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Lessons in Democracy; Saving American Democracy; Interview with Smith College Visiting Associate Professor Loretta J Ross. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired January 07, 2022 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation. And I will allow no one to place a dagger at the
throat of democracy.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Our special edition on democracy a year since the storming of the U.S. Capitol January 6.
I ask Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and Yale's expert on autocracy, Timothy Snyder, about how to save American democracy.
Then, what South Africa and Colombia can teach us about restorative justice and building a new democracy. South African analyst Eusebius McKaiser and
Colombia's lead peace negotiator, Sergio Jaramillo, join me.
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU, NOBEL LAUREATE: Evil people, evil systems don't last forever. They bite the dust.
AMANPOUR: We look back at my conversations with two central figures in South Africa's political journey, the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the
late President F.W. de Klerk.
Also, Professor Loretta J. Ross tells Michel Martin what restorative justice could achieve for America.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
This week, democracy in focus. Certainly, it's the top of President Biden's agenda. And, tonight, it's the top of ours too. How do we build democracy
and how do we preserve it when it's under threat?
In the year since the storming of the U.S. Capitol, hundreds of rioters have been charged and arrested, but none of the ringleaders. This week,
Attorney General Merrick Garland said that he would go after all the perpetrators.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6 perpetrators at any level accountable
under law, whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So accountability is a vital tool.
And all week, we have been exploring this issue.
First up tonight, our conversation with the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who has made it her life's work to examine
American democracy going all the way back to President Lincoln and the Civil War. Also joining us is Yale University's Timothy Snyder. He's been
warning for years about the threat of creeping authoritarianism, not just around the world, but also in the United States.
And I spoke to both of them on the eve of the January 6 anniversary.
AMANPOUR: Doris Kearns Goodwin and Timothy Snyder, welcome to the program. And thank you for joining us.
What I want to ask both of you first is, in light of this one-year anniversary since January 6, the polls are very troubling in the United
States. More than 71 percent of American Republicans continue to believe that Biden's victory was so-called illegitimate.
And 81 percent of Americans believe there is a serious threat to our democracy.
Doris, from the historical point of view, all the way back to the Civil War, which you have written so much about, are you surprised that, one year
later, we do not seem to be out of the woods?
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I am surprised.
I thought a line had been drawn after January 6, that finally there had been an understanding of the need for a change in the country and to get
back to our democratic ideals. It seemed hopeful when Senator McConnell talked about the fact that President Trump was responsible morally and
practically for the attack that had happened, and that it was an undemocratic attack, and that he hadn't done what he needed to do once he
knew what was happening to stop it.
And when Kevin McCarthy said it was an undemocratic attempt and some sort of responsibility had to be accrued, it seemed to me that the Republican
Party was accepting some sort of separation from President Trump, much as, after the attack on Charles Sumner.
I'd seen it as an analogy to what happened in the 1850s when Charles Sumner was attacked by a pro-slavery congressman, Charles Sumner being an anti-
slavery senator, in the Senate itself, bludgeoned with a cane into unconsciousness, his spine and brain injury is so great that he couldn't
even come back for three years.
And it changed the whole party structure. The Whig Party collapsed. The new Republican Party was formed. Anti-slavery got a great strength as a result
of it. And I thought that's what was happening after January 6.
But now to see, a year later, that the idea that the election was stolen is still agreed upon by 81 percent of the Republican Party, that the people
who said that this was an undemocratic thing have changed their mind and gone down to see President Trump, it really worries me as nothing has done
in my lifetime about whether we can have a peaceful transition of power.
It's the most important thing in the democratic country. You accept a loss. Every other president accepted a loss. And you move on. If we don't accept
this kind of election in January 6 of 2021, will we not accept it in 2024 or 2028?
I mean, there's a real scare, I think, that is in our system right now. This has to be fought.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you, Timothy Snyder, what Doris just said and what observers are saying, that this January 6 event may have just been a
dress rehearsal, may have been the indicator of things to come?
TIMOTHY SNYDER, PROFESSOR, YALE UNIVERSITY: I think, at the moment, unfortunately, that is the default. I think that is now the most likely
thing to happen.
I think, if we're going to address the future as a democratic country, what we have to realize is that that's not some extreme or dystopian scenario
which has been thought up by somebody in some backroom. That is what is actually unfolding in front of us.
And I think, if we have a problem in this country, it's that we have a very hard time remembering the recent past. So we have a hard time remembering
that this almost happened a year ago. There was in fact a plot to overturn a democratic election for president of the United States. It just happened.
And if we have another problem in this country, it's that we believe that we're exceptional, we're a city on a hill, these things might happen
elsewhere, but they can't happen here. And it's that very faith in our own exceptionality which prevents us for preparing for what is, frankly, quite
I mean, the things which make this very likely, some of them have already been suggested by Doris. Number one, all of this is ensconced in a big lie.
