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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 5, 2011 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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one of the only crop that is economically viable for farmers in afghanistan. so it occurred to me that along with all of the religious reasons one might have her join the taliban oral-b ethnic reasons one might have for joining the taliban, there was an economic motivation as well as linked to climate change because of the war there are two positions on poppy. nato and afghan governments oppose it and attack it. frequently more often than not in rhetoric because there is so much corruption that people can write their way out of the eradication programs. but that doesn't mean that eradication is onerous for the farmer or threat. ..
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good afternoon. we will get started. welcome to today's from wisconsin with loved. my name is steve greenhouse, and a leader correspondent for "the new york times" and author of the book the big squeeze tough times for the american worker. if you can't hear me, raise your hand. today we will hear from three distinguished authors not all of whom have written learned books about various fascinating chapters in labor's past. each book discusses different group of workers who face hard times and are often under siege
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and each book discusses how these workers, whether the international workers of the world or school teachers in new york city or black construction worker's right here in brooklyn felt bad about manifest injustices they faced. each author i've asked to speak for about nine minutes about his book, and perhaps also about how his book might shed light on recent events in wisconsin and the trials and tribulations faced by american workers and labor unions today. and i suspect some of you will have questions about this when we open the floor for questions about wisconsin and other labor issues. today we will hear from clarence tayler, author of "reds at the blackboard: communism, civil rights and the new york city teachers' unions." clarence is a professor of african-american religious and civil rights of the college in new york city. his book examines how the early teachers union here in new york was a champion of social justice
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and civil rights and was persecuted and prosecuted because of its progressive stances and its prize for the communist party. then we will hear from william adler, the author of "the man who nenever died: the life, times and legacy of joe hill, american labor icon." i read this as a store gutted for "the new york times" and it is a marvelous historical research and the book really shed some important new light on the case of the labor hero, joe hill, raising new questions about how he was railroaded to a conviction and to his execution before firing squad in 1915. and last you will hear from brian purnell, one of the co-authors of black power at work community control, affirmative action and the construction industry. brian is professor of african-american studies at bowdoin college in maine. brian tells american stories of protests here in brooklyn five
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decades ago in 1963 when black construction workers and black ministers the conference and groups like kallur engaged in a sit-down protests to demand integration of construction projects and construction unions that were 99% plus white. many of these protests were at a downtown medical state center right here in brooklyn and someone named malcolm x participated in many of those protests. one last thing. i sought to have 100 pounds of cheese shipped in for today's event from wisconsin with love, but i am sorry to say that governor scott walker halted shipment when he heard the cheese was destined for all of you pointy head the progressive union friendly new york intellectuals. [laughter] bill's book is on sale downstairs for any of you would like to buy his book, which i recommend. i'm sorry to say i haven't seen either of your books here. i have a few copies of my book here if someone wants to do a
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personal transaction with me afterwards i would be happy to sign books. bill would be happy to sign his books. clarence will speak first. >> thank you. i tell people i really timed my book to come out just now. i said i tell people i really times my book to come out just now, when there's this tremendous attack on teachers. i mean, to say that there is an attack on teachers everywhere is no secret. obviously wisconsin is just one place, and one can talk about what is taking place in ohio, what is taking place in indiana, what is going on in my home state in new jersey. in fact, my wife is a new jersey school teacher and last year her union sent her an e-mail stating that the union was out war with the governor, the governor has
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called union leaders thugs, and so there's this tremendous attack particularly on teachers' unions, and it's not just republicans who are involved in this attack. one can look at what took place in new jersey and know that the democratic party joined in with the governor going after teachers in terms of limiting collective bargaining and that is also true in other places such as massachusetts and illinois and i shall also note the president of the united states with the support of firing every teacher in rhode island high school and his push race for the top also carries i think a detrimental impact on teachers and teachers' unions. one can ask the question why this attack. well, richard, the the author of
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albert schneider noted in "the new york times" is a group of are carrying out this attack when i agree with richard if there are these people who call themselves reformers and particularly an attack teachers unions because they've been most vocal and standing up to the court position of education which is taking place today. i would note that one needs to go back in time. it's not just in the 1990's that this attack began like i did back in the 1950's when examining the new york city teachers' union. that is a subject of a book i just published.
