Thursday, April 14, 2016

Segregating Language by Color: Red for Spanish & Blue for English Educational Research

Luis Angel Perez
Educational Research
Spring 2009


Abstract


        The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the colors in which written material (texts) are presented to students in a classroom setting and student behavior in the form of interest exhibited toward the presented texts. This experiment explores a long standing yet scientifically baseless practice in dual language schools; The practice of presenting English texts in the color blue and Spanish texts in the color red. I investigated this practice to gain a better understand of how it actually relates to a learner’s interests and needs. The investigated hypothesis was that students will demonstrate a greater preference to work with texts in multi-colors over texts presented to them all in one color, either all in red or all in blue. Additionally, learners will demonstrate a preference for multi-color texts despite the language in which the texts are presented, either in Spanish or in English. This study shows that students are indeed more interested in working with texts that are presented to them in multicolor over texts presented all in red or all in blue. 
                     



Table of Contents




Introduction ………………………………………………………………......…3



Methodology …...……………………………………………………………..…8



Findings & Analysis ……..………………………………………………..….12



Conclusion & Implications……………………………………………………...15



Reference………………………………………………………………………..17



Appendix…………………………………………………………………….......18




 Introduction


        When I sit back to reflect on the many texts I have read pertaining to the many problems encountered in the field of education, particularly those which concern multilingual learners, I cannot help but to notice an intense and carefully orchestrated blame game. The academic field is saturated with the practice of pointing the finger at someone else when something goes wrong or does not work satisfactorily. This reminds me of a common phrase my grandmother always used; every time you point a finger at someone you have three other fingers pointing right back at you, (meaning the middle, ring, and small fingers). It is a rarity to find a text where the author passing judgment is making such judgment about their own performance or what they themselves may have done to contribute to the problems in the field. Off the top of my head I can only think of one such text written by Cynthia Ballenger titled Teaching Other People’s Children. This book describes how, instead of blaming others for the difficulty she encountered in teaching a classroom of Haitian students, a North American teacher looked closely at her own personal philosophy and interpretations especially when she was assessing her students. This book gives credence to the significance of looking closely at the self and to the importance of the practice of scrutinizing what we do with our learners in order to have a better idea of the effectiveness of our own practice, (as opposed to looking for someone else to blame and always thinking inside the box).

        Inspired by Cynthia Ballenger I yearn to become more critical of my own craft as an educator and instead of looking in the outside for loose bolts I will focus more on tightening the bolts of the inside. In order for me to zero in on my own biases and in order for me to actually practice scrutinizing some of what I actually do with my learners I did two things in this research. Firstly, I indulged myself in reading research pertaining to the impact which the concept of bilingualism has on the individual mind, particularly that of the learner as well as the “professional” policy makers in the field of education. I also researched several studies which shed light on the motivational and intellectual performance of a learner in respect to the use of the color red. I researched these areas to help me understand more about how the concept of bilingualism affects an individual’s cognition and in turn their decision making process as well as to further my understanding on the psychological and behavioral affects that colors have on people. Secondly, I challenged a long standing practice in dual language schools; the practice of presenting to dual language students English texts in the color blue and Spanish texts in the color red. I investigated the significance of this practice by studying a group of 30 eighth grade students (18 females & 12 males), from a dual language middle school in upper Manhattan. I examined the hypothesis that learners will demonstrate a preference to work with multi-step mathematical problems presented to them in multi-colors over ones presented to them all in one color, either all in red or all in blue. In addition, I examined the hypothesis that learners will demonstrate a preference to work with multi-step mathematical problems presented to them in multi-colors despite the language in which the problems are presented, either in Spanish or in English.