As early as the summer of 2020, Mr. Trump was already saying that he wouldn't concede office if he lost, that, if he lost, it could only be
So this big lie that, if Republicans lose or if Trump personally loses, there must be fraud, that surrounds everything. There's a number of that
around everything. That's the justification for the new state laws. That's a filter for who can be who in the Republican Party. That creates a huge
media safe space on the right side of American media.
And then the other thing which is strange about our system is that we don't have a national electoral authority, like, say, Canada. We just -- we have
the states, and the states are basically able to compete or race to the bottom to find ways to subvert the election the next time around.
So, honestly, it's not a question of whether it can happen. It is happening. The question is, what do we do about it in the meantime?
AMANPOUR: OK, so that's what I wanted to ask you both.
Let me just turn to Doris from the perspective of history and what you are seeing now, as you witness this happening in your lifetime.
I want to ask you both, Doris first, how does one roll back this thread?
GOODWIN: And I think we have to go back to history just for another moment to be able to see what we need to do today, because one of the things that
Abraham Lincoln warned about when the Civil War was just beginning was that the central idea of democracy was the idea that you could have regular
people choosing their electors and choosing their government, and that what the South had done by not accepting the fact that the Republicans had won
the election in the North and broken away from the Union and secession as a result showed that democracy can't work.
And I think what we have to do, it's the most important legislation that has to be passed right now. Voting rights is absolutely essential to this
right now. The bills that are there to be done -- the filibuster will have to be changed to make them come to the floor -- they're going to protect
the right to vote that's being undone right now.
It's time for a political revolution at the top of our country. And those bills are addressing that. And it seems to me that that's the most
important issue that should be on our minds right now. Democracy is at peril. It's been at peril at other times in our place, but we were able to
do something about it.
When Franklin Roosevelt was taking office, somebody said to him, if your program works, you will be the greatest president in the country. If it
fails, you will be the worst president in the country. He said, no, if it fails, I will be the last president in the country.
So there's a real sense that, when we have had crises in our countries before -- it was an economic crisis in 1933, that it looked like democracy
could not prevail. But Franklin Roosevelt came in. He was able to establish faith in the government. People were saying, we have got a leader again,
and that fear that some sort of coup might take place was undone.
We are now in a similar situation. And actions -- the most important thing we have to do is to get voting rights, the most important fight in my
lifetime that I have seen in a long lifetime now.
AMANPOUR: And, as you say, without protecting the right to vote, you might as well kiss democracy goodbye. I mean, it's -- obviously, the fundamental
is a fair and free vote.
So, Timothy Snyder, you heard Doris speaking from the perspective of a long history on a revolution needed at the top of our country, is what she said.
You have got an all-Democratic presidency, Congress and the like happening right now. And the president can't even get his infrastructure bill, not
because of the Republicans, but because of his own party.
How do you see a revolution happening, if you agree, or protecting American democracy? How is that possible?
SNYDER: Well, I guess I -- in fairness to Mr. Biden, we should probably remember that President Roosevelt had tremendous majorities, so just to
keep the comparison fair.
If Mr. Biden had a bigger majority in the Senate, we wouldn't be talking about the things we're talking about because voting right legislation --
and I agree with that, that's the absolutely essential thing -- would already have been passed.
Let's hope that it can be. But in the meantime, there are a few other things. Number one, I think we have to start now with the resuscitation of
local news in the United States. That may seem peripheral, but it's actually central. One of the reasons why people don't trust electoral
outcomes is that there's no longer local news.
There's nobody who's reporting this kind of story in the U.S. anymore. A second thing that I think we have to be willing to do is to talk, as Doris
has already mentioned, about a right to vote as a fundamental right. In the United States, we don't actually have that. There is no recognition by the
Supreme Court or in general that Americans have a right to elect their president.
I think those are rights that we need to be insisting upon as a people. The third thing, though -- and this is not so much for Democrats or for
citizens in general -- this is now for Republicans, who we haven't talked about very much.
I think Republicans need to be having a conversation amongst themselves about what happens if they seize power in 2025, because the logic is, let's
scheme, let's subvert, let's find a way to take power even after Mr. Trump -- let's say it's Mr. Trump -- loses by, let's say, 10 million votes, which
he probably would.
I think it's very possible that they could do that legally. And in doing it legally, they would be following examples of other authoritarian countries,
like, for example, Hungary. But I think what they're not thinking about is the next question. You can seize power that way, but you can't seize power
in the United States, because, at that point, the United States ceases to exist.
There isn't going to be -- there's no way that a population which has just elected someone else is going to stand by and watch this happen. There's no
way that police forces and armed forces, for that matter, are going to be united about this kind of attempt to install a president.
