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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  April 30, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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04/30/18 04/30/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> leader kim said if north korea meets the united states more often, builds trust and promises to end war and nonaggression, what should we have nuclear weapons which make our life difficult? >> we will run a test in his first meeting for evidence that they had made that strategic decision. amy: kim jong-un tells south korean officials he would consider giving up nuclear weapons if washington promises not to attack and commits to ending to the korean war. trump's national security adviser john bolton remains skeptical. we'll get the latest. then we look at the life and legacy of a key figure of black
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liberation theology, reverend dr. james cone. starting in the 1960's, he argued for racial justice and interpreted the christian gospel from the experience of the oppressed. he died saturday at age 79. >> black liberation theology emerged out of the civil rights and black power movements. symbolizing the life and works of martin luther king junior and malcolm x. amy: as the national lynching memorial opens in alabama, we'll also discuss reverend dr. cone's book "the cross and the lynching tree" in which he called the crucifixion of jesus a first century lynching. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. north korean leader kim jong-un
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has pledged to abandon his nuclear weapons if the united states agrees to formally end the korean war and promises not to invade north korea. this announcement comes after a historic meeting friday between kim jong-un and south korean leader moon jae-in at the demilitarized zone between the two countries. during the meeting, which was broadcast live on the korean peninsula and around the world, the two leaders held hands and pledged to work for peace and replace the 1953 armistice with a formal truce. they also joked with each other, with kim jong-un promising he would not wake up moon jae-in any more with early morning missile launches. on sunday, north korea's state media said kim had vowed to immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests, and would dismantle one of its nuclear test sites. we'll have more on the historic diplomatic breakthroughs on the korean peninsula after headlines.
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in afghanistan, a double suicide blast in kabul this morning that killed 29 people, including eight journalists. isis has claimed responsibility. the first blast occurred in central district of kabul which is home to nato headquarters and a number of embassies. as first responders and journalists rushed to the scene, a second attacker disguised as a cameraman detonated a bomb, killing eight journalists and photographers. among the victims was agence france-presse's celebrated photographer shah marai. he has been working with afp in afghanistan for two decades, beginning as a driver for the agency under tell abandon -- taliban rule and working his way up to become afp's chief photographer in kabul. he was the father of six children, including a newborn daughter. the afp global news director called marai's death "a
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devastating blow for the brave staff of our close-knit kabul bureau and the entire agency." last year, marai wrote an essay about his and his family's life in kabul entitled "when hope is gone." in it, he wrote -- "life seems to be even more difficult than under the taliban because of the insecurity. i don't dare to take my children for a walk. i have five and they spend their time cooped up inside the house. i have never felt life to have so little prospects and i don't see a way out." those the words of afp's chief photographer in kabul shah marai, killed this morning along with seven other journalists in a double isis suicide bomb attack that killed at least 29 people. israeli soldiers shot and killed three palestinians on sunday along israel's heavily militarized border with gaza. the killings came after israeli soldiers killed three
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palestinian protesters and wounded hundreds more on friday, when the soldiers and snipers opened fire during the palestinians' weekly nonviolent protest near the gaza border. on saturday, a fourth protesters died after succumbing to his wounds. the nonviolent protests demanding the right for palestinian refugees to return to their land began on march 30. since then, the israeli military has killed at least 42 palestinians, including two journalists, and injured thousands more. no israeli soldiers or civilians have been injured in the nonviolent protests. israel's bloody crackdown has sparked widespread international condemnation. in the latest attack on environmental regulations, trump has -- the trump administration has drafted a proposal to freeze fuel-efficiency automobile standards beginning in 2021. the draft proposal would also challenge california's power to
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establish its own stronger fuel-efficiency rules, setting up the latest potential clash between the state of california and the trump administration. this is the sierra club's executive director michael brune speaking on democracy now! >> right now scott pruitt is cleang on undermining the car standard, which is a standard that is supported by 90% of americans, democrats and republicans, because it cuts air pollution, cuts water pollution and climate pollution, and it saves people money. it makes cars more efficient. it helps people to transition to cleaner vehicles, hybrids, electric vehicles, or simply more fuel-efficient vehicles that reduces our dependence on oil and it makes innovating industries in the auto sector more successful. amy: national security adviser john bolton said president trump has not yet decided whether the u.s. will withdraw from the landmark iran nuclear deal, despite president trump repeatedly threatening to sabotage the agreement.
