Evening Exchange; 2206; Sniper, Weekly News Analysis, African Culture and Development Seminar
Our fears the media and the sniper shootings the Senate and the house weigh in on Iraq and a different way of looking at Africa. All next on evening Xchange. Welcome to evening Xchange. I'm codes Anandi even as the Congress of the United States debated authorizing war against Iraq. It is rapidly becoming clear that someone somewhere is already waging a deadly nerve shattering war against the residents of the Washington area. The count so far is dead two wounded and millions living with the apprehension and fear that we could be
next. A series of sniper attacks in the region conducted with no discernible pattern have led to media frenzy. Allegations of investigative gridlock and the level of insecurity among residents that cause us to begin this edition of evening exchange by examining the effect it has had on us all and how we might deal with that Year's Day and the Woolton with a report. In less than two weeks. Random shootings leaves several people dead and wounded and thousands of people horrified citizens and the media want to know who did it and why. Several times a day key law enforcement agents and government officials are trying to answer these troubling questions. The police chiefs are familiar faces to local news but recently they found themselves thrown into a national media spotlight that spotlight is shining on three African-American police chiefs. Charles Moose of Montgomery County the head of the investigation Chief Gerald Wilson of Prince
George's County and Chief Charles Ramsey of the district. Certainly the media has been very very fair and are treating us very well. That was Chief Moose at the beginning of the week. But by midweek after some evidence was leaked to the media and reported Chief Moose had some choice words for what he deemed to be media interference with the investigation. I have not received any message that the citizens of Montgomery County want Channel 9 or a Washington Post or any other media outlet to solve this case. There is usually a fine line between the public's right to know and what police feel is right for the public to know despite what can sometimes be an adversarial relationship between press and police media analysts like Barbara Reynolds say having three African-American men in leadership roles during this crisis may change some media stereotypes. Here. Black African American men who are the enforcers of the law who are the capturing criminals. You know this
is not what we said they do. We've always said there that the criminals that they supposed to go to jail during this multi-jurisdictional investigation the three chiefs are presenting a unified front. At a press conference we saw one reporter repeatedly try to get Chief Ramsey to say he would handle the investigation differently. What I mean though is are we talking about going to gun stores. Are we talking about people under surveillance. Are we talking about you know that kind of stuff you're making a presumption of that's being done on not. Well all I can tell you is that he's doing an outstanding job. Do you feel like the media may be trying to pick you all against each other in any way. Well I hope not. But I mean everybody looks for different angles the bottom line is we're all working together and is absolutely no problem. Reynolds says Chief Moose is breaking another stereotype by showing a range of emotions while always maintaining control. Chief Moose shed a tear when a 13 year old boy was shot outside of Benjamin Tasker Middle School in buoy was not there. We. Do your job tonight. He's a leader in his field but he's a
leader you stepped out of his field also to be somewhat of a therapist. Someone at the psychiatry is somewhat of a of a parent until this tragic case is solved. Chief Moose Wilson and Ramsey will continue to face media scrutiny. Certainly all of the people involved. Have been educated. About the media about how it can be used to advantage and we hopefully have some understanding how can also be abused for an exchange. I'm Jane de Walt. This is a story that is receiving front page coverage not just here in the Washington area but all over the United States and around the world. Take a look. This is El Pais in Madrid Spain. Hoven day 13 news about victim. Dave Franco of the Washington and Quantrell of the US. This from The Daily Telegraph in
London schoolboy shot by serial sniper. This from protests in Montreal Canada. We Dem victim told the Washington. This from the daily news of New York. He kills for fun. This from The New York Times boys 13 wounded in the attack linked to sniper. Now we believe there have been nine such attacks. This from the Louisville Courier-Journal. A state of fear. D.C. area rattled this 13 year old boy wounded by sniper who has killed six now we believe the toll to be eight. And finally this from The Charlotte Observer school attack fills the D.C. area with fear. Boy 13 is a victim of unseen marksman. Just an example of the
kind of coverage of this being carried around the country and around the world and around the world. Joining me now is Margaret Engl managing editor of the Newseum here here we think of this as a story of neighborhoods jurisdictions and murder. But it seems like around the world and around the nation it is a Washington story. Is it receiving indeed the kind of coverage it is because this is the capital. Absolutely it's getting universal attention. We've never seen a local regional crime story get this type of worldwide coverage. It's always above the fold. We get about 100 newspapers electronically sent to us every day at the Newseum and domestically it's been on the front page throughout this entire episode and now we're starting to see it on the international papers as well. Let's be clear here one hopes that wouldn't happen there. But what appears to be occurring say in Boise Idaho Do you think it will be getting this kind of coverage. No it would not. And in fact we've seen mass shootings in
other parts of the country that don't get this kind of universal attention. And I think it's because people have a sense of pride fear more about what's happening to their nation's capital and not only the nation's capital but in many ways the capital of the world. Does that mean that if this continues we are likely to see some connection being speculated on between the fact that this is where the president and the Congress and the Supreme Court exist and these killings implying that there might be some connection. Absolutely. I mean there is a heightened sense of fear because important people and important things do happen here in Washington. And this is an extra sense of insecurity about what this sniper might be doing. We haven't seen that kind of speculation. But is it possible that this has been being reported say in the Middle East or in the Persian Gulf. We may even see some connection being made to the likelihood the possibility of an
