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General Mark Milley Apologizes for Photo Op; Racism Caught on Camera; Christian Cooper, Editor, Writer, Board Member of NYC Audubon, and Melody Cooper, Film and TV Writer, are Interviewed About Racism in America; Colonialism and Slave Trade in U.K.; Interview With Michael Eric Dyson, Interview With Former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 11, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to tell them there's an African-American man threatening my life.
CHRISTIAN COOPER, EDITOR, WRITER, BOARD MEMBER OF NYC AUDUBON: Please tell them whatever you like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The everyday racism that was caught on camera. I asked the target, Christian Cooper, and his sister, Melody, who posted the video that
went viral. Is America really listening now and for how long?
Plus, across the pond too, Britain is forced to face its colonial past. Sajid Javid joins me, the first minority in a top cabinet position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: We have a unique opportunity and a tremendously propitious moment to address
sustained systemic structural inequities that need to be addressed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Author, minister and Georgetown professor, Michael Eric Dyson, tell us Hari Sreenivasan that time is now.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour working from home in London.
With the sands of time shifting dramatically in favor of making black lives matter, America's top military commander has now come out and admitted that
it was a mistake to appear at a political photo op with the president after peaceful protesters had been violently dispersed outside the White House.
Here is part that apology from chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MARK MILLEY, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: I should not have been there. My presence in that in a moment and in that environment created a
perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I learned from, and I sincerely
hope we can all learn from it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Just what these times call for as polls in the United States show a majority do believe that this is a moment and massive protests
around the world demand accountability. It was, of course, the nearly nine- minute modern-days lynching of George Floyd that started this. But last night on this program, the former Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, the first
African-American to hold that post, told me that this infamous case of the bird watcher, Christiane Cooper, being threatened by a white woman in New
York Central Park pointed "most deeply to systemic attitudes in America." Deval Patrick said the woman understood that with one call to the police,
she could "rain hell down on the life of a black man." Here's a snippet of the video which went viral the same day that George Floyd was killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you please stop? Sir, I'm asking you to stop.
CHRISTIAN COOPER, EDITOR, WRITER, BOARD MEMBER OF NYC AUDUBON: Please don't come close to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, I'm asking you to stop hurting me.
C. COOPER: Please don't come close to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please take your phone off.
C. COOPER: Please don't come close to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then I'm taking pictures and calling the cops.
C. COOPER: Please call the cops. Please call the cops.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to tell them there's an African-American man threatening my life.
C. COOPER: Please tell them whatever you like.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me. I'm sorry, I'm in a ramble and there is a man, African-American, he's a (INAUDIBLE). He is recording me and
threatening me and my dog. There is an African-American man, I am in central park, he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. I'm
sorry, I can't hear you. I'm being threatened by a man into the ramble, please send the cops immediately. I'm in Central Park in the ramble. I
C. COOPER: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So as businesses, sports and other institutions say they see the problem, they hear the protesters and they want to make change, we thought
we would explore this moment a bit further. So, I'm joined by Christian Cooper himself and by his sister Melody, who posted that video online.
Welcome to the program.
I know that this is not a new video and I know you have spoken about it a lot, but even all these days later to see it, I just wonder, Christian, how
you react to that performance that happened in front of the camera that you were recording with.
C. COOPER: I have to admit, because I couldn't see it, I could only hear it when you were playing it just now and it -- hearing it, it has caused a
bit of a pit in my stomach, which surprised me, because I've sort of felt like I was not traumatized by this incident but, you know, it still echoes
a bit in my psyche what went down there, just the tension of the whole situation.
AMANPOUR: And did you then think that -- I mean, just play that out a little bit. Had you -- I mean, let's say you were still there. I mean, I
have to tell you, I'm shocked just seeing it. It's, to be honest, the first time I've looked at it and it's shocking to me, because of the drama,
because of the, I don't know, sir, she called you, and then this performance that went on. Did you think it could end badly?
C. COOPER: Well, I was very nervous because no one wants to have to deal with the police under a cloud of suspicion, I don't care what race you are,
let alone when you're a black man. So, it made me nervous. My mind did not fly to the ultimate possible bad outcome, which would have been, you know,
me getting killed somehow in a confrontation with the police. My mind didn't go there. I was just sort of like, oh, boy. I'm going to have some
explaining to do, if and when the cops get here.
But I don't know, I was just -- it took me aback when it happened, because up until that point it was just a confrontation between a birder and a dog
walker, which sorry to say, is fairly standard in the ramble, that part of Central Park. But then she just took to that dark place and went racial
with it and injected that element into what -- into the conflict between us. And that took me aback. And that point, I was sort of, I just had to
take a mental breath and say, whoa, OK, we're going there.
So, what does it mean? What do -- I'm presented with the choice now, what do I do? Do I capitulate to this attempted racial intimidation or do I keep
doing what I'm doing? Because I was pretty adamant I was going to keep reporting with the iPhone until that dog was on the leash. And I decided,
you know, I'm not, I can't give into this. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm going to do whether I was black, brown, white, yellow, green, I'm
going to keep recording and she's going to have to do what she thinking she has to do.
