tv Washington Journal CSPAN January 19, 2015 9:15am-10:01am EST
there is a lot of work being done on that and there's a lot of work to be done on that. i think the present administration has taken a strong stance and supporting that work. host: ann callis do, michigan. -- ann callis do, michigan. caller: thank you for having me on this morning. i wanted to say that this is a really difficult situation to try to tackle. our communities are trying to put something positive together for a situation that is as touchy as this. on one hand, i understand the police's predicament. just by the mere fact that a lot of black communities have a heavier police force due to the nature of what goes on to those neighborhoods i understand are the dangers few who may abuse their authority. do you think it would be better
to hold police at a more stricter consequence for the mishandling of the situations versus -- it is important that we have to have the police in those neighborhoods. it is a mere fact that we want to keep everybody say. guest: if i can say two things with that. one, ethical policing is not counterintuitive or mutually exclusive. i think committee policing is a requisite foundation of effective crime-fighting. the more the neighborhood is distressed and has crimes, the more you need police officers engaged in the community. to your question is police officers should be held to a higher standard? there are no if's, and, or butts about it. the pride that we have in our
officers is because these are the few men and women relative to the country that have committed their lives and sacrificed their lives in the circus of other -- in the service of others. they have the power to take freedom and even take life. every time we exercise that kind of authority, especially in a democratic society, we have an obligation in this democracy to question that authority. officers must be held accountable. those are not two different things. i count ability is a great form a support. it allows those who are doing a great job to be highlighted for that and not be tarnished by the few. and it is just a few that would tarnish the bash and just respect and bring disrepute to the profession. i think we don't when a walk away from that. we don't want to minimize the fact that we have empowered the officers and we have the community to enforce laws and have this great officer responsibility. we also support the men and women who are doing it and
sacrifices they make. we support them, but to stretches of -- to serve our committee. host: ron davis is with our community policing. come back to talk with us again. up next, we will l both are martin luther king show with representative eddie bernice johnson. she will join us live from dallas. we would be right back.
announcer: "washington journal" continues. host: we are showing our viewers live images from the national monument, the national martin luther king junior memorial there. to wrap up our show on martin luther king junior day we will head down to dallas, texas where we are joined eddie bernice johnson. dr. king was in selma, alabama for what would be known as the beginning of the selma marches. in what place does selma occupy its place in the civil rights movement? guest: i think it was really important because it was some thing specific for a specific reason that we can relate to that reminds those of us who were living and remember that so
well. we still have a lot to do. we have overcome a great deal of an obstacle because of that march. i'm able to vote. i'm able to serve in congress. there were people before me. i served with one of the people that was in that march. the honorable john lewis. there was a young man who is determined to be help during that time. i'm very proud to serve with him. host: that march is captured in a movie in theaters now. "selma." there are some questions surrounding the relationships between lyndon johnson and mlk. what was their relationship like around the time of selma? lbj was coming from your home state of texas. guest: i have great respect for lbj, just as i've respect for martin luther king. they could not have been done
without both of them working together. both of them wanted to do it. i'm in congress now with the environment is well-known, that it takes both sides working together to get something done. these two people worked hand in hand. i do remember that lyndon johnson did not want the voting rights act and the civil rights act in the same bill. i'm very pleased about that because just knowing what i experience every day, if one goes down, then both will go down at the same time. one provided the roots for the other one. civil rights, then voting rights. both of those bills in both of those amendments cause me to be able to serve in congress for 12 terms. host: one of those who is talking about the history's former lbj advisor joe callis on a. we talked about this issue of
the movie "selma" with clients lose same -- clarence who is a professor at american university. he said that his criticism of the movie overstated lbj's role in the summa marches. here is a bit of what professor had to say. ♪ [video clip] christ there was one implication that it was johnson's idea. that is not going the historical record. in fact, it was long before that conversation with johnson. in selma itself, people were organizing and mobilizing. as mr. callas otto wrote in the washington post, he argued that there was a smooth relationship between king and lbj are also complex. if you read vincent harding's
and the rivers in the town hall franklin's and the freedom of slavery -- if you look at these historic records and the work of people who were in no way historians, they depend -- to pick the tensions between the civil rights movement and johnson from 1963 when johnson became president until 1968. now, johnson stands out relative to who came before him including president kennedy. and who came after him immediately with president nixon and that he really did have a commitment in pushing through the voting's right act. it was not tension free. to a great degree, he and civil rights leaders pushed and pushed and pushed and forced johnson to make some of those that -- decisions. he was not completely on board as implied by his remarks. host: we are talking this
