tv United Shades of America CNN April 10, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
on this episode of united shades of america, we're talking shades of white supremacy. we formed the show in early 2020, weeks before covid-19 hit, a month before the police in minneapolis killed george floyd and before all the protests that followed. for many of us had ever heard of defunding the police and before the president and his croneys used racism to describe the coronavirus, which led to a rise in hate crimes in asian
americans. you don't have to look in history to see racism. just watch the news. the question is, are we finally ready to do the work that makes america the just, equitable and great place it's always claimed to be? ♪ >> the first episode of "united shades of america." such an innocent time. i know many of you remember. what about the kkk? america doesn't have racism anymore. hmm. you're right. it's gotten way worse. [ chanting ] >> and that was all before covid-19. and before four cops in minneapolis killed george floyd rather than just treat him like a human. protests, a police station
burning to the ground. >> african-american men -- >> through it all, president can't handle any of it at all. look. >> america's white supremacy. let's start basic. these are white supremacists. 44 white presidents out of 45 in a land originally 100% native america is white supremacy. white supremacy is a big complicated web of systems and institutionings set up to keep power and privilege with one race. guess which one? ♪
the paradox of a seven-time higher infant mortality rate black babies over white babies, or a safe liveable city versus the attacks on jewish people means that pittsburgh, like in america, let history and structure of white supremacy has us living two totally separate realityings. you know existing while black in pittsburgh is like starving to death while in the super market isle. ok. i didn't come up with that. a great friend of mine who is a great writer and a pittsburgh native. >> if you hear about a pittsburgh steeler getting arrested, it happened here. >> that's funny. >> damon young is a writer and a co-founder of one of my favorite websites, very smart brother. most importantly after he made it, he stayed it.
>> i feel like pittsburgh is a microcosm. we believe our own hype, just like america believes its lofty missions that were written by slave owners. there's a reason why white people are thriving and black people are not. we didn't get this way just because of unconnected decisions. >> they are only thinking about the klan, you know, segregation now, segregation forever. >> uh-huh. >> but they're not thinking about the structures that exist in this country -- >> yeah. >> -- that keep black folks at the bottom. >> it's not even about hate. >> yes. >> it's not about hate. >> really, it's not about hate. >> i have a black best friend and your favorite show couis
something else. those guys are the most visible tip of the iceberg along with genocide, hate crimes, lynching, hate groups, the stuff good stuff think is bad. beneath the cold water is most of the stuff like police bradshaw tality. some states don't even have laws against it, jim crow laws, native america and much, much more. as we move fewer down the iceberg, hearing racist jokes and not confronting them. laws matter. >> what would i do? i never even owned slaves. >> the problem is it's too easy to look at the top and say what
a bunch of ass holes. that's white supremacy and i'm not that. it's everything else. slavery ended and then the lakers and the celtics paid. >> they were friends and everything else was fine. >> a disparity exists with health, with education, with employment, with incarceration. these disparities exist every in the country but pittsburgh it's more stark. >> two cities happening here. >> uh-huh. >> yeah. >> while black communities in pittsburgh feel huge racial disparities and gentrifying neighborhoods, pro dominantly black steel townes are grappling with a common experience with black communities across the spire nation. the compound effects of industrial pollution and
long-term systemic white supremacy. >> this is the town that steel built. this is where mostly a lot of the plaque folks live back in the day but all this area was occupied. this is is the steel mill so they literally worked right there. >> i can hear and see smoke coming out of this. >> they say it's steam. >> you heard that before? >> yeah. folks used to live on the top of it. all day and night, this is the sound they heard. a lot of people say why would anybody stay here? but we're talking about people who have their social networks here. in fact, that right there is the school that my mom went to when she was in junior high, so a lot of the folks who lived here, they've been here for generations. >> pittsburgh born but raised in braddock. she is the state republic for the 34th democratic. by the 1960s and' 70s.
