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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  May 28, 2010 12:30am-1:00am EDT

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implement by force their doctrine. >> rose: if israel would retreat to its 6y boundaries '67 boundaries, would you encourage island-- iran, hamas, hezbollah to recognize their right to exist and reach a full agreement with them? >> if you talk about treaty, part of the treaty will be this recognition. and who signs the treatee are the governments. and when you talk about the peace you talk about syria track, leb knee track, means syrian and leb neek government and palestinian track, palestinian government, when the government recognize israel, and israel is committed to the treaty, i think the whole mood, the whole atmosphere on the popular level will change. so everybody will go in that
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direction. but the recognition that you are talking about will come from the government, not from the people. the people will reflect their recognition by normal relations, by trade, by tourism, any ear kind of relation. if-- they are committed the people will be very popular. that takes time that will not happen overnight. conflict for 60 years, the treaty is not enough to change it overnight. it takes time. it needs forecloses. you start building the trust after the treaty. so how to build the trust that will take time. but i'm sure that this normal relations will be dominating between israeli and the neighboring countries. there is no doubt about this. whether hezbollah, hamas or any other one. at the end the organization, they have people, they have grass roots. the grass root part 6 this society will be affected. so of course it l and we
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will encourage, of course we will encourage because they always ask for peace. >> people say this is about you. in the beginning when you took over the presidency, you were your father's son. that today you have emerged as your own person. do you feel that? >> in my house i'm the son of my father. but in this position, from the very first time, i should be the president who has taken the responsibility of everything. and if i was the son of my father in the way they mean it, i wouldn't have succeeded in dealing with a very difficult circumstances. so i wouldn't look at myself in either way. i look at myself as somebody who has responsible, who did what he is convinced about and he is convinced that this is for the sake of his people. >> rose: do you believe you have consolidated your power so that you can take more risk now? >> no, i didn't consolidate my power. i have more support by the public, that's what i have,
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during the last three years. >> how do you think you gained that? >> i think because they believe that i work according to national agenda. that doesn't mean i was actually right. i made mistakes but if you made mistakes, according to goodwill and based on national agenda, nobody would blame, they would support you because are you human, are you going to make mistakes so that's how i, again, because i said everything, every decision we have to take should be 100 percent syrian, not 90%, 100 percent sir syrian that is what we did. that is how i gain the sport. that doesn't mean they agree with me. and everything, supported different form agreeing with. they don't agree-- but the support mean the trust even if you go toward peace when you started negotiations in turkey doesn't mean everybody supported that negotiation. maybe this side, maybe the timing, you have different
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point of view. but at the end. they trusted you that you are going for a good thing, whether you fail or not, at the end of you have goodwill and they trust you. that's how you get it. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming here. >> rose: pleasure to see you in damascus, thank you very much, as always. >> thank you. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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los angeles. i'm tavis smiley. first up tonight a conversation with one of the ortizers of this
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saturday's big immigration in arizona. alfredo gutierrez. a former arizona state senator. he is expecting a big turnout in phoenix to protest the state's immigration law. wes moore named by "ebony" magazine as one of the top leaders under 30. he is out with a new book called "the other wes moore." we're glad you have joined us. alfredo gutierrez and author wes moore coming up right now. >> all i know is his name is james. he needs extra help with his reading. >> i'm james. >> yes. >> to everyone making a difference. >> thank you. >> you help us all live better. >> nationwide insurance proudly supports tavis smiley. tavis and nationwide insurance working to improve financial literacy and the economic empowerment that comes with it. >>♪ nationwide is on your side ♪
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>> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by kcet public television] >> fred spread a former arizona state senator who -- alfredo gutierrez is a former arizona state senator and he is one of the organizers of this rally in phoenix saturday. good to have you on the program, sir. >> thank you very much. good to be here. tavis: what is going to happen this saturday? >> it is going to be a massive march. it is impossible to estimate the number. we believe it is going to approach 100,000. perhaps larger.
