Ogletree on Freedom of Assembly at Gonzaga School of Law

Uploaded by GonzagaSchoolofLaw on 30.04.2012

>> I want to welcome you to Gonzaga Law School and the William O. Douglas lecture. This lecture
series exists with the purpose of promoting a strong commitment to the freedom of speech,
religion, and assembly by featuring lectures by national figures who share this strong
commitment. The Lecture Series began in 1972 with Justice Douglas as the initial speaker.
You may not know this but Justice Douglas was a product of Eastern Washington and was
raised in Yakima. He worked odd jobs as a youth and attended Whitman College in Walla
Walla on a scholarship. Rumor has it and I don't know if this is true, but rumor has
it that he rode his bicycle back and forth from Walla Walla to Yakima on holidays and
then he picked cherries with migrant workers during the summer. He went east to law school
at Columbia and then worked as a law professor at Yale and then as chair of the Security
Exchange Commission until being nominated for the Supreme Court by President Franklin
Roosevelt in 1939. He sat on the Supreme Court for over 36 years. Achieving a reputation
as a fierce defender of individual rights including the right of freedom of expression.
Justice Douglas maintained a home in Goose Prairie on the Cascade Mountains outside of
Yakima where he frequently retreated from the pressures of the court. In 1972, Justice
Douglas joined the Gonzaga Law community to deliver the inaugural lecture of this series
named in his honor. I want to thank the William O. Douglas Committee for their hard work this
year and in bringing this year's lecturer to us. And now, I'd like to call on Nick Nelson,
president of the William O. Douglas Committee to introduce this year's speaker.
[ Applause ]
>> Thank you Dean Korn. Today, we have the pleasure of welcoming a legal theorist, dynamic
speaker and a well-known professor of law, Professor Charles Ogletree who some of you
may know from Indecision 2008 coverage with Jon Stewart [laughter] where he was interviewed
about being the mentor of President Barrack Obama and his wife Michelle. Professor Ogletree
is the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko, did I pronounce the name correctly? Jesse
Climenko Professor of Law and he is the founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton
Houston Institute for Race and Justice. So please join me in welcoming, Harvard Law Professor
and speaker Charles Ogletree.
[ Applause ]
>> Dean, thank you so much and Nick, thank you for the very generous introduction. I'm
very happy to be back at Gonzaga. This maybe news to some students, I was here in 1995,
giving the William O. Douglas Lecture then was a great, great honor then and it's a great
honor now in the 2012 year because things have changed, in some respects, they're better,
in some respects, they're worse. And I'm very happy my brother Robert who is here. He just
moved to Spokane from the East Coast and never looked back. He keeps finding to come back
home but he's very happy here with his friends from Spokane. And happy to have a chance to
talk about a little bit about the first minute what it means. And I think [inaudible] has
reserved some time for questions and dialogue at the end of the talk. What makes this so
interesting and challenging an area to cover is a lot has changed over the decades and
a lot remains the same. And I know that in these conversations now you have to make sure
that they are intergenerational to make sure that people appreciate what is happening.
A lot of what I'm going to talk about are things that happened before most of you were
born. How many people here are under 30, can you raise your hands? Everybody, not less
than 30, but some of you guys are already 30, right? And I want to say how old the others
are but the reason this intergenerational dialogue has to happen is because as my brother
Bob knows, in 2002, I got this weird e-mail, [inaudible] read mail. He told me on December--my
birthday was December 31st 1952 was the day I was born. On December 31st, 2002, I got
my admission to be a member of AARP. I didn't apply, the [inaudible] didn't want the card
and I realized then that I appreciate the different generation in the work that I do.
And so some of this will have to be intergenerational because a lot of people here probably have
no remembrance of all the attempted assassination of President Reagan in the early 1980s, they
don't know about the move for democracy in Tiananmen Square or the very unfortunate explosion
of the Challenger spaceship in the 1980s. This is a very different generation. From
their point of view, the popcorn is always prepared in the microwave, that you always
have screw up--screw up top with bottles, that they have never seen a black and white
TV, they have no idea what a typewriter is or should I say was. The young generation,
they have no idea who shot JR and they don't give a damn. That's just a generation to generation.
[Laughter] And so we have to make sure that we have a connection with what we have to
say about the past, the present, and the future. And the way that you know that there's a generational
difference that I hope to overcome tonight is that if you--if I were to say Alabama,
Boston, Chicago, most of you would know that those are rock groups and young people would
think that those are places. [Laughter] And the more reason I know that they really are
a different generation, yes, any person under 20 and they would believe that Michael Jackson
was always white. [Laughter] And so, the challenge is to have this intergenerational conversation
so that won't happen in during the course of our conversations today. And I wanted to
start with a little sense about the--celebrating the person that have the time to travel and
I'm going to talk about from Martin King, Jr.'s Occupy Wall Street. I'm hope you can
see that post behind me. The enduring legacy of the First Amendment and it has a lot to
do with Dr. King and most people know him for the 1963 March on Washington speech. They
know his work in receiving the Nobel Prize for his peace mission and a lot of other things.
But he was a First Amendment absolutist in terms of the work that he did. And he, in
a sense, set a tone for a lot of us by making clear that these things would be critical.
Remember that Great March on Washington, but even before, Dr. King and I'll talk about
some of his remarks in a minute, there were people who were Justice and--remember Frederick
Douglass, the former slave who used his voice in his moral objection to slavery, to transform
the views about slavery in the 18th century? And if you come in closer, you may not recognize
this woman, this is Fannie Lou Hamer. She is an African-American woman from Mississippi.
And in 1964, the same time that Dr. King was well-known, she was a delegate from Mississippi
and the democrats would not sit her at the democratic session because she was black and
she, if you ever remember the phrase, her phrase was, "I'm sick and tired of being sick
and tired." The whole idea of inclusion, so she wanted to make it clear that everybody
should have the right to vote and that's when she said, "Make a big difference." And of
course, everyone remembers the--Rosa Parks but they may not remember the context and
here is why it's so important. A way of demonstrating was simply refusing to sit on the bus and
it took a lot of courage because back then, particularly, in Montgomery, Alabama, that
was the mode of transportation for African-Americans. And so many people led by the arrest of Rosa
Parks on December 1st, 1955 fought against the idea of exclusion and separation during
the [inaudible] area and made a big noise by getting arrested that day and then disappeared.
Most people would not even know Rosa Parks from the '60s or the '70s, she only came back
into void in the 1980s when Congressman John Conyers hired her as a secretary in Detroit
but she was a critical part of the movement. And this is a photograph that most people
may not recognize, I recognize it as a Californian, these are members of the Black Panther Party
complaining about a police abuse in California. And what did they do? They took guns to the
capital, in Sacramento in 1960s. No one was shot, no one was hurt, no one was killed but
they are making a statement about their right to assemble, their right to bare arms, their
right to protest. And that created an enormous amount of public reaction to see The Black
Panthers. And in fact, there were battles between Black Panthers and police but most
of it was rather with the idea and speech and how important that was. I wanted to go
back to Dr. King for just a minute and talk about the few things that mattered to him.
