Return to Transcripts main page
D.L. HUGHLEY BREAKS THE NEWS
Hughley Discusses Blagojevich and Burris With Congressman Bobby Rush
Aired January 10, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight's regularly scheduled program, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, dog gone it, voters like me," will not be seen, so that we may bring you this special presentation.
D.L. HUGHLEY, CNN ANCHOR: How are you all doing, everybody? Good to see you. I want to say this: first, we have a great show lined up for you. We're going to be discussing Senator Roland Burris. That's right, I said senator. He is a senator. And we are also going to be discussing the Gaza conflict, which reminds me a lot of Crips and Bloods.
It does, right? It does. It's a lot of stuff. First off, I want to say Happy New Year. I didn't get a chance to say that to you all. Happy New Year. I hope everybody has a great new year.
I'm happy already because I'm working; and I read the job reports and a lot of people ain't. I think I'm the only person with a job in the whole country, even though I got an orange couch. Arsenio was going to throw this out, but we -- The people who see it, black people love orange. Really? It's like Kwanzaa everywhere.
There was a lot of stuff that happened. Like when I was off, there was a lot of stuff that happened. Like I was watching CNN, and I don't know if any -- Anderson Cooper has a series called "Planet in Peril," where he goes all over the world. He was swimming with sharks. Did you see this? He actually swam with sharks. I'm not talking about in a cage and got out and swam with sharks.
Let me tell you something, I want my show to do well. I hope it continues to and I hope the ratings keep doing well, but if I got to swim with sharks, I'm going back to BET. Do you ever notice you never see black people swimming with sharks? We don't never do nothing dangerous on purpose. If we want to do something dangerous, we'll drive to the suburbs four deep with a tail light out.
If you ever actually interviewed a black dude who was swimming with sharks, the first thing he would say is who the hell pushed me? Black people do not -- And this is my head writer -- look, there was also some things that happened that I was -- like, there are people I feel bad for that I never thought that I would. Like I was watching the news, of course, and everybody remembers the infamous shoe throwing incident. Remember with George Bush, remember this? This is the infamous shoe throwing incident.
That dude was ducking like "The Matrix," wasn't he? You know, it made me feel bad for him. What really cracked me up was remember when all the experts would come on and say, in the Arab world, throwing a shoe is the highest form of insult. In Brooklyn, throwing a shoe is the highest form of insult. If you throw a shoe at somebody, you don't like them. Like, in the Arab world, it's probably worse, because they wear sandals, so they had to buy shoes to throw. Give me two. What size? It does not matter.
Oh, man that was horrible. And then I saw -- "Saturday Night Live" did a skit that satirized Governor Paterson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's bad out there, Seth. And if you don't believe me, take a look at this graph I've got right here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUGHLEY: That cracked me the hell up. And he got mad. You know, people got mad when you tell jokes like this. He's black, blind, admitted he had several affairs and did cocaine. And you're the governor, get over it. When you're black and blind, you can get away with anything. You mean that wasn't my wife? I am as shocked as you are. This seeing eye dog ain't worth a damn.
And this is a wealthy state. You all get your governor some sun glasses. What the hell is that? Walking around your eyes going every which way. Put some glasses on.
And, of course, this is the controversy that's still going on, Governor Rod Blagojevich, who I love -- I'm expressing my undying love and affection for him. You know why? He's accused of trying to sell the Senate seat. But this is the world I live in -- in the world I live in, nobody gets something for nothing. Men, we take women out because we want you all to have sex with us. If you don't plan on having sex with us, don't go to dinner. If you do go to dinner, don't order, I'll have the steak and lobster. Honey, that comes with sex. Not giving me none, get the jalapeno poppers.
But really, what he did was -- nobody does something for nothing. What he did was what I would have done. I don't think what he did was any worse than Caroline Kennedy did. Caroline Kennedy gave Obama during the primaries the mantle for the Kennedys. Now, for that, she wants a Senate seat. It's all good.
I'm here with CNN legal and political analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Why -- I have been a Democrat for a long time. Why is it that every time we get in office, we have all of these little nit-picky things that make people think that we are just self-destructive.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there's the famous old Will Rogers line, I'm not a member of any organized political party; I'm a Democrat. If Barack Obama succeeds in getting the troops out of Iraq, turns around the economy, nobody's going to remember Blagojevich or any of this other stuff.
HUGHLEY: When I was watching Harry Reid on all the talk shows, making the rounds, and he asserting that there was no way they were going to seat Burris.