AMANPOUR: And fortunately, as you said, you all left and there was no interaction with the police. And, Melody, you're Christian's sister. And
I'm really fascinated because, you know, your family history is one of protest. You have been brought up to stand up for your rights, stand up for
people's rights, and essentially not back down.
And I wonder how much of that went into your thinking about posting it. And what were you thinking when you posted? Did you even ever think that this
would be the seminal moment that the world is reacting to as well, as the George Floyd killing?
MELODY COOPER, FILM AND TV WRITER: I didn't expect it to go viral the way it did. I mean, it's had over 44 million views. But I did know that Twitter
and in particular Black Twitter has power in identifying people and passing along a message. And I have reposted this kind of videos that others have
posted online. I've retweeted them in anger.
And when I -- I was very taken aback when I saw my brother's video because it hit home and it was my own brother. And I -- unlike Chris, I did see,
mind did leap immediately to how the police might arrive and how they might throw him down and maybe harm him or kill him. And it was very distressing
to me and I thought the world needs to see this.
And it was a Memorial Day, which is a very slow day, and my daughter actually said to me, mom, this probably won't go viral. It would need like
10,000 views, and it ended up having 44 million from around the world. And to this day, I'm getting messages from literally, you know, Korea, the
U.K., Brazil, people who have seen it and it has been stunning and moving to see the protests that have come up around the world, around -- that are
antiracism, and in response to the murder of George Floyd.
And it really is being recognized as a human rights issue, not just for black men, for black women, for black trans-women. And it's kind of
startling, but it's a long time coming and it's what my brother and I, what our parents have fought against our whole lives. We've been on, I guess,
Chris, I'd imagine at least 100 protests and --
C. COOPER: I can't even count.
M. COOPER: Yes. And it's true. This is something --
AMANPOUR: Well, I want to ask you about that also -- sorry, go ahead, Chris.
C. COOPER: No, I was going to jump in to say I don't want to make too much of what happened with me because that was just a -- you know, in the scheme
of things, that was a dust-up, that was not much and I'm still alive to tell the tale.
So, you know, the things that matter are the people we have lost, you know, the George Floyds, the Ahmaud Arberys, and to the extent that this informs
that moment, it's not by her, it's not about the incident. It's about where she went in that moment, that her mind made her think that to get a leg you
have in that situation, she should go to the dark, dark place of -- and most interestingly, that a liberal did this.
Because she considers herself a liberal. And, you know, she didn't use any pejorative terms, she didn't use any slurs, she said an African-American
man, but she knew that that in our society there's that there's a vein -- that that's a special terror, that's a special horror she can harness to
bring the police whistling down the special vengeance at that moment.
So, that's what we need to talk about, is that underlying vein of racism and that's what connects that minor incident with stuff like the death of
George Floyd, the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, it all taps into the same vein of racial bias and terror of brown skin.
AMANPOUR: And of course --
M. COOPER: And it's a weaponization of --
AMANPOUR: Yes. And I want to ask you, yes, weaponization of race is a very, very, you know, apt way to put it. And I just want to point out also,
obviously, Breonna Taylor was recently killed in this recent moment, and we see the local newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky, has asked and tried to do
their best to get the investigative police report and they have received four pages that are practically empty and blank, and they don't even admit
that there were any injuries, where it says injuries, the report says, none, when we all know she was shot eight times, when it has -- you know,
was there forced entry, the box is ticked, no, when we know that, in fact, they used a battering ram to knock down her door.
And we're seeing all these videos right now of continued police harassment and some violence of black people in America. And even happening now, at
the moment of maximum visibility into this. So, I just want to ask you one thing, first, before we go on to where we go next, because the polls are
showing some dramatic shifting. In the last two weeks, according to Civics, American voters' support for black lives matter increased almost as much as
it had in the preceding two years. By a 28-point margin, the majority of American voters, according to poll, support the movement, which is up from
a 17-point margin before the most recent wave of protest. So, just both of you, do you think this a moment that will actually result in a tipping
point? Melody, let me ask you, then I'll ask Christian and then I want to move on a little bit.
M. COOPER: I think it will result in a tipping point. I think it already is a tipping point but it will result in something actionable if people
keep fighting and we keep the pressure on. I mean, I'm one who advocates for protests to continue all the way through in the U.S. until election
day. I think if we have actionable -- not reform, but things like defunding of police and the rethinking of how police forces are even set up in our
country, that will begin to create a real change.
I think it's wonderful that people are beginning to acknowledge and realize. I think seeing that video of George Floyd's murder, it's
undeniable how horrible that is, and this is only indicative of black people are being treated by the police in this country, and I think that
people are done. They are through with it. And I think if we -- we have to create a plan that we can act on, and then it will be a true tipping point.
