[Howard Zinn raw #67]

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Howard Zinn gives a talk at Kent State University.

00:04 Camera opens on Howard Zinn speaking at Kent State University. He talks about working as a teacher at Spellman College in Georgia, and attempting to advise his students on constitutional issues during the Civil Rights Movement. He talks about flaw in the structure of the American government. He talks about the constant violation of the constitution through the discrimination against black Americans. 

13:18 He talks about using history to understand the world and be able to think and make decisions independently. He talks about the way that America conducts war, and some of the tragedies that the United States is responsible for. He says that it is important to remember that “governments lie.” He talks about terrorism, including how the United States has ineffectively attempted to combat it, and acts that the United States has committed. He talks about the importance of criticizing the government. He talks about 9/11, and the possibility that the United States stop being a military superpower.

35:07 Speech ends. Applause. He asks if anyone in the audience has questions. An audience member asks if Zinn believes any of the conspiracy theories about 9/11. Zinn replies that he is “dubious” that the U.S. government was involved. He says that he doesn’t need conspiracy theories to believe that the government makes bad policy and is involved in bad wars. 

39:35 Another audience member asks how he can start trying to change the way that history is taught to students. He says that he needs to be example for his students, making sure to include information in his curriculum that has been left out of history textbooks. He mentions several organizations and methods for rethinking education. 

45:55 Another audience member asks what an average American is able to do to respond to 9/11 and what the country could have done instead of going to war. Zinn says that the country cannot act instinctually and emotionally, but think logically about the roots of terrorism and find complex solutions. He talks about the negative effects of the steps that the United States has taken. 

51:50 An audience member asks how the United States can prevent something like this from happening again, suggesting that the U.S. pulls out of foreign affairs. He asks if Zinn advocates for a series of U.N. sanctions for the world. Zinn says that he does advocate these ideas. Zinn speaks about what the U.S. could do with the money that is used to fund the military. 

56:10 The host announces the final question. An audience member asks how he can expose his young daughter to these progressive ideas. He says that he doesn’t have a simple answer, but stopping them from being inundated with blindly nationalistic ideas is a good start. 

59:26 Zinn says thank you and the audience applauds. Two more people come up to the audience ask if they can quickly ask more questions. One man asks about an economic scandal with the World Bank. The second man begins to ask his question. 

1:01:18 Tape ends. 

 

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