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Interview With Governor Chris Sununu (R-NH); Interview With Singer, Activist And Actor Harry Belafonte; Interview With "Black Ball" Author Theresa Runstedtler. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired April 26, 2023 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone. Welcome to AMANPOUR. Here is what is coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R-NH): Helping Ukraine win that war is absolutely vital.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: New Hampshire governor, Chris Sununu, joins me. Why he thinks some of his Republican colleagues have lost the moral compass. And will he
too join the race to be president?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRY BELAFONTE, SINGER, ACTIVIST AND ACTOR: I knew they would always be a struggle because struggle is always a part of our life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That chart topping superstar who dedicated his life to civil rights activism. We bring you an extended version of my last interview with
the late and great Harry Belafonte.
Also, ahead --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA RUNSTEDTLER, AUTHOR, "BLACK BALL": Whether or not they were actually out in their communities, they became these icons of defiance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: How black players transformed basketball and American society. Author Theresa Runstedtler speaks to Michel Martin about her new book on
the generation that saved the NBA.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in New York.
It is a busy day in the nation's capital as South Korea's President Yoon comes to town while tensions do mountain Asia. President Biden is probably
eager to smooth out tensions between them after a Pentagon leak expose the U.S. eavesdropped even on its allies. The leaders are also set to announce
more U.S. support for Seoul amid growing nuclear threats from North Korea.
Earlier today, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart in a much-awaited phone call. President Zelenskyy says their
conversation was meaningful. But will it make Beijing exert its influence on Xi Jinping's friend for life, President Putin?
With so many challenges and questions, a seat at Americas top table may seem like a poisoned chalice. But more and more are jumping into the 2024
And my first guest tonight is tipped to join the growing crowd. New Hampshire's Republican governor, Chris Sununu. When he joined me from
Manchester, he carved out a very different path from the one GOP contenders like Donald Trump are carving out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Governor Sununu, welcome to the program.
GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R-NH): Well, thank you very much and pleasure to be here.
AMANPOUR: So, Governor, look, it seems to be presidential candidacy in the ring season. We have seen the president himself has called again for voters
to give him a second term. I want to know from you, are you about to throw your hat in the ring? And the famous Kennedy question, fellow New
Englander, why do you want to be president?
SUNUNU: Well, two very good questions. And so, obviously, I am very interested. We'll make a decision this summer. Obviously, you know, I think
a lot of folks are looking to a governor, to someone who understands how systems work. They really want things to get done. I mean, at the end of
the day, Republican or Democrat, Washington just hasn't gotten a whole lot done in terms of really providing opportunities and I think folks see, you
know, governors as a potential.
So, we've been traveling the country. I am a Republican. I want to make my party bigger. I want independents to get on board. I want the younger
generation to kind of be -- that have been disenfranchised to get back on the team, so to say. I think there's -- I am not one of these people that
yells at folks and I don't think anyone gets inspired by being yelled at. I try to be very positive and optimistic because I woke up in the United
States of America, like let's start with a sense of gratitude.
So, I think when it comes to, you know, why -- I'm not going to compare myself to Kennedy, as you did or anything, but in terms of New England, I
will say this, New England governors know how systems work. We talk -- we don't just talk about more money to mental health, we talk about what are
the doors of access for family? What's happening in our schools? We don't just talk about more money to drug and treatment and overdose in the --
with the opioid crisis, we talk about, how do we blow up and rebuild the system to be more modern, to have wraparound services, really attach
themselves to the communities?
We are very community driven here. And I just think America is looking for folks that, again, know how those systems work. It's not about headlines,
it's not about political stunts, it's not about saying one thing and getting nothing done, it's not about the money in politics, because we all
know that that's a problem. It's really about just brass tacks, getting back to the basics, putting people first, not government, it's not about
me. I'm the governor and I will tell you it ain't about me. I'm not here to solve your problems. We are here to create opportunity, and then, let the
folks do what they're going to do best in walk that.
AMANPOUR: All right.
SUNUNU: That's -- I am from the live free or die state, right? That's what it's all about.
AMANPOUR: Indeed. But you also sound very sensible. And sensible is not really the term one might use for the strongest wing of your party right
now, the Trump wing. So, what I want to ask you is a serious question about how you are a four-time governor in a purple state, neither, you know, very
Republican or Democrat, it could go either way. That is a big deal because it means you have to work by consensus on issues that matter to people.
Last election, you won by 15 points. How -- can you translate that into a primary wing when there is so much flames throwing by the other candidates,
notably, Donald Trump?
SUNUNU: Sure, sure, sure. So, look, everybody wants a fighter, right? You got to be able to fight, you got to be able to stand on your shoes and
fight hard, but we got to remind folks, more important than being a fighter is being a winner, right? There is no use in having a fighter if they are
always losing the fights, if they can't get stuff done.
You know, a lot of us backed Former President Trump '16 and in '20. I was 100 percent behind him because he said he was going to drain the swamp, he
didn't do it. He said he was going to fix health care, he didn't do it. He said he was going to secure the border, he didn't do it. He said he was
going to be fiscally responsible, lord knows he had -- was anything but with another $8 trillion added to debt. That is real money.
So, when -- those are all Republican values, right, limited government, local control, that's really what Republicans are built on and that's what
we can all rally around. So, yes, I understand there's a lot of headlines and flame throwing on one side, especially with the very extreme part of
our base, not dissimilar to the Democrats, right, they have their extreme side out of their base, more socialism and all that sort of thing, but most
of us are in here, right, Republican or Democrat. Most of us are in here and we just want to get stuff done.
