he stayed involved in Yes so I've been hearing bits and pieces of stories as he like unpack trauma. You know what I'm saying And I grew up without those stories in my life you know and paintings of African princesses in kings on our. Why had no Disney in my house at a Mark Martin and Malcolm in Marcus? Garvey like aligning our walls and Geronimo Pratt. And just had that in my house. Yeah no that's that's that's fascinating perspective to have had in a fascinating getting like way to learn about this for me like obviously it's like a white kid who grew up in a pretty mic suburb but a suburb. That didn't have a very a huge black population relation I learned almost nothing about the Black Panthers. I mean it gets a lot of our listeners are kind of in that boat. Where like there's about three things you know about them Obviously there were a black taxable rights organization. They did that thing where they put their fists in the air and some of them carried guns and there's pictures of them carry us and I think when I got out of high school. That's about all I knew about the Black Black Panthers right like there wasn't really anything else I was aware of. I think I caught the name. Huey P Newton for the first time in the lyrics of some hip hop songs and didn't really. We know who he was so for the longest time I had no real understanding about the organization and I think they kind of blended into the general wallpaper of the Civil Rights Movement for me Until I started reading about them specifically and I've come to the conclusion and I say this a lot that it's like a an unforgivable failing of our education occasion system that this isn't a bigger part of standard American history man absolutely and like I know you'll get into but the importance didn't I know my father did put on and the party put on of like knowing the Constitution knowing how Bill O.. Rights like I felt like I was so well versed in American civics because my father was a panther. You know what I'm saying. It was funny because I was like. I just didn't understand that every every house was like this because it was normal for me so when you bring up I'm like well you know fourteenth amendment say Yada Yada Yada seventh graders and kids are like what you know. It's just I just knew this. Because that's how that's what you learn as a panther like you need to know your rights man you know. Yeah Yeah it's critical. Yeah Yeah So so we've we've got. I think we've introduced this. Well enough. Start get into the episode at Not V. Beginning but I guess a beginning On February February seventeenth nineteen forty two huey. P Newton was born in Monroe Louisiana the youngest child of Walter in Armenia Newton's seven children. His Dad Walter was I would say pretty bad ass guy. he worked two jobs his entire life. He served as the Minister for the BETHEL Baptist Church in Monroe on Sundays and Walter Alter was very infamous in his community for not taking any shit from white folks and there's a story about him getting into an argument with one of his employers young White Guy who yells at him that he whips colored men for arguing with him and Walter shot back that nobody would basically nobody whips me unless they're a better man than me unless they go beat me up and this sky. This guy backs down proving that he was not Yeah basically if you want to whip me like you gotta you gotta be able to kick your ask like I want to try that. Yeah that win. Now in the nineteen forties in Louisiana saying that sort of thing could get you murdered as a black guy but Walter had a stringent engines somewhat unique ability to stand up to white folks in his community without being killed and Huey later theorized that this is because his dad was mixed race. His father's father He was GRANDPA was a white man who had raped his mother and walters neighbors knew his white family and didn't WANNA shed part white blood. This was hueys theory when his dad was able to do this There there is something to be said that like unless you're in like communities of color just how color ISM does like in a Lotta ways police how we treat each other and how we see yeah. They're so yes someone that's a little more fair skin. We would say they would say passing like he passes US onto no so like see things you can get away with you know at least in the psyche of a person of color like myself. WHO's not lie skin? Ah In nineteen forty five. When he was a toddler? The Newton family moved to Oakland California. Now Walter always managed to bring a very very stable income The family was still very poor but like they weren't ever sort of starving or anything like that Their most common meal was Kush. which is I guess? A fried corn bread dish which they often eight for every meal of the day He grew up watching his father. Work Eighty hour weeks and still constantly be stressed out over bills In this was a oh really had a big impact on him growing this kind of constant economic anxiety He didn't have an easy adolescence. School was difficult for him and he seems to have had. I think we probably probably would would have today have diagnosed with a learning disability because he was incredibly intelligent he just teachers had a difficulty reaching him is how I would. It seems like what was going on by the time he was in eleventh grade. He was still illiterate and his teachers assume that he was just not intelligent and this was obviously not the case because hobby outside of school was memorizing poetry with his brother but it was not until his high school counselor told him that he was too dumb for college that he weepy. Newton decided he had to prove them all wrong so for two straight years. He studied like a madman teaching himself to read and write and eventually to graduate. High School In nineteen fifty nine he enrolled at Merritt College where he joined the Afro American Association and became well known for his debate bates skills All thought that he might not be material fell out the window as he began a meteoric path of scholastic excellence and he would eventually receive a PhD So yeah this seems to me to be a clear case of a kid that maybe just had like his teachers didn't know how to reach like he was. He was brilliant Do you know it's funny. Because it's like I thought about the my credibility putting on danger here by you saying stuff that I didn't know jobs said and be like Oh wow didn't know that you know and it's already started. It does like I didn't know you couldn't read till you till eleventh grade. 'cause I've only known him as like you said this war tour. You know that was able to articulate the feelings and the sentiment of black American time as crazy. I didn't know that well I think one of the one of the reasons. It's important that from a very early age. He gets this lesson that like the system clearly failed him because he didn't know how to treat him properly and he had to build a system for himself to element himself And obviously like. I didn't know any of this until I read a couple of weeks ago. I read a book. A really good book called Black Against Empire by Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin That's a really fascinating history of the Black Panther Party And I it's it's very readable. I would say compulsively readable. It's really good history And it's like one of the major sources of this episode. It's very comprehensive and detailed old and I didn't know almost any of this stuff read it. So yeah I a hugely recommend that. Yeah and I'M GONNA actually I'M GONNA. I'm GonNa read a quote from it now. Discussing what set Huey. Huey P Newton apart from his academic colleagues quote. He had aside that most of the budding intellectuals around him lacked he knew the street he could understand and relate to the plight of the swelling ranks ranks of unemployed the brothers on the block in his words who lived outside the Law Newton Street knowledge helped put him through college is he covered his bills through theft and fraud but when Newton was caught he he used his book knowledge to study the Law and defend himself in court impressing the jury and defeating several misdemeanor charges so so good I mean I'm I'm on board with this yeah consciousness that w voice talk about like you just your street knowledge and your book knowledge is like you got them both rock rock and he your unfavorable thing that you brought up earlier we're like it's so important in this is like something. The Panthers always emphasized under have an understanding of the law in your rights. It's yeah yeah in one thousand nine hundred eighty two. Sorry no no no no I was gonna say I firmly believe this like in like I say we we built an entire show around it that like