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this union fought for a type of unionism has labeled as a social unionism or social justice unionism, and the work for its members wanted to obviously helped get them higher wages that benefit that our working conditions. but that union also worked along with parents, worked along with community activists in order to save public education and that is the gist of the social unionism. by the 1930's when the communists led rank-and-file caucuses of the union gained control of the union, it helped create a harlem committee, and that committee worked to build new school buildings in that community by the early 1940's and created a williamsburg
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council which also worked to create a better education who have your schools to work on funding, proper funding for children. it is the attack on this union by the 1950's that sort of helped eliminate that important voice, and i'm going to end here by a reading an excerpt from my book noting that the atmosphere that was created in the 1950's. in the spring of 1957, joseph and o'keefe, a young substitute social studies teacher gave her eighth grade class at the junior high school in manhattan and assignment to gather information on foreign countries. she instructed the students to write to the foreign embassies
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requesting information on history, geography, economy and other pertinent data. only the british and soviet embassies responded and send packages including magazines and brochures. the 26-year-old teacher placed the magazines and a rack in the room for 04 of the school used by the social studies class and the priest and post cold war era of the incident would have seemed harmless. in the mid-1950s it set off a widespread investigation. detective mary jane macdonald owned 25 of "the new york post" department's bureau of special services and information agencies with teaching and in the evening graduate course in police science in a room for 04 at the junior high school when she spotted the soviets
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magazine. macdonald immediately reported to her commanding officer lt. william brown she found communist literature in the schools. brown interviewed the school and together they went to the room where they found the magazine and to communist propaganda pamphlets hidden behind of the magazine's. a display pictures and magazines clipping costs thereof is titled the aftermath of the civil war it chronicles events in the south mostly using pictures from life magazine. the pictures demonstrated in front racial intolerance aside from one small section of the recent and mississippi the largest part of the display regarding the ku klux klan and other organized groups
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prosecuting negros. the pictures included magazines of blacks being shot or lynched and a close-up of a man being burned. after interviewing o'keefe, he attempted to diffuse the situation declaring he was convinced that she was guilty of only bad judgment. he assured the assistant superintendent of the schools class that the teacher was not allowed the use of the soviet material in her class. nevertheless reported the incident to the bureau of the special services. details will eventually reach the office of the assistant corporation counsel new york city. he had been assigned to the board of education 1951 to oversee the anti-communist and investigation.
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clearly fighting o'keefe's career precontracted john donne assistant to point out o'keefe was the religious and quote patriotic and such a person could not be a communist. they demonstrate the level of surveillance and the new york city public school system during the cold war and how fear would in hinge on academic freedom to read despite the defense he never raised the issue of the academic freedom and the interview with brown and gold when to read during the cold war period activities of teachers in new york city schools were being monitored by the police with collaboration between the board of education and the new york city police department. the fear of communism helped to determine what children learned, the decision traditionally left to educators.
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police and those invoking the need for national security had a strong voice in deciding what was educationally appropriate for students. teachers exercise independent judgment, they risked their career. even the subject of lynching and racism could be eliminated from the teachers lesson plan because it was seen as appointing communist propaganda. academic freedom became support at to the concerns of the security states. i'm afraid to some degree we are facing this situation today. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, clarence. bill adler will talk about his book. >> hello. can you hear me? can you hear me in the back? good. well, first i want to thank the
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brooklyn book festival for actually putting this festival together, because it isn't often that people who write about labor history and issues get this sort of an audience, so thank you, nonfiction committee members. the audience is dwindling. steve green house here i think is about the only labor reporter left in the country. i could be wrong about that in a major daily newspaper. so it's good to be here. i also want to thank them because i've been going around the country talking about this book on joe hill, the man who never died, and i've been taking a lot of questions after my talks but very few people have been asking about contemporary labour parallels between joe hill's time at the turn of the 20th century and at the turn of the 21st century. so it's nice. it's refreshing for me to people to talk about that a little bit. let me give you just a brief recap about joe hill with not much time to go into his own
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story. but he was a songwriter and a member of the industrial workers of the world back between the turn of the 20th century and the first world war when mt iww was at its heyday. hill had this to create and the propagandist need to insight, and those the two compulsion's collided in his music and that is what he became known for, songwriter, topical satire. in 1914 in salt lake city, he was arrested for murder. the evidence was all circumstantial and flimsy. there was very little of it. the evidence amounted to a gunshot wound that he received on the same night that a storekeeper in salt lake was shot to death.