attack on Iraq. There hasn't been that connection made yet. But if this continues on and on who really knows which direction this is going to go in. Also joining us now is Dr. Ronald Hopson of the Department of Psychology and the School of Divinity at Howard University. Dr. Hopson we feel right now a great deal of combination of fear and anger. Is that unusual. That's perfectly usual for a situation like this where our predictability has been dramatically interrupted and our assumptions about this sort of generic safety of going about your day have has been completely shattered. How do we deal first with the fear. Should we be feeling fear. Should we be going about our lives in a normal manner as if nothing absolutely happen. Is there a reasonable way of providing an outlet for this for you. Well certainly I think the first rule is to not should own your feelings and so whatever reactions one has to this situation have to be embraced and acknowledged as
the way in which they are attempting to cope with this. It is a range of reactions from people who literally changed dramatically their goings and comings I'd spoken with one person who says that they aren't going to the grocery store that they used to get some reading articles where delivery services are making a great deal more money because people don't want to go out there. Yes. And that kind of thing is an initial reaction to this kind of situation. And for many people that will decrease as this situation God forbid goes on. And then of course other people are defiantly insisting that they must go about their lives as usual. And you know sort of counting on the odds so to speak that it won't happen to them when it happens that the middle school in Prince George's County we immediately began to think more in terms of how do we protect and B speak to our children about this. But since the overwhelming majority of people who have been shot so far are adults we are beginning to think of not only how do we speak to our children about fear. How do we deal with our
own fears. We are in fact feeling fearful ourselves. How do we communicate to our children that they are in fact safe when we don't feel that they necessarily are right. We must communicate to our children is we're making every effort to protect them which is different from guaranteeing their safety online. And absolutely because your children know it's a lie. They they know in fact they hear that this is completely unpredictable and there's no pattern to it that as you say it can be discerned. So what we can say and reassure our children about is our efforts to protect them and to be mindful of how they are and their goings and comings and allowing them to have their own greater sense of invulnerability which is appropriate for younger people to have and to resist some of our attempts to shelter them and corral them as they should resist because they still need to live their lives as as younger people. And yet our assurance of them needs to be that we're going to do what we can to protect them with each innocent victim. I confess to feeling a rush of anger. Anything wrong with that. It's completely appropriate. The
rage in fact is what the killer wants us to feel. How do we communicate to our children if we happen to be visibly demonstrating that rage. Well that is very appropriate when when people do things that are so so very difficult to understand and it hurts so many people. It's very appropriate to be very angry. MARGARET Well in these situations there is always a kind of tension between the media and the law enforcement agencies that are carrying this out. And people say the media is emphasizing this too much. It's causing people to obsess about this. Can you give us your own analysis of the media coverage given the fact that residents want to know practically minute by minute what's going on. I don't think it's been excessive. In fact there are so many unanswered questions out there. People are hounding the media. Please tell us there has to be a huge ingredient of service journalism in this room. This morning we talked about in the press roads to avoid. Don't get your gas near easy access on and off ramps to major highways. All these
patterns that are trying to be developed are things that need to be communicated. So I think in all circumstances it's better to have more information and less information. And I think the press to date has been quite responsible in telling almost everything that they can get. They give out to the public in an effort to protect as many people as possible and what if there is no new information and we keep seeing the same information over and over again to satisfy our thirst for just knowing whether or not there is new information. There have been some critics who say lay off for a while people can understand if there's no new information you don't need to keep reminding them that this is going on. I agree with that. In fact I think technology gives us a way to easily do that. They could simply handle that with a crawl and quit publicizing press conferences where absolutely nothing comes on because it devalues the whole press conference and pretty soon people are not going to pay attention when they should be paying attention because you've essentially been crying wolf with all these non news press conferences.
One of the tensions between media and law enforcement is a difference of opinion about what should be told to the public and what should not be know that Chief Charles Moose got pretty upset that it was leaked to the media that at the Prince George's County location a tarot card had been found and apparently and scribbled on the back of it were the words I am God. What's your view about things. I think and we've seen in many many past examples like this the more information about the crime and the killer that can get out there the more likely the killer will be caught. It's been details like this that have allowed family members friends or acquaintances to call police and say I think I may know someone because of these telling details keeping it away from the public has really never been a great way to solve crime. So I think that the media is well within its rights to air these bits of information. Is it normal expected for the law enforcement agency to want to control the flow of information to the public and therefore you as a managing editor when you make the call.
