Dr. Phillip Atiba Solomon, Rashad Robinson, Dr. Bernice King, Anthony D. Romero: The path to ending systemic racism in the US

Recorded atJune 03, 2020
Duration (min:sec)06:17
Video TypeTED Stage Talk
Words per minute179.86 medium
Readability (FK)55.82 medium
SpeakerDr. Phillip Atiba Solomon, Rashad Robinson, Dr. Bernice King, Anthony D. Romero

Official TED page for this talk


In a time of mourning and anger over the ongoing violence inflicted on Black communities by police in the US and the lack of accountability from national leadership, what is the path forward? Sharing urgent insights into this historic moment, Dr. Phillip Atiba Solomon, Rashad Robinson, Dr. Bernice King and Anthony D. Romero discuss dismantling the systems of oppression and racism responsible for tragedies like the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and far too many others -- and explore how the US can start to live up to its ideals. (This discussion, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was recorded on June 3, 2020.)

Text Highlight (experimental)
100:00 Chris Anderson: Hello, TED community,
200:01 welcome back for another live conversation.
300:06 It's a big one today, as big as they get.
400:10 You know, when we created this "Build Back Better" series
500:14 our thought was how could we address issues arising out of the pandemic,
600:19 how could we imagine building back from that.
700:22 But the events of this past week,
800:24 the horrific death of George Floyd and the daily protests that have followed,
900:31 I mean, they provided a new urgency
1000:33 which we, of course, simply have to address.
1100:36 I mean, can we build back better from this?
1200:41 I think before we can even start to answer that question,
1300:44 we just have to seek to understand the immensity of this moment.
1400:50 Whitney Pennington Rodgers: That's right, Chris.
1500:52 Right now, so many people in the United States and beyond
1600:55 are grappling with feelings of anger and frustration, deep, deep sadness
1701:00 and really helplessness.
1801:02 No matter who you are,
1901:04 you have questions about what to do now,
2001:07 how to make things better.
2101:08 And as we've seen,
2201:10 violence like this unfolds for many, many years.
2301:14 What is the path forward?
2401:20 CA: So --
2501:25 We're joined today by a group of activists,
2601:27 organizers and leaders
2701:29 known for their crucial work in social justice and civil rights.
2801:34 We're so grateful to have them here to engage in a discussion
2901:36 about racial injustice in America,
3001:39 the unbearable acts of violence that we've --
3101:43 Acts of violence against the black community
3201:45 that we've witnessed,
3301:48 the dangers to a nation riven by anger and fear.
3401:52 And how on earth we can move forward from this
3501:56 to something better.
3601:57 So first, each of our four guests will share their thoughts
3702:02 on how we move forward from this moment.
3802:04 And then we'll engage as a group,
3902:06 including you, the TED community.
4002:10 WPR: And we'd like to thank our partner, the Project Management Institute.
4102:13 Their generous support has helped make today's interviews possible,
4202:17 and of course, as Chris mentioned,
4302:18 we want you to take part in the conversation,
4402:21 so please share your questions using our Ask a question feature
4502:24 and continue to share your thoughts in the discussion thread.
4602:28 CA: Thanks, Whitney.
4702:30 OK, let's get this moving.
4802:33 Our first guest.
4902:35 Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff is the founder and CEO
5002:40 of the Center for Policing Equity.
5102:43 They work with police departments across America, including in Minneapolis,
5202:48 to seek measurable responses to racial bias.
5302:54 Phil, I can scarcely imagine
5402:56 how the stress in the last week must have been for you.
5502:59 Welcome, and over to you for your opening comments.
5603:05 Phillip Atiba Goff: Thanks, Chris.
5703:08 Yeah, this week has been a gut punch
5803:11 to anybody who felt like we could be making progress
5903:16 in the way that we put forward public safety that empowers
6003:19 particularly vulnerable communities.
6103:23 We started working in Minneapolis about five years ago.
6203:27 At the time, it was, like most major cities in the United States,
6303:31 a department that had a long history
6403:35 of unaccounted for violence from law enforcement,
6503:39 targeting the most vulnerable black communities.
6603:42 And we tried to put into place a number of things that we know work.
6703:47 Change the culture,
6803:49 so that the culture can be accountable to the values of the community.
6903:53 And what we saw was small but measurable progress.
7003:59 We always knew,
7104:01 with small and measurable progress,
7204:03 that you're one tragic incident from going back to ground zero.
7304:08 But the events of the last week and a half
7404:10 haven't brought us back to ground zero,
7504:12 they've torched ground zero, and we've dug a hole
7604:15 that we have to dig ourselves out of.
7704:17 What I hear from police chiefs who call me,
7804:19 from activists I talk to,
7904:21 from folks in the communities that are literally on fire right now,
8004:27 I hear folks saying, I had one activist say to me
8104:30 that the pain that he was feeling
8204:32 was too large to fit into his body.
8304:36 And without thinking about it, I said right back,
8404:38 "That's because it's too large to fit into a lifetime."
8504:41 What we're seeing isn't just the response to one gruesome,
8604:47 cruel, public execution.
8704:51 A lynching.
8804:54 It's not just the reaction to three of them:
8904:57 Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor
9005:00 and then George Floyd.
9105:03 What we're seeing is the bill come due
9205:06 for the unpaid debts that this country owes
9305:10 to its black residents.
9405:12 And it comes due usually every 20 to 30 years.
9505:15 It was Ferguson just six years ago,
9605:18 but about 30 years before that,
9705:20 it was in the streets of Los Angeles,
9805:22 after the verdict that exonerated the police
9905:24 that beat Rodney King on video.
10005:27 It was Newark, it was Watts,
10105:29 it was Chicago, it was Tulsa,
10205:31 it was Chicago again.
10305:35 If we don't take a full accounting of these debts that are owed,
10405:41 then we're going to keep paying it.
10505:43 Part of what I've been experiencing in the last week and a half,
10605:46 and what I've been sharing with the people who do this work,
10705:49 who are serious about it,
10805:51 is the acknowledgment,
10905:53 the soul-crushing reality
11005:56 that at some point, when things stop being on fire,
11105:59 the cameras are going to turn to something else.
11206:02 And the history that we have in this country
11306:04 is not just a history of vicious neglect
11406:07 and a targeted abuse of black communities,
11506:10 it's also one where we lose our attention for it.
11606:16 And what that means for communities like in Baton Rouge,
11706:19 for those who still grieve Alton Sterling,
11806:23 and in Baltimore, for those who are still grieving Freddie Gray,
11906:26 is that there is not just a chance, there's a likelihood
12006:29 that we are a month or two months out from this
12106:32 with no more to show for it than what we had to show
12206:35 after Michael Brown Jr.
12306:40 And holding the weight of that,
12406:44 individually and collectively,
12506:46 is just too much.
12606:50 It's just too heavy a load
12706:53 for a person or a people, or a generation to hold up.
12807:00 What we're seeing is the unrepentant sins,
12907:03 the unpaid debts.
13007:06 And so the solution can't just be that we fix policing.
13107:10 It can't be only incremental reform.
13207:13 It can't be only systems of accountability
13307:16 to catch cops after they've killed somebody.
13407:19 Because there's no such thing as justice for George Floyd.
13507:23 There's maybe accountability.
13607:25 There's maybe some relief from the people who are still around, who loved him,
13707:29 for his daughter who spoke out yesterday
13807:31 and said, "My Daddy changed the world."
13907:33 There won't be justice for a man who's dead
14007:35 when he didn't have to be.
14107:37 But we're not going to get to where we need to go
14207:40 just by reforming police.