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but the police had no direct evidence linking hill to the crime. they had no motive. they have no murder weapon. the head next to nothing except the gunshot wound. to the doctor who treated the murder how he received that wound he said at the time shot by a friend in a quarrel over a woman but he didn't name the friend or the woman, and so for the rest of his life he refused to say anything more about it so he didn't help himself. he could have testified. and in the end, he died a martyr. he was executed by firing squad in salt lake on november 19th, 1915. he's come down as probably the
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best known of labor martyr of all time and probably one of the best known members of organized labor. his songs endure but many of them were as they see topical and written in the heat of the moment in the crucible so they don't stand up in many ways today. but i think an important part of his legacy, nonetheless, is he was writing songs out there on the line and that is something we could use more today in organized labor. someone to talk a little bit about wisconsin since it is in the title of the panel. i don't claim to be an expert on contemporary labour, but i was thinking about what joe hill might make it coming in for one thing, he did a sent to the celestial realm of the kind of handy on the of fault heroes and he is up there with john henry and paul bunyan and probably gave the blocks to the problem
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is people don't take their full kilos seriously. i know i really didn't. i didn't know much about joe hill other than the folks on -- folk song. the context that he lived his life and died in this radical militant time has somehow been sanitized and has been appropriated by many organizations and causes. people say don't organize all the time which was the abbreviation of a telegram he wrote on the last light of his life, but i don't think people really understand the context so he would be upset about that. he would also be upset that unions today are continued to be scapegoats and as they were in his time, immigrants as well and how the groups can be blamed with america's economic deals
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and would find not puzzling but certainly disturbing and the industrialization, the regulation, globalization, we are fighting the two worst, we've got tax loopholes and tax breaks for the rich, you've got more income inequality and concentration of wealth is more pronounced more than it was in joe hill's time. it's alarming to him and should be but he is not pleased with that. and in wisconsin i think he would be pleased with the fact is going on among the public workers but he might not agree with the tactics i'm pretty certain that he and the early iww would be pleased with the way that it's going. i mean, they concentrated their
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on electoral reform and legislative reform, judicial reform of its reform and a the iww was if nothing else there revolutionary union believe you can tinker with the machinery of politics in the capitol that it had to be overthrown surveyed didn't participate in the electoral process for better or worse. so he wouldn't be happy with that. i think, you know, he would feel like he had material to work with today and he would have plenty to write about in his songs. but beyond that he would be pretty upset with the situation. i think i'm going to leave it at that for now, and take some questions later on and let brian speak. [applause] >> one fascinating point on the book on joe hill was joe hill
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lived in a time there were many immigrants from china and poland and serbia and sweden and russia and italy and they didn't speak the same language. many of them were illiterate. many american-born workers were dillinger it comes to the song became the way to educate and mobilize people and joe hill in many ways is the best mom songwriter of his day. anyway, take it away. >> i will echo's words of thanks to the organizers for having this panel and to you for coming. i am a bit of an imposter on the two fronts. the first is my book is not yet in print so it's nice to sit appear with legitimate authors.
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i have a few essays in some anthologies and i think that's how i came to the attention of the organizers of this event and by man imposters in some ways on the other front that i'm not a labor historian directly i'm a civil rights social movement historian and my book is about local activists in brooklyn but i do have some chapters on their attempts to integrate work forces in brooklyn so i'm going to speak a little bit about that book and i think it touches on some issues that are related to the politics of what happened in wisconsin, and the kind of come to every question for the organized labour in the 21st century. when organized labor right now is at one at its lowest numerical points of the last 60 years it's about 16 million union of writers in america
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about 11% of the population we're after world war ii about one-third of all american workers were unionized and as the country becomes more racially and ethnically multi-cultural that when a first century questions about leiber and organized labor relationships with racial and ethnic minorities and the complicated history of the labor unions support for both civil rights and some labor unions restrictions against black workers it's important to think that we talk about complicated and complex history. so my forthcoming book which is entitled a movement grows in brooklyn for racial equality and the civil rights movement in brooklyn new york it married to the efforts of the interracial group of activists who fought against racial discrimination in housing employment, public schools and municipal services.
