Why did Trump win? Look to post-Cold War politics


A people who were bewildered and enraged,
who felt that they had no place to stand, turned the country over to someone who is
manifestly ill-equipped to serve as president, because they were intent on repudiating the policy consensus that had existed during the post-Cold War period. Now, that’s a phrase I use in the book to
refer to the period, roughly quarter-century, between the end of the Cold War, fall of the
Berlin Wall, 1989, to the election of Donald Trump in 2016. 1989, a moment of enormous euphoria, we believed
we had won, we had triumphed. We believed, in the famous title of the essay
by Francis Fukuyama, that “the end of history” had arrived. And I argue that a policy elite, from that
moment on, set out to exploit what they believed as our great triumph. And their exploitation took the form of some
very specific notions. One of them was globalization, the conviction
that corporate capitalism on a global scale was going to create unprecedented wealth and,
they believed, work to the benefit of everyone. They also believed in a permanently supreme
American military power that could keep order in the planet and bring about the further
advance or export of American values. And operationalizing those ideas, which is
what the post-Cold War presidents — Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama — did, led to results
quite other than those expected. Globalization did make
some people really, really rich. And it also created economic inequality that
we have never seen in our nation, at least never seen since the end of the 19th century. It left behind millions and millions of Americans. And this notion of American military supremacy
as enabling us to keep order and to export our values, well, all it did was to plunge
us into a series of wars, some of which we don’t have any idea how to end. So, I think what happened — there are lots
of explanations for how Trump got elected. The earlier discussion of ads on Facebook,
I’m sure, played a role. But my argument would be that the central
explanation for Trump’s victory, that the election was a repudiation. It was Americans who were not served, and
indeed were hurt, by the post-Cold War consensus saying, “No, we’re not going to put up
with this anymore.” Unfortunately, that led to the election of
somebody who is utterly incapable of correcting the mistakes of the post-Cold War period,
reuniting the country and putting us on a more sensible course, hence the continuation
of this crisis, which will last throughout the Trump years and, in all likelihood, will
last beyond the Trump years.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales Resigns


>>A military coup has occurred in Bolivia
forcing its President, Evo Morales, to step down. Now, he is urging individuals to resist this
military coup, but there had been violence that he felt the need to stop. And he felt the only way to stop it was to
step down. Now, there is reason to believe that this
military coup has the United States written all over it and I’ll tell you why in just
a moment. But first, let me just note that Morales was
Bolivia’s first indigenous President. He was re-elected last month for his fourth
term and you had an organization get involved and argue that there was fraud in this election. Even though there was absolutely no evidence
whatsoever to indicate that there was any type of rigging or any type of fraud. The Organization of American States, also
known as OAS, made this claim. And it’s important to note that this is mostly
funded by the United States. Now, before I get into more details about
what occurred in Bolivia, I do wanna go to this next video. Mark Weisbrod is from the Center for Economic
and Policy Research. And he gives you some sense of what the OAS
is and what type of US interest played a role in this military coup. Take a look.>>Well this is a military coup. There is no doubt about it now, after the
head of the military told the president and vice president to resign and then they did. And I think it’s really terrible the way it’s
been presented, because from the beginning, you had that OAS press release the day after
the election, which hinted. Or implied actually, very strongly, that there
was something wrong with the vote count. And they never presented any evidence at all. They didn’t present it in that release. They didn’t present it in their next release. They didn’t present it in their preliminary
report. And there’s really nothing in this latest
so-called preliminary audit, that shows that there was any fraud in this election. But it was repeated over and over again in
all the media. And so it became of true and if you look at
the media you don’t see anybody. You don’t see any experts for example, saying
that there was something wrong with the vote count. It’s really just that OAS observation mission,
which was under a lot of pressure, of course, from Senator Rubio. And the Trump administration to do this because
they wanted for some time to get rid of this government.>>So Evo Morales was well-liked by Nicolas
Maduro, by Lula da Silva from Brazil. He was part of the Pink Tide Movement in Latin
American countries where leftists really took over with an economic populist message.>>And Morales was able to lift nearly 20%
of Bolivians out of poverty.>>They hate that.>>And they hate that. That is the reason why you have people like
Donald Trump and Marco Rubio, targeting Latin American leaders like Evo Morales. Now, I wanna know, Morales wasn’t perfect,
okay? So, I don’t want this to be a one-sided story. This was a military coup. I disagree with it. again, it has the United States written all
over it and it’s wrong.>>But one of the things that some liberals
in America keep latching on to is what happened with term limits in Bolivia. Now, back in 2009, there were term limits. You could only get reelected one more time. You can serve two terms. But Evo Morales is actually worked with the
Constitutional Court to do away with that term limit. And so he got reelected for the fourth time. And that’s when you have the OAS get involved,
and essentially, do this military coup to push him out. Now, I’m gonna give you more details in just
a minute. But Jake, do you want to jump in?>>Yeah, so two things about that. Look, I’m not a big fan of that either, but
now let’s give you context. First of all, so their Constitutional Court
is our Supreme Court. So, there was a guy named Powell who wound
up becoming justice Powell, who wrote a memo for the Chamber of Commerce when he was a
lawyer for them say. We should take over the Supreme Court and
other institutions in America. So Nixon eventually saw that memo, said, well
I like this guy letting big corporations take over the Supreme Court. And literally put Powell on the Supreme Court. And so he packed the court with his favorites. And eventually the court said yes, corporations
can give unlimited money to politicians, which allowed corporations to buy all of our government. So you’re telling me, Latin America is corrupt? Well, our republicans stacked the court so
that corporations can buy our entire government wholesale, but it’s not just that. How about term limits? Well, New York has a term limit on mayors. But when Bloomberg didn’t like it, he was
like, yeah? I’m gonna run for a third term. What are you gonna do about it? But nobody ever called him a dictator. And in fact, the mainstream media kiss his
ass day in and day out, including today, right? Like, Bloomberg. Maybe you should be president. Maybe you should be president. He’s got a real chance here, right? But when Evo Morales does the same exact thing,
dictatorial, tyrannical, right? So then be honest and be objective. Are they both tyrannical and will you call
Mike Bloomberg tyrannical from here on out? If not, what are your standards, okay? The New York Times story on this was an embarrassment.>>It was 100%, 100%, but luckily, there are
independent media sources that have done good reporting on this. And Democracy now happens to be one of them. And so I wanna go to one more clip from Democracy
Now. Again, this is Mark Weisbrod. He’s from the Center for Economic and Policy
Research and he gives more detail into the OAS and how its funded.>>In terms of the Trump administration, you
can look at the tweets. And statements from Marco Rubio right before
the votes were even counted saying that there was gonna be fraud. And making clear that they didn’t want this
government to be there. And so yeah, I think that it’s very obvious
that they support this coup. And it’s very obvious that they pressured
the OAS, where the United States supplies 60% of the budget. And this is the problem. The media treats this OAS as though it’s really
an independent arbiter here and they do have electoral missions. And most of the time they’re clean but they
are not always. And in Haiti, in 2011, for example, they reversed
the results of a first round presidential election without any statistical test, recount
or any reason. It was completely political.>>So he’s right. This is mostly funded by the United States. You have Donald Trump which he attempted a
coup in Venezuela earlier which we’ve talked about on this show. And now it appears that there was a successful
military coup in another country where you have a leftist leader that they do not like. And keep in mind, Evo Morales, the profits
from oil in Bolivia, he made sure that it went back to his people, or the commodities. Any profits from the commodities went back
to the people. And that is exactly what people like Marco
Rubio and Donald Trump absolutely despise. Now, there have been some good politicians
in America who have spoken out against this. And one of those politicians is Bernie Sanders. He said via Twitter. I’m concerned about what appears to be a coup
in Bolivia where the military, after weeks of political unrest, intervened to remove
President Evo Morales. The US must call for an end to violence and
support Bolivia’s democratic institutions. Morales was democratically elected. Unless there is actual evidence to indicate
otherwise, this is unacceptable. This was a military coup. And look, it is, I guess consistent with how
republicans feel about election meddling, because they allowed Russia to meddle in our
elections. Why not go off and meddle in other countries’
elections as well?>>So, Weiss made another great point. He said, look, when there was this slight
irregularity where the vote counting was paused for a while in the middle of the election. And so Morales needs ten points to avoid a
runoff. But when they stopped the vote counting, he
already had a big lead. And the rest of the counties were more indigenous
areas where he does great. So the trend, after they started counting
the vote again, was the same as the one before they started county. And the OAS has no evidence. It has shown no evidence of actual voting
irregularities. I’d like to note that here in America in the
year 2000, we stopped vote counting. And it turns out Al Gore would’ve won the
state of Florida. He should have been president. But our corrupt Supreme Court said no, I don’t
care what the votes are. I’m gonna stop the vote counting. You wanna talk about a voting irregularity? And I’m going to just declare Bush the president. So that is way more corrupt. Okay, now do I like that they stopped the
vote in the middle? No. Does that give me pause? Yes. This reminds me of who said in one particular
vote, a cat walked into an electric socket or something. And knocked out the electricity in nine different
cities. Okay, so I treat that with great skepticism. But here, in the case of Venezuela, there
actually were voting irregularities, okay? And I’m very concerned about the elections
in Venezuela. But here, you have no evidence of voting irregularities.>>No evidence, and Morales offered to do
the election again. Right, he offered that but it’s not about
the election. It’s not about supposed irregularities. It’s about pushing him out and that’s exactly
what they got.>>And guys, in Venezuela they said voting
irregularities. Here they see the same thing, even though
they have no evidence of that. Then they said in Venezuela, well look, he
destroyed the economy and everybody’s suffering. But Evo Morales lifted the economy up. And he lifted a ton of people, a huge percentage
of the country out in power poverty. So they don’t have that excuse, but it doesn’t
matter. They go to the same playbook anyway, cuz he’s
like, it reminds me of The Big Lebowski. We want the oil any way, Lebowski, right? And so in this case, it’s natural gas more
than anything else. But, the reason I say the New York Times did
an embarrassing piece here is cuz Weisbrod gives you, for example, context. And is fair about it. He say OAS most of the time is honest, but
it has these issues. Did you notice what he said about Rubio? That he tweeted about voting irregularities
before they happen. Before the so-called irregularities happen. Okay, that is that the bare minimum, something
you should look into verify. And if that is really true, makes you go hm,
I wonder what Rubio knew about the so-called irregularities that were gonna happen. I am not saying definitively that Rubio’s
part of some planet or something. But if you’re a real reporter, you’d look
at that. If you’re a real reporter you would note that
the military demanded that he step down. And Morales is calling it a coup, and so is
his vice president. And so are all the so many different people
who resigned from his government. You would give that context. Now, they do know that Morales called it a
coup and so did his vice president. But they don’t explain when the military says
you must step down that is by definition a coup. Instead, almost all the mainstream media is
reporting well, hey look irregularities and Morales is a bad guy. And if you’re thinking wow I can’t believe
New York Times is doing that. When we did all the other coups in the 1960s
70s and all in that era, one of the first things the CIA, they would do two things. You go read any history on this, okay? Number one, they would do fake agitation in
the streets. They would rile up people. And then they would start paying off cops
and military and say, my god, it’s untenable. Somebody has to do something about this. And the second thing they would do is they
would go to our press, New York Times included. Time Magazine was notorious for this back
in the day. And they would say now write that he is a
bad guy. He is a Communist and if we don’t do something
about it he’s gonna endanger America. Full well-known, it isn’t true and a lot
of the mainstream media played along with that. So now I think they’re better today, but
this was not a shining example of it.>>And one final thing that I do have to mention,
again, Morales was the country’s first indigenous president. Prior to him, the country was ruled by a small
group of elite who were descendants of European countries. Now, there is a component of this that is
clearly racist. And Glenn Greenwald tweeted a video which,
why don’t we bring that video up now and I’m gonna read Glenn’s tweet as we watch it. Bolivian police cutting the indigenous flag,
which had been Bolivia’s second official flag, off their uniforms. This coup is literally the opposite of restoring
democracy, which is how it’s being depicted in Western press. It’s violent, racist, imperial, christian
fanaticism. It’s disgusting.>>Yeah, now why do you cut the indigenous
flag off if this isn’t about race and this is about so-called voting irregularities? Or does that look a little organized to you
from forces who never wanted the Bolivian people lifted up? Who just wanted more profit from the natural
resources of Bolivia. This is a story as old as time, as old as
America and the Americas. And how we have, unfortunately, oppressed
so much of these two continents North America and South America. And if you wanna cry about that cuz you’re
a Republican, my god, you’re telling people the truth. And that doesn’t play well for America. How can you guys do that? Well, that’s a sad day for you. We do the news here. So if you want a pretty little story about
how America is always the golden hero, rising on a white horse that saves the day, go to
Fox News. Go to get your propaganda somewhere else,
or sometimes go to the New York Times. But we don’t do that here, we give you the
full context. And by the way, doesn’t mean that every leftist
government is wonderful. We told you several instances of things that
concern us, cuz if you’re a real progressive, you want democracy no matter who’s in charge. But this coup had nothing to do with a democracy. It was the exact opposite.