No we are going to tell people that is that there's a terrible card. Are you expecting anger and criticism from the law enforcement agency would that bother you. It can't bother you because that's the continual pull and tug between news reporting and police officials. They have something that we're trying to find out. You're trying to keep it from us. If we didn't have that pull and tug then we'd simply be sponsored information by the state. So that is part of the dance that goes on all the time I think the is the stronger and the wiser for us going through this tension. Dr. Hopson I have a friend who said to me when this individual or individuals get caught I don't want to hear anything about what a terrible childhood he might have had. I don't want to hear about how he or she might have been abused. I don't want to see any leniency. You also with the School of Divinity. People want to know from a spiritual standpoint how to look at this and I guess in particular how to look at the perpetrator. Yeah it's very difficult because reasons are not excuses but they're important to understand for
for the sake of the future. And so I think that we can we can begin to try to understand this person and what may have brought them to this kind of horrific act. And at the same time hold them completely accountable for the implications of their behavior. And so I think it doesn't excuse in order to understand is not excuse. And at the same time the work for us in some sense is to to get past the anger and past the rage and pass the vengeance because the impulse to vengeance is indeed what this individual undoubtedly is functioning under. And so we have to in some sense absorb that impulse understand and affirm it but not act upon it. That's the problem this individual has acted on his feelings and and that's something that that we need often not to do which is not to say that there is not a legitimate and appropriate feelings for those people who are religious. There are people who are spiritual who are not necessarily religious some of those people who are religious and for those people who pray and they're praying for the protection of their children their conceivably
praying for the individual who is perpetrating this act to be apprehended. Is it OK for them to also pray for the soul of the individual is him is it OK for also for them to pray for the alleged perpetrator. Well I think for many people that is very appropriate for them to do in order to to try to extend this sense of graciousness to this individual that he obviously has completely abandoned the hope of and perhaps that might corral him in some way. Who knows. You're covering the story and you discover as I just pointed out earlier that this individual may have been abused as a youth. This individual may have suffered all kinds of indignities that may or may not have contributed to the frame of mind. Is this something that you dwell on. You have absolutely have to report it or let other people draw the conclusions that they can or can't from it let his defense attorney make the plea at time of sentencing that this horrible childhood should prevent them from being put into the death penalty state. But the point is is that the press should not self-censor
any of those gentlemen valid details about early childhood life are important and should be out there if there are such details about early childhood life and if at the same time. We know very often these things happened on parallel tracks. There is some perceived political motivation on the part of this disturbed person. Do you report on the political motivation in the same way by trying to research by trying to look at whatever the ideological formulation may have been. Absolutely. I mean this is when and if this person is caught there is going to be a scramble for facts about this person's ideology their background their schooling their relatives. I mean it'll be a dragnet unlike anything we've seen in the recent past here in this city trying to find out about this person's background and what made them tick in such a horrific way in the final analysis. There are people who are speculating about the kind of end that they would like to see this person who is perpetuating this act. And some people find that to be a
particularly bizarre kind of speculation don't want to indulge in that. Is it OK for people to indulge in that kind of speculation. Well I think it's inevitable and I think we need to be mindful of trying not to continue with that kind of search. Dr. HOFs thank you very much for joining us. Margaret thank you very much for joining us. Thank you. The debate over Iraq in Congress and the possible political consequences especially for the Democratic Party. Our news analyst join us when we come back.
Come. Back there never seemed to be much doubt that when all of the shouting was over if indeed there was any shouting President Bush would get authorization from the Congress for a unilateral U.S. attack on Iraq. But the fact that they didn't seem to sell didn't seem to be putting up much opposition could have unintended political consequences for the Democrats. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. First allow me to introduce our panelists Jack White of the Howard University School of Communications is with us. Call CONAN Washington correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers. Barbara Cochran president of the radio television news directors association and Allison Bethel Washington bureau chief of the Detroit News. Welcome to all of you. Jack why this is not the kind of situation that requires as much analysis as just sharing your thoughts. Well this is there's a homicidal maniac on the loose who has whose victim list looks more like America than Bill Clinton's cabinet. You have. Young people old people men women people from
every ethnic group. And whether it really affected this is to unify all of us across every line in the kind of mutuality of fear the most routine kinds of things have now become exercises in the profiles in courage. Buying gasoline takes guts dropping you could often School takes guts going to the grocery store parking in a parking lot. Takes guts. Now everybody is looking over their shoulders. And the sooner this thing is all the better for all of us. Jim Cole in your thoughts. Well it's it's the mundane aspects of life that have been shattered here. And I live in Montgomery County where this first started to emerge. My wife is a teacher so she feels the code blues in school. I have two kids who are in school. So it's it's palpable in the community. Soccer practices are kind of you know these things that you just take for granted every week or have been affected. Barbara COMPRA it's also it's been so methodical and so
drawn out over a long period of time. I mean most serial killers that we know about are killers who are doing this in a fit of rage. Do it all at once and then it's over. And this just keeps coming you know day after day after day. We sometimes wonder in the news business will we get to a point where the news cycle has slowed down and there's no new information to report. Unfortunately in this story there's always something new to report. Allison. I think the timing of this is very significant and impacts people probably the most we've been victims of serial killers before and of course it doesn't make it right and people are always afraid. In this case on the verge of war people are reaching and wondering whether or not this has anything to do with September 11th or Saddam Hussein or any number of things and I think it makes the public even more jittery
