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tv   The Bottom Line 2020 Ep 17  Al Jazeera  June 25, 2020 7:32pm-8:00pm +03

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will keep $15000.00 workers on leave for months it comes as germany's lufthansa the 2nd largest carrier in europe signed a deal to secure a $10000000000.00 government rescue package pakistan international airlines has grounded more than a 3rd of its pilots $150.00 of them after an investigation found they cheated to get their licenses the fraud was discovered after an investigation into a plane crash in may preliminary findings discovered that human error was to blame you zealand and australia have been awarded the 2023 women's world cup it will be the 1st time that the tournament will have been played in that region and those are the headlines for news for you here on out to sea or off the bottom line next.
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hi i'm steve clemons and i have a question what would angela davis do let's get to the bottom line. my guest today is someone who is talking about fighting racism in defunding the police when it was considered way too radical she became a folk hero in the 1970 s. for standing up to the establishment in almost every way you can imagine she got fired from her teaching job at the university of california for being quote unquote too outspoken when she was one thrown in jail a movement of blacks and whites took to the street in protest until she was free musicians like the rolling stones and john lennon and yoko ono wrote songs about her and all that was before she was 30 years old this year time magazine chosen as one of the women of the century. and even nowadays a t. shirt with her image on it made by prada goes for $300.00 she is the one and only
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angela davis scholar activist and author of several books most recently freedom is a constant struggle ferguson palestine and the foundations of a movement and she joins us today from her home in oakland california dr davis thank you so much for joining us here i want to start with we right now we have almost back to the future we have protests in the street we have we had we had killing of black men and women in the country that have yet again raised this question of police brutality and really the social contract that we have across race and class in this country you've been through all of this before what are your views of how this is shaping out now. well 1st of all thank you very much for inviting me. and let me say that this is a very exciting moment it's an extraordinary conjunction and i
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see this moment as reflecting the work that has been done over. decades and even over centuries finally after. decades of of arguing that we name a conversation about race and racism in this country it is on everyone's agenda. and i think what's so exciting about this moment is that we are recognizing that racism is indeed institutional and structural it is a bet it and the very fabric of this country and we're trying to figure out ways to begin to initiate the process of eliminating that racism one of the things i think that is very exciting about this moment is the feminist consciousness and of course but last major mobilizations we
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saw in this country and all over the world happened around the time of the inauguration of the president the current person who up i don't really like to call him the president i'll say the person who occupies the office of the presidency and there were other women's marches women's marches took place in every city and town in this country all over the world and so i see this current moment as reflective not only of the empty racist consciousness that is developing but also. reflective of the 7. but we've seen these moments fade away and nothing happened before how do you what do you want to see where you know that the protests that we're seeing while actually equate to something more than just. an emotional moment
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well i think many people in this country would like to see serious institutional change structural change the demand to defund the police department is not simply a demand reform the police not to make the police better not to get rid of the so-called apples not to stop with that but to ask more profound questions what is the nature of public safety what does security mean and to. develop answers that go far beyond the current assumption that violence institutional violence is the only way to guarantee public safety i think people are beginning to realize that we have to address health issues mental health issues especially the police are not equipped to address many of the problems that
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they are called upon to address because we've never actually decided what kind of society we want to live in and how we can make our neighborhoods and. families secure. and so it's such an exciting moment but of course the real work happens after the dramatic demonstrations of the protests and i don't want to minimize the impact of these amazing gatherings that have happened everywhere in the world in response to the murders of george floyd and beyond the pale and i'm not really and tony make date and animation art books and other. what we're going to have to do is to take each institution schools for example the demand to get comes out of schools is
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so important because schools. especially schools and black neighborhoods and and neighborhoods of other communities of color have begun to replicate the environment of police stations and prison. so this is the beginning i'm hoping of a long process of self-examination and chance formation of the institutions that constitute the society and let me say what i have. but i just want to talk about the importance of understanding the impact of capital as global capitalism because that is often the elephant in the room that is discussed that is largely responsible for the perpetual assumingly perpetual existence of racism capitalism is racial capitalism and i think we need to confront
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that today and and move in the direction of a visioning and hopefully eventually building a society as a social a society. when when with with the president you won't name the president when he when he tells the black community hey it can't get worse try me out like he did in the last election how you know it when you hear those words and you look at. the the inequality in this country you look at the racial divide in this country which people are protesting about now when you hear trump ceviche things how how do you think how would you convey to non-black audiences how deeply that sears into the souls of folks well. you know i find it difficult to respond to anything he said as it is.
