The Life and Legacy of Booker T. Washington

The Life and Legacy of Booker T. Washington

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>>Good evening. It’s a pleasure to
see you all here tonight. I’m the president. I’m glad to be here. [ Applause ] Many view may know this but I am retired. It’s the best job I ever had in
the best place I ever lived thought I was going to enjoy
playing golf but I’m pleased to be here. [ Applause ] >>[ Indiscernible – audio
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>> That’s the story we have to
start talking about here in America.
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>> [ Silence ] There a lot of people on college
campuses and universities need to hear this. Freedom is not
free. We look at the world today and we have young people in Hong
Kong that are protesting against the very thing that some people
here in America want to have. We are not educating
ourselves, we are not explaining the difference between these two
very different philosophies of governance. Some people believe,
when you talk about privilege, I believe the I blame this on
grown-ups who think they can help the self-esteem of a child
of the created a little plastic trick called a participation trophy. That
generation of privilege has grown up and
they’re still looking for a participation trophy. You still
have another group that get the victim
message. Not to be an individual can’t be part of a collective.
Somehow we have to connect and get that message. If you really
care, I don’t believe anyone wakes up in the U.S. and they
don’t want to be successful. That’s the only thing they hear. I am sick and tired
of my University of Tennessee football team having a losing
season. I am sick of it. I’m about ready to suit
up. That’s who we are. We celebrate winners. We celebrate
champions. You all are 4-in-1. Gotcha brand-new
football stadium, you don’t want to lose. Why do you not, why do we not feel that
way in our everyday life or about your country. That’s we
have to start doing. No more
participation trophies and let’s take this to another segment
that needs to hear. >>This is more of a comment. You can expand a
little bit. I am one of those underprivileged. I grew up in a
family of 12. I learned to read at their grade level
when I started college. It takes an enormous amount of work. I
don’t think a person understands what they can do to they put out
the effort. Like Mr. Washington here, you gain a lot of dignity
when you succeed with personal effort.
>>It’s amazing. Ladies I want you to think about this. I don’t remember,
there weren’t nail salons out there. All of a sudden,
these women came here from Vietnam with nothing. But a desire in
the treatment I thought about what can we do. How can we show
our value and are worth. How we be a part of this incredible
free-market economic system and they saw a need. Now there are
no salons everywhere. That’s what
America is about. Welcoming people here and saying what you
want to do? How can we help you? That is the message we have to
send. First and foremost, you have to
understand your fundamentals. I am a
college football nut. On Saturday, you have two religions
come a college football on Saturday and Sunday it’s Jesus. There’s fundamentals
to college football. I don’t care what kind of fancy place
you come up with. It comes down to two things. You have to block
and tackle. If you don’t, you will lose. I don’t care how good you think you are, if someone
doesn’t tackle, they will score. We have to get back
to the blocking and tackling of individual human dignity. That
is making people victors and not victims. We make people victims,
that you feel good because you are empowered over them.
Eventually, there is no life. What I will tell you,
that is the most important thing, get back to
basics in our system of education has to be a system of
education, not a system of indoctrination. And also has
to produce critical skills and critical
knowledge. I taught high school for one year when I retired from
the U.S. Army. That was such an
enjoyable experience that I want her to go back to Afghanistan as
a civilian military advisor. I’m serious. [ Laughter ] If I go into a combat
zone, I need to be armed. I had a bachelors in
two masters. I taught honors American history and honors
American government. When this time came around for the
copperheads of assessment test, the standardized test, all my
students were taken away because it was all about immersion. Does not education, that’s
making a robot. Whoever came up with the idea that we need to
depend on standardized testing, that’s all well. We need to
teach what is the purpose of geology and Albert algebra. We need to talk
about practical applications. You talk about writing and
grammar, get someone to come in and talk about, let’s sit down there. We need
apprenticeships, internships. If you do well, we’ll have you come
in and be an intern. That everyone needs to end up on college. Everyone who needs
to develop critical productive skills he can be part of this country.