than they had been before a week ago when they wondered whether or not we'd go to war because our fear exacerbated because this is Washington. Oh absolutely. But I think Galson this is put your finger on something that's really really is key here. This is the second time in a little over a year that this that this region in particular has been especially rattled. And and that our vulnerability has been shown and that in the September 11 cases from somebody. Who turned out to be known fairly quickly but over a long long distance away this is a case of somebody who probably is one of us who has lived among us but who is striking from sufficient distances that that is is very difficult to go and warn against this person who is using evidently as a sniper weapon of some kind is able to supposedly shoot from long distances. There's a lot of stuff while white vans and vehicles and whatnot. But those those vehicles seem to have all been located close to where the victims fell rather than some long distance away so I guess some question whether those they really were related to now don't forget
anthrax is not in the area it the. The fact that the police have not been able to give us any indication of that one iota of progress has been made so far does that even further exacerbate or. Exactly. It's very similar to the September 11th the reaction after September 11th. We want to think that our government and our officials are taking all the steps that can protect us. And yet September 11 has showed how very vulnerable we are and in this case the you know the authorities being undermined the ability of law enforcement to protect us as being really seriously eroded because of that. The killer seems to be able to act with impunity. The mood in this community is written all over. Chief Moose is face out there in Montgomery County. He has gone from in front from shock to anger to dismay to fury at the press for for releasing some purported evidence in this
case and the claims might compromise the investigation to a kind of cold resolved. Everything that we've all gone through. We've we've seen reflected in his behavior. It's quite amazing but the unpredictable nature of it it seems to me causes a lot of residents to be if you will in sympathy with law enforcement officials because they realize that they can't be everywhere at once and it would seem as if whoever's doing this is just about everywhere. Oh absolutely. And it does remind me you mentioned you mentioned anthrax and there's this I think both as journalists and as and as members of the community. On the one hand before and a couple of days went by without an incident. And you wonder OK this person has gone into hiding will we ever know who he is and then he strikes and he strikes and on the one hand you wish that because of They've done that they've they've made a mistake and maybe will bring law enforcement closer to it. We have there's a horrible tragedy associated with the anthrax case. Imagine if this had
affected all these lives caused turmoil in this in the city and in the country and we still don't know who it is. And and you know we live with this potential thought that perhaps we won't know. But of course this is Washington and Washington is often about politics and there was politics in Washington this week last week we were speculating about how the debate would go in the House and the Senate over authorization for President Bush to attack Iraq. Now we know the vote in the house 296 to 133 in the Senate 77 to 23. Jack White the Democrats didn't seem to put up a great deal of opposition. The speculation is on the one hand. Will this allow the matter to go away in time for the mid-term election. On the other. Are there likely to be losing a part of the African-American to the liberal base because of it. Well let's deal with the first part. I mean the tendency in politics is it everywhere else is always fight the last war all over again. And some of the Democratic leadership is remembering what happened in 1991 when they met meant most of them opposed the
war the George the first George Bush's war to remove Iraq from Kuwait and that later turned out to be have serious political consequences for him they didn't want to. If you give the term they didn't want to wimp out this time many of them. And I think the second point is I think they do hope. That this will by going along with it with the president in this case that that will take the issue off the table and that there may be enough time for them to get things back to the domestic issues that they really talk about before the election Jim. Well one thing that I found interesting is at the end of the day and listening to all the speeches as I did on the Hill the the supporters of the president many of the Democrats were giving speeches full of anxiety warnings and they sounded like the opposition or PACs were carbon copies of the opposition they just reached different conclusions. And in some cases I think many of them felt that the that the president at least rhetorically had softened his his his case and and felt that they could make this
could cast this vote with some peace of mind. But you also had Carl Levin pushing an amendment that that only managed to garner 24 25 votes. It was the die was cast from the very beginning. I mean this has been the president no president has been denied one of these resolutions before before. A conflict. I think the Democrats did put up a fight. I would beg to differ with you on that. I think in the end people can say that some Democrats and I agree with you you had to make the decision and it was a very hard decision and a historic vote for many politicians Democrats or Republicans but mostly Democrats to go with the president. We can't forget that polls show that most people think it's OK to go to war with Iraq. Most people are in agreement with most people saying we should do it in accordance with the international community. Yes they do. They do. But the Democrats are facing an election that they have to win. They want
the house back. And I think that some may have been influenced by that and may have listened to some of their constituents who said you know we'll get the votes we need but we need to send a signal that we are ready to deal with Saddam finally and once and for all Barbara. Well. I think the looming election certainly figured in this and the desire to get this issue off stage and to get onto the issues like Social Security the state of the economy. Remember corporate greed remember how that was going to be the issue that would win this for the Democrats. And I think they wanted to cut their losses and move on. But there are a lot of angry Democrats out there they may not hold elected office but they happen to be African-American. They happen to be liberal and say what happened to our party here yes they did oppose. But they didn't seem to oppose very vociferously. They seemed to want to get this out of the way. We did not want authority for this as a result of which it looks as if they're not getting
