Evening Exchange; Presidential Candidates Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton; Demonstrations on Iraq; Promoting Diversity in the Sciences
Carol Moseley Braun Al Sharpton in the race for president. The impact of worldwide demonstrations against war with Iraq and promoting diversity in the sciences all next an evening exchange. This week's snowstorm may have delayed former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun entry into the Democrat Party Craddock party presidential sweepstakes. But only for a day or so once the offices of the Federal Election Commission reopen Carol Moseley-Braun presented herself to register an exploratory committee to run for president. She's the second African-American to
do so in this race Al Sharpton being the first. And it raises all kinds of intriguing questions about race gender the Democratic Party even the STATE OF THE UNION some would argue. But what might be most intriguing of all is what motivated Carol Moseley Braun to run. Joining us now to discuss the implications of the Braun and Sharpton candidacies and much more. Clarence Page of The Chicago Tribune and Dr. Ron Walters professor of government and politics and politics at the University of Maryland and director of the African-American Leadership Institute. He was also a senior adviser to the Jesse Jackson campaign of 1984. He was officially the deputy campaign manager in 1984. Ron Walters welcome they'll be with you. You know I was surprised were you when Carol Moseley Braun indicated that she intended to enter the race. No I had talked with her some time ago and had some indication that she might. Be considering running for president is Matter fact at that time she was considering both running for president and running to try to reclaim her Senate seat and she found beside the
candidate for president. Well you're the Chicago person here and Dave Clarence Page and the last time we heard about Carol Moseley Braun in the state of Illinois she was losing her race for senator a seat which she held for one term. That's right because in part of her association with the dictator Sani a botch in the jury and some other missteps. What is it that you think could motivate her but it seems that she's got some baggage right there and as her herself says that she made the mistake of thinking to be a successful senator although you have to do is pass bills. Indeed she did pass bills and she made a lot of friends in Illinois from the corporate community the labor community but she did have some terrible public relations missteps like that one like questions about how her campaign funds had been spent which became thoroughly vetted by the way by Jesse Helms after she got her and best ADORE-L appointment and all but $300 was accounted for but nevertheless she does have that. Has so much baggage that her opponent is now Senator Fitzgerald. A simply
ran attack ads against her didn't have to go out and campaign or appear with her in public anything just ran attack ads and just wore down whatever support she had. So yeah I was surprised a month ago Ron when I found out that she was considering running but then I I started hearing from a senior Democratic strategist Democratic Party people who were so delighted she was going to step in and help to water down Al Sharpton's ability to win delegates in South Carolina and other states and I think that's what's really going on here. Well before we get to the Sharpton issue and I nor the people would like to talk about that in her state and running for president she said it's time for a woman to do this. Clearly placing the emphasis on gender. This that one of the reasons why she's deciding to do this Miss nobody's done it since solipsism back in 1972. Well I think and she may make the same mistake this year which is a made that was running as a woman and sort of dismissing her ethnic or racial base and I think as a result not very many people voted for sure which is of course and she didn't also establish a
base even with women with white females. But yes she has said that in a number of places I said listen to her speech and I would just the other night she said it very forcefully again today in her speech before the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting. So it's clear that she is pushing this theme of running as a woman hoping again to establish a constituency among women rather than see herself as the black candidate. She got her 10 minutes presumably on Friday with the Democratic National Committee as did all the other candidates in the race so far. How do you see what Clarence and I characterized as her backers and that is the reason she lost her last campaign for the Senate. Well regardless of whether I see it she's in a tremendous goldfish bowl. Guys like Clarence are going to raise this in every charge. Here it is your job because people know about it it's no secret you know that's right. Well the fact is they going to play on it and plan a plan so it's going to take on a life much bigger then the
transgression itself as Plante said you time-I $311 finally with the specter of campaign funds and the question about Sania bocher. Well you know she didn't she didn't do anything really with Sunny about except associate herself with Sunny about was that. If we had to go down the list of the people who were lined up to run I could tell you some horror stories about each one of them. But the press won't play those things up. So I think that all told when you look at her credentials and when you look at her legislative record here's somebody who really ought to be. Everybody ought to be falling over themselves to say here is the kind of person that face pressure from the black community. They would like to see in this race. Well of course the deep we can go back to Richard Nixon to talk about people who made all kinds of missteps before essentially going on to the president. But you raise the issue of Al Sharpton what's the relationship between the mostly Brown candidacy and the shock and candidacy. Well SHARPTON First of all have put Democratic Party leaders into a bit of a bind as far as they're concerned they're trying to play the Bill Clinton triangulation game which means
start with your base but reach out to suburban swing voters who both parties are hoping will help put them over the top. With Sharpton they are trying to distance themselves from Sharpton's politics he is on the left wing of the party. At the same time he does carry some clout with black voters especially in the New York area. If you want to run for city water statewide office in New York City or State as a Democrat you've got to come by and visit Sharpton's headquarters and he's even with a development you know Hillary Clinton to Bill Bradley did Al Gore did it they all do it. I mean it is a it's a fact and the Republicans say yeah yeah you're the party of Al Sharpton. And Democrats say yeah you're the party of Trent Lott. We know that whole game right. But the fact is that Democrats now after the midterm elections based on what happened when they took their base for granted they want to energize their base which sharpen is good at. And they also don't want to alienate those swing voters which Carol Moseley Braun is good at that's how she became senator from Illinois so in that way she helps them out of a bind so also when the other candidates criticize Sharpton if they