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during campaigns the open jobs for the black and puerto rican workers, the brooklyn core fought against employers and unions to break down the walls of discrimination. civil rights activists in brooklyn also supported striking the unions that had strong commitment to civil rights and a sizable black and puerto rican memberships. brooklyn's history of labor activism and civil rights activism is indeed a complex multifaceted story in which unions sometimes play contradictory roles as promoters and inhibitors of minority workers economic and social advancement. when we examine closely the civil rights movement in cities outside the south, we see the ways activists and places like brooklyn demand economic justice as well as social and political ecology. protesters in brooklyn and cities like brooklyn issued the country's earliest demand for
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affirmative action. activists pushed employers to use percentages and proportional representation when hiring black workers or accepting black apprentices. employers and unions often resisted the demands especially in in the all white building trades unions but some adopt affirmative action and blacks slowly gained jobs. affirmative action policies are always controversial but local histories of civil rights campaigns for ( at indicate the demand for the proportional hiring and racial preference did not initially car of the device of splits among liberals who supported civil rights activism and unions to read while flexible unions and businesses reluctantly embraced the affirmative action, some best teams of white privilege such as the building trade unions led
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the charge against what they call reverse discrimination and that's what became kind of a national conversation about affirmative auction by the 1980's. so my book covers some local campaigns to open up jobs in the industries in brooklyn, the avengers baking company, the sheffield farms mo plant, schaefer brewery, these were all campaigns that the lead to gain jobs for black workers and in the early 1960's in those campaigns in particular each of the employers that agreed to a proportional or representative hiring plan in which black workers would become workers of the industry in a preferential hiring system compared to white workers so adventures baking company that had changed throughout and brooklyn agreed to have 40 of to hundred 40
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retail workers be african-american by the year's end of the protest and the brewing company and farms had a similar hiring plans. there was a strike at the hospital in brownsville in 1962 which black and puerto rican women, hospital workers and white allies in the union went on strike and brooklyn supported that. but in 1963, one of their most well-publicized campaigns was to break into the practical the all white something like 99.7% white building trades industries so there was a three week campaign to open jobs in the medical center construction site and the reason they targeted and the reason the activists and cities around the country targeted things like hospital construction is that these were
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part of the multimillion-dollar state-funded construction campaign. the downstate construction was part of a $300 million state funded expansion of medical teaching complexes in albany and brooklyn. so in essence, the state was under white and discriminatory treatment of black workers and the brooklyn court and all of the powerful ministers which clarence has written about in his book on the black churches of brooklyn demanded 25% of the work force to be african-american. now, that campaign ends on a bittersweet note and in some ways the workers and civil rights activists don't win immediate hiring they win some concessions from unions to open up apprentice ships but there is no agreement to bring black workers on the jobs so in the words of one working corps member who said that the effort was a struggle in vain.
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so, i'm going to close just with some observations about how the history of the northern civil rights movement and the history of the civil rights activism and cities outside of the south can show the way the labor union rights and civil rights sometimes complementary and contradicted one another when they worked together civil-rights and labor rights created strong avenues towards middle class stability for african-american workers and you only have to look at the last 40 years of changes and unions like es clu and the uaw and the american postal workers union said etc to see the ways african american neighbors have been emptied into able to enter the middle class through organized unions. but for such efforts to continue and strengthen to the future it's important that we know the historic benefits that came from
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incorporated previously excluded groups into the workplace is and into unions it is equally important we not overlook the way of protection of the white privilege alienated some unions from growing populations of non-white workers. and march 68 or deliver king remarked that all leader has dignity. history has shown only when a union movement embraces hiring practices for previously excluded groups and when a civil rights struggle and civil rights struggles when a civil rights movement advocates the protection of organized labor the king's words made real for all working people. thank you. [applause] >> you just witnessed a miracle. all three spoke without my having to say one minute left. now we will take questions.
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we ask the questioner please speak up and maybe someone will be able to bring you a microphone. who has a question? this gentleman with a blue shirt try to keep your questions short and refrain from giving a speech. thank you. >> i have a question primarily for clearance. i've been struck the last few years the difference between teachers unions and other professional unions, say the nurses' unions that the nurses' unions have been relatively successful that the flights are also on behalf of the protection on behalf of the patient that the teachers' unions have been unsuccessful in doing that success of the popular success of the reformers narrative.