         There are two factors which motivated me to explore closely this common practice in dual language programs. For one, as a dual-language mathematics educator, I have noticed the difference in the level of attentiveness projected by my students when I use a different color to depict each of the steps in a multi-step mathematics problem compared to presenting the entire problem all in one color. According to informal observations, students are noted to demonstrate a better posture, seem more attentive to the material, and overall seem more interested in the lesson when the texts are presented using multiple colors as opposed to just one color. Additionally more evidence of their preference for multicolor text over same color text was noted when students were asked to create independent work that requires them to show all the steps and explain their process. A great number of students created their work using multiple colors as opposed to only one color. Another motivating factor for me to pursue this experiment was the idea that although administrators try vigilantly to enforce the separation of language into colors, no one has actually been able to produce or guide me in the right direction to find research that credits the effectiveness of this practice or the benefit that it allegedly provides for the learner. Since there is no data to back up this practice I decided to create an experiment that will produce quantitative information that may help shed light on what type of text students actually find more appealing and engaging to work with between the following choices; all in red text, all in blue text, or all in different colors text.

        School administrators argue that a teacher must maintain “transparency” in their classroom environment. Meaning that it should be clear to an observer walking into the classroom, without having to ask any questions, exactly the topic which is being discussed, what unit of the curriculum the class is currently covering, what tasks are the students responsible to complete, what topics they have worked on recently and prior to that, and in dual language classes what text is written in Spanish and which is written in English. Theoretically, this is done for the benefit of the students because they will have available to them organized information for later reference and connection building. Although the idea of maintaining a transparent environment has its benefits, during some informal interviews I learned of some of the dissonance precipitated by such push.
        Some teachers believe that classrooms are not large enough to maintain all this work organized on the walls particularly in classes where multiple subjects are taught in multiple languages. Other teachers argue that having too much work up on the walls creates a cluttered, disorganized, uncomfortable, and distracting environment for children in a place where they are expected to remain focused. Yet other teachers argue that administrators are merely conforming to the needs of outside observers and not necessarily considering the best interest of the students. This poses an interesting question; Is the decision to separate English into blue and Spanish into red a decision made in the best interest of the students, the policy makers, or a little of both?
        One particular aspect of the concept of classroom transparency that interests me is the practice of separating the language texts posted on the classroom walls of dual language classrooms by color. Administrators of dual language programs across the city enforce the practice of maintaining the Spanish texts in the color red and the English texts in the color blue. The premise behind the color coding of these two languages stems from the idea that such practice assists dual language students discriminate, with much ease, the language of the work that is posted especially when the student is searching for the work in order to make connections and or scaffold their learning. Unfortunately, this practice has not been formally examined.
         Since I noticed students to be more attentive and engaged to the lessons when I present them with multicolor materials in mathematics over just one color type, I felt compelled to test the student’s reaction toward multi-color texts compared to text depicted all in blue or all in red. As a dual language mathematics teacher I have observed that middle school students prefer when I present to them a multi-step mathematical problem using a different color to present each step as opposed to presenting all the steps using only one color. I believe that students will demonstrate the same preference despite what language the material is in, Spanish or in English. My goal here is to construct a test to collect quantitative data that will show that in my mathematics class a significant number of students prefer to work with and respond better to posted materials which are depicted in multi-colors as opposed to materials depicted all in the color red or all in the color blue, despite what language is used to present the materials, (in this particular study Spanish or English). Students were provided with a permissions slip for their parents to consent their involvement in this study, (see appendix B).
        The following annotated bibliography was constructed out of the need to enhance my knowledge about the different affects which the concept of bilingualism actually has on a person’s cognition; particularly the cognition of the learner and the policy makers that have a direct impact on the environment of the learner. Following the annotated bibliography I describe the methodology that I used in order to try to quantify the preferences and perspectives of 30 dual language middle school students in respect to this practice.




 Methodology

Calculating Red for Spanish & Blue for English


        The purpose of this study is to determine whether eighth grade students prefer to analyze for errors multi-step mathematical problems when each step of the mathematical problems is presented in different color as opposed to each step presented all in the same color, either all steps in blue or all steps in red. Determining what stimulates student interest may help identify important factors that keep students attentive to the lessons provided. 30 eighth grade students (18 females & 12 males), were examined in this study. These students attend a dual language school in the northern part of Manhattan. For the purposes of anonymity the name of the school will remain confidential.
        I used a Smart Board Computer Software, which works similar to the Power Point Computer Software commonly known to Microsoft users. I created 24 slides. Each slide created has the same math problem on both left and right sides of the slide but they differ in color pattern. Students were not told that both problems on each slide were the same and only differed in the color in which they were presented. One side of a slide will present the problem worked out, step by step, each step in different colors and the other side will present the same problem worked out step by step, each step in either all blue or all red.
        All the slides were presented in random order. In order to rule out or control for color combination preferences I used four different multicolor combinations. There were four different multicolor combinations used in this study. See sample of a slide in appendix A.