TOOBIN: They were really just played by Blagojevich completely. IT Is really -- When it happened, everybody said, oh -- first of all, everybody said he would never appoint anybody. He would never have the gal to appoint anybody. Then they said, well, he's going to appoint somebody, but they'll never seat him. And Blagojevich saw three steps ahead, when everybody was -- he was playing chess when everybody else was playing checkers. That didn't mean he's not going to prison.
HUGHLEY: The thing that Blagojevich did, which I respect, is he took an adage from everybody: when you get in trouble, look like you're doing your job. And he looked like he was -- and he did the smartest thing I have ever seen, which was picking a qualified black dude. When you pick a qualified black -- they should have cases filled with qualified black dudes everywhere, so when you get in trouble, you can break one and he pops out to save the day.
TOOBIN: It's a little like when Bill Clinton got involved with Monica Lewinsky. The thing he said every day was "I'm going to work to do the people's business." It helped that the country was prosperous and at peace. People could laugh about his situation. No one really wanted him thrown out of office.
But I think you're right, just go to work, do your job and that's usually the game.
HUGHLEY: I can't honestly see in my mind what was so different between what he did and what Caroline Kennedy did. I can't see what the difference is.
TOOBIN: I do think there is a difference. It has to do with the explicitness of the transaction. Let me give you an example: in the charges against Blagojevich, there is an accusation that he said, I am not approving eight million dollars for a children's hospital unless I get a 50,000 dollar campaign contribution from a certain person. Now --
HUGHLEY: Which sounds like business as usual in Washington.
TOOBIN: Maybe you're a little too cynical. I don't think that is --
HUGHLEY: Even the allegation that Richardson had -- he was going to be commerce secretary, he had to resign. The allegations are that he got 100,000 dollar donation to his political campaign, and got 1.5 -- gave somebody a 1.5 million dollar contract. Those are the allegations. I can't for the life of me understand how that's different.
TOOBIN: This is the problem of our system of campaign finance, because the line between simple campaign contributions, you know, I'm going to give you money because I think you'll lower taxes, and I'm going to give you money in return for a contract, that's a more subtle line than I think any of us would like to admit. HUGHLEY: Everybody argued about the appointment of Roland Burris. This guy wanted to be senator so bad that he alluded to it on his tombstone.
TOOBIN: He left space on it, so that he could fill that in. Yes.
HUGHLEY: Caroline Kennedy --
TOOBIN: And he has run for every single office in Illinois and lost most of them. So Senate is just about all that's left.
HUGHLEY: At least he had a fire in his belly. He wanted to do it. Carolyn Kennedy looked like she was walking along, and went, I think I want to be senator.
TOOBIN: The sense of entitlement that Caroline Kennedy has shown on the campaign trail -- it's hard to talk about a campaign trail when there's only one voter in the election. That's the situation. But it hasn't been a great campaign for her so far. She may still win, but she hasn't really shown either the intelligence or the passion or the articulateness that some politicians do.
HUGHLEY: And I was watching -- I was looking at the Post this morning, and it was just showing all the pictures of the president. It's club pres. It has Daddy Bush and Obama and W and Bill and Jimmy. I noticed nobody wants to stand next to Jimmy Carter.
TOOBIN: Did you notice how far away he was standing from the rest of them?
HUGHLEY: It's almost like Jimmy is the black guy in this group. They won't stand next to him. But if you look at this picture, George Bush looks like he's an ex-president already. He looks like he's ready to go.
TOOBIN: I just wrote something in the "New Yorker" about Barney Frank, the Congressman, and he talked about how Obama's always saying, we only have one president at a time. And what Barney says, that really overstates the number of presidents we have at the moment.
HUGHLEY: We should have at least one.
TOOBIN: We should have one.
HUGHLEY: Along with news that I have been reading about, Sanjay Gupta, who has been tagged --
TOOBIN: Are you going to keep rubbing this in? Everybody said, what are you going to get? He's the medical analyst. I'm the legal analyst. I'm getting nothing. I'm getting nothing. No chief justice. No attorney general. They didn't even ask.
HUGHLEY: I don't even know how to come back from this. Jeffrey Toobin, everybody. Give him a round of applause.
HUGHLEY: My next guest was a founder of the Illinois Black Panther Party in 1968. This week, he was instrumental in Roland Burris becoming the next Illinois senator. He's the only guy ever to beat Barack Obama in an election. Here with me now is Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush. How are you doing?
REP. BOBBY RUSH (D), ILLINOIS: How are you doing, man.
HUGHLEY: You have called the U.S. Senate -- you said it is the last plantation?
RUSH: Yes. I'm kind of saying that, yes.
HUGHLEY: When you're a black -- Why do you believe that? Do you still believe that?
