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Eddie Conway talks to patrons at Conscious Heads barbershop about impeachment, the rift between the Democratic and Republican Parties, whether it all just boils down to corporate interests, and if it will change things for anyone who is not a member of the 1 percent.

Story Transcript

EDDIE CONWAY: Welcome to The Real News. I’m Eddie Conway coming to you from Baltimore.

We are now in front of a barber shop in East Baltimore, Conscious Heads, and we’re here to find out what the barbers, the patrons, and so on think about the impeachment effort against Donald Trump.

JABARI NURI: I really don’t care what happens with the impeachment, to be honest. I mean, I think that from the beginning, Donald Trump was… It was a big game. It was a misdirection–you know what I’m saying–for everybody. I never really thought anything of any president really that’s ever been president of the United States.

JUSTIN HARRIS: Could I ask you a question?


JUSTIN HARRIS: Cool. If he is impeached, the person that’s going to follow him will probably have the same views as him. So how many people are we going to impeach before we change that? And the vice president will be the next person to take his spot, correct?

EDDIE CONWAY: Oh, now, that’s really scary. Because that’s Vice President Pence you’re talking about, right?


EDDIE CONWAY: Has the same ideas that Trump has, but he’s not as stupid as Trump.

DAYVON LOVE: When you think about the Democratic and Republican Party, you’re thinking about a Democratic party whose financial base is Silicon Valley, mainly cultural elites, Hollywood. And then on the Republican side, you have manufacturing, oil money, stuff like that. And so really, the battle that’s happening on the national level are those two economic forces fighting each other. And the reason why I think that perspective is important is because when we talk about the masses of black people, peoples of color, poor people in general, it’s just important that we put in perspective that that fight is not about the people, that fight is about larger money, financial, corporate interests.

YUSEF SALAM: The majority of people up there, even Trump, they all just puppets. They don’t have any power. The people behind the scene have power. How come they have to go out here and campaign, and these are the people that has the money to push them, whatever they have to do. The United States senator, the United States representative, all of them are just puppets. Go ahead.

EDDIE CONWAY: Okay. Just to ask you this, though. The laws that they pass, the policies they create, don’t they impact us?

YUSEF SALAM: To some degree. They always make an amendment in the middle of this process or whatever. They always change the rules.

DAYVON LOVE: From a political perspective, I think it’s helpful to challenge Donald Trump wherever possible, that we don’t simultaneously give legitimacy to this notion that America is a legitimate democracy and it’s a just force in the world. America has meddled, and much more than meddled, but has interfered in elections and foreign governments all over the country, whether you’re talking about–

EDDIE CONWAY: All over the world.

DAYVON LOVE: All over the world, rather, all over the world. So I think the appropriate argument is that, given American law, that what Trump did was illegal. It goes against the law of how American presidents are supposed to conduct themselves.

EDDIE CONWAY: Since he’s been in office, his language and his winks and nods to the right wing and white supremacists has been the cause behind a lot of violence toward blacks and people of color. I mean, they’ve been lynching us and chasing us around country roads for 200 years, 300 years. But there’s a rise in this kind of reaction now because he’s kind of gave them an okay.

JUSTIN HARRIS: I like my racism out in the open. I don’t like people behind closed doors, because now I know I can judge you and I can look at you and say, “Okay, now I know how to adjust myself around you.” But if you hide that, and then you can low-ball me and screw me over and things like that, I’m like, “Why would you do that?” “Oh, we’re buddies. Don’t worry about it, pal.” No, now I know.

EDDIE CONWAY: Okay, and I respect that, because that’s actually the truth, because Obama did probably much worse damage to the immigration in the world and our community than Trump has. And the same time, he was smiling and waving at us and making us feel good.

DAYVON LOVE: One of the mistakes that I think black folks make is that we think that if you get an individual enlightened person into elected office, that that’s going to bring about change. And I have friends, people who are in elected office, and people who’ve run for public office, who say, “Dayvon, I’m going to get in there. I’m not going to say that super black stuff you be saying. I’m going to get in there. And then when I get in there, I’m going to do all the super black stuff you’re talking about.”

And one of the things that I’ve said to all of them is, it’s the less sexy thing to do, but the most important thing to do, which is we need to build independent black infrastructure which combines civic life, like civic institutions, economic institutions, and build an infrastructure so that not only can we run people for office, but that we can build an infrastructure to sustain peoples being able to run for office with mechanisms of accountability to the masses of black people.

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Executive Producer
Eddie Conway is an Executive Producer of The Real News Network. He is the host of the TRNN show Rattling the Bars. He is Chairman of the Board of Ida B's Restaurant, and the author of two books: Marshall Law: The Life & Times of a Baltimore Black Panther and The Greatest Threat: The Black Panther Party and COINTELPRO. A former member of the Black Panther Party, Eddie Conway is an internationally known political prisoner for over 43 years, a long time prisoners' rights organizer in Maryland, the co-founder of the Friend of a Friend mentoring program, and the President of Tubman House Inc. of Baltimore. He is a national and international speaker and has several degrees.