(1) Eight slides contained the following combination of colors: Steps 1, 2, 3, & 4,
       were presented in orange, blue, green, & brown, respectively.
(2) Eight slides contained the following combination of colors: Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
      & 7, were presented in green, orange, blue, turquoise, gray, yellow, & black, respectively.
(3) Four slides contained the following combination of colors: Steps 1, 2, & 3,
       were presented in green, blue, & red, respectively.
(4) Four slides contained the following combination of colors: Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
       were presented in blue, green, yellow, red, turquoise, & black, respectively. 

Procedure to Choose Your Problem:
        Eighth grade students were told that they were going to be presented with a number of different mathematical problems which they are familiar with and that seventh grade students attempted to solve. Subjects were explained that they will be presented with two mathematical problems at a time. They were told that out of the two problems on each slide they had to choose the one problem which they would want to analyze for errors at a later time. They were also told that this process will be repeated for 24 slides. Each student was given a clip board with a protocol check-off sheet where they will select the problem which they preferred to analyze at a later time for errors. The protocol sheet contained forty eight cells. Each pair of cells numerated one through twenty four; 24 for the problems on the left side of the slides and 24 for the problems on the right side of the slides. Each student was told that the slides were going to change rapidly from one to another so they must make their selection quickly. This warning was also provided so that the student does not try to scrutinize each slide for errors at that particular moment of the presentation. Students were reminded that they are only selecting the problems that they are going to examine at a later time. Each slide lasted approximately 2 seconds before moving on to the next slide. Students were also told that the examiner will say out loud the number of the slide so that they are always clear what number slide they are up to and what cells to check off on the protocol.

Type of Mathematical Problems and Format of Presentation:      
         All together 24 slides were used in this study. The step by step format for 20 of the mathematical problems were presented laterally (first step beginning at the top, directly beneath the actual problem, and last step ending at the bottom of the page). The step by step format for 4 of the mathematical problems were presented horizontally (step one beginning on the left side, directly beneath the actual mathematical problem and the last step ending on the right side beneath the actual problem). 6 different types of 8th grade mathematical problems were used in this study.
        2 problems showed each step taken to find the slope of two given points using the slope formula. Each of these problems were presented in the English language all in blue versus multicolor (2 slides) and all in red versus multicolor (2 slides) as well as in the Spanish language all in blue versus multicolor (2 slides) and all in red versus multicolor (2 slides). This made a total of 8 slides.
        2 problems showed each step taken to find the equation of a line when given the slope and only one point on that line. Each of these problems were presented in the English language all in blue versus multicolor (2 slides) and all in red versus multicolor (2 slides) as well as in the Spanish language all in blue versus multicolor (2 slides) and all in red versus multicolor (2 slides). This made a total of 8 slides.

        1 problem showed each step taken to determine whether three given points are collinear to each other (determine if the three points lie on the same line). This problem was presented in the English language all in blue versus multicolor (1 slide) and all in red versus multicolor (1 slide) as well as in the Spanish language all in blue versus multicolor (1 slide) and all in red versus multicolor (1 slide). This made a total of 4 slides.
        1 problem showed each step taken in order to re-write an equation in slope intercept form. This problem was presented in the English language all in blue versus multicolor (1 slide) and all in red versus multicolor (1 slide) as well as in the Spanish language all in blue versus multicolor (1 slide) and all in red versus multicolor (1 slide). This made a total of 4 slides. Each slide was arranged in a random order and presented in both Spanish and English.

Observations:
        Students were observed during their selection process. The examiner assured that each student scanned both left and right side of the slide at least one time prior to making a selection on their protocol check-off sheet. If this behavior was not noted by the examiner the examiner made a note of the number of the slide in which this occurred and what ever selection was made of that slide will not be included. Fortunately, in this study every student scanned both sides of each of the slides at least one time prior to looking at their clip board and gesturing the making of a selection. Behavioral observations and comments made by subjects were later used to help interpret the data attained in this study.