especially when it comes to politics specifically geopolitics odd. This like my belief is like if you came from from any sort of like neighborhood environment all care if it's like rule Oklahoma or you know inner city Detroit if you come from a city city and you had to navigate you know tribes in a city you understand geopolitics you just using the language for it. You know what I'm saying so so so being able to use your own what we would call like hood. Antennas to figure out what's happening in you know dominant culture world like if you have a grasp on both of those dude You're undo undefeatable. Yeah that that does make like I think maybe one of the major issues we have diplomatically. Unlike the international channel stage is that number one so many diplomats guys like donated money rich kids who get yeah but like also nobody who I I do feel like somebody with that sort. St Experience would do a better job for example of doing diplomacy in a place like Baghdad. Because you just have a deeper understanding of like yeah kind of the interpersonal relationships unshipped necessary to make you if you had. You had to convince a bully to not give you a swirly if you went through that you know how to you come to a negotiation table. You know what I'm saying especially especially like if you're Baghdad. You know what I'm saying and the bully is you know the g eighty six. You know what I'm saying you know what I'm saying bullies America. He's like well. I know how to deal with bullies. So here here's here's how to handle this. I mean yeah it. Now in nineteen sixty two Newton met a guy named Bobby Seale protests opposing. The US blockade of Cuba. Now Bobby had been born in nineteen thirty six about five years before Huey and while he was the youngest of Seven Bobby was the oldest child of three. He'd grown up in Oakland where both mother and father worked Bobby's dad was profoundly abusive if and Bobby grew up kind of accepting that random. Violence from authority was irregular. Fact of life. which again would have you know? Be obviously influential in his worldview. Is he grew up now. Obviously when people go through that there's a number of different ways they react to it and I think bobby sort of dealt with it in the healthiest way you can And became sort of obsessed with fighting bullies wherever he found them At one point when he was a little kid he saw another child shoved his sister out of a swing. Bobby push that kid out of the swing and declared that now everyone hang hang on. The playground had a right to use the swing justice. Yeah so bobby. Joined the Air Force as a young man both to get out of the House and so so he could learn how to use firearms. He was given a dishonorable discharge three years. In when he hunted down a man who stole from him and beat that guy very badly with a pipe. So you can read the story. In Bobby's biography sees the time the story of the Black Panther Party which is available for Free Online. I'll have a link to it Personally I think the dude that he attacked had it coming Bobby bounced around for a long time. After this getting whatever jobs he could for a few months at a time before they found out about his dishonorable discharge by nineteen sixty two. He was down and out in California and he took refuge taken by all such men in that situation he became a stand up comedian. Sheesh I did notice about his backstory yeah don't judge later wrote he later. wrote this that year I worked as a comedian in two or three clubs around Oakland Glendon private parties. I think Comedians a hell of a lot. They know a lot of things that are oppressive in wrong. Yeah Yeah I like that. That attitude the Huey and Bobby Seale met at that protest against the blockade of Cuba and they were both members of the Afro American Association together. The leader of that group Donald Warden was a confusing zing man who really liked Castro but was also a major believer in the power of black capitalism to fix societal injustice. He was a bitter critic of mainstream civil rights organizations since Huey P Newton was initially enthralled by Donald's ideology but he grew frustrated win over the course of months it became clear that this like talk was basically all that he felt donald was good for he also critical of Donald's focus on black capitalism. which he didn't think would do a very good job of liberating black people from the whole that he felt capitalism had dug for them again hueys? This guy grown up with all this economic anxiety. He's not real capitalism. Dude I mean we're still debating this yeah you know in community and During this episode. I think we're going to discuss At length a group of people who were distinctly on the fringes of the civil rights movement often very critical of the men and women in kind of the mainstream civil rights movement who worked to alleviate American racism through more traditional legal means And I feel like we should pause right now to talk a little bit about what legally acceptably really working towards equality looked like in this period because I think we get a sanitize at least I think is a white kid. got a very sanitized version of the civil rights movement you got you got a nice. MLK Warm Okay. Yeah and socialist. Mlb Couch But even more to the point where we're going to talk about now what I think. I got a sanitized version of more than anything was the sanitized version of how white people reacted to. MLK Yeah And how people like LBJ reacted MLK. And so we're GONNA talk a little about now that now so then as now. Most black people in America voted Democrat But this should not lead people to believe that the Democratic Party at the time embraced black people as like equal comrades They were just moderately less racist than the Republicans and not always always moderately less racist than the Republicans. Some state democratic parties including the one in Mississippi band black people for membership members of that State's Democratic Party regularly we beat and even murdered black people who tried to register to vote so black mississippians develop their own party. The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party which focused on registering black people vote wrote three of the parties. Activists were kidnapped tortured and murdered in nineteen sixty four. which is the year that the Civil Rights Act get signed into law by President Johnson so Johnson at the time was the man who signs the Civil Rights Act into law Played a what I would describe as a profoundly cynical in gross game of political brinksmanship with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and he kind of yielded to the civil rights movement in a couple of areas but also tried to maintain the Democratic Party southern dominance by throwing bones to the racists in the Democratic Party and in doing so he was engaging in like a proud tradition that goes back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression. FDR successfully won the black vote for the first time for did the Democratic Party by involving black people in the new deal and giving them access to social programs even appointing several Blackman as advisors but he kept Southern Racist Democrats on board by refusing to take any action against segregation so LBJ was kind of engaging at that point it was a decades old tradition within the Democratic Party Yeah Yeah and and again these are still the conversations were having you know to this day like. Ah We gave them a thought here like yeah. There's the idea of like I know you're only helping me because it's expedient for you right and then you have which you'll see in the in the Black Panther party to like these two to two sides of this coin of like the like. Yeah like the Marcus. Garvey's other world that are like they're never gonNA treat US fairly. We will never shake here. It's never gonNA work. Let's just sleeve right and then you have the other side that says like no like my grandparents my ancestors like built the built the dam nascent like what I'm saying that's our blood and soil like we we picked you know why you're superpower cause you ain't pay to workers you know what I'm saying so paso so it's like I'm just as much American as you are. Are you going. Clued me in your documents. You know what I'm saying so like that that two sides and then and then and then you and then it's like I remember the the pain and hurt in my. I am a my parents. Father 'em grandmothers is when I got so disillusioned early on I was just like hey you gonna go vote today and I was like. Oh No oh you know what I'm saying. I was sitting in his traffic. You know what I'm saying. I was like I don't even. I'll know you know what I'm saying. And just