So you can go for this kind of scenario. But, if you do, you wreck the country, you wreck our military presence abroad, you wreck the American
dollar, you wreck all of those things.
And so I think the discussion that Republicans should be having is, is that really what we want to do?
GOODWIN: I was just going to add one point of hope, which is that I think the select committee on January 6, as it comes out with more information
about what actually happened between the time of President Trump's failure to win the election and what happened on January 6, if that becomes a story
that then can get really put across to the country as a whole, I still think there's a potential for the country, if it sees it from beginning to
middle to end, what really happened, to absorb it and begin to change their minds, as I thought they would after January 6.
AMANPOUR: But, Tim, the so-called big lie, you have written, has a very ugly pedigree. It's decades-old, and probably, before that, even centuries-
Go back and tell us where the big lie started, how it started, and what it means.
SNYDER: Yes, thank you for that question.
I mean, that the reason why I began to use that term in -- back in November of 2020 is that I could see how this was all going to roll out. I could see
that what Mr. Trump was doing in speaking about the election was telling a lie that was so big that it could create a kind of alternative reality,
which has, in fact, happened.
And if there was a time when it could have been stopped, as Doris hoped, it was in November and December of 2020. Once that wasn't clearly stopped
then, it was very likely we would end up where we are now.
Americans are just as vulnerable to this story about how they are the real victims as, let's say, Germans were back in the 1920s and 1930s. This is
how -- going back to your very first question, how coups work.
A failed attempted at a coup is always practice for a successful attempt at a coup. It's in that meantime, in that period between the first and the
second, that the other side, the people who care about institutions, have to learn lessons.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you both the final question?
Because we're going to be looking at what happened in South Africa back in 1990. When apartheid fell, Nelson Mandela came out, representing the
majority, who had been horrendously oppressed by the minority of whites, and yet had his own commission, the Truth and Reconciliation, that Desmond
Tutu then was the head of.
What kind of example does that provide us?
GOODWIN: You know, I think there's an analogy with Abraham Lincoln, because there was a whole discussion after Appomattox and the war being one
for the Union, what do we do with the rebel leaders? What do we do with the Confederates?
And what he said was, I don't want them hung. I don't want them brought to justice in that way. What I really hope is they will just leave the
country. Let them go. If they stay here, they will have to be punished, but we have to look forward.
So I think, in some ways, he provides an example for what happened at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that need to understand that we have to
move forward and begin to create a new society. And that's what he hoped to create. And had he lived, I think Reconstruction might have been even a far
more powerful change of a new society.
And, unfortunately, that's what -- the South lost the best friend they could have had, as well as the North, in not having that leader there to
take us through that period of time.
AMANPOUR: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Timothy Snyder, thanks so much for joining us.
AMANPOUR: And the example of South Africa, which I just put to Doris Kearns Goodwin, has been in the news recently, especially in the wake of
the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. Now, his restorative justice model was vital to building the country's brand-new democracy in
the 1990s after the fall of apartheid.
I discussed this with South Africa's commentator and analyst Eusebius McKaiser and also with conflict resolution expert Sergio Jaramillo, who was
central to the negotiations that led to the end of Colombia's decades-long Civil War.
AMANPOUR: Gentlemen, welcome, both, to the program.
Eusebius, let me first start by asking you. President Biden has just given a thundering defense of democracy, saying he will never allow a dagger to
be pointed at the throat of American democracy.
Many people recall that it was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Archbishop Tutu, Nelson Mandela who really started democracy after
apartheid with the concept of accountability. Tell me about the legacy of that, because you have called it a necessary disappointment.
What do you mean by that?
EUSEBIUS MCKAISER, AUTHOR, "RUN RACIST RUN": What we needed to do after the end of apartheid was to avert conflict, specifically the possibility,
which was real, of civil war.
What the Truth and Reconciliation Commission enabled us to do as South Africans is to transition peacefully towards a democratic state. To that
extent, we need to celebrate it. On the one hand, it enabled us to have temporary catharsis through storytelling, narrative building, in the
public, emoting as we recall the crimes against humanity during apartheid.
But it was a disappointment in a very simple sense, that many of the cops, many of the actors who were responsible for the crime against humanity
called apartheid who did not get amnesty are still amongst us and haven't been prosecuted.
In addition to that, Christiane, we have millions of black South Africans living on the margins of South African life, because economic apartheid was
not dealt with by the TRC. So the TRC is a wonderful model to export to the rest of the world for how to deal with conflict, but its limitations must
be examined so that other societies can understand what is the best you can get out of it, but what it does not guarantee.
AMANPOUR: So I'm going to come back to you on that particular issue.