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this is john bolton speaking on cbs's "face the nation" sunday. >> there are a variety of things that could happen. i don't want to get into a discussion of what the hypotheticals might be, but is under, withdrawal consideration. the president has said this repeatedly. his views on the nuclear deal have been uniform, consistent, and unvarying since the campaign of 2016. and we will see what happens. amy: secretary of state pompeo has also reiterated trump's criticism of the iran nuclear deal. the national rifle association has announced all firearms will be banned from the arena during vice president mike pence address at the nra's annual meeting on friday in dallas, texas. the announcement has sparked widespread cries of hypocrisy. given that the nra has for years opposed regulations banning
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firearms and has championed the claim that good guy with a gun makes people savor. students who survived the valentine's day shooting massacre at the marjory stoneman douglas high school slam the nra cameron tweeting -- even some nra members have criticized the protocol with one self identified nra member writing on a message board "i realize it is the vp, but still makes our whole argument look foolish." atsident trump lashed out the media, democrats, the fbi, and his other enemies at a virulent campaign-style rally in washington township, michigan, on saturday night. he attended the rally instead of the annual white house correspondents association, which he also skipped last year. instead, in michigan, he attacked journalists and the media. pres. trump: in the old days
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when the newspapers used to write them a they put names down. today they say sources have said that president trump -- sources. they never say who the source is. they don't have sources. the sources don't exist in many cases. they don't have sources in the sources in many cases don't exist. these are very dishonest people. many of them. very dishonest people. amy: dr. ronny jackson will not return to his role as white house physician after he withdrew from consideration as veterans affairs secretary amidst a scandal over misconduct claims, including drinking on the job and routinely handing out prescription drugs to west wing staff, creating hostile work environment for his colleagues, and once drunkenly banging on the hotel room door of a female employee during an overseas work trip in 2015 until the secret service intervened, fearful he would wake up
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president obama. navy officer sean conley has taken over the role as white house physician. more than 150 central american migrants have arrived at the u.s. border in tijuana, mexico, where they are petitioning to receive political asylum in the united states. the migrants are part of a transnational caravan that president trump is repeatedly attacked. as the migrants arrived, hundreds of your citizens have offered to welcome members of the caravan to come stay with them if they are allowed to enter the united states and pursue their asylum claims. most of the migrants are from hunter's, where the u.s.-backed president juan orlando hernandez was recently inaugurated for a second term despite allegations of widespread election fraud in the november 26 election. they caravan began with more than 1000 people seeking safety in numbers along the dangerous 2000-mile journey.
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british home secretary amber rudd has resigned amid an escalating scandal over how thousands of caribbean immigrants who have lived in britain for decades are facing discrimination and deportation despite having legally immigrated to britain after world war ii. known as the windrush generation, many of the immigrants never formalized their citizenship after they immigrated from former british colonies. now, following harsh new anti-immigration laws enacted in 2012, many of them are facing eviction, unemployment, and the possibility of deportation. conservative politician sajid javid has been appointed to replace rudd as british home secretary. back in the united states, the arizona education association says teachers are on strike today for a third straight day to protest the $1 billion funding cuts to education in arizona since the 2008 recession.
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thousands of teachers in colorado also rallied in denver on friday to demand better funding for education there. the protests come on the heels of teachers strikes in west virginia, kentucky, and oklahoma. in business news, sprint and t-mobile have agreed to a $26.5 billion merger. if cleared by federal antitrust regulators, the merger would leave only major wireless three carriers in the united states. the two companies tried to merge back in 2014, but abandoned the effort after regulators signaled they would likely reject the deal. experts say the potential merger would likely increase cell phone costs for customers. in new york city, former black panther herman bell has been freed after spending nearly 45 years in prison. he was released friday after a judge rejected efforts by the police labor union, the patrolmen's benevolent association, to keep him from being released on parole.