AMANPOUR: So, I want to ask you, Christ, to react to this because, you know, you had an incident with a white woman. And clearly, most people
believe that it's any solution is going to have to include white people, that it's going to have to include the -- you know, everybody in the
country. This is what Ava DuVernay, the great director, said during a recent panel with Oprah Winfrey, on, you know, how do you assess this
moment, how do you move forward about the involvement of white privilege in rectifying and trying to get some equality. Listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AVA DUVERNAY, FILMMAKER: Educating Caucasian people to the trauma, you know, walking them through what it is, you know, making sure that they feel
and sustain that outrage, all of that has a place and it's valuable, but it's not a broken system. It was built this way. It was built to function
exactly as it is. So, I feel it's just disingenuous for us as a society to act as if we're suddenly horrified.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, Chris and Melody, because this is also a huge thing that we're seeing right now, we're seeing, as I said, many institutions, whether
it's our workplaces or in sports or all over the place, you know, almost instituting empathy, awareness, you know, just making sure that people
understand what is going on. How far -- how do you react to that, Chris? How do you react to that?
C. COOPER: Well, I mean, it's a start. It's -- to raise awareness and raise empathy is a start. But you want practical, tangible changes. You
want, for example, here in New York State, we -- our legislature just passed the repeal of something called 50-a, which allowed the police to
shield the records of officers, the disciplinary records of officers from any kind of public scrutiny or accountability. And that had been on the
books since the '70s.
And now, because of this moment, we were able to get that repealed, finally. So, that kind of pragmatic practical change is important. It's
also going to take a cultural shift. And yes, the awareness campaigns and offices, that's a good start, but I think people are going to have to take
a long hard look at themselves because, you know, there are a lot of people who go through their life like this, looking away. And everything that's
happening over here, they don't want to know about. Because as long as they're looking this way, their community is not impacted, and law and
order is maintained and that's what matters.
It doesn't matter that law and order is maintained on the backs and the lives and the necks of the people over here that they don't want to look
at. And so, what's happening now, I think, is a moment where people are kind of forced to look at it, especially with the proliferation of video.
AMANPOUR: Melody, you know, we have you as a film writer and, you know, creative, you also happen to work for our parent company, Warner Media. So,
we have to full disclosure. But I want to ask you about what you think is going on inside, particularly in light of what you posted, about Amazon
recently. You've commented that Amazon is using the black lives matter in their banner as -- you think it's almost part of the problem, saying that
out of 48 executives there, none of them is black.
Connect the dots for this white apology moment and the reality in the very boardrooms and executive suites and elsewhere where a difference could be
M. COOPER: Yes. I mean, I appreciate that we have black lives matter banners that a lot of -- in the industry, especially in our industry, have
come forward to make statements. But for me, the real statement is black lives matter in actionable way, and I keep using the word actionable,
because it's important. So, the hiring of black creatives, whether it's black writers, director, s, editors, putting the money where your mouth is,
and actually doing something to uplift the creatives who work in the industry.
For instance, for writers, only 4.7 percent of writers in the industry are black. And this has been a trend for quite a while. So, there's an
opportunity here to not just use the black lives matter banner to draw viewers, but to actually make a difference and make a difference in the
lives of black creatives, and whether or not they're working. And this is - - I mean, this is across many industries, it's not just the, you know, TV and film.
AMANPOUR: Yes. So, I want to ask you also because Charles Blow of the "New York Times" wrote a very powerful column that really struck me. He was
talking about, you know, the liberal Americans, the white 700 or so back in the '60s who went down south in the freedom summer, as it was called, to
help against desegregation for civil rights and all the rest of it.
But he said in his column, don't fail us again. Because, obviously, it didn't work quite as well when the issue was in the north and whites had
to, you know, share their privilege. So, he says now, we must make sure, make a statement that this now is a true change in the American ideology
and not an activist-chic, summer street festival for people who have been cooped up for months. This is not the social justice Coachella. This is not
systemic racism Woodstock.
Comment on that and where you think, you know, whites in America need to be to make sure this moves forward. First Christian, and then we'll go to
C. COOPER: Well, I think the most powerful statement was made by -- is it the Reddit founder who is married to Serena Williams who resigned from his
board position and insisted that whoever was chosen for the board to replace him should be a person of color. That's a really powerful
statement. And I think that's the kind of thing we have to start addressing.
I was having this conversation with my own employer earlier, where I'm like, you know, it's great that we want to do things, but we got to do
practical things. Because you know what, I've worked with this company for 20 years, and in all of that time, you have hired one black man in our
medical sciences division. One in 20 years.
And so, you know, this is something we have to tackle on a nuts-and-bolts ground level. It's not enough, as Charles Blow says, to have a diversity
AMANPOUR: And, Melody, finally, you know, it's always the case, right, when there's equality, the privileged look at it as oppression, because
they're going to have to share. Do you think this is a moment where the privilege will share, and whether that struggle for equality will actually
remain strong when it appears and it will have to be that some will have to give some of their privilege away in order to level the playing field?
M. COOPER: Well, it's not giving -- I don't think it's giving anything away to level the field. It's -- and I also see it as we -- you know, we
don't need white saviors. We need people who are allies, who are willing to stand with us. And these improvements, these changes help us all, a more
equitable society is good for everybody. You know, when you look at issues like reallocating funds to social services and reallocating funds to
education, that helps all of us.