RUSH: I'll say, there are no African-Americans in the U.S. Senate. Here you have this body, which is the most exclusive club in the history of the world. It makes laws pertaining to every citizen of this nation. And for the last 150 years, there have only been three African-Americans to sit in that body. And my state, thanks to its credit, has sent two, Carol Mosley Braun and Barack Obama.
Now, we have an opportunity to remedy that situation. We have an appointment, a legal appointment of Roland Burris, by the governor of the state of Illinois. And we have these outcries, this resistance, these folks who are standing on nothing but ego. They have elevated the words hate to a Constitutional principle.
RUSH: In denying Roland Burris's seat. But now they're beginning to see more clearly --
HUGHLEY: Bobby, you said that Roland was denied a seat. You called it racism, but -- and normally I'm not shy about throwing out the race card. It works a lot. But the senator that you speak of, the senator that he's replacing, left the Senate to become the first black president. And then he was replaced by another qualified black man. So I can't for the life of me figure out where racism is in this.
RUSH: We are what, 17 percent of the population?
RUSH: Right now, as we speak, there are at least three Hispanics, there are two Asians, 12 women and no African-Americans. And that's been the legacy and the history.
HUGHLEY: I don't even know how you can tell a 71-year-old black man he can't sit down, especially a black dude from Chicago. He's going to sit where he wants to. Illinois has had four governors in the last 40 years that have been indicted. Three have been convicted, including two in a row that have been indicted, Ryan and now Blagojevich. Isn't that just kind of the way things are done in Illinois?
RUSH: Well, you can look at it like that. But, you know, I'm kind of proud of my state.
HUGHLEY: Abraham Lincoln wouldn't look at it like that. You guys are so corrupt they should call you Louisiana. Are you crazy?
RUSH: There's another side to that. We also sent Abraham Lincoln, some guy named Ronald Reagan. We sent a number of others, Paul Simon, Paul Douglas. So we ain't all bad.
RUSH: I actually think you guys are more honest than everybody else. I think what you guys are doing --
RUSH: I'm glad you missed it. Can I use that?
HUGHLEY: Well, it might not work for you there. But thank you for talking to us, Bobby Rush. We appreciate you being here.
RUSH: Thank you.
HUGHLEY: After the break, I'm going to talk to a professional con artist about the ultimate con-man, Bernie Madoff.
HUGHLEY: Also in the news is the Bernard Madoff scandal. Hugh, you were telling me about this. I don't really know -- he's accused of the largest investor fraud in history. How do you get so many people -- 50 billion dollars, how do you get that many people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bernard would tell people, you can't go online and check your results. He also would tell them, we only have one accountant, so don't call me, because I don't have time to take your calls. And furthermore, he would tell people -- he would sometimes turn down clients, just to make it look all the more cool if you became a client.
HUGHLEY: Like the velvet rope at a club. And you were telling me that he would also tell people, don't ask how I do it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He would say, just be happy with the returns I'm getting you, don't ask how I'm getting them.
HUGHLEY: Really? If somebody said, just give me your money, I'm going to make you some money, don't ask me how I did it, I'd swear they were selling weed. I really would. I would go -- that goes back to the whole thing I was saying that everybody kind of wants something for nothing. That's the psychology of a con, is that you think that you're going to beat the guy who's trying to beat you, or you think you're going to extract more than you put in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're are sort of the Bernie Madoff of weed dealing. HUGHLEY: I don't do that. Are you crazy? Hey, man, you're laughing too damned hard. What is that all about. All of a sudden we're turning into Jerry Springer. Get him out of here.
Look at these pictures of Bernie, Doesn't he look like a sweet old man? Like the grand father from the Munsters, if he took 50 billion dollars from you.
We're going to talk to somebody who knows about cons. This gentleman is a master in the art of sleight of hand. Please put your hands together for Ricky Jay. How are you doing, Ricky? How are you doing? Of course, we're talking about the Madoff scandal. And I believe that the psychology of a con is that you try to beat the guy who you think is trying to beat you, basically, right?
RICKY JAY, SLEIGHT OF HAND EXPERT: Well, not necessarily. There's an old adage which says you can only take a man with dishonesty in his heart, but you can take anyone who cares. And all of us care about something or another. So in a scam like this, what you have in the Madoff scam is what's called a ponzi scheme.
HUGHLEY: Tell me about that. I have heard about pyramid schemes, but who is ponzi? That's not like the juice you put --
JAY: What you mension is perfect. The ponzi scheme is the quintessential pyramid scheme. And the easiest way to explain it is the phrase -- I know you love to get biblical -- robbing Pete to pay Paul. So that's the idea. You create a situation where you're taking the money that's being invested and paying that back to people who are already in the scam. And the thing is, it reaches a point of diminishing return, and suddenly there's no more money.