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bell was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the killing of two new york city police officers in 1971. at the time, he was a member of the black liberation army and a former black panther. since then, he has mentored thousands of young men while behind bars and kept a clean disciplinary record. for years, activists have campaigned for his freedom. following his release, his support crew wrote -- "let us hope that herman's release brings inspiration for more change. herman is deeply humbled and grateful for the broad expressions of trust and support, but out of respect for the feelings of the victims' families, he will not be making any public statements. we welcome him home." and the reverend dr. james cone,
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a longtime professor at union theological seminary here in new york city, dr. cone was the author a series of groundbreaking books, including " black theology & black power," "a black theology of liberation," "martin & malcolm & america: a dream or a nightmare?" and "the cross and the lynching tree." professor cornel west calls dr. cone "the greatest liberation theologian to emerge in the american empire." we'll have more on his life and his legacy later in the broadcast with reverend dr. serene jones, reverend dr. kelly brown douglas, and reverend dr. raphael warnock. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today with news that north korean leader kim jong-un has pledged to abandon his nuclear weapons if the united states agrees to formally end the korean war and promises not to invade his country. this comes after a historic meeting on friday between the
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leaders of north and south korea. during the meeting, which was broadcast live on the korean peninsula and around the world, the two leaders held hands and pledged to work for peace and replace the 1953 armistice with a formal truce. on sunday, north korea's state media said kim had vowed to immediately suspend nuclear and missile tests, and would dismantle its punggye-ri nuclear test site. some analysts say the site has been unusable since a massive test last september caused an earthquake so big that satellites captured images of the mountain above the site actually moving. but a south korean presidential spokesman said that while some facilities are not functioning, others remain in good condition. he also told reporters that kim had called for the united states to meet often with the north. >> leader kim said that if north
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korea meets the united states more often, built on trust and promises to end war and nonaggression, why should we have nuclear weapons which make our life difficult? juan: this comes as president trump has pressed north korea to dismantle its nuclear program ahead of a summit with kim in may or june, and he recently revealed that now-secretary of state mike pompeo made a secret visit to the north korean capital pyongyang over easter weekend. on saturday, supporters chanted "nobel" as trump spoke at a rally in michigan. >> nobel! nobel! nobel! pres. trump: that is for a nice. thank you. that is very nice. nobel. i just want to get the job done. amy: meanwhile, trump's national security adviser john bolton told fox news sunday that trump
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should be cautious about talks with the north korean dictator. he was interviewed by host chris wallace. >> there is nobody in the trump administration starry eyed about what may happen here. but by demonstrating they have made a strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons, it would be possible to move quickly -- again, the libya case demonstrates. >> the north koreans are going to give up everything they've got but in return he was would agree that we are not going to allow any nuclear armed airplanes were nuclear armed ships on the korean peninsula. is that acceptable? >> we certainly have not made that commitment. again, i am looking at the declaration in the context of a series of earlier north-south agreements. >> so you don't agree this is any kind of commitment with the u.s.. >> i don't think it binds the united states, no. amy: for more, we go to washington, d.c., to speak with tim shorrock, correspondent for the nation and the korea center for investigative journalism in seoul.