Findings and Analysis


Comparing Spanish Multicolor Problems with All In Red Problems:
        Five of the thirty students in this study demonstrated an even split by selecting 50% multicolor problems and 50% all in red problems when the problems were presented in the Spanish language. Out of the remaining twenty five students, 52% selected multicolor problems and only 48% selected all in red problems, between 67% and 100% of the time. These results indicate that the majority of the students in this study favor working with Spanish multicolor problems over Spanish all in red problems. 

Comparing Spanish Multicolor Problems with All In Blue Problems:
        Four of the thirty students in this study demonstrated an even split by selecting 50% multicolor problems and 50% all in blue problems when the problems were presented in the Spanish language. Out of the remaining twenty six students, 54% selected multicolor problems and only 46% selected all in blue problems, between 67% and 100% of the time.  These results indicate that the majority of the students in this study favor working with Spanish multicolor problems over Spanish all in blue problems. 

Comparing English Multicolor Problems with All In Red Problems:
        Six of the thirty students in this study demonstrated an even split by selecting 50% multicolor problems and 50% all in red problems when the problems were presented in the English language. Out of the remaining twenty four students, 58% selected multicolor problems and only 42% selected all in red problems, between 67% and 100% of the time. These results indicate that the majority of the students in this study favor working with English multicolor problems over English all in red problems. 

Comparing English Multicolor Problems with All In Blue Problems:
        Three of the thirty students in this study demonstrated an even split by selecting 50% multicolor problems and 50% all in blue problems when the problems were presented in the English language. Out of the remaining twenty seven students, 41% selected multicolor problems and 59% selected all in blue problems, between 67% and 100% of the time. In contrast to the results of the other sections tested in this study (mentioned above), these results indicate that the majority of the students in this study favor working with English all in blue problems over English multicolor problems. 



Percentage of Students that chose Multicolor
per Section
Percentage of Students that chose a Single Color
per Section
Spanish Multicolor
vs.
All In Red Section

52% Multicolor

48% All In Red
Spanish Multicolor
vs.
All In Blue Section

54% Multicolor

46% All In Blue
English Multicolor
vs.
All In Red Section

58% Multicolor

42% All In Red
English Multicolor
vs.
All In Blue Section

41% Multicolor

59% All In Blue



        Overall, 75% of the sections tested in this study showed that students have a preference to work with multicolor texts over single color text of either all in red or all in blue.







       
Conclusion & Implications


        In conclusion, the results of this experiment support both my hypotheses. Learners demonstrated a preference to work with multi-step mathematical problems presented to them in multicolor over ones presented to them all in one particular color, either all in red or all in blue. Additionally, learners demonstrated a preference to work with multi-step mathematical problems presented to them in multicolor over ones presented to them all in one color despite the language in which the problems were actually presented in, either in Spanish or in English.
        Similar to Bhatia and Ritchie’s argument that emotions may be coded differently into two different languages due to our association of that emotion to the language used to express the emotion, Bhatia and Ritchie, 2004), emotions and experiences may also be coded in colors which may explain why my results showed that students preferred to work with many different colors as opposed to one specific color. In fact, Markus Maier argued about this type of coding in colors in his study. He argued that the color red has been associated with so many negative concepts such as emergency lights, blood, errors in assignments, stop signs, and the like, that the mere use of this color in learning may precipitate similar negative emotions, (Maier, 2008). In my opinion such negative emotions may be inadvertently associated with the Spanish language. If we closely consider Andrew Elliots study where he demonstrated that the color red contributes to avoidance behavior in learners, (Elliot, 2009), we are actually compounding the above mentioned negative association with the added problem of facilitating a divorce between a person and the Spanish language by promoting avoidance behavior toward the Spanish language. It is also important to mention here that the results of my study also revealed that although the use of multicolor texts was preferred by students across the board when comparing all red with all blue learning texts students in my study also showed an avoidance toward the color red and demonstrated favor for the color blue.
        Perhaps the impetus to such divorce is purely unintentional or perhaps these are sublime attempts to sabotage by a people that may consider the Spanish language to be inferior to the English language. According to De Groot and Kroll’s study some people believe that speaking more than one language is not natural and that this view is prevalent in the educational system (Groot & Kroll, 1999). Goshgarian argued in his research report that many people are so critical of the Spanish language because the “status quo” actually lives in fear of a societal take over by Hispanics by way of infiltrating the English language with the Spanish language. 
        Since there seems to be no studies done in the area of segregating languages into colors I hope that my experimental research will inspire further investigation with larger samples, examining different grades, and different languages. The results of this study encourage me to always consider the needs of the students when planning lessons. It also empowers me to trust my observations and intuition about the dynamics which I observe in the classroom. The results of this study helps me put together the courage to closely examine, by way of experimentation, what we as educators are delegated by others outside of the classroom to implement. Policy makers should take the results of this study into consideration and revisit and scientifically scrutinize the validity of their policy to segregate languages by color as well as other language relevant policies.