like how hard they fought just for me to have the right to do it. You know what I'm saying like me be like dog. I can't but yeah just that that like the how hard they fought for me to be able to do that. You know really gave me pause but it's still yet as saying frustration. Asian wears just like I just these people don't love us and we just will never know unless it's like expedient for them you know that if you pass a civil rights laws like Oh if you really like meat. Oh Yeah Yeah Yeah. Yeah and it's that's that's that's where LBJ finds himself in his. He's a guy who's racist and he's willing to Kowtow to racist he's also not so racist that he's unwilling to push for progress when he thinks it advantages him electoral pragmatic exam. That's a fair way to refer to Lyndon Baines Anes Johnson and I'm GonNa read a quote from black against empire again kind of describing how this all comes to a head at the Democratic Party State Convention in Jackson Mississippi in nineteen sixty four quote the MVP held a state convention in Jackson in early August selected sixty eight delegates to attend the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. New Jersey President Johnson was determined to maintain white southern support and work to undermine the MVP on August twelfth. Mississippi's Democratic governor. Paul B Johnson told the all white Dixie crat delegation in that President Johnson had personally promised him not to seat the DP. The president refused to discuss the DP with civil rights leaders and instructed. FBI Director Hoover to monitor the renegade party closely and provide regular updates on its activities to the White House. This is not going to be the last time we hear about she. So yeah basically the M. FDP's goal was to try and make enough noise at this assembly that the credentials committee would have to call a vote about whether to seat the delegation from the MVP at the convention that year and they called a number of people to testify before the committee including a woman named Fannie Lou Hamer Who is a black activist with the student? Nonviolent when Coordinating Committee now. She was fired from her job and beaten in jail by black prisoners who were being ordered by probably under the threat of death from white policemen to attacker so basically she gets thrown in jail for registering people to vote and the cops tell other people who are in prison or jail with like beat the shit out of this lady or I will deal with you and this is what a Fannie Lou Hamer says at the Jackson convention quote. The first Negro began to beat and I was beat until I was exhausted. After the first Negro was exhausted the State Highway patrolman ordered the Second Negro to take the blackjack the second Negro began to beat I began to scream and one white man got up and began into beat me on my head and tell me hush one my white man. My dress had worked up I he walked over and pulled my dress down. Pulled my dress backup all of this on account we wanted to register Mr to become first class citizens and if the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now I question America. I just this onion of pain every time and more you dig out the happened. Yeah you know what's not not an onion of pain cheese most likely the other. That's about to be advertised. Save me from running yards random things usually. It's another pod Yup or the coke brothers or let's hope it's an oil refining its finer. 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Lean special edition smart bed during the January sale. Only at a sleep number store or sleepnumber dot com slash iheart. That's sleepnumber dot com slash IHEART sleepnumber number the official sleep and wellness partner of the NFL. We're back so we just talked about. We just talked about Fannie. Hamer and her her speech at the Mississippi Democratic Conference and it caused enough of an uproar and it gained enough national sympathy because it was televised that LBJ couldn't couldn't just completely ignore the MFDC. She gets up and kind of POSAD. People's human heartstrings. Like even people most people are pretty racist back then. They're not in human and something like that makes them feel terrible and so they're like yeah maybe we should seat this delegation which. LBJ feels. He can't do because again. He's trying to Kowtow to the racist contention to the Democratic Party. So He's put in this situation where he has to deal with them but he also is not willing to actually deal with them so instead he brings in his vice president. President history's greatest monster Hubert Humphrey and Hubert. Hebrews job is to deal with this problem. which is again? The problem is black people wanting to vote without murder. The problem is the constitution. Anyway on the problem is the constitution that pesky document so Humphry meets with the MVP delegation. And he tells them that they're not going to be seated but that the president is willing to compromise by letting what he called educated professionals from the group one of whom was white sit with the Mississippi delegation at the convention. Humphrey refused to let Mrs Hamer sit with the delegation saying the president will not allow that alliterate woman to speak from the floor of the convention. She so that's yeah. Yeah now the DP to their credit refuses to compromise but that wound up not mattering mattering because this was all a scheme in the first place while they were meeting with Humphrey Lbj had the party announced that the MVP had reached a compromise with the Democratic Party. The whole thing you've been double crossed so he'd put them in that meeting so they wouldn't know that this was going on and then by the time it was announced they have to either spoil the whole convention and the election which obviously matters to them because civil rights is on the docket or like. Just let him get away with this shit So LBJ kind of wins this round Yeah and it sucks but what happened there like the double cross in nineteen sixty four was really widespread knowledge particularly in the black community and infuriated. Many people people who felt the civil rights movement had mainly achieved cosmetic Victories Malcolm X. address these people when he said quote. Now you're facing a situation where young negroes was coming up. They don't WanNa hear that. Turn the other cheek stuff. No there's a new deal coming. There's new thinking coming in there's new strategy coming in. It'll be Molotov cocktails this month. hand-grenades that's next month and something else next month. It'll be ballots or it'll be bullets. It'll be liberty or it will be death the only difference about this kind of death. It'll be reciprocal Yup. Yeah yeah very famous speech very famous quote. Yeah a ballot and bullet speech man. Yeah resonates two-deep yeah it resonates donates and if we're you know they're like obviously the story of The the the white sort of people generally referred to as the founding fathers. Yeah yeah almost. All of them were deeply racist but there is still there. Is this one thing that's really interesting there's the similarity in sort of the language Anyone fighting for what they perceive as liberty tends to us because x's ballot or the bullet speech very similar Nathan Hale's liberty or death speech. Yes really the fascinating to me. Yeah that's a good catch man. You're young man so February Louis. Six nine hundred sixty five. We're going back to Bobby Seale and he'll be pinned down now. I just wanted to give that sort of context of what kind of how frustrating and futile it would have felt to try to do this. Legally respectively by the mainstream attitudes so February sixth nineteen sixty five was a very key day for Bobby Seale and he newton That is the day that Malcolm X. was assassinated by a member of the nation of Islam. This made bobby so angry that he grabbed a bunch of bricks from his mother's garden broke them in half and started tossing them at the cars of any white people who drove by. He vowed vowed to make himself into a mother. Fucking Malcolm X.. Millions of black folks across the country were incensed by Malcolm. X's death and six months after his assassination. The Watts neighborhood out of Los Angeles was host to something. That looks very close to a civil war. The watts riots and riot might even be an unfair term like legally. That's what they were declared. Yeah it was an uprising The most direct cause of this was the mass murder of black people by the LAPD sixty five. Black men had had been murdered by Los Angeles cops from January of nineteen sixty two July of nineteen sixty five an twenty seven cases. The victim was shot in the back. Only one of these murders orders was actually ruled an