And so, I think it needs to be seen in a larger sense where, you know, all people of color are coming together along with white allies to make for a
better society that we can all benefit from.
C. COOPER: I want to echo what Melody said. It's not -- it's a mistake to look at it as a zero-sum game.
M. COOPER: Yes, yes.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Christian Cooper, Melody Cooper, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
Now, here in the U.K., accounting for colonialism and the slave trade continues, with Scotland leading the way by voting for a museum devoted to
the history of slavery and a call for the British government to address "this toxic legacy."
Joining mess is the former U.K. chancellor of the Exchequer or the treasury, Sajid Javid, who's been deeply moved by the protest in America
and around the world and who's written this week about choosing to leave Britain for New York early in his career, partly, he says, because his
class and the color of his skin held him back in the city, which is London's Financial Center.
Sajid Javid, welcome to the program.
SAJID JAVID, FORMER U.K. CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER: Good evening.
AMANPOUR: Let me just ask you to comment a little bit on what you just heard about what happens, you know, in America from the Coopers'
perspective and where you think these protests are going to go, both in America and in the U.K.
JAVID: Well, clearly, what happened to George Floyd was abhorrent and it rightly provokes soul-searching, you know, right across the world, of
course, here in the U.K. as well. And, you know, for me and one of the things I wrote about is also heartbreaking in the way because I love so
much about the U.S., I love so much about the U.S. It's a fantastic country.
And as you mentioned, I started my career before politics. It was in banking, and I felt that the U.S. was offering opportunities that I just
couldn't get here in the U.K. But yet, you know, the U.S. has still -- you know, so much more to do itself, especially when it comes to its policing.
And then for the U.K., you know, Britain isn't the U.K., but we've still got our challenges. We have come a long way, and I think there's a lot to
be proud of, but we still have challenges when it comes to making sure that people of all backgrounds, whatever race they are, are treated equally.
AMANPOUR: So, just explain, just for our viewers who might not know your background, and what made you feel that you couldn't succeed right in the
heart of the financial center here?
JAVID: Well, this was 30 years ago. So, I was coming out of the university, toward of end of that. I was looking for a job. I wanted to
work in investment banking, and I applied to what were then called merchant banks here in the U.K., in the City of London. And I soon realized, you
know, unless you sort of wore the old-school tie and went to the same places on holiday and had the same connections, you weren't really welcome.
I applied at the same time to a couple American banks. It was Chase Manhattan and Merrill Lynch and I had offers from both of those banks, but
not the British banks. And when I then turned up for work at my first job in New York with Chase Manhattan and I stayed with that bank for over a
decade, that when I -- I remember asking them that why did they offer me the job? What was it? And they said, look, all we care about is that, you
know, you're smart enough to do the job and you have hunger in your belly. And that's what it should be about. It was just about your content of
character and are you able to do the job.
Now, as I say, I think the U.K. has come a long, long way since then. And - - especially -- and it includes in business, in politics, for sure, in so many walks of life. Our police, I think, here are very, very different to
the U.S. We police by consent. It's not to say there aren't challenges but we're not the U.S. but we still need to make sure we're not complacent and
we keep tackling racial injustice wherever we find it.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you this, as former chancellor of the Exchequer and former home secretary, which is, you know, I suppose in America it
would be call attorney general or -- I think attorney general. In any event --
JAVID: Homeland security --
AMANPOUR: -- I wonder as -- there you go. Exactly. So, immigration, policing, all of that kind of stuff. You are a Tory, you're still a
conservative MP. You did quit, and we'll talk about that in a second. But I wonder how you feel then about the reaction, for instance, to the
coronavirus. I mean, you see this disaster, which is happening in this country worse than any other European country in terms of deaths and
infections. You see the polls for the government plummeting. You see the crisis over the prime minister's, I don't know, some people call him
svengali or whatever, Dominic Cummings.
And I just want to -- from your perspective, what might you have done differently or recommended differently? Because, you know, in addition to
the point of racism and race disparity, just like in America, the preponderance of the deaths and infections in this country are amongst the
minority communities, black and all the other minority communities.
JAVID: Well, look, when it comes to this current crisis and race, as you just importantly mentioned, it is important that we understand why it seems
to discriminate in a way the virus itself in terms of hitting people from ethnic minority backgrounds. And the government, first of all, has taken
this incredibly seriously, I think, and they commissioned an independent report on this immediately when this became known.
The report has already been published and it's detailed, I think, and for example, it said something like two-thirds of people that work in health or
social care here in the U.K. are -- that would -- that were -- you know, people who have died from this virus were from ethnic minority backgrounds.
And that's the first, recognizing the problem, and then trying to understand it and what you can do about it.