HUGHLEY: My mother always used to say, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Doesn't that really sound too good to be true.
JAY: That's the great way to avoid the con, if it sounds too good. But the second you see your friend being paid off -- and that happened with both ponzi and Madoff, then you believe it. I loved what you were just balking about it, the whole idea of don't ask me anything, just take your money. Isn't that wonderful?
HUGHLEY: That's a government job, that's what that is. The people that he took weren't just kind of -- these were some bright, intelligent, very moneyed people, Spielberg and Kevin Bacon, and all these kinds of people who kind of fell victim to that. And you would think that they, above all people, would have things in place that would help insulate them against that.
JAY: We have a phrase in sleight of hand that the smartest people are the easiest ones to fool. They're all so good at what they do that they think they're involved with someone who is that good at their profession. That's why you can't beat a man at his own game.
HUGHLEY: You are a sleight of hand expert?
JAY: I'm familiar with my -- it's my life's work. HUGHLEY: Now you sound I'm indicting you. I feel like I'm a lawyer, you're telling me that your -- But the idea of that game, isn't it -- that's not too much different than what Madoff did, right, the sleight of hand kind of aspect of this, right?
JAY: Well, it's much more sleight of verbiage. You've got the same sucker, the mark, the pigeon, the coney, the bait. It doesn't matter what period of history, the sucker is the sucker.
HUGHLEY: Now, on Three Card Monty, I have seen that a lot. I mean I'm telling you, I would watch and look at the little markers on the cards and I could never do it.
JAY: Well, because it's really a con game and not a sleight of hand game. I can explain. The reason that Monty is a con game and not a sleight of hand game is this, at the end you're left with three cards. If you bet your money and you actually know where the queen is, and you bet all your money on the right cards, the operator never takes your bet. He takes the bet from his shill, who bets more money on the wrong card.
So you can't get paid off.
Let me actually show you something. May I show you?
HUGHLEY: Absolutely. As long as I don't have to testify in court.
JAY: I shouldn't do this, because you never kick back of score. But let's assume I'm going to make a buck on this. So here's the idea. Here are three cards. All right? I'm going to show you them very slowly.
JAY: I'm going to ask you now which one is the three.
HUGHLEY: One more time.
JAY: No more times. Which one is the queen? You probably think it's the one on your right. I'll make it a little easier for you, but it really wouldn't be. So maybe you think it's the one that's on the right now, or maybe you think it's the one on the right. But that's sort of my point here, D.L.. Never play a man at his own game.
HUGHLEY: If that ain't Madoff ghetto style, I don't know what is. Thank you Ricky Jay. We'll be right back. Wow.
HUGHLEY: The biggest story right now is the conflict in Gaza. There's been a lot of tough talk this week from Hamas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KHALED MESHAAL, HAMS LEADER: If the enemy got into Gaza, our people will fight from one street to the next, from one house to the other and on every inch of the land.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUGHLEY: And of course there is tough talk from Israel as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EHUD OLMERT, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We have the power. We have enormous power. We can do things which will be devastating. I'm telling them, stop it, we are stronger, there will be more blood there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUGHLEY: When I hear leaders talking big and threatening and I see the violence between neighbors get out of control when no one will back down, it reminds me of a conflict a little closer to the way I grew up.
(BEGIN MOVIE CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, blood.
(END MOVIE CLIP)
HUGHLEY: Of course, where I grew up in L.A., it was the Crypts and the Bloods who were shooting each other over a little piece of land. There were helicopters flying overhead and innocent people getting hurt, like in this movie. And it was, of course, a conflict that went way back and there is still no way to stop. Like this young cat says.
(BEGIN MOVIE CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, homies, even that's just the way the world is, Ese. There's always going to be gangs, man. There's always going to be fighting. Nobody's going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) stop it, man. That's just life.
(END MOVIE CLIP)
HUGHLEY: Well, one thing that's true for both Gaza and gangs is people who get shot at, they often want to shoot back. To help me understand the turf war in the Middle East, I have two experts, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the founder of "This World: The Jewish Values Network, Irshad Manji, of the European Foundation for Democracy, and author of "The Trouble With Islam Today."
I just want to ask you -
(APPLAUSE) HUGHLEY: It does remind me of the way that I grew up and there is just a level of vitriol that is frustrating.
IRSHAD MANJI, EUROPEAN FOUNDATION FOR DEMOCRACY: You know, D.L., I mean, we can all agree, at least on this, that the Middle East is a place of unforgiving complexity. But this gang dynamic that you're referring to ain't a bad place to start.