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he grew up in japan and south korea. his latest piece is headlined, "south and north korea prepare to discuss an end to the korean war, but washington's pundit class seems united against a peace process." welcome back to democracy now! talk about the significance of the north korean leader for the first time amendment ringleader stepped foot in south korea. what took place last week? >> thank you for having me, amy. it was an amazing sight to see kim jong-un step over that border and shake hands with moon jae-in. the only leader of north korea to ever step into south korea. that was a symbolic step, him coming to the south. there are declarations that was just mention. it is quite an amazing document. i urge our listeners to read it carefully. they come out very clearly for
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complete peace process. theyalk about the complete denuclearization. they are committed to denuclearization. they talk about reconnecting the blood relations of the people, determining the destiny of the korean nation on their own accord. they set out very important steps for reconciliation such as setting up a joint liaison office, reconnecting railroads and roads that have been cut off in the past. , you know,toward appease regime that involves the united states and china and settled the korean war once and for all. it is really quite a document. i think the south korean people were very impressed with what kim jong-un said and what other members of the north korean delegation said. and the whole atmosphere of it was very conducive. i note that moon jae-in, the president, his popularity is up
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to 85% now precisely because of this. juan: i want to ask you specifically about the south korean president. all of the media attention here seems to focus on what trump has done or hasn't done, but really, moon was elected in early 2017. could you talk about his own history and why it has been so really boxedhas in, to some extent, president trump on what he can or cannot do, vis-a-vis, north korea? >> we all remember the candlelight revolution, weeks on and millions of koreans into the areets to protest the regime year ago, a year and half ago. it was that movement that brought moon jae-in into power. his election was a snap election because the president was impeached. she was very right-wing, oppressive, repressive, and she
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was very hard line toward north korea. people want peace with north korea. i was in south korea a year ago. i got to see moon jae-in three .imes in campaign appearances i also interviewed him for "the nation" magazine. his dream at the time was to diffuse attention -- the tension between north and south, but really to move toward peace between north korea and the u.s. and settle this nuclear crisis, which was really heightening at the time. he was being accused at the time of being anti-american, which is ridiculous, and he was accused of trying to undermine the u.s.-south korean alliance. what he told me was that if you moved toward peace between the u.s. and north korea and helped do that, that this would be good for the united states and good for trump. that is the gamble he took. that gamble.s won
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it was his diplomacy that got the north koreans into the south during the olympic games. they had very high level then. and afterwards. as a result of those meetings, kim jong-un invited to meet truck to meet with him. that is what set the stage for all of this. i think the huge amount of credit should go to president moon, his government, and the people of south korea who have backed this very, very strongly. amy: i believe president moon said that president trump should win the nobel peace prize or this will stop and we heard on saturday night when trump, again, saying no to attending the white house correspondents dinner, went to another washington, washington, michigan, and people in the nobel."e chanted " >> we shall he. i think the person who might deserve it most would be moon. trump can get a peace
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agreement with kim jong-un and there actually is a permanent peace that is verifiable on both sides, then perhaps he might deserve such an award. but i think there is a lot of negotiations to be done. and while i think, clearly, there are questions about how denuclearization might take place and the whole system of making sure that does happen, verification, and so on, the north koreans, as you mentioned at the top of the news, they have said they will -- there's is no reason of nuclear weapons if the united states vows not to attack them and sides of peace agreement. the real issue also is whether or not the u.s. can drop its decades long hostile policy toward north korea -- which includes nuclear arms pointed at north korea, sanctions of economic embargo, includes attempts to overthrow and have
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regime change in north korea. that is a real issue i think. juan: what about the role of kim jong-un? here's a man who is ridiculed in the american press, mocked -- trump called him little rocket man, yet he has managed to maneuver very skillfully through shoals this country is faced an apparently under the custom of a major diplomatic achievement here. in the beginning of 2017, he gave a speech where he said this year we are going to complete our nuclear force. they went forward and began testing all of these missiles. they had one nuclear test last year. at the end of the year he said, we have completed our nuclear force and we will stop testing. offers when he made the in january to meet with moon jae-in and send a delegation to
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the south. .e has played this craftily he decided he wanted to speak and negotiate with the united states from a position of strength. he does have the weapons. the weapons. interesting thing about his program last year was that they stopped short of actually getting a weapon onto a missile that can enter the atmosphere and hit a target. so they do not have a nuclear armed icbm that can hit the united states at this time. they may be two or three years away from that. so he stopped testing, and that word got to the white house through south korea and through americans who meet from time to time with north korean officials. it was clear that he wanted to talk. i think that his party has made some kind of fundamental decision to kind of shift their focus now to building their