do they don't appear to be just picking on the black guy who is also a black woman here as well Carol Moseley Braun have been talked into the race on that basis. That's a possibility that in Mike the strategist in me says look there was a small fuel room back here you know and somebody said look it will put a big bomb around you are small I want to be nice Democrats maybe a smokescreen or Democrats out there right. But it was smoke somewhere. And and so they may have talked her into this but I don't really think that matters. I mean the fact of the matter is we would never know she is in it now and the question is how is she going to play off against Al Sharpton. Because both of them are there. Generally we've had one shot at it. You know we had a Shirley Chisholm shot we had a Jesse Jackson shot. It was easier you know to sort of play down the fact that here except for the fact. That these five people are black. They would have a shot. At being present United States. Now we we played that down when everybody says the first thing they say is that well they're not going to win but. Well for us that it puts us
in a box of trying to determine what are the other benefits of the candidacies. One of them is if they get a chance to stand on the stage and talk directly to the American people about things that we care about. The other thing is that hopefully they can pull some of the black voters back into the process and maybe they'll stay there elected in the Jackson campaign in the general election and we wouldn't have a chance to overcome Florida. But I think there is a problem here now that Sharpton is raising which could be explosive and that is Al Sharpton is raising the elephant in the room which is the direction of the Democratic Party and what he is saying. Is it you you guys really been taking us for granted. I want to pull the party back away from the Democratic leadership crowd. I want to pull it back away from Bill Clinton's triangulation. And I want traditional Democrats that's where Nancy Pelosi came from. And so theoretically there could be this big brouhaha inside the Democratic Party fostered by the Sharpton campaign and then the question is.
Would Carol Moseley-Braun line up with him. Or would she go another way. Was this inevitable. And that is given the ascendancy of Bill Clinton in the Democratic Leadership Council of the Democratic Party moving to the center given the increasing I guess I can't call it. Discuss but given the increasing feeling of alienation that some voters on the left in the Democratic Party have which is where the black voting constituency tends to find it so. Was this not inevitable that the kind of challenge that Sharpton is bringing forward would come up and it's not the first time in history hardly you know if it wants to out history you've always had your gadfly candidates who are representing an under-represented constituency in each party depending on their degree of storable circumstances. And in recent years have seen Jesse Jackson do have the Democrats you've seen Jerry Brown you saw to a degree Ralph Nader although he opted out to a third party. But that constituency is there waiting like like a rock falling on the ground to quote
a speech of Jesse's way back about 20 some odd years ago. And the Democrats now are in a situation where first of all they are so delightful to cover for us journalists because the Democrats are so fractious because they love debates and internal debates and Will Rogers talk about how it was not but about as easy to organise herding cats and that sort of thing. But that can be a problem you're up against the Republicans who are great at having internal debates but then they pull together in so many ways. And right now the Democrats are. I'd say as we saw the midterm elections they're themis right now they don't have a unifying theme nationally so that's one reason why you've got so many candidates now vying for the cancer because they're all trying to set the direction of the party. Has the political climate in America changed since 1984 and 1988 or let me put this another way. Neither of these candidates have the kind of. Broad political profile they're not as well-known as Jesse Jackson was when he ran for
president now it's possible that the course of an election campaign can change that. But does this mean that others in the Democratic race on the left people like Dennis consented to maybe to a lesser extent John Kerry can say this is not Jesse Jackson these people are not just going to take the African-American vote. I still have a shot. That's right. And one of the effects of both of them being in the race is that it could neutralize a black vote in a primary. When you have one person there you've got a Jesse Jackson what that did was it it empowered the black vote in a primary. This could neutralize it it could take it out of play because you not only do you have these two people from the black community running that could split the black vote but then you also have the fact that there are people that blacks are going to vote for who not neither one of these candidates are going to say look Dennis Kucinich is a true progressive. I'm going to vote for him. If you listen to Governor Dean Governor Dean said I want to change the Democratic Party. Now it would be different if this discussion we're talking about were just between these two black candidates and
the rest of the white candidates but you've got you've got some white candidates in this race who are also saying the Democrats don't have a message. We got to get back to square one. We got to talk the language of the workers and that the people understand and we've got to do it by changing the Democratic Party when he said that a hush came over the room I said All my goodness. Again it will you know this is really intriguing because there are a number of candidates he pointed out two of them dentist cassettes and the former governor of Vermont who are also to the left in this campaign. Do you think that black voters are necessarily going to go with the black candidates. There's another way to answer this question but we won't find out for a while and that it was Ron Walters likely to be working for us but we were both very good Ron answer then but we're we talk about other candidates that that black voters may go for I was going to say. Not in Vermont maybe not I mean black voters are going higher or lower New Hampshire I mean I just exactly had 11 percent in Vermont as I recall and yet they're not only
