Tavis Smiley & Cornel West

  • Aired:  04/19/12
  •  | Views: 14,368

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West talk about their book on American poverty, "The Rich and the Rest of Us." (6:16)

IS.

>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT HAVE A NEW BOOK CALLED THE RICH AND THE REST OF US.

NOW THAT WOULD ALSO BE A GOOD TITLE FOR THIS INTERVIEW.

PLEASE WELCOME COLONEL WEST AND TAVIS SMILEY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> GOOD TO SEE YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING ON.

ALWAYS WANTED TO HAVE YOU ON FOR A LONG TIME.

NOW YOU GENTLEMEN, ARE YOU BOTH VERY SUCCESSFUL MEDIA AND EDUCATIONAL FIGURES IN

YOUR OWN RIGHT, TAVIS YOU HAVE A SHOW ON PB S&P RR RADIO.

YOU ALSO TOGETHER DO A SHOW ON PRR RADIO.

WE KNOW BROTHER WEST YOU ARE GOING TO THE UNION THEE LOGICAL SEMINARY.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: YOU GUYS HAVE GOT IT TOGETHER, ALL RIGHT SOICHLT ADMIRE THAT ABOUT YOU.

BUT I DO HAVE A BONE TO PICK.

AND IT IS THE NAME OF THIS BOOK.

THE RICH AND THE REST OF US.

A POVERTY MANIFESTO.

THAT IS CLASS WARFARE.

PURE AND SIMPLE.

YOU'RE DIVIDING AMERICA,

DEFEND YOURSELF.

>> WEST.

>> WE SIMPLY WANT TO SAY THAT WE WILL DEFEND THE DIGNITY OF POOR PEOPLE, THE

HUMANITY OF POOR PEOPLE AND THAT WE'RE CALLING FOR A FOCUS ON POVERTY TO ELIMINATE IT.

BECAUSE WE'RE THE RICHEST NATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, GIVEN THE WEALTH AND

INEQUALITY WE HAVE THERE IS NO WAY 22% OF OUR CHILDREN SHOULD LIVE IN POCH ERT.

>> Stephen: YOU SAY THE RIFERP AND THE REST OF US AS IF RICH PEOPLE ARE NOT AMERICANS.

ARE YOU DIVIDING THIS COUNTRY.

NO, THE RICH AND THE REST OF US, THOSE ARE YOUR WORDS.

THE 99% VERSUS THE 1%.

I BELIEVE THERE IS ONE AMERICA.

ONE AMERICA, SIR, THAT THE TOP 11% JUST HAPPENS TO OWN 42% OF IF.

>> SO HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY DIVIDING US.

WHY DON'T YOU SAY ALL AMERICANS AND LET'S MAKE SURE WE ALL ASPIRE TO BE RICH.

BECAUSE POOR PEOPLE ASPIRE TO BE RICH.

>> I THINK MITT ROMNEY IS WRONG WHEN HE SUGGESTED THAT WE ARE ENGAGED IN A POLITICS

OF ENVY THIS IS NOT BEN VEY.

I DON'T THINK ANYBODY THAT IS POOR BEGRUDGES ANYBODY WHO IS RICH OR HAVING WHAT

THEY HAVE ACCESS TO IT.

IT IS JUST THAT THERE IS NOT A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD IN THIS I KRCHLT WHEN ONE OUT

OF TWO AMERICAN, 150 MILLION OF US ARE STRUGGLING WITH POV THE AND OR NEAR POVERTY.

>> Stephen: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, SO WHICH ONE OF SU STRUGGLING WITH

POVERTY, ONE OUT OF TWO.

ALL RIGHT, WE HAVE TO GET YOU SOME HELP.

YOU LOOK GOOD.

YOU LOOK GOOD THOUGH.

>> AS YOU MENTIONED I'M ON PUBLIC TELEVISION.

AND PUBLIC RADIO.

>> Stephen: I UNDERSTAND.

WHICH IS A CHARITABLE ENDEAVOR, I UNDERSTAND.

(APPLAUSE) BZ BUT YOU HAVE TO BACK THAT UP.

BECAUSE I DON'T ACTUALLY BELIEVE THERE ARE POOR PEOPLE IN AMERICA.

THERE ARE NOT.

>> COME WITH US.

WE WENT TO 18 CITIES.

WE WENT TO WHITE COMMUNITIES,

BLACK COMMUNITIES, WE BEGAN ON AN INDIAN RESERVATION,

LET US NEVER FORGET OUR PRECIOUS INDIGENOUS BROTHERS AND SISTERS,.

>> Stephen: I'M ONE/13th CHICKA SAW.

>> YOU MIGHT EVEN BE SUFFERING MORE THAN YOU REALIZE.

>> Stephen: I MIGHT.

>> BUT YOU KNOW THERE ARE POOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING, WORKING PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING.