And I think as the debates transpire, as the arguments get made, I think there's going to be a path and opportunity for folks like myself or others
to step forward and drive forward on results driven leadership. And you got to know how to do it, not just in the private sector, but you have to know
how to work within the public sphere, how to actually lead Congress, lead the Senate, give a little, to get a lot, how to negotiate. If you can't
negotiate, nothing is ever going to get done, and people want results.
AMANPOUR: That is the key.
SUNUNU: But I think there's a real path here.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And that's the crux, to negotiate, to work across the aisle, to get things done for people. As perhaps in your -- you know, your
father's generation, you know, he worked for more moderate Republicans before he was governor. He worked in the White House. And we know, we have
seen how that works for people.
So, does it concern you that the latest poll, NPR, shows that 71 percent of Republicans said they think Trump should be president again? That drops on
the eight points to 63 percent even if Trump is convicted of a crime. It is pretty dire, isn't it, for your vision of politics for the people in
getting things done?
SUNUNU: No, no. I am very optimistic. So, I think what those polls are saying are people see the indictment that has come down, even of one
watching -- if you watch CNN or MSNBC, even those legal analyst, very liberal legal analysts say, this is a very weak case. They know it's very
So, when you see those polls, they are saying, do you support President -- Former President Trump? And people are saying yes because they support him
because they feel like he's gone -- the people are going after him in a very political way. So, they're going to show that support.
Now, does that translate to an actual vote in the ballot box -- on the ballot nine months from now? No, no, no, not necessarily at all. We haven't
even had the debate yet. We haven't even had a chance to narrow down the candidates, get behind one or two others.
So, there is still so much more politics to be played out. I think a lot of folks are showing support for the former president because they feel like
he's, you know, the left wing, if you will, the liberal elite, whatever you want to call it is going after him. He is playing the victim card, right?
This guy was supposed to be a fighter, but he's playing the victim card. And he's building a lot of sympathy from it. But I don't necessarily think
it translates into some overwhelming win in terms of the ballot box.
Republicans want winners and folks to get stuff done. And what -- not just winners in the nomination, that's easy, winners in November, November of
'24. The last time I checked, you can't govern if you don't win. So, unless we have someone that can cross the finish line in November, I think that
argument will be loud and clear from a variety of different sources as we hit these primaries, and I think voters will go in that ballot box and say,
look, they might have been picking on that guy, but I need to win. And so, they're going to galvanize behind some other candidate.
AMANPOUR: Yes. You remind us of what happened not just in 2020 but in 2022, the midterms, the Trumped picked candidates, by and large, we're not
winners, as you've just said. So, perhaps the Republicans --
SUNUNU: Losers. Yes, losers.
AMANPOUR: -- will be able to, you know, rally around that very important fact. But here's what I also want to ask you because now, Governor
DeSantis, he's thrown his hat in the ring, pretty much and, you know, he's taking on Donald Trump. He said a few things, which I will ask you about.
But particularly, I want to ask you because we are in the middle of this, I don't know, crisis of disinformation, political polarization, you know,
telling all sorts of populist and other lies. But this -- just the idea that it seems that some Republicans have been governing, according to
populist television anchors, like Tucker Carlson, suggesting that migrants be sent up to your part of the country, you know, in the summer. And sure
enough, that's what DeSantis did. And it was kind of weird.
And I just wonder whether you think that's still going to be something that you all have to pay attention to, populist television, and other talk show
host on the conservative side?
SUNUNU: Just like Joe Biden. I mean, you have to call it fair on both sides here. I think we do have to be careful of that populist mentality,
but at the same time, you have Joe Biden that wants to, you know, just pay everybody's loan off, they want to keep the free rent program going, they
want to just keep spending money, creating money, without understanding that it creates inflation and hurts the lowest income families
We're going to just whistle past the graveyard when it comes to this massive homeless crisis in places like California or the massive violence
issues that you are seeing in Chicago and other major cities. I mean, these are the places that Democrats should do very well, should be supporting
their community and are failing them. Why? Because the populist voices are out there.
So, I think it is a problem on both sides. I think both sides have to deal with it. And the bulk of America wants winners, they want folks that just
get stuff done. I guess the primary process is hard, you know. And there's too much money in politics. We all get that. I think there should be
massive campaign finance reform.
I was at an event actually with Speaker Pelosi yesterday and she said it, I agreed with her 100 percent, all this dark money going in there that,
effectively, allows incumbents to solidify themselves, right? You add gerrymandering on to that, that is a major problem. The genie is kind of
out of the bottle there. I don't know how you kind of get it back in. But the gerrymandering, the big money, these are real problems that allow folks
to go -- and almost push folks deeper into the left, deeper to the right corner, force them to take more extreme positions because they are more
afraid of being challenged by their own party than they are by the other side. So, it's really -- that's really at the crux of it.
Then you had social media and the fact that everyone wants -- just wants to sell advertising and all that sort of thing, that's not going away.
SUNUNU: So, my message to everybody is, we need to learn to be more truthful, more honest, more accountable within that dynamic, right? Fox
found some accountability and they took action. CNN, other stations, other social media outlets, they have to all be accountable to themselves one way
Our words matter, whether it's how we treat people, whether it's what we say and not, you know, putting out the truth or whatever it might be. So,
we're in a transitional period here to be sure, but there will be a new normal where everybody has a voice. So, hopefully, accountability gets
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, I think you are laying out your case very clearly for a pragmatic way to get things done for the people. So, let's
talk about our international audience, which is very concerned about where America's foreign policy will continue to go.