Debate: Is Trump-Putin Summit a “Danger to America” or Crucial Diplomacy Between Nuclear Powers?


AMY GOODMAN: Here on Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org,
the war and peace report. I’m Amy Goodman. President Trump holding a summit with Russian
President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, today, beginning with a one-on-one, 90-minute
meeting, only their translators attending the meeting with them. Putin kept Trump waiting for the summit by
landing in Finland about an hour late. This morning, Trump and Putin made a statement
at a photo op before their private meeting in which Trump said he and Putin would discuss
China, trade and nuclear weapons. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think we have great
opportunities together as two countries, that, frankly, we have not been getting along very
well for the last number of years. I’ve been here not too long, but it’s
getting close to two years. But I think we will end up having an extraordinary
relationship. I hope so. I’ve been saying—and I’m sure you’ve
heard—over the years, and as I campaigned, that getting along with Russia is a good thing,
not a bad thing. … And I really think the world wants to
see us get along. We are the two great nuclear powers. We have 90 percent of the nuclear. And that’s not a good thing, it’s a bad
thing. And I think we hopefully can do something
about that, because it’s not a positive force, it’s a negative force. So we’ll be talking about that, among other
things. AMY GOODMAN: President Trump faces pressure
to confront Putin over Kremlin meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, after
a grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for their alleged role in hacking
email accounts controlled by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s
campaign. Before today’s meeting, Trump tweeted he
blamed poor relations between the U.S. and Russia on Justice Department’s probe, writing,
“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness
and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” Trump also tweeted, “President Obama thought
[that] Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI
about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn’t happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about
it.” In an interview at Trump’s golf course in
Turnberry, Scotland, that aired Sunday, he told CBS [Evening News] anchor Jeff Glor what
he expects from his meeting with Putin. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I go in with very
low expectations. I think that getting along with Russia is
a good thing, but it’s possible we won’t. I think we’re greatly hampered by this whole
witch hunt that’s going on in the United States, the Russian witch hunt. JEFF GLOR: The Russians who were indicted,
would you ask Putin to—to send them here? PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I might. I hadn’t thought of that, but I certainly—I’ll
be asking about it. But, again, this was during the Obama administration. They were doing whatever it was during the
Obama administration. AMY GOODMAN: For more, we are hosting a debate. In Washington, D.C., we’re joined right
now by Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, author
of Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late and Bomb Scare: The
History and Future of Nuclear Weapons, his recent Defense One article headlined “A
No-Cost, No-Brainer of a Nuclear Deal.” Joining us from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Glenn
Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, one of the founding editors of The Intercept,
recently returned from a trip from Russia, where he met with NSA whistleblower Edward
Snowden. He tweeted a photo of them together with a
caption reading “So excited to reunite today with one of this generation’s greatest whistleblowers
and my colleague in defense of press freedoms, Edward Snowden.” We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Joe Cirincione, you’re deeply concerned
about nuclear weapons, about the nuclear arms race. Do you think this meeting, this summit that
Trump has called in Helsinki, is a good thing? JOE CIRINCIONE: No, I do not. This is a danger to America and to the West. This is without precedent in modern American
history. We have never had an American leader that
was this weak, this obsequious towards a murdering tyrant like Vladimir Putin. Both of these gentlemen have terrible records
on freedom of the press, on encouraging a participation in the rule of their countries. There is one good thing, and only one good
thing, that I could see that could come out of this meeting, and that is the extension
of the New START agreement, the agreement that limits U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear
forces. We’ve been limiting these forces since Richard
Nixon agreed to do so in 1972. This deal expires in 2021. If those limits come off, we will not only
be in an arms race, which we now are, but we will be in an arms race without guide rails,
without limits, without any kind of structured talks to limit the arms race. That is the only good thing that could come
out of this summit. AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, good or bad,
the summit? And what do you want to see come out of this? GLENN GREENWALD: I think it’s excellent. And I would just cite two historical examples. In 2007, during the Democratic presidential
debate, Barack Obama was asked whether he would meet with the leaders of North Korea,
Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and Iran without preconditions. He said he would. Hillary Clinton said she wouldn’t, because
it would be used as a propaganda tool for repressive dictators. And liberals celebrated Obama. It was one of his greatest moments and one
of the things that I think helped him to win the Democratic nomination, based on the theory
that it’s always better to meet with leaders, even if they’re repressive, than to isolate
them or to ignore them. In 1987, when President Reagan decided that
he wanted to meet with Soviet leaders, the far right took out ads against him that sounded
very much just like what we just heard from Joe, accusing him of being a useful idiot
to Soviet and Kremlin propaganda, of legitimizing Russian aggression and domestic repression
at home. It is true that Putin is an authoritarian
and is domestically repressive. That’s true of many of the closest allies
of the United States, as well, who are even far more repressive, including ones that fund
most of the think tanks in D.C., such as the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. And I think the most important issue is the
one that we just heard, which is that 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons are in the
hands of two countries—the United States and Russia—and having them speak and get
along is much better than having them isolate one another and increase the risk of not just
intentional conflict, but misperception and miscommunication, as well. AMY GOODMAN: Joe Cirincione, your response? Your banner says “Ploughshares Fund: Building
a Future Free of Nuclear Threats.” Why not support a conversation between the
people who are in control of, well, essentially, the nuclear trigger in the world? JOE CIRINCIONE: Right. Let’s be clear. Glenn, there’s nothing wrong with meeting. I agree with you. Leaders should meet, and we should be negotiating
with our foes, with those people we disagree with. We’re better off when we do that. And the kind of attacks you saw on Barack
Obama were absolutely uncalled for, and you’re right to condemn those. What I’m worried about is this president
meeting with this leader of Russia and what they’re going to do. That’s what’s so wrong about this summit
coming now, when you have Donald Trump, who just attacked the NATO alliance, who calls
our European allies foes, who turns a blind eye to what his director of national intelligence
called the warning lights that are blinking red. About what? About Russian interference in our elections. So you just had a leader of Russia, Putin,
a skilled tactician, a skilled strategist, interfere in a U.S. election. To what? To help elect Donald Trump. And you now have Donald Trump coming to meet
with him, which is essentially a staff meeting for Vladimir Putin. To do what? To excuse all this behavior, to deride America
for the bad relations between Russia and the United States. He’s airbrushing away everything that Putin
has done over the last five years, from shooting down a Malaysian airliner, MH17, to murdering
people in the U.K., to cyberinterference in the U.S. democracy, to his murderous assault
in Syria. He’s just excusing all that away. For what? For what gain? The only thing we can get out of this is the
extension of New START, but we don’t need a summit to do that. Vladimir Putin offered to do that in his very
first phone call, in February 2017, with Donald Trump. Donald Trump didn’t know what he was talking
about. He had to put the phone on hold, according
to staff members who were there, ask his staff what this treaty was, and then he got back
on the line and blasted the treaty as being one-sided, “another Obama giveaway,” he
said. Yes, extend New START. But the price of the other—what’s going
on here, that what we might get out of this, this excusing of Vladimir Putin’s behavior,
what many people think is the greatest threat to American democracy in decades? No, it’s not worth the cost. AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, your response? GLENN GREENWALD: So, I mean, I think this
kind of rhetoric is so unbelievably unhinged, the idea that the phishing links sent to John
Podesta and the Democratic National Committee are the greatest threat to American democracy
in decades. People are now talking about it as though
it’s on par with 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, that the lights are blinking red, in terms of the
threat level. This is lunacy, this kind of talk. I spent years reading through the most top-secret
documents of the NSA, and I can tell you that not only do they send phishing links to Russian
agencies of every type continuously on a daily basis, but do far more aggressive interference
in the cybersecurity of every single country than Russia is accused of having done during
the 2016 election. To characterize this as some kind of grave
existential threat to American democracy is exactly the kind of rhetoric that we heard
throughout the Bush-Cheney administration about what al-Qaeda was like. And I would just remind everybody, as well,
that if you look at Russia’s—at the United States’s Russia policy during the administration
of Barack Obama—look at what he did and said. In 2012, he mocked the idea, spread by Mitt
Romney, that Russia was our greatest existential foe. Yes, that was before Crimea, but it was after
Georgia. It was after they were accused of murdering
dissidents and imprisoning journalists. He mocked that idea and said we have all kinds
of reasons to try and get along with Russia. Even after 2016, after Crimea, after he was
told that the Russians interfered in the U.S. election, he didn’t talk about it as 9/11
or treat it like 9/11. He expelled a few Russian diplomats and urged
everybody to keep it in perspective, and said that Russia is the seventh- or eighth-largest
economy in the world, behind even Italy, and not a grave threat to the United States. This kind of talk, this kind of climate, it’s
amazing. Joe’s work is something I vehemently support,
which is eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons. Yes, it’d be great if we had better leaders,
but the leaders of the countries that have 90 percent of the nuclear stockpile happen
to be Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. That’s not going to change. So the question is not “Do we wish we had
better leaders?” The question is “Do we want these two countries
trying to talk and resolve their differences peacefully, or do we want them isolating one
another and feeling besieged and belligerent and attacked, which heightens all the tensions
that Joe has devoted his career to combating?” And I think it’s much better to have the
kind of dialogue that Barack Obama advocated with Russia than the kind of belligerence
that Democrats now demand of our government. AMY GOODMAN: Joe Cirincione, do you find it
unusual that you are—you know, you share the same views right now, for example, as
Dan Coats? When the—as the Russian indictments were
coming down, the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats raised the alarm on growing cyberattack
threats, saying the situation is at a critical point, coming out forcefully against Russia. This is President Trump’s national intelligence
director. He said, “The warning signs are there. The system is blinking. It is why I believe we are at a critical point.” Joe? JOE CIRINCIONE: Yeah. Well, let me say where I agree with Glenn. I agreement that many Democrats are trying
to get to the right of Donald Trump on lots of issues—for example, on North Korea. And you see them trying to out-macho Donald
Trump, and that is dangerous. And, of course, I support dialogue. I think the only solution to a lot of these
issues, whether it’s nuclear arms control or Syria or the Korean Peninsula, is diplomacy. There are no military solutions to these issues. What worries me here is not just what Russia
is doing, not just its cyberattacks, not just its efforts to splinter the NATO alliance. What worries me is that Trump is cooperating
with these, that we’re not fighting back, that in the almost two years, as the president
points out, that he’s been in office, he has not once taken a step to counter the cyberattacks
that Russia perpetuates on a—to quote the director of national intelligence—a daily
basis on the United States. He’s not doing anything. He’s opening the doors. And that’s what worries me about this meeting. It’s not quite—and I—it’s not Neville
Chamberlain in Munich appeasing Hitler, but it’s on that spectrum. You have the leader of the country going in
an obsequious posture towards Putin, excusing everything he’s doing, basically brushing
it away, saying, “It’s OK. I don’t care about your attacks. Your attacks on electoral process, it’s
OK with me. I agree with you that European Union is a
threat,” these kinds of things. That’s what’s so worrying. Glenn is right: Russia alone is a small country,
economy about the size of Italy, less organized than Italy’s economy. It’s strong on a periphery. It’s not a global threat. But this stuff? This cyberwarfare? This is a threat to us, and it’s only going
to get worse, unless we fight back, unless we take the kinds of steps we need to protect
our country. President Trump is not only not doing that,
he’s actively cooperating with Putin to promote these kinds of attacks on democracies
all over the world. AMY GOODMAN: So, Glenn, right now President