King was not afraid of controversy and I urge people to go back and look at some of the
things he said that ultimately turned out to be quite controversial in his views. But
he was an absolute believer in the First Amendment. Exactly one year before his death, he was
assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4th, 1968. On April 4th, 1967, he [inaudible]
that no one, no politician had actively been involved in. And he, as a person of God, a
person of faith, got involved in talking about the Vietnam War and how morally corrupt it
was. He gave this speech at the Riverside Church in New York and he said some things
then that people don't really recognize but they are quite significant. Here's what he
said about giving the speech and about the importance, and he's speech was entitled "Beyond
Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence." He said in New York that evening, "I come to this
magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I
join with you in this meeting because I am in deep agreement with the aims and work of
the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam.
The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found
myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: A time comes when silence is betrayal.
That time comes for us in relation to Vietnam." And then he gave examples and one was very
powerful reminder people, this was America, and this war is in the 1960s and we were still
described the Brown versus Board of Education in 1954, still facing remarkable dramatic
segregation. He said this, "We were taking the black young men who had been crippled
by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast
Asia which they had not found in Southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly
faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill
and die together that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch
them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they
would never live on the same block in Detroit. I could not be silent in the face of such
cruel manipulation of the poor." And that was his whole idea and he was widely condemned
for expressing his First Amendment freedom of speech about the war and the cruelty. Who
was he this minister from Atlanta having the nerve to question our government, question
our military? He was a man who believed in the moral objection and injustice in a war
and he [inaudible]. He was criticized in the press, he was criticized by commentators because
he took the bowl and wrapped it open in the president's depth and saying, "We should not
be involved in war." But that was a very unusual and unique position for administrative [inaudible].
It happened with Dr. King just four years early as well. If you can remember before
he gave the August 28th March in Washington speech, he actually was placed in jail in
Birmingham for protesting. Again, using his rights of free assemble, rights of speech
and yet the Birmingham police arrested him for his conduct. He was widely criticized
by ministers around country that he was again, making noise, he was being a radical, he was--why
was he bringing trouble from Atlanta to Birmingham? And this is what he had to say in reaction
to those who said, "Why are you protesting in the south particularly in Alabama about
conditions when you're from Atlanta?" Here's what he said, "I am in Birmingham because
injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the 8th century BC left their villages and
carried their thus sayeth the Lord far beyond the boundaries of their hometowns, and just
as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to
the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom
beyond my own hometown. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call
for aid. I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit
idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere
is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial outside education idea--agitator
idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere
within its bounds." Justifying his sense, "I'm going to take these battles in my concerns
wherever they may need to go to make sure that people appreciate them." And that's what
this amendment's all about. And that's what he did. It was very unfortunate for this country
that Dr. King's assassinated on April 4th, 1968. And people expressed their views. I
didn't as an undergraduate at Stanford University until the fall of 1991--1971, more than three
years after Dr. King's assassination. I did go and look at the April 5th, 1968, Stanford
Daily, the student newspaper. Stanford Liberal College, West Coast, California, Blue State.
What happened when King was assassinated that night on April 4th? White students throughout
the dormitories, throughout the campus went around yelling and celebrating the death of
King. That's something that none of us would believe. We've said, "Wait a minute, King
was loved by everybody." He wasn't loved by everybody. We now have a romantic view about
him but in 1968, there were some people happy to see him dead. And that's the travesty of
what happened in the 1960s and how much it cost us. And I think that's part of what we
have to take a look at. Beyond what's happened with--here, there has been something called
the Arab Spring where literally, thousands of people, I would say hundreds of thousands
of people throughout the world, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, around the world have been
protesting about the power of those and power about changes in government, about the need
to get rid of autocratic judgments and many have lost their lives but not the idea of
the [inaudible]. These women in this photograph you can see is still representing and respecting
the religious views and yet seeking change in the community for change was thought unimpossible--not
impossible. What makes this movement so significant is that a lot of them are reminders of things
that we have forgotten about. This is a classic picture of standing up or power as faced with
truth. Some of you may remember this. This is a young Chinese man in China, in Tiananmen
Square, in the 1980s when there was a revolt against the way the government was ran. And
here is a man saying that "If you [inaudible] and you want to [inaudible] me, please do.
I am not going to resist the temptation to stop power." And what he did in the 1980s
still resonates in some circles. And China has been [inaudible] other nations to change,
but it tells that one man can stand up and make an incredible difference as he did here.
So what does it bring us to? What about Wall Street? What about Occupy Wall Street? What
is--what are its aim? The aims and the objectives. And you see--and from my point of view, it
is a powerful, organic movement of young people who are against the financial institutions,
who are against the power of those who are wealthy and they call themselves the 99 percent.
And it was a lightning rod from--starting to New York to the East Coast and then having
impact throughout the country, not just east and west. And what made it so amazing is that
it's a permanent part of our society now. And it has generated thousands of movements
all around the country in terms of people wanting to respond to it and make some things
happen. And it also is significantly because one thing that the 99 percent recognize and
what I've been arguing very clearly, that if you're going to occupy Wall Street, you
also have to occupy the Hood. Then there's a lower ground of those in the bottom of the
99 percent who aren't able to--who don't have a job, who don't have healthcare, who aren't
done finishing school, who are suffering in black and brown ghettos throughout the country.