I recently interviewed a prominent Palestinian leader who took issue with what he called -he called, you know, this tribal mentality, this, you know, clan mentality of his own people. What he meant was that it was a mentality that produces uncritical loyalty to the tribe, so even when you know wrong is being done on your side, you're not going to speak up about it because your security, and not just your identity depends of having good relations with the higher ups. That's what happens with the Crypts and Bloods, too.
HUGHLEY: That's absolutely what happens.
Shmuley, I read something that you said and you equated the eradication of Hamas to a cancer invading the body. You talked about how if someone got cancer, they would use radiation or chemo in an attempt to snuff out this life threatening organism. You equated that to Hamas, having to eradicate, not all people, but is that the mentality? Is it the idea?
RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, AUTHOR, "THE KOSHER SUTRA": Let's go back to your gang analogy. I like what you said about uncritical loyalty to the tribe. What we have to remember is that amidst these tribes, tribes are part of a larger family, it's called the human family. Once you violate the principles of humanity and you forget that we're all just brothers and sisters, that's where conflict is never going to end. We have to try to make people cognizant of that.
Now, the problem with Hamas is -- I'm Jewish, we're part of the tribe where "no one wants you tribe". We go from land to land, D.L, and "we don't want you." And we have this little slip of land in Israel and Hamas is trying to say, I'm sorry, you're Arab, you're not Muslim, why are you here.
MANJI: They don't even say, I'm sorry. Just get the hell out of here.
HUGHLEY: That's the Hallmarks' card (ph) from Hamas.
BOTEACH: And their drive by shootings come in the form of 6,000 rockets being launched at civilians.
BOTEACH: Now, Arabs are -they are my brothers. Islam is a beautiful, glorious, God religion and when Hamas says, even to the Palestinians, you have to only learn to hate, and your greatest aspiration in life should be to blow yourself up. Palestinian children should be allowed to get an education. They should be allowed to build hospitals and roads, and Gaza really should be a flourishing democracy. But peace isn't going to come to the Middle East, as Golda Maier once said, until the Palestinians, I believe, learn to love their children more than they hate the Jews. And the same thing is true with any mistakes we're making.
I didn't want to see the Israeli prime minister, a moment ago, saying, we're stronger than you. We're going to hurt you. What does that bravado help? I am a short, harmless Jew, D.L., you could take me a second, OK. We're not here to flex our muscles and say Israel is going to be stronger than you with helicopters gunships or with tanks. Israel needs to have moral strength.
HUGHLEY: What would you equate - like what would be an example of moral strength?
BOTEACH: Moral strength is that Israel allows Arab to have an equal vote as a Jew. Israel - there's proportional representation of the Arab population in the Israeli Knesset. I would even have no problem if there was an Arab prime minister of Israel who is dedicated to the Jewishness of the state of Israel, just like, I'm a Jew, I understand that we're a minority. If I became the president of the United States, which may happen, D.L.
HUGHLEY: Right. We broke it wide open, baby.
BOTEACH: That's right. I'm not going to suddenly take the Jewish religion and impose it on a mostly Christian population.
BOTEACH: I understand that the majority is not what I am. So, Israel is a Jewish state of Israel that has its Jewish character. It doesn't mean that Arabs aren't equal parts of it. Moral character means you respect every one's rights. That's what it means.
MANJI: What's going on here, right now, is something you're rarely going to see on television, right?
MANJI: Which is that a Jew and a Muslim, each of us faithful in our own way, engaging --
HUGHLEY: I thought you meant a black dude hosting the show.
MANJI: Oh, well, yeah!
HUGHLEY: I was lost for a moment.
MANJI: I thought by now that went without saying, but fair enough. That each of us is engaging in self-criticism, each of us in engaging in introspection, pointing out where our own camps, quote/unquote, have gone wrong. We need a hell of a lot more of that.
HUGHLEY: I never hear an Muslim spokesperson sound like you, or I never hear and Israeli spokesperson sound like you.
So, the problem is that are reasonable people who are being objective.
BOTEACH: Well, we live in the West, and I think that will all of it's flaws.
BOTEACH: The West is about, I can get on TV, expressing my opinion.
MANJI: It's an open society.
HUGHLEY: And not have to pay physically or --
BOTEACH: In my opinion, what Israel is trying to do is create those conditions in the Middle East by just having an open democracy. Israel is far from perfect. It makes a lot of mistakes, but at the very least, it is a democracy.
BOTEACH: There are 400 million Arabs, right now, D.L., who live in countries where if they were to go out placard in the street, protesting their government, they may not wake up to see the next morning.
BOTEACH: Or they wake up in a prison cell.
Arabs are equal children of God. They deserve the same rights as we Westerners. I would like to see a liberalizing and democratizing of these Arab countries. I think that's what will, I mean, you know Hamas was elected by a democratic majority.