14307:43 So in addition to the work that CPE is known for with the data,
14407:46 we have been encouraging departments and cities
14507:49 to take the money that should be going to invest in communities,
14607:55 and take it from police budgets,
14707:58 bring it to the communities.
14808:00 People ask, "Well, what could it possibly look like?
14908:03 How could we imagine it?"
15008:05 And I tell people,
15108:06 there is a place where we do this in the United States right now.
15208:09 We've all heard about it, whispered,
15308:11 some of us have even been there, some of us live there.
15408:13 The place is called the suburbs,
15508:15 where we already have enough resources
15608:17 to give to people,
15708:18 so they don't need the police for public safety in the first place.
15808:21 If someone has a substance abuse issue, they can go to a clinic.
15908:24 If somebody has a medical issue,
16008:26 they've got insurance, they can go to a hospital.
16108:28 If there's a domestic dispute, they have friends, they have support.
16208:32 You don't need to enter a badge and a gun into it.
16308:34 If we hadn't disinvested from all the public resources
16408:37 that were available in communities that most needed those,
16508:39 we wouldn't need police in the first place,
16608:42 and many have been arguing, even more loudly recently,
16708:44 that we don't.
16808:45 If we would just take the money that we use to punish,
16908:50 and instead invest it
17008:52 in the promise and the genius of the community that could be there.
17108:56 So I don't know all the ways we're going to get there.
17208:58 I know it's going to take everything and.
17309:00 It's going to need the kind of systemic change
17409:03 and the management tools that we traditionally offer.
17509:06 It's also going to need a quantum change
17609:08 in the way that we think about public safety.
17709:10 But mostly, this isn't just a policing problem.
17809:13 This is the unpaid debts
17909:17 that are owed to black America.
18009:19 The bill is coming due.
18109:21 And we need to start getting an accounting together,
18209:24 so we're not just paying off the interest of the damn thing.
18309:35 WPR: Thank you, Phil.
18409:37 Rashad Robinson is the president of Color Of Change,
18509:40 a civil rights organization
18609:42 that advocates for racial justice for the black community.
18709:44 To date, more than four million people have signed their petition
18809:47 to arrest the officers involved in the murder of George Floyd.
18909:50 And of course, one was arrested last week.
19009:53 Thank you so much for being with us, Rashad, welcome.
19109:58 Rashad Robinson: Thank you. And thank you for having me.
19210:00 It's an opportunity that I'm taking today
19310:03 to just tell you about how you can get involved.
19410:05 How you can take action,
19510:07 because right now, strategic action is critical
19610:10 for all of us to do the work to change the rules
19710:13 that far too often keep the systems in place
19810:17 that hold us back.
19910:18 Make no mistake,
20010:20 the criminal justice system is not broken.
20110:23 It is operating exactly the way it was designed.
20210:28 At every single level,
20310:30 the criminal justice system is not about providing justice,
20410:34 but about ensuring that certain people, certain communities are protected,
20510:40 while other communities are violated.
20610:41 And so I wan to talk a little bit today about Color Of Change,
20710:44 about activism, about the work that's happening on the ground
20810:47 from other organizations all around the country,
20910:50 and the way that you can channel this energy.
21010:52 What we talk about at Color Of Change
21110:54 is how do you channel presence into power.
21210:57 Far too often we mistake presence and visibility for power,
21311:01 presence retweets the stories of the movement,
21411:05 people feeling passion about change
21511:07 could sometimes make us feel like change is inevitable,
21611:10 but power is actually the ability to change the rules.
21711:14 And right now, every day, people are taking action,
21811:16 and what we're trying to channel that energy into
21911:19 is a couple of things.
22011:20 First is a whole set of demands at the federal level
22111:24 and at the local level.
22211:25 As Phil described,
22311:26 policing operates on many different channels.
22411:31 And what we need to recognize
22511:33 is that while there are a lot of things that can happen at the federal level,
22611:36 locally all around the country
22711:39 there are decisions that are being made in communities
22811:42 around how policing is executed,
22911:45 where community needs to hold a deeper level of accountability,
23011:48 at the state level we need new laws.
23111:50 So at Color Of Change,
23211:51 we've built a whole platform around a set of demands
23311:53 and are working to build more energy
23411:55 for everyday people to take action.
23511:58 We're fighting for justice
23611:59 for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd,
23712:02 we're also fighting for justice
23812:04 for other folks whose names you haven't heard,
23912:07 Nina Pop and others,
24012:08 whose stories of injustice
24112:11 and the relationship to the criminal justice system
24212:14 represent all the ways in which fighting right now is important.
24312:19 Over the last couple of years,
24412:21 we have worked to build a movement,
24512:22 to hold district attorneys accountable
24612:25 and to change the role of district attorneys in our country.
24712:28 And through the Winning Justice platform at Color Of Change,
24812:31 www.winningjustice.org,
24912:34 what we have worked to do is channel the energy
25012:36 of everyday people to take action.
25112:38 So, for folks who are watching what's happening on TV,
25212:41 seeing it on their social media feeds
25312:43 and are outraged about what's happening in Georgia,
25412:48 what's happening in Tennessee,
25512:49 what's happening in Minnesota,
25612:53 you yourself, probably, most likely,
25712:56 live in a place, in a community
25812:58 where you have a district attorney
25913:00 that will not hold police accountable,
26013:04 that will not prosecute police when they harm, hurt black folks,
26113:07 when they violate the laws,
26213:09 you live in a community
26313:10 where police are part of the structure
26413:14 that is racking up mass incarceration,
26513:16 but many other aspects of our system
26613:20 are racking up mass incarceration,
26713:22 and district attorneys are at the center of it.
26813:26 You live in those communities and you need to do something about it.
26913:29 And so at winningjustice.org,
27013:30 we've created the only searchable, national database
27113:33 on the 2,400 prosecutors around the country.
27213:36 We're building local squads and communities
27313:38 for folks to be able to engage around efforts that hold DAs accountable.
27413:43 We've worked with our partners across the movement,
27513:46 from our friends in Black Lives Matter,
27613:48 to folks who do policy work,
27713:50 to our friends at local ACLU chapters around the country,
27813:54 to build six demands.
27913:56 Six demands that folks can get behind in terms of pushing for reform,
28014:00 and then we've built public education material.
28114:03 But the only way that we work to change the way
28214:06 that prosecution happens in this country
28314:09 is that if people get involved.
28414:11 If people raise their voice,
28514:13 if people join us in pushing for real change.
28614:17 At the end of the day, I want people to recognize though,
28714:19 and Phillip talked a little bit about this,
28814:22 is that people don't experience issues, they experience life.
28914:26 That the forces that hold us back are deeply interrelated,
29014:29 a racist criminal justice system
29114:31 requires a racist media culture to survive,
29214:33 a political inequality follows economic inequality,
29314:37 they all go hand in hand.
29414:40 And so I also want us to not take ourselves out of the equation.
29514:44 We likely work inside of corporations that may post symbols
29614:48 for Black Lives Matter one day,
29714:49 and then support politicians that work to destroy Black Lives Matter
29814:54 the next day.
29914:55 We oftentimes are engaged in practices inside of our companies
30014:59 or in our daily lives supporting media properties and others
30115:03 that are harming our communities,
30215:05 are telling stories.
30315:08 Recently, we produced a report at Color Of Change
30415:10 with the Norman Lear school at USC.
30515:14 It's called "Normalizing Injustice,"
30615:16 and it can be found at changehollywood.org.
30715:19 And "Normalizing Injustice" looks at the 22 crime procedurals,
30815:23 those crime shows on TV.
30915:25 And looks at all of the ways
31015:26 in which they, sort of, create a warped perception
31115:29 about our view of justice.