>>You mentioned George Washington Carver as Allis
Booker T. Washington. The difference in a lot, at that time, George Washington
Carver was professing Christian. The influence on Christianity
and in the black community changed quite a bit’s or do you
think is that the reason for the decline in morals in America. It
seems like we may not have people of character like he had
to start with. >>I think morality plays a very
important part. Whether or not schools don’t exist to teach
people morality. That is the job of the parent in the household.
That is important about you showing the example. That’s your job.
You want to make sure no one else is trying to inculcate other principles or
values into your family. What I think has happened as far as the
breakdown of fundamentals, there to me people telling us what we
cannot do. Instead of telling us what we can do. I will be
honest, one of the things that frustrates me, every time
something happens in America, we go read to politicians to fix
it. >>We see a lot of our digital
rights and abilities and give them to others. If you keep
running to others to fix your problems, they will but it will
come at a price which is why we have $22 trillion in debt
because you keep going and asking the government to solve a
problem for you. >>At this man showed up in
Alabama and figured it out. He didn’t go running to the united
states department of education and looking for a grants. He didn’t go to the
state of Alabama and say can you donate buildings? He said I have
a task, purpose and I will go out here with my own ingenuity,
my innovation my initiative and figured out. That is what’s
missing in the U.S.. That good all indomitable spirit. Out here in
Texas you call it that swagger. That’s what we are missing from
this country. If you continue, I stub my toe, can you pass a law
that helps me keep me from stabbing my toe.
>>One of the most insidious things I see when you go to the
moving walkway to the airport. It tells you it’s about to begin. How stupid are you
that you can’t see it’s about to end. Some idiot fell and said it’s not my
fault, it’s someone else’s fault and you need to fix us. Individual responsibility. You
have all seen that woman those walking around texting as she
walked into a fountain. It’s your fault for being stupid. She will go and
bring a lawsuit. You ask for hot coffee in the
drive-through, what do you expect them to give you? You sue McDonald’s for
you spilling the coffee. >> Come on. That’s what’s missing
in our country. The ability for us to take responsibility and
accountability. That’s all.
>>Trying to separate a leg up from self-reliance. It has been
in the paper about free lunches. It hurts me that
the parents are feeding the kids, someone has to feed them.
Where is the line? The government can do
something to help that child get a fair start.
>>Easy. I believe your compassionate enough that we
have a safety net. America is a place when you are born here,
when you come here, we give you a ladder
of success you can start climbing. We all know there will
be instances when you slip and fall but that’s why the safety
net is there. We want you to bounce back and continue to
climb. Too often, we have turned the safety net into a hammock.
That’s the difference. And eagles very
protective of eaglets. There’s a point in time when the mama says goodbye. It’s probably
watching to make sure but that mom and dad Eagle, dad Eagle sits over
the eggs. They have been watching and doing everything to
set the conditions for success of their child, that future Eagle. And Eagle mounts
on its own wings and sores on its own. Am not saying you
abandon your kids. My oldest daughter is
26, she is a physician assistant and working in a trauma surgery
unit in Dallas. My youngest is 22. She is a flight attendant with United.. Don’t think that
every day I’m not calling, texting or contacting them.
Letting them know I love them and how was your day? I’m not going to live
the life for them. I will make sure they have and set up for
success in every way and that’s what we need to do. We can have safety nets
but when you provide a hammock, you take away a person’s drive,
determination and well.
>>I want to touch back on what you said about religion. I’m doing research as a McNair
scholar. One of the statistics I have is, black women are 80%
more likely to think religion is important in like manner 60%.
Black women are the top demographic as far as religion
and hassle. Religion is not the case for moral certainty
like that. Are there a lot of things that play in and he said
don’t be victims but there is a lot of stuff that has played in
history as to why black people are below other minorities or even the
majority of white people. It’s not just because of religion or
other things and I can go into that but I would just keep it
there. >>Eighth has played an
important part in history of the black community. It was faith
that got us through the times of slavery and segregation, Jim
Crow, lynchings and civil rights. Faith has always been
important. I would rather talk about faith than religion.