the kinds of contributions they were hoping for. Where is people going. Where are those people going to go. They're certainly not going to stay home. Well they but they won't because they because of the other issues that are involved here are the ones that Barbara just mentioned the economy and so forth they will go. There's no political upside to being soft on Saddam Hussein. No benefit to anybody being soft on Saddam Hussein. There is a benefit in seeming to be tough on him. And I think they read those tea leaves well and they've also seen that data out there still that the economy is going to drive possibly drive the election. And on the war Pew poll that came out yesterday even among people who describe themselves as liberals majority felt that the war against Iraq. Granted with with support was was the way to go. Isn't this going to still dominate the news cycle for a while. What it is the you let the U.N. vote to come in there. Is the Bush administration trying to dominate some people are going to lose prescription. People care about
prescription drugs they're going to lose. They're not going to get to that even in this session. And it's sort of doubtful whether they'll get to it when they come back in November. It will dominate. And there's an issue and a question of race that has not been brought up by mainstream media in the whole Iraq thing. I mean Nelson Mandela addressed it yes. Kofi Annan and some people overseas but it is an issue it's an issue for the people who we write stories about. You know the second largest city with a black population an Arab population it's a huge question. Who is Muslim. Is this a religion or a religious war. Is this Bush saying I want to get back at Saddam for almost killing my daddy what what what are the motives. Who's going to benefit from the war who will suffer the most. There are a lot of questions that have not been answered that people want answered. People of color in particular. The most interesting thing to me is you recall back to the campaign when we had the president talking about. Humbly addressing the rest of the world
not wanting to be involved in nation building. Now we're reading on the front page of the of the New York Times that that they are already thinking about making plans for after Saddam Hussein is removed from remaining inside Iraq for many many years for appointing somebody perhaps. General Franks the base of the military czar how MacArthur in Japan. And doing all this to no one ever happened to not being involved in nation building humbly addressing the rest of the world. Whatever happened to that. And there was now a new frontier so to speak. But getting back to domestic issues the economy corporate greed Do you think that the Democrats have calculated at least in part correctly and that those issues will have the opportunity to get some traction before the November midterm election. I think it's going to be difficult but I think it will also this is where we will see paid political advertising play a role that once that we'll start seeing the airwaves flooded with ads which will be on that not on
Iraq. I mean it will be on all those kinds of issues and it will simply depend on who's going to have the most effective ad campaign. But you know there's a difference between anxiety and anger and economic anxiety even anxiety over the war doesn't necessarily motivate voters to go out anger over those issues does. And I've talked to labor leaders who have been conducting focus groups and they're just not finding that motivation to get out to vote. They're fine and they're also noticing a lot of this intervention. And in the end the lockout in California is not going to motivate. Well that that might but that that cuts both ways there's a lot of there's a lot of companies out there that are relying on the prompt delivery of goods that are union cosmetic companies with large labor factors and the unions. And for those you the auto industry et cetera they're saying hey you get this issue resolved so that's cutting both ways from that labor I think one day the House and the
Senate vote to give President Bush authorization to go into Iraq and the next day we hear that former President Jimmy Carter has won the Nobel Peace Prize even though he opposes such a unilateral attack. And the Nobel Committee said in a very pointed message they intended his selection as they put it a shot in the legs. I think his work is aimed at the people who are making the policy in the United States lives and that there was no mistake on their part and part of those whips over there. And although many certainly deserved it. I mean he has gone above and beyond and has done I think more for us after his presidency than almost any president that we've ever had and he certainly has deserved some of the people who were nominated Bush was nominated. Of course he's not going to get it when he's about to drop a bomb or go kick butt overseas. But I think Jimmy Carter deserved it. He should have gotten it. And he's 78 and it's time. It was good. Given everything that's going on in the Middle East now it was a very
nice reminder of exactly what the Camp David Accords which I think was the centerpiece of the reason for his award what they accomplished. There is still I mean you know for everything that's gone on a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt and it offers some hope for that kind of peace between two previously implacable enemies can be achieved and can be maintained for a long period of time. Forget that they received the Nobel Prize at the time and Carter was nominated too late to get it. You know when he's the one who held them hostage. They are for all intents purposes for 13 days. And this is great coming what 10 days after his birthday 20th anniversary of the Carter Center and right after a trip to Cuba for which he was so heavily criticized took to Jack's point you know this this is a body that the Nobel Prize selectors are appointed by the parliament of Norway and they make political decisions. I mean this is a this is a political statement that they've
made as well today. I mean President Carter has been nominated every year since 78. I think he probably has President Bush to thank him for this decision. Well nobody disputes that among ex-presidents. Jimmy Carter has clearly been the most active in international matters and in trying to make peace in various places. But doesn't this in a way serve as a reminder of the circumstances under which Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980 during the time when we were having the confrontation with Iran with hostages being held. Nobody ever disputed the fact that Jimmy Carter is a man of peace but it invariably seems to be a man of peace in a country that's ready for war. But that doesn't have a lot of political crap. The poor guy I mean he was he was a lousy president he's a fabulous ex-president. And. And this is I think the other thing this does it puts a spotlight on what a bunch of losers most ex-presidents are.