So, we talked about DeSantis, he clearly tripped up and didn't understand the stakes in Ukraine where he called Russia's invasion just a territorial
dispute. Now, his own party and many others, you know, obviously pushed back. He had to push back and retract.
You have said in your "Washington Post" column, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not a territorial dispute, as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
described it this month. Russia is engaged in a war against an innocent people, and it must be condemned.
Can you elaborate on how you would continue, what I presume you believe in, a fight to support the rules of the international road by defending
SUNUNU: Absolutely. So, look, America's strength as a world power, and it is a world power, has to be predicated on clarity. Our allies know we are
going to be with them. Our enemies know that we have resolve and we'll stand. We are not going to dip our toe in and dip our toe out, that is not
what we are about. And we are founded and we are based in the fundamentals of freedom and supporting those that would lay their life on the line for
freedom, building allies, building coalitions, fighting for that and supporting it.
And I think supporting -- not just supporting Ukraine, but winning that war, helping Ukraine win that war is absolutely vital. And we can do it. We
don't need to put troops on the ground or anything like that, but we can support them and do that. And that sends a message across the world.
Look, America is the most humanitarian generous country in the world, we -- through our strength, through our economic success, we help our allies, we
support everybody else, but you need to be very clear in that. When your kind of be wishy-washy because you are putting your finger into the wind
and testing the political winds, that is not acceptable on the international stage. World peace comes through America's strength, and I
believe that very strongly. I think Reagan was a big believer in that, and I support that very much.
It doesn't mean that we can just wave a magic wand and be everyone's police department and solve everyone's problem, but with our strength and clarity
of message it brings kind of -- a calming, if you will, because again, your allies know you are going to be there, your enemies know they better watch
AMANPOUR: Are you concerned by what some people are concerned about, for instance, the former Republican treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, recently
told the F.T., this is about China, I strongly believe that President Biden would like to stabilize the China relationship, but both Republicans and
Democrats in Congress have staked out a very strong line which complicates things for Biden.
In addition to that, the retired admiral, William McRaven, who we all know very well, former head of U.S. special ops, the leader of the raid to
capture bin Laden said this on our program yesterday about China. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADMIRAL WILLIAM MCRAVEN, AUTHOR, RETIRED U.S. NAVY FOUR-STAR ADMIRAL: We need to find common ground with China and we need to find common ground on
trade, we need to find it on climate, on space, something, so that when things do get tense, we have kind of avenues of conversation.
I was talking to a senior official in the White House not too long ago who said they have more conversations with Russia than they do with China.
Well, that's not good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Speaking to our Walter Isaacson. So, do you believe that, that there actually needs to be a more pragmatic way of dealing with this
massive competitor than something that might accidentally push the U.S. into war?
SUNUNU: I think he was exactly right. You need to establish relations. You need to have communication. Even Reagan could pick up the phone at any
moment and call Gorbachev on any issue. But this administration, the Biden administration, doesn't even talk to China. They don't even go over.
Make no mistake, China is no friend to the United States right now. They don't believe in capitalism or our western ideals, but we are going to have
to be partners in some realm economically and for other reasons for quite some time. So, let's make sure that we have this relationship, make sure
they know who is in charge, and that is the United States of America. You can't assert your authority over the partnership if you're not even willing
to pick up the phone and have the conversation.
So, this administration, I think the secretary of state has to take full responsibility, has been a complete disaster when it comes to maintaining
our strength over the Pacific, maintaining our position with that relationship, whether it is technology, whether it's batteries, whether
it's materials and supplies and -- we are just going to have to be partners with them and rely on them for a lot of our supply chain, at least in the
near term. So, you better have a relationship with them.
And like I said, they don't need to be our buddy.
SUNUNU: But you better make sure they know who is in charge. And again, just pick up the phone. I mean, how do you know where they are in anything
and what is happening? Now, they are looking to establish their own reserve currency. That is a real threat to America's economy because they feel
disrespected, they feel like we won't even have a conversation with them
So, again, I just -- I think that America's clarity of message, clarity of where we stand with all world leaders is really important in terms of
making sure that there is peace and there is opportunity for Americans in our economy.
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, Governor Sununu, thank you very much, indeed. And when did you say you are throwing your hat into the ring? When will
that announcement come?
SUNUNU: Maybe by dinner, maybe. We'll see how the day goes. Now, look, I'm not 100 percent sure. I'm going to say probably early summer. I think
everyone probably needs to figure this thing out by early summer, to get on the debate stage, get the ballot access, all the logistics that have to
happen and really forced the discussion. Because it is going to take six or seven months to really start sorting this thing out.
Hopefully, everyone gets on the debate stage. Trump says he won't. But I think, ultimately, look, you can't say you're a fighter if you're afraid to
have a conversation on a debate stage, right? We don't want him to win bout on us. But we will see what ultimately happens. It'll be a rollercoaster
for the next six to nine months. It will be a fun one.
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, we will be watching and we will hope to invite you back again. Thank you very much, Governor.
SUNUNU: Thank you. It's been an honor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, tributes continue to pour in for Harry Belafonte. He was a beloved ambassador around the world for this country, for the United
States, not just as a superstar and a hot rob, but also because of his passionate defense of civil rights.