HUGHLEY: Right, right.
BOTEACH: But so was Hitler in 1933.
So, you have to also try to elect the right people who don't try to suppress dissent. Right now, Hamas is killing a lot of collaborators. They are just shooting them in the streets for the mere suggestion they are collaborating with the Israelis.
I, as a Jew, don't want to see dead Palestinian children in U.N. schools. That breaks my heart. I violates everything I believe in. But we also have this problem where terrorists are launching rockets from these schools. Israel has to sort of wonder, what should it do? MANJI: Let me just add (AUDIO GAP) don't think that we Muslims, even in the West, are taking full advantage of the freedoms of expression that we have here. You see so many Muslims pouring into the streets to protest Israeli actions in Gaza. But the interesting thing is that hundreds of thousands of Muslims are maimed, raped, murdered and tortured by fellow Muslims every day. Look at the genocide in Darfur, OK? This is inflicted by Arab militias, supported by a government that calls itself Islamic. Where is the Muslim outrage about that slaughter, D.L.?
MANJI: And why is it that Muslim lives only count when they're snuffed out by non-Muslims?
HUGHLEY: You know, I've always said the same thing.
MANJI: This is what we're doing to ourselves.
HUGHLEY: But that's the human condition. I will watch people -
MANJI: That's the tribal mentality.
HUGHLEY: But everybody has it. Everybody's guilty.
MANJI: Not nearly as much as in other cultures, I would argue.
HUGHLEY: I'll make you - I'll give you an example. I watched people give T-shirts, like they would have this red campaign to snuff out violence in Darfur. Young black men are killed all over this country every day, by other black men, and people don't get just as incensed. You let a police officer kill a young black man.
HUGHLEY: We will march in the streets. Lives are lives, I don't care who takes them. And I think, as a human being, I've watched the conflict -
BOTEACH: This is the tribal mentality again. See, the tribal mentality, the Cripps and the Bloods, you're defined not by who you love, but by who you hate.
BOTEACH: So the tribal mentality is, right, you're defined by the other. Conflict is built into the system. The people who control those gangs, they actually perpetuate their power by perpetuating the hatred. And they indoctrinate and then you can't speak out against violence because then you're disloyal to the group.
MANJI: That is why there is a big difference to be made between identity, which is always constructed in relation to the other, and the integrity, which is your authentic self. HUGHLEY: Oh, man.
MANJI: Big distinction.
BOTEACH: D.L., we have to take you to the Middle East.
HUGHLEY: No, no. No, no.
MANJI: Wait a minute, hold on. If Joe the Plumber -
HUGHLEY: You know what, this is already scary enough for me. Are you crazy?
BOTEACH: We're going to the Middle East, and you are going to do a big gathering and get people to laugh together.
MANJI: If Joe the Plumber can go why not D.L. Hughley? Give it up.
HUGHLEY: Thank you, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and Irshad Manji. Thank you guys very much. Give them a big round of applause.
HUGHLEY: Of course, all parents are able to relate to the pain of the Travoltas last week. Here with us today to make sense of the emotional roller coaster, raising and living with a child with disabilities, is psychologist Jeffrey Gardere.
How you doing, Jeff?
DR. JEFF GARDERE, CO-AUTHOR, "PRACTICAL PARENTING": All right. Good to see you, D.L.
HUGHLEY: Good to see you, too.
I remember I had flown in from Los Angeles and my son -my son has Asperger's Syndrome. And I came in and he -I had just gotten off a plane -and he walked in and he told me what had happened to John Travolta, and his son, and his family. And I remember the way I felt when I found out my son had something that was wrong with him. And I remember going to UCLA and the lady telling us that they didn't know if it was hereditary, or they didn't know what was wrong. I remember feeling so guilty, I didn't know how to accept the possibility that I may have given my son something, like a learning disability, that I couldn't qualify. I remember how sad I was. And I remember seeing John Travolta and just being so sad at that moment.
GARDERE: There's so many parents who are going through this. We know that almost six in 2,000 children have some sort of autism, or the autism spectrum, that also includes the Asperger's, which is a higher functioning sort of autism.
I congratulate the fact that you had even gotten him diagnosed. And I know it's a process to get there, for many parents that I have worked with. Because all too often parents are in denial.
HUGHLEY: I knew right away. Like, right away. Uh, something's not right. And my wife, "He's fine." And I was like, "The boy ain't fine. Now you can pretend like -come on now." And I read how hard - I mean, like, she is so protective over him. I was reading what you said about the stages of kind of dealing with it.
GARDERE: That's right. It sounds like you both went through those stages as parents do. You normally have one parent who's into the denial, believe it or not it's usually the mother, because of the maternal feelings.