Trump has, you know, repeated what President Putin says, that he denies that he was doing
any cyberattacks on the United States, but at the same time Trump blames the Democratic
Party, says they should have protected—you know, that the DNC and the DCCC should have
protected their cyberspace more. GLENN GREENWALD: Well, first of all, you know,
in terms of what Joe just said, it’s really not true that the U.S. is doing nothing about
the threat posed to cyberwarfare. We spend $70 billion every year on the intelligence
budget, a large portion of which is spent by the NSA on how to fortify computer systems
and to prevent those kinds of attacks. You know, it is true that if you see what
the Russians allegedly did in 2016 as some kind of 9/11-style attack on the U.S., that
does get pinned on President Obama. He was the president at the time, which means
he allowed it to happen on his watch, that kind of an attack. And he also had six months in office where
he did very little in response, except expel a few diplomats and impose some sanctions,
because he didn’t treat it like some grave attack on American democracy, but it’s the
kind of thing that these two countries have been doing to one another for decades. And I agree with him completely. And let me just say, I do not think that—this
idea that if you meet with a leader, it means that you’re legitimizing all of their abuses. I mean, again, look at Washington. Joe just worked for and just left ThinkProgress,
which is affiliated with the Center for American Progress, that takes money from one of the
most repressive regimes on the planet, the United Arab Emirates. And when he left, he cited that kind of money
drowning Washington as a reason. We deal with regimes all the time that are
incredibly repressive. The United States government is often repressive. We destroyed Iraq. We set up a worldwide torture regime. We still have a prison in Guantánamo where
people have been imprisoned for 17 years on an island with no trial. We have to deal with other countries who violate
human rights. Our own governments deal with human rights—abuse
human rights. And I think to look at dialogue with other
countries as legitimizing human rights is the kind of rhetoric that the right used for
seven decades to delegitimize attempts to reach peaceful negotiations with the Soviet
Union. And that is what I worry about. I actually think that Joe and I are largely
in agreement on most of these questions, with the exception of how to look at what happened
in 2016. And I think it’s time that we move past
2016, fortify our computer systems, try and of course have cyberdefenses, like we’re
already doing, but instead of looking at the world through the 2016 election, look at it
through The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock, that is now at two minutes
before midnight, the worst rating since 1953 for the threat to humanity, largely because
of the threat of nuclear weapons, along with climate change, that is in the hands of these
two countries. And let’s hope for more and more and more
dialogue between Russia and the United States, and move away from the rhetoric that says
it’s treasonous or dangerous for us to meet and talk and have dialogue. AMY GOODMAN: So, Joe, that point, that you
are not condoning your opponent when you have a meeting? JOE CIRINCIONE: No, not necessarily. But Donald Trump is, with this meeting. He is praising Vladimir Putin. I actually think the protesters in Finland
have this just about right. Both of these men are dangerous. Both of these men oppress basic human rights,
basic freedoms. Both of them think the press are the enemy
of the people. Putin goes further: He kills journalists. He has them assassinated on the streets of
Moscow. Donald Trump does not go that far yet. But I think what Putin is doing is using the
president of the United States to project his rule, to increase his power, to carry
out his agenda in Syria, with Europe, etc., and that Trump is acquiescing to that, for
reasons that are not yet clear. There is a very mysterious and suspicious
relationship that Trump has with Putin. He has never attacked him. This is the guy that just undermined the Conservative
prime minister of the United Kingdom. This is the guy that refused to sign the statement
of the G7. But he has never once criticized Putin for
anything. What’s going on there? I wish Glenn would use some of his investigative
powers to find out what the real story is. What does Putin have on Trump? That’s what worries me. In the course of this— GLENN GREENWALD: Amy, can I address that? Can I address that? JOE CIRINCIONE: —can they just—yes, please. AMY GOODMAN: Yes. JOE CIRINCIONE: This is my final statement. In the course of this, can we get an arms
control agreement that can at least extend New START? Yes. Do I expect either one of these guys to seriously
disarm, to seriously reduce their about 6,000 nuclear weapons that each side has? No, I do not. I think both of these men think of these things
as instruments of great power status and are not going to shed them without tremendous
global pressure to do so. AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, do you think
Putin has something on Trump? GLENN GREENWALD: No, I mean, I’ll believe
that when I see evidence for it. So let me just make two points. Number one is, if you look at President Obama
versus President Trump, there’s no question that President Obama was more cooperative
with and collaborative with Russia and the Russian agenda than President Trump. President Trump has sent lethal arms to Ukraine—a
crucial issue for Putin—which President Obama refused to do. President Trump has bombed the Assad forces
in Syria, a client state of Putin, something that Obama refused to do because he didn’t
want to provoke Putin. Trump has expelled more Russian diplomats
and sanctioned more Russian oligarchs than [Obama] has. Trump undid the Iran deal, which Russia favored,
while Obama worked with Russia in order to do the Iran deal. So this idea that Trump is some kind of a
puppet of Putin, that he controls him with blackmail, is the kind of stuff that you believe
if you read too many Tom Clancy novels, but isn’t borne out by the facts. The other issue that I want to make is that,
you know, again, this idea that somehow that you are endorsing the repression of other
countries’ leaders if you meet with them—it is true that Trump has never criticized Putin,
although he has taken all the steps I just outlined against Putin. But he’s also never criticized Benjamin
Netanyahu. He’s also never criticized the incredibly
repressive leaders of Saudi Arabia. He’s never criticized the fascist president
of the Philippines. It is true President Trump likes fascist and
authoritarian leaders, and that is a problem, but it’s not like Putin is the only leader
that he doesn’t criticize. But what he has been consistent about for
a long time—and this is something that Joe himself recently said, that I agree with completely—is
that a lot of these international institutions that are supposed to be off limits from criticism,
like free trade organizations, the World Trade Organization, NATO, the EU, have devastated
the working-class populations of multiple countries. And if we want to understand why we have a
Donald Trump and why we have a resurgent “alt-right” throughout Europe and why we have Brexit,
we need to start asking questions about whether or not these institutions, that have been
so sacred for so long, are actually ones that are serving the interest of our country. And until we figure out how to solve the root
causes that have given rise to Trumpism and to fascist extremism in Europe and in the
country I live in, Brazil, which is that these institutions are destroying the economic future
of tens of millions and hundreds of millions of people in order to benefit the rich, we’re
just going to have more Trumps, no matter how much we kick our feet and call him names. And that, I think is the issue that is most
being ignored by all of this rhetoric. AMY GOODMAN: Listen, we have to go to break. It’s really hard to do that, but we’re
going to break for 30 seconds. And when we come back—Glenn, you just got
back from Russia. There are a number of Democrats—I’m not
just talking Republicans, mainly Democrats—who are saying Trump should have done what Obama
did, and that’s cancel this meeting with Putin once the indictments came out. And they’re citing the precedent of Obama
in 2013 when Putin gave Edward Snowden political asylum. Obama canceled their meeting. You just came back from visiting Snowden. I’d like to ask you about that and also
get Joe Cirincione’s view. This is Democracy Now! Our guests are Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
Glenn Greenwald and Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund. Stay with us. [break] AMY GOODMAN: “Police State” by Pussy Riot,
who protested President Putin this weekend at the World Cup. Massive protests in Helsinki, as there were
throughout Europe, with President Trump coming. Also at his struggling Turnberry golf course
in Scotland, the protests were there, with a paraglider saying Trump is below par, flying
over Trump as he was outside at his golf course. This is Democracy Now!, as we host a debate
between Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund, president of the Ploughshares Fund,
and Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, one of the co-founders of The
Intercept. Now, in past years, Joe and Glenn would probably
not be debating in fierce combat over an issue. It is fascinating to see the realliances that
are taking place right now. Now, Glenn, this issue of Democrats calling
on Trump to have canceled the summit, which is already underway, saying Obama canceled
a summit with Putin in 2013 when he gave Edward Snowden political asylum in Moscow. You just came back from visiting Ed Snowden. Can you talk about what’s happening with
Ed Snowden right now? The focus of the Helsinki protests, one of
the main themes, with these 300 billboards, was freedom of the press. What do you want to happen? I don’t think you would share President
Trump’s views on Ed Snowden. GLENN GREENWALD: No, nor did I share President
Obama’s views on Edward Snowden. He wanted to put Edward Snowden in prison
for many decades and actually took down the plane of a sovereign president of a country,
Bolivia, because he thought, mistakenly, that Edward Snowden might be on that plane. You know, and I just want to say, I mean,
I really admire Joe still. I support most of his work, and I think we
are in agreement on most issues, though there is an interesting realignment taking place
that I think deserves a lot more attention. But let me just say this about the press freedom,
because Joe brought it up, as well. You know, a lot of times when people talk
about Trump’s attacks on press freedom, they talk about his rhetoric, his mean tweets
about Wolf Blitzer and Chuck Todd, and his criticisms of the media. I don’t think that those are meaningful
attacks on press freedom. I think what are meaningful attacks on press
freedom are investigations into the work that journalists do with sources, in the attempt
to imprison sources for giving journalists information that belong in the public domain. We at The Intercept have had two of our alleged
sources the subject of investigations by the Justice Department, including one of whom
who is now in prison. And my colleague Jim Risen, who the Obama
administration threatened with prison for many years, wrote an op-ed in The New York
Times after Trump was elected, saying if Trump ends up being able to attack press freedom,
it will be because—due to the infrastructure that Obama created, this obsession with investigating
and prosecuting and imprisoning sources, like my source, Edward Snowden, under the espionage
statutes. And, of course, the Obama Justice Department
prosecuted more sources under the espionage statute—in fact, three times as many—than
all previous administrations combined. That, to me, is a real threat to press freedom,
not some insults on Twitter, that Donald Trump is now taking advantage of. And so, yeah, the idea of canceling a summit
between two nuclear-armed powers because Putin gave asylum to somebody who was a source for
Pulitzer Prize-winning exposés that people all around the world view as heroic and important,
I think, was insanity also and shows that the roots of the attacks of press freedom
that we now see from Donald Trump have their origins in the Obama administration, just
as Jim Risen said. AMY GOODMAN: And the Snowden refugees, as
The Guardian talks about them, those that harbored, that sheltered Ed Snowden to protect
him in Hong Kong before he made his way out of the country, now facing possible return
to Sri Lanka? They’re appealing that decision. Very briefly. We only have a minute. GLENN GREENWALD: Yeah, I mean, it’s a terrible
humanitarian story. I hope people pay attention to it. They deserve asylum, not because of the random
connection they had to Snowden, though they did hide him and house him during the time
he was hiding in Hong Kong, but because they’re refugees who face serious threats if they’re
returned home. And civilized countries grant asylum to people
who face persecution. Whether it’s Edward Snowden or the refugees
that are at the border now in the South of the United States or these refugees in Hong
Kong, they deserve protection. AMY GOODMAN: Joe Cirincione, as we wrap up—and
we’re going to continue this discussion in Part 2, so folks should not go away—but
your thoughts on Ed Snowden? Should he be allowed to come back to this
country? Do you hail him as a whistleblower? JOE CIRINCIONE: This is outside my area. I mean, I admire some of the things that these
whistleblowers have done in disclosing the kind of surveillance that our own government
is conducting on us and the kinds of techniques they’re doing in secret. I believe we do need more sunshine on these. But I also believe that WikiLeaks was clearly
used by Russian military and intelligence sources, directed by Vladimir Putin, to disrupt
the 2016 election and help elect a president of the United States that is probably the
worst president we’ve ever had in our lives, and may lead us down a path of self-isolation
from the world and weaken our national security. So, yes, I think WikiLeaks played an insidious
role in that. I don’t know whether they knew who they
were dealing with, but that has—we’ve got to talk about that. And we have to understand that sometimes our
anger at our own government in the things that we do— AMY GOODMAN: Glenn, five seconds? JOE CIRINCIONE: —can lead us down a very
dangerous path. AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re going to have to
leave it there, but we’re not going to leave it out. We’re going to—go to democracynow.org
for the rest of this discussion. I want to thank Glenn Greenwald, as well as
Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshares Fund. Thanks for joining us.