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tds especially impressive. it is going to be over 100 degrees. it is a six-mile march. some call it a death march. people by the thousands are signing up to do it and it is the last protest before the summer heat comes into phoenix. we want it to be a massive one to inspire the entire community because it is going to be a summer of action, the freedom summer inspired by the 1960's in the southern united states when the civil rights movement took hold. this is the second coming of the civil rights movement. what do you expect politically saturday's rally will accomplish? >> well, it will unify the country. i think it will propel the issue of immigrant rights and the issue of the increasing hostility against immigrants in this country into the consciousness of everyone in this country, particularly the
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white house, particularly the administration, who has throughout the campaign made inspirational promises, made extraordinary promises, but since taking office the president has decided that we're the third wheel of politics and decided that we're much too controversial and decided that the violation of our rights, the resolution to that issue could wait until the second term. that clearly is unacceptable and we hope to make that point to him not only with this march but with an entire summer of action and civil resistance. tavis: is the white house suggesting they can't get to this until the second term or right now? >> the read is right now. and they can't get to it right now for a set of conditions that they described that are only apparently going to get worse. so that if we are waiting for the conditions to change, they
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are only going to get worse. if we're waiting for lightning to strike or an extraordinary act of courage, miracles do happen. if we're waiting for the likelihood of when they are going to work, based on the political calculus that they are using. >> to your point about calculus, a guest used a phrase, suggested that the issue was not yet politically ripe. he went on the explain what he meant by that but his point as i recall was that the president doesn't have the kind of bipartisan support that he needs. he keeps asking for republicans to join him in that. indeed the president met with republicans earlier this week to try to get some understanding what could happen on this issue.
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gregory's point, the issue hasn't come to a ripeness yet that makes it possible to get through congress. >> i admire gregory but this is dead wrong. the fact of the matter is nothing this controversial, the extension of rights, the imposition of evil to fight against that happens easily. if you recall, the civil rights movement. if lyndon johnson had waited for the southern senators to all of a sudden have an epiphany and said wow, we're going to vote for it now if he had waited for that moment we would still be waiting today. in that case lyndon johnson said enough already. this has to be resolved. this -- america cannot tolerate this any longer. that's what we expect of
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president obama. i never stopped by the hillary express. some of us went directly to support president obama. we thought the son of an immigrant would understand the courage it would take for an issue of civil rights to be resolved in america. it only comes about when men of courage and when women of courage noorge consensus. that's what's -- forge that consensus. that's what is lacking in this white house, the courage to forge a consensus. tavis: do you buy the white house's argument from the president that he can't do this without republican support. l.b.j. was quite courageous. he was able to get some support across the aisle and twisted a whole lot of arms and maybe that's the point you're trying to make but how does the president go about getting the
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republican support that he does need? >> it appears that their point of view if they sit and talk about this long enough it is going to appear. i guess i see that as a fundamental misreading of history. my example of lyndon johnson is that it didn't happen. he had to go twist those arms. he had to go do the trading necessary and take the political risk that was inherent in taking such a courageous act and he did. and this country, this country, the country you and i share, it is extraordinaryly better because of it. i can't imagine -- i suspect you couldn't imagine living in a country where the civil rights act had not passed. tavis: no doubt. >> and that's where we find ourselves today but this time the crucible belongs to president obama and he has chosen to ignore it. tavis: a political incorrect
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exit question. what option do hispanic voters really have? so the president and the democrats don't get to it this year. they don't get to it until a second term, what are you going to do? >> look, we have no. we're pretty realistic about this. but you know, in order for president obama to become president, it took an historic vote of the hispanic count in make that possible. an historically high vote. that came about because people believed him. it came about because people believed he would once and for all keep his word. if at the end of his term he is just another politician we may well end up with the other guy because there may be simply not the enthusiasm amongst democrats but particularly amongst latinos to come out and vote in record numbers. that's the risk he is taking by
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ignoring this for another year. tavis: former arizona state senator alfredo gutierrez, one of the orgdsers of the big rally expected to take place on a hot weekend in arizona. it is a hot debate happening around the country these days. good luck on your rally. >> thank you, sir. tavis: up next, author wes moore. stay with us. wes moore is a former army captain who served on active duty in afghanistan and was also a rhodes scholar and spoke at the 2008 democratic convention and his best selling book, "the other wes moore." great to have you on the program. this thing is burning them up. i know what it is like to gets your first book out. i've done 14-15 of these.