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economy and opening up to the world. i think that is what we are seeing. this is a very young guy. he is 34 years old. he was not as audible for the past agreements and what happened in the past with the u.s. and north korea. he has clearly made a shift away from some of the very, very hard-line rhetoric and statements that were made. i think it is a very interesting time. some of his land which has changed, the way he talks about the u.s. and south korea. when he was in south korea, he spoke to the south korean people on television. people were impressed. he joked about certain things like how bad the roads are in north korea. he acknowledged the fact there are defectors, people leaving north korea. so he is somebody who seems to be of a deal with the reality of the situation and can talk plainly about what needs to be
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done to move forward to a peace process. i think that he really does want to fix and improve the north korean economy, this is the way to do it. amy: let me ask about the in aage -- media coverage, recent article in ""the new york expressedrk landler skepticism that the meeting between the south and north korean leaders could be beneficial to the u.s. concluding -- "the talk of peace is likely to weaken the two levers that mr. trump used to pressure mr. kim to come to the bargaining table. a resumption of regular diplomatic exchanges between the two koreas, analysts said, will inevitably erode the crippling economic sanctions against the north, while mr. trump will find it hard to threaten military action against a country that is extending an olive branch." meanwhile, brookings institution's senior fellow
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michael o'hanlon had this to say on friday. >> president trump is going to have to rein his more ambitious goals and yet still drive a relatively hard-line and not give away too much for interim or partial agreement. the denuclearization idea, however, is a long ways from even getting seriously started because we have heard this kind of talk before. we know that north korea means something else by the concept of denuclearization and we think we hear with our western ears. i haven't seen any realistic discussion of what would be the first ups or any kind of interim deal along the way. amy: tim shorrock, your response to these comments? so many been wrong on things like iraq and afghanistan for so long, i don't know why anyone is listening to him. he is completely wrong. he apparently has not read this panmunjom declaration. let me get back to that "times" piece. quote from that and
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is bad for the u.s. national security because it will prevent trump from taking military action? what kind of talk is that for reporter? he depends on all the establishment, pundits and experts in town, ground them up and makes this analysis. it is amazing to me to see the washington consensus. people here in washington and in the press and in the pundit class, they make fun of north korea for being this totalitarian state where everyone thinks the same in has to do with the desk do what the leader step. the lockstep in washington is similar. they all say the same thing. you can read the same analysis that you just heard from brookings, you just sign "the " and "the new coco
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yorker" -- everyone thinks the same way in this pundit class here in washington. nobody takes korea seriously. south korea and north korea mapped out a procedure, a plan to denuclearize and to decompress and to move toward a piece regime and decrease the tensions. south korea took steps today, for example, that they said they're going to end all hostile acts. one of those acts is these huge speakers that have set up in the into northdcast korea. they are taking these steps one by one to move toward this peace that has been denied to korea for so long. i think american pundit should become you know, applied south korea for taking these steps and applied north korea.
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-- applied north korea. eight months ago saying must denuclearize, say they're going to denuclearize. you see this all over. and all of a sudden they said they're going to denuclearize and headline is, u.s. wary of north korea saying they're going to denuclearize. give it a break. open your eyes. try to understand what is actually happening in north korea and south korea. and the fact is, the united states cannot control korea anymore. the united states has been in korea militarily since 1945. this time to end colonial-like relationship the u.s. has with south korea. amy: tim shorrock, thanks for being with us, correspondent for and the korea center for investigative journalism in seoul. when we come back, we look at the life and legacy of dr. james
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cone. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "feels like rain" by buddy guy. he performed last night along with bobby rush, about to turn 85, for the last night of bb in new york on the legendary jazz venue is closing down. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we spend the rest of the hour looking at the life and legacy of a key figure in black the ration theology reverend dr.
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, james cone. starting in the 1960's, he argued for racial justice and interpreted the christian gospel from the experience of the oppressed. he said he was inspired by reverend dr. martin luther king jr., who gave black theology its christian identity, and malcolm x, who gave black theology its black identity. dr. cone died saturday at age this part of an address he gave 81. in 1971 at the university of richmond. >> there can be no reconciliation. masters -- there can be no communication between the masters and the masters no longer exist as masters, are no longer present as masters. the christian task is to rebel against all masters.