One of the last remaining leaders of that movement. He died peacefully in his sleep yesterday at 96 after a life exceptionally well lived. Today, his
face graces the front pages as tributes, as I said, continue to pour in.
Civil rights activists and daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bernice King, tweets this image of Belafonte at her father's funeral. He was
sitting beside her mother, Coretta. And she writes that he showed up for her family in very compassionate ways, even paying for many of their
So, we want to go back to his last interview with us, talking about his extraordinary life from poverty to a lasting place in history. When we sat
down, his autobiography had just been published to great acclaim. "My Song: A Memoir of Art, Race, and Defiance."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Harry Belafonte, welcome to the program. It is great to have you.
HARRY BELAFONTE, SINGER, ACTIVIST AND ACTOR: I am delighted to be here.
AMANPOUR: I am fascinated by your childhood and how you went on this route, not just becoming an actor and entertainer, but also an activist.
What was it about your childhood? It was mired in poverty. There was some abuse, you talk about your father. What shaped do you from the earliest
BELAFONTE: Well, you mentioned it, in framing the question, poverty. My mother was a single parent. She was having children much too young and she
struggled to raise us. And my father was an alcoholic. Very violent, most of the time. Away from home. And I watched what poverty did to her.
And through the years are growing up, watching her struggle and watching her use her instinctual genius to survive day-to-day, through that struggle
I was required to make a commitment to always fight injustice. And then --
AMANPOUR: She taught you that, didn't she?
BELAFONTE: Yes. That was her counsel to me, never go to bed at night knowing there was something you could've done during the day to fight
injustice and failed to do it. And I think with that instruction my life was kind of launched into this commitment.
AMANPOUR: So, jump, fast forward to an extent, you went away to the navy, and you write in your book that you hoped that you would come back to a
freer America, where there were voting rights, where there was democracy. And yet, you found, still, it was a country of lynchings and oppression
BELAFONTE: Many of us volunteered to be in service in the Second World War because it was an opportunity to get away from our conditions and our
circumstances. The navy gave us discipline. It gave us objectives that we could work towards. But there's a more deeper underlying fact, and that the
fact that we really believe that this war was a war that we had to be in.
Hitler, his white supremacy, fascism, so all those things we said we wanted to defeat and that America was on its way to fulfilling the greatest
promise of democracy. And we said, well, this is where we have to be. When we came out expecting that the victors would be adorned with generosity of
the nation for what we have done, we found that America was more cruel than it was even before we left. The Ku Klux Klan and the race issue resurrected
itself viciously. Many servicemen were in conflict with the rules of the day. And we found ourselves launched into this great fight against these
A lot of black servicemen paid a terrible price because they resented the laws that they came back to. One soldier in particular, named Isaac Wooden
(ph), not only resisted stepping into back to the bus as he was required to do when he got mustered out of the service, but they gouged out both of his
eyes with the Billy club and they blinded him and he became ward of the state for the rest of his life.
Those images and those experiences really made those of us who are quite -- still quite young feel that we had another fight on our hands. We could
either acquiesce and did what many of our forebears chose to do, just to give into the system, or to resist the system, which was the forerunner not
too long after it came all of the things that we know about in the civil rights movement.
AMANPOUR: And all the things we know about your really close relationship to Martin Luther King. Around that time, he came knocking on your door,
AMANPOUR: What did he say to you? Your first encounter with him, what was that?
BELAFONTE: He called to find out whether not he could have a meeting with me because he was coming to New York. And at the time that he called, I was
just at the ascendancy of my career, just beginning to be going up the ladder. And he knew I was an activist because before him, I had been very
caught up with Paul Robeson and Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, you know, who were my mentors. A great woman, Eleanor Roosevelt, who played a key role in many of
the choices that I made.
So, Dr. King knew about my relationship to these people and the causes to which they were committed. And he said he was coming to New York and he
needed to have just a moment with me. And I knew at the end of our exchange that I was going to be committed to the cause of being in his service.
AMANPOUR: I want to show you this picture, which, obviously, you know very well, but it is an amazing picture. I know it's not the first time you met,
but it is such an unusual picture of joy and humor between you. Was there that as well in the sadness and the toughness of the movement?
BELAFONTE: Yes. In the way I insisted on it. I knew how grim things were and his preoccupation was always with subject matters as death and pain and
violence and was he making the right decisions and he anguished over these. I mean, each decision he had to make, he troubled over greatly because he
didn't know what was the other end of the tunnel.
And every chance I had to lead him to places where his spirits could be lifted, we could talk jokes and do things that would spark laughter, humor
in his life, I felt was an important contribution.
AMANPOUR: Obviously, Martin Luther King is known for nonviolence. There was so much violence against the black community, and yet, he decided to
resist through nonviolence. Is that what attracted you to him?
BELAFONTE: What attracted me to him was his idea of that he could beat the system and that we should do it through this mechanism called nonviolence.
And that idea was quite alien to me. And I knew about Gandhi, I knew about what he had done, but all the equations suggested to us that you had to be
at least 100 million people and the -- and those who are occupying your country should be in the minority. So, it would be easier to be nonviolent
because you can overrun them.
But here in America, we were, what, 10, 12 percent of the population. We were distributed through these pockets of ghetto existence, and I just
really felt that the idea of nonviolence was not a winnable idea. But slowly but surely, I saw it in his method and in his technique and in the
strategy that this thing could work, and I became deeply committed to it.