losing that 11 percent black population. So I'm going to be crossing all right with the first southern primary of the South Carolina shop has been actively campaigning down there every weekend Carol went down there this past week and she as she said she told me I've got friends in South Carolina you know and we need to go on a lot of them you know but the fact is you may have what a 40 50 percent black turnout and then drag out the primary in South Carolina and one word we haven't mentioned is the D word delegates pledged delegates to take to the convention that's what Sharpton wants and that's what I think Terry McAuliffe. I'm not quoting him I could never say in public but I think Terry McAuliffe is nervous about that and the Democratic Party leaders here they want to orchestrate this convention and you know what I'm hoping that. That they are smart enough to to them to say that well I might not have as many delegates as you but if we put our delegates together we may be able to have some power at the convention. That's right. That's what we're looking at a scenario down the road there but I think Sharpton is thinking ahead to that. You know the public and we in the media think that we know Al Sharpton I don't think the
public and the media think that we know Carol Moseley-Braun quite as well. What is the rest of America likely to find out what does Illinois Chicago maybe already know about Carol Moseley Braun that America is yet to find out because of close attention thing to me about her career is that she spent the first 11 12 years of her political career with entirely 100 percent positive press. And we did not do her a favor by doing that because. The fact was she going into all the details she started as a state legislator from Hyde Park on the South Side of Chicago and she was a golden girl if you will as far as among independents who were anti machine and thoughtful and yet a bridge builder a winning personality very smart lawyer etc.. And and then fortuitously Harold Washington became mayor made her his floor leader down in the state capitol and then she became part of his dream ticket countywide. And this year runs for Senate mainly at the urging of all women in particular who are angry at Senator Alan Dixon a Democrat who voted in favor Clarence Thomas and put him
over the top even for Tom was confirmed by one vote. A little anybody know until halfway through election day that the exit poll of polls. Hey Carol Moseley Braun's go. It was a shock to everybody. Well after that she got cover like everybody else and she really wasn't ready for it. Suddenly she was being asked about her personal finances and being asked about her personal relations. And at one point you would see it was historically Chicago people talk about her falling into tears and our editorial board meeting of the Chicago Tribune as she denies that she actually cried the Count wiped her eyes but she was obviously shaken was ready for the magic of what happened her in many ways when it came to dealing with the media and I think even now as Juan was implying she's focused a bit too much now on being a woman or being black at a time when she ought to be broadening her. Finally you run without Clarence and others focusing on the baggage supposedly the Carol Moseley-Braun carries Do you think there's something about Carol Moseley-Braun in a campaign that can cause that is the media and the public to essentially
forget about. Well she's a very smart woman and I think that she's also a bridge builder. I think she's also she's got to learn to speak a presidential stump speech and put some fire and it rouse people up when she does that I think she's going to be a very formidable candidate. So I do think that she has a capacity to do this but it's going to take as we did the Jackson aid for some training. Thank you very much for joining us what Ron Walters worldwide protests against war with Iraq as many Americans drop their duct tape and plastic and pick up their shovels. The world news analysis when we come back. It's been 25 or 30 years since we've seen body bags come back for the dollar by diplomatic means. He's become so emboldened. I mean since 9 1 1 but I think John is betting that he will make us look bad we look at the crisis that the states are in their budgets disproportionately we have less access to health care.
The numbers were certainly impressive more than 8 million people around the world protesting against war 16 member countries of the United Nations essentially doing the same. And speaking of numbers anywhere from 15 to 50 inches of snow in these parts it was a tough week inside and outside of politics. The U.S. and Britain are getting ready for a second resolution to go before the U.N. Security Council possibly next week. The BBC's Gusti Walker has been speaking to the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Have you agreed that it will contain explicit authorization for military action. Well I'm not sure that it will I think it will be a resolution that summarizes situate the situation as it exists shows that Iraq is not in compliance however much inspectors may be moving around the country and that's good. But if there is no compliance if there's no cooperation of the kind we expected then that's not good. And I think the resolution will point out that lack of cooperation.
In Britain it's been another bad day for the president's ally Prime Minister Tony Blair of whom it is sometimes said he is more popular here than at home. He has now had his position about Iraq challenge by the leaders of the Roman Catholic and the Anglican Church. ABC is Jim Shooter from London tonight on the beleaguered prime minister. The criticism struck right at the heart of Prime Minister Tony Blair's new attempts to justify the war on moral grounds. He made an impassioned plea on Saturday even as an anti-war rally in London drew nearly a million people. Turkey's government has demanded some 30 billion dollars in economic aid in exchange for letting U.S. troops use the bases. The U.S. has offered twenty six billion Powell said the two nations were still talking. And I reaffirmed to them yesterday morning a phone call to the prime minister that my position was firm with respect to the kind of assistance we could provide with.
Respect to the level. Then secretary said. America's ready for war. A newsmaker interview with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. So now a number of countries have been flowing capabilities and forces into that region. And there's there's been a good deal of time so we are we are at a point where if the president makes that decision why the Department of Defense is prepared and has the capabilities and the strategy to do that. Iraq's rhetoric of late has hardly been conciliatory. Saddam Hussein was shown on state TV tonight meeting with his military brass to discuss ways for Iraq to defend its dignity and sovereignty and defeat the evil enemies on the World News Tonight the government charges a controversial professor with helping terrorists. He's pure Thomas covers the story from Washington today and it is indeed controversial here. Peter today's indictment was meant to serve notice that the government's war on terror is not just focused on al Qaeda but other terrorist organizations as well.