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however, it must be remembered never takesives highly to those who question their authority. they do not like people who disregard their power. they will try to silence them anyway they can. but if we believe our humanity transcends them and is not dependent upon their goodwill, then we can fight against them -- even though it may mean death. juan: that was dr. james cone speaking in 1971. correction, he died at the age of 79. his groundbreaking books include "black theology & black power" published in 1969, "a black theology of liberation" in 1970, "martin & malcolm & america: a dream or a nightmare?" in 1972, "god of the oppressed" in 1975, and "the cross and the lynching tree" in 2011.
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he had also just completed a forthcoming memoir titled, "said i wasn't gonna tell nobody." this is dr. james cone speaking in 2016. were going to write black liberation theology, i do let the suffering of black people speak in and through my theology. my theology came out of the black experience of slavery, segregation, and lynching and not from white american and european theologies that i studied in graduate school. black liberation theology emerged out of the civil rights and black power movements. symbolizing the life and work of martin luther king junior and malcolm x. amy: dr. cone joined the faculty
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of union theological seminary here in new york in 1969. he was named the bill & judith moyers distinguished professor of systematic theology in 2017. through his work and in the classroom he inspired generations of scholars, professors, pastors, and activists to work to dismantle white supremacy, and helped give birth to womanist theology and other liberation theologies. professor cornel west called him "the greatest liberation theologian to emerge in the american empire -- and he never ever sold out." one of dr. cone's students made national headlines during the 2008 presidential election, when then barack obama's pastor, the reverend jeremiah wright, made controversial comments on race and other issues. well, for more, we are joined by three guests. here in new york, the reverend
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dr. serene jones is the president of union theological seminary. as well as dr. kelly brown-douglas, dean of the episcopal divinity school and professor at union theological seminary and a former student of dr. james cone. in atlanta, georgia, we're joined by another former student, reverend dr. raphael warnock. dr. warnock serves as senior pastor of the ebenezer baptist church in atlanta, georgia, which was the spiritual home of dr. martin luther king, jr. we welcome you all to democracy now! our condolences. i want to begin with reverend dr. kelly brown-douglas. you work so closely with dr. cone at union illogical.
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-- theological. you are his student. it is even hard to talk about him in the past tense. talk about his legacy, what he meant to you, and what he meant to this country. >> i think that his legacy is very hard to really quantify because it will be a very long cross that will generations because dr. cone always said that he did not want disciples. he did not want students who would come and simply imitate on thek and simply carry paradigms that he created. he urged as always to find our own voice. and he wanted us to bring our to perspectives, not simply our understanding of god, but to our understanding of the complexity of injustice so that we could understand more, the meaning of god's justice and the work we had to do. he wanted committed students. he opened the space for us to
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indeed find our own theological voice. you wanted students who were committed to the work of work.e, which is god's he always understood that. and gave us a place, first of all, to study at a time where we would not be able to find many places to do our work and to do our theology and to do the theology that meant something to us. he encouraged us to critique his work and a move beyond it. so he opened the space for the emergence of new the elegy, new theological voices. there were many places for black in the earlyork 1970's, etc., when i went to union. he provided us that opportunity. so his legacy moons large
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because he has inspired a generation of black and other liberation theologians. juan: dr. serene jones, you're unionesident of theological seminary. >>'s impact on union is inestimable. imagine a single powerful voice showing up in classrooms and preaching in the pulpit for 50 years. 50 years in one place. he won't walk our halls anymore. his voice won't be heard in our classrooms. it wasn't just any voice. it was the voice of a man whose deep faith was manifest in this forceful, fierce commitment to the liberation of black people and the liberation of people everywhere. that can't be replicated.
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but as dr. douglas said, for replication was for new generation of students to find that commitment, to speaking on behalf of and with an in solidarity beside the oppressed of the world in the face of great injustice. juan: the impact he had on christian the elegy in general in the u.s.? >>'s impact on christian theology, i read 1981 in my first class and seminar, just a few years ago, the first theological book i read in seminary. and here i was reading a man who in a sense since a torpedo right at the heart of the whiteness of christian theology as it had been manifest in churches in the united states since the beginning and supported chattel slavery and jim crow. and he said no. he said god is not white. god is not even know color. god is black. and jesus is black.