At first, I became committed to it because I thought was a great tactic. But then as I got more grounded into the whole philosophy of nonviolence, I
became deeply committed to the fact that it was the only tool that we had that could really make a difference.
AMANPOUR: It must have taken a lot of strength of character to remain committed because, you know, I look at these images that you all lived
through, the violence when the police would come into a lunch counter, a diner and just throw the blacks out who were sitting at the counter. The
hoses on the streets that were directed at men and women and children. The Dogs that were set on you all. The police. Describe that, because you
confronted all of that.
BELAFONTE: Yes. We confronted all of it because that's where our pain resided. We had to go in the places where the enemy was the strongest,
where all of the laws were being designed and administered. The south was a brutal place, it was to me (ph). The north was -- had its own problems, not
too distant from what had went on in the south, but at least it wasn't a state law. These were laws on the books that the police were required to
execute. And we were in the middle of it doing battle with them.
And each day we set out to do any of these things. And certainly, Dr. King and others were far more engaged than I was in the physical sense. We knew
that we were putting our lives on the line.
I was (INAUDIBLE) in the broadcast that I did with "The Tonight Show," I hosted it for a week and Dr. King was one of the guests that week, the same
year in which he was murdered. And in the interview that I had with Dr. King I asked him was he concerned about his life? And he pointed out that,
like all people, he would have loved to live a long life, or he would like to live a long life, a life longevity, to see his kids grow and to see
America become whole.
But he was not too distracted with how long he would live. It was much more important to him about what quality of life did he live, what did he
do with the time he was given and his preoccupation with making it a time of quality displaced his concern and preoccupation with how long he would
live. He said, it's not how long you live, it's how well you live.
AMANPOUR: And that was just two months before he was killed.
BELAFONTE: Two months before he was murdered.
AMANPOUR: You lost your greatest friend and your greatest life partner, really, in this struggle. Were you afraid that the struggle would die
without him, that there wouldn't be a victory?
BELAFONTE: I knew there would always be a struggle because struggle is always a part of our life, the history of being black in America. I'm
sorry, Lord, I didn't mean to say black in America.
AMANPOUR: That's good.
BELAFONTE: Yes. You know, I was not concerned about what would happen with a struggle because there would always be struggle, it was part of the
history of being black in America. Slavery, et cetera, et cetera. And here we were on yet another round of this struggle.
AMANPOUR: When John Kennedy came to the forefront and was running for president, did you think that he would be on your side?
BELAFONTE: We thought we had every reason for him to be on our side and we had to make an assumption, and that is that he didn't -- he was not in
touch with the depth of our anguish and the real meaning of our struggle. So as Dr. King said, we have to win them to our cause. So, our job was to
make him understand that where he was looking at the black community was in a very narrow -- through a very narrow prism. He didn't understand the
depth and the needs of the black people. And that if he wanted to win us as a voting bloc for his election that he needed to be with us and they're far
more in-depth way.
Now, I can't say that the black vote was the only vote that helped him win. But I think if you look at how narrow of a margin the victory was for him,
100,000 votes in a national election is a very, very slim margin. I think one can say, had the black vote not turned out the way it did, those of us
who could vote, had it not turned out, the balance of the scale would have changed the course of history.
AMANPOUR: Nonviolence was your tenant. Was what you hung on to. Was what Martin Luther King with all about. Was there a fear that it could have
BELAFONTE: With or without Dr. King, and the idea of nonviolence, we're always in fear of violence. Violence was life-threatening. It meant that
every time you stepped into the breach, you are a target. And nobody seemed to have had any particular line as to who would be the next to go, whether
you were a peasant or a farmer trying to register to vote or whether you were a black person walking on the wrong side of the street, you could be
lynched with impunity by some white mob that just chose to take your life.
So, we were always aware of the fact that everything we did meant that we were a target and was life-threatening.
AMANPOUR: When you look around the world and you see some of the civil rights struggles of today, many have taken up arms to struggle for their
civil rights. But you always stayed on the nonviolent side. Was there ever a threat that the American civil rights movement could have become a
violent movement? Could have fought back against the white establishment with guns, and rocks, and stones?
BELAFONTE: Yes, there were daily illustrations of the fact that this movement could go violent. I mean, when we look at what happened with the
Black Panthers and the way in which they stood up against the state.
But I had to make an observation that I think it is important for the flavor of this broadcast. Here in America many would have us believe the
civil rights movement and what it stood for, was an ancient fact. Was a thing of the past and has no relevance to America today and what young
people and this nation is seeking to do. And I'd say nothing could be more misleading on that fact and it's great device by the opposition to try to
lessen the impact of what those of us are still trying to do in getting our rights in this country.
AMANPOUR: Is there still a slavery here?
BELAFONTE: Yes. Yes, there is still slavery here.
AMANPOUR: What is it?
BELAFONTE: It's the slavery of oppression. It's the slavery absence of opportunity. It's the slavery of unemployment. It's the slavery of the
manipulation of politics, of taking away something as important -- one of the most important gifts civilization has ever been given is the power of
Whatever Democritus had in mind, the Greek philosopher, one who created this whole thing of democracy. The vote, Dr. King said, is the most
important tool ever given to civilization was the vote. What an idea that we could settle our differences by accepting majority rule. And that we
could go back cyclically to always challenge the same question because freedom gave us the right to debate.