Mark Zuckerberg’s former mentor speaks out against Facebook: “The law does not protect you”


So talk about when you started to get disillusioned. It took place in two phases, Amy. The first part of it was I got disillusioned
with Silicon Valley. Beginning around 2010, with the financing
of Spotify, and then going on to Airbnb, Uber, Lyft and then Juul, I started to see companies
that were clearly the best of what Silicon Valley had to offer but whose essential being
violated my values. That Airbnb and Uber and Lyft were really
about breaking the law. That they basically said, “The law doesn’t
apply to us.” Spotify was about essentially profiting at
the expense of musicians. Juul of course was about addicting young people
to nicotine. And I just said, “I can keep investing other
people’s money if I’m not willing to invest in the best stuff coming out of my community.” So I decided it was time for me to retire. And when I made the decision in 2012, my fund
still had a few years to run, so I had to wait until it ended. It ended at the end of 2015. And then immediately, January of 2016, in
the context of the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, I saw hate speech being circulated
from Facebook groups that were notionally associated with the Bernie Sanders campaign. And it was obvious that Bernie had nothing
to do with it, but the thing that was also obvious was that the hate speech was spreading
so virally that someone had to be spending money to get my friends into these groups. And that really disturbed me. Then I saw civil rights violations relative
to Black Lives Matter taking place using the advertising tools of Facebook. But the clincher for me came in June of 2016
with the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom. That was the first time that I realized, “Oh
my god. The same advertising tools that make Facebook
so useful for a marketer can be used to undermine democracy in an election.” That was when I started looking for allies,
and I couldn’t find any. Eventually, I was given an opportunity to
write an opinion piece for the Recode tech blog to raise my concerns. And before I got finished with it, in early
October the U.S. government announced the Russians were interfering in the election. And at that point, I scrambled to finish the
draft and I sent it to Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. I mean, they were my friends. I had been their mentor. And I was really worried that something about
the culture, the business model and the algorithms of Facebook was allowing bad actors to harm
innocent people. And I couldn’t believe that they would do—that
Facebook would do this on purpose. And so I went to warn them nine days before
the presidential election. And unfortunately, they treated it like a
PR problem, not like a business issue. And they were nice enough in the sense that
they had one of their colleagues work with me for three months to let me try to lay out
my case. So between basically the end of October of
2016 and February of 2017, I was begging Facebook to do what Johnson & Johnson did after the
Tylenol poisoning in Chicago in 1982. The CEO dropped everything. He withdrew every bottle of Tylenol from every
retail shelf until they invented tamperproof packaging. And I thought Facebook should do something
like that, should work with the government to find out everything the Russians were doing,
to find out every other way the platform was being abused either to violate civil rights
or to undermine democracy. But for whatever reason, they just—maybe
I was the wrong messenger, maybe something about the way I delivered the message didn’t
work but they didn’t take it seriously. And I realized I was faced with a choice. I was so proud of that company and I had been
so closely involved, but I felt like I knew something I had to share with everybody. That I couldn’t just sit back and be retired
and let it go by. And so I decided to become an activist, which
is something I never anticipated doing. And I’ve spent essentially the last three
years every day doing nothing but trying to make the world aware of the dark side of internet
platforms like Facebook, like Google and to help people both protect themselves but to
protect their children, to protect democracy and to protect the economy. Let me go to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
speaking during a press call last year during which he dismissed claims Facebook ignored
Russia’s election meddling or undermined investigations. I have said many times before that we were
too slow to spot Russian interference, too slow to [inaudible] and too slow to get on
top of it. And we’ve certainly stumbled along the way. But to suggest that we weren’t interested
in knowing the truth or that we wanted to hide what we knew or that we tried to prevent
investigations is simply untrue. Your response to that? I think in Mark’s mind, he is doing the
right thing. But here’s where the problem comes in, Amy. Mark believes that the mission of connecting
the whole world on one seamless, frictionless platform is the most important thing anybody
can do on earth, and it justifies any means necessary to get there. I am sure in his own mind they felt like they
have been open with people, but the reality is quite different. Facebook is designed to be opaque. Google is designed to be opaque. And in a sense, they work together, because
Google manages all of the infrastructure behind digital advertising, and so they play a role
in that whole ecosystem that allows companies like Facebook to prevent anyone from inspecting
what is going on. The truth is, they had to know before the
election that there was something really wrong, because I’m sure I was not the only one
who brought it to their attention. But at the end of the day, their view of the
world is that they should just connect everybody and not be responsible for the consequences. What they told me was they said, “Roger,
the law says we’re a platform, not a media company. We’re not responsible for what third parties
do.” And I said, “Mark, Sheryl, this is a trust
business. The law doesn’t protect you if your users
believe that you’re undermining democracy, if they believe that you’re harming civil
rights, if you’re harming public health, if you’re harming privacy. There is no protection against that.” And that is what we’re seeing today. The issue that I run into is that in 2016,
I am willing to accept that maybe they didn’t pick up the right signals. God knows I didn’t. But once they were informed, once people like
me, once President Obama went to Mark, there was no excuse. And they have clearly spent the entire time
since then trying to use misdirection to keep us from seeing what really happened there—denying,
deflecting and delaying any kind of investigation. If they were really sincere about this, they
would have shown us every ad the Trump campaign showed on the platform. They would have shown everything that the
Russians did. They would have given us all of the billing
records. They would have done all of that kind of stuff. But they quite clearly haven’t done that. And it goes way beyond just elections, right? You have terrorism in Christchurch, New Zealand. You have ethnic cleansing in the Asian country
of Myanmar. You have hate speech around the world. You have mass killings in the United States. All of these things were enabled by internet
platforms like Facebook. And they did not go out of their way to cause
them to happen, but they never put in place any safety nets, any firewalls, anything to
protect users from the bad actors who are empowered by the way the algorithms and the
culture and the business model of Facebook work.

Charles Ferguson on Nixon: “He didn’t have to do any of this stuff”


Well, the scandal began with the discovery
and arrest of five men in business suits carrying a great deal of cash and a lot of electronics
in the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee on June 17, 1972. But the investigation, initially, of that
burglary and bugging operation turned into an investigation both by law enforcement and,
very importantly, by two journalists, two young crime reporters at The Washington Post
— turned into an investigation of what became, what was unveiled to be, a far wider effort
on the part of the Nixon administration to undermine the Democratic Party and Nixon’s
Democratic opponents in the 1972 election. Now, let’s talk about this, because that
1972 election, he won by a landslide. This was by no means a squeaker. That’s absolutely true. And most people agree that, in fact, he didn’t
have to do any of this stuff in order to win. But he did it anyway. Paranoid. Yes. He was — Richard Nixon was an angry, troubled
man. And he saw enemies everywhere, including where
they didn’t really exist. So, explain what the Watergate break-in was. Well, the break-in had been ordered and authorized
by the former attorney general of the United States, John Mitchell, who had resigned as
attorney general in order to manage Nixon’s re-election campaign. Called? Yes, a very ironic name: the Committee to
Re-elect the President, abbreviated as CREEP. Yes, one couldn’t make that up. So, he’s CREEP’s chief. Yes. And he and several other high-level people
at the Committee to Re-elect the President, acting under constant pressure from Nixon
and his chief aides, started a wide-ranging campaign to investigate and undermine the
Democrats. And, in fact, there were multiple operations,
some managed through the White House, some managed by personal friends of Nixon, some
managed by the re-election campaign, to do many different things. There were infiltrators who were secretly
reporting on what Democratic candidates were doing. Nixon’s strongest potential rival in the
election was Maine Senator Edmund Muskie. Muskie’s driver was secretly on the payroll
of the Nixon campaign and copied and reported documents, records, plans, etc. And there were dozens of such operations,
dozens of them, many of which were eventually revealed after the burglars were caught in
June of 1972. And how does this relate to the Bay of Pigs? Well, the burglars were primarily Cuban Americans who had been recruited by a couple of former CIA agents who had worked with them in regard to the Bay of Pigs and other operations against Castro’s Cuba. And the burglars, in fact, were extremely
honorable, patriotic men who thought that they were doing something for their country
and for their president, and didn’t understand exactly why they had been ordered to do these
things.

Voters Reject Republican Candidates as New “Autopsy” Report Finds the Democratic Party in Crisis