HUGHLEY: No, not a mother.
GARDERE: Yes, it's the mama.
HUGHLEY: She would get mad. Like, I would say, I thought something was wrong, she would get mad. To the extent that, like I went, OK, well.
GARDERE: That's right. Which is part of the phase that the anger and the denial. You're already into the acceptance to say something's wrong and we need to do something about it.
HUGHLEY: I know I grew up in a situation where obviously these kinds of things had happened before. They didn't have names for them. But when we was growing up and something was wrong with you, your mother would be like, act right and stop doing that. And sit down and shut up. They believed that they could shout you out of it, or whip you out of it, or punish you out of it. They didn't believe that there was any - even the extent, like, when you would have these conversations earlier with people. There isn't anything wrong with that boy, he's just being ignorant.
GARDERE: Yeah, yeah.
HUGHLEY: Literally, I'm talking about that would be their approach. And I -- even at first, when he first started going to school, my wife's idea was to protect him. To not let people tease him; and part of that, to me, was healthy. I believe that it was healthy. Like he would stand on the playground and my wife -and I would go, he'll do that, people will tease him and he'll learn that that ain't what you're supposed to do.
GARDERE: Right, right.
HUGHLEY: Like part of that is socialization.
GARDERE: That's right.
HUGHLEY: So it's difficult to jibe what you believe is best for your child and what is the clinical definition of what's best for your child. GARDERE: Sometimes, you know, the woman normally, like in my family, the woman is much stronger, but don't get me started on that. But, you know, --
HUGHLEY: Do we deal with the same woman?
GARDERE: But the point is that there is that balance. So you do have to be able to look for what is best for the child at the end of the day. Too often, we try to shelter our own feelings as the parents, we feel like failures, we are angry at ourselves, and we want to have that perfect family, but you can have a perfect family, and still have a child that has Autism or Asperger's, because at the end of the day, that child is different, but that child is a whole functioning, lovable human being that brings you that love that you need as a parent.
HUGHLEY: He is, to me, I don't know a male that I respect or look up to as much I do, and he's only 20 years old. Sure he's a boy and does some dumb things, because like boys do.
GARDERE: Yes, absolutely.
HUGHLEY: Yeah, he does a lot of dumb things. I don't think it has anything to do with Asperger's, I think he's just being a male. The thing that I feel bad about is that I have a coping - like from the time it happened, I would be able to get on stage, I would be able to make jokes, I would be able to talk about it, but people - a lot of people don't have that option.
GARDERE: You're letting your pain out there. And you're sharing your pain in a way that it plugs other people in, and it's almost like a group therapy for you. The funny thing is people are paying for your group therapy.
HUGHLEY: Absolutely. That's more better.
GARDERE: And that's why it's important to have the informal support groups, it's important to see a therapist and to talk about these issues because this is one of the hardest things, as a parent, you'll ever have to deal with in your life.
HUGHLEY: You know what, I used to hear something all the time and it applies to this so perfectly. Knowing something is always easier than saying it out loud.
GARDERE: That's right.
HUGHLEY: And you've helped me with that. Give it up to Doctor Jeffrey Gardere.
GARDERE: Thank you very much.
HUGHLEY: We'll be right back after this. Thank you very much.
HUGHLEY: I was at home and I was watching TV the other day and I saw this amazing Pepsi ad.
(BEGIN COMMERCIAL CLIP)
It was very upbeat and catchy, but doesn't it remind you of something? On the left is the Pepsi commercial, on the right is the Obama ad. Pepsi is not even trying to hide it. Ain't that the same thing? I find it amazing how the country resisted hiring a black man for president for 200 years and now everybody wants one. Ain't that something?
You know it's a matter of time before other soda companies come out with similar ads.
Here's one from RC Cola. I love it. It's a perfect response to the Pepsi Obama ad, very subtle.
But what would Coke do to get on board with all the excitement? Coca-ColObama, the blackest cola out there. Of course, now the folks at Dr. Pepper, I think they kind of missed the mark.
But you got to love those crazy advertising people.
Our next guest is bringing jazz back to Washington, where he is playing for Martin Luther King Day. Please welcome jazz great, Wynton Marsalis.
WYNTON MARCELIS, JAZZ MUSICIAN: Hey, D.L., how you doing?
HUGHLEY: You don't get to say "legend" a lot, but you really are, you're a jazz legend.
MARCELIS: Oh, no.
HUGHLEY: If you weren't, you wouldn't be here. You can't have a jazz good dude. You're a legend.
MARCELIS: To young to be a legend.
HUGHLEY: You're right, you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) so you're not, but you're working on it.
You were invited to play by Presidents Carter and Clinton for the inauguration, but Obama hasn't invited you just yet?