I guess the point that I'm making is that everybody thought the most difficult thing facing civilization was the cold war. Now, the only way
that the Soviet Union would disappear, or democracy would disappear, depending on who prevailed would have been out of a great violent moment.
The most violent in civilizations history.
But the fact is that communism imploded, and it imploded nonviolently. Not one shot was fired and it went away. Nonviolence. Anywhere I went during
the time of nonviolence, the most important person to people in the zones of oppression was Dr. King. They were all singing, we shall overcome.
Sometimes translated into the songs of the indigenous. They sang their versions of it.
But everything that we did in nonviolence and what Dr. King did was on the lips of the Chinese in Tiananmen Square, it was in Latin America
(INAUDIBLE), everybody was saying, we want freedom and we want it nonviolently and we choose this.
So, as something as prevalent as that in the social menu, globally, how can you say civil rights is dead and the things that we stood for? I say really
stand stronger than ever.
AMANPOUR: Thank you very much, Harry.
BELAFONTE: You're welcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: His voice will be missed. Harry Belafonte, a passionate global advocate for civil rights until the very end.
Next, to how that same struggle took place on America's basketball courts. In her new book, "Black Ball", professor of African American history,
Theresa Runstedtler, details how black basketball players were pivotal into the transformation of the game. And she tells Michel Martin how, of course,
that in turn, transformed the wider society.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Professor Theresa Runstedtler, thank you so much for talking with us.
THERESA RUNSTEDTLER, AUTHOR, "BLACK BALL": Thanks for inviting me to come on.
MARTIN: So, I'm super excited to talk about your book, "Black Ball". You're a professor of African American studies, but one of your research
interest -- a number of your research interests do involve, like, the way you know, sports -- the role that sports plays in our culture. The way
they, kind of, affect each other. This book is a history of professional basketball from the '50s through the '70s. Why this title? Why "Black
RUNSTEDTLER: Well, I was trying to take the double meaning a "Black Ball", literally meaning black ball in the terms of the transformation of
basketball over the course of the '70s. From what was seen as a traditionally white game into a game dominated by black players and black
aesthetics, black style. But then also, too, thinking about blacklisting. The blackballing of players and the exclusion of them from the league and
also the ways in which the team owners, who were all white at that time, really made sure that they kept control over their labor force.
MARTIN: I think that -- there are so many things in this book that I think people who are just kind of fans of the game might be shocked by. Like the
fact that there was this transition period where the game was, originally, a predominantly white -- like most professional sports leagues in this
country were predominately white and then it switched.
But also, the fact that, you know, people are so used to seeing these players as, kind of, mini corporations now that I think it would -- it's
surprising to many people to find out the degree to which -- that that is a relatively recent, you know, phenomenon. The fact that they have the kind
of agency. The fact that they have outspokenness that they have. So, talk a little bit about how that came about. And if you would -- and I
particularly want you to tell me about like Spencer Haywood, for example, what role he played in that?
RUNSTEDTLER: Yes, Spencer Haywood was, you know, really kind of a mover and shaker in this new generation of black players coming in the '60s and
early '70s. So, he was the first ever hardship draft into the American Basketball Association. So, the NBA, for a long time, had been the only
game in town in terms of professional basketball. The American Basketball Association became established in 1967.
And in order to compete with the NBA they created something called the hardship clause where they said that, we can draft underclassmen out of
college even if they haven't used up all of their college eligibility, because at the time the NBA had this draconian four-year-old which
prevented players from the college ranks or even the high school ranks to go into the draft in the NBA.
And so, Spencer Haywood took advantage of the situation of two weeks competing against each other and he managed to get a contract with the
Denver Rockets of the ABA. Now, he supposedly had a million-dollar contract. But then he started talking with some of the old heads of -- you
know, OGs of the game and they said, listen, your contract is probably not worth what they said it was worth in the media.
So, he ended up going to an agent at that time to have him look over his contract. And the agent verified the fact that the contract was actually
fraudulent in a lot of ways. It promised things that just would not pan out. It also involved a lot of deferred and therefore on guaranteed money.
So, rather than staying in that position, he tried to renegotiate the contract.
And what's important to understand in the context of the 1970s is that you didn't have a lot of leverage as, particularly, a black basketball player
going into talks with a white team owner. You did not have a lot of leeway to say, look, I know I am in the midst of my contract but I want to
renegotiate it. So, he really bucked the trend that way.
He ended up suing, or countersuing, the Denver Rockets and then turned to the Seattle Supersonics of the NBA. The NBA, however, did not say, come on
in. Come on in play. They actually prevented him from playing. And so, he turned around and sued the NBA. He ended up, you know, winning and he was
able to play in the NBA. And if we didn't have that pivotal place and his, you know, chutzpah to basically challenge the entire white basketball
establishment folks like LeBron James wouldn't, you know, be where they are today. They wouldn't be able to enter the league on their own terms.
MARTIN: That's fascinating because, you know, even agents are famous now. Like, you know, LeBron's agent, like, Rich Paul, he's like a celebrity in
his own right. First of all, talk about, sort of, the style. The esthetic. I mean, one of the things that the ABA did was kind of give players more
freedom to play the way they might have played growing up, right? The, sort of, street ball style. We're going to talk a little bit about that and how
was that perceived?