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,
The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And I’m Juan González. Welcome to all of our listeners and viewers
around the country and around the world. We turn now to the outcome of Tuesday’s
elections around the United States, where Democrats made big gains as voters turned
against the Republican Party one year after Donald Trump was elected president. In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy defeated
Kim Guadagno in the race to replace the deeply unpopular Republican Governor Chris Christie. In Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam defeated
Republican Ed Gillespie in a gubernatorial race that was widely seen as a referendum
on President Trump’s policies. Northam addressed his supporters Tuesday night. GOV.-ELECT RALPH NORTHAM: We are back by popular
demand. Virginia, we have witnessed yet another Democratic
sweep today. … You know, it was said that the eyes of
the nation are now on the commonwealth. Today, Virginians have answered and have spoken. Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness,
that we will not condone hatred and bigotry, and to end the politics that have torn this
country apart. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: In response to the defeat
of Republicans, Trump tweeted, quote, “Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace
me or what I stand for.” Northam’s acceptance speech was briefly
interrupted by immigration rights activists, who protested Northam’s pledge to sign a
ban on sanctuary cities as governor. The protest prompted a security official to
rush Northam off the stage. In Maine, voters approved an expansion of
Medicaid for low-income adults, defying Republican Governor Paul LePage and lending support to
the Affordable Care Act. In Ohio, voters rejected a measure that would
have forced pharmaceutical companies to reduce the price of prescription drugs, after Big
Pharma outspent its opponents by a three-to-one margin. In Washington state, Democrats have flipped
the state Senate and will take control of the entire Washington state government. AMY GOODMAN: Here in New York, voters rejected
a convention to rewrite the state’s constitution. And in New York City, incumbent Mayor Bill
de Blasio won a second term in office in a landslide election. In Philadelphia, civil rights attorney Larry
Krasner has been elected district attorney. Krasner, a longtime opponent of capital punishment
who opposes police stop-and-frisk policies, has represented protesters with Black Lives
Matter, ACT UP, Occupy Philadelphia and other progressive groups. This is Krasner at his victory party on Tuesday
night. DISTRICT ATTORNEY-ELECT LARRY KRASNER: This
is a mandate for a movement that is loudly telling government what it wants. And what it wants is criminal justice reform
in ways that require transformational change within the Philadelphia District Attorney’s
Office. … This is a movement that says we are not
just voters, we are the bosses, who pay the taxes that fund the salaries of the city workers. And we have every right to expect that we
will get what we just told you we want, which is transformational change in criminal justice
and in this District Attorney’s Office. AMY GOODMAN: The Minneapolis City Council
made history Tuesday night as voters elected the city’s first transgender councilmember,
making Andrea Jenkins the first transgender woman of color elected to public office in
the nation. And in Virginia’s Prince William County,
Democrat journalist Danica Roem is set to become the nation’s first openly transgender
state lawmaker, after she was elected to represent the 13th District of Virginia’s House of
Delegates. This is Roem speaking with a reporter after
she won. DELEGATE-ELECT DANICA ROEM: On the trans part
there, yeah, I am a transgender woman. We won because I am a transgender woman, because
I am a reporter, because I am a lifelong resident of Manassas, because of my inherent identifiers,
not despite them. I never ran away from them. I champion them. And because of that, yeah, Prince William
County is now more inclusive than it was before this election. AMY GOODMAN: With her victory, Danica Roem
will unseat 73-year-old 13-term incumbent Republican Bob Marshall, who’s repeatedly
called himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe.” Marshall authored an unsuccessful “bathroom
bill” that would have prohibited transgender people from using public restrooms matching
their gender identity. For more, we’re joined by Norman Solomon,
co-author of the new report, “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis.” He is co-founder of the online activist group
RootsAction.org, author of many books, including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits
Keep Spinning Us to Death. Before we talk about your report, Norm, let’s
talk about the elections that just took place. Do you see this as a referendum on Donald
Trump? NORMAN SOLOMON: Well, certainly he’s back
on his heels, and it’s always good when the proponents of bigotry and racism and xenophobia
are defeated. So, in that sense, certainly, we had a good
night last night. And yet, a very steep climb ahead, with so
much power vested in the right-wing corporate America and the military throughout government
agencies and the federal government, as well as most state governments. AMY GOODMAN: Juan, you’ve been closely following
these elections all over the country. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, some—I think some
of the interesting things—and, Norm, you may agree on this. First of all, in the—the Washington state
result, where now Democrats are in control of both houses as well as the governor’s
chair, means that the entire West Coast of the United States—Washington state, Oregon
and California—are all probably the bluest sections of the country, in that they all
have Democratic governors and Democratic legislatures. And also, in New York City, apparently, not
just Bill de Blasio’s 40-point victory in the city, but also in the suburbs, Westchester
County and Nassau County, both now have Democratic county executives where they previously had
Republican ones. So it seems to be that some of the blue areas
of the country are becoming even bluer, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the country
necessarily is shifting that much. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on
that. NORMAN SOLOMON: Right. Well, what happened in Washington state means
that now seven states, out of 50, have total Democratic Party control over the governorship
and the legislatures. But at the same time, we have fully half of
the states—so we’re talking 25, 26—where Republicans control every branch of government. And I think that’s an indicator of just
how many gains have been made by an extremist right-wing party, which Noam Chomsky correctly
calls the most dangerous criminal organization in the history of the world. That’s where we are right now. And unfortunately, the Democratic Party has
not been able to put together the mobilization of the base in a way that can counteract that
kind of very vile corporate, militarist force that we have. As a matter of fact, we have a situation where
in the last nine years—and this is particularly important because it spanned the entire Obama
administration—there were 1,000 state legislative seats lost by Democrats to Republicans. And that tells us something about the overall
effect of the corporate policies that have been pursued from the top of the Democratic
Party. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Norm, let’s get into
your book, “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis.” What are some of the key issues that you raise
in that book? NORMAN SOLOMON: Yes, well, this special report,
which we had a task force assigned for several months to work on, I co-coordinated with Karen
Bernal, who’s the chair of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party. And our findings were particularly, I think,
striking, in that last year the Democratic Party, in the general election campaign, pursued
priorities and policies that have remained in place to this moment. And most strikingly, perhaps, it’s to disrespect
and defund approaches and outreach towards the base—young people, people of color and
the working class overall. And rather than put the messaging, the policy,
their priorities, the funding and outreach, the advertising towards that base, which is
the future of the party and the future, I might say, of human progress, in terms of
decency, human rights, environmental protection and peace, the top of the Democratic Party,
last year and this, has continued to fund enormously expensive pursuit of what are called
the persuadables—Republican, often suburban, voters who voted for Romney in 2012. And according to the Clinton mythology last
year, and continuing from the Democratic National Committee, somehow they’re going to be dissuaded
from voting for the Republican Party now. And that is a dead-end, a very dangerous one. And it’s actually a major reason why we
have Donald Trump in the White House today. AMY GOODMAN: One of the issues that was raised
across the country, that their top issue was healthcare. And something unusual happened in Maine, voters
approving an expansion of Medicaid for low-income adults, defying the Republican governor, Paul
LePage—an early supporter of Donald Trump—also lending support to the Affordable Care Act. But, Norm, this whole issue of healthcare,
of single-payer healthcare, of Obamacare, and how significant it is? NORMAN SOLOMON: Yeah, it’s crucial, and
it goes to the underlying, broad question of: Who is the government to serve? Will it serve Wall Street or Main Street? And the mythology that keeps being propagated
by so many pundits and the top of the Democratic Party is that the party needs to “move to
the center,” quote-unquote, which is code for saying that Wall Street and the big donors
should determine policy, which very much means—and you have people who were in the Democratic
Party leadership, like Dick Gephardt, who have been spending years preventing single
payer, to the best of their ability, from even getting on the top of the congressional
agenda. And I think this goes to the question of:
What does it mean to have progressive populism? And if we’re going to have a meaningful
social change movement that can exercise great muscle inside and outside the electoral arena,
then we need to redefine what it means to have progressive politics. You know, there are many people in the Democratic
Party, officials, who call themselves progressive. But there’s an insurance company that calls
itself Progressive. That doesn’t mean much of anything. And what we need today, I think—and I’m
very happy that the “Autopsy” report has been getting such a strong response, including
a cover story in the current issue of The Nation magazine—what we need now is a conscious
effort, with the Tuesday elections behind us, to transform the Democratic Party, to
do that from the bottom up. I was just watching on MSNBC this morning
Donna Brazile, the former interim chair of the DNC, with, of course, her now blockbuster
book out, telling the national audience—she said, quote, “I like what Tom Perez is doing,”
unquote, referring to the chair of the DNC. Well, progressives should not like what Tom
Perez is doing. He engineered the purge of more progressives
out of the DNC apparatus in a meeting in Las Vegas, a national meeting, a couple of weeks
ago. There’s a conscious effort to maintain the
corporate control over the power. We can stop that. I think an uprising and a groundswell can
transform this party to achieve the two goals that are spelled out in our “autopsy.” And by the way, anybody can download it—it’s
not copyrighted; make any use of it you want—at DemocraticAutopsy.org. The first goal is to fight the right—the
xenophobes, the racists, the misogynists, the Trump Republican Party. We’ve got to roll them back. We’ve got to defeat them. And the other goal is to advance progressive
agendas. And we’re told constantly by the mass media
that those are in contradiction: “You’ve got to moderate your message in order to defeat
the Republicans.” On the contrary, we’ve seen what happens
when you send across a Wall Street moderate message, a conciliatory so-called centrist
message. We saw what happened to Hillary Clinton when
she tried to do that. We’ve got Trump in the White House as a
result. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Norm, I wanted to ask you—you
mentioned Donna Brazile and her recent statements about the unethical agreements that were made
between the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Of course, Donna Brazile is a mainstream—a
centrist Democrat, and yet she’s suddenly now diming out her own DNC. Could you talk about that and your reaction
to it? NORMAN SOLOMON: Yes. Well, what we have with this whole kerfuffle,
this major uproar about Donna Brazile’s book and so forth, is a falling out among
corporate Democrats. Some of it’s personality. Some of it is, OK, since Clinton lost the
presidential race, then there needs to be some second-guessing, that’s almost inevitable. I should say that three days before her explosive
exposé, excerpt from her book, appeared in Politico, from Brazile’s book, we issued
our “autopsy.” And one of the sections is titled “Democracy
and the Party.” It was written by a member of the “Autopsy”
task force, Pia Gallegos, who is a civil rights attorney based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And we spelled out the gist. I mean the loss, the suffering from—of democracy,
the wounds to democracy of a thousand cuts that have continued to be implemented by the
Democratic National Committee. And in writing that section, Pia really detailed
the way in which the Hillary Victory Fund and the really reprehensible shenanigans with
the financial agreements were implemented. So, we were glad to have that in the “autopsy.” Three days later, with some details, some
gory details, about those deaths of a thousand cuts of democracy in terms of funding, came
out from Donna Brazile. But what does it all boil down to? It’s a falling out among people who are
basically on the same agenda, the same corporate page, to have Wall Street—you know, it’s
like serving two masters, but the real master is Wall Street, and then their appeals to
the base voters when election time comes around. So I would just sum up and say, yes, Donna
Brazile provided some useful information; no, she’s really not an ally of progressives. AMY GOODMAN: Well, let’s go to Donna Brazile
speaking on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos to respond to the criticisms
she made in her book, Hacks. DONNA BRAZILE: I wasn’t a staff person. I did not work for the Hillary Clinton campaign. I was not on their daily strategy calls. I had nothing to do with their data analytics. I was the chair of the Democratic National
Committee. I was concerned about the entire party, not
just the presidential, but the senatorial, congressional and all of the other candidates. GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: From the sound of it,
it sounds like you had a pretty dysfunctional relationship with the high command in Hillary’s
campaign. You even talk about telling them at some point,
“I’m not Patsy the slave”? DONNA BRAZILE: Oh, George, let me tell you
something. I could not control the—the purse string
of the Democratic Party. And I had to figure out what the—what was
going on within the party that the chair of the party—and remember, I wasn’t just
the chair, I’m also a vice chair. I was an officer for eight years, eight years
under President Obama. I knew what was going on within the party. I become chair, and I’m trying to write
a check for something. I raised the the money, and they’re like,
“You’ve got to get the sign-off from Brooklyn.” I said, “Brooklyn?” This wasn’t a standard joint fundraising
agreement. They had a separate memorandum of understanding. And I needed to break that, but in order to
break it, I would cause a great commotion. AMY GOODMAN: And this is Massachusetts Democratic
Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking to Jake Tapper on CNN, who made a plea to the current
DNC chair, Tom Perez. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: This is a test for Tom Perez. And either he’s going to succeed, by bringing
Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders’ representatives into this process, and they’re going to
say, “It’s fair, it works, we all believe it,” or he’s going to fail. And I very much hope he succeeds. I hope for Democrats everywhere, I hope for
Bernie and for all of Bernie’s supporters, that he’s going to succeed. JAKE TAPPER: Very quickly, Senator, do you
agree with the notion that it was rigged? SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: Yes. AMY GOODMAN: So that’s Elizabeth Warren
saying that the election, the Democratic part of it, was rigged. So, Norman Solomon, your report, “Autopsy:
The Democratic Party in Crisis,” along with this book, extremely significant, but now,
with the Democratic victories around the country, how will you push it forward? NORMAN SOLOMON: We’re going to push it forward
by launching a national campaign tomorrow through RootsAction.org, which has now 1.3
million active people online, most of them living in either congressional districts and/or
states, for that matter, with a Democrat in the Senate or the House representing them. So, we’re going to be urging, starting tomorrow,
those 1 million-plus people to email or otherwise contact their Democrats in Congress to urge
that they read fully this “autopsy” and then get back to the constituent, so we can
get a dialogue and a public discussion going. We’re going to do that for the House starting
tomorrow. We’re going to do that for the Senate next
week. Already, the organization Progressive Democrats
of America has endorsed the “autopsy.” They’re going to reach out to their membership
likewise. Now that the elections are over from yesterday,
we’re reaching out to many other groups, who were preoccupied with Virginia. And also we’re going to be going to literally
thousands and thousands of legislative people around the country, people holding state legislative
seats who are Democrats, likewise to say, “Here’s the report. You can read it. Let’s talk about it.” So, this is an “autopsy” not to just be
a report, but to be a catalyst and a tool and a nonviolent weapon, if you will, to help
organize to transform the Democratic Party, because, as Elizabeth Warren, I think, was
alluding to, this is a test for the leadership, among other things, of the Democratic National
Committee. And frankly, so far, it has not passed the
test. It continues to flunk. Karen Bernal from the Progressive Caucus of
the California Democratic Party and I had a meeting at the DNC headquarters last Thursday
afternoon—by coincidence, just after Brazile’s Politico exposé had been published. And we met with Will Hailer, who is a senior
adviser to Tom Perez. And Karen sent him a letter afterwards with
six specific questions to Chairman Perez, very pointed questions, gave him politely
’til Thanksgiving to answer those questions about whether he’s serious about democratizing
and having an even-handed DNC and Democratic Party. And we’re going to up the ante if he does
not respond appropriately. AMY GOODMAN: [Keith Ellison] is the deputy
head of the Democratic National Committee. Do you feel that Keith Ellison makes a difference? Though he lost to Perez, he is really his
deputy now at the DNC. NORMAN SOLOMON: Yes. Well, and Will Hailer, who we met with, came
in with Ellison, a longtime Ellison aide before that. Frankly, just between you and me, Keith Ellison
is boxed at the DNC. As you noted, he lost. He ran a good race to be chair. He lost to Perez. And he couldn’t say no when he was invited
to be a deputy. But it brought him inside the tent. And that put some limits on him in terms of
being able to strongly critique what the DNC is doing. It’s illustrative that after the Brazile
stuff broke last week, you had Tom Perez issue just a double-talk statement, basically doubling
down and justifying the unjustifiable, this sweetheart financial deal between the Clinton
campaign and the DNC. And at the same time, Perez said he was going
to be even-handed. Well, in federal court, two months after Perez
became chair, a lawyer for the DNC said that the DNC has a legal right, despite its charter
requirement to be even-handed during the nomination process—asserted that the DNC has a legal
right, if it wanted to, to choose the nominee in a smoke-filled back room. That was under Perez’s chairmanship, chairpersonship. So, we’ve got Ellison in a particular role. He’s doing the best he can. But it’s the grassroots that has to do pressure. It’s the grassroots that has to organize
effectively. And I would say to people who dismiss the
Democratic Party: How are you going to defeat the Republicans next year? How are you going to prevent there being a
Republican speaker or a Republican majority leader? The only way to do that, the only feet-on-the-ground,
eyes-on-the-horizon way to do that is to organize effectively and, in the best sense of the
term, progressives take over the Democratic Party. AMY GOODMAN: Norman Solomon, co-author of
the new report, “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis,” co-founder of the online
activist group RootsAction.org. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, more explosive revelations
from the Paradise Papers. Stay with us.

Noam Chomsky on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Spectacular” Victory & Growing Split in Democratic Party