But the government also, you know, beyond this crisis, when it comes to racial injustice, you know, we have something and I was proud to be part of
this and helping to initiate it, which a couple years ago, we started something called the Racial Disparity Audit, which, I think, is going
further than any other country in the world, where we're using all the data we can get our hands on, including government data but private data to
understand what racial disparities actually exist when it comes to the outcome of public services. And therefore, what we can actually do about
So, look like in American, you know, we find that the unemployment rate, for example, for British black people is twice as high as what it is for
white people. That's clearly unacceptable and we need to understand what's behind that. But the way you do that is have a government that actually
wants to do it and wants to get their data, and that's what the government is doing. So, I am proud of that.
AMANPOUR: Many of your former colleagues, including the prime minister, has said this is not a racist country, that there isn't institutional
racism. And according to the poll, only 6 percent agree with that statement, that the U.K. is not a racist society. And I just want to read
to you what the Met Police said when we had our own -- well, Britain had its own, you know, terrible killing, shooting of a young man, Stephen
AMANPOUR: Basically, added that it was, you know, partly incompetence but partly also institutional racism. Where you do you stand on that? Where do
you stand? You've been in and out of government. You've held the top, top positions. You've been the first minority to hold those top, top positions.
I mean, does the government need to fess up? You say, you know, there has to be an acknowledgment. Is there an acknowledgment? Not just that there's
a little, you know, remnant of racism around the outside, but there's something really fundamental that needs to be addressed?
JAVID: Well, I mean, you have raised the -- and, rightly, you raise the Macpherson Report, which was after the terrible murder of a young man in
London, Stephen Lawrence, by a gang of youths.
And the police at that time -- this was over two decades ago -- completely bungled the operation. And they were found, elements of them, to be -- in
many ways to be racist in their response.
And, of course, that's completely unacceptable. Now, while the country has moved on and is right after that report was done, and much, much change
came about as a result of that, and I can speak not just as the -- having been a home secretary responsible for policing recently, but also my own
brother has been in the British police force.
He's a police officer in London. He's been in the police force for over 25 years. And he would -- himself would say that he's seen a lot of change
with policing in that time. So, we still have challenges, but the British police is not the American police.
And I think, equally, there's also a lot to be proud of. But I think what this -- these protests that are currently taking place are a reminder of is
that racism was not born on the streets of America. It exists, sadly, everywhere in the world.
And that would include in elements of society in the U.K. And this is just a reminder, a very important reminder, that we have got to act and we have
got to do more. I'm proud of what we're doing.
I would even say that I think the U.K. is the most successful multiethnic democracy in the world. That said, we still have our challenges, and they
must be tackled.
AMANPOUR: I said shooting. It was a stabbing, as you correctly pointed out.
JAVID: It was a stabbing, yes.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you, though -- and this is when you were home secretary. You ordered an investigation into this -- into the Windrush
scandal. And this is a huge scandal.
AMANPOUR: So, after World War II, as people know, Britain invited and brought over many, many, many people from the Caribbean to help rebuild
this country, only for them to be told decades later that they were here in Britain illegally.
Many of them were detained. Many of them were deported. I mean, it was truly a terrible, terrible, terrible situation. And you became home
secretary after your predecessor resigned over this. You ordered a review into this.
AMANPOUR: It never said that the Home Office was institutionally racist.
But what do you think? What -- are you satisfied with the review into this terrible, terrible, terrible stain?
JAVID: Well, I'm satisfied with the review. It was an independent review done by a lady called Wendy Williams. And she didn't hold back, and she
should not have done in any way, and she didn't, rightly, to say what was wrong and what needs to be done.
And those recommendations, in their entirety, are being followed through by my successor. But, as you also say, it was a terrible thing that -- what
I remember, when I became home secretary, that the -- around that time, one of the thoughts I had is that this could have been happening to my own
parents here, what's happening to people. And just imagine how I would have felt. It was unacceptable for it to happen to anyone.
I apologized on behalf of this government, but also previous governments, because this problem began many years ago under different governments,
including the most recent one.
But the important thing here was to make sure it is tackled. And the problem actually began, when you look at its roots, with a bad decision
that was made in the 1970s not to document people that had every right to stay here.
So I was also determined that we learn from history, we don't make the same mistakes again. And that's why, when I had the responsibility to make sure
that all those three million-plus E.U. citizens that are living in the U.K. and contributing so much, and we're so proud of them, that we don't make
the same mistakes again.
So I set up a whole new documentation program for them. So we want to put right what's gone wrong. We can't give back people everything they have
lost, especially those that lost their freedom. But there's a compensation program, but, also, I have made sure, to the best of my ability, that we
never repeat such a mistake ever again.
AMANPOUR: And, obviously, this coronavirus crisis has exposed how desperately Britain relies on its immigrant workers, people who come from
abroad, whether it's Eastern Europe, whether it's all over the world, to fill the ranks of the essential workers.
And this is something that clearly is also going to have to be resolved, particularly in a post-Brexit situation, because it's been very difficult.
I just want to know whether you are concerned that there seems to be no move towards getting a deal to leave the E.U. and no move to ask for an
What do you think this government should do?
JAVID: Actually, I'm not concerned about the deal, in that I think, at this point in the negotiations, it probably really shouldn't surprise
anyone that sort of both sides are digging in on the things that matter to them most.