unjust homicide though and this was a case where two cops were literally playing cops and robbers with real guns and accidentally murdered a Newspaperman. Yeah so on. No no no I was GONNA say I. It's crazy like today's is one of those heavy days. I just left my migrate aunt's house like my grandma. My sister and she was just now right before. I got here talking about the watts riots and like stuff that she's never said we'll 'cause I never never really asked but like you know my my family's been in Los Angeles since the fifties you know what I mean so Y- When she was describing the moment of the the riots she started dropping? These other gyms. Like Hey you know in Jim crow originally from Texas then they moved here said the that. LAPD was like recruiting from like disgruntled like southern wants. Jim Crow ended. They were recruiting these disgruntled. Southern men men that were like frustrated about Jim Crow and wanted to do something about America so they were coming to be a part of law enforcement. So you fill compton watts. La with with these men. Who are mad that Jim crow over to powder keg you? Yeah it's GonNa Explode. Yeah it's going to explode And it does in in during the watts riots the most direct cause of the riot itself. The uprising itself was the traffic. stop of Marquette and Ronald Fry Both men were pulled over by a highway patrol cop and a crowd gathered while they argued with The crowd got very angry when the police started beating. Rena fry their mother with a Black Jack back when she came in to intervene. Start beating this middle aged woman with blackjacks. Basically like a big leather beat. Stick this this is the best way to describe it. Yeah so the watts riots deserving episode of their own for now. What's worth noting is that large numbers of the police would call them rioters? I would prefer to call them. Protesters fired on police helicopters with rifles. Huge numbers of guns were stolen. The police chief compared the violence to Vietnam and so oded black activists on the street who were interviewed by journalist at the time thirty four people most of whom were black. Were killed in the violence in mostly by police. Now all of this the failures failures of conventional politics to provide an effective remedy to racism. The death of Malcolm X.. And the watts riot. All of this helps spurred a massive surge in revolutionary black activism in the United States. It's in the mid nineteen sixties now Huey p Newton and Bobby Seale were already very politically radical When this happened and flirted over the years with a series of different groups including clued in one called the Revolutionary Action Movement Ram argued that black people were a colony Had basically been colonized by American white people and that the struggle for black liberation was part of the global struggle against colonialism which was then happening. You know we're in the post World War Two period all these different colonies around the world are starting to either. Hi there fight for their freedom or protest for it and hueys brother Melvin joined Ram but he was kind of frustrated by the fact that he felt healthy organization preferred posturing intellectual discussion to direct action. He became convinced that none of these ideological organizations could reach black people on the street. Who didn't have a thorough grounding running in political theory? Basically like what you're talking about I agree with but all you're doing this talking and you're talking about theory that's such an intellectual level that you're not able to reach people who who are just like you know living and working as a street level. That aren't academics And Bobby Seale actually joined Ram for awhile but he developed basically the same frustrations that Huey did with them and he wrote about it in his autobiography quote. I've got very frustrated with those cats. I didn't think they were going to do anything. And I became very discouraged about not being able to work with them. They had a Lotta Paranoid hangups and they began to accuse me of things. They had so many bullcrap suspicions. I couldn't deal with them and I broke loose from those cats. I got mad at them. One night and busted down their door. All of them hid behind their damn bets at that point I couldn't deal with him anymore because they wouldn't defend themselves even against one little old me there were four or five of them in the pad but they ran hiding. I just just in respect them anymore. I was thinking to myself later for these dudes. I'm going to find myself a righteous partner to righteously run with see this is terrible but I as right as that is as serious as this moment is. I only hear that in like my dad's friends voices man in house looking for some righteous. Do Yeah Man. He's cats they weren't even back to have loosen. Yeah Dan like dad would say he's like man. I just needed. Look I do run with be real bad like art. Yeah my dad's still like that catch on like what does that mean. Pop Be Selling Split Jack Like what does that mean dad bad anyway. The whole his whole autobiographies written that way. And this way I really enjoy it. Because it's not something I had much exposure to And I I enjoy that that sort of like the language he uses like it a lot. Yeah there's an just do most poetic cadence to it. Yes So the partner partner. That Bobby Seale wound up finding was Huey P Newton. Now the two had known each other for a while and they'd always gotten along but they drifted politically in slightly. Different activists circles But now after the watts riots decided to create a new organization together the Sole Students Advisory Council and they were the only people who created it but they were two of the founding members. Yeah now. They organize protests against the draft for black students because they felt like without being treated equally. They shouldn't be expected to fight for the country and and without consenting to in the same way and they also worked to half black studies courses added to Merritt College curriculum in this last one they were successful he we suggested the group should next get involved in fighting police brutality but before this project could really get off the ground. He and bobby wound up running straight into some police brutality of their own on Thursday Day march seventeenth nineteen sixty six at around nine pm. Bobby and Huey and their friend weasel were hanging out in Berkeley walking to the University of California campus. Bobby was reciting being an anti war poem. He liked uncle. Sammy call me full of Lucifer. They drew a small crowd to themselves. Who urged bobby recited more loudly in a police officer arrived right as is bobby saying out these lines? You school my naive heart to sing red white and Blue Stars and stripes songs. You school my heart to sing red white and Blue Stars and stripes songs into the pledge. Eternal allegiance to all things blue true blue eyed blonde blonde haired white chalk white skin with USA tattooed all over and the officer an off. Duty Cop named George Williamson tried to arrest Bobby for this. His justification was that bobby had been blocking the street. This caused a fistfight which brought in more cops. which led to both bobby and Huey being arrested so from poetry? y'All yeah so artists right right in poems. It's it's interesting like it says a lot about the power of poetry. This scares a cop enough that he has on his off hours to get the country gone. Yeah Yeah so next. According to the book Black Against Empire quote a a few weeks later Newton and seale saw policemen pushing around a black man for no apparent reason. The officer arrested the man and took him to the station following conference example Newton and Seale went to the station bailed out it using money from their organizations treasury. The brothers started to cry and it touched bobby deeply. Bobby was fed up with armchair intellectualize and wanted to stand up against the police recalling. I was filled with with a staunch belief of the need for Brotherhood revolution and rebellion against the racist system. So it was Huey who first suggested that the SAC member should arm themselves. elves with rifles and shotguns and host an armed rally for Malcolm X's birthday the guns were explicitly to honor Malcolm XS call black people to engage in armed self defense and Bobby Seale would write in his autobiography quote. He was running down. The law says every man has the right to arm himself by the Second Amendment of the Jive ass constitution itution of the United States. He says that we are going to exhaust that. Because in the end the man will say we don't have a second amendment of the Constitution. So Huey saying that