31215:32 They create sort of an incentive
31315:35 for the type of policing we see on the country,
31415:37 and actually serve as a PR arm for law enforcement.
31515:40 We've been working in writers rooms around the country
31615:43 to work to push folks to tell better stories,
31715:45 but we need folks to be both active listeners,
31815:48 and we need folks in the industry to push back
31915:50 and challenge those,
32015:53 not only the structures that lead to that content coming on the air,
32115:56 but the proliferation across our airwaves.
32216:00 At the end of the day,
32316:01 we have an opportunity in this moment to make change.
32416:05 Inflection points are those moments
32516:07 where we have an opportunity to make huge leaps forward,
32616:12 or the real, real threat of falling backwards.
32716:17 In our hands is the ability to do some incredible things
32816:21 about undoing so many of the injustices
32916:24 that have stood in the way of progress for far too long.
33016:28 But everyday people must get involved.
33116:31 We must channel that presence into power,
33216:34 and we must build the type of power that changes the rules.
33316:39 Racism in so many ways is like water
33416:43 pouring over a floor with holes in it.
33516:45 Every single --
33616:48 In every single way, it will find the holes.
33716:51 And so for us,
33816:53 we cannot simply accept
33916:55 charitable solutions to structural problems,
34016:58 but we actually have to work for structural change.
34117:01 And so I want to end by saying one thing about how we talk about black people
34217:05 and how we talk about black communities in this moment.
34317:08 Because we have to say what we mean,
34417:10 and we have to build the narrative that gets us to where we want to go.
34517:14 So far too often,
34617:15 we talk about black communities as vulnerable,
34717:17 we talk about black people as vulnerable,
34817:19 but vulnerability is a personal trait,
34917:21 black communities have been under attack.
35017:23 Black communities have been exploited, black communities have been targeted,
35117:27 and we need to say that,
35217:28 so we don't put the onus on fixing black families and communities,
35317:31 but we put the onus on fixing the structures that have harmed us.
35417:34 We will say things like,
35517:36 "Black people are less likely to get loans from banks,"
35617:39 instead of saying that banks are less likely
35717:41 to give loans to black people.
35817:42 This is our opportunity to build the type of progress
35917:45 that makes real change,
36017:47 and at the center of this story,
36117:49 we need to show and elevate the images
36217:52 not just of the pain that we are facing,
36317:54 but of the joy, the brilliance and the creativity
36417:57 that black people have brought to this country.
36517:59 Black people are the protagonist of this story,
36618:02 and we need to make sure
36718:04 that as we work to build a new tomorrow,
36818:06 we ensure that the heroes are at the center
36918:09 of the liberation that we all need.
37018:11 Thank you.
37118:16 CA: Thank you, Rashad.
37218:19 Dr. Bernice King is the CEO of the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
37318:26 The center is a living memorial
37418:28 to her father, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
37518:34 It's dedicated to inspiring new generations
37618:37 to carry his work forward.
37718:40 In this moment, when so many are hurting,
37818:43 how can we better approach unity and collective healing?
37918:49 Dr. King, over to you.
38018:57 Bernice King: My heart is a little heavy right now,
38119:00 because I was that six-year-old.
38219:03 I was five years old when my father was assassinated.
38319:06 And he did change the world.
38419:10 But the tragedy is that we didn't hear
38519:15 what he was saying to us as a prophet to this nation.
38619:20 And his words are now reverberating back to us.
38719:26 Change, we all know, is necessary right now.
38819:32 And yet, it's not easy.
38919:35 We know that there has to be changes in policing in this nation of ours.
39019:41 But I want to talk about America's choice
39119:46 at a greater level.
39219:48 The prophet said to us,
39319:50 "We still have a choice today:
39419:52 nonviolent coexistence,
39519:55 or violent coannihilation."
39619:58 What we have witnessed over the last eight days
39720:02 has placed that choice before us.
39820:07 We have seen literally in the streets of our nation
39920:12 people who have been following the path of nonviolent protest,
40020:18 and people who have been hell-bent on destruction.
40120:24 Those choices are now looking at us, and we have to make a choice.
40220:30 The history of this nation was founded in violence.
40320:34 In fact, my father said
40420:35 America is the greatest purveyor of violence.
40520:40 And the only way forward is if we repent
40620:44 for being a nation built on violence.
40720:49 And I'm not just talking about physical violence.
40820:52 I'm talking about systemic violence,
40920:54 I'm talking about policy violence,
41020:56 I'm talking about what he spoke of
41120:58 are the triple evils of poverty, racism and militarism.
41221:02 All violent.
41321:06 Albert Einstein said something to us.
41421:08 He said we cannot solve problems
41521:10 on the same level of thinking in which they were created.
41621:15 And so if we are going to move forward,
41721:18 we are going to have to deconstruct these systems of violence
41821:24 that we have set in America.
41921:26 And we're going to have to reconstruct on another foundation.
42021:33 That foundation happens to be love and nonviolence.
42121:39 And so, as we move forward,
42221:41 we can correct course if we make that choice
42321:46 that Daddy said, nonviolent coexistence.
42421:50 And not continue on the pathway of violent coannihilation.
42521:55 So what does that look like?
42621:57 That looks like some deconstruction work
42722:01 in order to get to the construction.
42822:03 We have to deconstruct our thinking.
42922:07 We've got to deconstruct the way in which we see people
43022:12 and deconstruct the way in which we operate,
43122:17 practice and engage and set policy.
43222:22 And so I believe that there's a lot of heart,
43322:27 h-e-a-r-t work to do,
43422:30 in the midst of all the h-a-r-d, hard work to do.
43522:35 Because heart work is hard work.
43622:39 One of the things we have to do
43722:40 is we have to ensure that everyone,
43822:45 especially my white brothers and sisters,
43922:49 have to engage in the heart work, the antiracism work,
44022:54 in our hearts.
44122:56 No one is exempt from this,
44222:59 especially in my white community.
44323:05 We must do that work in our hearts,
44423:08 the antiracism work.
44523:11 The second thing is
44623:12 that I encourage people
44723:14 to look at the nonviolence training that we [have] at the King Center,
44823:18 thekingcenter.org,
44923:20 so that we learn the foundation of understanding
45023:23 our interrelatedness and interconnectedness.
45123:28 That we understand our loyalties and our commitments
45223:31 and our policy-making
45323:33 can no longer be devoted to one group of people,
45423:36 but has to be devoted to the greater good of all people.
45523:43 And so I'm inviting people to even join us
45623:45 on our own line of protest
45723:47 that's happening every night at seven o'clock pm
45823:50 on the King Center Facebook page,
45923:52 because so many people have things that they want to express
46023:56 and contribute to this.
46123:57 We all have to change and have to make a choice.
46224:03 It is a choice to change the direction that we have been going.
46324:11 We need a revolution of values in this country.
46424:16 That's what my Daddy said.
46524:19 He changed the world, he changed hearts,
46624:24 and now, what has happened over the last seven, eight years
46724:30 and through history,
46824:32 we have to change course.
46924:35 And we all have to participate in changing America
47024:40 with the true revolution of values,
47124:42 where people are at the center,
47224:45 and not profit.
47324:47 Where morality is at the center,
47424:50 and not our military might.
47524:53 America does have a choice.
47624:58 We can either choose to go down continually that path of destruction,
47725:04 or we can choose nonviolent coexistence.
47825:09 And as my mother said,
47925:11 struggle is a never-ending process,
48025:13 freedom is never really won.
48125:15 You earn it and win it in every generation.
48225:20 Every generation is called to this freedom struggle.
48325:23 You as a person may want to exempt yourself,
48425:25 but every generation is called.