References


Ballenger, C. (1999). Teaching Other People’s Children.

       New York: Teachers College Press.


Bhatia, T. & Ritchie, W. (eds.) (2004). The Handbook of Bilingualism,

        Bilingualism: Language, Emotion, and Mental Health, 250 – 280.
       
        New York: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 


Bratt, P., & Tucker, R. (eds.) (2003). Sociolinguistics: The Essential Readings,

        Linguistic Diversity, Schooling, and Social Class: Rethinking Our Conception

        of Language Proficiency in Language Minority Education, 329 – 340.

        New York: Blackwell Publishing. 


De Groot, A. & Kroll, J. (eds.) (1999). Tutorials in Bilingualism:   

        Psycholinguistic Perspective. The Consequences of Bilingualism for

        Cognitive Processing, 279 – 299. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.


Elliot, A. (2009). The Effect of Red on Avoidance Behavior in Achievement

       Contexts. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(3), 365-375.
      

Goshgarian, G. (eds.) (2007). Viva Spanglish! Exploring Language, 134 - 135.

        New York: Pearson Longman.


Maier, M. (2008). Mediation on the Negative Effects of Red on Intellectual

       Performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(11), 1530-1540.
      

Martin, J. & Nakayama, T. (1998). I, We, And The: Readings in Cultural

        Contexts, 345 – 356. New York: Mayfield Publishing Company.




Appendix




(Appendix A)



            Find the equation of the line that has a slope of 3 and passes through the point (3, 5)

          point = (3, 5)
               m = 3

           y = mx + b

          5 = 3(3) + b 

            5 = 9 + b

       5 - 9 = 9 - 9 + b

             - 4 = b

            y = 3x - 4





Find the equation of the line that has a slope of 3 and passes through the point (3, 5)  

          point = (3, 5)
               m = 3

           y = mx + b

          5 = 3(3) + b 

            5 = 9 + b

       5 - 9 = 9 - 9 + b

             - 4 = b

            y = 3x - 4

Monday, April 4, 2016

"... love trumps hate, ..."




"It's a Revolution": Actress Rosario Dawson on Why She Supports Sanders for President Over Clinton

April 01, 2016
Web Exclusive by Democracy Now!

As former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders campaign in New York ahead of the state’s primary later this month, more than 16,000 people gathered in St. Mary’s Park in the South Bronx for a Sanders rally on Thursday. He spoke alongside film director Spike Lee and actress and activist Rosario Dawson, known for her roles in "Kids" and many other films, including "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For." Amy Goodman caught up with Dawson after the rally to discuss why she supports Bernie Sanders. "It’s a revolution," Dawson says, noting the corporate media has failed to fairly cover his platform. She also discusses the rise of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. "He isn’t the problem," she says. "There is a lot of stuff been going on for many years that has gotten out of control."

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about why you’re supporting Bernie Sanders?

