New Book "Tears We Cannot Stop" Sheds Light on Race Relations

Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with best-selling author, academic and Baptist minister, Michael Eric Dyson, to discuss the reasons behind his new book on race relations, “Tears We Cannot Stop” and why he warns that the inability and unwillingness to deal with historic racial issues is a threat to our democracy.

6/19/17 #2051







"Welcome to the Tisch WNET Studio here in the heart of New York City in Lincoln Center. It is our honor, our pleasure, to welcome Doctor Michael Eric Dyson, bestselling author, commentator, scholar, and his new book out, boy it got me thinking, it's gonna get you thinking, Tears We Cannot Stop. Good to see you partner. Always good to see you my man. Last time I interviewed you was... it must have been about ten years ago, earlier on in my career, and you had me thinking then too. Yeah. We did two half hours with you back to back. We talked about the one issue I want to talk about with you today. Right. And things have changed. Race? Right. The discussion on race has changed dramatically in this way. One of the things that struck me, I'll get right to it. Right. You said, "Barack Obama was not the President... was not the black President... Right. ...that black America should have elected. Right. And that Donald Trump is the response? [laughter] Did I get that wrong? Well, what I'm saying is... let me give a little bit more context to that. I'm sure there is. I'm saying that Barack Obama was an extraordinary President. I'm saying that what he did for America was remarkable. What he did on race, not as remarkable. And he reminded black America, "I am not your President." Okay, fine. We didn't think we had elected the president of the NAACP. We thought you were the President of everybody. But the reason he did that, a slight excoriation, was to remind America that I know that I'm the President of everybody, and I don't want to kowtow to, or capitulate to, the interests of a narrowly defined group. That was, you know, condescending, but we understood. And I'm saying his refusal to address race in specific and direct fashion, until forced to. We know that it was difficult for him as the first black President, you don't want to go out and put yourself in a black box. You don't want to ghettoize yourself as "the black President". But that's different than addressing issues that happen to affect citizens who happen to be black. So I'm saying it created a space for Donald Trump who was willing to talk about race. Donald Trump, good or bad, for ill or for better, saying, "I'm gonna take it on." Hey you people in you know, urban America, I'm going to address your situation. You're not doing good under this President. Now whether you agree with him or not, the point is he stepped into that vacuum..."