A recent Pew Research Center survey reports that A majority of Blacks have experienced discrimination. A discussion with Wade Henderson, President and C.E.O. of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, on the state of civil rights in the U.S. today, including progress made, and work still to be done. A discussion with Wade Henderson, President & CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Click here
for part 1 of State of Civil Rights.
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See a partial transcript of this interview below:
Traynham: Wade, when you take a look at your life, every single chapter has been about raising the bar and trying to make sure that people that look like you and I, but also women, LGBT -- going down the list -- have the rights that you just articulated a few moments ago. You re moving on to another chapter in your life at some point in the future. Are you proud of all your accomplishments and as far as we ve come so far
Henderson: I m very proud of my personal accomplishments, but more importantly, I m very proud of our accomplishments as a nation and as a people committed to democratic values. I recognize that we have a very diverse nation, and we ve made that a strength and a hallmark of American democracy. Our goal now is to take American values and to make sure they re applied equally across the board to all of our citizens, and if we have a commitment to achieve the kind of equality of education, the social parity, and economic parity that you talked about, we will get to the next level of equality in a way that all Americans can celebrate.
Traynham: Wade, we have about a minute left, and I think this is important for the folks that are watching at home or perhaps maybe watching on their device, wherever they may be, they may be saying, "What else can I do I feel like I did vote, I do contribute to the causes that I believe in, I do volunteer, but I feel as though that we re spinning some wheels here." In other words, perhaps maybe there s a bit of despair for the folks that are watching at home. What is your response to that
Henderson: There is some despair, I think, and that is understandable given the differential in opportunity that still exists in our society. But if we really make a commitment to achieve the kind of voting rights and equality and the ability to participate in the political process, if we make investments in quality education, as we demand as a nation, and if we recognize that our ability to reach the next level of development is predicated on bringing everyone together, you know, equity then becomes the foundation predicate on which American society will be built, and we will make the advancements that we need as a people.
Traynham: You sound hopeful and optimistic about the next American chapter. Is that accurate
Henderson: I m very hopeful. I mean, I recognize that there are challenges that we face, and I m not naive about that, but I also recognize that we have overcome far greater difficulties in the history of this country than we face today. What is needed is a recognition that we have the power to change the system as we see it today. We have the power, if we use it, to bring the kind of American equality to life that all of us have talked about in theory.
Traynham: Wade Henderson, personal right of privilege here as the host, thank you for being you.
Traynham: I really appreciate it.
Henderson: Thank you so much for having me.
Traynham: And thank you for joining us for this edition of "Comcast Newsmakers." I'm Robert Traynham. Have a great day, everybody.We ll see you next time. Bye-bye.