like we should arm ourselves in protest because we have the right to do that but also they're going to strip us of our right to carry guns well history. Be Rhyming Dog. It was brilliant like I know the word is so it's such a pregnant word but just like the CO opting of language that you oh you same thing Frederick. Douglass did with his fourth of July speech of like a homey. You said you built this thing for liberty and freedom and I. This ain't my celebration. I don't know what you're talking about. You know what I'm saying that he was like these are your words. You said that film this started this nation because it is like okay. Now those your words you said all men are created equal. And they're right here. Every man has a right to bear arms. Yes would you say I mean what am I a Martian like I've right arms uh-huh yeah yeah. Yeah and he. We thought that the presence of firearms would also help to draw in the people. He called the brothers on the block. more but then you know waving protest signs and placards because a lot of those guys weren't involved with like different gangs and stuff and they understood guns in they weren't political theorize irs and he was like like this is something that I think I can get him on board with the other members of the SAC. Thought this was too risky. Bobby Seale was the only person who backed hueys plan So Oh he and Huey quit the SAC formed a new organization. The Black Panther Party for self defense in October of nineteen sixty six and during his studies. We had done research into the state of California's laws and he'd learned that it was actually legal for Californians to openly carry firearms in public. Even loaded ones provided those weapons were not pointed at anyone in a threatening manner. And it's interesting when you read modern stories about this but like mainstream news sources like the Chicago Tribune the always say it was a loophole in the law. It's not a loophole. Just legally the law the law. He didn't find a loophole. This is the law says the law. This is me in my hands up as if I'm holding an actual paper that's the law. Now this was not entirely hueys idea. He'd also read read about the actions of a group called the community alert patrol or cap over in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles after the uprising cap had been formed to watch police in black neighborhoods and caps APPs. Efforts were incredibly important. But they're activists were often victimized and abused by the LAPD and some of them had started talking about carrying guns during their patrols. So as the Black Panthers came together plan evolved. He decided that the panthers would organize armed patrols to follow police officers around and observe them. During traffic stops the new black panthers. We started doing justice in February of nineteen sixty seven. A group of them including Newton and Seale were stopped in a car loaded down with rifles and handguns. And I'm going to quote now from great article article in the Atlantic titled the Secret History of guns quote. One officer ask to see the guns Newton refused. I don't have to give you anything but my identification name and address S.. He insisted this too he had learned in law school. Who the hell do you think you are an officer responded? Who in the hell do you think you are? Newton replied indignantly. He told the officer that he and his friends. He's had a legal right to have their firearms. Dude got out of the car still holding his rifle. What are you going to do with that gun asked one of the policemen? What are you going to do with your gun? Newton applied by this time. The scene drawn a crowd of onlookers officer told the bystanders to move on but Newton shouted at them to stay California law he yelled gave civilians a right to observe a police officer making an arrest so long as they didn't interfere. Newton played it up for the crowd in a loud voice. He told the police officers. If you try to shoot at me or if you try to take this gun I'm going to shoot back at you swine. which is ball's on him? I wonder why on everybody's t shirts rapid to modify modify God damn right because it's like he's like straight up. I mean I love that. You're painting the picture of the totality of the cultural moment. A lot of times we see history is like these like single file line events that aren't like interact all living the same moment just like now. You know what I'm saying so we put all those moments together like nothing. I mean I grew up in. I'm I'm La an eight hundred ninety. s I'm like you don't talk to police like that job saying do you feel like we. Do you know the streets. We was a gang injunctions. Like you won't talk to police right. That type alike. Is My rights like this. This is amazing. I mean Ayatollah White Guy so I have a certain degree of police shield and I would be terrified of talking like yeah so fucking incredibly he bobby and their comrades were allowed to continue on without arrest just because they hadn't broken the law the theft everyone in the car and all of the onlookers who'd gathered to watch the altercation stunned as we're stood Yes talking about it today. It's it's just hard to imagine even in twenty twenty this happening without bloodshed. Yeah so the whole event made bobby. Bobby Seale decide that Huey P Newton was in his words the baddest motherfucker in the world. It convinced Huey of something important to the gun is where it's at an about and and in yes yeah so. This spreads through the community like wildfire and young men begin joining the Black Panthers. In droves their armed patrols of the the police become a regular thing and they have a lot of strict rules about this. You never supposed to be closer than ten feet to the officer of the person being stopped. You have law books on you at the time. You're quoting quoting directly from them like they're not just like like there to intimidate the police. They're there to give information on rights to the person being stopped Yeah and so yeah. Whenever a black person was stopped by the police observing panthers would both be an armed presence there and would be providing legal advice And as their notoriety spread so too did the black panthers all across the country and firearms worry. Central Facet of their identity from the beginning new recruits were taught. The gun is the only thing thing that will free us. The group purchased rifles by selling copies of Mao. Zedong's Little Red Book to students in Berkeley. Over the years. There are some grew to include machine guns as well as tens of thousands of rounds. Sounds of ammunition new recruits receive training on Black Nationalism Socialism. And how to clean handle in use firearms. It's also worth noting during this period that we talk doc in my audiobook the war on everyone We talk a bit about how. KKK groups white supremacist. Groups are easily able to buy and smuggle machine guns. This and other military grade weaponry from the army from like racists in the army at this point and the Black Panthers do the same thing from black people in the army. Yeah like. They're getting machine guns and weaponry directly. Say I probably wouldn't share this but I'm going to all truly your followers but like I just found this out on Thanksgiving that like my uncle. Charles rose was like doing that like he was like. He's like selling first of all he was like. He said he was selling like he was selling like engine parts in like Munich. When he was hit really dislike to civilians part I just like SELA SELA goes out of San Francisco Alkyl Charles I was like what he's I? Yeah he got I discharge. Because he was selling weapons. Sorry sorry to any listening statutes over. It's it's a situation where there's a lot going on here. But both the panthers in the K. K. K. not that there's any moral equivalency between the groups but they both suspect that a massive civil war is coming either. It's going to break out or the the bombs are going to fall in the wake of the nuclear apocalypse. There's going to be fighting between You know like racists non-racist your black and white depending on your perspective and so there's there's this belief that like. We are arming ourselves for a war of survival and considering there are thousands of heavily armed racist people like Louis Beam who were specifically talking talking about war waging award extermination against America's blacks like. That's not an unreasonable thing to win. Arm Yourself against. Yeah now yeah. That's the part that like I. I really wish people could could like understand like the tone in ir of the moment that this stuff is not imaginary like this is yeah with like elected officials as you know in certain states or just