You know what do you think the White House and what you do. What is it. Last time you heard of Gerald Ford doing anything now now he's done a lot of good things to ex-presidents in the lives of to rise above. You can go in there and didn't involve the world a lack of success in their terms. The name Carter has been very successful at what he's done and he's managed to use his clout is a former president to parlay it into something extraordinary from medicine to children in Africa to brokering deals with the devil or not. Well as I said disputes any of that in the Senate this week in a mock up session that took a while to get nine Democratic senators therefore a quorum to vote. Voting rights for the District of Columbia no Republicans showed up. It should be pointed out that their absence had nothing to do with the fact that this had to do with the District of Columbia. But another dispute that was taking place that should also be pointed out that this is this is the first time in the 25 year history of voting rights that it has got stopped smoking Jack that has
gotten this far in the Congress of the United States and it is therefore historic issue is it and it's about as far as it's going to go. This is one for the books right now. But you know I mean we've been talking about war going to war in Iraq and so on. And who are the citizens of this country who have no say in voting to go to war it's residents of the District of Columbia which I happen to be one that pay more taxes per capita than anybody else. Exactly. I mean it's an outrage. And you know at least something happened. Thank you. And you disproportionately send people to war more than a lot of other states in the country isn't that significant. Yes it is fair to say it is. No it is but it's unfortunately it's not going anywhere after this. I mean there were I think a couple of journalists were pushing Tom Daschle to make a commitment on it the other day. And he was there and clearly he eventually accused them of of tag teaming him to death
of every other reporter wanted to ask about Iraq. The fact of the matter is there's no time to put it into the into the schedule. In this in this session of Congress which means they have to start over again. And no Republican is going to allow it. When you have a Congress that's divided in the way it is and in the Senate even if this even if Democrats gain a couple of seats in the Senate you know how this kind of works. Any senator can block something like this it takes 60 to put anything on on the agenda. Unfortunately though Alisyn Senator Lieberman who's chair of the committee and who introduced this though waited patiently well rounded up all of these nine Democratic senators and brought them to the table why would he do that. I think he understands the importance of getting it done. It's I agree it's an outrage. How can you have more than a half million people who can't vote in their own country who pay taxes who can vote for said he counted and that's probably about the extent of it. It's absolutely ridiculous. But I agree with my colleagues it won't go beyond this. Probably unfortunately and that's certainly not this year. And we've got to have
backing with them. I think if Lieberman is we all think might run for president the Democratic nomination for president since he can count on the support of the District of Columbia in the end it get you have got the support of the District of Columbia who a vote in the Democratic primary as I'm every delegate. Bill Clinton walked down Georgia Avenue in a show that he was interested in that the district court in the District of Columbia in 1992 he had a Democratic House he had a Democratic Senate. It never got this far. If the Democrats are fortunate enough to win the House in this midterm election do you think the D.C. voting rights has any more of a chance than it currently. Yes I think it has much more of a team. If the house if the Democrats win I still don't know how far it will go. But I think the chances are better. We have to get. I think people outside of D.C. have to be on board. And I think incidents are very good. I think a lot of people have to be outraged not just people who live in Adams Morgan or downtown or whatever. You have to have
people outrage from across the board Bay and also you need some key Republican help. I would really like to be convinced that this is an issue that will hurt them at home and key constituencies if they don't support it. And good but that's do think speculation if state who are the rules really meaningful where you appear to be guaranteed to have at least one more Democratic member in the house and two more Democratic members of the Senate. And they are going for it. And the president is not going for it in fact do we call it that that his predecessor Clinton is a nice little stink bomb had the license tags on the president's limousine just to that is he left the office today to say taxation without representation. Bush the first one of his first acts of becoming president and having that delay was removed. And they knew it would be OK. The president doesn't want it. The Republican Party would be committing it would be committing political suicide for them to go along with it. They lap. Which is why Barbara's point is so important. We've got to take a break. Thank you for joining us when we come back.