48525:28 And so I encourage corporations in America
48625:32 to start doing antiracism work within corporate America.
48725:36 I encourage every industry to start doing antiracism work,
48825:41 and pick up the banner of understanding nonviolent change, personally,
48925:49 and from a social change perspective.
49025:54 We can do this.
49125:56 We can make the right choice
49225:59 to ultimately build the beloved community.
49326:05 Thank you.
49426:10 WPR: Thank you, Dr. King.
49526:13 Anthony Romero is the executive director
49626:15 of American Civil Liberties Union.
49726:17 As one of the nation's oldest social justice organizations,
49826:20 the ACLU has advocated for racial equality
49926:22 and shown deep support to the black community
50026:24 in moments of crisis.
50126:25 And in moments like these,
50226:27 black voices are almost always the loudest
50326:29 and at times the silence from our nonblack brothers and sisters
50426:35 can feel deafening.
50526:37 How we can bring our allies into the mix,
50626:41 to better support ending systemic violence and racism against the black communities,
50726:45 is a question top of mind for a lot of us.
50826:49 Anthony, welcome to the show,
50926:50 and thank you so much for being with us.
51026:53 Anthony Romero: Great.
51126:54 Thank you, thank you Whitney,
51226:56 thank you, Chris,
51326:57 for inviting me to join this TED community.
51427:02 I think community is really important right now.
51527:05 With so many of us feeling trepidation,
51627:08 the weariness, the anger,
51727:10 the fear, the frustration,
51827:11 the terrorism that we've experienced in our communities.
51927:15 This is a time to huddle around a virtual campfire,
52027:20 with your posse, with your family,
52127:21 with your loved ones, with your network.
52227:24 It's not a time to be isolated or alone.
52327:26 And I think for allies in this struggle,
52427:30 those of us who don't live this experience every day,
52527:34 it is time for us to lean in.
52627:36 You can't change the channel,
52727:39 you can't tune out,
52827:41 you can't say, "This is too hard."
52927:45 It is not that hard for us to listen and learn and heed.
53027:50 It is the only way we're going to build out of this,
53127:53 by hearing the voices of Rashad, and Phil and Dr. King.
53227:57 By hearing the voices of our neighbors and loved ones,
53328:00 by hearing the voices on Twitter of people who we don't know.
53428:03 And so white communities and allied organizations
53528:06 need to pay even closer attention.
53628:09 This is the test of your character.
53728:11 How willing are you to lean in and to engage.
53828:17 For me, I have --
53928:19 These have been really hard couple of weeks.
54028:21 I feel like this is really a test
54128:25 of whether or not we really believe in the American experiment.
54228:28 Do we really believe it?
54328:30 Do we really believe that out of many, one,
54428:34 a country with no unifying language,
54528:36 no unifying culture,
54628:37 no unifying religion,
54728:39 can we really become one people?
54828:42 All equal before the law?
54928:45 All bound together with a belief in the rule of law?
55028:48 Do we really believe that
55128:49 or do we just think it's a nice saying
55228:52 to see on the back of a paper dollar?
55328:56 And for me, this is a referendum on the American experiment.
55429:00 On whether we really believe,
55529:03 and ...
55629:06 the future is in our hands.
55729:08 And this is not like other crises,
55829:09 I've been the head of the ACLU for almost 20 years,
55929:12 I feel like I've seen it all.
56029:14 This is different.
56129:17 And this is different because it is cumulative,
56229:21 like Phil and Rashad and Dr. King told us,
56329:24 this is centuries of systemic discrimination,
56429:28 and the bill has come due.
56529:30 And it will continue to be due,
56629:32 and we will pay.
56729:33 Unless we really do something quite different.
56829:36 I have been scratching my head at the ACLU for the last week.
56929:39 We've been at this for 100 years.
57029:41 My organization has been working on this from its inception.
57129:45 In 1931, we were involved with this report about lawlessness in law enforcement.
57229:51 That was our first report that we got behind in 1931.
57329:54 We opened up our first door fronts after the riots in Watts,
57429:59 so that we can bring legal services and lawyers to the communities
57530:03 so they could demand justice from the police departments.
57630:06 You know, we brought Miranda, you know,
57730:09 the right to remain silent,
57830:11 and we brought Gideon, the right to a court-appointed attorney
57930:14 if you can't afford one.
58030:15 We fought Bloomberg on "stop-and-frisk,"
58130:18 it took him years and he lost in front of our litigation
58230:23 to finally apologize.
58330:24 We've been at this for 100 years.
58430:29 And for the communities that have lived this for 400 years, God.
58530:35 I've been scratching my head, thinking.
58630:38 It ain't working.
58730:39 We don't need another pattern and practice lawsuit.
58830:42 We don't need another training program
58930:45 on racial bias or implicit bias in police departments,
59030:49 we don't need to file another lawsuit on qualified immunity,
59130:53 we don't need to, kind of, bring another race discrimination
59230:56 or gender discrimination lawsuit
59330:57 to integrate the police department.
59431:00 Yeah, we've done that and we will continue to do that.
59531:03 For me, where I've come,
59631:04 is that we need to defund the budgets of these police departments.
59731:09 It's the only way we're going to take the power back.
59831:12 And the more I read over the last couple of weeks
59931:14 about where this country is,
60031:17 the more I'm clear that that is my North star at the moment.
60131:20 We will continue to bring the litigation on qualified immunity,
60231:23 we will do the efforts
60331:27 to hold unaccountable law enforcement officials accountable,
60431:31 we will bring pattern and practice lawsuits,
60531:33 because the justice department is not doing that,
60631:35 so we will continue to do all that good work.
60731:38 But the real thing is, we're going to go after those budgets.
60831:41 When you look at the fact
60931:42 that we spend 100 million dollars on policing,
61031:44 more than incarceration,
61131:46 that the city of Minneapolis spent 30 percent of their budget
61231:51 on policing.
61331:53 The city of Oakland, 41 percent on policing.
61431:58 That when you have New York City police department
61532:00 spend more money on policing
61632:02 than it does on housing and preservation development,
61732:04 community youth services, homelessness.
61832:07 We're going after the money.
61932:09 And that's hard-core advocacy.
62032:12 Bills drop in local legislatures
62132:14 to cut the funding for police,
62232:16 to stop these programs
62332:18 that give the federal military surplus
62432:24 to police departments,
62532:25 so they become, like, little mini armies,
62632:27 these don't look like police officers,
62732:29 these look like standing armies.
62832:31 And the enemy are communities of color.
62932:33 So we need to take away their toys.
63032:35 We need to cut their budgets.
63132:37 We need to shrink the police infrastructure,
63232:41 so that we can get police out of the quotidian lives of people of color
63332:45 and communities of color.
63432:47 The ubiquitousness of police enforcement
63532:50 on things that the police do not have a role,
63632:52 should not have a role to play.
63732:54 People should not lose their lives
63832:56 over whether or not a cigarette pack has a proper tax stamp,
63933:00 or whether a 20-dollar bill was forged or not.
64033:02 That's not worthy of spending our dollars on police.
64133:05 Get them out of that business,
64233:07 let's focus on the most important and the most serious of crimes,
64333:11 and that's it.
64433:12 That's it.
64533:14 We're going to depolice our communities.
64633:16 Shrink those budgets.
64733:18 We're going to reinvest those moneys in local communities,
64833:21 it will be like water on stone campaigns,
64933:23 local legislatures,
65033:25 local city counsels, lab report cards,
65133:27 for people who talk out of both sides of their mouths and say,
65233:31 "We believe in police reform,"
65333:32 and yet, they're still going to vote for 30 or 40 percent for the police?
65433:35 We're going to put that right to the public.