people like Amer just like no our plan is to wipe y'all out. Yeah do you have said Oh. You're not you're not like not like ambiguously Isley Racist Kind Nazi light you know what I'm saying it's like now we're trying to wipe out. Yeah Yeah and you. It's like this is something. The thing I come to a lot in the modern day was like you can keep your opinions on on gun control. there's a lot of different attitudes on that. I will listen to them but I I can tell you from experience talking to a lot of people in a lot of parts of the world win someone wants to exterminate you. There's nothing you'd rather have in your hand absolutely again. Like for like the invention of the modern day I say modern with quotes as a historian of CRIP and blood like the invention of the street gang specifically growing up in Los Angeles puts such a different taste in your mouth about guns. That's what I'm saying. So it's like you know so like it's hard for me to like you have my father to have nots. You're talking about your civil right man. He's people vinegar you know what I'm saying. He legged look. Look why do you get you say and then yeah and then you got the streets with. That's like if you pull a gun out. Then that means that like y'all. I'm not a civilian like so so if somebody stops you and it's like hey where are you from saying if I had a weapon on me. It's like Oh oh you signed up for his gang life but if you don't have one it's like man look. I'm a square wave basketball practice with that sort of juxtaposition. It's sometimes it's hard for myself to rain around it. You know what I'm saying but at the same time if knowing the context of these people are living in Syria Monzo. You know what I'm saying like he's people who live in these contexts like not. This is not an option and it is also. Yeah Yeah. It's also like the difference between just individual self defense in this idea which there's a lot of flaws behind a lot of the thinking that occurs in in the United States on this this subject. You can say statistically like actually. You're more likely to be harmed if you have a gun in the home. The difference between that individual self defense and collective self-defense. Yeah eh which is yeah good too deep a subject to really delve into very yes earlier while we're trying to into the pantyhose but you know what's not to deeper subject to Delvin through right now. We go what is the which increases. I'M GONNA do. I'm GONNA do their best setup. What is that Robert uh-huh product I under service which which I think we can explain in the context of this episode off we go? Here's the thing saving money with. GEICO is almost better than playing pickup basketball. Because there's always that guy WHO joins your game? He never passes the rock. He constantly bricks threes. And who completely hack you. And then put his hands up and say no foul no foul with GEICO. It's easy to switch and save on car insurance. No need to fake. An ankle sprain because you're absolutely exhausted so switch and save with Gyco Echo. It's almost better than sports. We're back all right so as we before before we had our little discretion about Community Self Defence. We were talking about The the the Black Panthers start their civilian patrols of the police armed patrols of the police which are very popular in very revolutionary? And of course. The man is embodied by the Republican Party. And the governor of the State of California. Reagan was not in any fucking way about to let alone Blackman exercise their right to bear arms and legally observe the police. I shouldn't say black men because they were black women involved at this point to do. The last year of the Black Panther Party was really the ladies because they locked up or killed us. Yeah so yeah yeah. Yeah so oh yeah like the the the the the White Republicans particularly WHO governed state although? It's not like the White Democrats in the state provided in the opposition to this Decide that action needs to be taken And the guy to do this was should heal named Don Mulford. What's your shit? He'll I love it. I gotTa tell you is another digression. I feel like I don't know nobody cusses. More poetically than black people are old black man. No way causes more poetic Wittig the him but the most creative in innovative things to call someone come out of the mouth of middle aged white men. They don't know anyone. That's buck tarred tell you shit stick like what ask given. Yeah Yeah Shaimaa see. That's what this is. Why intersection import us? In the best way to cuss multiculturalism not coach. Elizabeth really improves the use of obscenities. Yes critical yes so yeah Don Model Don Mulford Mulford offered was the community assemblyman for Oakland in April of nineteen sixty seven. He proposed the Mulford. ACT A bill that would strip Californians of their right to carry firearms in public. The M- offered act was a pure act of legal targeting against the Black Panthers. I'm going to quote again from that. Atlantic article what Republicans California eagerly supported increased gun. Control Governor Oregan told reporters that afternoon that he saw no reason. Why on the street? Today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons. He called guns a ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of goodwill will you read that's Republicans. Now tell that to a cop right so funny to me. I'm just like okay yacht. Yeah Yeah no not even thirty years ago thirty years ago three or four years ago you sand literally the opposite of what you're saying. Yeah yeah in a in a later. Press Conference Reagan's Reagan says He. He doesn't know of any sportsman who leaves home with a gun to go out into the field or two hundred for target shooting who carries that gun loaded and he says the Mulford Act should work no hardship upon on the honest citizen and of course the NRA completely backs the Mulford no problem with it at all all onboard. This appreciate that appreciate you take a second to appreciate that. Somebody dropped some like some like SPA music right now to appreciate Dan. I was for gun control to make sure you can't carry a loaded weapon to find your palm. I don't know I just thought like squad. You think you know what I'm talking about. That's the best part you exactly. It'll anyway. So Huey Huey furious about this. But he's not surprised as I read that quote from an earlier heat immediately predicted. This is going to happen once we start doing this carries out a protest He organizes a group of panthers armed to the Gills to go march on the Capital Building in Sacramento Twenty. Four men and six women showed up led by Bobby Abby seal they walked up the Capitol steps guns in hand and Bobby read a speech quote. The American people in general in the black people in particular must take careful note of the racist California legislature aimed at keeping black people disarmed and powerless. Black people have begged prayed petitioned demonstrated and everything else to get the racist power structure of America Right. The wrongs owns which had been perpetrated against black people. The time has come for black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late after this seal and the others went inside the building bearing loaded firearms the Capitol building. And they were allowed to do this because they were abiding by the law entirely in the day proceeded peacefully and before we move on. I think it's worth worth dedicating a little bit of time to how the mainstream media covered all this and the short of it is they were not fans of the panthers. Really The New York Times is coverage of the event which I can only read in my old timey white man voice. Let's go. I'm negroes protest gun bill. Sorry in response to that. Yeah I did find some credit to the New York Times a Modern Day New York Times article that quotes Jane Rhodes which is very like admitting like we fucked up and we're very unfair in our coverage and it quotes. Jane Rhodes Professor of African American Studies. Daddy's assaying the newspaper was dubious and skeptical of them. It also gave them a tremendous amount of coverage. The media like most of white America was deeply frightened by their aggressive and assertive style of protests. And they were offended by it and that October Two Thousand Sixteen Times article I found analyzing this by Giovanni Rosenello leans into acknowledging how unfair the coverage was and and he writes about the Times is first articles on the Black Panthers what the article did not explicitly say. Though it was reported later by others was at the panthers had read a statement that afternoon calling upon the American can people in general not just African Americans to help them in their