Religion is man-made dogma. When you look at what has happened in the black tea. I will tell you
again. The black beauty I grew up in is not the black community
I see today. I grew up in an inner-city high school. We
didn’t have to have school resource officers. We didn’t
have to have metal detectors. I remember the
days if you pulled out a knife or something like that, if you
weren’t ready to fight a guy with just your fists, you are
considered a punk. A man fought with his fists. There has been
an incredible devaluation of life in the black community.
When you have a nine-year-old boy in Chicago that is hunted
down and executed because his dad was a member of a rival
gang, something has gone awry. We have to get back
and talk about our faith, we have to talk about our morals,
we had to talk about sepals and values. I believe one of the
most important things that happened in the black community
to put us on this road is we destroyed that traditional
nuclear two-parent black family. That is important to restore.
There comes a time when the black unity he has to say, enough. Have you heard of
little black Wall Street? Tulsa. All those things were there
under the most despicable conditions of segregation. This
man was successful. Coming right out of slavery. What is it that is
causing us to not be able to step up and have all the blessings of liberty, freedom
and democracy. If we in our community continues tell folks
that we are relegated to being a certain position, we cannot rise
above that, we will miss out on the blessings in this country.
>>We can rise above but just like Tulsa Wall Street,
something always happens to get ruined. Just like with black
fathers and things like that. >>You know how it happened?
>>I do.
>>It happened with drugs. >>That no. It happened because
of president of LBJ in his great Society programs came up with
the thing is that a woman has a child out of wedlock, the
government will provide her a check the matter how many
children she has. The caveat being she cannot have a man in
the home. Since 1965. It’s going in the wrong direction.
>>That’s what happens when you have the government solve all
your problems. >>In Texas, we old-timers have this
expression, with things still work out, you put
yourself up by your bootstraps and keep marching. And we do
that. There isn’t a lot we can do about the liberal professors
on campus indoctrinating the students. And the Concerta
professors being put down. What we can do and what I have done
for some years in my home, I have students come to my home,
students I didn’t know, of all different ethnic groups. It’s
not what divides us, it’s what brings us
together. Many of the young men did not have fathers. The first
thing we have to do is, we talk about talking to people with
differences or who think differently are being
indoctrinated, have them in your home, brings students to your
home and have them for dinner or whatever on a regular basis,
listen to them first. Find out what they are thinking. Find out
what’s going on in their lives. If you listen to them, you will
begin to have respect. We have talked about everything from
politics, many had disregarded politics because they thought
this nothing we can do. We talked about protection in their
sex lives. We talked about social diseases. We’ve had dance
lessons with the girls and young men.
>>I don’t dance. >>Come to my house and we will
teach you. Now, many have graduated. New students are coming in. I raise boys, I had
grandsons. I also love girls. It’s important we
have a personal relationship. Look at
Booker T. Washington with the students, what you are telling
us about. >>The one thing Booker T.
Washington told every single student had to show up with? It’s in the book. A toothbrush. He had to show up
with a toothbrush. It has the first and most important thing
is your personal appearance and hygiene. Nothing else matters
unless this is what you present.
>>Let me go back and tell you. My parents, when I was growing
up, before we had dinner, I had to read the
letter Georgia Constitution, pick out one story and give a summary.
>>How often do we continue to do that? Do you know how my dad
got me interested in math? My dad would sit me down, he loved
the Atlanta Braves. He would sit me down and we would go over the
box scores. He would ask me, if Hank Aaron stepped up
and went to bat four times in the game and got two hits, what
was his percentage of hits for that game? As I learned to love
math through looking at box scores, he was teased me about
the business section. Stocks and investments. I loved math.
That’s why was an artillery officer. That’s what we need. We need to have those
discussions, those conversations. We need to sit
down with our young people and wrap our arms around them but we
also need to challenge them. When I went to airborne school
in 1984, some black hat told us a
simple lesson. He said, if you set the ball low, you always
jump low. >>You have to set the bar high.
