tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN June 17, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
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it is a good day. we made progress today. embrace that. thank you for watching. it's good to share it with you. the big show, "don lemon tonight," big star, d lemon, right now. how are we going to celebrate juneteenth? >> when there is progress, we should celebrate. oh, we'll figure it out, this weekend. but i am just going to celebrate by honoring the people who came before me. i try to celebrate it, every day, by honoring the people who came before me. who fought for me to be able to sit in this seat, every night. to be able to speak, with authority. to be able to give my point of view, not opinion, there's a
difference. opinion is not based in fact. a point of view is based in fact and in truth. and it is my particular lens, through which i am speaking, as a black man in america, who happens to be gay. and i have the incredible opportunity to have this platform to -- to speak, directly, not only to the american people but, to the world. to more than 200 countries around the world. so that's how i try to honor evhonor, every single day, the slaves -- the enslaved people, who were my ancestors. so, there you go. >> part of learning curve there. enslaved, not slaves. >> right. enslaved. you're right. >> and our friends on the left have to, on a day like today, not chase after enslaved versus slaves. don't play pc with terms. recognize who the allies are. who are in favor of today, who sees it as the right kind of history, and who doesn't? >> is that an issue? slave versus -- >> yes. fight the big fights. >> yeah. i -- >> you want to win the big fights, fight the big fights. >> i had no idea that that was
an issue. i don't really see, you know, when people say i like to say survivor, instead of victim. i get that but that's me. i just said enslaved because it was -- i thought it was proper grammar. it was no pc to it. it just sort of came up but i had no idea that that was an issue. look. if you want to say slaves or enslaved, look, yeah, people were slaves and they were enslaved. i mean, i think both are correct. i don't believe in pc. but i respect, whatever term you want to use, fine. go do it. >> so, i'll tell you what i love about it. living moments of history, in this job, is the blessing. >> uh-huh. >> of doing the job. too often, it's ugly history. but having opal lee on the show. i know you know her. and her telling the story. this is a lifelong journey. bigots came, burned down her house when she was a kid. she'd been fighting this fight for decades. to see her belief in tonight, and what can come beyond.
see? because that's what it is. it's not an end. it's the proof that we can take another step and it's beautiful to be able to share it with you tonight. >> i think -- well, yes, absolutely. i think more importantly, though, we also need to speak -- you know, you spoke about the left but we need to speak to the right. the people who -- who didn't want to commemorate this or don't think that the full history of our country should be taught in schools. all of it should be taught. there were many-more people, who contributed to the beginnings, the starting of this country. to making this country what it is, than just one group of people. many, many people. and the history needs to be told by many people. there are more voices, now. more people have a voice. more people have a platform. and history is really about, if you want the true history, it's really about who is telling it, right? >> uh-huh. >> so, if you are the person who happens to be telling the history, you are going to tell it in your favor. and the best way to correct that, so that some people aren't over-indexed in the history of the country is to have all voices, as many voices as possible, included in that
history. >> you know, i had somebody, today, say, well, you know, i'm just -- i'm worried. >> in the telling of that history. go on, sorry. >> i don't want people lecturing my kid like, hey, you're white, you're bad because of this and this. i said why do you think that's what it would be? i said, that's the only problem is your perception. why wouldn't you want your kid to understand the roots of slavery and the legacy of slavery? how it has played out for enslaved people, as a culture, throughout the years. why wouldn't you want that? >> you don't think that telling people that they were beaten and sold and lynched makes them feel bad? >> that's right. that's exactly right. >> that's the idea of -- that's the whole thing about what privilege is. is that you -- you -- you -- people don't like to have their pleasure interrupted. their peace interrupted. and so, people think that it should be the way that it should be because they have been taught that in -- in this country. but, you know, telling people -- having people come to the realization, especially ancestors of slaves, that they
were enslaved and that they were beaten, they were sold, they weren't able to accrue wealth. and they weren't able to go to school. they weren't able to go vote. you think that makes them feel good? so, the folks on the other side, stoop making it about you. and be curious, instead of judgmental. that's all. >> right. and look, conservatives say they are all about the principles that reformation is about. don't you want your kids given an avenue to dignity? and for them to see what abolitionists were about? and what it is to fight the good fight for the best of reasons. to celebrate your own brothers and sisters in humanity. isn't that what you are taking them to church for? >> see, every sunday. we could have a whole conversation about this. every sunday, you know, people go -- >> do it on the "handoff." >> we will. we're supposed to be seeing each other's humanity. and loving each other, and opening up and learning about each other. but yet, and still, you know what happens. i got to go. because i am going to talk about this. i got a lot to say in this show about what we are talking about. >> i love you, d lemon. >> love you, too, brother. happy juneteenth. >> joyous juneteenth.