But, first, I want to ask Sergio Jaramillo, who was the lead peace negotiator under President Santos in Colombia, for that incredible conflict
resolution between -- for 50 years, the FARC militants were battling the government. And, finally, both sides somehow decided it was time to stop
this and move into something else.
How difficult was it, Sergio, not just to get two sides together, but to get the nation to buy in? And how much example did you take from the TRC?
SERGIO JARAMILLO, FORMER COLOMBIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR PEACE: Let me start with that last bit, because I think our South African friends may be
underestimating their own achievement.
It is clear that all transitions are different. It is clear that political realism dictates that you can only do so much. And I can understand the
But, at the same time, what South Africa did, what Desmond Tutu did was something extraordinarily important. Tutu said, we're going to put the
experience of the victims at the center of this transition. And that was the main lesson we took in Colombia.
Without that lesson, without having put the victims as an issue, as a point on the agenda, without having invited 60 victims to go to the negotiations
themselves in Havana and give their opinion, and without having set up the transitional system we now have with a tribunal, with the truth commission,
with the unit that looks for the disappeared, without that, there would have been no deal and no process.
And that is the South African legacy.
AMANPOUR: So I want to ask you both, how do you look at America's democracy?
The attorney general and the Department of Justice came out strongly about all people being investigated. What do you look at, Eusebius, your
experience vs. what's happening in the United States right now?
MCKAISER: The American democratic experience, in a sense, vindicates my critique of South Africa's TRC, Christiane.
And I think that Sergio is being far too nice about what we had achieved. When I look at the American democracy, I see a country that is exemplary,
to some extent, because even this is flawed, but exemplary to some extent in terms of being an exponent of democratic process.
But when you look at substance, when you look at, for example, how deep racist America is, in terms of the experiences of black Americans, to take
one part of the demographic, then you realize that you can have on paper a Constitution that guarantees civil and political rights, you can have
regular free and fair elections, which is your threshold requirement to be labeled a democracy.
But, for me, the deeper question is, are you a just society? Are you an egalitarian society? And the truth of the matter is that, if you walk
around, guilty of walking around while being black on the streets of the South Side of Chicago, you are in danger of being hunted down by
institutionally racist police men and women in America, for example.
We averted civil war with the help of Nelson Mandela, as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, but what did we get in return? Peace. But you can't eat
peace. So we have got to be very careful to not conflate civil and political rights, which are important, with true economic freedom,
egalitarianism and justice.
It is these latter concepts that are the true markers of a great democracy. And, by that standard, America falls short quite a long way.
AMANPOUR: And so does South Africa, as you mentioned, and perhaps even Colombia.
Let me just play for you, Sergio, Graca Machel, the widow of the great Nelson Mandela, the widow of the previous great freedom fighter president
of Mozambique. When I asked her about the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this is part of what she said about some of its
-- of what was left wanting, what was left on the table.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACA MACHEL, HUMANITARIAN AND WIDOW OF NELSON MANDELA: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was meant to begin a process of addressing the
past in South Africa.
It could not finish the job, because it was simply to open the space in which we would confront that past and work together to heal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And, indeed, she did say, of course, the young people are disappointed and angry about the lack of economic justice, as well as
How much has that played into your experience in Colombia, Sergio? Because there has been, since the peace process was signed, a lot of disaffection
and a lot of failed -- failure to meet the promises, particularly on the economic side?
JARAMILLO: Yes, let me -- I think there are two sides to this, if you like or two tracks.
If we look -- if you look strictly at the issue of truth and justice, I think, in Colombia, we really have gone a long way, if I may say so,
farther than any other country, because we built on the South African experience. But we said we're not going to have amnesty for war crimes.
We're going to demand from war criminals that they stand before a tribunal and acknowledge what they did. And this has happened in Colombia. The
oldest, biggest insurgency in history in Latin America, the FARC, has acknowledged that they committed the war crime of taking hostages and
kidnapping. Our own state agents, our own soldiers, officers have acknowledged that they committed the war crime of extrajudicial executions.
So this is actually terribly, terribly, because the beginning of change is acknowledgement. Now nobody in Colombia can doubt that these things
happened. And those responsible are taking responsibility, and they will have to actually serve a sentence, which is also a big difference with
Now, as always, managing the past is more difficult than changing the future, and not just in terms of healing, but of socioeconomic change. So
the first point of our agreement was all about integrating peripheral Colombia, was all about giving better living conditions to those who lived
under the armed conflict for decades.
And that has been going very, very slow, especially because we have a government that opposed the peace agreement. And, slowly and thankfully,
thanks to the international community, to the fact that we have a special verification mission of the Security Council breathing down its neck, the
government has slowly moved in the direction of implementing some of the agreement, but not enough to really have any impact on the ground.
So this is what people miss. They see, OK, the war stopped. But we don't see real change. And we see others taking advantage and new sources of
violence appearing. This is why momentum and really working hard things on the ground is of the essence in a peace process.