Let me tell you about this school. I don’t care what this
president needs, I will always come here to this university. I
went to the veterans memorial. It’s touching
for me from four generations of combat veterans in our family.
We went on the backside of that, I saw the Bible verse. Let me tell you how good of a
president you have here. Some people challenged him to remove
that biblical verse because they said it’s a public university. Do you know
how he responded? He responded, no. That’s what we need on our
college campuses and universities. [ Applause ] I know this has been
live stream. If anyone messes with this resident, you mess
with me. [ Applause ] >>Hello. I grew up in Dallas. Right now, I live in
South Oakland. I don’t think it’s necessarily that what you
said about how you’re asking someone to give something to you. With say the Black Panther
party, there being treated terribly so they stuck up for
themselves but they were constantly demonized. Part of
the reason isn’t that the black unity doesn’t value life
anymore, when you start to get demonized by the police at a
young age, you don’t see your life as very much anyway. At six years old
was when I had my first run-in with the police officer. He
treated me terribly. That happens to a
lot of people. It happens to my parents. My dad got pulled over
and taken to jail because he is going one mile over the speed
limit. Your treated terribly but like with the Black Panther party,
they started have lunch in programs and stuck up for
themselves people say they’re awful and they’re always
remembered as being bad. I feel that’s a thin line. You have to
tiptoe that line of you have to do for
yourself. You should do for yourself but when people do for
themselves a lot of times in history, like that Turner, they
went on a rebellion, they tried to read themselves and they were
hung. There all these examples of people doing for themselves
what’s right and being treated terribly for it. I feel that’s a very slippery slope. You can’t just
say you have to do for yourself because a lot of times when you
do, it’s considered awful.
>>This country was told by people that were hung as well.
What happened during slavery, the human spirit always yearns
to be free. My older brother when
he came back from Vietnam, he became a police officer in
Atlanta. I was very fortunate. I never had any
run-ins with the police but I know it happens. There are bad
apples in every aspect and walk of life. There are bad soldiers,
their bad police officers, bad shares.
Inherently, we must do is report those people and get them off
the streets the same as you have seen with police officer in
Dallas that shot the man in his apartment and now she’s going to
jail for 10 years. The system of law works. When I look in
Chicago, that’s not white police officers going out generations of young black
men. Every weekend in Chicago, there is a mass shooting. In
Baltimore, in Detroit, and Washington DC. Since 1973, with
Roe V Wade decision, and 46 years, 20 million unborn black
babies have been not delivered. That’s
genocidal. We have groups like black lives matter but black
lives matter need to understand is not just politicized black
lives that matter, there all these black lives that matter.
Your right. We had to stand up for what is right. We have to
stand up for what is just and we must do that without any type of
partisan shades on our eyes.
>>>>[ Participant
comment/question off-mic ]
>>>>At one point, Lewis Aircon
was speaking to the press best in his statement was,
you cannot tell a woman she has the right to kill her baby and
expect anyone to respect your life. And that’s very true. The
statistics of abortion in the black community are horrendous.
>>It’s genocidal. >>It is.
>>You think about the organization that has 70-73% in the black community was sponsored by
white supremacist in a racist. We need to talk about that as
well. We have what seems to be an almost intentional genocide
of future generations of Booker T. Washington’s. We cannot allow
that to happen. Those lives matter just as much. Again, that’s what’s
important to have these discussions like we are having
right now let’s bring out the object of truth.
>>So we can start joining and uniting ourselves to be caring
and concerning about the future of the United States.
>>My generation grew up hearing, I heard this in elementary school, we can be
whatever we wanted to be if we pushed ourselves. I been hearing
that all my life. There still so many my age who refuse to
believe that. It is easier to be a victim. It’s easy to blame all
of your failures on somebody else. My question to you is, how
do you change people who don’t want to be changed?
>>That’s the tough part. There’s always something innate
and everyone. You have to find that switch.
>>I have to get everything with the idea that I could succeed. I
never had much patience with multitudes who are always ready
to explain why one cannot.