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you know the only thing i can say is that there's a coming election and we have to guarantee that if not compelled to resign before that we get him out of office that has to be central to the agenda of beginning the process of rooting out racism and this country i think i can't even dignify this statement says he meant by responding to them they are so absurd and ridiculous and they flat they reflect an era that i experience 50 years ago 75 years ago. yeah this is this person has got to go so dr davis you have written a lot about prisons and police at what not replicating the characteristics of slavery love to hear more about that. well. actually i would phrase it somewhat differently i don't think that the jails and
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prisons and police formations are simply analogous to slavery it's not a relationship and that allergy but rather it's a historical relationship it's a woman i say a geneological relationship there is a if one rule looks at the. evolution of police practices and the impact that the early slave catchers eventually had. formations police formations if one looks at what happened in the immediate aftermath of the. so-called evolution of slavery onesies. a relationship between law enforcement official law and forced met and white supremacist formations like to cook klux klan the white citizens
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council etc and. when one looks at what continues to happen. the murders of black people by. largely by white police one can almost feel that connection with white supremacy and ku klux klan and we know in many police departments across the country wait a white nationalism is a major influence so you know they're there or ways in which we can think about understanding our history. and one of those ways consists in recognizing that history is never put to bed history is always a powerful presence history the ghost of the past are
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always with us and so now what we're trying to do is work that actually should have been done in the aftermath of slavery where 150 years too late would do what we should have done in the late 18th hundreds what is your counsel and advice to this new generation of people who have now found. activism as as part of what a part of their cost today 1st of all i find it really exciting that there are so many powerful intelligent young black people and other people of color and you know young people in general who really want to change the world who really want to guarantee that tomorrow is
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different i. you know i try not to be the person who hands out advice. because it's off of that soon that those of us who have lived as long as we live have lived. have all of the knowledge and the wisdom and of course we have the experience and a certain measure of wisdom emanates from that experience. but. but it's i mean jointed you made you made choices i mean one of them for a tent is you didn't leave this country many of your colleagues many of the people you were with you know went to other places in the world because they were disgusted by what they saw in the united states you didn't leave it be actually you know why you didn't leave as i think people do face i mean i think these people are on the line they're they're they're putting themselves on the line and they may face similar hard choices it's not easy. well. as
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a matter of fact you know i've traveled a great deal and i always insist on framing our domestic issues as global issues as international issues. and of course i thought about. going into exile when i was younger and when i was targeted by the f.b.i. . and also mentally i decided that i didn't want to find myself in a situation where i would never be able to return home and this is home. and so it was it was clear to me that at that time a stray a winning strategy might be to simply stay underground as the movement was organized and as. the mass support and solidarity was generated
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so that when i did turn myself in and i'd actually ended up being captured by the the f.b.i. rather than deciding when i would turn myself in. but there was an enormous global movement calling for my freedom and that is why. we were able to win so i you know i always do look at mass movements as the answer bringing people together you 9000 people across. borders that often denied them. recognizing for example in this country that as we as we look at the reverberations of the. horrendous murder of george floyd we also have to think about. adam
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outright in paris in this is a case that has been central to the struggles against racism in paris we have to think about many of the firm coach who was. assassinated by former law enforcement in brazil so i don't i don't see being involved in local work as all being in opposition to addressing global issues do you at this moment trust the u.s. electoral system and people's engagement in it to deliver a different future. no absolutely not. and i have many critiques of of course of the republican party and particularly given its turn toward white nationalism and racism and massage it. seems the democratic party is also very problematic
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especially in its connection with global capitalism corporate capitalism i and i and i don't think we can assume that any candidate from that party much less the one that is running who is running now will lead us in the kind of radical direction i think we should be moving. how do we know that what. the minimum let me just say this i mean i'm not saying. that it is not important to vote because it is absolutely essential to vote and it is through the electoral process that we will house the existant president but let me say that even though as i've said many many times that the electoral arena is not the vests space to express radical politics. we can use the
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electoral arena to guarantee that we continue to have the space or that we increase the existing space for the expression of radical politics so. i'm asking people to vote for our selves to vote for themselves to vote for the possibility of continuing the organizing and mass expression. of radical approaches abolition. of abolition feminism because we have to know canet the degree to which violence coming from the state state monuments is connected to intimate violence as well engender violence which is indeed the most pandemic form of violence in the world dr davis you have now i think been rio warded the birmingham civil rights