MARCELIS: Not yet.
HUGHLEY: It's going to happen?
MARCELIS: Oh, yeah, we're going to be there, swinging. He likes jazz. He says he likes the music.
HUGHLEY: How come jazz is not as appreciated by the black culture as much as it is -- every time I see jazz audiences, they're older and white. MARCELIS: I think that that's kind of -
HUGHLEY: That's how it is.
MARCELIS: I think that is part, it is like that, it is part of the education that we need as a people. And it is a kind of a barometer of where we are. As long as we have that veil pulled over our eyes, we are not going to accept the music. But when we start to open our eyes, we're going to see the music, and Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Monk, all these great musicians. It is consciousness music. And you can't look at this stuff calling people all kinds of bitches and ignorant stuff like that.
MARCELIS: And embrace this music.
MARCELIS: Because this music about the love and the beauty and the people and the music has always been together, so people will come to it.
HUGHLEY: Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said that jazz and democracy are just alike.
MARCELIS: That's right. We actually -
HUGHLEY: I didn't know there was a $20 cover charge for democracy.
MARCELIS: Exactly. It's much more. It's much more than $20 if you think about it.
HUGHLEY: I guess it is.
MARCELIS: That's the serious charge.
HUGHLEY: But what does she mean? What does she mean by that?
MARCELIS: She means that jazz, the basic principles, are one improvisation. Which means you have your right to express yourself, and we put more of a premium on you really saying what you mean, the truth of what's in your heart and your soul, your feeling. And then, you have to realize that other people have that right and that opportunity too. So, you learn how to speak clearly and you learn how to listen with even greater clarity.
HUGHLEY: Let me ask you something. Did you ever honestly think that you would see a black president of the United States of America?
MARCELIS: I thought it.
HUGHLEY: Really? MARCELIS: I thought that.
HUGHLEY: So you were the one?
MARCELIS: I'm not going to say I'm the one.
HUGHLEY: Because I didn't know nobody else.
MARCELIS: Well, I though it. I've been traveling up and down the United States of America for 25 years, playing everywhere. I play in small towns, St. Angelo, Texas, Brighten, Illinois; I have seen white people stand in a line with their kids for me to give them lessons for an hour and a half. And I have had the opportunity to speak to them. I'm from South towns, Ken, Louisiana.
MARCELIS: From smaller places, and I've had the opportunity to speak to the American people all over, the West, the Northeast. I knew, I was confident from my relationships with people all over this country, that they were mature enough to vote for someone who had the strength and the power to just say the truth and stand up for it, and be real.
And when Obama came with a message that he had been having. It's not like just some message that he invented for this campaign. He was saying we are one America, we have a culture that is already unified, which is the truth of jazz.
MARCELIS: I knew that he was the best candidate, he deserved to win. And I knew the people were mature enough to vote for him and they did.
HUGHLEY: Maybe jazz would give me an insight I currently don't have.
MARCELIS: It will, brother. It will, believe me.
HUGHLEY: Let me ask you something? Is it poor etiquette in jazz, like I have been to a lot of jazz shows, is it poor etiquette in jazz for me to walk out during the drum solo? Because that man dude play that drum forever.
And like, I've got to use the bathroom, what am I supposed to do?
MARCELIS: It depends on who's playing the drums. If you got Lewis Nash (ph) playing the drums, or Hurley Riley (ph), no. You want to sit there and see what they play. Sometimes you need to walk out. Sometimes they want you to walk out. Sometimes it is just like life. Sometimes, they're wondering man, what am I playing? HUGHLEY: Mr. Wynton Marsalis, thank you very much.
We'll be right back.
HUGHLEY: I have had a great time, we have had some great guests. And I'm glad you guys are with me for any first show back in 2009. Before we go, just one more thing, OK? Al Franken, is he the new senator from Minnesota, Hugh?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, yes, he is, once the legal procedures play themselves out.
HUGHLEY: Well, see now, this is the deal. Al Franken, apparently, is ahead in the recount. And he looks like he's going to be the new senator from Minnesota. And Norm Coleman, who is his Republican opponent, is angry and is going to sue. But Norm has lost to his gubernatorial bid to Jesse The Body Ventura, and now apparently to Al Franken. He's lost to Al Franken.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL FRANKEN, COMEDY SKIT: Hello, I'm Stewart Smally. I'm still receiving some negative reactions from my show about Pee-Wee Herman, entitled, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HUGHLEY: Norman, I don't know you. To you I'm just a guy with wild hair sitting on an orange couch. But if you lose to a wrestler and a clown, don't sue anybody, take your ass home, please.
You guys are wonderful. Good night. See you next week. Thank you very much.