>>The voices of success need to be louder than the voices of
failure. When I joined the United States Army in 1982 as an
officer, we had a very simple model. Maybe some of you
remember it and I wish we still had it. It was be all you can
be. I was afraid of heights. Taste of fall out of
trees when my grandparents would make me pick pecans. My first
tour of duty, my assignment was to be in an airborne unit. This that they
like standing in the door going hundred 35 miles per hour
looking down at the earth move very fast from 1000 feet. The
thing was, I had to find it within myself because my country
had called upon me to do this. And to be that leader and to be
that paratrooper. 22 years later, 73 jumps later, I’m a
master rated parachutist. Navy Marine
Corps parachute and CIGNA. Each and every one of us has a button
that we have to find. It makes us step up above and beyond what
we think we can be so we can be all that we can be. The
important thing just like the woman here said, we need to
surround young people with the voices of positive messaging. That’s the
thing. You have to tell them what they can do and equip them
to be able to go out and do that. Is addressing what they
can do. That’s why we have this incredible epidemic. Suicides in
the opioid crisis in the U.S..
>>Young people and veterans. This ring on my finger represents on my slit
hands, 20-20 veterans a day that taken their lives. To me, that
is abhorrent. What people, when people don’t
get the positive message that surrounds them. When they are
told they can go out and chief, then the dark forces take over.
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>>>I with you. I did the same
thing in Tennessee.
>>[ Participant comment/question off-mic ]
>>>>I will tell you, my oldest and youngest daughter,
they feel the same way. Here’s a young lady in
the past years has earned two masters degrees. She is
categorized, lumped in with others and she sick of it.
I would challenge you to be that voice in your age group. Be
that voice in your demographic that says, stop. We can sit on the
sidelines and complain. We can listen to these older people
talking us down. As a matter fact, it’s generation Z that is
looking at Generation X and sing we don’t want to be
like those guys because they have been complaining too much.
There will be a self correction. It starts with your own age
group and demographic to say there is opportunity out here if
we just carpe diem. That’s it. Sees the
day. Sees the moment. One of the things I
hate is too often, we as adults look at young people tell them
to wait their turn. No. Go out there and grab
it. If you have a drive and determination, go start that
business. Go challenge people to be a leader.. I met a young man in Ohio, this guy had already
served two terms as a mayor of the city. He was 27. That’s
amazing. That’s what I want young people to do. When you
identify these problems in the community, go and be a County
Commissioner. Will be on city Council. Make a difference in
that community. That’s what I want you to do. That’s the only
way this will change. >>I think Booker T. Washington is a really
inspiring story, especially insofar as he was able to come
from his background and do as much as he did. We could say the
same for the black businessmen and women of others dimensions. So much of
what they achieved was despite what they had been given for
what they had not been given. When I hear what you said about the problems of Lyndon B.
Johnson’s society or the gentle men who cited statistics.
There’s a lot of religion or faith. It’s reductionist. There is such
a burden on American history has placed on many disadvantaged
peoples including African-Americans and to act
like we can start with a clean slate and act like there
are things that happened in the past went there and just tell
people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, that is
unrealistic. I am so pathetic the idea there is so much
disadvantage in the black community based that act like
people just need to get over that, that is a little
simplistic. >>I think what you just said is
a bunch of crap. >>[ Applause ] Let me tell you I.
When my father that I told you fought for our country when it
did not hurt him the privileges as a corporal, when he sat me
down and said go out be the first officer in our family,
when he challenged me to go beyond what he had, when he told
me you can go in the military and have all the great
opportunities he wants, he didn’t sit me down and say, you can go and sign up and be a
private. He didn’t make the bar low. History is there for us to
learn from. History is there for us to learn from and to inspire
us to do better. I refuse to accept this thing which you said
as unrealistic. It is very realistic. To achieve and have
greatness in America. If now, I want to
use that type of excuse, then why didn’t he have an excuse?
With conditions that were 1000 times worse. I have seen
poverty. I’ve seen people that don’t even have running water.
America is a great nation. America looks at each and every
one of us here. We may have had different histories. We can have
the same future. That is a future of success. Don’t preach
victimization to me because I refuse that and I rejected.