And Occupy Wall Street has heard them, and you can see a much more diverse set of people
protest in places like Philadelphia, in Washington DC and some of the major cities. But that's
the whole idea, if you're going to make a difference, you should do it in a very large
way. And at the same, time most people think Occupy Movement last year was the first of
its kind, but it wasn't. The first very serious one in our time, in the 21st century, happened
just five years ago. If you go back and look at what happened in Jena, Louisiana, when
five African-American high school men--boys were all prosecuted, convicted and thrown
out of school. That's when young people using social media, using technology, using cell
phones, using text messages, using the whole height of the internet came for the first
time. Nah, it wasn't Reverend Jackson, it wasn't Reverend Sharpton, it wasn't someone
else, but young people got together spontaneously because they didn't know, they'd never been
arrested, never been in the movement. But they thought what happened to the five young
boys in Jena, Louisiana was wrong, and what happens? All of those young men were able
to go back to school, some have gone on to college and all the charges were dismissed
because someone got angry and exercised their rights which made a big difference and then
being able to move forward. This has happened before as well. I want to quickly go through
this. Some of you may remember that Dr. King's view was "We won't be violent, but we're going
to protest against anything that denies basic rights of citizenship." And here, John Lewis
was being beaten in March 7th, 1965 because he's walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge
and demanding basic rights, the right to vote, very simple. That was actually preceded a
year earlier when voters in Mississippi suffered beatings. They went to jail, arrested because
they wanted to vote like everyone else. It was raised, this is right after Dr. King's
address in 1963 when he said, very poignantly that a black man in Mississippi can vote and
a black man in New York has no one to vote for. That--the whole idea is that we have
not made that progress yet as a society and these things continue to move forward. Beyond
what happened is that that First Amendment protest against denying us to vote resulted
in a major event and that is you can see here President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing the
Voting Rights Act of 1965. Behind him, directly behind him was Dr. King that is there to continue
the protest but here's an example of something that works and that re-changed the walls throughout
the country in a very powerful way. Most of you have forgotten this line--this is a line
of citizens in Soweto in South Africa at April 27th 1994. You may remember that in February
1990, Nelson Mandela was first released after spending 27 years in jail protesting against
system of apartheid in South Africa. And what you don't know these--and literally, thousands
of Africans in South Africa stood in lines over and over in the heat to make sure they
voted. Now what's amazing, the contrast into our society is that these people who were
in lines, Africans from South Africa were 60, 70, 80, 90, and some a hundred years old
and had never voted before. They never had the right to vote and they had never been
allowed formal education. They could speak several languages but they we're not educated
in their schools. Looking at the South African ballot compared to the American ballot is
a shocking reminder of what oppression and poverty can do to people and that how they
can be relentless in making sure that they have the right to be heard. In this case,
since many of these South Africans did not know any language, had not been taught to
school, they had to vote according to a symbol for a party and a photograph of the person
running. They could recognize that, but if you put it in Afrikaans or in English or any
other language, they would not understand it but that should not deny their right to
vote. And that became a classic moment in 1994 because what did they do? They voted
to elect not the first black African presidents out there, but the first democratically elected
president in South Africa. Why? Because every vote counted, and that made a big difference
in what happened in South Africa. Here is America today and I just say this is called
the Map of Shame but it's also the map of reality. This is a map reflecting what this
country looks like in terms of voter identification and how it might have the impact of voter
suppression just since President Obama's election in 2008. 35 states have or are attempting
to change their laws. And they said they want to change them because of people who voted
illegally. But the reality is that every research institute, every bit of data shows that the
number of people who have been involved in voter fraud are miniscule, very small numbers.
But to change laws in 35 states and more is a reminder, in my mind, that we have a big
problem, a major problem in the way that we look at what happened and it's not just black
and brown poor people who are affected. One of the largest groups affected by this new
government issued ID governors are who? Seniors. We thought we did a good job when we convinced
our grandmother and grandfather that, you know, mama, papa please, stop driving, you're
85 years old, [laughter] you're falling asleep, that's very dangerous and they adhere to that.
It was just recently that an elderly woman who was white went to vote at a--primarily
in Philadelphia and she didn't have any ID. And they were turning her away, and she was
outraged, "I have been voting for 60 years and you're going to tell me I can't vote in
this election." That's exactly what they're saying, and they will continue to say that
unless we do something to make a big difference for the young people--for the seniors in particular.
And right now, we know that five to ten million people are not going to be able to vote in
2012 because of these laws even though they're being challenged. The Attorney Generals challenged
them in Arizona. The Supreme Court will hear some of those issues this Wednesday. They
challenged them in South Carolina, they challenged them in Texas. And so, it will be very interesting
to see what the Department of Justice is able to do in trying to address some of these things.
And I wanted to end by bringing us to home. Some of you may remember the interesting set
of experiences with my colleague Henry Louis Gates, Jr. You can see him with the glasses
on to your left. And when he was arrested at his own home on July 2009 and President
Obama made some inopportune comments that calls him to have the Beer Summit. And you
see here, this is the kumbaya moment. There are two black guys, two white guys having
a beer in the White House. What could be greater than it, right? If you look very closely,
you probably can't see it, but one of the guys that hasn't touched the beer at all was
Joe Biden, you see his glass is full. Joe Biden doesn't drink beer. Not even non-alcoholic
beer. And so, he's there for the photograph, but as soon as the photograph was taken, the
President says, "Hey Joe, why don't you go back inside and entertain Ogletree and the
other folks." And so, can you imagine what Joe Biden might have said to Crowley and Gates
in whether they were resolving or this would be World War III? But luckily, he did not
have to do that. And this is Gates when he was arrested and this in the book that I wrote,
The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime.
And he asked me, "You're not going to put the picture in your book when we get arrested."
I said, "Skip, you were arrested. You were arrested." I know, but yeah, you're arrested.
That's Gates and then the story is all in the book. The Book was not about Henry Louis
Gates. It's about this young man who you might have heard about, Trayvon Martin. And it reinforces
what we need to do when we talk about making sure. And there has been an organic movement
saying that we're not judging whether or not George Zimmerman will or should be convicted.
But how many people had thought about that could be my son or my daughter. What do we
know Trayvon would be like if he were not 17 and killed, or even he were 20 and 25.
And the president even said, you know, if Trayvon were my son, he'd look like me, I
mean the whole personalization of it. But it reminds us that this idea that the people
on their own around the country, not just the folks who you see on the press but, people
have been talking about, we have to stop the bombers and look at these laws in a way that
might make more sense. And then the question is the First Amendment and racial profiling:
Are we post-racial? Yeah, this is the question. And I think that's what we're going to have
to see. Where is Nick, come in here. I need to put this slide out there. I'm going to
show you a part of something as I end and I think it would be useful for the conversation
and I'm going to be able to stop it as well. This is--and this tells me that we are not
where we need to be because we still are finding ourselves in this situation.
>> Shooting this morning at 4:31, gun fires kept the busy night in the city including
the shooting of a 16-year-old.
>> [Inaudible] on the loose right now. The shooting happened just before 10 o'clock on
the [inaudible]. Police say a 16-year old boy was shot to death in a drive-by. The victim's
identity has not yet been released.
>> Meantime, two teenagers are wounded on the city's south side. It happened at east
74th as an 18-year-old man and 16-year-old girl were hit while standing on the sidewalk.
The male is in good condition while the girl is expected to recover. And kids on the street
as young as four were there to see it unfold, and had a disturbing reaction.
>> No, I'm not scared of nothing.
>> When you get older, are you going to stay away from all these guns?
>> No.
>> No?
>> No.
>> What do you want to do when you get older?
>> I'm going to have me a gun.
>> Because I live right here and I don't want none of my family members to get shot.
>> That is very scary indeed. So far no suspects are in custody.
>> So, watching that, just tell me, what do you think? What's your reaction or reactions
about this 4-year-old boy talking about "I'm going to get me a gun?" What's the human [inaudible].
What do you think?
>> I think that he thinks that a four-year-old has [inaudible].
>> Okay. So, what are you saying?
>> I'm not sure whether or not [inaudible].
>> [Inaudible] that night, did you see a parent there? Right, what would--how would you [inaudible]
your four-year-old is interviewing on the [inaudible], right? Your reaction, okay?
>> I was surprised that--
>> It is surprising, in a sense, because, significant events, my god, this kid and 4
years old is already thinking about being a gang member. And that's what they show just
two months ago in Chicago on the national news. That was the story. All right, I want
you to see, if I can I figure out how we get this going then. What actually happened there?
Oh, here it is. So I want you to see the rest of this.