I think there -- my own view is, I think there will be a deal eventually. It will be done by the end of this year. It will probably come at the 11
hour, just like the withdrawal agreement itself.
But I think there will be a deal. And then, also, once we left the E.U., I'm also confident that we will have a sort of post-Brexit immigration
policy that still continues to welcome people and talent from across the world, but it will be a system that's run by the U.K., as it should be,
just like many others countries. The U.S., Australia, Japan...
AMANPOUR: All right.
JAVID: ... run their own immigration systems.
And if I may add one final point, I mean, just very recently, last week, the prime minister announced, for example, when it came to Hong Kong, that
we will be issuing extended visas and a route to citizenship for potentially millions of Hong Kongers.
JAVID: And I think that's a demonstration of the kind of open Britain that we will continue to be.
AMANPOUR: All right.
Sajid Javid, former chancellor of the exchequer, thank you very much for joining us.
Now, George Floyd's death, of course, is a wakeup call for the world, as we have seen, but, for black Americans, it is the latest chapter in a long
history of violence that we have been discussing and oppression.
And Michael Eric Dyson is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University who's written extensively about race relations. In 2017, he authored "Tears
We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America," which calls on white people to confront uncomfortable truths about racism.
And here he is speaking to our Hari Sreenivasan.
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Christiane.
Thanks, Michael, for joining us.
And I want to ask. Perhaps our initial shock has subsided from seeing the video and seeing the response to it. And as we go through our different
stages of grief, I kind of wonder whether, this time, it sticks.
I want to start by sharing this image that I saw on Twitter the other day, and it's this young woman who's holding a sign that says: "George Floyd
isn't a wakeup call. The same alarm has been ringing since 1619. You all just kept keep hitting snooze."
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: There's no question that there are two different universes of perception rotating around
different axes of facts, truth and insight.
On the one hand is African-American people, other people of color as well, indigenous folk as well, who have had an experience where they have been,
as Malcolm X used to say, the victims of democracy, according to a Broadway play, right?
We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us. So, there have been a people of color. There have been black people. There have been
brown, red, yellow people, there have been people in this country, but especially now black people, who have been the victims of slavery, Jim
Crow, white supremacy, social injustice, economic inequality, the refusal to acknowledge our humanity, the dehumanization routinely of the police for
centuries, and the police at least for a century or more.
And so now that the George Floyd incident has occurred, it has indeed awakened so many other elements of another world. That is the other world
of white people, who have been privileged in their obliviousness, who have had the leisure of not knowing.
And so the problem is that many white brothers and sisters who have never been exposed to or never taking the time to learn about our culture are now
indeed being awakened. So, there's got to be a balance. On the one hand, you have got to say, let's turn to the people who have been fighting this
thing forever, and figure out what they have been doing.
And then, on the other hand, we have got to say, well, now that people are willing to learn, we have got to supply the information. Now, I know a lot
of people of color said, I'm tired. I don't want to do this.
And I can understand the fatigue. On the other hand, I think people who have been dealing with this for 200, 300 years have to understand, this is
new for those people. Let's figure out a way to bridge the gap and to understand that, in this country, we have a unique opportunity in a
tremendously propitious moment to address sustained systemic structural inequities that need to be addressed.
SREENIVASAN: You had a book out a couple of years ago, "Tears We Cannot Stop."
In this moment, what's the advice that you had written perhaps in your last chapter that resonates?
DYSON: Yes, "A Sermon to White America."
And I think look, now it's -- the times have caught up to the book, so to speak. And what I recommended in that last chapter is read, educate
yourselves, go to black marches. Thank God white people took me seriously there, because they have been all over the protest rallies. It's been
These are white conscientious people, for the most part, joining black people and other people of color to say, enough is enough. I said, do
individual reparations accounts. You don't have to wait for the government to pass a law to say that you can help out where you see it. I have gotten
letters from people: I took your advice seriously, so I saw a local school that needed 20 computers, and I had them, and I gave them to them.
So there are all kinds of ways that white people can be just as creative about addressing racial justice as they have been about "Star Wars" and
horror movies, as they have been about figuring out how to get to the moon.
You mean you can get a man on the moon or a woman right now in outer space, the furthest that she has ever gone, that a woman has ever gone, and you
can't figure out how to control the police department here on Earth? You can't figure out how to deal with white privilege, white supremacy, social
injustice? You can't figure out what racism is?
It's not just a personal individual dislike for a human being. It's part of a structure. Think system and structure, not prejudice and individual bias,
though they're all important. This is where they come together in the police, right?
An individual of one -- quote -- "bad cop" can really reignite a debate about a system that is fundamentally indifferent to African-American
people. And then you have got an understanding of how race works in America.
SREENIVASAN: Speaking of police, there's this clip here from the head of the New York police unions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL O'MEARA, PRESIDENT, NEW YORK POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION: But you know what? This isn't stained by someone in Minneapolis. It's still got
a shine on it. And so do this. So do this.