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i know it must be pretty amazing to have the first one jump to the top of the list. >> it is humbling. it is about much more than just these two boys. it is about all of us and what made the choices. it is quite humbling. tavis: i can't tell the story any better than you can. i'm going to lean back and just shut up and let you tell the story about the other wes moore. take your time. just tell the story about this other wes moore. >> the way i first learned about the other wes moore was i was in south africa and my mother and i are on the phone. and she said i've got something crazy to tell you. she said the cops are looking for someone connected with a murder of a policeand they are looking for wes sergeant moore. tavis: in baltimore? >> in baltimore. as i got back home, i learned that we had so much more in common than just that name. we both grew up with a single parent with just our moms.
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we both had academic and disciplinary problems growing up. the more i learned about him the more i realized how much these similarities really haunted me. it came to the pint few years after i first learned about him, i wrote him aa month later i get a letter note and back from wes moore. that's how the journey began. tavis: tell me more about the murder. >> there were four guys who went into a jewelry store. two with guns and two with mallets. the two with guns got everybody on the ground and the two with mallets went around and started smashing jewelry cases. they got about $400,000 worth of jewelry. one of them yelled let's go. all four of the guys ran out of the store. one of the people inside the store was an off-duty police veteran. a father of five who had trip lets and the reason he was working that day, moonlighting as a security guard was because he was trying to get extra money for his family. he ran outside and didn't realize one of the vehicles he
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was next to was one of the vehicles they were in and he was shot and killed immediately. tavis: wes is one of the guys the guns. >> so you're in south africa and you hear about this, what makes you given that the other wes moore did not regard the humanity of this officer enough to not kill him, obviously, what makes you want to interrogate wes' humanity? >> it is a fascinating question. it was something i had to wrestle with as i was going through this prosizzsess. one thing i knew is there was a bigger truth that had to be in this story. i knew by learning from wes, you know, one thing i've discovered, even our worse decisions don't separate us from the circle of humanity. i knew if i could better understand the situation and why wes' fate was sealed long before
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february 7, 2000, then maybe sh maybe, we could actually keep these things from happening georgia and actually create something to contribute to -- happening again and create something to contribute to society. i first introduced myself. i said i heard about you and then i ran off a list of questions. i knew wes had kids from the articles i read. i knew his brother was the trigger pan that day. i asked do you ever see your brother in prison? that first letter i got he thanked me for writing him and then proceeded to answer all the questions i asked him about his family and what life is like for him. that one letter turned into dozens of letters and then multivisits and laid the foundation for me, and i have now known wes for about five
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years. tavis: tell me about the first meeting when you saw him face-to-face? >> that first meeting was chilling. i've spent time in maximum facilities before. i work with children who are involved in the juvenile justice system. any time you walk in, the sight and the sounds and the smells. inch sitting across interest the other wes moore. he is not a dumb guy. wes is a guy who has ahead some unforgiving decisions in his life but at the same time when you read his letters, and you talk to wes, this is a guy who actually has a pretty good sense of what's going on out there in the world and had some insightful things to say. it was after that first letter i began to understand that. sitting across from the other wes moore is something i will never forget. tavis: you're how far apart in age? >> two years.
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tavis: you grew up literally a couple of blocks apart. have you been able to figure out given the time you have spent on this project why he went this direction and why you went that direction? >> it is interesting. that was really the question i wanted to explore. the thing i realized is there was no one thing that made the difference but there were a whole collection of different things. raising children is complicated. it is difficult for those who live in precarious neighborhoods. the importance of family and support plays a huge role and metropolitanors and role models plays a -- mentors and role models plays a huge role. i said do you think we're product of our environment and he said i think we're products of our expectation. i think the expect saying you will graduate from high school and college and become a good
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husband and father and wife. that's probably what you will do. if the expect is you probably not finish and you'll probably be involved in the juvenile justice system for the reminder of your life kids have a way of prooving that too. tavis: did your family have higher expectations of you than his had of him? >> when we were kids you had two kids searching for help. two kids getting in academic trunl in schools and in the neighborhoods. tavis: both in trouble? >> both of us in pretty good trouble. at some point one kid got help, got that support and one kid didn't and the world bears witness to the final result. i think you definitely start seeing it particularly as we start getting older. you sart seeing a divens in the expectations and -- a difference in the expectations and what
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we're going to do with our lives and how that was internalized by both boys and the split becomes significant. tavis: two quotes that come to mind mind. one from malcolm exmp. tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today and another, without an education, we, the black folks, without an education we are twice defeated against us. the other strike against us the color of our skin. i take those quotes from malcolm x and booker t. washington to heart. how do you respond to people who look at your story, as great of a story as it is and see education is the key p.m.? -- is the key? education is the difference. while education is terribly important to your earlier point, there are a number of factors that sent you this way and him that way.