>> Boy, that's what I like to hear! You ain't scared of nothing! Damn! When you get older,
are you going to stay away from all these guns?
>> No.
>> No?
>> No.
>> What do you want to do when you get older?
>> I'm going to have me a gun.
>> You are? Why you want to do that? You know what happens when you--
>> I'm going to be the police.
>> Oh, okay, well then, then you can have one.
>> The first question is whether they have the parent's permission. And then you hear
that the boy aspires to be a police officer and answering the man why he said, "I'm going
to have me a gun." And that they didn't include that [inaudible] start with somebody who is
a formal journalist, like many past presses [inaudible]. It's important to tell the whole
truth because [inaudible].
>> Shooting this morning at 4:31, gun fires kept the busy--
>> So you see, it's very differently than we thought, right? What would compel someone
to show the first order as if that's [inaudible] and only to say such all of our prejudices
about what's right and what's wrong and whose a gang member, it's the Treyvon Martin all
over again which means that if we're going to protect this right, this First Amendment
right, what it means, we have to do it in an honest way. That to me is not just shocking, it's irresponsible. And
I feel bad for those people in the City of Chicago who watched the news 'cause no one
saw this later clip, the same way they saw it the night before. How does someone make
a decision to, in a sense, make the First Amendment, which is for the press, freedom
of the press is mentioned in the First Amendment. And this, I'm not here to advocate and take
it away. It's fundamental to our society. But it's things like this to make all of us
think that we have a lot of work to do. And I know if William O. Douglas saw that, he
would be the first to stand out to speak against it about, you know, what are the limits of
the First Amendment and the First Amendment is virtually unlimited. But this is one example
where it went too far. And it's also an example of what we have to do to think about what
makes a sense. So I think back about what Dr. King did in the '60s that cost him his
life. I think about all the other people who have protested around the world and make--made
things happen. I celebrate what the Occupy Wall Street has done to raise our consciousness about we can protest, and we
can make it clear and how we had had an impact on hundreds of countries around the world
who also stood up and sometimes, in ways that broke our heart. The young man who died just
a month ago, who set himself on fire to protest for his law in his country, the young man
who did the same thing years ago to make it a point that what's my life worth if I can't
live it in a way that makes sense. But it reminds us that we have to protect these precious
rights like the First Amendment if it's going to make any difference in our life, in our
society. And I think that back to what the Supreme Court has been doing in trying to
address this, the Court has been, I think fairly good on press-related issues and not
always great, but fairly good on it. It just tells me that if we are going to protect the
First Amendment, we have to be willing to embrace what we have seen people to stand
up, be heard, suffer the consequences. They may fall but we will stand in their place
to make sure that the First Amendment is not only celebrated, but, in a sense, raise what
love should be, it should be the First Amendment in this--in the constitution but it also should
be the First Amendment in all of our speech, all of our marches, all of our efforts to
say that we have the quality to speak out even if our numbers are small, even if our
voice is weak, that even if we fail because we fought for and die for the right of the
First Amendment. Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>> So I guess we'll open up for a little bit of Q and A if that's all right with you.
>> You can shout, too, you can shout and then--
>> If there's anyone to ask some questions?
>> Yes?
>> Hi.
>> Hi.
>> Thank you so much for coming. I'm curious about especially about our role in politics.
We have election that we've seen in other countries, and what happened is a free and
fair election results in a party we don't like and what we consider to be a terrorist.
How do we deal with [inaudible] they were elected and if we don't like them, we're the
ones who pushed for free and fair elections so we have to take the good with the bad.
How do you feel about that?
>> It's very interesting that the free and fair election is the question, a term of art
because they're not always free and they are rarely fair. And I think that becomes clear
when you see elections in certain countries where people continue to get elected and you
see a group of minority people saying, "I'm not going to vote [inaudible]." There's nothing
we can do to control the [inaudible]. But you saw it in Egypt, I've heard myself. You
saw it in Libya, you saw it in Syria. And you saw it yesterday in France, right? And
the question is what happens next? You saw it probably free and fair. Was the election
in Russia free and fair? And so I think that's the fact that people can protest on Russia.
Now, we're paying attention, before, we ignore it. But I think that's part of problem. But
there's another problem of your question that's equally important. We have to be careful because
we can't continue to think we can export democracy. Democracy has a very different meaning. To
get rid of the regime that's been in power for a hundred years. It doesn't mean that
they want to become capitalist or they want to adopt the American system or they want
a court to decide. That was just in [inaudible] which is Middle East last week talking about
it and talking about the way that the Occupy Movement and Dr. King had something in mind
in the '60s and now in the 21st century. And I also said that Dr. King's work was so important
'cause he work on the streets throughout the tough areas, while Thurgood Marshall, the
Supreme Court Justice has [inaudible] work in the court. And they were both invincible.
A very prominent person from Georgia says, "I disagree with you. We don't need to have
legal rights. We have to have political movement." I said "No, we have to have hypothesis," "No
we have--we only want political movement," because he comes from a society where the
legal system is corrupt. And he's not at all in control with having 9 or 16, or 12 or 3
people like we do decide what's right and wrong in the rule of law and so that's just
part of it. And so I think that's part of it, the bigger problem we have to address.
>> I'm curious with regards are on Citizens United and the idea of corporation that's--entities
those influence the people, I mean [inaudible] the condition of [inaudible] when you think
of freedom of speech and freedom of [inaudible] and of course and then you have individual
families together [inaudible] the reason is obviously refer to Supreme Court has a little
different idea about who gets the rights of [inaudible] the use of money as an instruction
>> What--I definitely disagree with Citizens United 'cause I think that as much as it can
be argued as in [inaudible] Supreme question the First Amendment right that there's no
difference between corporations and people, there is a difference.
>> Yeah.
>> And--but I'm not surprised as the court has not only once but in many times decided
in its own point of view of what we can tolerate and we can't tolerate and I think there are
two reactions to that. One is to change the court, that's going to take a generation.
And two is to figure out how the people can in a sense support elections. Right after
citizens united, there was an effort by a state to say like in Arizona saying that we're
going to make sure that this is going to be different, we're going to make sure we're
going to give money, state money to all of the candidates running and so as public finance
and not this private finance and in the Supreme Court even before got in made its way to put
the [inaudible] on that. So, I think we're stuck with that. It's not the first time the
Supreme Court's made a wrong decision. When it--what's interesting, it goes back to the
other question, so what do we do about it? Some of you may remember November and December
2000 in this country when there was election for the president. And there was Republican
candidate by the name of George W. Bush and the Democrat candidate by the name of Al Gore.