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so i'm wondering how you explain the difference of course of medical workers unions, and i would ask brian purnell but also i wonder how much of that has to do with the new york city teachers' strike. >> i actually cover that in my book. communism and civil rights and the new york city teachers' unions. the major battle in the new york city was over which direction the teachers union was going to take in the 1930's the type of
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unionism that i describe here emphasized by the new york city teachers' union on the call of social union as some this has a broad definition of fighting along with parents, fighting along with civic leaders to democratize education the union that unfortunately dominates, that one in the end had a sort of different version of different types of unionism it was militant in the sense of giving them a better wages and looking conditions but it didn't leave those routes were brought in the unionism or extend it to dealing with the concerns students or the concerns of the laws in the community.
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on certain issues it did but it clearly wasn't part of its broad take command that ran into a lot of trouble with the black and latino community by the 1950's, and of course by 1968 we had this strike that takes place in new york city and the strike hasn't been discard on the 1968 teachers' strike not just as a problem between management and workers and that is a strike that deals with what was going on in the community force attempting to perform education. and that type of unionism unfortunately finds itself in trouble today what is going on in wisconsin the fact that
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people are coming out unfortunately i think for many people many people see public-sector unions as self-serving. even though this attack is going to offer an opportunity for them to sort of challenge that deal. >> i will say briefly because i want to hear from the audience members but, you know, browns fell in the 1968 strike needs more attention to more panels, more conversation, more debate. it's this moment i think from my knowledge of it when we really can see splits between natural allies. when you have good teachers and you have teachers who are respected as professionals you can have quality schools where students have a chance to
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succeed when you have students and parents who are involved in what's happening in the classrooms there can be support for teachers of the can be treated with dignity as professionals and industry to those allies against one another and as the public education and cities throughout the country became black and brown it's been hard over the past four decades it seems for the teachers to form alliances outside of their union ranks to have a conversation about how the two sectors can come together to improve teachers' rights and rebuild and help strengthen communities set with problems on a lot of different sides could be a way to get at some of these issues. >> devotee at something clearly to clearance and brian's interest. as you know, there is a fairly
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large offensive will find it offensive against the teachers unions, the charter school movement, the reform movement was of the teachers' unions like the unions are saying this is in our new and delete the nurses' union or ratio teachers' unions are pushing for better teacher student ratio but that is very hard for them to make the message above the teachers' unions are evil and when you have the governor of wisconsin and ohio and other states basically trying to take away the rights of the teachers' union to negotiate whatsoever and many people are complaining that teachers' unions have great benefits and pensions they don't want to hear the teachers' unions have to say about improving the teacher and student ratio. >> is? >> thank you. two quick comments. i think it's important to note that the federation of teachers unions also represent nurses in the new york city hospitals is a
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nurse service and they brought in a very effectively for them for the teachers the comment fast no longer referred to them as the reformers, they are the farmers and that is an important concept to get out there and that a dialogue about the people are they are like the ford foundation in 1968 string of the pot to destabilize the unions and the workers, but my real question here is to the palin general is what is it going to take to revitalize the labor movement in the united states to turnaround the statistics that you so eloquently diluted to and regard them less than 10% in the private sector and 30% in the public sector and under attack in the public sector because of that. blues is it going to take to revitalize the labor movement?