I mean how are you going to rest. This morning with these things the government has no case against him. Joining us now to examine the major events of the past week Joyce Davis of Knight Ridder Newspapers. Mark Plotkin of WTOP Radio. Henry champ of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Clarence Page of The Chicago Tribune history with us Joyce Davis there seems to be a certain kind of seesaw effect the situation with Iraq is having We started off the week by hearing about eight million people around the world demonstrating against the war and talking about the influence that was likely to have on the Bush administration and the Bush administration giving signs that this may cause some delay in its efforts. We end the week with the Bush administration talking about making plans for and the capability to go to war. Did those demonstrations have any effect at all. Well I think Rumsfeld probably summed it up best he said Well of course they're hearing that but you don't expect everyone to be unified on every issue at all times is how he
put it so yes they heard the protests they heard the demonstrations. But it doesn't seem like that's changed the bottom line. They want to go after Saddam Hussein. Mark Plotkin Well George Bush came right out and said they asked him doesn't this have any effect on you. And he said no. And he said that he compared the demonstrations to focus groups to dismiss them. Tony Blair for instance and Britain and I heard his response or saw his response was much more. Sympathetic and argued for the right to have their point of view. But when it comes to George Bush it's the start of quote another dated reference with the arrogance of power. He's going to go ahead and do what he wants to do. Or you can say that technical or technology help to facilitate the coordination of these demonstrations everybody's talking about the Internet. But clearly there was some genuine sentiment being involved here. Is this kind of outpouring unprecedented around the world. Well it certainly is the last 20 years it's hard to remember anything that has been as volatile. I don't agree with the concept that it hasn't had an effect I think it has an
effect and I think you can point to this resolution issue at the United Nations as part of it. We are now back. It is true at the end of the week talking about war and how we're going to wage it for equally still stalled at the United Nations with a resolution that's going to be circulated next week but not put before the Security Council. It's not going to talk about force it's going to lean back on the Fourteen forty one resolution where there are serious consequences and then they hope for a propitious moment something that will allow them to put a simple resolution before the Security Council that they might be able to get through what's a propitious moment. Well maybe the missiles that are not sanctioned by the United Nations cause problems. Maybe the Iraqis won't let it go. The Americans will talk in terms of smoking gun. Maybe we'll find some weapons we don't didn't know were there that kind of thing. But I think it has as has had an effect I think the bravado of the way it has is is just that bravado. It is a harder hill to climb. The world
doesn't like what's going on. Nevertheless Clarence Page of The Washington Post reports on Friday that there are plans for the post Iraqi administration involving the United States not the United Nations appointing someone to essentially run the country giving the impression that regardless of how this resolution business turns out its war. Well when I see a leak from this administration I wonder why it was leaked because this administration is tight as a drum when it comes to that sort of information and they were sending a signal of the administration sending a signal as to its plans which is similar to what North Korea is known to do. You know I don't rattle the same bers put out the symbolic gesture without any real intent to go to war. And this is what the Bush administration is doing now they are disconsolate sending the signal to the U.N. it's a justifiable one you know what are you United Nations or a League of Nations. And trying to draw the line but I agree that this administration is sensitive to all those demonstrations because they are also
sensitive to the polls. President Bush who does who says he never reads polls. Of course those reports and the polls are showing that Americans still will support a war if it's done multilaterally and with UN sanctions and they don't support and as few as 30 percent will support it unilaterally. And and so this supporting 41 resolution the process has begun now that it has begun. You can't just walk away from you know the CIA to some reason where we're not walking away from it apparently we're going to the United Nations next week and we're going to propose another resolution apparently this new resolution is not going to have a timeline and that could mean any time. Well I think I agree with Henry that I think it and I don't usually say. That I think it's affected the wording of the resolution and how specific and definitive they want to be and maybe they will move the bellicose nature or semantics but whatever they do even if France vetoes the resolution in the national sick in the in the emerge in the Security Council this guy's
going to war I mean that's the bottom there. Yeah I mean no matter what I would like fine they would like the aesthetics and they would like and their talk about which I think is a horrible question. The coalition of the willing I mean where do they come up with that. But they talk about the forest. You know they talk about all the European countries they forget about France Germany Russia. If that's part of Europe and England and they say look we've got Spain we've got laugh you know we got and this is our coalition and there are 40 grand there was worldwide there that are with us. So yes they would like a more favorable public image but it is not going to deter them. So it's war. Well it sure looks like it but I think I am one of the optimists you know I keep thinking someone really is going to move in and save the world and go and just deal with Saddam Hussein either the Arabs. I know that's asking for a lot or someone I mean that's how we could avoid this by having Saddam in the united here. Yes exactly I don't think he'll leave well with somebody and of course that there are countries in that part of the world particularly Saudi Arabia not noted for being a great democracy and Egypt and others
talking about what they're likely to do in a post Saddam Iraq because they realize apparently that something is going to happen so the Saudis are saying let's get on the right side in this dispute and you've got to wonder what is the basis for the coalition that the United States is putting together when the FS the turkey and the United States negotiate in the United States says 6 billion that's it. Turkey is saying no we need more money than that. Is it fair to say that the United States is buying coalition support here is yes well yes and the other thing about the turkey situation it is down to money at this stage but there was a long involved discussion and and and. Period when they talked about the Turkish concerns about what was going to be the post-war Iraq keep in mind there on that border there were a lot of concerns and being expressed by Jordan as Saudi Arabia and Egypt about what post-war Iraq looks like that are not solved. And until those until they get better answers I don't think you're going to see a willing coalition partners in that group of people. It's no deal