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,
The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we turn back to my interview
with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky, now at the University
of Arizona, Tucson. AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to the upcoming midterm
elections and the increasing number of Democratic Socialist candidates running, who raise the
issue of immigration as one of the top issues. I recently sat down with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
the New York Democratic congressional candidate, whose recent primary victory upended the 10-term
incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, who was being talked
about as the next House speaker to succeed Pelosi. And I began by asking her how she achieved
her staggering primary victory. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: I do think that
the way that we won in New York 14 is a model for how we can win almost anywhere. I knew from the outset that—you know, I
had no misconceptions of the fact that the New York political machine was not going to
be doing me any favors. And so I didn’t—I tried to kind of come
in as clear-eyed as possible. And I knew that if we were going to win, the
way that progressives win on an unapologetic message is by expanding the electorate. That’s the only way that we can win strategically. It’s not by rushing to the center. It’s not by trying to win spending all of
our energy winning over those who have other opinions. It’s by expanding the electorate, speaking
to those that feel disenchanted, dejected, cynical about our politics, and letting them
know that we’re fighting for them. So I knew that I had to build a broad-based
coalition that operates outside of the traditional Democratic establishment, and that I had to
pursue kind of an uphill journey of convincing activists that electoral politics is worthwhile. AMY GOODMAN: And the issues you ran on? ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: And the issues I
ran on were very clear, and I think it was an important part to us winning: improved
and expanded Medicare for all; tuition-free public colleges and universities, as well
as trade schools; a Green New Deal; justice for Puerto Rico; an unapologetic platform
of criminal justice reform and ending the war on drugs; and also speaking truth to power
and speaking about money in politics not just in general, but how it operates in New York
City. AMY GOODMAN: In a moment, I’m going to play
her clip talking about immigration activism. Yes, Alexandria Cortez—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
went to the border right before Election Day. In fact, her plane was delayed. I was concerned she wouldn’t be back in
New York for the Primary Day. But if you could start by responding to this? And then we’ll hear what she has to say
about immigration activism. NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, I think there’s—her
victory was a quite spectacular and significant event. I think what it points to is a split in the
Democratic Party between the—roughly speaking, between the popular base and the party managers. The popular base is increasingly, essentially,
social democratic, following, pursuing the—concerned with the kinds of progressive objectives that
she outlined in those—in her remarks, which should be directed not only to expanding the
electorate but to the general working-class, poor population of the world, of the middle-class
population of the country, for whom these ideals are quite significant. They can be brought to that. That’s one part of the party. The other part of the party is the donor-oriented,
managerial part of the New Democrats, so-called, the Clintonite Democrats, who are pretty much
what used to be called moderate Republicans. The Republican Party itself has drifted so
far to the right that they’re almost off the spectrum. But the split within the Democratic Party
is significant, and it’s showing up in primary after primary. Will the party move in the direction of its
popular base, with a, essentially, social democratic, New Deal-style programs, even
beyond? Or will it continue to cater to the donor
class and be essentially a moderate wing—a more moderate wing of the Republican Party? And unless that issue is resolved, I don’t
think they have a very good chance in the forthcoming elections. I think she was right in saying that the policies
she’s outlined should have broad appeal to a very large segment of the population. We should bear in mind that, for now almost
40 years, since the neoliberal assault began, taking off with Reagan, on from there, a large
majority of the population are living in conditions of stagnation or decline. Real wages are—for, say, male real wages—are
about what they were in the 1960s. It’s been—there has been productivity
growth. Hasn’t gone to working people. It’s gone into the very few extremely overstuffed
pockets. And that continues. So, the Labor Department just came out with
its report for wages in the year ending May 2018. Now, they actually slightly declined. All sorts of talk—real wages, that is, wages
measured against inflation. And it’s apparently continuing, with an
even further drop. This is a time when a lot of crowing about
the marvelous economy, you know, full employment and so on, but wages continue to stagnate. And furthermore, it’s plainly going to get
worse. The Republicans are on a binge of pursuing
the most savage form of class warfare. The tax scam is a good example, the attacks
on workers’ rights, on—Public Citizen just came out with a report on corporate impunity,
which is almost comical when you read it. The administration has simply cut back radically
on any kind of dealing with corporate crimes. And, of course, the EPA has practically stopped
working. It’s as if grab whatever you can, stuff
it in your pocket, before—while you have a chance. Under those conditions, the kind of appeal
that she was talking about should mean a lot to the general population. Notice, as everybody’s well aware, the tax
scam was a purposeful effort not only to enrich the super-rich and the corporate sector—corporate
profits, of course, are overflowing—but it was also an effort to sharply increase
the deficit, which can be used—and Paul Ryan and others kindly announced to us right
away what the plans were—the deficit could be used to undermine any elements of government
structure which benefit the general population—Medicare, Social Security, food for poor children. Anything you can do to shaft the general population
more can now be justified under the argument that we have a huge deficit, thanks to stuffing
the pockets of the rich. This is an astonishing phenomenon. And under those conditions, a properly designed
progressive program should appeal to a large majority of the population. But it has to be done correctly and not shaped
in ways which will appease the donor class. AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go back to the interview
with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has really upended the Democratic Party, and the kind
of message this candidate of Puerto Rican descent in New York has sent to the entire
party, I think the Republican Party, as well. But this is what she says about immigration. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: We have to occupy
all of it. We need to occupy every airport, we need to
occupy every border, we need to occupy every ICE office, until those kids are back with
their parents, period. AMY GOODMAN: Now, the right-wing media—for
example, Fox News and others—have kept—have written about this over and over since she
made this comment about occupying airports. Interestingly, her area of Queens and Bronx
include Rikers Island and LaGuardia Airport. Noam Chomsky? NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, I think we just had a
very dramatic illustration of what courageous opposition to these atrocious policies can
do—namely, the young Swedish woman who prevented an airplane from taking off because it was
deporting an Afghan man to almost certain murder. AMY GOODMAN: Noam, let me go to the young
Swedish woman, the student who you just raised, who stood up— NOAM CHOMSKY: Yeah. AMY GOODMAN: —on the plane, this flight
from Gothenburg, Sweden, to Istanbul, because she understood that an Afghan refugee was
on the flight, as you pointed out, and she live-streamed what she did next. This is what Elin Ersson had to say. ELIN ERSSON: I’m not going to sit down until
this person is off the plane, because he will most likely get killed if he is on this plane
when it goes up. AMY GOODMAN: So, that was Elin Ersson. And when one of the angry passengers threatened
her, threatened to take her phone away, and then a flight attendant grabbed it back, she
went on to say—when passengers talked about being inconvenienced, she said, “They’re
not going to die. He’s going to die.” And there were many on the plane, actually,
who supported her in her protest, until the Afghan refugee was removed from that flight
on orders of the pilot. NOAM CHOMSKY: Yeah, that was a very inspiring
act and an indication of what could be achieved by really large-scale civil disobedience. Here’s one young woman standing up alone
to try to prevent a person from being killed in difficult and hostile conditions. Large-scale civil disobedience could achieve
a great deal more. But I would again urge that we think in broader
terms. We should be considering why people are fleeing
from their homes. Not because they want to live in slums in
New York. They’re fleeing from their homes because
their homes are unlivable, and they’re unlivable, largely, because of things that we have done. Overwhelmingly, that’s the reason. That tells you right away what the solution
to the crisis is: rebuild what we’ve destroyed, compensate for the atrocities that we’ve
carried out. Then the flow of refugees will decline. And for those who come with asylum pleas,
they should be accommodated in a humane and civilized way. Maybe it’s impossible to imagine that we
can reach the level of civilization of the poor countries that are absorbing refugees. But it doesn’t—it shouldn’t seem entirely
out of reach. AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky is now linguistics
professor at the University of Arizona, speaking to us from Tucson. Clearly, resistance is in the air. When we come back, we move from resistance
in airplanes to resistance on the air—that’s on Fox, an unexpected interruption. Noam Chomsky will respond. Stay with us.

What Is Black Politics?


We begin our series with the basics… What is politics? For the purpose of this web series, politics
refers to the shaping and distribution of power. The most commonly referred to means of shaping
and distributing power is the simple act of deciding what individuals will have the ability
to set policies and represent a specific group of constituents – or, more simply, the act
of voting. But while I don’t mean to downplay the importance
of voting, politics is so much more than that. How you dress, how you wear your hair, where
you shop, where you don’t shop – all of these things if done for the purpose of shaping
and distributing power can be political acts. If you use your imagination, anything – even
a prank – can be a means of political activism… AMY GOODMAN: Democracynow.org the war and
peace report, I’m Amy Goodman. JUAN GONZALEZ: One of the country’s favorite
anti-corporate pranksters and gonzo political activists, the Yes Men, are back, this time
with a new film called The Yes Men Fix the World. An official selection at this year’s Sundance
Film Festival, the documentary debuts on HBO on Monday. The Yes Men Fix the World follows Andy Bichlbaum
and Mike Bonanno as they infiltrate and expose the world of big business through high-profile
outrageous pranks. From Exxon Mobil to Halliburton, no industry
is too big for the Yes Men’s hoaxes. The film opens with one of the Yes Men’s
most audacious pranks: impersonating a Dow Chemical spokesperson on BBC World News in
a 2004 broadcast that reached 300 million people. Andy Bichlbaum, who identified himself as
Jude Finisterra and claimed to represent Dow Chemical, took responsibility for the world’s
largest industrial accident, which took place in 1984 in the central Indian city of Bhopal. BBC WORLD: Joining us live from Paris now
is Jude Finisterra. He’s a spokesman for Dow Chemical, which
took over Union Carbide. Good morning to you. A day of commemoration in Bhopal. Do you now accept responsibility for what
happened? JUDE FINISTERRA: Steve, yes. Today is a great day for all of us at Dow
and, I think, for millions of people around the world, as well. It’s twenty years since the disaster. And today I’m very, very happy to announce
that for the first time Dow is accepting full responsibility for the Bhopal catastrophe. We have a $12 billion plan to finally, at
long last, fully compensate the victims, including the 120,000 who may need medical care for
their entire lives, and to fully and swiftly remediate the Bhopal plant site. Now, when we acquired Union Carbide three
years ago, we knew what we were getting, and it’s worth $12 billion. $12 billion. We have resolved to liquidate Union Carbide,
this nightmare for the world and this headache for Dow, and use the $12 billion to provide
more than $500 per victim, which is all that they’ve seen, a maximum of just about $500
per victim. It is not “plenty good for an Indian,”
as one of our spokespersons unfortunately said a couple of years ago. In fact, it pays for one year of medical care. We will adequately compensate the victims. Furthermore, we will perform a full and complete
remediation of the Bhopal site, which, as you mentioned, has not been cleaned up. When Union Carbide abandoned the site twenty
years ago, or sixteen years ago, they left tons of toxic waste, which continues —- the
site continues to be used as a playground by children. Water continues to be drunk from the groundwater
underneath. It’s a mess, Steve, and we at Dow -— BBC WORLD: It’s a mess, certainly, Jude. That’s good news that you have finally accepted
responsibility. Some people would say too late. It’s three years — JUDE FINISTERRA: Yes. BBC WORLD: — almost four years on. How soon is your money going to make a difference
to the people in Bhopal? JUDE FINISTERRA: Well, as soon as we can get
it to them, Steve. We’ve begun the process of liquidating Union
Carbide. This is, as you mentioned, late, but it is
the only thing we can do. When we acquired Union Carbide, we did settle
their liabilities in the United States immediately. And we are now, three years later, prepared
to do the same in India. We should have done it three years ago; we
are doing it now. I would say that it’s better late than never. And I would also like to say that this is
no small matter, Steve. This is the first time in history that a publicly
owned company of anything near the size of Dow has performed an action which is significantly
against its bottom line simply because it’s the right thing to do. And our shareholders may take a bit of a hit,
Steve, but I think that if they’re anything like me, they will be ecstatic to be part
of such a historic occasion of doing right by those that we’ve wronged. JUAN GONZALEZ: The hoax ran twice on BBC World
and was picked up by the major news wires before the BBC determined that no man named
Jude Finisterra worked at Dow and that he was an imposter. The action caused Dow’s market value to
drop $2 billion in less than a half hour. Later that day, Dow corrected the apology
that their supposed spokesperson had made. MARINA ASHANIN: This morning a false statement
was carried by BBC World regarding responsibility for the Bhopal tragedy. The individual who made this statement identified
himself as a Dow spokesperson named Jude Finisterra. Dow confirms that there was no basis whatsoever
for this report, and we also confirm that Jude Finisterra is neither an employee nor
a spokesperson for Dow. AMY GOODMAN: Well, that action was from over
five years ago, and it brought the ongoing tragedy in Bhopal back in the spotlight, reminding
the world of Dow Chemical’s responsibility to those who survived the catastrophic gas
leak. This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary
of the Bhopal disaster, which has killed over 25,000 people. But Dow Chemical has still not been held accountable. We’ll get to more on Bhopal in a minute,
but right now we’re joined in our firehouse by the Yes Men Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno. We welcome you to Democracy Now! The film will be airing, that you made, on
HBO on Monday night, on July 27th, which includes this story. Now, Andy, Jude Finisterra, first, how did
you come up with that name, when you were walking into the Paris studio, of Jude Finisterra? ANDY BICHLBAUM: Well, Jude is the patron saint
of the impossible, and there’s absolutely no way a company like Dow will ever do the
right thing in Bhopal, unless we force it. And Finisterra, of course, end of the world,
end of the earth. It’s just never going to happen. AMY GOODMAN: Explain your website guerrilla
tactics, how even BBC got in touch with you. ANDY BICHLBAUM: Well, in this — sometimes
we sneak our way into things more actively. In this case, we just had this website, dowethics.com,
that looked just like the real Dow Chemical website. We launched it a couple of years earlier,
gotten a little press around it, gotten it kind of seated in Google, and then, suddenly,
a week before the twentieth anniversary of the Bhopal catastrophe, the BBC stumbled on
the site. AMY GOODMAN: And they invited you through
the site. ANDY BICHLBAUM: Yeah. JUAN GONZALEZ: So, they contacted you. ANDY BICHLBAUM: Yep. In our next segment, we look more thoroughly
at the concept of power as it relates to black politics, but for now, how can a prank affect
the shaping and distribution of power? Were the “Yes-Men” able to get Dow Chemical
to do something that it otherwise wouldn’t do? What are some creative ways that we can reshape
and redistribute power in the black community? Please add your thoughts and comments below. Hit that like button if you’d like to see
more content and the notification button so that you’ll know immediately when the next
segment drops.