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and jesus seeks the empowerment of black people in that the masters need to walk away. amy: i want to go to a minute to jim conte in his own words, "theend dr. cone 2011 book cross and the lynching tree" calling the crucifixion of jesus a first century lynching. i want to turn to dr. james cone being interviewed by bill moyers in 2007. >> the lynching tree interprets the cross. it keeps the cross out of the hands of those are dominant. nobody who is lynching anybody can understand the cross. that is why it is so important to place the cross and the lynching tree together because the cross had a crucifixion, was analogous to a first century
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lynching. in fact, biblical scholars, when they want to describe what was happening to jesus, many of them said it was a lynching. and all i want to suggest is, if american christians said they want to identify with that cross as a lynching. anytime your empathy, your solidarity is with the lynching people, your jennifer with the cross. if you identify with the ledgers, you can't identify -- what resistance means for helpless people. how are in the powerless is not something that we are accustomed to listening to and understanding. it is not a part of our this local experience. america was to think it is going
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to win everything. black people have a history which we did not win. we did not win. resistance is against the odds. that is why we can understand the cross. amy: that is dr. james cone about a decade ago being interviewed by bill moyers on pbs. let's turn to reverend dr. raphael warnock in atlanta, senior pastor of the ebenezer baptist church. he did his phd under dr. cone at union theological seminary. reverend dr. raphael warnock, what black liberation theology is further and what he meant to you. >> thank you so much, amy, it is great to be here with you and with the president of union, my on the monitor, serene jones and kelly brown douglas, who also her doctorate under dr. james cone. all of us are really in the death of his man that was larger
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than life. he really created something for which there were no models for what he did. this black the elegy and liberation comes really from the depth of his experience. james cone was an academic theologian who spoke with the awer and moral authority of profit. the reason he was able to do this was because his thinking was immersed deeply in the suffering and the experience of black people. so black the elegy really can be reduced -- theology really can be reduced to one statement that god is the liberator and that liberation is the central message of the gospel. and any gospel that is not committed to the liberation of the oppressed is a heresy. it is a false gospel. what dr. king did was he really decentered those voices that were at the center of the discourse and took those who were on the margins and made them the center of the discourse.
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he said that in a real sense this is what christian faith is about. we have to remember the context out of which black the elegy emerged. it was their riots or the uprisings, i should say, really indetroit, a new work, here the wake of the death of dr. king, this man who spoke with such love and deep commitment to this idea of liberation. he inspired dr. king -- dr. cone along with malcolm x. dr. cone has inspired us.many of we would not be doing what we do is or not for the incredible impact of his voice on the american religious landscape. amy: we're going to get a break and come back to this discussion. over the weekend, the reverend dr. james cone died. he was considered the father of black liberation theology. we're joined by two of his
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students, dr. kelly brown-douglas and dr. raphael warnock. dr. kelly brown-douglas at union theological was of dr. warnock a senior pastor of ebenezer baptist church. as well as the head of union theological seminary, dr. serene jones. this is democracy now! back on dr. cone in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "nobody knows the trouble i've seen" sung by mahalia jackson. one of reverend dr. james cone's books was titled "the spirituals and the blues: an interpretation." he wrote in his book "no black person could escape the reality they brace. bb king, generally king, mahalia jackson to find my blackness." those the words of the late dr. cone. this is democracy now!
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look at continue our the life and legacy of the founder of black liberation dr. james cone.y future but at the christian gospel from the oppressed. he said he was inspired by dr. martin luther king jr. and malcolm x. dr. cone died saturday at the age of 79. this is dr. cone speaking at the 2012 general conference of the united methodist church. >> i write for those who are penniless and jobless, landless, socialse who have no power. s speak and i write for gay bisexuals, and those who are transgender. thequeer people of this world.