yet that Turkey will sign on with the United States to provide stations for those troops and without that yes America still wins the war and I agree with Joyce Yes mordieu like when you force your hospital they won't. Yes I think it is a bus a possibility being offered. They're being offered over 26 billion they want 36 billion. But what they're also concerned about is the Kurdish minority in their own country in Turkey and the Kurds in Iraq that this opens up a civil war in Turkey and they want to Sharon says that that won't. That won't occur but there are no guarantees for that although in fact the Kurds and Iraq are right now sitting remarkably well they've hardly ever had it so good and there is a thought now that that that that may be a way to help the Kurds to build a stable homeland there in northern Iraq and that this man actually defused or give a shit what you have to keep in mind too is that Turkey really does have an Islamic Glee oriented government will put it that way since it's not you know the worst of the
worst that we would dream of the worst government but the point is that they have every reason to drag their feet. They don't necessarily want to be seen rushing into this vastly unpopular with the Turkish people there are many other hand as there is members of NATO on the other hand that maybe the rest of Li Islamic government there are members of NATO. And every time the Turks in the past have acted a little too bellicose we just move closer to the Greeks and the Turks this fall right in the line. So there I mean I think we're here by great can help us here. Turkey has no not like that and doesn't want us to get closer and closer to Greece than the closer they get to us. But more leverage they've got of keeping Greece back up to the money for a second here because. Part of this war effort has to do with public relations and convincing people they're not. How does it make the administration look well to be seen negotiating with a country over the spoils that this country will reap. If you're going to even kind they're not even telling their own citizens how much the war is going to cost. Lawrence Lindsey made the mistake that the economic advisors saying probably cost 150 billion before he knew he was out of a job.
They are not even in the budget and when they asked Rumsfeld to his credit he was honest to say I will see you in the supplementary But you know what really that is the scariest part how much all of this is costing and we're not even talking about what it would cost to maintain a government in Iraq. But that's kind of verbal ammunition does this give to opponents of the World War world wide who say look the United States can't even get Turkey to participate unless it gives Turkey a search but gives an awful lot of the ammunition to the people worldwide. What is striking about it is that the opponents of the administration. Not using that ammunition here inside the country here is Turkey talking about. Use whatever figure you want twenty six seven I don't care how many billions you're talking about Lindsay talking about one hundred fifty billion for the war and already administration admitting there's going to be a million military governorship that involves just the Americans in Iraq for a minimum of two years. People have actually talked about a figure I don't endorse. Two trillion dollars and where are the Democrats where the poem's war why are they not bringing these figures out to the
people and making certain that the American population understands what this is going to cost. You had a time when the economy I can answer that question why is that not happen or it's really hard to happen if I can answer the word member of the rest of the president candidates Howard Dean and others are starting to raise the issues as soon as they get a nice backbone infusion. Also there is no Machiavellian dictum Never interrupt your your adversary while he's destroying himself. And there is a sense that all these factors were bringing up the Bush really hasn't thought that far past next weekend and what's going to happen is quite possible that the war could go then it wouldn't take Joyce's point about her being an optimism just a step further and say if this opposition of cost does come forward. If the international protests continue and there are large and let's presume some start in the United States of similar kind of size there is more bugging down in the United Nations. People actually understand what a military governorship means and the commitment of the United States and we still have a month to go before we move our troops for I think my
thoughts about somebody can leap to the fore. I thought such as when I went to change American public opinion and what will change American public opinion will be bodybags that's what will change American public once the war starts and you actually see America I don't think so. It's not just body bags though we have body bags and Desert Storm but I didn't hear a limit on what exactly the war was bleating That's the question. What I said that was doing the democratic opposition is having a meeting of the Democratic National Committee this week and where it is hearing from all of the presidential candidates at all too numerous to name of the house with the exception of John Kerry who because of surgery for prostate cancer is not going to be able to make it. But I wanted to talk about the entry of Carol Moseley Braun into the race which we talked about earlier whether or not that's likely to have a significant effect on the race. Clarence Page has already had his say. Mark Plotkin What do I want more to say look. Like me. I think that Carol Moseley-Braun I mean there are allegations and there is no basis for
them at all. But there are allegations that Carol Moseley-Braun in some way is the Democratic Party hierarchy is so pleased by this siphoning let's say what it is siphoning African-American votes away from Al Sharpton that she in some way is getting a consulting agreement. She is being compensated in some way that this is so wonderful that why would she do it that ego in itself wouldn't do it. And they're overjoyed that the black vote will be splintered and that Al Sharpton as a factor will be diminished. Joyce Davis has a strike. Yeah exactly thinking as a black woman I don't have health insurance right now I am just saying this is not your true exerted like a very strange reaction and the way they look at I will say that. The specificity of the payoff now is something I'm not going to comment on that I don't know. But just the just the fact this is not a chance to get back in a lot limelight and help to clear her own name is a big motivator frankly and again in the end frankly just from a grassroots level if you