And the volume was stopped them for, and the Supreme Court rule 5 to 4 that Bush won the
election even though Gore won the [inaudible]. Now, to think that there were no rights, it
is very unusual. There was no impeachment proceedings against justices. And we were
very angry, we're divided as a country, and yet we found a way that that's democracy,
that's the way it works, we believe in the rule of law, believe the court, we disagree
with it, and that means that next time we've had to get more people out to vote to make
that happen. So, I won't let one decision determine that. For instance right now, some
of you had got--I'm sure you have different views on the healthcare law but that was made
up. And I'm sure majority, but I'm sure not all the faculty here have said that I listen
to the arguments, I'm convinced it's going to be a rule. That may be true, I'm not so
sure, because I'd look at them the different way, I'd look at tough questions as a way
of court sometimes, some justices who are even conservative, trying to figure out when
Justice Kennedy said, you have an awfully high burden in order for us to accept this
mandate for healthcare. I'm not reading that he is against it. When Justice Scalia says,
"The next time the mandate is going [inaudible]." He's made up his mind. [Laughter] I know where
he's coming, right? And so my sense is that I'd like the ebb and flow of our court in
a very important way, even though I disagree with some of his opinions because it's the
same court that in May--on May 23rd, 2011, for the first time in a century, took a very
strong position of our prisoners. The Supreme Court and the case in California ruled that
the California Penal System was unconstitutional, the way it treated people who are incarcerated
and overcrowding, been treating the mental health issues, five to four. Normally, the
court has always deferred to the police, to the prisons, to whoever is the local authority.
And they, in this case said, you need to release these 3,000 people from California Courts.
If you don't, we will. And that to me was--its non-predictable court. They had photographs
of the men [inaudible] and overcrowded jails, the facilities for mental health, and so it
was not like a law opinion with a strong [inaudible]. But it was in my sense, the court saying these
prisons have an important role, but you've gone too far. So, there are a lot of decisions,
I think, that it's this hard to predict on a five to four decision. But as I said in
2000, back in the early century, the next president will have ability to put 2 or 3
or 4 people in the Supreme Court. The next president will have the ability from 1912
to 1916 to put 2, 3 or 4 people on the Supreme Court. That's what is at stake. Whoever you
vote for, that's what's at stake. That person will have the ability to influence the Supreme
Court's outcome no matter what. Yes?
[ Inaudible Remark ]
I'm going to answer in 2 ways. On first I'll give you an intellectual off the station answer.
[Laughter]. There are a lot of things that President Obama has done since taking office
in 2009 that would be applied whether he was black or white. I think we all, whatever our
feelings were deeply, deeply stunned by the loss 3,000 innocent lives in 9/11/2001, and
Osama Bin Laden was the person that we hated the most. And I think whoever took him out
was going through [inaudible]. In fact, that work is going to be important. I think even
though we might disagree in hindsight that we would have applauded anybody who thought
this is almost the worse economy we've had since the depression and pushed Congress for
a 787 billion dollar stimulus package. Did they do enough? Perhaps not. Did they do a
lot? Yes. And so there are some things, I think, that we would apply without influence
one way or the other. Now has life been different for him? I think so. And what you call them
race or just strange behavior, I thought it was significant when Joe Wilson stood up when
he talked about healthcare and said, "You lie," just, a question of respect. You know
I may disagree with whoever is in the White House, but that went way beyond, you know, the obvious that made a big difference.
I think as well, when you think about it, here's what's different. Barack Obama is a
Christian. He has been a Christian, in fact, that was almost his downfall because of his
association with Reverend Jeremiah Wright when he was running for office. The number
of people who believed he's a Muslim has increased since he'd been president, not decreased despite
Colin Powell, despite key conservative Republicans saying, you know, he's a Christian and I have
no belief that he is a Muslim. So that to me is a special dynamic, the religious part
that's deep seated and I don't know where it comes from. The people really don't believe
that he's sincere. But I'll tell you something and here's the second part of it is that if
you asked him right now, he'd say the same thing that he said January 2009 that he would
say right now, tomorrow or whether he wins or loses in November. He would say, "People
aren't disliking me and they treat me differently because I'm black. They just don't like me."
His view is that they just don't like him. But my views are my views. And I'm not going
to tell you today, right? For hostile reason--but he's been confronted about all of those things.
But my sense is that yes, there would have been different treatment. And--but it's also
complicated in terms of race. Let me give you this example. A lot of African-American
[inaudible] for Bill Clinton was the first black president. He wasn't. He wasn't [inaudible],
he really wasn't. [Laughter] They'd kill me for saying that right. And there are some
things that Bill Clinton did as President, but a non-democrat, that I found troubling.
And there are some people who were openly critical of him. Today, it's not the conservatives
alone who are critical of President Obama. But if you think of Cornel West, someone who
I helped bring into the Obama campaign in 2007 and '08 or Tavis Smiley who I'd worked
with on public televisions over and over, they've written a new book and they're--if
you've heard them on MTR [phonetic] or anywhere else, they are very highly critical of President
Obama. They want him to be the Black President to do something for the black community. And
my view is that he has to do something for the entire community. That's why we elected
him. We didn't elect him as the black president. Black people alone could not elect Barrack
Obama ever, right? And so the idea is that he has to be somewhat different. And I think
there has been a lot of criticism about Michelle who is, to me, just remarkable in her commitment
to public service and to children and to veterans. And she's had a big burden and that's why
she's been very quiet doing things about diet, nutrition, health, exercise. But not about
public statements, not about anything that had anything to do with politics in that content.
And I think that's what's happened. So, in the third part, it's hard for me to answer
your question before midnight on November 6, 2012. Once the election is in, I give you--before,
I give you my number, you can call me. You know what I'm going to say. But I can give
you all that then. [Laughter] But I am sure that some--I just told you someone is going
to take "Oh, she's got a secret idea." But you know, he's not telling us tonight, but
he's really going to do something with Obama. So that's the one but here's the real answer
to your question. We still need to have a meaningful, difficult conversation about peace
'cause we're not there yet. And until we have it, until--and we can't have it just after
Trayvon Martin was shot, that's the wrong time. We need to have it when we are peaceful,
settled, calm and willing to hear the other person's point of view. That's what it takes.
And let me tell you this, if you think that things are bad during the presidency, you
should look back at what happened during the running for the president. Most people don't
even realize that when President Obama, then Senator Obama, debated Senator John McCain
in Ole Miss that the Klu Klux Klan was there. They had every right to be there. But that
could have been a story ended up itself. There were hoping to get some attention, right,
because, you know, you got this debate. But the attention was going to be how would--Obama
would react to that. So it has been a different and now often challenging circumstance. But
I look at the progress. I look at the fact that this President unlike any other President,
any other President democrat or republican any other president, appointed a woman to
be the solicitor general. The highest lawyer in America running the country and that was
Elena Kagan. This president, unlike any other president, appointed an African-American to
be the head of the Department of Justice. This president unlike any other president
in our history appointed 2 women first to Supreme Court [inaudible] and Supreme Court.
This president has appointed [inaudible] group of judges on the circuit corps than any president
in the history of the country. And so I see some good that he's done but I also here what
are you saying did not explicitly--implicitly it's been hard for him to do it but he's done
it in spite to that. You know what, if he's not elected in November 6 2012, now he's going
to go right back to doing the same thing he's been doing, public service, right? But he's
not going to be bitter, he's not going to be you know ask for a recount. You know, that's
just not Barrack Obama. That's just not his spirit. And we can't have this meaningful
conversation that I like to have with you until after we get beyond the points that
the--of people being strived. Having said that, there are 40 percent of the people who
run a vote against him no matter what, simply because he's a democrat, I don't think it's
because he's black. But he's not their vision of who should be leading the country. And
so you got to figure out what happened with that but I think the 40 percent will support
him easily because they know that he's done some good. And the question is what are you
going to do with that 20 percent of independence modern Republicans, conservative Democrats
because that's where the fight is going to be. You know I think that's going to ask you.