RUNSTEDTLER: Black players used the availability of position in this new league to actually come to dominate the game. And in some respects, the
ABA, if you think of Dr. J, Julius Erving, bringing that playground style to the courts. We're talking about the aerial play. We're talking about the
individual athletic feats. We're talking about trash talking which we've been talking about a lot lately with LSU in the women's game recently. But
all of that was brought to the game in the context of black players really flooding the professional ranks at that time but they did that in spite of
the powers that be.
MARTIN: You talk about the fact that the '70s were sometimes referred to as the, "Dark days." You know, and we can obviously unpack, like, all the
levels of that. But could you just talk a little bit about why it's referred to that way and why you really object to that. And why, at the
very least, you think it needs to be reconsidered?
RUNSTEDTLER: Yes, I mean the 1970s are often this forgotten period of NBA history. We go right from the '60s with Bill Russell and the Celtics and
jump right to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the '80s. But the '70s were really key, even though we think of them as the dark ages and age when
players were getting into trouble. When they were becoming more entitled. When they were getting lazy. When they were using drugs. When they were
fighting on the court. But for me, when I started to see all of these narratives about the league's decline, I could not help but see that as --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: We're breaking away from this program now to take you to the White House Rose Garden where President Biden and President Yoon of South
Korea are holding a joint press conference.
JOE BIDEN, U.S PRESIDENT: Mr. President, it's good to see you again my friend. We met several times over the last year and each time we have
deepened our nations partnership and for the benefit, I think, of both our peoples.
Today is no exception. Our nation's relationship is -- has been a great success story. The alliance formed in war and has flourished in peace.
Seemingly every day we've launched a -- we've launched new areas of cooperation on cyber, strategic technologies, space, democracy, and all of
the areas that matter most to our future.
Because of its core, our alliance is about building a better future for all of our people, and there's no better example than our economic relationship
and partnership which is delivering incredible benefits to both our nations. Through the Indo-Pacific economic framework, we're advancing
economic growth, grounded in high standards for our workers, for the environment and for communities throughout the region. We're standing
together against economic influence being leveraged and in coercive ways.
And since I took office, Korean companies have invested more than $100 billion in the United States, driving innovation and spurring good new jobs
for Americans and Korean workers. To defense treaty is ironclad, and that includes our commitment to extend a deterrence and that includes the
nuclear threat, the nuclear deterrent.
They're particularly important in the face of DPRK's threats and a blatant violation of U.S. sanctions. At the same time, we continue to seek serious
and substantial diplomatic breakthroughs with the DPRK to bolster stability on the peninsula. Reduce the threat of proliferation and the threats to our
humanitarian and human rights concerns for the people of DPRK. Republic of Korea and the United States are working together, including through a
trilateral cooperation with Japan to ensure the future of the Indo-Pacific is free, is open, prosperous, and secure.
I want to thank you again, Mr. President, for your political courage and personal commitment to diplomacy with Japan. I've worked on these issues
for a long time. And I can tell you, it makes an enormous difference when we all pull together. I also welcome and support your administration's new
Ind-Pacific strategy. It's a strategy that affirms how aligned our two nations are in our visions of the region and how similar they are.
Today, we discussed our work together and promoting peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits. Ensuring freedom of navigation in the South China Sea
and beyond. Excuse me. I also affirmed our shared commitment -- we, together, shared our affirmed shared commitment to stand with the people of
Ukraine against Russia's brutal assault on their freedom, their territorial integrity, and democracy.
The Republic of Korea is strong support to Ukraine is important because Russians flagrant -- Russia's flagrant violation of international law
matters to nations everywhere in the world, not just in Europe. When I -- when it comes right down to it, it is about what you believe, what you
stand for, what kind of future you want for your children and grandchildren. And right now, I believe the world is at an inflection
The choices we make today, I believe, are going to determine the direction of our world and the future of our kids for decades to come. That's why
this partnership is so important, Mr. President, because we share the same values, the same vision. And I greatly appreciate, Mr. President, that the
Republic of Korea co-chaired the second summit on democracy last month and they will host this third summit on for democracy.
We both understand that our democracies and our people are our greatest source of strength. And working together, they make our nation stronger and
more effective. From tracking the climate crisis and strengthening our effort to fight it, and strengthening global health, no two countries are
better suited to meet the challenges ahead than the Republic of Korea in the United States.
I want to thank you again, Mr. President, for your friendship, your partnership, and all you've done to help build the future of shared
strength and success. The floor is yours, Mr. President.
YOON SUK YEOL, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT (through translator): President Biden, thank you for your special and warm hospitality. I'm very pleased to
be making a state visit to the United States during this meaningful year that marks the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. alliance. Our two countries
overcome challenges and crises during the past 70 years based on the deep roots of freedom and democracy. Building a value alliance that is strong,
resilient, and sustainable.
We are now being threatened by an unprecedented polycrisis. The ROK-U.S. alliance is jointly overcoming this crisis also coming from North Korea as
a righteous alliance that contributes to world peace and prosperity. We will further expand the depth and denotation (ph) of the ROK-U.S. global
comprehensive strategic partnership and march forward to the future.
Today, President Biden and myself engaged in constructive dialogue to discuss ways to materialize this shared vision. The outcome of our dialogue
is well outlined in the joint statement adopted today. The first key outcome is extended deterrence. Sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula
does not happen automatically.