just look at it from people to people I mean she's she's the same I mean this will be an exciting thing to have happen. Anybody can run running on a platform and everything like oh yes that woman that's not just she has a question in my Chicago Law School there are some things about how I look at anything. Oh and also the primaries will shake one of those candidates out and who knows maybe that energizes the African-American vote even more for the surviving candidate of the two. That's what they hope you know that doesn't also the both to the left of the Democratic Party because here you have two candidates Moseley-Braun trapped and who are on the left you've got Dennis Kasich you've got the former governor of Vermont Howard Dean. All of these people on the left. Does this mean that let me make since I didn't see this losing it I cursed the candidate sees of many and I won't go through it through the 70s and 80s so I speak with some experience about this in my former life I am a possible counterpart where you have a a 76 situation. People should be should be reminded Jimmy Carter and
Scoop Jackson have the center to themselves. Let me remind you who ran from the left. Mojito all Fred Harris Sargent Shriver and I'm forgetting one other but the idea was that a moderate or centrist was Carter philosophically was able to go through by virtue that there was a proliferation of left wing candidates who did you work for in the campaign again no you don't. I remember that this think of your I'm going to be president is our last camp in this campaign we have to see how much buy was the fifth. There you go. All right anything else you know I do. Again five minutes later it's over. Clarence Page the deaths of the Chicago nightclub 21 people dying after apparently a fight broke out and somebody apparently sprayed pepper spray or mace. I don't know but when I first saw the pictures of the people coming out of the nightclub and I saw that they were predominantly African-American right after that I heard members of officialdom in Chicago denouncing the owners of this nightclub. I said to myself as I'm sure a lot of other African-Americans did underneath this story
somewhere there is a nasty racial sub code is there. Well since Jesse Jackson was a friend of the president and you're an owner both the owner and I did I didn't know this by the way until after this tragedy. The owners the son of Billy Kyles those who don't member Billy Kyles he was the Memphis preacher who went out of his going to meet him. When he got shot in Memphis I haven't seen Billy Kyles in years but I've no idea his son was running it was Michael very prominent in my club. P. Diddy and other big names of pop culture drop in this place a terrible tragedy but it's back up a minute you told me your first impression. My first impression as a Chicago win was there's a payoff here somewhere. There's there's there's a building inspector about a scandal and sure enough boom immediately there's a headline about how the place was in violation of building inspector laws but nobody should have been firing pepper spray in this crowd there but it's like the space shuttle you know it's like everything that could go wrong did and you had this terrible tragedy but you know within it because the
context turns out the police chief was also a former bodyguard of Jesse Jackson Sr. Chicago's really a small town look like Washington everybody knows everybody else one person removed. So to that degree there was a racial angle but I don't think that that race the important element here as personalities and the larger question of how do we prevent this kind of tragedy of mapping again Well there's more than enough I don't know if they're not radical. I had a legal right although I think I'd like to question 19 Oh yeah yeah yeah because because this was not a fire in Chicago. Just tear gas. People were crushed together with about 21 people crushed whereas in Rhode Island this was the pyrotechnics went off in a club as part of their driving and just set fire to the place. But the same thing happened. People coming out one exit and somebody trips and everybody's piled up and wedged in. But finally had to pull them out. Same kind of issues the question right whether or not they had permits whether or not the rabbi had the right violation would have been one
significant difference so the officials of that city have not been as quick to denounce the ownership of the club as was the case in Chicago which is what prompted me to feel that it was healing. Give me time he said you know you know if you know yet I'm reading I'm pretty I'm pretty hard on the on this because it seems like there are all kinds of violations that and so I mean I think you know my way over here I'm aware of what I'm going to see as there is a dispute over who gave permission and examination was. Yeah that's right you said this and he made this guy make it through I mean depending on what's going on so I think what you saw was a white fire chief. That's the comment saying somebody is going to have to pay. Terence Dillon is the black police chief of the just of Chicago Illinois. But when Clarence I thought the same thing is look this will not be the first time somebody operated even though they told them not to operate in Chicago. Exact there's a whole gray area there. So it could have happened. You know this is the kind of how where where people go home by 10 o'clock or whatever.
Chicago we got to about life as we walk clockwise he says and be on you know anything licensing costs a different amount of money out of money. I don't believe that. Thank you for joining us seeking and finding diversity in the field of science. When we come back. Who or what do you think of when you think about the life sciences or says this is Black History Month. Maybe we better put that another way. We've often told you about great scientists of color who have come and gone but how about the present and the future. Correspondent Dr. Azizah book couche has this report on diversity in the sciences today. For most of us just the thought of touching a cockroach can be a bit nauseatingly not to Dr. Lillian Armstrong. Insects have fascinated her since childhood had grown up on a. Farm and we used to play.
With. All different kinds of insects. It just so happened that when I apply to get my doctorate degree at Cornell University I was interested in parasites and they had more parasitology related courses in the entomology department and so I decided I would work with and sex. And I haven't regretted it since then. During the course of the day. Why have some of the bay school kids. Oh. Dr. Armstrong has been teaching entomology at the University of Maryland at College Park sense 1976 at a time when there was just a handful of professors and students of color on campus. And today she still remains the only tenured tried faculty in the college of life sciences and Maryland. It's been difficult in some IT. Respects. But I've enjoyed my tenure here.