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i write for the undocumented farmworkers toiling in misery in our nation's agriculture fields. i write and speak for muslims who live under the terror of war and empire. i speak and write for all humanity. care about amy: that is dr. cone speaking in 2012. i remember sitting next to him than that michelle alexander gave a major address here in new york, the author of the new jim crow. we continue with our three guests come all linked to union the illogical seminary where he worked, served for half a century. dr. serene jones is president of union theological seminary. dr. kelly brown-douglas, dean of the episcopal divinity school and professor at union
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theological seminary, former student of dr. cone. and in atlanta, georgia, another phd underdent, his dr. cone, dr. raphael warnock. juan: i want to ask dr. raphael warnock about his seminal book black the elegy of black power. it came in the wake of the assassination of martin luther king jr.. and your sense of the impact that that book had in terms of beginning -- also how he was shaped. the detroit riot, of course, he often referred to as a shaper of his own consciousness. thehow his book affected theology, especially black liberation theology, across the country. >> you after miller the context out of which this book emerged. black power was the theme in the moment and there were a number
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of people who were upset about this whole team of black power. in fact, white liberals in a real sense felt betrayed. people were saying this represented violence, that this was a turn in the wrong direction, that somehow black power is the antichrist. dr. cone emerged in that setting. he talks about writing this book in his brother's church. it took about 30 days or so. it was like he was possessed with this deep kind of passion and concern for the humanity of struggles of the not just that moment, but at the last 300 years. so he writes that book out of that context. it comes from the experience of black suffering. he insists that has to be the central place, the point of departure. the any christian theology that does not affirm the he minute he of those on the bottom is not a christian the elegy.
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this book really did shave the whole academic world. it shook the church world. as he said, if you want to know or the message of jesus christ is in 20th century america, it is black power. it is this affirmation of black humanity that says that everything -- in a country that says that everything that is black is a negative. it was taking that which was at the bottom and saying that this is where god is in the world. it is really hard to overstate its impact on the discourse at that moment. juan: dr. kelly brown? >> i can only affirm what dr. warnock said. one must understand that dr. cone could not understand how anyone could be doing any kind of christian theology at that time, this time when black people are simply fighting for
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their dignity, a time when dr. king had been assassinated and you have christian theologians doing theology, not even talking about the black struggle for liberation. he said, how can you be a christian and i do that? not only did you have christian theologian start talking about it, but you had pastors ignoring what was going on. i mean, dr. king said that these pastors were being silent any indicted them for that. his letter from the birmingham jail. that never ended. her dr. cone, this was blasphemous. how can you be a member of a religious tradition with the cross at its center and you not peopleeak of the black who were struggling and fighting just for the human dignity? so for cone, it was urgent.
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he was compelled to say something because not to speak was in fact to betray the very faith with which he grew up. so he knew the faith. his theology did not start in his head. it started from inside of him because he was raised in a church in arkansas. he knew the faith of that church. so what he was articulating for the world and your was the faith of that church in saying that'gods story was the black story. the black story was god's story. if you're one of the christian in america, you need to know the black story because if you don't, then you're not going to know god's story. amy: dr. serene jones, yours is a christian seminary, but dr. cone did not just teach christian students. >> it is interesting to trace his own evolution over time.
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at union now we have a large number of students who come with no religious affiliation. we continue to have students coming out of the christian tradition. and he also has in his classes now buddhists and muslims and a white friday of faith backgrounds. he stepped into that with a great sense of grace and vitality. as he grew, so his own message grew more expansive. as he traveled the world and saw the suffering and impressions of people everywhere in many different faith traditions. his own vision of what faith is justicel guy continues. amy: and the last year was like was under the current president? >> he thought of all the words that cone could use would be the moser is was that he was blasphemous.
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blasphemous and heretical to even claim to stand in anywhere near the christian tradition and justify the horrors that his administration supported. cohen was vehemently outspoken against it and would have been absolutely certain and clear on that point. jonesr. reverend serene with the president of union theological summoner. and to former student, dr. kelly brown-douglas, physical divinity school and professor at union theological seminary and former student reverend dr. raphael warnock serves as senior pastor of the ebenezer baptist church , the spiritual home of dr. martin luther king, jr. reverend dr. james cone has died at the age of 79. he served at union theological seminary for half a century. that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or
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mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by
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