A room full of people talking about Africa in ways you don't often hear. Welcome back. First allow me to challenge the way many of us think about Africa and that
we includes We at evening Xchange when we schedule a discussion about China. We never say we're doing an Asia segment tonight. If it's Bosnia we never say a Europe segment tonight. But if it's Sierra Leone we might often say we're doing an Africa segment tonight. The trouble with that is that we know that what's going on in China doesn't necessarily reflect all of Asia. Nor does what's going on in Bosnia reflect all of Europe yet somehow instinctively maybe subliminally when we report on dysfunction in one African country we seem to internalize that dysfunction is a metaphor for Africa. With that in mind even in exchange recently set up shop at the National Museum of African art to look in on a discussion about Africa. You don't hear about very often about development in Africa. Not by looking at economics and politics as you might expect but by looking at culture we begin
with an overview from Constance Barry Newman whom you may remember from D.C. financial control board with who is also a scholar on Africa now assistant for Africa with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Africa is the Sahara in the north the Great Rift Valley in the east the rain forests of the Congo's. Cape Town Table Mountain Uganda's Murchison falls the Serengeti Malis Timbuktu honor of the ambassadors that we have here in the terra cotta sculptures of Nigeria in the belly murals the carved mass from the West Coast the beaded jewelry of the Messiah and the Shona stone carvings. Have undeniably inspired art in the rest of the world. Africa's Hocker Let's see in silver Africa's gold and oil and diamonds. Cobalt uranium. But. The most important well on the continent. Is the diverse hard
working ethical. Intelligent creative and beautiful people. Many. Of whom are now deprived of an opportunity to create a decent life. And that is the major reason for the discussion today. There are differences in the news about Africa. There are discouraging statistics about infant mortality in many countries on the continent. But the good news is that infant mortality is under 5 for under five between 1960 and 99 has gone down in Botswana. It's gone down in Mali. It's gone down in the Democratic Republic of Congo just to name a few. The gross national product per capita in many countries of Africa. Is way below the world average in 2000 of $7000. The continent's average GNP per capita was four hundred ninety two dollars. However. It is important to note a number of examples which indicate that Africa
cannot be described with one set of words or phrases. The GDP per capita for Botswana six thousand maybe 4000. And about the literacy rates for the population a 15 and older. There are countries on the continent that are equal to the national and the world average. You and I know that there are examples of conflict and corruption on the continent. There are places where the people's voices are not heard. But the overall trend. In Africa toward building freer democracies. Is that. It is there in many countries there there's an increase way up to 17 percent of countries that are free partly free 47 percent. And 20 African countries. Have. Democracies. So when we all consider. The development challenges of Africa. We need to consider them in the
context of the problems. But also the good news that brings about hope. For a brighter future for more who live on the continent of Africa. Dr. Newman then participated in a general panel discussion sponsored jointly by the State Department the National Museum of African art and USAID. We now joined that discussion as ambasador Sheikh Omar Diyar of Mali talks about manuscripts recently unheard of in that country. We have found team. And to my new script which will help us to. Make a revolution in our. Thinking in the 21st century. So we are looking forward to working with. Our partners the United States and longer over the robot help
us. To. Reveal what is contained in these manuscript. I am intrigued by the manuscript that you just mentioned. However those of us who think we know it all will say. Well. They got this manuscript that they've brought from sometime way back in the past. Why should I have to. Know about anything in this manuscript if I'm merely here in Mali as a consultant for agricultural development. Maybe we find in these manuscripts. The best way to do you know for agriculture. Well the best way to solve the conflict. Between people. So I think it's very important for us to. QUESTION This manuscript to see what is very very very very very inside this manuscript because. Before.
We kind of you. We have developed a very. Big civilization in this. Area of western Africa. I'd like to say something about the manuscript I mentioned earlier about the negative concepts we've had about Africa and how they've changed and it's very pleasing. And one of the notions has been the historical nature of Africa which is totally untrue which means that it's very important for those of us who go there to understand what has happened in millennia past. So that obviously that document is going to be addressing issues which were of concern to the people of that time and for us to understand those processes. It makes a big difference. I mean for example when we see the civil rights movement we know that people were involved and it's very important for us to understand what motivated them. So I guess you haven't seen the movie Barbershop. Well I don't want to get into that.