Yanis Varoufakis on Julian Assange and the Political Economy & future of Europe


[musique] [musique] Bienvenu sur “The Source” un programme
dédié à donner de la voix aux lanceurs d’alerte, aux anciens initiés, et experts politiques. Mon nom est Zain Raza et aujourd’hui,
avec nous, un auteur à succès, ancien ministre des
finances grecque et co-fondateur de the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 Yanis Varoufakis. Yanis, merci de nous rejoindre.
Avec plaisir! Avant que je ne commence à développer,
les problème sociologique et économique touchant
à l’Europe, je voudrais parler de Julian Assange, qui fût forcer de chercher refuge à l’ambassade de l’équateur à Londres. depuis 2012 et jusqu’à récemment il n’était accusé de rien. Mais maintenant ils peuvent resserrer les restrictions qui l’entourent. Il y a des informations, que le gouvernement US se prépare à le poursuivre en justice. Quel précédent cela peut il établir pour
la presse et ce que cela signifie pour sa liberté? Bien, ils ont Julian, donc ils ont vous avoir, moi, tous. C’est une lutte évidente pour la liberté de la
presse et pour les droits des citoyens de savoir quel gouvernement fait quoi derrière leurs dos et supposément en leurs noms. Julian ne fut jamais poursuivi pour tous ce que son nom charrie à travers la boue de l’affaire suédoise. Les progressistes aussi furent incités à croire qu’il cherchait à fuir la justice suédoise pour l’affaire de viol et chaque fois que ses supporters pointaient le fait que Julian ne voudrait rien de plus que de faire face à ses
accusatrices en Suède, mais la seule raison pour
laquelle il ne sort pas de l’ambassade de l’Équateur tient à sa connaissance d’un appareil de sécurité secret prêt à lui sauter dessus depuis les USA. Simplement, parce qu’il embarrassa ces structure sécuritaire en révélant les informations que nous connaissons et
cherissons sur les massacres en Irak, en Afghanistan, les papiers de la CIA de 2017. Les progressiste même furent incités à croire, ou dire
“Oh! allez. Il n’y a rien c’est de la paranoïa” Il essaye simplement d’éviter les accusations en Suède. Maintenant, nous savons grâce à un
accident, un ratage au USA, les autorités ont, en faite, publié les charge émises contre lui et qui sont effectivement des accusations d’espionnage, ce qui
signifie que si Julian sort de l’ambassade
équatorienne il serait arrêté par la police anglaise et extradé aux USA, et nous n’entendrons plus jamais parler de lui. Ce serait comme pour C. Manning, il disparaîtrait dans une sorte de
Guantanamo où même ses avocats n’auront pas d’information sur ce qu’on lui reproche
et cela afin de s’assurer que les gens comme vous, moi, notre audience et tous les autres n’aient aucun accès aux sordides secrets de nos appareils de sécurités, supposément en notre nom.
Regardons en Europe. En Allemagne, les centres s’effondrent, comme on peut
le voire au niveau des élections régionales et
fédérales L’aire “Mutti” ou A. Merkel touche à sa fin. Beaucoup disent désormais. Le
Brexit, plein de reculades et de drama, touche aussi à sa fin. Certain disent que cela peut encore durer
longtemps. L’opposition de l’UE sur le budget italien s’accentue, donc avant que le problème était à la périphérie et il semblerait que l’instabilité atteigne le centre. Pourriez-vous commenter sur ce développement, est-ce que tout est dut aux migrations et aux réfugiés ou bien, est-ce plus profond qui serait en marche, ici ?
Cela n’a rien à voire avec les migrations, rien à voire les réfugiés. Notre génération à un devoir
vis-à-vis d’elle même, pour saisir ce qui arrive, et ce qui arrive à notre génération. C’est en même temps simple et complexe. L’histoire simple la voilà : 2008 fut notre 1929. Comme à l’époque tout a commencé avec Wall street, qui est toujours le centre du tremblement de terre du capitalisme. Quand le capitalisme atteint un niveau d’insoutenabilité, passé un certain point, il s’effondre à Wall Street. Ce qui arriva en
1929. C’est ce qui est arrivé en 2008. L’idiot d’establishment, qui devait gérer le capitalisme globalisé, pour le
dire autrement, la foule de Davos fut pris de court et n’avait aucune idée, même de ce qui advenait. ils optèrent donc pour des politiques autoritaire d’un socialisme pour la finance et l’austérité pour les pauvres. Ils essayèrent de garder le
couvercle sur la crise, qui était hors de contrôle et de compréhension, tout comme en 1920-30. Le centre ne teint pas comme à cette époque. Il y eu une tentative cynique pour faire reposer le coût de la crise sur les épaules des plus faibles membres de la société et le résultat en fut le fascisme. Ce qui arrive ici : Brexit, la fin de
l’état de grâce pour A. Merkel, le moment fasciste de M. Salvini en Italie ou Orban en Hongrie. Le fait que les principaux
parties du centre-droit ou centre-gauche d’Europe s’effondrent, tout cela est le résultat, le contre coût de notre 1930. Il est essentiel pour nous démocrates, progressistes et c’est ce que DIEM25 essai de faire en Europe, de s’unir au delà des différentes nation, et d’oublier les anciens systèmes politiques pour faire une nouvelle politique qui confronte à la fois l’appareil de classe dirigeante déliquescente et le retour des fascistes, nationaliste et xénophobes. C’est une lutte complexe mais c’est le devoir de notre génération.
Depuis 2017, de nombreux mouvements
émergent. Pourtant, quand je les observe ou que je
fait des recherches sur eux, je remarque qu’il n’y a pas de proposition économique concrète pour le
contexte historique… Qu’est qui fait que DIEM25 un cas différent des autres mouvement et combien il est important pour la jeune génération de connaître quelque
base d’économie. La différence fondamentale entre ce que fait DIEM25 et les autre progressistes ainsi que les bons mouvements du passé, c’est que les autres commencent par se
rassembler autour de la table, dans les parcs ou dans la rue tous ceux unis par un même sentiment d’urgence de changer le
monde mais sans programme sur la manière de le faire. DIEM25 fait le pari inverse. Nous avons fait notre inauguration, comme vous le savez à Berlin en fev 2016, nous avons passé deux ans à répondre à la question : Comme peut ont régler, gérer les chose différemment. Que fait-on de la dette privée, et celle publique, que fait-on à propos de la pauvreté,
comment fiance-t-on un programme anti-pauvreté, et
comment faire avec les brevets, sur les retour d’investissements, le revenu universel
citoyen, Comment faire sur la question d’un travail
garanti, qui permettrait au gens de rester dans
leurs régions, pour qu’ils ne migrent pas soit à l’intérieur de leur pays soit à internationale, et nous avons aboutit au New Deal Européen, c’est notre programme. Une fois les réponses trouvé, et nous
sommes convaincus par notre programme, alors nous nous sommes étendu pour créer une
aile électorale partout, comme ici en Allemagne, aujourd’hui avec pour but de faire sortir ce programme dans la rue, dans les parcs, dans les salles de réunions C’est une différence importante, et j’ai
peur que, pour répondre à votre question, sur la raison qui devrait pousser les jeunes à
apprendre de l’économie, je leur dirai l’économie c’est chiant, c’est nul mais c’est le langage de la politique, de ses négociation et de ses réalisation,
or chacun d’entre nous doit comprendre les bases nécessaire à sa participation à la lutte politique, afin de se rendre
effectifs. Vous avez mentionnez le dividende universel citoyen, certain l’entendre comme un revenu universel. Je parle de sa substance, les gens ont tendance à croire que c’est une idée de gauche, mais vous
dites qu’elle implique des valeurs libérales, pourriez-vous développer cette idée? C’est le type d’idée qui transcende les clivage politique même la famille de l’ultra-droite libertarienne la supporte car ils y voient une alternative à l’État providence. Pour DIEM25 ce n’est pas un alternative, à un système social, mais plutôt quelque chose de séparé et essentiellement
complémentaire. Pour le dire avec des mots simples, nous ne sommes pas pour le financer par des impôts, car nous croyons que l’un des principaux problème de notre temps celui de la robotique, de l’automatisation
et des plateformes capitalistes, comme Airbnb, ou de
l’uberisation, le vrai problème est que nous avons des multinationales qui possèdent
l’ensemble du marché, et leur capital augmente grâce à vous et moi, chaque fois que nous recherchons sur Google, nous contribuons au capital de Google. Mais la société, vous
et moi, n’en profite pas de ce capital, les profits de ces de ces entreprise son accaparés par les actionnaires de Google. Nos propositions challenge donc les fondations du capitalisme, celui des multinationales à l’air de l’automatisation et ce que nous disons c’est qu’une par des actifs de ces entreprises doit être confisquée et mis ensemble dans un fond pour la société dont les dividendes financeraient ce dividende universel, car chacun participent à la richesse de ces personnes et même de leur point de vue, en fin de compte, si l’on ne fait rien, l’extrême concentration des richesse dans les mains de ces multi- nationales va une division profonde entre d’un côté leur capacité de production d’objets, de
services, qu’importe, et notre capacité à les payer.
En un sens, nous sauvons les entreprise contre elles, celle comme Google. Revenons sur la politique européenne, les ministres des finances
allemand et français ont récemment proposé une avancée pour le budget de l’Eurozone qui devrait permettre des choses telles qu’une assistance financière rapide, par temps de crise, assistance sur les investissements, et réformes
structurelles et ce budget de l’Eurozone serait une part d’un plus grand budget de l’UE.
Est-ce ce dont l’Europe à besoin et ce que le New Deal européen défend? C’est comme réarranger les chaise sur le Titanic plutôt que de le détourner de l’iceberg, ils ajoutent l’insulte à la plaie. Nous avons besoin d’un budget de la
zone-euro, mais il ne propose pas cela du tout, ils proposent… c’est typique de l’Union européenne, ils proclament
quelque chose afin de ne pas avoir à le faire, en pratique. Ils proclament, souvenez-vous, en 2012, une union bancaire. Normalement
nous avons en Europe, une union bancaire, mais nous n’en avons pas ici. Nous avons quelque chose qui en porte le nom, afin de ne pas en avoir une effective. Encore aujourd’hui si une banque italienne s’effondre, c’est au gouvernement italien de s’en occuper. Cela n’est pas une union bancaire! Avoir une union bancaire avec des systèmes bancaires nationaux est un affront à la
logique. De même que avoir une monnaie commune sans budget pour la zone-euro est un affront à la logique. Alors, que font-ils? Ils clament que nous avons une union
bancaire afin de ne pas avoir à la créer. ils clament que nous allons avoir un budget de la zone
euro, mais si vous regardez les détails que proposent-ils? ils proposent d’integrer au budget de l’union européenne une ligne de crédit pour permettre aux
États d’emprunter de l’argent, mais ils doivent
rembourser lorsque la situation va, soit disant, mieux. Cela n’a rien à
voire avec un budget de la zone euro. Vous savez ce que c’est? C’est la troïka, celle de la Grèce sous stéroïdes. Un budget, fédéral un budget de la zone euro devrait être financer par une source commune et certaine. Une obligation commune… Donc, à moins d’avoir une capacité
d’emprunt au niveau fédéral, il n’y a pas de gouvernement fédéral, à moins d’avoir la possibilité de lever des taxes au
niveau fédéral, il n’y a pas de budget fédéral. Ce n’est donc pas une zone euro. Et, aussi, le budget de la zone euro dont ils parlent, elle propose effectivement des prêts minuscules qui viennent avec des restrictions,
l’austérité en pièce jointe, de l’un à l’autre, minuscule Ce budget va être intégré à ce lui de l’UE, ce qui représente 1%. Pourtant, un budget fédéral s’il veut être macroéconomiquement signifiant, il faut qu’il représente au
moins 20% du PIB. Oui! 20% du PIB. Alors que ce ne sera qu’une fraction de 1%… Ils tirent sur la corde, je veux dire, vous savez, comme citoyen nous avons le devoir de regarder ces annonces, celle du ministre
des finances français ou allemande, et d’en rire ensemble, très fort. Un autre proposition faite par l’union européenne, celle d’une armée
commune. Ils parlent d’augmenter les dépenses en cyber sécurité, créer un drone qui servirait l’union européenne. C’est une manière de réanimer le capitalisme par des
l’investissements militaro-industriels, mais est-ce une bonne idée au regard des aventure de l’OTAN, ou comment évaluer la situation. S’il on veut booster le capitalisme
européen la chose la plus évidente à faire est d’investir dans les énergies vertes, afin d’obtenir une énergie renouvelable partout en Europe, et nous rendre indépendant de Gazprom et M. Poutin. Cela marcherait très bien, mais à la place, nous parlons de créer une nouvelle armée en Europe ce qui est curieux, et même perturbant, car imaginons que nous faisons une armée européenne. Disons que nous avons une armée forte d’une million
d’européens armés jusqu’au dent. On va en faire quoi? Qui va décider de l’envoyer cette armée sur un champ de bataille? Quel gouvernement, le gouvernement allemand? M. Juncker? Avec quelle légitimité? Il n’a rien de plus dangereux que d’envoyer une armé pour se battre et il n’y a rien qui exige et qui suppose plus de légitimité démocratique que cette décision d’envoyer des hommes
et des femmes mourir et donner la mort. L’idée d’une armée européenne aura du sens une fois que nous aurons un gouvernement, mais
cela suppose une fédération. Créer cette armée sans constitution démocratique fédérale, revient à créer une armée hors la loi ce qui serait néfaste pour les intérêts de la planète. Combien de temps reste-t-il avant que l’UE ne s’effondre et que peuvent les individus, spécialement la jeunesse, faire offline et online pour éviter cette effondrement? Il n’y a pas le temps, l’Europe est à un avancé de désintégration et je ne pense pas uniquement au Brexit. Ce n’est qu’un exemple, un exemple parlant. La manière dont les force centrifuge écartèlent actuellement L’Europe…. Il suffit de regarder le gouvernement italien, celui de Hongrie, ou de la Pologne. Que se passe-t-il en Allemagne ? Il y a la CSU à Munich, en Bavière, il y a des élément au sein de la CDU, il y a un SPD en PLS, la FDP qui prône des politiques qui vont de fait détruire la zone euro au nom de la rectitude. L’ensemble de l’Union européenne est désormais écartelée. Nous n’avons pas le temps. N’aillant pas agit hier, il va falloir que nous agissions aujourd’hui! Vous vous présentez aux élections au nom de DIEM25 en Allemagne; pourquoi ce pays et aussi développez votre vision. DIEM est née en février 2016 à Berlin, ce n’était par hasard. Comme nous l’avons dit lors de l’inauguration à la Volksbühne, rien de bien ne peut arriver en Europe à moins que cela ne commence en Allemagne. Son économie est la plus puissante
d’Europe, les allemands sont un peuple dévouer à
l’Europe très largement, même si cela diminue à cause des erreurs de l’establishment. C’est le champs de bataille de l’Europe. Ce n’est pas l’Italie, ni la Grèce ou le Portugal DIEM25 va se battre au Portugal, en Italie, en Grèce, en France, en Irlande, partout. Mais ici, c’est le champs de bataille et ma candidature pour le parlement européen en Allemagne symbolise la fin du mythe d’une division Nord/Sud, qu’il y aurait un clash entre l’Europe du Nord et du Sud. Notre détermination à démontrer aux allemands, aux grecques, aux français que le vrai clash est entre progressiste et autoritaire, partout, et avant ou à moins de changer l’humeur en Allemagne l’humeur ne changera nul part en EUrope. Yanis Varoufakis, Auteur de Best-seller, activiste, et cofondateur de Democracy in Europe Mouvement in 2025 merci beaucoup pour votre temps. Merci à vous. Merci à vous aussi de nous avoir
rejoint aujourd’hui. N’oubliez pas de vous abonner à notre chaîne Youtube et de donner car sinon nous ne serrons pas capable de produire des analyse indépendantes et à but non lucratifs. Mon nom est Zain Raza,
à la prochaine. [Music]