ROSARIO DAWSON: I’m supporting Bernie Sanders because he says no to fracking. I’m supporting Bernie Sanders because we do need a single-payer healthcare system that takes care of everyone. And that is not a pipe dream; that’s something that’s happening all over the world and in really positive ways. We are a social democracy. That’s our firefighters, that’s our policemen. And it shouldn’t be drawing a line, that’s—you know, a fireman will go into your house to take your hard drive out and save your cat, but if you break your leg, screw you. That doesn’t make any sense, you know? And when you actually go and you travel around the world and you start recognizing that people can actually be sick, they can take—you know, have a broken leg and not lose their job and lose their livelihoods and lose their homes over it, that’s really important.
You know, free college, universities, that’s a really, really big deal. People shouldn’t be thinking about that for the rest of their life they’re going to be having these deals, because I’m looking at people who are in their forties, fifties and sixties that are still paying off their student loans. That’s crazy. You know, like how are we supposed to compete in the economy as it’s moving forward? The world—we’re being replaced by robots. Like, we’re not going to be globally competitive if we’re not making sure people are getting the education that they need.

AMY GOODMAN: And why do you think Bernie Sanders can solve these issues in a way that Hillary Clinton can’t?

ROSARIO DAWSON: The reason why Bernie can do that is because it’s a revolution. And the revolution is all of us being a part of that conversation. It’s not going—someone’s going to go into office and just go, "Great, I take it from here," but actually inspiring people to come and take off—you know, when you see what Black Lives Matter is doing with #ByeAnita, when you see people like Nina Turner coming up and Tulsi Gabbard and all of these other people.
This idea that, you know, this has to be the only person, this only woman—no, I don’t want to vote for someone who said yes to the Iraq War and yes to the PATRIOT Act twice. I don’t want to support someone who said yes to NAFTA up until 2008 and when Obama even called her out on it, because she was running for presidency. She was saying, "Yeah, the gold standard of the TPP deal," but you know exactly what she’s going to do when she goes into office, and sign it. This is not OK. Profits for prisons, and now actually profits for the rehabilitation centers, because the same people who own those private prisons are also the same people who own the detention centers and for—for the undocumented who are going in there. And it’s not just undocumented people. People are going and getting thrown in there who have green cards, all types. I mean, there’s a real serious problem that’s going on right now, and has been going on for a long time. And so, for someone like her to be talking about that she cares, but hasn’t done anything really about it, is really shocking to me, you know, and really even admitting and talking about how her policies were so devastating for people. You know? Like—

AMY GOODMAN: And what about—what about the TV networks that say that Bernie Sanders can’t get the support of communities of color?

ROSARIO DAWSON: Well, that’s obviously ridiculous. You know? And that’s—but again, like, I mean, you’ve got to really look at the fact that these companies and their parent companies are the ones who have—you know, they’re dependent on fossil fuel and pharmaceutical companies putting the commercials around them. You know, they’re dependent on all of—you know, this is about people making money and lobbyists. This is not about us.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you—

ROSARIO DAWSON: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about what you’re doing tomorrow night, the forum you’re having in Harlem?

ROSARIO DAWSON: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: Are you doing it with Michelle Alexander?

ROSARIO DAWSON: Yeah, so, I wanted to put together—actually, I was talking to Eve Ensler about it, and we just came up with this idea of talking about just women and what we have to talk about in policies and politics. And so, I wanted to round up particularly a couple of women who are definitely Bernie supporters, but not necessarily everybody. But we’re going to have Michelle Alexander, who wrote The New Jim Crow; Tessa Thompson, who was in Dear White People; Donna Hylton, who was incarcerated for 23 years and can really talk to these issues and, like, give people information, because the one thing I keep finding is people who are supportive of the other candidates tend to do so with these really broad sort of ideas as to why. And as soon as you go, "Well, why?" and you challenge them, they don’t really have the facts to back it up. And I really feel like there’s a possibility of especially undecided voters, giving them the information that they actually need, that a lot of the group mass media is not giving them, because he’s—you know, and he doesn’t have the benefit of super PACs or being a household name or a brand name, you know, so he just has us. And he has his message, that has been consistent for decades.
And so, now, because of social media, the difference between him and Obama—like, you know, the Twitter only just had its 10th anniversary of existence, you know? Like, there, he had a mass movement behind him, but, you know, people can tell you, two months in, they were disenchanted because he closed the door and started trying to reach across the aisle with people who had been calling him a terrorist for years. You know? Like—and so, then he lost the House and the Senate and all these different things. And that’s when the obstructionism came. It wasn’t that he walked into it like that. And so, you know, and I think it’s really—this is someone who’s got—understands that, whose momentum is solely built off of the online space. And so, we know, because he’s been consistent his entire career, that he’s not going to make an about-face when he gets into the Oval Office, that he’s going to stay true to his promises, because he’s doing so right now. The desire and need to want to be president and do the things that he can do has got to be really so intense, and he must really want to be able to say, "Yes, please," from companies that are good companies, say, "Give me some money," but he still says no, because he wants the people to get him there. He wants all of us to win the presidency. And that’s why I’m behind him.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Rosario Dawson, your thoughts on Donald Trump, both saying originally—just a few days ago saying that women should be jailed for having abortions; he’s walked it back a little in saying, no, the doctors who give them abortions should be punished.