What efforts are being made to increase diversity within the fields of science and engineering under representation of certain groups in these fields still persists. In fact according to a new government report issued by the National Science Foundation blacks Hispanics and Native Americans as well as women and people with disabilities continue to take fewer high level science and math courses at the high school level still earn fewer bachelor's master's and doctorate degrees in science and engineering and remain less likely to be employed and science and engineering jobs compared to white males. And while all students in Maryland are required to take at least one science or math course as prerequisites for graduation attracting these under-represented groups to the live sciences hasn't been easy. We have very few African-American students and actually in the Department
of Entomology there are more students and the biological sciences. You know and those are primarily students who want to go on and get a degree in medicine but in terms of actually getting a degree in entomology we still have a long way to go. And with the continuing court battles over affirmative action and higher education still looming efforts to recruit and retain these under-represented students remains uncertain. But Armstrong isn't giving up on her efforts. Through her summer side camps for elementary and middle school students and transition program for entering freshman at Maryland. She has inspired many. Her philosophy is if you don't get the students while they're young and they're curious about science about living things then you've probably lost them by the time that they become. Seniors or and middle school. I had a few words of advice for the young budding scientist.
Life is for the solutions. And if you will and make that decision us and I have. A positive attitude in terms of reaching your goals of being successful it's possible for anyone to be successful. In Washington I'm Dr. Aziz of a couche reporting for evening exchange. As is because joins us now she is in addition to being a television professional a professional scientist in 2000 and to a doctor because received her Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics from the University of Maryland welcome. Thank you. Also with us is Dr. Shirley McBain who is president of the quality education for minorities network Welcome to you. Thank you very much. And Dr. James Lindis a professor of physics here at Howard University Dr. Linda say welcome to you. Allow me to start with you Dr. McBain we heard a great deal about what's going on at the college level what's going on at the level of K through 12 public schools what is the status of science education in our public schools.
Well in the piece we just heard there was some reference to the fact that many of the students at the pre-college level are not taking very challenging science and mathematics courses and so you have this sort of a domino effect if you don't take the math and science early on if you don't take algebra by the eighth grade for example if you don't take you know math through calculus and pre-calculus you're really closing off a lot of options for future careers. So we encourage students to you know to really enroll in these courses and take challenging courses but unfortunately for many minority students and students who are from low income families access to these courses is just not there as it is. Well I think like Dr. Bill was saying that one of the major problems is I think in attracting students to science in general and to the mathematics and engineering is that a lot of students don't see it as an option or a possibility. They view it as being it's a long term process. First of all it takes you know a lot of time to you know achieve a Ph.D. in
physics or teach in science. Plus when you get out the jobs are answer and you know a lot of people end up doing postcards for you know for for six years and so on. And by the time they get out they start off at an assistant faculty position or some like that starting at 40000 dollars a year or something like that. So that's another reason. Well Dr. Linda say you have directly supervised and funded 29 undergraduate students 18 graduate students for post doctoral associate having graduated seven Ph.D. students five research M-A students to be a student and two thesis be a students from three institutions. What's the secret of your success. Well I think I sort of put myself in the student's place. The most important thing for me in the past had been my heroes I'm in tours and I believe that's a very important aspect you need to have role models you need to have mentors who are willing to speak your language who are willing to put in the little extra effort that's involved.
And you know a lot of ability is is hidden by perhaps disinterest or perhaps a lack of exposure. If you can if you can show the excitement the passion that we have sales as scientists for the searching of knowledge a lot of that a lot of the times that becomes sort of infectious and the students themselves then express their abilities you know in a way that manifest in future professors and doctors. Is that the kind of mentoring relationship that influenced you because I gather from Doc the book it's the kind of mentoring relationship that you perform with your students whether at Hampton where she met you or at Howard where you now are. Certainly I have had my heroes and those heroes and mentors have certainly been supportive especially in any path you take in life of course you're going to have hurdles and you want to continue to jump those hurdles. The mentors are the ones who make you feel like you indeed can make it to the finish line.
And indeed my my mentors some of who are at Howard University in fact have that have been very supportive of my own career. Dr. Moby How do you assess the progress of getting underrepresented groups whether they happen to be minorities women person with disabilities into the science fields. Well as I was suggesting earlier it's a long term process and it's one that has to begin in the early years. If you don't take their proper courses at the pre-college level as you move from seventh grade to eighth grade through then you're behind you. There's no way to catch up. It's very difficult to enter a science field if you've not had the background in mathematics and science that you need to prepare you for college. So the challenge is you're not only having access to those quality courses or rigorous courses that I spoke on but also having access to qualified teachers that we have all kinds of data that suggest that students and low income communities are less likely to be taught by just by a teacher who has even a major or minor has neither major nor
minor in the courses in which he or she he or she is teaching. There's no way you can get a quality education if you don't have access to qualified teachers. So it's a major issue for especially for students who live in low income communities. If we look at the system and put it in every day terms what's broke how do you fix it. Well what is broken is the fact that most of our students most students again who are living in harmony already have Poppy. We have poverty areas who attend high minority schools do not have access to qualified quality teachers. They do not have access to teachers who look like themselves and they I don't have access to a rigorous curriculum so those are the factors you know that we can't get around. You have to have those if you want to be prepared to be successful in college and the young as a did you see the talk the teacher and her see correcting my grammar all what you wrote How do you know what is broke. A visible course Could you tell us a little bit about your personal experience.