AMANPOUR: So, that idea of accountability, for me, is really important, having covered so many war crimes tribunals. And it really is on the table
now in the United States to hold accountable not just the foot soldiers, but the ringleaders of January 6. Otherwise, this thing could happen again.
Certainly, Desmond Tutu and others before apartheid fell pleaded, asked wanted, particularly the United States, to impose sanctions to make it hard
for the apartheid government. They didn't do it.
How important is that kind of buy-in and that kind of help from the rest of the world when you're trying to get rid of this oppressive structure?
MCKAISER: I'm so glad you asked this question, Christiane, because a coordinated international effort to get rid of localized oppressions around
the world is of crucial importance when it came to the economic system in South Africa, using black bodies as cheap labor, as input in the making of
an apartheid economy, in the service of an elite numerical minority of white South Africans.
But it was able to do so because the rest of the world had markets readily available for South African goods and services to be traded with. And
because the South African government, until the '80s, did not really feel the effect of isolationism, did not really feel the effect of being
squeezed from an international political economy point of view, they were able to survive longer than they should have.
So the moral authority of the international community is only meaningful if it acts on that moral authority by isolating repressive governments and
AMANPOUR: It is so incredible to hear both of your real-world experience while the United States goes through its own real difficulties with
preserving democracy right now.
Eusebius McKaiser and Sergio Jaramillo, thank you both so much for joining us.
JARAMILLO: Thank you very much for having us.
AMANPOUR: And our focus on justice in South Africa made us want to dive back into our archive and to my 2010 conversation with Archbishop Desmond
He came into our studio, along with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu.
I started by asking them about a book they had recently co-written about why they believe people are inherently good.
AMANPOUR: And this book "Made for Goodness" is about to go on sale right now. I'm stunned by it, because, in it, you both say that we are inherently
good, and there is inherent goodness.
And yet you both have come from one of the most evil systems, apartheid, couldn't be worse. You have witnessed genocide on your own continent. You
have seen the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians over that entwined narrative.
Where does your hope come from, Archbishop? Where does the goodness come?
TUTU: Well, it basically is a faith issue. I am a Christian.
And one of the wonderful things about it is you have got one of the worst things happening on a Good Friday. Nothing could be more hopeless. And then
Easter happens, and we say, wow! Ever after, we have got to be prisoners of hope.
And all of history has demonstrated the truth that evil people, evil systems don't last forever. They bite the dust.
AMANPOUR: You think all of them?
M. TUTU: Well, it -- you know, as study says, it is a faith claim but it is not only faith claim as he's just underlined, that what history shows us
is that, in fact, good is in our own self-interest.
AMANPOUR: Why did you write this book? What message are you trying to give?
D. TUTU: We are so overwhelmed with the thing that you show. We are overwhelmed with images of evil, of suffering, of oppression, quite
rightly. And that often, being overwhelmed by them, devastates people into imagining that, no, there can't be any good. All that exist is evil. And
will say, no, no, no, no, no.
The fact of the matter is that evil is really an aberration. The intent of the creator was, and this is what God says, after God creates God says, it
is not just good, he says, it's very good. And God rubs both hands and says, ha ha ha.
AMANPOUR: We are going to take that theme and we have been talking about not just your book, which is "Made for Goodness," but about what actual
impact goodness and its contrary, evil, has on the world today.
You know, neighboring Zimbabwe. It has been a huge problem for all of Africa for many, many years. I want to play you something you said about
Robert Mugabe a few years ago. Listen.
D. TUTU: He's destroyed a wonderful country, a country that used to be a bread basket. It has now become a basket case itself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: You heard what Archbishop Desmond Tutu said.
ROBERT MUGABE, FORMER ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT: That's nonsense. It's just devilish talk.
AMANPOUR: Devilish talk?
AMANPOUR: Do you know --
MUGABE: He doesn't know what he's talking about, the little man.
AMANPOUR: The little man? He's a Nobel Peace prize winner.
MUGABE: Come on.
AMANPOUR: He's a liberation fighter too. South Africa.
MUGABE: What liberation? No, of course. You don't know what his status in the ANC amounts to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I don't know how you feel listening to that. It was a pretty ad hominem attack on you.
D. TUTU: I developed the hide of a rhinoceros during the apartheid days because I used to be attacked very viciously. But I still am sad because
he's someone I've had the greatest admiration for and we've got to give him his due. He surprised the world. After winning the first election when
people thought he was going to engage in an orgy of revenge, he did nothing of the sort. I mean, Ian Smith, the last white prime minister, continued in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: But later, Mugabe descended into corruption and fratricidal politics that turned from Zimbabwe from shiny example to brutal
dictatorship. And a year after our interview with Tutu, he too became disillusioned with South Africa itself and the corruption plaguing the ANC.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Bishop Desmond Tutu, the moral voice of the anti-apartheid movement, said this about Mandela's successes in the African National
D. TUTU: This government -- our government is worse than the apartheid government because at least you were expecting it with the apartheid
AMANPOUR: An extraordinary comment.