push for rights the time since its own reporter a few days later to write a profile of Mr Newton. The party's young co-founder that article. Cool was no more measured than the first. It barely mentioned police brutality instead lavishing attention on the fact the panthers had weapons political power comes through the barrel of a gun. Newton was quoted as saying being so the journalists who cover this ignore police brutality. Nor that like there's a self defense of here. What do you expect us to do when we're being shot? Yeah that's one of our rights. Our nation's founded on the idea that that human beings can arm themselves in self defense. Yeah that's what we're doing. They ignore that if they're looking at these black men carrying guns. Oh God yeah so on July Twenty sixth the racist California legislature passed the Mulford Act with the NRA's in our as enthusiastic approval and governor. Ronald Reagan signed it into law so the Black Panthers were thwarted at least in the state of California from carrying out armed patrols any longer but the organization continued to grow spreading across the country and drawing in thousands upon thousands of members. And as the group grew Huey and Bobby and the other leaders expanded the sort of things the Black Panthers I did. It was not enough to just advocate armed protests in police patrols. They needed to mobilize their community in that. They felt meant helping their community. In the early years the Black Panthers developed a concept they called revolutionary intercommunal which something I really think the modern day left needs to kitted shit together. Oh my God if you it. PBS describes this as the strategy of building community service programs or survival programs programs meant to develop positive institutions within the community to help individuals meet their needs. The panthers developed over sixty such community programs now. These communities survival programs ranged changed from the People's Free Shoe and clothing program to the free plumbing and maintenance program to the free pest control program to the sickle cell. Anemia Research Foundation and the People's free ambulance service will the news breathlessly covered. The panthers armed marches in their confrontations with police. The ignored most of these other programs. One member later a guy named Roger Smith said this yes. You don't read about the survival programs we're doing for the people the Free Children's breakfast program trying to feed some of these hungry kids before they go to school in the morning the educational programs we had going on on for these kids for the older folks as well. You don't read about that. The Shoe giveaway the clothing giveaway the Cote giveaway. We had going on back east so these people don't freeze death during the winter months. The Free Prison Bussing Program Rebuffs People from the community out to the prison the penitentiary so that people can visit their loved ones who are incarcerated. You don't read about that. You don't read about the free ambulance service that we had going on in Winston Salem North Carolina our Alina because black people in Winston Salem Carolina were denied basic emergency healthcare. You don't read about that you don't read about the free sickle cell. Anemia testing program. We tested over five hundred thousand than half a million people before the US government ever realized that sickle cell. Anemia was a threat to the wellbeing of black people in America. You don't read about that. Why because there's no sensationalism awesome there no dramatic value? It doesn't sell newspapers. It doesn't boost the television ratings. It's just some black people getting organized to help some other black people. Yeah that's that's so that's the panthers I know. Yeah you know the like which I mentioned at the top of the show. That's what my father was. Part of the after school tutoring program so like I just know them as people have fed us in the morning. I mean obviously not US cause I wasn't around then but like fed kids in the morning warning help them with their homework after school and the attitude even to this day was like you can't look out Kelly for a handout from your oppressor like these people have gone help you. You know what I'm saying like. Why would you take the money? Why would you take services because they these take your press? There's no serious you have said so. Like that was always his attitude. He was like man. Find it on your own men don't don't the UK. Oh these people. I find it only take care of your own. That was always attitude. Yup Yeah that makes a ton of sense Motoko Lake Roku. There's there's a few hundred like leftover things where just generational speaking there's like we still have a generation like like gap. Like you know when when I started doing music full time like the label. I was a part of was like one of my best friends. And you know he's White Dude Right so my dad. I still had this like I like I like that boy but you know you you gotTa Watch them white men now seriously. Okay pop okay. I mean I get it with but like I'll be the reds high school. You know what I'm saying like I think we're good you know but but still he still has a little bit of that. I mean he's definitely not the same any was we still. Has that like how you know you. GotTa you gotTa Watch them saying not really take care of you know I mean. It's it's not unfair. Yeah not unreasonable. Considering like yeah the time and place yeah experiences he had And I think like you have to open the story of the Black Panthers by talking about armed self defense the guns because that is how it really started. I do think even even a lot of people on the left who admire particularly white people enough to admire the panthers. They focus a lot on that part because it is again the Mo- and not enough on what really is the most revolutionary part of the panthers. Which is the survival program? Yeah the the. I don't know if the book got into it that Orme we'll get to a later but just the actual like provable. Success rate you know what I mean like the yeah movable results like this actually worked you know what I mean. Blood testing half a million KOMO news lack people sickle cell. Anemia for the government. Realizes it's a problem for black like. Yeah that's huge. That's an enormous effort. Yeah that's like a state level effort. Yeah that is. It's all community volunteer driven. It's now by some accounts. The most influential of the survival programs was the free breakfast for Children Program While all students were guaranteed a free lunch was part of their public education in nineteen sixty seven the US government spent only six hundred thousand dollars a year on breakfast for students. The Black Panthers saw this whole the social safety net and realized it was harming black children more than any other group in the country and so they took action to fix this now the communities in which they provided free breakfast for children. We're not all instantly. Currently on board the Black Panthers were a Revolutionary Organization famous for Confronting Police with firearms. People like minister bridges of the Saint Augustine Church in Oakland were initially suspicious when the a group asked to start meeting a distributing breakfast there but gradually the panthers won them over in. The community rallied to provide them with donations of grits eggs toast and milk to feed hungry school children much. The food was donated by local businesses from a mix of altruism and fear of social reprisals by the Black Panthers. And I'm going to vote from Black Against Empire again at times the Panthers Cajoling Bowling Blended into harassment and strong arming far. More common. Where boycotts and pickets of businesses that refused to assist the programs equally common tactic of calling out publicly shaming those who refuse to help churches and other community based organizations that refused to help notably those who refused to sponsor or allow breakfast programs on their premises face similar treatment for starters the Panther newsletter and Panther representative presentative railed against the non supportive business person or community leader as a capitalist pig other epithets included religious hypocrites lying preachers and merchants and avaricious businessmen German Dang cancer dykes since yeah? I'm back tearing. I you know. It's I think that's perfectly quickly fair because the ultimate goal here is to get kids food. And you've got you've got plenty of extra food like why are these kids starving in the morning. Yeah and then you probably complaining about them. I'm saying yeah you know. Run A yo streets. It's like well they're hungry and you can. Yes