morning with congresswoman eddie burning -- eddie bernice johnson. you can call in with your questions and comments for her. we'll put the numbers on the screen for you. what did you think about dr. lou saints statements from that interview? guest: i was not present, but i can say this. working on issues, i was chair of the congressional black caucus. we had a great organization of the voting is right -- voting rights act. i know the tensions that occurred on both sides. these are difficult achievements. when one side feels the other side is pushing one way or the other, there will be tension. but, if both sides were not committed to getting to a goal it would not have happened. i very proud of the role that martin luther king played and i'm very proud of the role that president johnson played. beyond that, president johnson
really did so much more. i've heard historians over the years say that he was the most outstanding president for minorities since lincoln. lincoln freed slaves, but think of all the things that had to come after the end of slavery. we were still working for the end of slavery in a sense. but the house and the education and the food for children and medicare and medicaid. these were the issues that president johnson worked on and it happened on his card. he had to be committed. he stood in front of congress and said we shall overcome. no person wants to be pushed in the line of fire without some kind of defense. he knew that he was sacrificing and sacrificing his political careers. many of the people on the senate
in the house that he worked with. i will never forget that a senator from texas was one of the southern senators that stood strong. he was out of the same state as president johnson. these were difficult times in their difficult today. you cannot imagine how difficult it was 60 years ago. host: we are talking about the 50th anniversary of the selma marches in the 50th anniversary of the signing of the voting rights act. of course, the movie "selma" is out now. here is an article of cast members of the movie walking the protest route to honor king. we will take your questions and comments. we will start with wesley on our line for democrats. good morning. caller: how are you doing? i would like to welcome him
thank representative johnson for being on the program this morning. i'm a former resident of palestine, texas. i'm sure you are familiar with it. i would also like to adjust the issue -- at the time of civil rights in the voting right act was passed, i was in the marine corps. i was a 20 year veteran of the marine corps. i can definitely recall that in 1964, it was the goldwater movement. it pushed a lot of black republicans out of the republican party and into the democratic party. i think ben carson made the statement that republicans were in charge of making civil rights and issued.
they were definitely not so. i would like to thank you and i like your comments on those. once again, thanks for being on the program. host: we had dr. ben carson on are so earlier this morning talking about some of these issues. your response to the caller? guest: i appreciate the call and i know what palestine, texas means and i know some of that history. i glad a texan did call because they do know some of the history of president johnson and oppression that he suffered. and the rough treatment that he received because of the stance that he took for the rights of minorities. host: we will give you another texan. we are going to liberty, texas. cw is waiting on a line for republicans. good morning. caller: representative, my question is this -- if mlk was alive today, he would not be in favor of planned parenthood who has more black best under their belt than anyone.
i do not think he would support our hikes moral and dogma, the leader in the founder of the kkk and the democratic party. he has a statue in d.c. known as the devil city where you represent. could you please explain why there are so many racist in the democratic party? i am voting for ben carson. i plan on supporting him to the fullest. it is just sad to see what it has turned into. host: congresswoman, your thoughts on what martin luther king jr. with think about our system today and the democratic party today? guest: i think martin luther king would continue to respect the rights of all. i respect the opinion of the caller. it is certainly not mine. host: we will stay in texas. houston, texas. reginald calling in on a line. good morning. caller: dr. king said that america was the biggest purveyor of violence in the world.
that sticks to my core that he feel that we do terrorist acts and i believe that we do and we would definitely disagree with that in 1967. there's a book out now called "the death of a cane" in which dr. king was ostracized by johnson, black churches, the naacp, and urban leaders when he stood up and said that america was in favor of violence. he said also that these dollars needed to come back and hold our people accountable in america. john lewis said he would never vote for another house appropriations bill of military spending. we still voted for that in the congressional black caucus and we still say that we love dr. king, but do you think that america is the biggest purveyor of violence and why he would not be accepted in the white house? i believe that obama is not in the same core with martin luther
king and he should give that nobel peace prize back because he has blood on his hands and dr. p king was about peace and nonviolence. host: he was bringing up travis miley. we interviewed chat -- tavis smiley. congresswoman, your questions on how you think dr. king would view american for policy today. guest: one of the great things about this country and its democracy is the freedom of thought. the fact that all of us do not have to agree. i cannot second-guess all the things that happened 50 years ago. what i can say is that there been great results for all the things that did happen that brought us to the point of having the voting's rights act and having the civil rights act.