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institute human rights award for. your work on civil rights broadly but it was withheld were taken back at one point because you were so outspoken about palestinian rights indeed your last book links fergusson missouri and the tragedies and the protests there to palestinian rights how do you how do you see the frame of that and why are visa linked and congratulations on the award. thank you oh. well the issue of course was the failure to recognize that one cannot discriminate when it comes to human rights it's a human rights award and when it was initially resend it after having been offered to me the explanation had to do with my work around
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palestine and my opposition to the occupation of palestine and my work with b.d.s. . and of course. one cannot tell when combat suggests that certain people are certain populations deserve to be acknowledged as recipients of human rights and others are not that was the main issue now of course after many many months and months of conversation and discussion and reorganizing the birmingham civil rights institute which has been completely restructured in terms of its leadership has has offered me the fred shuttlesworth human rights award once more and i'm i'm happy i was happy to receive it because of the fact that it represents the
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extent to which institutions like that can change can begin to affectively work with the community and of course the community in birmingham the black community in birmingham but even members of the jewish community in birmingham rose up and and said no to the birmingham civil rights institute the mayor was critical of the decision to resend the award whereas initially i was very shocked and upset that this happened i later recognize that this was a teachable moment that this was very important because enormous numbers of people began to reflect on the ways in which palestinians have been marginalized in the struggle many jewish people whom i know have come up to me and argued that that was the moment when they began to realize that they could not
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assume that the state of israel. represents. justice for human beings and and so i. and really it's a thing i'm really excited that we see we've seen changes happen i think we should also bring israel in palestine into the current conversation a precisely because israel the israeli army has been training us police departments in small towns and large cities training them in and counter insurgency they have been participating in the process of militarized the law enforcement in this country and the palestinians are are. now the best allies and supporters of the back what will in this country in
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this is been true over time my many palestinian political prisoners supported me when i was in jail. and so that has a long history as well let me just ask you finally and i really appreciate your candor in this discussion but you've had a lifetime of challenging the establishment and helping other people to see a different way i'd like you to speak to the young men and women that haven't gone through that life yet and they're making choices. what do you think they should know that may help them in the kind of institutional changes that you think we may be ready to make now. well i'm in a 1st of all i would would urge young people to recognize that the work that they do. really matters even though it might appear as if
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there are no. consequences to the organizing that they do that is so frequently not acknowledged and. in the media crap sometimes in social media it is but the fact that the work does matter and and it will eventually bear fruit and you pointed out i've been involved in these struggles since the 1960 is the 1970 s. and i don't know whether i ever expected to experience a moment like this but what i do know is that if we had not done the work year after year decade after decade we would not be where we are today and i think young people in keeping their vision on the future. should also recognize that the work that they're doing now that appears not to resonate.
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with a great deal of people i know that there's there are efforts to bring the issue of violence against trans people and especially black trans women into the movement and that's not been nearly as successful as the effort to shine the light on the murders of black men and of course the feminist consciousness as we see women are though are behind this massive upsurge say they've been doing the organizing they're most often at the forefront of organizations. and so i would i would suggest that they think also about the long range impact of the war that they're doing today. well i have. talk to many people about these issues and i think that if this is
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a moment when there is change almost everyone i have talked to has reference back to your life and experiences your jail time the protests and you're not giving up so what a privilege it is that talk to you today dr angela davis thank you for joining us thank you very much for having me so what's the bottom line derrick bell was the 1st black american to become a professor of law at harvard university in 1971 and he once said we've made progress in everything yet nothing has changed perhaps it's the fearlessness in the vision of how society could be planted long ago by people like angela davis that are making today's conversations and protests matter now more than they ever have before maybe this time we'll get real change and that's the bottom line.
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as protests rage over police brutality and corona virus grips the nation campaigning on the election trail has been forced to take a back seat will the presidential candidates ever hit the road and so very brand of politics to americans before the votes follow the u.s. elections on a just. when the call that 900 pandemic hit iran and. a filmmaker cut adrift from his crew began documenting life under lockdown a made ongoing international sanctions. an intimate portrayal of isolation and one of the world's least understood countries
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coronavirus locked down iran people in power on a. the u.s. congress debates a bill designed to bring major reforms off to weeks of protests against police brutality. hello i'm adrian finnegan this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up headlines from all layoffs and groundings world wide but the losses mounting as a result of the pandemic. saw the consolidating power russians take part in a rough.

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