Moyers on Democracy

Watch Bill Moyers and Christiane Amanpour: ‘Truth is the Oxygen of Democracy’

Watch Bill Moyers and Christiane Amanpour: 'Truth is the Oxygen of Democracy'

Bill Moyers and Christiane Amanpour discuss America and civil rights in the wake of George Floyd’s death.


Democracy was dying of too many lies long before this murder. I think America was dying of a great concentration of wealth; we were moving from democracy to plutocracy where the rich rule and buy the politics they want. I was concerned about democracy as so many were before this happened. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights act of 1965 were incredibly important in changing the politics of this country and the direction of this country, but they did not affect the daily lives of African Americans.

So even though we had a new political look about us, with African Americans participating, life didn’t change for people who were living in the poverty of the ghetto, who couldn’t find good jobs, and then we began not to see them. The great sin of America for all these decades is that we haven’t seen what is happening to the people we were oppressing, we white people. We’ve finally come to that moment, when we’re scraping the whitewash — and it is whitewash — off of our vision of the country, and what we are seeing is not pretty, and it’s not right. Unless we see the truth of what is there, we are going to be just the same as we have been for the last decades, for the last 200 years.

We Hold This Truth to Be Self-Evident: It’s Happening Before Our Very Eyes