ROSARIO DAWSON: Yeah, that’s already happening, unfortunately. You know, I think that’s one of the sort of red herrings, the fallacies about—you know, about Trump, is that he somehow is making up the divisiveness, that he’s somehow creating it, when that’s just not true. This has been going on for a long time. Black Lives Matter, the DREAMer movement exists for a reason. And this has been going on on our streets for a really, really long time. And he’s been calling Obama out as being a dreamer for years. And that didn’t start with him. That started when a picture of Obama with a turban came out of the Hillary Clinton camp, you know? And so, like, there’s a real reality about—there’s been dirty politics and things that have been going on for a very long time, and they got out of hand. And now you have people like Lindsey Graham going, "I support Ted Cruz," which you know he would never want to do, because the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have really lost touch with the people on the ground.

AMY GOODMAN: And what about Donald Trump having trouble disavowing David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan and then retweeting Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy?

ROSARIO DAWSON: Well, I mean, again, you’re talking about someone who is dividing the country, who’s been doing that for a really long time. The fact that he was never brought his feet to fire by going, "Hey, if you really think that the president is not legally capable of being the president"—I wonder if he would have had as much to say about McCain having been born in Panama. But, you know, I really think it’s really striking that no one called him out on that. So now you want to be the president of the country that you believe could have hired someone for the job who wasn’t legally capable of doing it? Like, so I think there’s a lot of insanity.
But again, like I—it’s not—he doesn’t—he isn’t the problem. He hasn’t been the problem. There is a lot of stuff that’s been going on for many, many years that have gotten out of control, and now he represents that problem. And I think now we’re finally dealing with it. You know, there are a lot of people who follow him who are so grateful to be able to have the chance to maybe say "spic" again. They’re like, "Yes! You know, this guy is talking to us, and he’s giving us permission." Because you know what? We’ve had this insane level of political correctness that has been glossing over the fact that things aren’t politically correct, that things are really devastating for a lot of people—black, white, brown, male, female, different religions, all of it. And we’ve been pretending like somehow we’ve broken through the ceiling, the glass ceiling for women, that because we have a president named Barack Hussein Obama, that we’re no longer racist. And that’s just not true. So, I think what we really have to talk about is not exactly what he’s saying individually, but what he represents and the fact that a lot of people behind him feel that way. And what are we going to do about that?
Let’s try to get Bernie on, so the more opportunity he has to talk to the people and not get the facts obfuscated or misconstrued by the mass media, that has been happening. I mean, the times that I watch him on these other shows, and then watch them right after and start rolling their eyes, like, "Well, did you hear?" I’m like, "No, that’s not what he said. Ugh!" And because people are busy, they’re taking advantage of the fact. Like, this is something I understand because I’m an actor. So, we have—we’re constantly trying to put out "This new movie’s coming out. This new thing, whatever, is coming out. Will you come and watch it?" And we’re trying to razzle-dazzle you to pay attention in the midst of your busy lives. What’s happening with the corporate media is they’re abusing the fact that they know that you’re busy with your lives, and so they’re hoping that you missed the debate and that you missed all this stuff, so that their summary is what you walk away with. And it’s wrong. And it’s yellow journalism, and you’re misleading people. And you’re going to have that on your hands. The Iraq War that they sold you, that’s blood on your hands. Like, this is the reality. You cannot be selling us someone who voted yes on it and take no responsibility. That is not OK.
And so, that’s why I’m here and try to do what I can, because it’s not about making anyone feel better. It’s like Luis Guzm├ín was saying. If you just took away their brand names, and you took away, you know, their faces, and just listened to what they had to say, who would you vote for? It’s very clear that that is Bernie Sanders. It’s very clear. So that’s what we have to do, is keep giving people that information, because when I say people are voting against themselves, it’s because, I’m telling you, you are. Because I’m actually looking at this information, and I’m watching people do it. So, if you have real, substantive reasons why you want to support your candidate, then, great, bring that to the table. But that’s not what I’ve been hearing. And that’s what I’m trying to give people now.