>>Next question would be, one of the latest polls says 67% of 18-35-year-olds have
a favorable view of socialism and 47% say they would rather
live under socialism and capitalism. How do we go
about changing that ideal? >>We have to explain what it is
and we don’t do a good job explaining what it is. In 1985,
as a young Lieutenant, I went through checkpoint Charlie. I
which behind the Iron Curtain to East Berlin. I saw what that
side look like. I saw what wealth dissolution,
nationalizing economic reduction, expansion of welfare
nanny states, secular humanism and social egalitarianism by. Now we have
to be able to have that discussion with our young people
here today. I will tell you, I find it very perplexing that we
have young people in Hong Kong that are waiting are
flat, singing our national anthem against something that a
lot of young people here in the United States want to accept but
that tells me they don’t understand what freedom really
is. It comes back to us as the older generations listening to
them, having these conversations with them in our homes, in our churches, and
our communities everywhere. If not, they will miss out on
incredible blessings this country has. I have seen the
other side. It’s not pretty. In East Berlin, you had to type
scars. Two-door and a four-door. Potholes in the
streets, hardly anything in the stores. Venezuela was once one
of the most prosperous nations in this hemisphere. Now the
country were people are going to garbage cans for
food. They’re dying because of a lack of medical supplies. They
are killing animals in the zoo to get food, they’re going to
stores to get drinking water. The ruling class elites are
eating very well. Furthermore, since they were disarmed, there
being gunned down in the street by armed government bugs and
went over by military vehicles. >>I don’t think that is a way
of life. If we don’t explain that to our generations, they
won’t know.
>>That’s what I was going to say, one more question.
>>I will stick around. I am staying here on campus.
>>He told me to make it short and sit down, I didn’t add wait
you intend to do. >>Don’t talk about that. This
ain’t about me. This is about that settlement up
there and how he inspired me to be where I am today.
>>>>[ Participant
comment/question off-mic ]
>> The question I want to ask, minorities tend to vote
for the Democratic party. If you look at the history of the
Republican Party from Abraham Lincoln, he signed the emancipation proclamation. He
coalesced the black vote around him. What we have now, the black
vote in this country seems to coalesce now around the
Democratic Party. What is the reason for that. What is the
Democratic Republican party doing to try and diversify
its base?
>>I didn’t want to discuss politics but this is a good question. I can tell you
something would happen down south. During the time period
when Richard Nixon was running for president against JFK. It was a time when
Martin Luther King Jr. was in prison in Birmingham. The call
was made for Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy to call Coretta
Scott King to offer condolences. After that moment the black and
she had pretty much because of history and policies been staunchly Republic. Richard
Nixon refused to call Coretta Scott King. The word got out.
That John F. Kennedy did call Coretta Scott King. From that moment on
in every living room down south, you saw three pictures. You saw
Jesus Christ, by Luther King Junior, and John F. Kennedy.
That changed things. If you read some of the writings and autobiographies
of Lyndon Johnson, he saw an opportunity. The civil rights
act of 1964 would not have been successful in past if it weren’t
for Senate Republicans but no one talks about that. Al Gore
Senior and the Ku Klux Klan were against it. The 1965 voting rights and
greater society programs. If you want to know something that’s
very interesting, the Republican Party of Texas was founded on
July 4 of 1867 by 150 Blacks. The problem is, we don’t study
history. We don’t learn history. We don’t look at the trends of
history. Therefore, the black community went wholeheartedly
for party that through history they had ideologically been
against because one party decided to break off
communications and not effectively engage with the minority
communities and this also happened in the Hispanic
community. What does the Republican party need to do
going forward? Just remember their history. Member what they
stood for. In 1854, the Republican Party stood up for
one purpose. To make people like me and like him free. And they continue to
stand up for one thing economic freedom and independence.
>>It has to be about making people victors and not victims.
God bless you all and thank you for being here.>>We have brought some copies up from slavery with
his four. >>If you

One thought on “The Life and Legacy of Booker T. Washington

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