65533:38 And I think we just have to stay at it,
65633:40 because I think that's the only way we can get at this in a different way.
65733:43 Because much of what we tried to do is just simply not working.
65833:47 You know, with that,
65933:48 I struggle with, how do you find the optimism in this moment,
66033:52 because you have to find the optimism.
66133:55 You have to find the way
66233:57 to still think that even though on the face of so many setbacks,
66334:02 there's been change.
66434:04 It's been too little, too slow, not enough.
66534:07 We need to kind of, rock it, boost it.
66634:10 But you can't lose sight of the optimism.
66734:12 And you know, I've been thinking about who are the folks inspiring me,
66834:16 and Dr. King's father, of course,
66934:18 and the words of Rashad and Patrisse Cullors
67034:21 and others have inspired me.
67134:23 But I find inspiration in the words of a scholar
67234:26 I really don't like bringing up, Sam Huntington,
67334:28 kind of often criticized as being a conservative, a racist.
67434:32 But sometimes you can find inspiration even in your enemy's words.
67534:35 And in one of his books,
67634:37 which I pulled off the shelf I have,
67734:40 he writes about how America is a disappointment,
67834:44 because it failed to live up to its aspirations.
67934:48 And he actually started talking about, America is a failure
68034:52 because it doesn't live up to its ideals.
68134:55 But it's not a failure, it's not a bunch of lies.
68234:59 It's a disappointment.
68335:01 And in the disappointment also is the fact that there's hope.
68435:06 I'm paraphrasing it,
68535:07 but I think we have to kind of, wrap all of that together,
68635:10 and think about the disappointment
68735:13 and the hope and the resolve to do better.
68835:17 And we need to listen and lean in,
68935:20 and I thank the TED community,
69035:22 I thank Dr. King, I thank Rashad, I thank Phil.
69135:26 Thank you.
69235:34 CA: Wow.
69335:35 Thank you to all four of you, that was astonishing.
69435:39 I guess we're bringing everyone back now
69535:42 to have a conversation among us,
69635:47 to answer questions from our community,
69735:49 I hope you're entering those questions.
69835:54 So I don't know whether we can bring back our guests onto the screen at this point.
69936:02 Welcome back.
70036:08 Let me start with a question to you, Dr. King,
70136:12 I was so inspired by what you said.
70236:17 Your father, of course, also deeply understood
70336:22 the anger that leads to protest.
70436:25 I think he said that protests are the language of the unheard.
70536:32 And I'm wondering what you would say to someone right now
70636:35 who is angered beyond measure by what's happened,
70736:40 and also sees this could be the moment, you know,
70836:44 like, someone who believes the system is so fundamentally broken,
70936:49 that our best choice is to tear it down,
71036:53 that that is actually --
71136:55 This may be a once-in-a-generation moment to do that.
71237:00 And so to actually believe that protest, including violent protest,
71337:04 actually is the way right now.
71437:06 What would you say to someone who felt that?
71537:12 BK: First, I just wanted to make just a slight correction,
71637:15 he said riots are the language of the unheard.
71737:18 CA: I apologize, I apologize.
71837:20 But that is the point even more powerfully, yeah.
71937:23 BK: Yes.
72037:26 Protest we must,
72137:27 and we must continue to always protest,
72237:30 to keep the issues in the awareness before people,
72337:34 but you know,
72437:36 when a person is angry, sometimes it's hard to reach them.
72537:40 I've been on that journey,
72637:42 I was at a stage of my life where I was so angry, I wanted to destroy,
72737:46 and I'm the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.,
72837:49 and grew up in a household of love and nonviolence and forgiveness,
72937:54 and I had to go through that journey
73037:56 I was surrounded by the right kind of influences, fortunately.
73138:01 Because that would have been a sad story.
73238:05 But I think it's really
73338:08 allowing ourselves to hear the anger
73438:12 and allowing the space for the anger,
73538:15 but also trying to help young people
73638:21 rechannel that energy.
73738:23 And we've got to start ensuring that we connect them
73838:27 to some of the work that has been and now is elevated to another place.
73938:33 Color Of Change, the work that you're doing,
74038:35 the ACLU, the work that they're doing,
74138:39 because sometimes,
74238:41 there's this disconnection that intensifies the emotion
74338:45 and makes you feel helpless.
74438:47 But if you can channel that anger,
74538:49 connect it with action that is toward creating
74638:54 the social and economic change,
74738:57 then it begins to build you up,
74839:01 and then you can begin to become more constructive with the anger.
74939:08 WPR: We have some questions that are coming in from our community,
75039:11 but before we do that,
75139:13 you all shared such powerful, meaningful statements right now,
75239:16 and many of you touched on the fact that this is not the first time
75339:19 that we're experiencing this.
75439:21 The murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor,
75539:24 this is one of --
75639:26 these are three of many, many instances just like this,
75739:29 and I'd love to hear you all address
75839:32 was has, sort of, brought us to this boiling point,
75939:35 what has contributed to this moment
76039:36 where we're now experiencing things, Anthony, as you said,
76139:40 that feels so much worse than other moments?
76239:48 And that's it,
76339:49 anyone who feels comfortable to take that question.
76439:53 AR: Rashad, I want to hear you.
76539:55 BK: I wanted to say something.
76639:58 I think we've always been at that moment.
76740:01 But this moment is different, because of the void in leadership.
76840:06 There's no real moral voice in our country,
76940:09 and the person who sits in the office of the presidency
77040:13 is not, you know, leading in the right way.
77140:17 And has kind of --
77240:20 no, not kind of, has given license to certain things.
77340:24 And so now it's,
77440:27 you know, he's lit the fires.
77540:31 WPR: Yeah.
77640:34 RR: The thing I'll add ...
77740:37 The thing I'll add here is, you know, a couple of things.
77840:41 For the last couple of months,
77940:43 we have been both seeing and experiencing
78040:46 all of the ways that this country's decisions of underinvestment,
78140:51 of targeting black communities,
78240:53 has been killing black people through COVID.
78340:58 And while we've been in our homes,
78441:02 we have also been watching how the media has blamed us
78541:05 as we have been the essential workers in so many places
78641:08 and trying to ensure that this country keeps going.
78741:12 We've watched white men with guns show up to capitols
78841:17 demanding, basically, black and brown people go back to work.
78941:20 And then we see this eight-minute video
79041:22 with a police officer,
79141:25 with his knee on someone's neck,
79241:27 after seeing that video of Ahmaud Arbery
79341:30 and hearing the story of Breonna Taylor,
79441:32 and we see him looking in the camera,
79541:34 basically knowing that America was not going to punish him.
79641:38 And what I think it is is that it's just enough is enough,
79741:41 that people didn't feel that they had a channel for that outrage,
79841:44 and because people had been inside,
79941:46 and because people had been experiencing
80041:48 all the ways in which the structures had also been colluding to kill us,
80141:54 that what we're seeing is alignment of all of those things,
80241:59 where people are making demands
80342:01 that are much bigger and much bolder than before.
80442:04 And we recognize that while we don't have leadership at the federal level,
80542:08 we also have to recognize that no political party
80642:12 can say that they have been 100 percent,
80742:14 neither political party can say
80842:15 they've been 100 percent on the right side of all these issues.
80942:18 And so people are mobilizing,
81042:21 they are fighting back like never before,
81142:23 and in some ways,
81242:24 people are unwilling to accept answers like, "Just go vote,"
81342:27 or, "Just participate in the process,"
81442:29 because we recognize that black people have been voting,
81542:32 black people have been part of voting,
81642:34 and part of ensuring that.