Well I was inspired by you know a great many teachers you know when I was last on the program talking about the changing face of science back in 2000 my my first introduction into science basically into physics with through my high school teacher who was just a dynamic person Mr. Toller who I recently met up with a couple a year ago. And having professors like Dr. Linda semiconductor legacy for has been such an inspiration to so many students and had helped graduate a great many students and physics in particular. And when I had him when he came and taught at Hampton he taught school mechanics and social care as can be a rather boring physics class in general but he made it so exciting. You know that you know you enjoyed working on the problems you enjoyed doing the extra research to learn more you know about the subject and stuff like that. And this is what it takes it takes having inspirational teachers that are passionate about teaching and that know how to teach because while you may obtain a Ph.D. in physics you don't necessarily have
an education. And so you don't know how to cater necessarily to all different learning styles. And with myself having you know being legally blind and not being able to see the board I can't see you know regular books and that sort of thing. My books on tape and so that's how I acquire knowledge. Having professors like Dr. Linda see who are understanding and are willing to reach out that you know makes all the difference in many ways. Is there a particular approach that we're missing. Even if we talk about minorities and women when we talk about persons with disabilities or people who have other kinds of challenges. And the other difference what do you mean in terms of the systemic things that can be put in place. Well I think a lot of it comes from perceptions has to do with perceptions of the professors. Like I said a lot of these professors have never been around. Other students other people who have disabilities so they're not really aware of how to deal with their special learning habits learning styles. And so I think a lot of it starts there and changing the teachers perception and making them more aware of how to cater to our learning will help a great deal and hopefully increase the number of people
with with physical disabilities and learning disabilities in the sciences because it's not a it's not about a physical capability but rather it's about intellectual ability and that's a thing we should be focusing on. Which brings me to you Dr. Linda say how do we get underrepresented students women and persons with disabilities blacks Hispanics Native Americans. How do we get them to pursue research based careers in science and engineering. Given what because just pointed out about the fact that they know it's going to take a long time and they know they're not going to be making a great deal of money necessarily. Well I think one thing you want to do is to nurture the curiosity and the excitement of those who already have expressed interest. You certainly want to put the ones who. Have it in them. To want to try to pursue research careers you certainly want to nurture them. Beyond that you want to instill in others the excitement that you feel the passion that you have for doing research for discovering the new
for the poor. You know I always wanted to understand anti gravity or anti-matter or time travel or teleportation. And you want to be able to talk about these kinds of things and still the excitement in those who perhaps are not exposed that you have for this the subject I feel now some comment on and I think another thing that you want to do is to provide hands on experiences opportunities for students early on curium have the good fortune of running a program for Massa for 10 years. That was for high school juniors and seniors who had an interest in math and science and they spent eight weeks on a college campus doing research with faculty who were doing cutting edge research in areas that were related to NASA's mission. Wonderful program 98 percent completion rate. Unheard of I mean just extremely successful so is that early hands on experience those students have graduated. They've gone on to college 94 percent of them are majoring in math science and engineering and they come from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Just a tremendous. But as the early
experience hands on experience that really turns the students on. And of course having mentors and as such as as professors as I say how do you go ahead. Oh there's so much of it starts I think early is really have to kids because at that stage otherwise by the time they get to like I was saying in the piece by the time they get to high school or to college and they're not exposed or don't have the background it's really and it's kind of too late by that time. Can there be a relationship between the challenges to affirmative action say at the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School challenges which the Bush administration has joined can there be a relationship between those challenges and the interest and enthusiasm of young people in all of the categories we just described to get and continue to maintain interest in the sciences. Well I'm not sure I can answer the question when you ask it but I do know that the attacks on affirmative action are really going to limit the access of students to highly selective institutions and of some of the alternative solutions that they are proposing or not getting necessarily the students who are the best prepared to be successful at these highly
selective institutions and so you have essentially a revolving door where you're taking say the 10 percent. Top 10 percent of each class the students may not have the right courses they may not need and in fact they're in segregated schools so they're not going to have access to those high quality courses I was talking about earlier. So they get into the schools and they're not prepared so it's like a revolving door. So you know there are very serious issues here related to the attack to the attacks the infirmed of action. It's all about access to selective institutions and we're going to be left out on the outside if we don't do something about it. I was thinking when I asked that question not only about the practive Kovacs as you just mentioned but the effects of perception and that is the perception that if under if any kind of access is allowed me there will be people who because of my race because of by disability or whatever people who oppose an absolute way to are so we have to be very aware of this right. Well we had this discussion a little bit earlier. It's interesting to me that we've not had the same kind of opposition to programs based on gender. There's a very interesting
- Evening Exchange
- Presidential Candidates Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton; Demonstrations on Iraq; Promoting Diversity in the Sciences
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- Kojo Nnamdi discusses Carol Moseley Braun's and Al Sharpton's decision to run for President with a panel of African American Leaders. Moseley Braun's campaign made her the first Black woman to run for President since Shirley Chisholm in 1972.
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