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>> with one another. it's going to take what the sanitation workers were doing in memphis and 68. it's going to take struggle, it's going to take i think coming together of sectors of our civic life that have seen themselves as polarized for so long. we need strong schools and if you want strong schools you need strong teachers and strong unions for that. that's just something that people -- we have to believe in and fight for and come from the ranks of organized labor and how people organized and we have to see the concerns of those
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neighborhoods and the concerns of the people living there when those are addressed as well as the concerns of labor rights in this in the mass movements can move forward and strengthen labour. beyond the union bread-and-butter issues. >> i agree with brian. it's going to take a grass-roots effort. whether the unions are going to have to go out in the communities and convince people that these attacks on them are attacks on their children, on public education because it is really about public saving public education, and of course it's going to be a tremendous effort among teachers and other unions to short the to convince people because they're the media
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and they've been winning. but nevertheless, i think one thing that the unions have to do is break away from the democratic party. [applause] the democrats have proven themselves not to have the benefit of the unions at heart, and we see this time and time again and until we sort of break that led to and take the strong independent it doesn't seem to me that is going to happen. >> right. i agree, clarence, i think they need to spend that money. they are pouring into electoral politics and organizing the unorganized for one thing. the need to build coalitions not
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just among the unions but among the community and faith based organizations. there needs to be more solidarity among the working class and the middle class than there is today. the other thing is bill haywood used to talk about going down into the gutter and pulling up the great mass of workers and bringing them up that's a concept that seems to have disappeared today, and i think people really do need to go get start organizing the workers and continue to. it's being done and it's been done with some success as a matter of fact and i think that continues. that needs to continue to happen. >> i think brian made an important point in memphis the union affair with of the civil rights movement doing with the labor movement really needed to do to grow to show that it's not just a selfish movement trying to help well-paid white construction workers but it can be a social justice movement,
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workers justice movement and in 1968 in memphis the union movement caught fire and it stumbled in many ways since then. many are not terribly expiring. most union leaders are, you know, old or white gentleman. many unions are not doing nearly enough organizing. the most powerful unions in the nation now or a public-sector union. the two large terse, the official employees except for the service employees and the uaw have gotten pretty weak and are not doing much organizing and some labor relations people say many of the private sector unions have dwindled so much in power and no. it is going to be extremely hard for them to get the wherewithal to do the organizing need to rebound, and one point about -- i am not saying i disagree with you but it still union were to declare
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its independence for the democratic party unless they took 15% of the vote with it, might that just elect rick perry or someone like that. the democratic party it's not clear big money controls a lot nowadays and in politics it sways not just republicans that is why they are not paying much attention to the union members and that's a big issue. i will shut up. next question. the lady in the blue sweater. if we can take a step back and look at how can such rate reshaping the narrative are of the union's in the larger social kind of the dates that are happening and the directions we've been moving in since the 80's but then continuing that
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freedom is the overriding volume that we should embrace as americans with fairness and equality and opportunity and justice that used to also animate the american dream who consider ourselves to be the people we discuss the idea that the unions are seen as being selfish i would just on the subway the other day i overheard some high schoolers who may be the trains council should be protesting in front of construction sites because there is a rat and they're wondering why and they are sitting out, but you know they have the right not to hire the union leaders why don't know why these people are so upset. how can we reshape the messages generally to explain in the larger population who may be were not raised in the union households with this idea in all
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sorts of the era really. and maybe berkeley after the world war ii the successful messages particularly now that we are revealing the mass media where again perhaps individual song writers are not going to be heard. >> quick answer. rick perry has one named liberty and one named freedom to it so if obama named one of his shoes equity and the other fairness maybe that would help. [laughter] >> it's all in the messaging. i think it is in the messaging and i think that public service workers and the unions do need to do a better job of linking their issues to those of the people they serve and the consumers of those services and i think that is what has been missing. that narrative about public service workers are selfish that firefighters and cops and
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teachers somehow or the bogyman. i don't know how that became the preeminent narrative, but it seems to -- one way to resolve that is to get people whose surface is the benefit from to speak up and formalize speaking about that there's just for solidarity not just a slogan but for people in all these walks who benefit from public workers and the need to stand up. >> i don't want to take up too much time. a strong unions are human rights i don't know how we lost that message to read i grew up in a union household. i have health care. i never worried about going to a doctor because my father was a
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transit worker union. we had good housing because we grew up in complexes that were spearheaded by union workers in brooklyn. so much of what we have benefits from working people. so, i think with organized labor and liberals if we could stop being afraid and be on the defensive we have nothing to be afraid of we've nothing to fuel the defense is about. strong unions in the labor movement that increase immigrant that purchased a place where citizens can have access to health care these are things that are signs of a civilized society. so i just wish -- i don't want -- i don't think that we should be defensive anymore. we should be proud to stand for
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these things and put that out there be responsible with as many people as possible even if it is on the subway with high school students we don't know. >> in my book i have a chapter about what i think was a very important in many ways the most successful organizing job in the past decade and the union has about 5300 janitors in houston and they're basically all hispanic many undocumented work part time hardly any of them spoke english they didn't have health care they generally burt 20 hours a week and maybe they made $100 off meeting $8,100 a week and there's this to support their family on that and the speed of dr. king in 68 really turned this into a social justice movement. that is how can we in the united states and the richest nation pay these people $100 house or the supposed to survive?