i have a worldwide program including women, to try and build the culture around the world of peace. i think most americans want peace around the world. certainly, martin luther king did. there are many times in this country where we do enter war whether we agree or not. it happens by majority. we will always have differences of opinion. the great thing about this country is that the constitution allows that. host: how will you be commemorating martin luther king jr. day? guest: i started here this morning. there was a parade. i will be joining my staff for a project. i will travel back to washington later. host: what will that service project the? guest: we will be doing a lot of work with the homeless shelter. we do work with the children,
reading and going to the library . continuing to express the importance of knowing our history so that we will not have to repeat it every year, over and over again. just be reminded that we can stay focused on continuing to fight for the goals that dr. king had in mind. host: we have a caller on our line for democrats. net, good morning. caller: thank you so much, representative johnson. i just want to say that it is great to have you want today. my question for you is how can we find a way for african-american communities to work more together to bring unity to our families and help with structure and jobs, to help find a way where we can make our family life better, where
african-american men can be with more african-american women? i think that is really lacking and that is why we're having so many issues because african-american people are not together. we are so far apart. it is likely we do not like each other. what can we do to make changes? because that is what is important. we have a lot of comments coming through c-span that are racist comments and the hate and stuff. we need to build black people up . what do we do is black people to build one another? thank you. host: congresswoman? guest: it starts with every individual. we all have that responsibility. we can go to black churches and go to our city organizations. we can go to our neighborhoods by communicating with each other. it is not a single person's responsibility. it is all of our responsibility. you know, if you have been hated
so long, you have to stop and think about that you do not have to hate yourself. you do not have to be what you have been called on you have been thought about. you can be a great person in spite of it. host: we are talking with 12 term congresswoman eddie bernice johnson. she is here with us for about the next 20 minutes or so taking your calls and comments on this martin luther king jr. day. denver, colorado. sam, good morning. caller: i would like to say on this day that we should all rested tomorrow and speeds beyond vietnam. it is the most relevant of any of his speeches and he definitely would not support of obama's foreign policies especially with the legal action. moving on, lyndon johnson is not someone who should be celebrated
in the black community. congresswoman, you have your people voting democratic for the next 100 years. he was not a good person. host: do you want to talk about lyndon johnson? you know the family, correct? guest: pardon me? host: you know the johnson family? guest: i know the johnson family. i know the president and his daughters and many of the staff that work with president johnson. i was very impressed with president johnson. the president is perfect. i know there's a lot of criticism around vietnam. i can say this. the things that he did for the rights of all people in this country far in my judgment exceed any other mistake that he might've inherited, or any way he might've handled it. you know, i have been in a
leadership position far from the president, but i have been chair of the congressional black caucus and i know the toils of leadership. i know the various intricate type of relationships that you have to have in the field that you are going in the right direction. it is very easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize. that is the easiest thing i know. but to be involved and to be on the same and be a part of the solution is much more responsible response -- much more spots ability and much more difficult, but it is worth it. host: when what you chair of the congressional black caucus? guest: in 2001 and 2002 under president bush. host: what are your expectations of the new chairman? guest: i think congressman butterfield has a great background. all this in the caucus our leaders. we know from which we have come.
we know what our goals are. we discuss with each other. we are like a family because we have something in common. we care about all peoples of the world, and most especially those who have the least in this country. some people criticize us for having a congressional black caucus. it is not just for blacks. it is for the rights for all. we do not condone everything that black people do. we try to set examples. we try to look at legislation. we china to make sure that our rights are respected and that is whether or not is the democratic party of the republican party. we have no permanent friends and we have no permanent enemies. we had permanent principles. host: georgia's next. al's on a line for independents . caller: good morning.
i think some people are not aware that the town of the u.s. government and the death of martin luther king. he was a lawyer. he was an investigator. the army and the fbi were part of it. i think that this government of ours has some serious problems. people need to wake up in a knowledge the fact that d.c. is not a clean place. the it has issues that need to be addressed. thank you. host: on the death of martin luther king and some of the trust issues that the caller brings up? guest: i've heard that. we hear a lot of things. whatever that was, we cannot change the history. i can say this.
i've traveled the world. i've heard governments all over the world. i will take this one above any other government in the world. with all the problems that we have, it is still the best in the world. i truly believe that for the most part, we try hard to do things the right way. with all the things that are going on now, there are good people in both parties that are trying hard to solve some of the problems. i'm troubled as anyone else's about the writing of the history and what made that history. but i am also very concerned about how we deal with it today and how we provide for the future. host: we will head back to texas. abilene, texas. george is on a line for democrats. good morning. you on that the congresswoman. caller: miss johnson, i'm calling about the civil rights act. i note dissemination is against
the law. i'm a victim of it. when i called the doc or the civil rights division, most of time i do not even get a phone call back. they will hang up. i cannot get no form of government to help me. this has been going on for 11 years. i have information given to them. they have paperwork around. then, they will tell me my time is up. host: what are you specifically looking for? what are you asking for when you're try to connect with these government agencies that you are talking about? caller: for information. i go to a job and i'm picked on. i'm the only black there. i'm surrounded by whites there. they call me names.