black folks remain along with red lining and discriminatory home lending which were all legal until 1968. in the more than 50 years since it's clear that changing the law has not changed reality. >> the jobless rate is over 15% in pittsburgh. >> when the steel industry collapsed in the' 80s, braddock was left with problems and little else except accidentally some of the worst air quality in the u.s. of a. >> when we look at environmental issues, education, when we look at the school to prison pipeline, mass incarceration we see those as issues in and of themselves. they're all part of the cycle of racism. perfect example. take my talent. black folks, most of them live there because at some point they were redlined. government policies, predatory
lending. those things all colluded to make sure that black folks couldn't get into neighborhoods where there are more opportunities. so you're in insular nands, ghettos. you live in this town, you get one educational experience, you live in a that suburb, you get a vastly different one. you live in this community, you're more likely to live by an environmental hazard. we have u.s. steel in this community. you're more likely to live in a medical desert, in a food desert. we have in the 1544 zip code where we are, we have no grocery stores. we had a hospital that was notoriously shut down. you're trapping your communities. which means that you have not bought your kid a one-way ticket right back into that cycle. that's typical racism. where do you even start to dismantle that? >> you just broke it all the way
down. [ laughter ] go on and do this. >> one of them caught fire day before christmas. we didn't find out until two, three weeks later. even me, the state rep in this area. every government official found out on the news. hey, there was a big fire. if you live in any of these communities we suggest you don't go outside, from january to may. we're supposed to be grateful for the job. >> yeah. >> why captain we be grateful for the job and also be healthy? >> some folks were wondering why black people were affected at a higher rate? >> it doesn't make sense. >> back to the iceberg. black communities generally have the worst air quality which leads to chronic health issues. oh, yeah, we have less access to
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collartown are white and conservative, but they all build an enemy. industrial job loss and poverty. one might think that the shared struggles would bring people closer. but nope, because our fears and frustrations have been used to divide us and we all know that can end in violation. on october 27, twecht. an alt-right killed 11 people at the sin going in the squirrel hill neighborhood of pittsburgh. his on line manifesto was packed with language blaming jewish people and immigrants. this is just part of the rising tide of racist hostility in america. but don't take my word on that. i brought an expert. are you nervous? >> yeah. a little. >> in a way. >> i'm scared of what you might get me to say. >> w kamau bell.
>> if you're watching cnn and a reporter is somewhere in america talking about hate and violence, it's probably sarah sider in. >> you're in the shit. you're like running after hate. >> yeah. you have to recognize that hatred comes from a place of fear and pain. the fear is someone else is taking over and i'm going to be a minority. and one of the big themes of this white supremacist movement is the browning of america. and so i'm a white supremacist's worst nightmare. not because i attack them. >> yeah. >> but because of who i am. >> yeah. >> my mother is caucasian and i am black. >> there you go. >> i am mixed race. i am changing america. >> yeah. hire we are sitting in this town, you know, like a lot of towns in this area, it used to be an industrial town.
used to be good union jobs. >> you retired, you had a pension. >> yeah. and then, you know, the industrialization happens, jobs go overseas. people get frustrated. >> haith voting starts. >> yes. >> who do you blame? you don't want to blame yourself, you don't want to blame your family or your community, so you look at who could be the victim. the immigrant. even if there isn't an immigrant to be seen in your community, they're to blame for taking my livelihood and therefore taking my life. it gets people in this place where hatred that is ok because i'm just protecting myself and my family. the other thing is that it can feel good. >> it makes you feel good. yeah. >> am i wrong? >> no, you're not long. >> powerful.
>> they're not sending their best. they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists. knock the crap out of them, would you? seriously. these thugs throne into the back of the paddy wagon. i said please don't be too nice. >> nothing happens in a vacuum. that language is being used by our leaders. when you see how far it can go, how hatred can grow and turn into not just words but then actions and then become deadly, i sat down with a family in el paso. misty and paul's son-in-law and daughter were two of 22 people killed by a suspected terrorist at an el paso walmart. the mother was holding oar child, the child survived, just a baby. we can't sit there and talk to families without having that sit on you.
>> yeah. >> forever. right. thinking about them. i just -- sorry. >> the thing about that family and what they will have to tell this child who has no idea, right, why his mother and father are not there, because somebody hated immigrants. how do you explain that, right? i mean, how do you -- how do you even begin to explain that. that will forever bother me. >> yeah. >> i'm sorry. >> no, no, that's all right. it's all right. it's all right. >> i was afraid of you.