81742:35 And so that I think is why this moment feels so much different,
81842:39 combined with, for the last seven years,
81942:42 since Trayvon, we have seen the growth of a new movement
82042:45 of activists and leaders all around the country,
82142:48 who are also in a very different place
82242:50 to be able to move the needle on so much of what's possible.
82342:57 CA: We have a question here from Genesis Be.
82443:02 If we can get that up here.
82543:06 "Here in Mississippi, the police is synonymous with the Klan, historically.
82643:12 How do we purge law enforcement of white supremacists?"
82743:25 PAG: So I guess that's partially to me,
82843:28 being the psychologist of bias.
82943:31 I'll say that just yesterday
83043:33 we had an officer in Denver who posted on social media
83143:37 himself and two other officers
83243:39 saying, "Let's go start a riot."
83343:43 He was fired that day.
83443:45 I worry about all the officers
83543:47 that the FBI has now, for almost half a decade,
83643:49 been warning us,
83743:51 law enforcement and unions being infiltrated by white supremacists.
83843:56 And all the officers that have social media accounts,
83943:58 but they're private.
84044:00 You know, the Invisible Institute has put some things forward.
84144:03 We're not talking seriously about the domestic terrorism threat
84244:06 that white supremacy represents.
84344:09 So the first thing that we've got to do
84444:11 is we've got to take it seriously.
84544:13 We have to actually say out loud,
84644:15 and I can't believe that on a day like today,
84744:18 or a week like this week, I have to say out loud,
84844:20 white supremacy is alive and well
84944:23 and a driving force of American politics.
85044:25 This shouldn't be controversial.
85144:27 I shouldn't be looking forward to getting hate mail in my inbox for it,
85244:31 but that's the reality.
85344:32 So the first part of solving a problem
85444:35 is acknowledging that it exists.
85544:37 But the second thing is we need to arm municipalities,
85644:39 that's law enforcement, but even more so communities,
85744:42 with the ability to take action when someone violates their values.
85844:47 Right now, I think about the case in Philadelphia
85944:50 where Charles Ramsey, when he was a commissioner there,
86044:54 fired six officers, right.
86144:57 Concerns about racial bias and concerns about police brutality,
86245:00 and those six officers were back on the same job
86345:02 inside of three months.
86445:04 We now have a law enforcement system
86545:06 that says you can lose your job in one jurisdiction,
86645:09 and get the same job as law enforcement
86745:11 in another jurisdiction.
86845:12 And without the national registry
86945:15 and the capacity for law enforcement to make different decisions,
87045:18 we're going to have this exact problem,
87145:20 not just in Mississippi,
87245:21 but in Minneapolis, and Louisville and New York and LA.
87345:26 CA: Phil, how much of the problem
87445:30 stems from the fact that police unions have a huge amount of power
87545:35 to protect and sometimes reinstate so called bad apple officers?
87645:41 PAG: Yeah, I'm getting this question a lot,
87745:43 and police unions are one of the most labor forces
87845:47 of the United States,
87945:48 and are unique within the labor movement, right?
88045:51 So it's police unions and teachers' unions are the two largest
88145:54 and could not be two different groups of folks.
88245:57 When I talk to union leadership,
88345:59 that's the leadership what wants to talk to Dr. Blackenstein, right,
88446:02 when I talk to union leadership, what they say is
88546:04 no one hates a bad officer more than a good officer.
88646:07 But the union contracts, the new negotiations,
88746:10 don't look like that's true.
88846:12 What they look like is anybody gets in trouble,
88946:15 and the union's only job is to make sure whatever officer is in trouble,
89046:18 gets to maintain their job.
89146:20 The perverse incentive here
89246:22 is that when people run for union leadership,
89346:24 no one can run saying,
89446:26 "These people shouldn't be in the union."
89546:28 It's very hard to do that.
89646:30 What you can run on is say,
89746:31 "If this person didn't protect you enough,
89846:34 I'll protect you even more.
89946:35 The bigots? I'll protect even them."
90046:37 So we have this perverse incentive
90146:39 where union leadership ends up not really representing
90246:42 the values even of the rest of the union members.
90346:46 But they have massive, outsized negotiating power.
90446:49 So yes, engaging with
90546:52 and appropriate rightsizing of labor protections,
90646:55 for folks whose jobs are difficult,
90746:57 but who should not be protected from the basic values of human rights,
90847:01 human dignity and public safety.
90947:04 It's got to be part of the process.
91047:06 I mean, when unions are negotiating a two-year ban on keeping of records,
91147:11 so that there's no ability even to trace
91247:13 what's happening in the state of California,
91347:15 historically in terms of police misconduct,
91447:18 that's not in the interest of public safety,
91547:20 public legitimacy, or our democracy.
91647:22 AR: Yeah, the thing I would add, Chris,
91747:24 is that I think the labor union piece
91847:26 is a critically important one to think through.
91947:29 Because I think, like Phil said,
92047:30 they are a key part of the puzzle that we have to solve for.
92147:35 And you know, it's frustrating when you look at a place in Minneapolis,
92247:39 and Phil knows better than I,
92347:41 but when mayor Jacob Frey, the one who's on TV all the time,
92447:44 saying many of the right things that you want an elected official to say
92547:48 at times like this,
92647:49 when he banned his police department from attending the "warrior training"
92747:54 that was being offered,
92847:55 it was the Minneapolis Police Federation,
92947:58 local union that defied him
93048:00 and sent their police to the training.
93148:04 And so we need to really be clear that we need to have the police forces
93248:07 under civilian control.
93348:09 I know this sounds so elementary,
93448:11 I feel like I'm talking about a Latin American,
93548:13 kind of, totalitarian context,
93648:16 but we need to exert civilian control of our police
93748:19 in a way that we have yet not been able to think through,
93848:22 and a key part of that is the labor unions of the police.
93948:25 And there are moments when you can find common ground.
94048:28 When we brought one of our COVID-related lawsuits
94148:30 to deal with the outbreak of the pandemic in a Maryland jail,
94248:36 we worked really hard,
94348:38 I worked the phones with the head of police unions.
94448:42 We got one of the local unions
94548:44 to serve as plaintiff in our lawsuit.
94648:48 Because we understood that the incarcerated folks
94748:50 who were being denied access to masks, social distancing and the conditions
94848:54 and lack of testing, and lack of PP,
94948:57 that the people who were also going to be in harm's way
95048:59 were going to be the guards as well.
95149:01 And they were going to be the vectors,
95249:03 communicating the disease out into the community.
95349:05 So if you can find ways of bringing that relationship.
95449:10 But make no mistake, when you go after their budgets,
95549:13 and you start taking away kind of, their munitions,
95649:16 and their seat at the budgeting table,
95749:19 oh, are you going to have a battle on your hands, right?
95849:23 And we have to think about also as we shrink the budgets for police,
95949:27 how do we --
96049:28 we deploy people in the police departments
96149:31 to other meaningful jobs, right?
96249:33 Because you can't just throw them out into the street, and say,
96349:36 "You're on your own, you're homeless, good luck to you."
96449:39 That's not a way to deal with redemption.
96549:42 So we have to really think about all these pieces
96649:44 in a much more cohesive way.
96749:50 WPR: We have another question here from the audience.
96849:53 From Paul Rucker:
96949:55 "The end of summer of 1919
97049:58 was followed by the Tulsa Race Massacre,
97150:01 the Johnson-Reed Anti-Immigration Act of 1924,
97250:04 and also the rise of the KKK.
97350:06 Is there a possibility
97450:07 that white supremacy will get stronger if we don't seize this opportunity?"
97550:11 Rashad, I think this might be something
97650:13 that would be great to hear your perspective on,
97750:15 working so deeply in activism.