my superiors do not even give me a chance to tell my side. i knows that against the law because the state of texas has the right to work. to me, it is the right to discriminate because these things are happening and you cannot get an attorney. you cannot get nobody to help you. host: any suggestions for the caller? guest: perhaps he can contact his local chapter of the naacp. i do not know about the intricacies of the case. but i do think that if there are some legitimate concerns, there must be some way to adjust them. host: let us go to tracing in california. cheryl, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. senator johnson, it is a pleasure to speak with you this morning. i just want to make the comment -- you know, i was a little girl
when the civil rights movement was going on. i remember my parents would go to louisiana to visit my grandparents. i remember experiencing racism in its ugliest form when we as little kids were stopped at a gas station. we needed to use the bathroom. we went running because we had to use the bathroom and my father was told that we cannot use the bathroom because of segregation. i remember my father quickly gathering us up and snatching the gas tank -- the gas hose out and we go to some people that we didn't know. we as little kids, thought they were our cousins or something. we were just going there to use the bathroom because that is what we did back in those days. you helped one another because of segregation.
what i want to say about martin luther king -- i think the thing that people miss is that he brought this country to its knees because he confronted good and evil with the word of god. the thing is -- he penetrated mankind's heart because he gave mankind a glance of themselves through what the word of god says. i think that is what we are missing in today's society. we talk about one another. we go to church every sunday. but we have not grasped the foundation of good and evil. there are good people in every nationality. there is also evil that prevails. if we can get to a point that we can understand that, i feel that
we can fight and change. we would fight against evil and not each other. host: thank you for sharing your story. congresswoman, any thoughts on those comments? guest: i think that people have a right in this country to think what they want to think and to express themselves. their responsibility is to respect others and respect mankind. i think that if we can follow that we've would be a better people. -- we would be a better people. we are all entitled to an opinion. that opinion is not to injure others. it is difficult for me to demand that someone else be a good person -- whatever a good person is. we all try. one of the things that we can focus on and what has been good and what leadership brings was the martin luther king era and
martin luther king himself. he was a special personality. he was chosen to be the leader of the time. we still need that type of leadership. it is probably not going to come in one person, but in a number of persons. because now we are aware and more demanding of better relations than what all of us were in those times. because it was routine to be abused if you and a math -- an african-american in this country. we do not want this cannot happen. we want the media involved. it looks like we have not made strides, but we have. we will continue to make the strides. we all that to dr. king. -- we all that to dr. king. host: we'll have a few minutes left with eddie bernice johnson on mlk day. she is taking your calls from
dallas, texas is morning. jim, good morning. caller: good morning. several quick corrections. we are not a democracy. we are a constitutional republic. also, we have been talking about the voting rights. i've never been able to get an answer -- wide we have ballots in so many different foreign languages when even harry reid said english as the official language of our country? also we are told so many different lies like saying our immigration system is broken. it is not broken. we are just not securing the border. we're not deporting more people than we should be supporting. host: congresswoman, several topics there to choose from if you want to answer. guest: well, he has an opinion and i appreciate him expressing it. he expressed a number of things
that i disagree. what he talked about was an expression of democracy. you have a number of languages? that is a democracy to make sure everyone can participate. when you have questions about the immigration law, that is an opinion. some of it might be fact. without a democracy, we would not be able to discuss it. i think that we will continue to do that until we reach a point where we have a greater understanding -- a greater acceptance. one thing i do not want him to forget is that this nation is a nation of nations. everyone here came since columbus is an immigrant. we are the best country in the world because we are made up of parts of every bit. we are working together, trying to make a more perfect union. host: let head up to montana. irises on our line for
democrats. caller: hi, it is michigan. i want to know why the martin luther king statue was never completed. it would mean a lot more if he was there in his full body. just like every other statue of a human being. i believe he was produced in china, not finished, and then brought here. it is like he did not come out of a mountain -- he is a human being. why do you not put a full statue out there? it could be completed by a number of sculptors here in the united states and it would seem to fit in more with the environment that he is standing in. host: we are showing our viewers some live images from the national martin luther king jr. memorial. your thoughts on that memorial?