Some of the states like Washington, states like Oregon, California is not going to be
a problem. Illinois is not going to be problem. States like North Carolina, states like the
Indiana and Ohio and Pennsylvania. It's all--it all that--if there are certain Southern States
that are going to vote against him no matter what, cause he's going to realize which was
the most--which state have the fewest number of votes to Obama in 2008? Percentage? Yes?
[Inaudible Remark] So [inaudible] one? Wyoming? It's kind of surprise, you know, which state
that was the least supportive? Oklahoma. People--it didn't have a whole lot of electoral votes
than Oklahoma. And if that is just a culture there that's different about, you know, they're
Democrats in Oklahoma, they're a democratic government for a while, they're democrat now
in House of Representatives who's retiring, Boren's son, David Boren. And so it tells
you that there's certain cultures in certain communities that influence the way people
are thinking about that. And I want to share story with you privately after this about
the little work we did. I should have said that now approximately. [Laughter] I want
to share a story with you after this that I think will be very interesting, yes.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
[ Inaudible Remark ]
[ Inaudible Remark ]
[ Inaudible Remark ]
That's an excellent point and I agree as well that the conversation has to be transposed
from middle class, middle class, middle class system. The only thing you'll ever hear from
many politician, you'll never hear anything about the working class or the poor. And that's
where we have a terrific problem in the 21st century. And I think it's because people wrongly
think that the poor won't vote they don't care, people who are poor not because they
chose to be. There a lot of people who are now homeless who have going through foreclosure
on their homes, who are making half as much as they did earlier in the century. And so
that is a real enormous problem and that's sort of what would Tavis Smiley and Cornel
West is focused on. And theoretically, here is the difference and I don't know what the
president would say, but my sense is that when someone says he's doing it because he
is being opportunistic or if he's being sincere, I think he is definitely sincere, but I think
he has to do it and not let politics stop him from doing it because that's where it
makes an enormous amount of difference. And not just the contract with what Romney said
that 'cause Romney was partially right when he said, "I don't, you know, I don't care
about the poor because we have a safety net," it was not a--the safety net with a lot of
holes in it. So it's not as safe as you might think. But somebody has to speak for the poor
and that hasn't happened in a real sense, in a real sense in over 80 years. Remember
President Roosevelt, I mean that was everybody was suffering from the depression and he came
up with a whole host of things because they were right not for the Court of Law, not for
the press because they were the right thing to do. And I think that if we see the poverty,
its face is very different than it has ever been 'cause it takes everybody and I will
not only take your advice, I will pass it on. Yes?
[ Inaudible Remarks ]
--right after 9/11, [inaudible] very careful that all of us were suffering from the tragedy
of September 11, 2001. But we can't rob liberties, like I said, and when war happens, the first
thing we sacrifice is truth, right? And my sense is when this happens, the first thing
we sacrifice was liberty. And you can't say that you're going to have security or liberty,
you have to have both. That's a hard thing to say, I lost my daughter, my mother, my
father, my uncle, that's a hard thing to say. But the reality is that if we start suppressing
liberties in the interest of security, we have already given end to all the other forms
governments that are not working. And my sense is that we have to keep speaking up for liberty.
I know I do because I think that's very important. And on one hand, I'm very--I now go to [inaudible],
I go through security in the airport, they check everything. I get every piece of metal
off of me or [inaudible]. It doesn't bother me anymore because my sense is that it's not
me, it's the 150 other people in the airplane that feel the sense of comfort or--and my
views have changed. After 9/11, I was very paranoid. I knew that that woman or that infant
was a terrorist. I just kept looking at her, what is she really putting in the diaper,
you know, what's really in that bottle, right? All of us had our paranoia about that. And,
you know, she had--she was, you know, those days are gone, you know, and she was wonderful,
but the whole paranoia part. But I always thought that people should have the right
to protest, they should have the right to demand, they should have the right to assemble,
and that should not be taken away. And, you know, we are allowed to, you know, [inaudible]
battles for democracy was remarkable, but we tolerated it. Or in the interest of protecting
the people's individual civil rights, I think that's important. Every single day, people
were at the White House, they take photographs, they [inaudible], and the Secret Service is
a little edgy, as they should be, right? But the whole idea that some--many countries indicate
being anywhere near a place where a major political figure is, you know. And then we
also hear--you saw what happened to Gaddafi, I mean, the whole idea that the guy is hiding
in a tunnel, beaten to death, shot, all right? That's not the way you want to see someone
go, so you want the protection, but you also want people to go into--express what they
have to say. And let me just say this, the most powerful weapon it made a difference
in Myanmar, but it make--it's made a difference globally is that I've never seen how--I've
never seen before the power of social media. You can get any calls on your cell phone in
seconds. And the world will know if somebody in Russia is beating people, right? We just
won a major Civil Liberties case in Massachusetts because there was a guy who was a photographer
photographing police beating a guy mercilessly. They took his camera away and arrested him
for interfering with a police investigation. And that was a law in Massachusetts for about
a year and the court just ruled this past year that he had a First Amendment right to
be there and to take photographs. That's the only way because it's not, think about we
just celebrated the 20th anniversary of Rodney King. We would not have known about Rodney
King. You got this photograph, a photographer had not been recording it, right? And so the
whole idea that we know about--if you don't watch it tonight, we would not know about
what's happening around the world. If somebody didn't have their cell phone, and there was
a scene and, I can't remember, it may be in Seattle. There is a scene last spring about
a year ago of two African-American women jaywalking and being stopped and beaten by a police officer
and I saw these black men around and I said, "Oh my god, they're going to go after him."
What we're they doing? Took out their cameras and just started videotaping, right? 'Cause
that was the only--that was the best weapon imaginable 'cause you can then see what's
going on as opposed to getting into it and having no power. And what you can--what they
were able to do, I'm not advocating because someone's going to say, "Who told you how
to do this?" But people, they were able to get those things on the internet, YouTube
within minutes it was happening. And so you'd find it, the news will pick it up, et cetera.
So the whole idea is that the First Amendment has changed in dramatic ways in one hand,
but we also have to look at it from a legal point view, how far can the government go?
And in here is where Justice Scalia is absolutely superb. If you're trying to use some device
now to look through a wall, not a door, not a window, through a wall to look at some activities,
he says that's a violation of the Fourth Amendment, that violates your privacy because he believes
in original theory, right? Now as technology changes, you can look through a wall, what
are you going to do? When Google has his glasses, where I can put this glasses on and look at
you and get your photograph and gives me your whole database, everything you've done, everything--everywhere
you've been. When does it go too far? I think those in the First Amendment would say there
are no limits, others would say, "That seems like that's--there's a personal right and
that's--there's a privacy right, too." It's the same thing, there is a security right,
but there's a liberty right. And I think we have not sorted those things out. Your generation
will decide what we can do and what we can't do because our generation as I think failed
that having clear articulate and precise rules 'cause we don't know technology has changed
everything in the last 30 years, yeah?