that yeah. Yeah now. The Free Breakfast program itself was a mix of pure altruism truism poor kids needing good food and also clever propaganda. The program highlighted the fact that the richest nation on earth then waging a brutal inexpensive war in Vietnam could not provide Ada simple breakfast for all of its children the leadership of the panthers who suspected or outright hoped in some cases that they might one day wind up an armed revolutionary struggle with the. US government knew there. There was a tactical benefit in winning hearts and minds this way. One of them noted while we might not need their direct assistance in waging armed revolution. We were hedging our bets that if we did they would respond more or favorably to a group of people looking at their children's welfare. Yeah Yeah In November nineteen sixty nine the Black Panthers announced that their program had spread to twenty three cities and distributed free breakfast to more than twenty thousand children that number wound up. Being more like fifty thousand minimum the law took notice in Baltimore. Police called this program affront for Indoctrinating Children Panther propaganda. She responded has only law enforcement. Kim and I'm going to quote again from Black Against Empire. Police federal agents is regularly harassed and intimidated program participants supporters and party workers and sought to scare away donors and organizations that house the programs like churches and community centers Safa Bukhari's discover that participation in one of the Harlem free breakfast programs fell off after the police spread a false rumor among black parents that the children were being fed poisoned food. Disinformation campaign pain in Richmond. California suggested the party used free breakfast for Children Program to spread racism and foment school riots student. Participation began to decline forcing local panther leaders to to combat the official disinformation. The police were not above rating breakfast program locations. Even while the children were eating in the Baltimore Panther Branch was comparatively small but as Judson L. Jeffries demonstrates the branch endured excessive amount of violent repression. And not even children were spared harassment by the police one morning. The Baltimore police disrupted the children's breakfast barging menacingly. Interestingly onto the premise a witness recalled they walked around with their guns drawn and looked real mean. The children felt terrorized by the police. The police were like gangsters and thugs. Day Yeah just getting breakfast. Homey just trying to feed his brush. I A- breakfast. Yeah while now of conventionally. The state decided that the danger of this propaganda of the deed as I think Kuhnen would've called. It was so great that the only reasonable response was to start providing American children with free breakfasts by Nineteen seventy-two the US government free. Breakfast program had reached more than one. Point eight million children. The massive upswing funding for this program proceeded directly reckless from Panther activism. Norma to make a former Panther said this in an interview with eater dot com. I really do believe that. The government expanded their program. Because of the work we were doing. I don't don't think the government wanted to be outdone by a community based organization especially the panthers. I really think we were very instrumental in school. Food Programming Joe. I'm positive positive. That's what happened. Yeah Hey man what do we as like. Hey guys or these these the poor three fifths of a human people out humanizing us like what are we doing. And it's it's remarkable the amount of fear that was generated by the Panther Breakfast program and in some cases it was more than the fear. They had as result of the armed confrontations by the pants. Yeah evidence of this put an ideas in their brains and getting ideas and the all skull. They don't need the government at all in San else. We should've never gave him no money. sorry on May Twenty Seventh Nineteen Sixty Nine J. Edgar Hoover director of the FBI and gigantic piece of Shit and wrote this memo one of our primary aims in counterintelligence as it concerns the Black Panther Party is to keep this group isolated from the moderate black and white community which may support it. This is most emphatically pointed out in their breakfast for Children Program where they're actively soliciting and receiving support from uninformed whites and moderate blacks. So yeah as crazy. I like. They immediately assume they're uninformed yeah it's like. Oh you must not know what they're doing. I know what they're doing. They're they're feeding our kids. The kids being kids. Will you know they're socialist. Will Socialist mean means. Socialism means. My Kid doesn't start. Maybe like socialism thing. I can't pay for this. y'All not helping me get it. Yeah so you caught him whatever they want. Whatever whatever you own breakfast my children yeah but you know it? It says a lot about the state of the government what about the nature of capitalism about the nature of law enforcement that the free breakfast program was one of the things that scared the FBI director the most yeah and in part heart to we're going to talk about J Edgar Hoover's plan in the nationwide law enforcement campaign to take down the Black Panthers for you guys nice to learn this stuff. Yeah so this is a behind the behind the bastards episode. We're not talking mostly about bastards in this one but you need the setup to really understand how shitty the bastards are car yeah love it so prop yes in the end of part one you WANNA drop a couple of plugs at the end and we will sail out until Thursday. Oh my God bad yeah so. Website is prop hip hop which is also all of my sort of social media handles proper pop That's for tour dates. Waits for my own podcast again. Call politics believe politics is just gang banging in Nice suits so we just kinda like explain your headlines. Justin gang terms terms to help you understand what's going on and Yeah and yeah just hit me on the website and in the SOC meets prophet up yet and I'm sure folks who are listening who are really knowledgeable of the panthers notice. There's some crucial stuff. We left out from this period We we haven't talked about Some important figures we haven't talked about like the ten point program program. We're going to get to a lot of that in part to. It's kind of impossible to like. Do this all chronologically. I just kind of had to set it up the way I was prepared to before you ask House prepared to have like mercy for you because it's such a big thing you know what I'm saying and it's like I'm pretty sure there's other episodes where there were other people that are like grossly well familiar with like whatever you WanNa talk about it. I didn't know about you know what I'm saying. So like like like the art Kelly episode. I was like grow up on Ninety Zombie. You're not going to know some not cut things is that I know anyway so I was prepared to give you a so. I'm telling I'll listen to cut some slack. Dag like you're saying Kay cover everything thicke. Yeah and we'll we'll get to. I think a lot of it In part to You know as much as possible. Eleven thousand words and two hours and change aged yes sir but That's going to be on Thursday You can find all the sources for this a behind the bastards dot com. You can find me on twitter at I right okay. You can find this podcast on twitter. Instagram at at bathrooms pod and you can buy shirts on public. And that's that's the damn episode. We'll be back with part to do. Oh I have another podcast best That exists on the Internet called worst year ever. And if you WANNA learn about another community of people who have been ignored by law enforcement and the media reacting getting to violence and using community self defense to protect themselves. We just did a two part episode On a chlorine gas attack on a very coalition and everything. The thing that resulted from that doesn't on the way. Good really good. Yeah Yeah it's it's really good. It's it's my plug. Yes it's really good plug triple luck now. The episodes actually over the twenty seven club is a new podcast about famous musicians shins who died prematurely in sometimes mysteriously at the age of twenty seven. This podcast is hosted by me. Jake Brennan Creator and host of the hit music and true crime. podcast disgrace that season one features twelve episodes in the life and death of Jimmy Hendrix. The Twenty Seven Club contains adult content and explicit link. You can listen to the twenty seven club on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Every podcast watch out for years.