i assume you have been down there. guest: i have such great respect for the out for a fire out for fraternity who took the lead to make sure that we have a statute of martin luther king. we will always have opinions. they will always vary. that is the sign of a great democracy. i just imagine why anyone would want to give a whole lot of money to make a change -- that would be welcome. a lot of people asked why do we have martin luther king junior standing by himself? he was always standing in a crowd. when the world can you have some the opinions expressed and no one shooting them down? i think that is a great sign of democracy. i appreciate that opinion. i'm not in charge of the statue. i was not from the beginning. i am proud of the statue is there. host: rubin is on a line for democrats. good morning. caller: my comments of the
senator -- in speaking about martin luther king and all the recent things i've taken place with violence against african americans, which i to say black lives matter, but what are u.s. senators and our elected officials actually doing to try to curb this violence in our community? if black lives truly, truly matter -- and i am looking at you. why do we not do more to educate our people and what we need to do to become more successful or and violence as a whole within our committee. -- community? i think it is a disgrace to dr. came to have some officials to stand up and do nothing. this promise has been a debate for the last 10 years. what are you going to do about it? host: i want to get a change of
title. this is congresswoman. guest: i'm not a senator. i've is state senator. i'm in the u.s. congress in the house of representatives. i say that it is so is he -- so easy to sit it home and demand someone to do something. i do not know his single-member of the congressional black caucus and the level of which i served that has not been involved. working with the justice department. working with the local police departments. encouraging people to vote. the answer we think even in ferguson, is to make sure the people there who live in that city as the majority of minorities -- they don't vote. we cannot solve that for them.
it is up to themselves to get representation. whoever sits at home and expect some one else to do everything is the one that is wrong. it is everybody's responsibility and you cannot expect 43 people in the u.s. congress to do with millions of people in this country and get it all right. it takes all of us working together. especially those who have all these opinions and are doing nothing about them. host: on the issue of police relations, you had a panel recently on police-community relations in the dallas-fort worth area. how are the relations between the community and the dallas-fort worth police department, especially in light of a 2012 incident that sparked lots of protest on their? guest: my relationship with the
police department goes back 40 years. one of the first things that i did back in 1972 west savitt interim study on police relationships in dallas. i've maintained the relationship. we do not have a perfect police department. no one does. but we do have one that has shown sensitivity. there are a number of areas that need to be a just. we are tempted to do that. i can tell you that i would not want to live in a city without protection of police officers in the police department. this is not a military. this is a peace officer that we are speaking about. they are human beings. just as those of us who expect them to protect us. we're not always going to see i do i -- i to live. i do not what it is like to be on the firing line every day in
the united states. i do expect as a citizen to be protected by them. their incidences where there are many times we cannot explain. those are the ones that we are trying to see if we can prevent. i believe that the police department -- i think i can speak for the dallas police department -- i think they are just as interested as the citizens and trying to find ways to prevent the kind of incidents that cause us to be so upset. there are two sides to every story. host: we have one more texan for you. pat, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. my question piggyback somewhat she just said. having grown up in memphis tennessee, a lot of my family members were a part of the movement of dr. king. i was born in 1970.
i was not really involved. i was still a child. i didn't have all the ramifications, but i understand. i understand 45 years later whether it was lyndon johnson or dr. king, everybody had a piece of the puzzle. i'm at the point now where i have white friends, black friends, all nationalities of friends, all age groups coming to be a part of the solution. my question is, what you suggest that i do? what can i do as a citizen, a local citizens? i'm looking just for an opportunity. i'm going down to south dallas later this morning. i just want to know what i can do to get involved. i'm willing to leave my number for someone to call me and tell me about things that are going on because i believe that we do
need the police. it is absolutely absurd for anybody to think that we do not. there is a cyber i come from in urban neighborhoods where the police were extremely prejudice. that is not all the issues. let us bring the issues. guest: well, what can you do? you can be in touch with the church if there are activities going there. there are many civic organizations, fraternal organizations. their crimewatch organizations. their opportunities to run for the city council and trust the city council people to influence the person that you vote for representing your views. there are city commissions. there are county commissions. there are all kinds of activities in which you can be involved with. if you need more information on that, contact your local naacp
chapter. contact your councilperson. contact your county commissioners or county judge or state representatives or state senators or whoever your congressperson is. there are many, many activities for all citizens that they can be involved with. host: congresswoman eddie bernice johnson. i appreciate your time on this martin luther king junior holiday. guest: thank you very much. host: very much. a great holiday. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]