i'm a reporter, you hear me? >> welcome to my house. i do it all the time. it's what we do to move through these moments. so -- >> the families that i talk to, they give me life, because i see that they're able to function, they're able to move forward in their lives. they have no choice. they're still here. that fills me with like, ok, get up, go do your job, sarah sidner, cnn, el paso. to allergens all season long. psst! psst! all good priceline works with top hotels, to save you up to 60%. these are all great. and when you get a big deal... you feel like a big deal. ♪ sleek curly priceline. every trip is a big deal. we all want to fight frizz ♪ garnier fructis anti-frizz serum argan oil plus kera-system
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breaking news -- the internet is a waste lapd. it's always been a perfect incubator for extremist hate, for everybody, including kids. true evil just won't look away. we think of the younger generation as free from that hate. but they're fed more hate than any other generation before. on march 15th, 2019, that hate turned violent in another save liveable city when a 29-year-old white supremacists live streamed the murder of 51 worshippers in
christ chump, new zealand. >> those were gunfire. >> sucks, brenton rules. >> 50 is a great score, brenton. >> brenton with a light to his path right now, lord jesus. >> i like the name. it's cool. kind of like rough. >> i subscribed to brandon. brandon cherries. you are innocent and will get out in no time. >> wow. >> yeah. yeah. it's a lot. >> somebody posted -- >> we don't know where it came from or --
>> no. >> they sound -- >> they're all excited about the perpetrator in new zealand terror attack. >> the first little girl was watching something where you were hearing gunshots. >> yeah. >> wow. and those are kids. >> those are kids. >> this pld is an associate professor at chapman university. he studies extremist groups and terror organizations. >> this well educated people involved in these groups from middle class backgrounds, upper class backgrounds. we have this historical, ingrained almost within our collective psyche of excite supremacy floating around out there. >> a lot of this has been charged by social media and the internet. >> absolutely. that's opened up so many doors. white stream cysts had been activated on line even in the
1980s with the electronic. >> as access to the web grew it moved from clusters to globally interconnected organizations with an instant pipeline to the disenfranchised, the disillusioned, and the teenager. ♪ ♪ power up in this crib ♪ welcome. everyone in the house put your hands up. >> meet youtube's biggest star. shellburg and his channel cutie pie. >> so the shooter references. >> and it is one or two of the most described on youtube. >> over a hundred million subscribers. >> yeah. >> those cute videos and funny pranks and every now and then some hate speech comes through. >> hold up signs saying death to all jews. >> meanwhile, the neo not si
website daily storm says it normalizes racism. >> i want to thank the internet for allowing their emperor for being here. >> and it's just that easy. joke. not a joke. who cares? that's how the idea of rate and racism get normalized. if you think that doesn't have any effect, you'd be wrong. looking at you pudes.
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and people of color don't always get a fair shot on television. don't believe me? in 2020, the pittsburgh endowment released a study that african-american men were criminals 72% of the time. damn. how do you find your own voice? how to work in media and how to take charge of their own narratives, one people teaches. so when my friend asked me to talk about my work and industry, i did. >> face the cross. for god! >> for god! >> for kentucky! [ laughter ] >> this is a symbol of god's love. holy shit.
is that the final scene from the episode. hmm. were those people real klansmen? >> oh, yeah. that's not the chappel show. yeah. this is not a sketch. >> i knew that this existed, but hearing them really say those things, i had to laugh, because i'm like, wow, they really believe this. >> they've got god and kentucky on the same level. >> yeah, right. >> what? >> i feel like klan mimgry is a little older. i feel like our generation relates more than your generation, have that same seer? >> i'm not afraid anymore i'm going to be lynched anywhere. now it's am i going to get shot by a police officer. >> what he said right there is the whole show. it's easy to focus on the kkk
but you can avoid them. but the police, you're going to eventually have to deal with the police. a 2008 rutgers study showed that negative media were a significant factor in a five times higher rate of unarmed black men being shot by police than unarmed white men. that has justified excessive force and claims of self-defense. >> i think a lot of it has to do with mainstream media we're dehumanized. so when an twron gets killed, it's like that's a young black dude. >> you know how it goes, antoine rose is shot and killed by michael rossfelt, who had been fired from his prior post for similar conduct. many outside his community focused on a drive-by shooting he was allegedly involved in.
his community find it hard to focus on that since the officer shot antoine in the back, as he was run i away, committeesly unarmed. >> when the trial happened, it was this idea that it was going to be violence. >> yeah. >> so they had the courthouse su roupded by police. they shut the streets down around the courthouse. >> the police presence exponentially grew every day. they got thicker and thicker and thicker to the point you would think like the president was here. it was wild down there, brother. it was madness. then just previously before that, the nra march, the open carry march, come on, bro, show your guns off. >> a bunch of well armed white folks marching on the steps of the capitol building. there was protests gun regulations hoping to avoid another massacre. why would we want to do that?
when white folks show up you wonder how violent and ridiculous they are, they're given the benefit of the doubt. look at this. in one case, the cops shut down the street for the rally. in the other case they shut down the street to stop the rally. who are you afraid of? >> i imagine us saying we're going to thrive with our guns? how much does this get? you know what i mean? >> it wouldn't get off the block. >> like before a bomb hits it. >> yeah. >> white supremacy, where it really functions, we gave them no reason to believe. >> none. >> -- that it would be any type of violence, because we protested all year and every single protest was nonviolent. the verdict came out friday night. that following monday, young organizers from the universities and the high schools organized the largest protest that pittsburgh's ever seen. >> who do we want? >> justice.