AMY GOODMAN: And what do you think Bernie Sanders’ path to the presidency is right now?

ROSARIO DAWSON: This is it. You know, I’m seeing a lot of people already going and starting to, you know, talk to their superdelegates and talk to these different people and going, "Hey, like, this is not OK." You know, this is what happened. What happened was, Hillary lost in 2008 because of her Iraq War vote, and she lost because a lot of election politics that went on that left a really sour taste in people’s mouths. And she lost because of the delegates. And so, rather than go, "Let’s take that out of the system," she just started to work for it and started to get them on her side. And she started, before the primaries, having over like 400 delegates pledged to her. That is not OK, you know?
And so, I think that this is our moment right now. People are starting to wake up to what our election process looks like. We are not a democracy, even though we keep trying to push that colonially all around the world. What we are is a republic. And so, if we want it to be a democracy, we need to hire someone for the job who’s going to actually want to make that happen, so that we can have the voter—you know, voter day—you know, the Election Day be a holiday, so that we can have mandatory and like automatic voter registration, so that we can maybe start being about an Electoral College. That’s great, but right now the powers that be, the establishment politicians in politics, they don’t want that to happen. I can tell you. I’ve done voter registration for over 11 years. I have to say, like, the one thing I’ve noticed is, you know, the millionaires and the billionaires that we sat down with, they didn’t want to give us money for voter registration or any of the other places. They want to give you money for the candidates. And they just want to give you money for the, you know, get out the vote. They want to know that the few amount of people that are voting, that they can persuade one way or the other. They don’t want all you new young voters, because they don’t know—that’s too risky. They don’t know what you’re going to do. And you disrupt the system.

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, in these primaries, more than 80 percent of the people are not voting.

ROSARIO DAWSON: Yeah, and it’s crazy. You know? And what we’ve seen, like record numbers of voter registration also happening. And part of it’s responsible people wanting to vote against Trump. And a lot of it’s responsible because people want to get their chance to vote for the first time for Bernie Sanders. And that’s really beautiful.

AMY GOODMAN: Who do you think could beat Donald Trump?

ROSARIO DAWSON: It’s not a question—this, again, like even that kind of question—like already across the polls, Bernie beats him by a landslide. So, again, it’s a false—it’s a red herring. It’s a false narrative to think that the only way to beat Trump is to somehow vote for the other Democratic candidate. That’s not true. And now we’re not in the general election. He doesn’t have the nomination yet. So stop making us—jumping us into the path, into the future. Right now we’re in our present, and we get to vote for someone, who has values that we believe in and who supports us in the way that he needs us to support him. And, like, that’s actually a really beautiful thing.
Like, millions of people marched against the Iraq War before it happened. That’s historical. Millions of people marched against the bailout. Millions of people, students, walked out in 2006 against immigration reform. They texted each other and walked out of their high school classrooms. Like, we keep seeing these mass movements of people going, "This is not the way things should be done," and it gets ignored. The thousands of people who have been marching across America for Bernie, that doesn’t get any press coverage, because, Gil Scott-Heron said, "The revolution will not be televised." But it’s time for it to be televised. And thank you so much for televising it, because we need people to know how beautiful this moment is. No matter what, look at this. This is incredible. And we have a Jewish man who’s talking about Palestine. Like, do you know what I’m saying? Like, this is a really, really remarkable, huge moment, and we cannot gloss it over. You’re doing a disservice to people by doing so. This is something really beautiful. I’m doing this because love trumps hate, not because I need to vote against somebody, but because love trumps hate. This is a love movement. I’m so excited!