Stamped from the Beginning: Ibram X. Kendi on the History of Racist Ideas in U.S.


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org,
The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re joined today by historian Ibram X.
Kendi, professor of history and international relations, founding director of the Anti-Racist
Research and Policy Center at American University. He just left the University of Florida at
Gainesville. He is the author of the National Book Award-winning
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. If you could take us through your thesis,
Professor Kendi, as you raise the profile of five figures through history, right through
today, Angela Davis, and talk about their role in our history? IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. And so, the thesis for the book actually came
about through researching for the book, which I think is a good thing. And that was, I ended up entering into this
history of racist ideas believing this common idea that, really, the sort of origins, the
cradle, of racist ideas is ignorance—are ignorance and hate, and that ignorance and
hate leads to racist ideas, and it’s these people who have these racist ideas who are
the people who institute racist policies, like slavery, segregation and even massive
incarceration. And so, the more I sort of studied this history,
the more I contextualized the development of these ideas in their historical moment,
and, more importantly, the more I distinguished between the producers of racist ideas and
the consumers, and decided to study the producers, the more I found that people were producing
racist ideas to justify existing racist policies. In other words, racist policies were becoming
before racist ideas. And those racist policies were emerging out
of self-interest. And so, you had economic, political and even
cultural self-interest driving the creation of racially discriminatory policies, and then
the need to justify those policies led to the development of racist ideas, and then
those racist ideas and their circulation—or, more so, consumption—led to our ignorance
and hate. And so I chronicle this history through five
major characters. And the first character is Cotton Mather,
who was a Boston theologian, who, at the time—he lived from the 1660s to the 1720s—race or
racial ideas were largely theological ideas, because theological ideas were largely scientific
ideas. And so, he was involved in popularizing many
of the early theological ideas justifying or making the case for black inferiority. By the emergence of the United States, the
racial discourse became more secular, and particularly through the role of Thomas Jefferson. And Thomas Jefferson died on the eve of the
abolitionist movement—Thomas Jefferson being the second major character in the text—and
that abolitionist movement was largely spearheaded by William Lloyd Garrison, who of course was
the third major character. And W.E.B. Du Bois was the fourth major character. He, of course, was one of the sort of fathers
of civil rights and black power. And the last major character, that covers
the last 50 years, where mass incarceration, in particular, became front and center, was
Angela Davis. AMY GOODMAN: And so, talk about, from Cotton
Mather to Angela Davis, how they embodied your idea of how racist policies and ideas
develop. IBRAM X. KENDI: So, in the case of Cotton
Mather, Cotton Mather was involved in probably the first great American debate over race,
which was whether black people could become Christians. And slaveholders who were also Christian made
the case that black people were too barbaric. Cotton Mather, being a major Boston theologian,
being a major minister wanting to have a new group of people to proselytize to, made the
case that they can be Christianized, because their souls have the capacity to be white,
even though their bodies are black and inferior and worthy of enslavement. And so, this debate, he made this case for
this debate because he wanted to open up the sort of reins on the church to be able—particularly
the Puritan church, to be able to proselytize to black people. So he had this sort of hidden self-interest,
this hidden cultural self-interest, that led to his idea. And, you know, Thomas Jefferson, as many of
you would understand, I mean, he was a slaveholder who, of course, wanted to create ideas that
allowed him to continue slaveholding. And, you know, all the way up to sort of Angela
Davis. Angela Davis, I chronicle as, you know, this
major anti-racist theorist, because I really sort of show the debate, really, between racist
and anti-racist ideas. And I show, particularly within the realm
of criminal justice, that, you know, all of these ideas justifying law and order, justifying
the war on drugs, justifying tough on crime, and now justifying police being exonerated
for killing black lives, that Angela Davis was long at the forefront of challenging those
ideas by challenging the racist ideas that were underlying them. AMY GOODMAN: You write very poignantly in
the prologue to Stamped from the Beginning, “I somehow managed to write this book between
the heartbreaks of Trayvon Martin and Rekia Boyd and Michael Brown and Freddie Gray and
the Charleston 9 and Sandra Bland, heartbreaks that are a product of America’s history
of racist ideas as much as this history book of racist ideas is a product of these heartbreaks. Young Black males were twenty-one times more
likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts between 2010 and 2012, according
to federal statistics.” And you go on to say, “The under-recorded,
under-analyzed racial disparities between female victims of lethal police force may
be even greater. Federal data show [that] the median wealth
of White households is a staggering thirteen times the median wealth of Black households—and
Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated than Whites.” Talk more about this. IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. Well, Amy, this is—I mean, since the beginning
of the United States, since the beginning of colonial America, there has been what’s
called racial disparities, as you just outlined, racial disparities where black people were
more likely to be poor, black people were more likely to be killed by the police, black
people were more likely to be imprisoned. And so the question becomes: Why? Why is it that black people are on the lower
end of these racial disparities? Why does racial inequality exist in this country? And really, the racial debate has largely
been trying to answer that question. And really, Stamped from the Beginning chronicles
that long racial debate trying to answer that question. And really, there’s been three positions,
and those positions still persist to this day. The first position states that it’s because
black people are inferior. The reason why so many more black people are
being killed by the police is because black people keep acting recklessly before the police. If black people would act better, then this
would not be a problem. So they principally state that there’s something
wrong and inferior about black people. This is what I call the segregationist position. On the other side of the debate has been the
anti-racist position. The anti-racist position states that the racial
groups are equal. There’s nothing wrong or right about black
people or any other racial group of people. So, because the racial groups are equal, it
must—these disparities, these inequities must be the result of racial discrimination. So they spend their time challenging racial
discrimination. And then the third position, which is called
the assimilationist position, actually argues both. Typically and historically, they’ve stated
that, yes, there is racial discrimination, but there’s also something wrong and inferior
about black people. And so, they’ve sought to civilize and develop
black people at the same time they were challenging racial discrimination. AMY GOODMAN: So talk about where Black Lives
Matter fits into this picture, the organizing from the grassroots up, and where you see
it going. IBRAM X. KENDI: Yeah, I think it fits precisely
into this picture, because I think Black Lives Matter activists have made the case that the
problem is the criminal justice system, that the problem is racist policing, that the problem
is the laws that are being created that make the case that there’s something wrong with
the people as opposed to the environment that these people—the lack of jobs and resources
these people are being faced with. And so, I’m hoping, and I’m sure many
people are hoping, that Black Lives Matter and many other activists, anti-racist activists,
who have been inspired by Black Lives Matter, and other types of activists will recognize
the anti-racist position, which is that either the racial groups are equal or they’re not. And if you believe that the racial groups
are not equal, that there’s something wrong or inferior about black people, that that’s
a racist idea. And so you cannot continue to imagine that
this nation is post-racial at the same time that you don’t believe that the racial groups
are equal, that you’re championing policies that actually discriminate against black people. AMY GOODMAN: Talking to historian Ibram X.
Kendi. His book won the National Book Award, Stamped
from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. And you talk about overall racial inequities,
from everything from wealth to health. Certainly, when we look at what’s happening
right now in the Senate, though the healthcare bill has been put off for the moment, now
opposed by nine Republicans, who run the political spectrum, feeling that regulations—like,
what, Senator Paul of Kentucky—have to be stricter, that Medicaid and other healthcare
policies and safety nets have to be dismantled, to those who feel that this is way too stringent. But always at the bottom of this you have
the most vulnerable in society. So talk about from wealth to health, Professor
Kendi. IBRAM X. KENDI: So, I mean, from wealth, I
mean, the Great Recession, some have made the case, was one of the largest losses of
black wealth in American history, one of the largest losses of Latino wealth in American
history, that when we have these major economic catastrophes, you know, those people who are
the most sort of underprivileged are most likely to lose out. But I think the healthcare debate and, really,
argument, I think, is even more indicative, you know, of what we’re talking about. I mean, the Affordable Care Act led to 11
percent more black and Latino people becoming insured, which is a dramatic sort of development
within black America, within Latino America. And so, more—it eliminated these massive
disparities—or, I mean, eliminated—reduced these disparities between racial groups that
are uninsured. And so, you know, to think about a new healthcare
bill that’s going to reduce the number of people who—I’m sorry, increase the number
of people who are uninsured, I mean, many of those people are probably going to be black
or Latino, and then, therefore, we’re going to have an increase in these disparities. And then what racist ideas will say is, “Well,
it’s those black people’s fault. It’s those Latinos’ fault. You know, they should be working harder. There’s something wrong with them.” And so, they’ll create racist ideas to justify
those disparities. And I should also say that, you know, I think
one of the most consequential manifestations in this country that black life does not matter
is the disparity between how long black people live. I mean, white people are more like three-and-a-half—have
a lifespan of three-and-a-half years in this country. And I think, you know, many of these things
sort of result in that, including people having access to healthcare. AMY GOODMAN: You’re writing a new book on
how to be an anti-racist, which will be released next year. Can you give us a little preview? IBRAM X. KENDI: So, you asked about the—Amy,
ask the question again? I’m sorry. AMY GOODMAN: I was just saying, you’re writing
a new book, How to Be an Anti-Racist. IBRAM X. KENDI: Oh, yes. AMY GOODMAN: Give us a preview. IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. So, I mention in the prologue of Stamped from
the Beginning that, you know, before I could chronicle anyone else’s racist ideas, I
first had to come to grips with my own. And so, really, in How to Be an Anti-Racist,
I want to sort of chronicle my journey, my personal journey, of really, you know, being
raised and consuming many racist ideas to seeking to become somebody who is an anti-racist. And so I begin the book with a speech that
I gave in high school, in which I uttered all of these racist ideas, all of these things
stating that there’s something wrong with black people. And I take readers through my own personal
journey, while simultaneously revealing many of the concepts of what it means to be an
anti-racist. AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Ibram X. Kendi, can
you tell us the origins of your name? IBRAM X. KENDI: Sure. So, Ibram is—was given to me by my parents. It means “exalted father.” It’s a derivative of Abraham. Came up in a Christian church—I mean, a
Christian family. My parents were part of the black theology
movement in the early ’70s. And my last name, Kendi, my wife and I, when
we wed in 2003, we decided to choose a name together. And so, Kendi is a Meru, in Kenya, name that
means “loved one.” AMY GOODMAN: And you unveiled this at your
wedding to your family and friends? IBRAM X. KENDI: Yes. Yes. AMY GOODMAN: Well, Ibram X. Kendi, I want
to thank for you being with us, professor of history and international relations and
founding director of the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center at American University. He’s just leaving the University of Florida
at [Gainesville]. He’s the author of Stamped from the Beginning:
The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which is winner of the 2016 National
Book Award. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we look at a lawsuit in
Washington against the Washington, D.C., police for their treatment of protesters at the inauguration
of President Trump. Stay with us.