>> when do we want it? >> now. >> what do we want? >> justice. >> people took to the streets. that was what gave me hope, seeing how they organized and the manner in which they showed up. >> that's never the narrative. >> no justice, no peace. no justice, no peace. >> and we are seeing that narrative play out again. the protests following the killing of george floyd are some of the most powerful and engaged acts of american civil disobedience and rights since martin had that dream. george floyd was killed over suspicion of having a fake 20. this guy, cop bought him some burger king. you know how some media is, never missing an tube to paint black people as scary, aka, what's up, tucker?
>> we've seen chaos engulf our beloved country? what do the mobs want? >> while many of you get caught up in why are people rioting, well your hero martin luther king jr. said a riot is a language of the unheard. somebody else said it's hard to start a riot when everybody has a good job, full belly, well educated kids. try to get somebody to throw a brick through the window with you. that was me. i said that shit right now. >> this may be a lot of things but it's not about black lives. remember that when they come for you and at this rate, they will. >> that's why tucker carlson's advertisers are pillows. >> i see you, tucker. all of this shows why black folks need to have control over their own narrative. a 2019 diversity study showed that the overwhelming majority
of decision making roles in news rooms are held by white people. ♪ no surprise ♪ those stories are filtered through a white lens. regardless of intention, this influences the perceptions that people of color have to live with and in too many cases die with. >> a lot of people's experience with diversity does come from the media. for myself, too. growing up in a suburb area, that was kind of my outlet to be connected in a diverse environment, but i have learned now that it is important to be the person in the room, because you can't expect all those other people out there to really speak for you. >> so the fear for these young people is not of the klan or nazis, but how it will affect them the next time their fate lay with those in the power.
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the truth is, as much as we're surrounded by it, we rarely talk about the bottom of the iceberg. we are fascinated with the violence black supremacy creates but the victims do most of the talking. the responsibility is on them to bapg the drums, do the interviews and clean up the damage. the tree of life massacre was one of those days in america that makes zero sense. but days like these have become more common. i won't go over the details. you can do that on your own. i'm here because of what came after. >> the muslim community modelled how to behave at a time of trauma to the jewish community. the board of the islamic center were outthe tree of life as the incidents unfolded said
something because this is where we needed to be. but it didn't end there. they started a gofundme page, a quarters of a million dollars. don't worry about the funerals. we're taking care of that. >> we knew we immediately wanted to do something. we knew it had to be immediate. we have similar burrell practices. >> we returned the above and kindness. six months later, the church in christ church and the two mosques put together gofundme pages and send like $650,000 to christ church. and we do that all the time. then i think that those things don't get highlighted because our tell us not to run around and boast about the thing we do. i think it's an important message that for people who wonder can jews and muslims get along, well, why not? >> yeah. >> rabbi meyers and muhammad
have worked together since the tree of life shootings to bring peace and unity to the city. >> feel like jimmy in america nonjewish americans thought anti-semitism was a thing of the pass and not something that jewish people dealt with. >> unless you experience it permanently, you don't necessarily know that it's anti-semitism. i think i was about 10 years old. came home one day from school and in the driveway were a couple of swastikas in chalk with the words jeffrey's a diry jew. i thought that was the price you paid for wanting to live in the united states. >> i thought the same thing. some black people, as long as we're not experiencing the harshest end of racism, you start not to complain an things you should complain about. thinking at least it's not worse.
when was the last time you were here? >> oh, let's see. i think it was about three weeks ago? >> uh-huh. >> sometimes the mood is such that you could be having a great day and something reminds you of the events of october 27th and there are times i just can't drive by here. i'll detour. the visual reminder sometimes of the facade is just too much. >> yeah. >> to me, the greatest part would be that they just pass away in anonymity without saying that these were beautiful people, they died because they were being jewish. the answer to people dying while jewish is to be even more jewish. >> i like that. be even more jewish. >> there's this wonderful phrase. it's not upon you to finish the
task but you're not at-bat solved from trying. you may not get to the pot at the end of the rainbow. >> get a little mlk on it no matter our race, creed, religion, if we all do that every day to work to make the world a little bit better, it gets better. >> it gets better. >> moments with my mom, hearing her talk to her friends about racism and activism. she was playing martin luther king jr. records in the house. at the time i was like, can't we put some temptations on. >> honor your mother by doing the same thing to your kids. >> yes. thank you. >> thank you. i knew i'd get emotional. thank you rabbi. >> thank you.
