Raw footage of Howard Zinn receiving the 2003 Prix des Amis du Monde diplomatique
See Howard Zinn raw #88 for a summary of the first 30 minutes of this tape.
29:45Copy video clip URL Zinn, speaking about geopolitical events, critiques the Bush administration’s justification that invading Iraq is in the best interest of the Iraqi people. He points to the lies about weapons of mass destruction and Iraq’s connections with Al Qaeda being the reason that this invasion can go on in the first place.
30:45Copy video clip URL Zinn attributes Bush’s declining public support to the increasing ability to see through the lies purported by the American government. He then notes that this is happening despite the “collaboration” between the government and the mass media to feed the American public a controlled narrative.
31:35Copy video clip URL Zinn notes that several thousand American soldiers have been injured or killed in Iraq and that the prospect of a quick war seems to be dwindling. He then tells of how the actress Cher called into an American cable news company to tell of how she’d seen American soldiers with missing limbs as a result of this “meaningless” war.
32:25Copy video clip URL “We’re trying very hard in the United States to inform the people about the silence in the national media concerning the casualties in Iraq,” Zinn says, pegging the number of dead civilians at somewhere between 10 and 30 thousand. Zinn goes on to detail the horrors of the Iraq war, blaming the “indiscriminate violence” on the American military’s desperation.
34:55Copy video clip URL Zinn says that he was motivated to tell the history of the U.S. through the eyes of the enemies, the soldiers, and others affected by war when he wrote A People’s History of the United States.
36:25Copy video clip URL Zinn notes that he was struck by the permeation of nationalism into education systems around the world, especially the United States. He ponders about a world without national borders; there would be no atom bomb in Japan, no napalm in Vietnam, and no invasion of Iraq, he says.
38:15Copy video clip URL Speaking about the writing of A People’s History, Zinn says that his experience teaching at a university in the segregated American South was hugely formative. He notes that it was there that he saw how non-white people were “submerged” into the history of the United States. “It was a white man’s history, he says.”
39:35Copy video clip URL “I was given no suspicion that the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World initiated a genocide,” Zinn says of his American education. He explains that, in fact, this landing in the New World was the beginning of the destruction of an entire people.
40:45Copy video clip URL Zinn notes that the story of the Boston Massacre is taught to every schoolchild; this is an event where five colonists were killed by British troops. Why don’t children learn about the Peacock Tribe massacre, where some 600 women, men, and children were killed, Zinn asks. Zinn then goes on to detail similar massacres of Black men and women, and the seeming obliviousness of the U.S. government.
42:10Copy video clip URL It was in East St. Louis, in 1917, that one of the many race riots took place. Zinn notes that this time period was known as “the Progressive Era;” it was also the time when a group of white St. Louis workers went on a rampage and killed some 200 Black people for fear of losing their jobs. Zinn describes W. E. B. Du Bois and Josephine Baker’s responses to these horrors.
43:55Copy video clip URL Zinn says that his goal in writing his book was to “awaken a consciousness” in his readers of some of the flaws he sees as most prominent among Americans. He also says that he hopes to reveal the “hidden resistance against the establishment,” especially by Native Americans, Black people, and working-class Americans.
45:10Copy video clip URL “To omit these acts of resistance,” Zinn says, would give too much weight to our traditional totems of power: guns and offices. Instead, Zinn says, the real power comes from organized protest.
46:10Copy video clip URL Speaking on the victories of history, Zinn criticizes the general attitude of historians — a focus on defeat. He says that an emphasis on new possibilities represents the best avenue available to historians today. He hopes that the world’s future can reflect more the victories of the past than its centuries of warfare.
47:35Copy video clip URL Zinn concludes his talk, to applause from the audience.
48:15Copy video clip URL Zinn, in answering a question from the audience, describes the critical reaction to his book. He then describes how the book continues to see its sales increase year-over-year. He notes that this is a unique feature for a book to have, and that last year it received a gross total of one million copies sold.
51:00Copy video clip URL Zinn answers a question about the anti-imperialist movement in America, led by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Zinn describes this anti-imperialist movement is currently manifested as one against the Iraq war. He then explores a few facets of that movement.
53:45Copy video clip URL “Thank you very much,” Zinn says, in response to a compliment from one member of the audience.
54:00Copy video clip URL Two women award Zinn the Prix des Amis du Monde Diplomatique. The audience applauds as Zinn thanks everyone. A host thanks everybody, and the event winds down.
55:25Copy video clip URL Zinn stands to shake attendees hands, and converses briefly with them all.
56:51Copy video clip URL The tape goes dark, but the audio continues.
57:13Copy video clip URL Video returns, with the camera facing a woman who answers questions in French.
59:05Copy video clip URL The tape cuts back to b-roll from around the reception, with a look at Zinn being interviewed by a French journalist.
59:25Copy video clip URL The tape cuts to a scene on the streets of Paris. It shows a statue and then the front of the French National Assembly.
1:00:48Copy video clip URL The tape ends.