97850:21 RR: I'm having a little trouble hearing.
97950:23 WPR: Oh, I'm so sorry.
98050:27 RR: No, it's OK.
98150:28 CA: Can you read the question on the screen, Rashad?
98250:32 RR: Oh, I heard that, I heard you.
98350:35 WPR: Yes, I think it might just be my mic is having some issues here.
98450:41 "Is there a possibility that white supremacy will get stronger
98550:44 if we don't seize this opportunity."
98650:50 Yes, absolutely yes.
98750:53 You know, to be clear, right,
98850:56 if we don't have the right diagnosis of white supremacy,
98951:00 if we think of white supremacy as just hoods,
99051:04 if we think of white supremacy as just folks
99151:08 who are operating, you know,
99251:12 with, you know --
99351:14 in some of these underground networks that have grown,
99451:17 if we're just thinking about white supremacy and white nationalism
99551:20 as people who marched with tiki torches in Charlottesville,
99651:23 then we will really mistake all the ways
99751:25 in which our systems and structures have white supremacy embedded,
99851:29 and allow for something like a Tulsa Race Massacre to happen,
99951:35 something like anti-immigration to happen,
100051:38 but on a day-to-day basis
100151:40 allow for the targeting of black communities
100251:43 through predatory practices by banks.
100351:46 The targeting of black communities through predatory practices like bail.
100451:51 A whole set of systems that can be produced day in and day out.
100551:56 We live in a country where the rules
100652:00 are far too often designed in ways that create a caste system,
100752:05 that create a different standard for some over others,
100852:08 and so when I talked about the inflection point, right,
100952:12 of this moment where something could really go forward
101052:14 and something could turn backwards,
101152:16 we are seeing this right now with this current president.
101252:19 And as we look at what could be happening with the next election,
101352:23 we have to be very, very clear
101452:26 that Donald Trump doesn't just operate on his own.
101552:29 He's enabled by big corporations who benefit from him being in office,
101652:33 and so continue to turn a blind eye to all the things that he does.
101752:37 They may post "Black Lives Matter,"
101852:39 but they show up to the White House and engage with Donald Trump.
101952:42 And then we have a whole set of politicians
102052:45 that may sometimes say that he said something that was wrong,
102152:48 but then allow for --
102252:50 but support his platform in other ways.
102352:54 You know, true co-conspiracy
102452:56 in the effort to dismantle white supremacy and white nationalism
102553:00 is not a thing that people can do on vacation.
102653:03 It is a 365-day project
102753:06 of us constantly working to dismantle
102853:09 all of the structures that have been put in harm's way.
102953:11 The final thing I will just add,
103053:13 because someone mentioned about police unions,
103153:15 and I want to just add that one of the problems with police unions,
103253:19 and many of us have been in this position, I think,
103353:22 is that I have shown up to the table with police unions on many occasions.
103453:26 I remember going to the White House during the last administration
103553:30 and being around a table as we were talking
103653:32 about policing and police reform.
103753:34 And having members of the Fraternal Order of Police leadership
103853:39 say things like,
103953:41 "All of this talk of racial profiling is new to us."
104053:45 It is one thing for folks to not agree with you
104153:48 on the policy reforms necessary.
104253:50 It is another thing for people to say that our demands are too aspirational.
104353:55 It's another thing to be gaslit
104453:57 and told the problem doesn't actually exist at all.
104554:00 And that is what we are dealing with,
104654:02 and so we have to actually change
104754:05 the way that people see these institutions.
104854:07 Politicians who say that they are on the side of justice and reform,
104954:11 can no longer take money from police-only unions
105054:14 and Fraternal Order of Police.
105154:16 We actually have to create a new standard,
105254:18 a new litmus test of what does it mean to actually be with us.
105354:21 You can't just sing our songs,
105454:23 use our hashtags and march in our marches,
105554:26 if you are on the other end
105654:29 of supporting the structures that put us in harm's way,
105754:31 that literally kill us.
105854:33 And this is the opportunity for white allies
105954:35 to actually stand up in new ways.
106054:38 To be the type of ally,
106154:40 to do the type of allyship and the type of work
106254:42 that truly dismantles structures,
106354:44 not just provides charity.
106454:48 PAG: And I've got to add to that --
106554:50 so, Paul, thank you for the question,
106654:52 but we're in a moment where people
106754:54 are looking at what's happening on the street,
106854:56 as if a week and a half ago
106954:59 we weren't in a midst of a global pandemic
107055:01 as the greatest news story, the biggest new story going on.
107155:05 One of the things I'm most worried about,
107255:07 and have been worried about since the beginning,
107355:09 what I've been talking to our chiefs about, is say,
107455:11 you must be out of the social distancing policing game.
107555:15 You can't be the ones doing that, and the reason is this:
107655:19 We're in a moment where creating scapegoats
107755:22 and enemies and others
107855:24 is incredibly politically advantageous for at least one side.
107955:28 And there is deliberate efforts to do exactly that.
108055:31 And we've seen that black communities
108155:33 are two and three and four times more likely to contract this virus,
108255:38 which feels like the manifestation of racial discrimination,
108355:42 because it is.
108455:43 But very soon,
108555:45 that's going to look like black people made bad choices
108655:48 and they need to stay away from us.
108755:50 And when that happens,
108855:52 that's when law enforcements get used to regulate where black movement can be.
108955:56 We used to call it sundown towns,
109055:58 I don't know what we're going to call it when it's around COVID.
109156:01 But it's coming.
109256:02 I'm already seeing that on communities like Nextdoor,
109356:05 and on Facebook groups.
109456:06 People who don't think of themselves as white supremacists
109556:09 but just want the disease away,
109656:10 and the disease has a black and brown face.
109756:12 So we're not only dealing with a moment of generational tension,
109856:16 between black communities and law enforcement,
109956:18 we're dealing with a moment when people are looking for scapegoats,
110056:22 and black people's vulnerability
110156:23 has always been our greatest casting note
110256:27 for being cast as scapegoats.
110356:29 So for folks who are worried about this, this is not inevitably a moment
110456:33 for change and reform and enlightenment and America's best values,
110556:36 because historically,
110656:38 these have been precisely the moments
110756:40 when regression back to white supremacy has reigned supreme.
110856:42 So let's not just look at everybody signaling.
110956:45 I don't want to just see black and white cops on their knees,
111056:49 I want to see the policies.
111156:50 I want to see the things that will prevent
111256:52 this kind of thing from moving to the next stage.
111356:56 CA: Rashad, I want to respect the fact that you've got a hard stop at one.
111457:01 And so I just want to thank you for your participation in this.
111557:05 If you've got a couple of final words you want to share, that would be great,
111657:08 and then if it's OK for the other three,
111757:10 I think there's just a couple other questions I'd love to put
111857:13 and continue this conversation for just a moment longer, if possible.
111957:17 Rashad, any closing words?
112057:19 RR: The thing I want to say is that now is the time for action.
112157:23 And I want to invite people in
112257:25 to join us at Color Of Change
112357:27 to make justice real.
112457:29 And in so many ways, you can visit us at Color Of Change,
112557:32 you can take action.
112657:34 Five, 10, 15 years from now,
112757:35 we will be dealing with the impacts
112857:38 of what we did or didn't do in this moment.
112957:40 How we stood up and how hard we were willing to fight.
113057:43 And as the other speakers have said,
113157:46 now is not the time for reform around the edges,
113257:49 now is time for dismantling the policies and practices that have held us back,
113357:54 and championing solutions and new rules that will move us forward.
113457:58 And so we hope that you will do something,
113558:01 whether it's with us,
113658:03 or whether it's with local organizations in your community,
113758:05 or other groups around the country.