>> Over the last years, we've seen police organizations in moments they weren't as strong
together and trajectory seems to be that, they're going to be creating protesting and
certain [inaudible] as a national security and I wanted to ask you how do you think it
comes down in the eyes of courts in our system when you have national security come right
up against the First Amendment right at [inaudible]?
>> That is a very good question and then here is where I think it will end up. I think that
the courts are going to try in every way possible to protect the First Amendment because once
you start cutting back at it, there's no limit to what you can do. Everything can be a national
security concern, assembling here, all right? And--I have a friend of mine who, in a sense,
lives that out because, well, he doesn't believe that the state, the federal government should
have the power to ask you for a driver's license or a formal government-issued ID going in
the airport, that violates his First Amendment rights. So he refuses to produce ID, so they
can search him more thoroughly, but they can't stop him from getting on the plane. Now, that
sounds okay, but if you don't know who he is at all, I know who he is 'cause he always
calls me and tells me what he's about to do. But if you don't know who he is, you can imagine
him a little bit more paranoid and you want to do a more thorough search. And then, what's--he
can, you know, he gets obsessed because when you start seeing them search a baby's diaper
and you say wait a minute that can happen, now children under 12 can wear shoes, which
they didn't allow the first 10 years after 9/11. And so I think that First Amendment
is going to be protective. But I say that remember President Lincoln and perhaps the
next president may at some point may have to think about habeas corpus where we can
suspend that right in the interest of national security. We did that before. If we do it,
that would be very unfortunate, but I'm not saying that it's inconceivable that we ever
say the power of protectors, and I think the majority of the people would abide by that.
Okay, just think about George Zimmerman before you know anything. If you just heard the tape
and he said it looks like he's on drugs, that he sounded weird, here he comes, that's the
kind of fear that any citizen would have, right? And that--and so that security point
is going to be a big point in this case as well, you know. What can you do to protect
yourself? There are 30, more than 30 states now that have some comparable, something comparable
to stand your ground, right? National Right Association and other organizations who are
supporting it, because people want to be able to fight back rather than retreat. That's
the basic human instinct. So as a nation, I think we're moving toward for the national
security, but I think the courts you will still that there are some civil liberties
issues should be protected. They haven't come into a complete clash, the walk Occupy Wall
Street hasn't been nearly as violent as some of the other actions that we've seen in the
decades before. And I think it just--it's going to take a different focus. The interest
is going to be what happens when Occupy Wall Street really takes Wall Street, I don't mean
a park, but if they'd go to a financial institution to protect--protest. I mean actually to this
part. All of those financial constitutions have incredible security now. I've been to
some, I know. And so that's going to be the clash when they start to try to walk into
a building where there is security, there's armed guards, where there's alarms, et cetera,
to protest financial institutions is that going to make a difference. So we haven't
had to clash yet and we're going to have it. Right now, I said the First Amendment them
is winning, but you let there be one or two or three suicide bombs on the plaza in Manhattan,
things could change overnight. Yes?
>> I was just going to sit on that question of where did the Occupy and [inaudible] protest.
To what extent do you think complacency is a threat to this place 'cause I didn't sense
that it was because [inaudible] it was cultural for places both on the part of industry protest
and on the part of the audience. You know Occupy Wall Street, the general sense I can
have is that most people just kind of [inaudible] make--why then just leaning for it to go away.
So do you think Occupy Wall Street and this protest before about not showing is an ongoing
sign of healthy exercise that personal rights, do you think they're just work adoration and
culture is becoming sort of [inaudible] numb to the idea of exercising the [inaudible]?
>> I think if you look globally, Occupy Wall Street and the Trayvon Martin protest, not
just in Florida, but around the country into every state, have been very powerful even
though the people may not be able to sustain them. There would never been an Arab Spring
if there had not been an Occupy Wall Street. There would never been an Arab Spring, when
I say that, I mean countries not people, but the countries, dozens of countries gathering
a lot of people to protest and people in some cases were killed, in some places they transformed
the government, in some places it may not have gotten better, it may have gotten worse.
So I think that even these movements, the fact that we still have an Occupy Wall Street,
is not--is important and you have a whole bunch of folks mixing this. So I think even
though it's partly sustained, it's very hard to happen to sustain a movement. You have
to decide, "Are we leaderless, we're all equal, or do we have a leader, a King?" And I think
I'll leave it up to the organization. I'm not going to say king was effective as a leader,
but you have to make sure you have the right kind of person there. And I think the Occupy
Wall Street [inaudible] Occupy Wall Street from my point of view was not just a police
resistance, it was the weather, right? The whole idea is that people came out to give
part of it and they got colder and colder and wetter and damper and that's not what
people expected. But the whole idea that people were occupying that as most rallies for an
hour or half a day or a day, but for a week or month. And so it's a different kind of
movement because the sustainability is harder to coordinate, but the idea is to doing forever
may know it's magnificent. And also, they got the attention of the Congress. As we,
you know, even though you don't see as many Occupy Wall Street forces now, you do see
Congress bringing the banks there, what kind of--you know, we want to make sure you don't
get the--these million dollar bonuses when this is the people's money. We want to make
sure that you're subject to sanctions if you do something wrong. So I think it's been a
catalytic movement that makes the difference. The question is whether it would be sustained,
and my view is that it will be sustained. Yes?
[ Inaudible Remark ]
Yes, that's a very good question. And I have been teaching at Harvard for about 27 years
and my advice hasn't changed to any student and it was the same to you like if they grow
from that to a large law firm, that's great, but you have to have a career that engages
you at some level in public service. You can do both, you really can do both. And I say
this after they graduate so they won't think I'm intimidating them, that you're going to
be more successful at change in public service than you are in your corporate practice. Now
you might have won a case, but it doesn't mean it's the right decision. It just that
your power and your resources made the prosecutor to prevail in certain cases, but I ask lawyers
to think of the fact that they are more like their lawyers, their counselors, their friends,
their mentors, their public servants. And so you can work in a law firm, but you can
also say we're going to do pro bono representation for this community organization in our city.