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the santa monica pier and the birthplace of stephen miller. we ain't here for that stuff. we're here for this lady, my mom. and doesn't she look good in this light? >> what would be really great is if it was warm. >> yeah. but you're always cold. >> i think something happens when you get older. >> yeah. and you are old. >> yes, i -- >> i mean, like old. >> i acknowledge that. >> like old. i mean, like, martin luther king jr. would be 91. >> that's just nine years older than me. >> yeah. the idea being that, like, my mom experienced every part of america's racism except for slavery. janet cheatham bell born in 1937 in indianapolis, indiana, where as a textbook, editor, author, activist, he's fighting racism wherever she goes. but mostly, she's happy to know you can't believe she's 83. so when you had me, what was
your idea about raising this black boy? >> i was very conscious about that. and i remember when you were a little guy. you know, 6, 7 years old and there was a drugstore near us that we would shop in. and as soon as we walked in the door, the store detective would follow us. i said, be really careful. and i pointed out the store detective. because we're always being watched. >> i remember that lesson, and it sticks with me today so much so that i'm aware when i'm in stores even now as a fully grown adult where my hands are. >> uh-huh. >> and then as a kid i was aware of it because i didn't want to be arrested. now as an adult i'm aware of it because i don't want to be killed. >> yeah. >> the other thing i want to talk about is how i didn't think america would ever elect a black president. >> yeah. >> and then i remember you voted early, because indiana had early voting. >> right. >> and then you flew out to san francisco.
>> to watch the returns with you. >> with me. we could have just talked on the phone. >> oh, no. no. i wanted to be there when the results came in. yeah. yeah. it was a historic occasion. living history. shoot. i didn't ever think in my lifetime that i would get to see a black president. >> the thing that's sort of crushing me is, we only have one blurry picture from that night. >> oh, really? >> yeah. of you being like, ah! >> yeah. i'll never forget that night. yeah. >> and then eight years later. >> every time black people make any progress in this country there's a backlash. and so this is the backlash to obama's being president.
>> how bad do things feel right now? i mean, like i said, you've experienced every part of racism except for slavery. >> i feel fascism coming on. and so that really, really frightens me. and if we don't somehow overcome this in the next election, i'm worried. i'm really worried. >> i don't know if i ever told you this, but i remember when trump won and i was like, it's kind of too bad she didn't die while barack was in office. >> oh, really? >> like -- >> yeah. >> and you know i don't mean that. >> no, i know. i know. i know. i understand. >> it just felt like oh, come on -- >> you know, all of my siblings are deceased and i had the thought i'm glad they didn't have to live through this. one of the biggest success
stories in racism in the united states is how they have kept the races apart. and that was deliberate, of course, segregation started it. and so if you keep people apart so that they don't get to know each other, then they can just hate that unknown group. if all the people of color and the disgruntled white people came together, they wouldn't stand a chance, the people in power who want to keep us apart. they wouldn't have a ghost of a chance. so they have to keep using us as decoys to keep white people from understanding that they're being ripped off, too. one thing i know for sure is that when people get to know each other, they can't hate each other. >> yeah. look, every single episode of this show, by the end i'm hoping
the screwed up thing that we talked about will be over forever. but it never is. and sometimes, honestly, i feel alone in this. i bet a lot of you do. but one thing we're seeing right now is we are not alone. >> many other groups joined in in support. >> a crowd that is at least a few thousand here. >> a wave of demonstrations in solidarity with u.s. protesters. >> we've got to continue supporting each other. >> at home or in the streets, we are in it together. >> this sign caused the whole problem. >> no, you are racist. >> okay, maybe not every one of us. but a lot of us are in there in this fight. >> you see what is in front of them right now. peaceful protesting. >> really in the shit, putting ourselves on the line. >> we got to move here. >> from huntsville, alabama, to [ bleep ] berlin. trying to do everything we can to make sure that no matter what happens, today, we are going to do whatever we can to fight as hard as we can, love as hard as we can, to make sure that tomorrow, as one of pittsburgh's favorite sons says -- ♪ it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood ♪
♪ a beautiful day for a neighbor ♪ ♪ would you be mine ♪ ♪ could you be mine ♪ ♪ it's a neighborly day in this beauty wood ♪ ♪ a neighborly day for a beauty ♪ ♪ would you be mine ♪ ♪ could you be mine ♪ ♪ won't you be my neighbor ♪ i'm w. kamau bell and in this episode of "united shades of america" we're talking about reparations. and there's no better place to do it than new orleans. we went to new orleans in november of 2019, months before the covid-19 pandemic spread across the united states, and before the protests following the killing of george floyd at the hands of police in minneapolis. but even without those events you can clearly see how the effects of enslavement and all that followed continues with the black community of new orleans