113858:07 But this is an opportunity to make change,
113958:09 and I believe that we can make justice real,
114058:12 if we find the passion and the energy
114158:16 to work together to achieve it.
114258:17 So thank you all for having me,
114358:19 and I hope that we have an opportunity
114458:21 to build, not just online, but offline, in the months to come.
114558:27 CA: Thanks so much, Rashad.
114658:29 We're just going to ask this last question of you.
114758:32 This one is from David Fenton.
114858:37 "How can the movement unite
114958:39 around a clear, simple platform of policies to enshrine in legislation?
115058:43 Like making all complaints against cops public,
115158:46 banning all choke holds,
115258:47 ensuring independent review boards, etc.?"
115358:52 WPR: That seems like a great place for you to chime in, Dr. King,
115458:56 if you have some thoughts on that.
115559:00 PAG: I think that was to go to you, Dr. King.
115659:04 BK: Oh, OK.
115759:07 You know, this may sound simplistic,
115859:12 but it's a Nike thing,
115959:14 I think we have to just do it,
116059:16 we have to see our work as interconnected.
116159:20 I think there's been efforts towards people working in that vein,
116259:26 but we have to intensify that.
116359:28 And in doing it,
116459:30 one of the things that my father said,
116559:32 and I know people sometimes get tired of hearing me say,
116659:35 "My father said,"
116759:36 but I just think,
116859:38 I wish, should I say, we had really listened to him,
116959:41 because we wouldn't be on this platform right now
117059:43 having this type of conversation.
117159:45 But he left something with us, sort of a blueprint
117259:48 in "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?",
117359:51 his book, and he said,
117459:54 going forward, the meddlesome task is to organize our strength
117559:59 into compelling power.
117600:00 And that is so key,
117700:02 because oftentimes we organize merely around passion.
117800:08 But people have certain areas of strength
117900:11 and talent and giftedness,
118000:13 and we've got to figure out how to build our coalitions
118100:17 based on these strengths.
118200:20 You know, people do different things well.
118300:23 And so, in order to unite in an effective way
118400:27 that they might not elude the demand that we're making,
118500:31 I think that's what's going to happen.
118600:33 People have to do their own personal assessment
118700:37 within their organization, I call it a SWAT analysis.
118800:41 And then that SWAT analysis has to happen across organizations,
118900:45 so that we can make sure that we are moving in a united manner,
119000:49 off of the strengths that each organization brings,
119100:52 so that we can maximize the impact and the effectiveness
119200:56 to do things like this,
119300:58 in terms of getting the legislation in place that is needed in this hour.
119401:05 CA: Thanks so much.
119501:06 Just quick closing words from you, Anthony,
119601:08 and then from you, Phil.
119701:10 Anthony.
119801:12 AR: You know, I would just say
119901:13 that what gives me hope are the young folk.
120001:16 You have to believe that among this group,
120101:19 this groups of young'uns,
120201:22 seeing what they're seeing,
120301:23 living with this president, with these instincts,
120401:27 seeing the continued indifference
120501:29 that mainstream communities have given to issues of racial justice,
120601:35 or economic justice,
120701:37 you've got to believe that what comes out of this very hot fire,
120801:44 is something even more powerful and strong than we've ever seen before.
120901:48 That's what gets me through the hard days that we're now experiencing,
121001:52 this thinking, there is another Dr. King among the young'uns, Dr. King.
121101:57 And I have to believe that what they're seeing
121202:00 and what they're witnessing
121302:01 and their righteous indignation and their frustration and their anger
121402:05 is going to be miraculously
121502:07 a beautiful blossoming of a new opportunity, of a new change.
121602:11 This generation will take us there, I have to believe that.
121702:15 My generation has failed them miserably.
121802:17 So I'm just looking forward to the new ones.
121902:21 CA: Thank you, Anthony.
122002:23 WPR: Phil. Thank you, Anthony.
122102:24 PAG: So it really has been a privilege to be on with you all.
122202:29 To David's question,
122302:30 let me say that a number of civil rights organizations,
122402:33 I believe the ACLU among them,
122502:36 CPE, Center for Policing Equity,
122602:39 and hundreds more have signed on to principles for legislation
122702:46 that would include eight pillars.
122802:47 It's been led by the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights.
122902:51 And it includes a federal ban on choke holds,
123002:54 it includes a national registry for officers
123102:58 who have engaged in misconduct.
123202:59 I also think that it's important at this moment to get,
123303:02 we've got law enforcement's chiefs of major cities willing to say,
123403:07 if we emerge from this moment and our profession hasn't changed,
123503:10 then we have failed again.
123603:12 So it's a critical time to get behind,
123703:14 I would direct you to LCCHR's website for the eight pillars,
123803:19 because I won't remember them all right now,
123903:21 and to start calling your local law enforcement,
124003:23 and say, "Yes, own that."
124103:25 You should be signing on,
124203:26 they should be going public with letters that do all of that.
124303:29 But I'll also say this.
124403:30 For a path forward in the principles, I'll end where I started,
124503:35 which is that this is bigger than policing.
124603:38 These are the unpaid debts owed to black communities
124703:43 for stolen labor,
124803:44 owed to native communities for stolen land, for stolen culture,
124903:48 for years taken away
125003:49 and for lives lost in it.
125103:50 This is bigger than policing.
125203:53 If we don't understand the size of it,
125303:56 then there's no solution that's really, truly proportional to the moment.
125404:01 But in this moment,
125504:02 when we're seeing trillion of dollars in bailouts, mostly for corporations,
125604:08 it is absolutely a time when we can do things
125704:11 that normally, people could pretend that's too much, it's too big, we can't.
125804:17 We have literally all the money in the world
125904:20 that can be spent and directed
126004:22 towards making us the society we pretend to be,
126104:25 before moments like this happen.
126204:27 And so the thing that gives me hope
126304:29 is that the lies have to be obvious now.
126404:31 The lies have to be,
126504:33 that was a reasonable use of force.
126604:35 The lie has to be, we don't have the money.
126704:37 The lie has to be, that's too hard, it's too big of a challenge.
126804:41 This stuff feels impossible every day except today,
126904:45 because the alternative is we lose everything.
127004:48 Everything is at stake,
127104:50 our democracy is at stake,
127204:52 the people we choose to be, we claim to be,
127304:54 that's at stake.
127404:56 And in the face of that,
127504:57 I think we can do impossible things.
127605:00 I think we can be mighty.
127705:03 So my hope for all of us is
127805:06 first, that we wake up tomorrow with more peace in the evening than war,
127905:11 and that we hold on to what's possible from this moment
128005:15 at the same time that we hold on
128105:17 to the size of the task in front of us.
128205:19 I don't want to come with half measures out of this.
128305:22 I don't want to come out with radicalized youth
128405:24 and indifferent aged ...
128505:26 I don't know what the contrast...
128605:28 The radicalized youth
128705:29 and indifferent people who are old like me.
128805:31 I want to come out with a unified country
128905:33 that understands that the costs that we owe are big,
129005:36 and our pockets are deep enough to match it.
129105:41 CA: Wow.
129205:42 Thank you to each of you for extraordinary eloquence.
129305:46 Really, so powerful.
129405:49 This conversation, obviously, continues,
129505:51 I know that there's many people listening,
129605:53 you have other questions,
129705:55 this, I think, from TED's point of view is just the start of the conversation.
129806:00 To the extent that our job is to amplify the voices that matter,
129906:03 we couldn't be prouder to be amplifying further
130006:07 your extraordinary voices.
130106:08 So thank you for being part of this today.
130206:12 PAG: Thank you.
130306:13 WPR: Thank you all.