>> i can't wait to talk about this on the handoff and more. i am so excited to be doing that with you. thank you. i will see you soon. this is "cnn tonight" -- this is "don lemon tonight." did it, again. this is "don lemon tonight" and history is the recorded story of events, right? that took place in our past. as we have just been talking about. our pact. past. sometimes, you live through it like we did with the insurrection on january 6th and sometimes you live amid the aftermath of it. like, we do in this country, with the racist legacy of slavery. the civil right -- civil war and jim crow. history, you know, they say, is written by the victors. that's the saying. but when it comes to whitewashing history, it is often the losers, or the people on the wrong side of history, who want to do that. and republicans in congress are doing it, when it comes to the violence of january 6th. falsely, claiming that there was
no assault on the capitol or on police officers on duty that day. but we can, all, see, with our own eyes, tonight, there is new video. it's released by the justice department. and i have a warning for you, it is horrifying, and it is disturbing. >> piece of shit. communist motherfuckers, man. >> come on, take your shit off! >> so, there you go. you know, tourists, patriots, as some in congress and the senate have said. okay. it is ugly. it's painful.
and the language and the attitude and the people there. and it's probably embarrassing for a lot of people to watch. a lot of you. i know. the man in the red jacket, that you see in the middle of the screen, doing most of the -- speaking most of the profanities. or yelling/spewing them. identified by protestors -- or prosecutors, excuse me -- as thomas webster. thomas webster. a former marine and retired new york city police officer. he is accused of using the flagpole as a weapon. rushing and tackling police officers. a total of seven federal crimes, in all. that deadly insurrection, incited by the former occupant of the white house. the world's biggest-sore loser, who refused to admit that he lost the election. sending his enraged supporters, like you saw some of them there, to the capitol to try and block the peaceful transfer of power. they did not. people died.
and it, all, could have been avoided if trump only said, after the election, what he, finally, said to sean hannity last night. >> we were supposed to win, easily, at 64 million votes and we got 75 million votes. and we didn't win. >> we didn't win. we didn't win. did you hear him? we didn't win. yeah. no kidding. you did not win. he knows it. he's always known it. his supporters in congress have always known it, too. but instead of saying, then, what he says now, trump spawned deadly violence at the capitol. and republicans are trying to whitewash it. just like they are, still, trying to whitewash race ipzm in america's past. trying to block teaching america's school kids about the history of racism in this country and the impact on our country. railing against it, calling it anti-american. >> the biden administration has, also, issued regulations to
indoctrinate america's school children with poisonous and divisive left-wing doctrines such as critical-race theory and exact opposite of the american belief that we all are created equal, in the holy image of god. >> it's not going to be allowed in florida classrooms. spending tax dollars to teach kids that america is a rotten place is, absolutely, unacceptable. >> the critical-race theory, 1619. this is a project that is destroying our country. >> it's -- by the way, let's just be clear about this. critical-race theory. that term, right? that is the new boogieman, for the right. there's always got to be a boogieman. it was acorn. remember that for a while? acorn, acorn. the new, black panthers. the new, black panthers. and then, it was oh, antifa, antifa, antifa. whether it's barack obama or hillary clinton, whatever, it's
got to be a boogieman so now critical-race theory is the new boogieman. don't fall for the okeydoke. it's so transparent, but people do fall for it, as we know. since there was an insurrection on capitol hill from people who were coopted by the big lie. and so, now, critical-race theory is the big lie, right? but tonight, there is exciting news about america. okay? let's -- let's -- the good news. and a nation coming to grips with its past and the horrors of slavery, juneteenth is now a national holiday. juneteenth national independence day, to be exact. forever, going forward. america commemorates june 19th, 1865, as the end of slavery in the united states. the current president of the united states, joe biden, signing the bill into law in a remarkable and historic ceremony at the white house. america taking a giant step forward in acknowledging the horrors of slavery. the president speaking about juneteenth, in biblical terms. >> a day that reflects what the
psalm tells us. weapon weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning. juneteenth marks, both, the long, hard night of slavery, of subjugation, and a promise to come. this is a day of -- in my view -- profound weight and profound power. a day in which we remember the moral stain, the terrible toll, that slavery took on the country, and continues to take. what i've long called america's original sin. >> also, momentous. vice president kamala harris, the first-black american to hold that office, witnessing and participating in the historic event. >> throughout history, juneteenth has been known by many names. jubilee day. freedom day.