F. W. De Klerk shares the Mandela's legacy, although some whites still accuse him of being a traitor to their cause. And just listen to what he
told me about his relationship with apartheid itself. When I spoke to him at a summit of Nobel Laureates in Chicago.
AMANPOUR: Mr. President, thank you for joining us.
F. W. DE KLERK, FORMER PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA: It's a pleasure.
AMANPOUR: I want to go back a little bit to what you and Nelson Mandela wrought in the late `80s. You see that fantastic and famous picture of
yourself and Nelson Mandela holding your hands aloft when you won your Nobel Peace Prize together. And yet, I don't think you're the closest of
DE KLERK: Actually, we're close friends, not the closest in the sense that we see each other once a week. Also, we live apart. But he's been in my
home as a guest; I've been in his home as a guest. When I go to Johannesburg, my wife and I will have tea with him and Graca, his wife. No,
we call each other on birthdays. There is no animosity left between us. Historically, there was.
AMANPOUR: Do you remember the first time you met him?
DE KLERK: I remember it very well. He was brought under cover of darkness to my office from the Victor Verster Prison. We did not discuss that, even
anything of fundamentally importance. We were just feeling each other out.
I have read, of course, everything I could read about him beforehand. I was well briefed. I was impressed, however, by how tall he was, by the ramrod
straightness of his stature, and realized that this is a very special man. He had an aura around him. He still has an aura around him. He's truly a
very dignified and a very admirable person.
AMANPOUR: He once said that he had to convince his colleagues to sit down with the enemy and suppress their feelings about you all.
DE KLERK: That's true, as I had to convince some of my supporters in the same vein. But can I say that from the beginning, in the negotiations, I
realized that he was also a good listener, reaching out to the one speaking, trying to understand what lies behind what was being said.
I felt it that first evening. And both of us later wrote in our respective autobiographies, after that very first meeting, we could report back to our
constituencies, I think I can do business with this man.
AMANPOUR: Many, for instance, on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, those who led it, regret that you did not take or seek amnesty, that you
didn't take responsibility for what your party did.
DE KLERK: Well, let me first say I'm not aware that Mr. Mandela says I've never renounced apartheid. I have made the most profound apology in front
of the Truth Commission and on other occasions, about the injustices which was wrought by apartheid.
There is this picture that apartheid was -- used to be compared with Nazism. It's wrong, and on that, I don't apologize for saying that what
drove me as a young man, before I decided we need to embrace a new vision, was a quest to bring justice for black South Africans in a way which would
not -- that's what I believed then, destroy the justice to which my people were entitled, my people, whose self-determination were taken away by
colonial power in the Anglo World War. That's how I was brought up.
And it was in an era when also in America and elsewhere and across the continent of Africa, there were still not this realization that we are
trampling upon the human rights of people. So, I'm a convert.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, you're a convert. You just talked about trampling human rights. You're talking about profound injustice.
DE KLERK: At that stage, the goal was separate but equal, but separate but equal failed. It failed in South Africa as it failed here.
So, yes, with the advantage of hindsight, we should have started the reform much earlier. We should have gone much earlier with the flow when the winds
of change blew across Africa.
But the intention was to end at a point which would ensure justice for all. And the tipping point in my mind was when I realized we can never bring
justice through this route. We need to embrace a new vision of one united South Africa.
We need to abandon the concept of separateness. And we need to build a new nation with its 11 official languages, accommodating its diversity, but
taking hands and moving forward together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: De Klerk and Tutu died recently within two months of each other. Their work only half done. But their example must live on and inspire all
those who love democracy, whether in the United States or around the world.
So, for our next conversation, we turn to Loretta J. Ross, a visiting professor at the Smith College in the U.S. whose teaching focuses on white
supremacy in the age of Donald Trump. Here she is with our Michel Martin on whether restorative justice could actually work in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL MARTIN, CNNI CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Professor Ross, thank you so much for talking with us once again.
LORETTA J. ROSS, VISITING ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, SMITH COLLEGE: Thank you for having me.
MARTIN: I just wanted to situate in this moment. I mean, we are acknowledging both loss of one the giants of the 20th century, Archbishop
Desmond Tutu, but we're also, in the United States, acknowledging the anniversary of this mob attack on the U.S. capitol, which was mounted with
the intention of overturning a legitimate election and handing it to the person who lost.
So, I just wanted to start by asking you what does this bring up for you?