You can work in a large law firm, you can say, but I'm going to do a math class for
third graders one morning from 8 to 10 on Thursday's. You can work for a large law firm,
but you can leave there and say I want to do something in a multinational for NGO. And
then--so that's what it is and you can start having that conversion with your faculty,
your colleagues, et cetera. I don't know if they do it here in Gonzaga, but I'm not sure
this stuff is accountable. We start at something--when I started, well about 5 years after I started,
about 1990 is it's a school we call the public interest auction, right? And so what we do
is that the students get faculty, every one of us [inaudible] what would you locate--donate
to the public auction. Well I don't know what I can, well how about those--two of those
subjects [inaudible] you use? Okay. And how about those [inaudible] box tickets, can you
think you can take us and feed us, too? We'll put that in the lot, okay. All right. Oh,
you love fishing, don't you? Yeah, why? Well maybe you can take us on a trip fishing with
you and you'll pay for us fishing, we'll pay for it and you get us food. And so they rob
me of everything I have. [Laughter] But the idea is that you'd be amazed at how you can--and
where does that money go to? Every first year student at Harvard, when they finish their
first year are entitled to a public inter scholarship that they raised before to work
for any public interest--entity and the law school pays their [inaudible] account. Now
it's--maybe 4,000 dollars as opposed to 8,000 dollars, but the idea that you can work for
government or work for a city or work for a community organization or work with children
or work with battered women or work out with the legal services and get paid for eight
weeks by your school is--this--the school doesn't have that money, they're not going
to raise tuition, but they raise that money in some way by an alumni, by faculty, I'm
sorry faculty, I shouldn't have said that, but the whole idea is that you--if you create
it, you can see if you get, you know, 20,000 dollars the first year, they're getting 200
to 300,000 dollars worth of cash from things that they're wrapping up. And one of my colleagues,
two of them, David Wilkins, has a wine cellar with over 4,000 bottles of wine. And he really
believes this, having a different kind of wine with every stage of the meal, so he brings
out four bottles at eight times in the course of the meal. I don't know how they can even
stay awake after that. [Laughter] And for him, it's, you know, probably 4,000 dollars
worth of wine, they'd probably bid--8 students bid probably 4,000 dollars of [inaudible]
house to have the bill and 32 bottles of wine and desserts, et cetera, right? And so he
loves it because for him, it isn't enticing the students, they love because the group
then could put some money together or get someone else to make the money. So--the--is
the creative thing that you can do social work for their public service if it becomes
possible to do it within the financial means, it's what I'm saying that you're going to
do. I started my career as a public defender and luck--and went on to work in a law firm
and then went back to teach at Harvard and I'd probably make a fair amount of money now
because the cases I take, but almost all that money, I still give scholarships to my high
school, I still give scholarships to my college, I still give scholarships to Harvard law school
which makes my wife furious. "Why are you giving money to Harvard? Harvard has 30 billion
dollars." I said, "I know, but I wouldn't be at Harvard if someone didn't give money
from me." "That's not a very good answer." "Well, it's the only answer I have." [Laughter]
Okay, so that sort of sense of doing things that might make a difference would really
help. Got time for one more question. Yes?
>> [Inaudible] I mentioned a few times that when we had a conversation that we're not
quite there yet. So in having that conversation when the time is right, [inaudible], what
would you think needs to be at the top of the agenda?
>> Ah, very good. The top of the agenda is not the problems, but it's the solutions.
In 1994 or so, I think just into this before he went to the second term. President Clinton
was going to have this conversation on America and he appointed John O. Franklin to be the
convener of this sessions and I wrote an article about it. And here is the solution that has
to be part of the conversation. If you're going to have these difficult conversations
about race, I used the medical metaphor for you're a doctor, you're going to open up me
and look at what's wrong with me. You have to repair me, right? And so you can't look
at those problems if you're not prepared to address them in a comprehensive way. And that's
the parts--I don't want to have a conversation just to have a conversation. And you're going
to do something that's going to change my life trajectory, right? In a very powerful
way. To change the way we think about this. Read deeply the bible, if race is white, politically
we're different from everybody. I think that's a problem. And another thing that I've noticed
and I have talking about it particularly in churches, black American churches is that
if you look at 1963 to 2012, make sure [inaudible] the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's, Martin
[inaudible] and I have been pushing this saying that the thing should be King had a dream
now we must have a plan. Because he gave us the plan, we never embraced it, we embraced
probably--what happens if we like this? That there is equal wealthy [inaudible]. And as
the middle class and the working class in the court and now that the condition is greater,
so I'm not talking about the black [inaudible], narrow comparison between black and white
problems, but black to black probably is wrong. And somebody has to address that because we're
assuming that [inaudible] there is going to be ignored because they're not employed, they
don't have homes, they don't have the education, and we've got to figure out what we're going
to do to lift the bottom-up 'cause right now, I just start a course in law school about
the [inaudible] emergencies, asking of course about living in big cities and how do you
fix that. What was interesting in the bible was that what we saw is that to my great [inaudible],
probably lacks one of the same things after in this submission. That from a white stand,
right? And business, I showed a clip of a group of high level black professionals in
Atlanta. They live in beautiful huge homes. All black neighborhood 'cause whites don't
want to live there and they are happy living in this black enclave and this part wasn't
black [inaudible] wait, we tried, we tried to integrate a white neighborhood. We were
only black a couple of weeks [inaudible] differently. And the question was what do you have now?
Says well, we have our very homes. Our kids can play with other kids, there kids with
our kids. We have our Starbucks, we are our Einstein's Bakery--Bagels, right? And so they--that's
exactly what the white wealthy families said. And I hope I'm not--I'm an active integrationist
at heart, you know, I got to see everybody come together. And I saw that maybe Romney
has a failure ground, not a [inaudible] Obama, they may be right. Brown for the first time
gave them a choice and the choice was I have to live in this neighborhood. I can move out
to the suburbs. I don't have to go to this public school, I can go to a private school.
And they're right. But my sense is that the choice is going to be, "Now that I've made
it, I'm going to do something that is going to help someone else and that's the separation
[inaudible] conversation. So you're going to have a hard time convincing those wealthy
successful blacks that they have [inaudible] amount of time. They deserve to go the suburbs.
They deserve to go to a private schools. They deserve [inaudible] community, all that is
a part of being no longer restricted in what you can do. And a full conversation is that,
you know, we always talk about the white, the middle class flight at the brown supreme
courts that you have to go to school together, whites are left followed by black middle class
flight from those same communities. I'm not going to go to that public school. I was just
in Milwaukee a week ago. And it was amazing to see, I didn't know this, but seeing on
the ground that Milwaukee is deeply racist--racial [inaudible]. The blacks who were poor, working
class were happy where they were, but I didn't see a white person anywhere in that block.
Anywhere. And that to me is a sign that, you know, have we--this conversation have to go
all the way back. We'll talk about, you know, why are all these human [inaudible] as opposed
to race, ethnicity, gender, religion, how to be human and then use that as a commonality
to see the--as Thurgood Marshall said, "This is not about the melting pot, that I want
you to lose your culture and ethnicity. This is about the salad bowl." And what's great
about the salad bowl is that [inaudible] you can't have a salad--you can, but you shouldn't
have a salad without lettuce and tomatoes and carrots and cucumbers, they're all different.
They look different, but they all work together. It's not the salad unless they are all like
they're together. And that's what together--people--we don't want people to walk into a room and
give up all their differences. We're going to see that you're all the same, that you're
also American, and that has to be not what Theodore Roosevelt told us in the 1930s or
'40s, but what we believe in the 21st century. Thank you all.
[ Applause ]