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how are they supposed to provide health coverage for their kids and their kids get sick or they get sick? and the sciu by using the innovative organizing tactics were able to unionize these janitors and basically won a contract that doubled their pay and got them health coverage and when the unions are really smart and strategic and really played a social justice they can makes use strides. >> i think what it takes going into the communities working on the sort of grass-roots level to do this. i ask my students -- i teach at a school that emphasizes business trying to model with salt and it is probably one of the best public business institutions in the united states, but i ask my students
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because they are majoring in marketing and accounting and so on and so forth how many of you know anything about collective bargaining? none of these students know anything about collective bargaining. they know labor history. there is no legal history at the college. so one way of doing this is we have to find ways of talking about the history of labor and the struggles of labor, with the colleges, high schools, elementary schools and communities which got to find ways of doing that and i think the unions have to take the bull by the horns and do this. >> we have time for one more quick question and one more quick answer. we have three minutes left. this gentleman. >> two things. i think it is a mistake and a
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union worker for 25 years and to have the impression that wisconsin is an electoral ballots at this point we didn't get into how incredible it was, and politicians and labor leaders right now are still trying to catch up to the rank and file for about a month and a half or whatever. that needs to be examined more closely on whether that was led the spontaneous. >> your question please. >> the other part of that you're speaking about the democratic party we need to teach our workers how to model from demigod to demagogue, and i would like to know because the unspoken question of wisconsin also is the same people who put those republicans and others and
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the year before coming yet a year later taking evolutionary steps because we knew we made a mistake which led us to vote for those republicans. the question would be not only taking over the democratic party, it's not only taking over the democratic party but how it is sometimes a tactic you have to go with some democrats in order to defeat those republicans. so, it is a tactic it's not just a holding of a breaking from the democratic party. >> just quickly, i knew this was going to be controversial in the democratic party. and in response, democratic party is going to use this essentially if you don't support us you are going to get one like rick perry and wind up with some
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reactionary but then you are constantly beholden to the party because it really marches on, carrying out essentially the same program republicans have been carrying out. tell me the difference between obama and the secretary of education arne duncan is like pushing more charter schools, how that is clearly different from the governor of new jersey pushing it. in fact the governor of new jersey read about it. he said we are essentially on the same team. how do we address this problem if you don't challenge with the democratic party is doing? half [applause] >> bill's book is on sale downstairs and brian's book will be on sale next year at a bookstore near you. [laughter]
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>> get mine on amazon. i don't know. [applause] >> this event was part of the 2011 brooklyn book festival. for more information, visit brooklynbookfestival.org. when i started to sell my book every person i've worked with i had a rejection letter from, which was kind of cool so you go to a meeting and they're like we love your stuff. on was like what about this? [laughter]
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i want to start by talking about why i wrote the book. and what i hope to accomplish with this book. i wrote the book because our party is certainly a crossroads and there is a division command going forward, i truly believe we have to unite as a matter of fact, i extended on one of my fox interviews today an invitation for karl rove and i to kiss and make up. we can go forward a united party, but i do talk a lot about the cronyism of especially the republican party in delaware, which of those leaders have been ousted, but the reason i bring that up is not to perpetuate it or to ban this blame, but to put it to rest and to say that if that, you know, that crony crowd
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would increase the principal that the grassroots crowd that our party was founded on, not just our party, but our country was founded on, we will be a powerhouse. if we can unite. and i detail some of the things that my campaign has endured and what i went through as a candidate, again, to illustrate a point of what happens when we decide instead of when we unite, and everybody knows it is no secret that the 2010 election, the republican party was divided. but i think that there are some examples to look at coming and i draw the contrast between kentucky and my own race we're in kentucky we have the nrc and senator mitch mcconnell really campaigning against rand paul. he was the worst thing to happen to politics until he won the
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primary. the day after he won the primary, the to, you know, mitch mcconnell and rand paul were are enormous and they were saying that's the past. we've got to move forward to make sure this guy crosses the finish line, and unfortunately that didn't happen in delaware. but it's got to have been in order for us to win 2012, that's the message that i hope that people can take away with them by reading the book. i try to tell the story of how i got involved in politics, and what made me embrace the principles that i did and why i chose to become a republican, and i told it in a way that some political the advisers have said was a little too honest and probably shouldn't have admitted some things, but i did that, again, so that the reader can relate, because it's not about how many mistakes we've made or if we have never fallen, because

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