Last night. But so I think it's very important and people who deal in development and I also want to throw a little in here about relief because of the conflicts in Africa we have a lot of people who work in relief and ignore the whole question of development and they come in and they say the NGO set up their own little governments act as though no one is there and proceed. Apace and wherever it is they are. They behave similarly. And this has to stop because each situation is unique. And unless we're going to listen and pay attention to what's going on we cannot help those who say we are concerned about. We look at the fact that Africa is in large measure an agricultural continent and that most of agriculture is in fact undertaken by women on the continent which is not the way we are used to it in the western world. How does that affect what NGOs and others who are trying to increase agricultural production
should recommend. Well I think the most obvious lesson is that you know that in Geo's and international development organizations are clearly. Much more interested in talking to women and. And eliciting their opinions than they used to be the case and for one of the more interesting things that I've seen. USAID is a little green kit which is called The Women in Development could which I actually took back to the University of Michigan as an example of something that's good but that perhaps was a little problematic as well because it assumes that there is one way to go about dealing with women in all culture. I guess the kind of lesson that I would draw is that it's good to pay attention to women and development as a general rule but also women in different persons are so diverse that you have to actually go and talk to them and find out about their local cultures and their wishes. Connie Newman Why should the development community which is interested in economic development and probably politics governance why
should it spend a great deal of time looking at culture if you're trying to change political or socio economic system or if you're trying to change the manner in which people conduct their economic business why should you worry about culture. I think the ambassadors that Khalid gave the answer in many places that it's not realistic to expect that you are going to be able to impose a change in the political system are changing the economic system without understanding the underlying values of the people and without taking into consideration what drives people what their relationships are how they view their history any development organization that believes that they're going to impose change on people without having first of all the people help define the problem. That's been one of the problems of development in the past. That the
rest of the world is often to find the problem it first has to be defined by the people and then they have to be involved in the options and those solutions are it's not going to be sustainable. Ambassador Robert Perry it's a very difficult issue to deal with especially in the middle of the administrations ongoing campaign against terrorism. But distinctions have to be made I guess between religion and culture and we often do not make that distinction between say Islam and Arabic culture. And as one finds oneself in the middle of a crisis situation trying to shape policy is trying to shape relationships with government and at the same time trying to enlist the support of the American people for a campaign against terrorism. How do you and the administration make that distinction between religion and culture when it comes to Islam. Sure. I think we've done a job of trying to educate our self with the
state department of the. The number of percentage of populations in Africa in a Muslim. The trick question is what is the largest Muslim country in Africa. Is Nigeria. Sixty million of the population. More than any middle eastern country. So when you start talking about the role of Islam and how it influences people worldwide who are of Islam faith you have to take into consideration. Africa. In West Africa unlike in say the Middle East you have families with members who are Christian and Muslim in the same family. So you don't have people divided. Along religious lines that we may think of in the Middle East with the pictures that are given to us as an integration down to the roots people live side by side. And that may be what makes or tragic the situation we're dealing with right now and go to war. People from the northern part of the country have lived in the south. For generations. But right
now are dealing with difficult issues and just to neighbors who understand that are trying to work together with them to find to mediate and find a way out without further conflict and we are trying to support that process. How do we get out the news if there is such news that a lot of things are going right and that those things have a great deal to do with taking culture into consideration. I'm just tired of it myself. It's not what I do. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired of being. And what I do is no matter what the question is. My answer is what's going on. That's right. On the continent as you notice no one asked me that question I answered it anyway because I think all of us who work in Africa about Africa ought to share what we know about what's going right. We need to know what's going right. In order to have whole. In order to know that things do work. And I think we all have to
- Evening Exchange
- Episode Number
- Producing Organization
- Contributing Organization
- WHUT (Washington, District of Columbia)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This episode includes segments on the D.C. Sniper Attacks, Weekly News Analysis, and the African Culture and Development Seminar. First, guests discuss the random sniper shootings that are terrorizing the Washington, D.C. area and the public's criticizing of the police department for not acting quickly enough. Next, discussion continues about the D.C. sniper and if it is related to 9/11 or the impending Iraq War. Also touched upon is the vote to authorize the war on Iraq that passed without opposition from Democrats. The final segment is from the African Culture and Development seminar which brought together representatives from African nations and the United States. The panelists point out that each African country is unique and that dysfunction in one nation does not necessarily mean dysfunction for the whole continent.
- Created Date
- Asset type
- Copyright 2002 Howard University Television
- Media type
- Moving Image
Director: Ashby, Wally
Guest: White, Jack
Guest: Engel, Margaret
Guest: Hopson, Ronald E.
Guest: Kuhnhenn, Jim
Guest: Cochran, Barbara
Guest: Bethel, Alison
Guest: Newman, Constance Berry
Guest: Diarrah, Cheick Oumar
Guest: Bruce, Beverlee
Guest: Kottak, Conrad
Guest: Perry, Robert
Host: Nnamdi, Kojo
Interviewee: Moose, Charles
Interviewee: Reynolds, Barbara
Interviewee: Ramsey, Charles
Interviewer: N'deye, Walton J.
Producer: Fotiyeva, Izolda
Producing Organization: WHUT
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
WHUT-TV (Howard University Television)
Format: Betacam: SP
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- MLA: “Evening Exchange; 2206; Sniper, Weekly News Analysis, African Culture and Development Seminar.” 2002-10-11. WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 5, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-293-580k6m48>.
- APA: Evening Exchange; 2206; Sniper, Weekly News Analysis, African Culture and Development Seminar. Boston, MA: WHUT, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-293-580k6m48