Our two leaders have decided to significantly strengthen extended deterrence of our two countries against North Korea's nuclear and missile
threats so that we can achieve peace through the superiority of overwhelming forces and not a false piece based on the goodwill of the
Such a willing commitment is captured in the Washington declaration. President Biden has reaffirmed his ironclad commitment to extended the
deterrence towards the Republic of Korea. Our two countries have agreed to immediate -- bilateral presidential consultations in the event of North
Korea's nuclear attack and promise to respond swiftly, overwhelmingly, and decisively using the full force of the alliance, including the United
States nuclear weapons.
Our two countries have agreed to establish a nuclear consultative group to map out a specific plan to operate the new extended deterrence system. Now,
our two countries will share information on nuclear and strategic weapon operations plans in response to North Korea's provocations. And have
regular consultations on ways to plan and execute joint operations that combine Korea's state-of-the-art conventional forces with U.S.'s nuclear
The result of which will be reported to the leaders of our two countries on a regular basis. In addition, our two countries have agreed to further
advance tabletop exercises against a potential nuclear crisis. In addition, deployment of the United States strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula
will be made constantly and routinely. President Biden and I will continue to cooperate to strengthen extended deterrence between our two countries
based on our historical and concrete agreement reached during our summit.
Second, our two leaders have agreed to further strengthen the strategic partnership and economic security, which is directly related to the
national economies of our two countries. President Biden and I welcomed the expansion of our firms bilateral, mutual investment in advanced technology
including semiconductors, electric vehicles, and batteries.
President Biden has said that no special support and considerations will be spared for Korean company's investment and business activities in
particular. We have agreed to consult and coordinate closely so that the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act can further
strengthen supply chain cooperations between the two countries in advanced technology.
Furthermore, we plan on ramping our partnerships in cutting edge technology. We have agreed to establish a dialogue for next generation
emerging and core technology between the U.S. National Security Council and the Korean Office of National Security, pertaining to chips batteries,
biotechnology, quantum science, and other cutting-edge technologies with the aim of promoting joined R and D and experts' exchange. We have also
adopted a separate joint statement for strengthening cooperation in the rapidly emerging quantum science and technology domain.
President Biden and I have also agreed to get the ball rolling on discussions about expanding our alliance into cyber and space by applying
the mutual defense treaty in cyberspace and space as well. We have also agreed that the strategic cybersecurity cooperation framework adopted this
time around will serve as the foundation on which we address cyber threats together and boost cooperation and information sharing collection, and
analysis. Space is another area that shows great promise for cooperation between our two countries.
During my time here, I was able to visit the NASA Goddard Space Center. President Biden welcomed the establishment of KASA, and we have agreed to
promote cooperation between KASA and NASA. We have also agreed to accelerate discussions on reaching a reciprocal defense procurement
agreement, which is equivalent to an FTA in terms of national defense.
Meanwhile, President Biden and I have agreed to promote exchange between the future generations of our two countries. To this end, we have launched
the U.S.-ROK special exchange initiative for youths. In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. alliances this year, our two countries
plan to invest a total of $60 million to support exchanges between 2023 youths majoring in STEM, humanities, and social sciences. This also
includes the largest full bright program to date which will provide scholarships for 200 students.
Last but not least, President Biden and I have agreed that South Korea and the United States, as key partners in achieving stability and building
peace in the Indo-Pacific region will put our heads together as we implement our Indo-Pacific strategy is to strengthen our cooperation in
addressing regional and global challenges.
In particular, President Biden expressed a strong support for efforts made by the Korean government to normalize Korea-Japan relations. And we have
agreed to continue our efforts in strengthening Korea, U.S., Japan trilateral cooperation.
Furthermore, we reaffirmed that the use of force to take the lives of innocent people an example of which would be Russia's invasion of Ukraine
can, in no circumstances whatsoever, be justified. In that sense, we agreed to continue our cooperation and efforts alongside the International
Community to support Ukraine.
During this meeting, we also discussed plans through which our two countries can take a leadership role in addressing global challenges, such
as climate change, international development, and energy, and food security. I am delighted that through today's meeting, we've opened up a
new chapter for the next 70 years of the ROK-U.S. alliance.
I hope President Biden and I, with the support of people in our two countries, can fully deliver on the blueprint that we have mapped out today
with the aim of our -- founded in the reaffirmation of the value of freedom and our universal values. Thank you.
BIDEN: Now, we're going to take some question. First question from Courtney of "Los Angeles Times."
COURTNEY SUBRAMANIAN, LOS ANGELES TIMES WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President. Your top economic priority has been to build up U.S.
domestic manufacturing in competition with China. But your rules against expanding chip manufacturing and China is hurting South Korean companies
that rely heavily on Beijing. Are you damaging a key ally in the competition with China to help your domestic politics ahead of the
And one for President Yoon, there have been concerns since last year that North Korea will soon be conducting its seventh nuclear test amid growing
domestic support in your country for your own nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Russia has suggested it could send its latest weapons to North Korea if
South Korea sends lethal aid to Ukraine. How do you seek to manage the North Korea risk amid obligations to Ukraine and NATO? Thank you.
BIDEN: Let me respond to your question first. My desire to increase U.S. manufacturing and jobs in America is not about China. I am not concerned
about China. Remember America invented semiconductor, we invented it. We used to have 40 percent of the market. We decided that what we're going to
do over the past, I don't know how many decades, we decided that it's going to be cheaper to export jobs and import product.
Along came the pandemic, and the pandemic taught us that we used to have, as I said, 40 percent of the market just some years ago, not it's down to
10 percent. And again, we invented the semiconductor. We got -- so, I decided to go out and see what we could do to increase our hold on the
market once again.