>> Stephen: LET'S MAKE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE POOR PEOPLE.

>> THAT IS WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT.

>> Stephen: HALF THE-- PASS THE RYAN BUDGET.

>> OH MY GOD.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

BECAUSE GUYS LIKE ME, GUYS LIKE ME AND I'M RICH, I'M THE RICH THAT YOU WOULD WANT

TO BE THE REST OF.

GUYS LIKE ME WE ARE JOB CREATORS.

WE TRICKLE.

YOU UNDERSTAND HOW RICH GUYS LIKE ME WE TRICKLE DOWN.

>> I THINK A LOT OF AMERICANS FEEL TINK ELED ON.

BUT-- (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> THERE'S NO TRICKLE DOWN.

THE FACT.

MAT CERTIFICATE IN WASHINGTON THERE SEEMS TO BE A BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS THAT

THE POOR JUST DON'T MATTER.

WE ARGUE THE BOOK IS, THAT THE VERY FUTURE OF THIS DEMOCRACY IS AT STAKE.

POVERTY THREATENS OUR DEMOCRACY.

POVERTY IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL SECURITY.

>> Stephen: WHY WOULD POVERTY THREATEN THE DEMOCRACY.

POOR PEOPLE GET TO INVESTMENT THEY DON'T LIKE IT, WHY DON'T THEY NOT VOTE

FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE MAKING THEM POOR.

>> PART OF THE PROBLEM IS BOTH PARTIES ARE DOMINATED BY BIG MONEY SO YOU GOT TO A

CONSERVATIVE VERSION OF OLIGARCHEE WITH REPUBLICANS AND THEYO LIBERALS WITH

OLIGARCHY POOR OF DEMOCRATS WHO SPEAK ON THE BEHALF OF THE POOR AND WORKING PEOPLE.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE LOB AGENCY FOR POOR PEOPLE.

>> Stephen: POOR PEOPLE SHOULD GET THEIR OWN SUPER PAC.

>> AND THE CASH WILL COME FROM HERE.

>> Stephen: EACH OTHER, THEY SHOULD THROW A BLOCK PARTY.

I'VE SEEN THOSE MOVIES.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: YOU KNOW, TO MAKE RENT, TO MAKE RENT THROW A BLOCK PARTY AND THE

POOR PEOPLE HAVE GREAT MUSIC.

>> THE TRAGEDY IS-- GREAT MUSIC.

THEY'RE RICH IN SPIRIT.

>> THEY'RE RICH IN SPIRIT.

>> Stephen: WE RICH PEOPLE WILL NEVER HAVE THAT SPIRITUAL RICHNESS.

SO IT'S EVEN.

>> WE WANT BALANCE.

WE WANT BALANCE.

>> Stephen: DO YOU THINK AMERICA CARES ABOUT THE POOR.

>> WE CARE.

AND WE KNOW WE'RE NOT ALONE.

THERE ARE AMERICANS OF ALL COLORS AROUND THIS NATION WHO DO CARE.

WE WANT A DEMOCRAT ACHE WAKENING AROUND POVERTY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> FOUR YEARS AGO WHEN WE EXERCISED THIS PROCESS TO ELECT A NEW PRESIDENT, WE

HAD THREE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES BETWEEN McCAIN AND OBAMA.

THE WORD POOR OR POVERTY DIDN'T COME UP ONE TIME FOUR YEARS AGO.

McCAIN DIDN'T RAISE T OBAMA DIDN'T RAISE T THE MODERATORS DIDN'T ASK ABOUT IT.

YOU CANNOT ABIDE ANOTHER CAMPAIGN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE WHERE THE ISSUE OF POVERTY

DOESN'T GET PLACED ON THE AMERICAN AGENDA AND THAT IS WHY THE BOOK IS OUT NOW.

>> Stephen: WITHOUT DO YOU THINK THIS BOOK IS FOR.

BECAUSE POOR PEOPLE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY IT.

(LAUGHTER) ARE YOU REALLY TRYING TO SELL THIS TO RICH PEOPLE?

THIS IS A, HOLD ON ONE SECOND THIS IS A $12.

>> NOT TOO MUCH.

>> Stephen: $12 GUILT TRIP,

MY BROTHER.

>> NO, NO, NO, NO.

YOU'VE GOT A WHOLE LOT OF UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE THANK GOD WHO ARE GOING BRUCE

SPRINGSTEIN'S WORLD TOURS,

REDSKIN BALL Y BECAUSE HE IS A WHITE BLUES BROTHER AND HE IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE POOR TOO.

IF THEY CAN GET A BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN TICKET THEY CAN BUY THIS BOOK.

(APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: FAIR ENOUGH,

FAIR ENOUGH.

SMILEY, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

DR. WEST, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

TRAVIST SMILEY AND DR. WEST,

THE BOOK IS THE RICH AND THE REST OF US.