Stop treating us like animals and thugs. And start treating us with some respect. That's what we're here today to say. We have been left out of the
conversation. We have been vilified. It's disgusting. It's disgusting, trying to make us embarrassed of all profession, 375 million interactions
overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly positive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SREENIVASAN: One of the things that I want to make sure that -- the context is. When he started his speech to the press, that man said that
when he reads a mother saying that she is concerned about her child making it home safely, vs. being killed by a police officer, his response was,
that doesn't happen, that is not this world, right?
That is his world view, getting back to what you said earlier about these sort of different axes that -- and different perceptions of the world. He
would take a lie detector and probably pass, because he does not think that that happens in this world.
DYSON: The reality is, there are two different universes of perception that have their different languages.
But I want to thank that gentleman. Why? Take the speech you gave, change the characters, and imagine it's us, black people -- 375 million
engagements as human citizens, and a few bad ones, and you want to paint all of us as criminals and thugs. Stop calling us criminals. Stop calling
We have been doing the right thing. This badge of honor we wear, our black skin, it still shines, despite the demonization you have brought to that.
Does he not understand the irony of people who have been criminalized, demonized, seen as thugs begging for the police just to stop killing us?
And his response is occasioned by a fundamental plea. Please stop murdering us. Please just take us into custody if you think we have done something
wrong. After all, we know you're capable.
There are mass murderers that you take in without event. Young Dylann Roof in South Carolina was taking in peacefully. He was given, supposedly,
whether it's true or not, a hamburger. If that's been deconstructed, he was treated nicely. He was treated gently.
Many men who have gone out and murdered masses of people have been apprehended peacefully. So, my point is, we know you're capable of doing
it. Do it with us.
And this kind of awareness, this kind of unawareness, this kind of defensiveness, this kind of refusal to acknowledge the truth is why people
are in the street. It's why people don't believe you can reform police. You have got to remove them, revolutionarily reconstruct them, defund them,
figure out ways to shift both budgets away from police departments.
Los Angeles Police Department has, what, shifted $150 million of its budget. In Camden, New Jersey, the police department was disbanded. Out in
Minneapolis, Minnesota, they voted to do the same.
We can exist without the traditional form of policing occurring, because this ain't working. And even when we have tried in the past to have
oversight of citizens, that is false. We don't even know when cops do bad things. Governor Cuomo in New York has just put into effect a legislation
that will be able to reveal to us cops who have done horrible things.
They still have qualified immunity in so many places, where citizens can't even sue the police people who have done horrible and nasty things. So,
when you put all that together, this is extremely disconcerting, that a policeman who seems to be an honest and forthright human being just doesn't
get because it doesn't happen to you doesn't mean it's not happening.
SREENIVASAN: Do you think that the phrasing defunding the police ends up playing into the hands of sort of the right, which already are making this
a political issue, an election issue? I mean, it's sort of these lazy dichotomies, you're either with us or you're with the terrorists, right?
You're either with the cops or you're with the looters.
There's a huge amount of people in between. And I think that there's a lot of conflation that, if you are marching peacefully now, you're
automatically against police.
And, obviously, that's not what most of the people that are marching are, right?
DYSON: Right. Right. Yes, no, I think that's a good point.
A couple things I have in response to that. First of all, I'm a person of color. I'm all for redescribing stuff. I'm all for saying whatever is
necessary to be said in terms of terminology, not to offend the other person.
So, yes, we can talk about creative non-agreement with something, or we can talk about civil disobedience, or we can talk about aggressive nonviolence,
as King did. So, yes, language makes a difference. I get that.
And so I think we should be able to come up with some terms that achieve the same thing that aren't necessarily inflammatory. On the other hand,
give me a break. That's what you're worried about, the language, the linguistic facility with which you articulate your ideological premise, as
opposed to black bodies being killed in the street, with the knees of police people pinching the breath from a body?
And you're concerned about the linguistic facility, whether or not it alienates me? What leisure, what distance from horror you live. And listen
to black people who have been trying to warn white brothers and sisters from the get-go of how horrible policing is. I don't know. Listen to your
KRS-One said, who's going to protect us from you, if you are the protector and servant? Ice Cube said, F. the police, coming straight from the
underground. A young brother got his bad because I'm brown and not the other color.
SREENIVASAN: So, police think they have the authority to kill a minority, yes.
DYSON: So, police think they have the authority to kill a minority, right?
Or think about Jay-Z. Bin Laden been happening in Manhattan back when, back then, when police were al Qaeda to black men.
Listen to the pain, the hurt, the agony that black people have been trying to narrate about police brutality forever. So, while I'm sympathetic to
that argument, the streets are aflame. They are -- people are afoot. And we need to be afforded the opportunity to change in this country.
And the same old, same old ain't working. So I'm not so worried about offending linguistic propriety, though I'm all for figuring out phrases to
get the work done. At the end of the day, this is a new moment. The old stuff hasn't worked. We got to try some new things.
SREENIVASAN: Speaking of the new moment, are you surprised that the opinion has changed so quickly on Black Lives Matter?