ROKER: Well, it bookends how precarious our moment is right now. Whereas, you know, we lost one of the great leaders of human rights and hope and
justice. And at the same time, we have people who dedicated to the overthrowing of democracy so that they can remain in permanent minority
power. It's almost like they want to reestablish in the United States an apartheid system that Desmond Tutu fought to deconstruct.
And so, we're bookended by history in a very remarkable way when we bring those events two together.
MARTIN: What's some ways forward that you see here? Some of the data suggests that this -- the big lie, as what's it's being called, has taken
root among a significant portion of the American people who just want to believe that the election was stolen from them because they want to believe
it, despite the fact that, you know, the people who have administered these elections, even though they're politically sympathetic to them, had said it
So, what do we do with that when you have people who intentionally refuse to acknowledge the facts as they are understood by other people?
ROSS: Well, I've always had sympathy but also recognition and understanding that America's built on a lot of big lies. This is not a new
thing for the American public. We lie about our -- to ourselves about what we did to native American people, we lie to ourselves about the legacy of
the struggle against slavery and the civil war, we lie to ourselves about the damages that runaway capitalism has done to our economy and everyday
So, we lie to ourselves quite convincingly very well. We made an art form of it. So, the big lie about the election, this falls into that same
category. Now, I'm not as concerned about the people who perpetuated the lie because I have a different strategy and I'm not at all feeling like
forgiving them, then I am the people who are manipulated by the lies. Those people, I think, are redeemable. Those people are probably very good people
inside and their exterior behaviors don't match what they believe about themselves, and those are the people I would give my kind and loving
attention to because people who are manipulated, they believe that they're doing the right thing, and I want to build on that impulse to do the right
thing that they all feel.
MARTIN: So, there are two issues here. One is the question of accountability, and the other is the question of forgiveness, I guess, for
want of a better word. What role does accountability play? Because as you've already seen, there are people who are arguing that it's time to
move on from January 6th. I mean, even people who you might not expect who claim the conservative mantle which has always been identified with the
rule of law as it were.
So, what role does accountability play? What does that look like here?
ROSS: Well, I was one of the people involved in the democratic transition in South Africa. And one of the things that South Africa have that we lack
is a morally strong leader like Nelson Mandela who can persuade our country to say that, first of all, we've got to face the truth without flinching.
We've got to hold people accountable who committed grave wrongs against each other, but we also have to reconcile as a country.
We lack that kind of leadership right now because too many people on both sides of the aisle just want to pretend that we can go back to business as
usual without accountability. But any kind of truth and reconciliation process doesn't work without accountability.
Now, forgiveness is different. Even if a person is not held accountable, forgiveness still works for the person being harmed. Because when you
forgive someone, the wrong they've done whether it's to you or the society at large, you're choosing not to let them have a permanent place in your
heart or your mind. You're reclaiming your dignity. You're reclaiming your honor. And you're deciding that they need to figure out how to live with
themselves while you figure out how to live with yourself by taking back the power to harm you.
And so, forgiveness really works as a restorative justice process if you really mean it and you don't try leave your rooms or your hurt to cause
hurts to somebody else.
MARTIN: You have a remarkable personal connection to the story. Would you share whatever portion of that feels right to you?
ROSS: When I was 25 years old, I was the director of the D.C. Rape Crisis Center. And while I was the director, I got this letter from this guy who
was incarcerated for raping and murdering a black woman. His name was William Fuller. And his letter basically said outside, I rape women,
inside, I rape men. And I don't want to be a rapist anymore.
And at first, I was totally repelled and angry about this letter because I can't believe that this rapist is asking us that Rape Crisis Center to come
help a perpetrator. That was my first calling out kind of response to him. But I sat on my desk and finally, I went to visit him at the Lorton
Reformatory, which was D.C.'s prison at the prison at the time.
And I went there expecting to challenge him, to change him, probably to make him hurt like me as a rape survivor was hurting, because I had been
raped when I was 11 and incested when I was 14. And I've had all of this compounded trauma. But when I got there and I started hearing his story and
not only that, the stories five other guys that they had formed prisoners against rape with, I found that they were victimized violators. They were
people who did violate other people like raping and murdering women, but they also have their stories of being violated as children themselves, of
being overlooked and forgotten. Being harmed and thinking that harming others was the way to address their pain
And so, it's happened frequently in my life, once I got to know them, I couldn't hate them anymore. And so, instead of changing them, I ended up
being the one changed.
MARTIN: First of all, that's a powerful testimony in and of itself. So, thank you for that. But how do you extrapolate that to the broader sort of
public sphere? Because we are in a moment in this country where there are people who are actively campaigning against being taught the truth of other
people's hurts, right?