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how go do you get folks use this text --you know what i'm going with this, as a rod to beat negros over the head and say see, all you have to do is get a good education. >> that's not to take away the importance of education. tavis: exactly. >> however, there are a whole lot of factors that will determine what type of education that person is going to achieve. one thing i firmly believe is kids are going to learn. the question is what are they learning and who is teaching them. where education plays a huge role in the actual trajectory of young people, my grandfather used to say education is like a skeleton key and if you can get that skeleton key and get that education you can open up any door. and i firmly believe that. but i also believe this. the people you have in your lives affect what type of education you receive and how that session used and translated to the actual type of life that you lead. wes is not a dumb guy. wes is not a learned person but he is not a dumb guy. my question is how are we actually fostering that education to young people so they become a productive member of society?
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tavis: everybody is talking about it. you're on oprah. thousands of people want to communicate with you because of the impact the book has had on them. amongst those thousands of folks you communicated with, have you heard from the officer 're family? >> yes. there are some members who want nothing to do with the prompt. i completely understand that and respect that. i saw the pain my mother went through when she became a widow but there are some members of the officer's family who have been very encouraging of this project and think it is a tribute to the sergeant but also something useful to help people understand the ramifications of their decisions. tavis: he was raised by a single mother and you were raised by a single mother. your mother at one point became widowed.
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i love your mother to death. tell me about how your mother became -- how she became a widow? >> we were living down in maryland and one day, my father was actually in radio and television. he said he was having troubles with his throat and he had just finished working and he came home and that night tried to get some sleep. couldn't even take aspirin. the next day he went to the hospital and he was having trouble keeping his head up and my mother was told the reason he is having trouble keeping his head up is because he was having difficulty falling asleep. the reason was because he was having difficulty getting air. the swelling of the epiglotus over the windpipe. five hours after he was released from the hospital, his body was suffocating itself. he died in front of me when i tavis: you have a sister?
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>> one older and one younger. tavis: how then did you not end up winding up like the other wes moore? tell me how you end up on the road to becoming a rhodes scholar because you're both raised now by single mothers in baltimore. >> after my father passed away we moved to the bronx to live with my grandparents which was incredibly important. i love them to death. they had a small house in the bronx where we moved to. one thing i realized as when we got there a lot of confusion and anger and hurt manifested itself in me. i knew my father went somewhere but i didn't know where. i wasn't old enough to process it. as i started getting older and going through my phases, i understood that i was part of something bigger. goon the whole idea of accountability and responsibility and leadership. that is something that really burst something in me where i
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knew i wanted to be part of a larger equation in society. that's what helped to drive me and push me to want to do more and where those expectations in others manifested themselves to become expectations and from there was able to continue to move on and build a foundation for what i wanted my future to be. tavis: i know there are so many single mothers watching now. black, white, otherwise, who are going through it with their boys hope and praying something is going to happen to get this kid on the right track. tell me about the role your mother played in your life? >> my mother is extraordinary, she is super woman. like so many other single mothers out there. she said kids need to think that you care before they care what you nism my mother always let us know that she cared about us even when we were giving her the fits. despite my challenges and
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troubles, i was going to make it ok and she always knew that she was going to be there for me. that always metropolitan something. even when -- always meant something. i knew that she was in n my corner when i was being difficult. that was a wind that continued to push me. tavis: because i know you well through your mother, a lot of people are talking about you and you have become more expose. everybody i hear talk about you or read about you, everybody has plans for you now that they know this wes moore. there are all of these political and social plans, etc., etc., for wes moore. what do you want to do when you grow up? >> i just want to keep on -- my father passed away when he was 34 years old. one of the best lessons i slerpped long-term plans are not the best use of our time. no one is promised a


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