I mean, a couple of years ago, when we spoke after Charlottesville, it was -- and Colin Kaepernick, it was still out of the mainstream. And here we
are, we can literally see the words painted on a street in front of the White House from space.
DYSON: It is rather remarkable.
I don't know if you're a fight fan or not, not UFC, but maybe that too, but boxing. Body blow. Didn't look like it's much. Body blow. All right? First
round, cool. Second round, body blow, body blow. Third round, body blow. He's not doing well. He's getting beat.
George Foreman is pummeling the champ, Muhammad Ali. Then, in the seventh round, eighth round, Ali on the ropes, look like he's down, look like he's
out, looks as if he was will not prevail, begins to swing back, and the big behemoth George Foreman falls. And it's rope-a-dope.
Now, ain't saying it's a Pee-wee Herman moment meant to do that, but the thing is, is that we were delivering body blows. Colin Kaepernick, body
blow. Social injustice in Ferguson, body blow. Police brutality with Eric Garner, body blow.
And then George Floyd comes, and it's a decisive moment. It is the sheer accumulation of anonymous events or famous ones that, in their sheer
velocity, have now arrived at this moment.
So, yes, it topples over, and it looks like it's sudden, but it hasn't been. It's been a slow buildup. It's been a steady increase. It's been a
steady diet of resistance that finally results in the toppling of this particular reality.
So, there have been people on the ground doing their work, anonymous people, invisible people, voiceless people, who now claim voice, who now
claim victory of a sorts.
So, yes, it's sudden in terms of its toppling, but not sudden in terms of the attack on the reality. So, Black Lives Matter suddenly looks as if they
were doing the right thing. Colin Kaepernick suddenly looks, according to even the NFL, we were wrong.
But it's been a slow, steady buildup that now manifests itself in change. The change looks sudden. The change has been the accumulation of sustained
SREENIVASAN: Speaking of the NFL, Roger Goodell recently, in about an 81- second video, said that they were wrong. This was the day after several superstar players made a video.
This was not with the concession or agreement or even knowledge of the owners of the league. Why do you think it came at that moment?
DYSON: Well, I think Roger Goodell understood that this was a seminal moment in the evolution of the society's consciousness.
And, as the most popular sport on the globe, supplied, its labor, by 70 percent, 69 percent, 70 percent black men, it's time to act. People were
critical of the coalition of Jay-Z with Roger Goodell. But, as far as I can tell, boy, has it worked, in this sense.
The consciousness has been pushed. Colin Kaepernick doing his thing out there extremely important on the outside, Jay-Z on the inside leveraging
his own authority, so that Colin and Jay together make a huge difference in the consciousness of figure like a Roger Goodell.
And you have that kind of statement.
And good for Roger Goodell, because many of those white billionaires who are good old boys could give less than a tinker's damn about what's going
on. They may perform. Jerry Jones from the Dallas Cowboys threatens people that, if they kneel -- how about now, Jerry? How about trying that now?
It has shifted, the ground beneath them, so suddenly, because people are fed up and intolerant of intolerance.
SREENIVASAN: What are you hopeful for?
DYSON: I'm glad you asked me what I'm hopeful for, as opposed to optimistic, because the great theologian Reinhold Niebuhr said that
optimism is a shallow virtue. It depends on what's going on. Let me read the tea leaves. OK, I'm optimistic this will change.
No, hope says, even when the skies are dark and gray, even when there's nothing on the horizon, something will occur. We don't know what it is, but
we keep working, because we borrow our hope from the future as a down payment on change in the present.
And so what I'm hopeful about that America will continue to change and grow. Now, it ain't going to last at this level forever, maybe not for the
next two weeks, but hopefully a sea change has occurred on the ground.
The structures have been loosened a bit. The systems have been challenged a bit. And what we will be able to do is to move forward with concerted
effort with all people involved to make sure that a change is going to come.
SREENIVASAN: Author, preacher professor of sociology at Georgetown Michael Eric Dyson, thanks so much for joining us.
DYSON: Thanks for having me.
AMANPOUR: And, as the professor says, the ground is shifting and shaking.
And, finally, therefore, it is time to go back to the 1960s civil rights movement again, and recall the sacrifices and successes that Martin Luther
After he was assassinated in 1968, it was his widow, Coretta Scott King, who took up the mantle. And in a 1997 speech, she explained why they
marched on even after their lives were threatened and their home in Montgomery, Alabama, was bombed. That was in 1956.
Here's part of Coretta Scott King's speech:
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CORETTA SCOTT KING, WIDOW OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: Of course, we chose to stay in Montgomery, because we felt that we were part of a worldwide
struggle that was anywhere in the world, we were somehow connected to it.
I had that sense back in 1955-'56. I remember feeling that now I know why Martin chose Montgomery. Now I know why we came back South to the cradle of
the Confederacy. We are supposed to be here.
It's a great feeling of satisfaction you get when you sense that you are in the right place at the right time, and that we were chosen.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And she called it a privilege to be part of a struggle that's bigger than we are, she said.
And that's it for now. Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.