I mean, we see, for example, people, you know, storming to school board meetings objecting to, you know, books about, you know, slavery or, you
know, the reconstruction period or civil rights being taught in their schools. And so, if you've got people who don't want to know what other
people's truths are, what do you do with that? Like how do you extrapolate that experience to the broader public discourse we're having right now?
ROSS: Well, obviously, we have a society that tries to practice different forms of denial. I mean, we wouldn't have all of these confederate statues
littering our landscape if there wasn't a suppression of the truth about the civil war, about 30 years after the civil war had taken place. It was
reframed as a battle of states' rights when it was a battle to preserve slavery. We wouldn't have -- you know, Nazi Germany held its racist
accountable and we allowed our country to build statues to ours.
And so, we have always been in a battle for truth in defining whether or not America is going to live up to those ideals that we bravely stated in
the constitution in the U.S. Bill of Rights or are we going to be a country built on genocide and enslavement and devoted to white supremacy? Because
we did not definitively answer that question with the end of the civil war, we're still in an unending civil war over that same question. So, there are
always going to be people, at least as far as I can tell, who are denying the truth that America has never become the thing, the country that it
promises to be, but we have that potential.
But I'm not into giving up on people, as you can tell. If my friends were (INAUDIBLE) wondering if I can forgive rapist and murderers, I can
certainly forgive the people who have a different political perspective because I know how many multigenerations of brainwashing has taken place. I
mean, it's not necessarily their fault that they don't know the truth.
I teach young people in my classes at Smith College every day who are angry about how they were not talking truth about American history. And once they
know, they are eager to do something about it.
MARTIN: Professor Ross, this is something that you've written about and spoken about before, that the U.S. has a punitive culture. This is a
culture that highly favors incarceration. For example, I mean, we've got, you know, the highest number of incarcerated people in the world. And, you
know, as a culture, as a society, we tend to favor incarceration and punishment as a solution to any number of social problems, right?
On the other hand, Archbishop Desmond Tutu embraced a philosophy of community accountability as a restorative measure, as a part of restorative
justice. Is there any way in which you can see the United States moving toward a model like that? Like what would that look like?
ROSS: Well, Archbishop Tutu taught us all about the African philosophy of Ambutu, which is community accountability and forgiveness, but it really
emphasizes human inner independence and inner connectedness.
The most famous Ambutu saying is, I am because we are. In other words, I can't define myself outside of the context of my community and my people,
my tribe, my world. And so, what that means is that when a harm is done in a community broadened by Ambutu principles, you hold the harm doer
accountable by both appreciating what they did well and how they served the community and then, what they did that harmed the community.
You don't flatten the person down to the worst thing they've done in their life and then dispose of them. You create a process so that they can repair
the harm that they've done to the community while not disposing of them, not kicking them out, not exiling them. Because if they still may be a
great shoe maker, even though they might have stolen somebody's car or something like that. And so, you work very deliberately to see people in
the wholeness of their humanity and recognizing that despite our judgmentalism, we're all capable of doing good things and bad things. And
we need to be held with love, appreciating the complexities of our lives.
The same way you don't dispose of great art by someone who was a problematic person, you know, in their personal life. I mean, you have to
be able to hold the complexity of humanity. And I think that Ambutu philosophy that Archbishop Tutu taught us is worth considering as a way to
guide our moral decision-making today.
MARTIN: One of the things that you've been talking about, teaching about and writing about is so-called cancel culture. Now, I know that
(INAUDIBLE), you know, we could spend a whole conversation just talking about cancel culture, a lot of people don't even think it exists and will
tell you that cancel culture is a myth. But you've been working to kind of help your students understand that could cancel people, de-platforming
people sort of is not a productive strategy either.
ROKER: Well, I try to teach people there's a more effective way to get people to reconsider their words and their actions. Because when you
publicly call people out and you shame and humiliate them, you basically invited them to a fight, not to a conversation that can lead to change.
And so, if you choose to approach them, in my mind, with love and respect, you increase the likelihood that you will be heard and that they will
consider or reconsider their perspectives, their words, or their views. And that's why I think calling in is a much better and much more effective
strategy at creating change in people than calling them out or shaming them.
Because when you're publicly humiliated, all you want to do is fight back. People are tired, oh so tired of the bitter fights we're having. Not only
within our politics but in our family dinner table. With our neighbors. At the grocery store. People are exhausted by being permanently on and ready
to fight. There are more people who do not want that than who do benefit from the chaos.
MARTIN: Loretta Ross, thank you so much for talking with us today and Happy New Year to you.
ROKER: Oh, Happy New Year to you and thanks for having me on your show.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, what have we learned? What does all of that tell us? I guess it tells us that we all have to summon the will to fight and to struggle to
protect the most precious, the most valuable political right in history, the right to democracy.
And that is it for now. Remember, you can always catch us online and on our podcast. Thanks for watching and good-bye from London.