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Civil rights lawyer and activist talks to Paul Holdengraber about justice, race, America, and the importance of books.
Bryan Stevenson on creating a healthier community…
We have to get closer to the people who are excluded, suffering, and marginalized, closer to the people who are in jail and in prisons, closer to the people who are coming out of jail and prisons, closer to the children coming from those communities where violence, despair, and poverty have been the defining characteristics… We have to change the way we see other human beings. We have to push back against this idea that people are the worst thing they have ever done.
Bryan Stevenson on hope and hopelessness…
I really do believe that hopelessness is the enemy of justice. We got to be willing to stay hopeful. Hope is what gets us to stand when people tell us to sit down. It is what gets us to speak when people tell us to be quiet.
Bryan Stevenson on the power in confrontation…
Some of the most powerful confrontations are the confrontations we create are when we look closely at the faces of others, at our own faces, and we look for the humanity in one another and we look for compassion and look for the integrity to motivate us to do things we not yet done.
Bryan Stevenson on changing the narrative about race in America…
I am persuaded that we have to change the narrative about race in America. We have to begin to confront our history… In this country we don’t talk about slavery. We don’t talk about lynching. We don’t talk about the legacy of segregation. I think we are burdened because of our silence.