liberation day. emancipation day. and today, a national holiday. we are gathered here in a house built by enslaved people. we are footsteps away from where president abraham lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. >> healing the stains of racism is a very slow process in america. juneteenth marks a day in 1865. but president lincoln, actually, issued the emancipation proclamation in 1863. americans in parts of the south, held in bondage for two years after they were freed from enslavement. making juneteenth a national holiday should be a no brainer in the 21st century. and yet, 14 republicans in the house voted against the bill. there they are. take a look at them.
14 white men. don't want to be part of this historical moment. historic moment, i should say. congressman matt rosendale of montana tweeting i voted against a bill that would make juneteenth national independence day a federal holiday. one of 14 republicans to do so. this legislation is the culmination of decades of efforts, by the left, to prevent unashamed celebrations of our national story, heritage, and history. oh, my gosh. their intent is to replace the fourth of july with this new day. one that will, inevitably, focus on america's darkest moments. we're not perfect, as a country. but we are a great nation, morally, economically, culturally, and in many, other ways, besides. i will never support efforts to pull down that legacy, and replace it with self-hatred. yes. you -- if you're there watching
me, i read it with the disdain, quite honestly, that it deserves. so anyways, i don't want to go off script because i might say something i don't want to say. self-examination, though, is not self-hatred. the congressman's statement is just nonsense, like so many republicans. he is making this national issue a battle between left and right. it is not. civil rights and human rights are not a left-and-right issue. right? it should not be based on ideology. it's based on -- actually, if you are a patriot and you believe in all of those papers. all of those documents that were signed to celebrate our independence. then, you should be celebrating the independence of all americans, not just some. and the history of all americans, not just some. no one is trying to replace the fourth of july. you are making this a wedge
issue. but the new holiday does focus on one of america's darkest moments. and why shouldn't we? why shouldn't we? it is part of american history. just as the land was taken from native americans. part of american history, too, but it is the truth. as i said last night, there is nothing wrong or divisive about recognizing our history. including, the ugliest parts. the president saying that we should learn from our history. >> great nations don't ignore their most painful moments. they don't ignore those moments. they embrace them. >> so, at the same time, laws to uphold voting rights and equal access to the ballot box for all americans are stalled in both houses of congress. republicans are blocking passage, and gop-controlled states across the country are writing new laws. hundreds of them, to deny voting rights, especially for black and
brown americans. that's the truth. no matter how they try to spin it, that's when's happening. the president calling out the gop for its full-scale assault on the right to vote. saying, voting is a key part of fulfilling the promise of equality for all americans. >> it's not going to be fulfilled, so long as the sacred right to vote remains under attack. >> so, we need to keep fighting for the right to vote for all americans. and yet, america took a giant step forward today, in recognizing a part of our history that we, all, wish didn't happen. but it did. and now, we are officially commemorating the end of that dark history. the end of slavery. so, i'll start, where i began. there was a time, when someone like me could not sit in this chair. would not be welcomed into the
homes of people all across america. and i know, you know, i sit here every night and i talk to you about these issues. about the insurrection, about racism, whatever, and sometimes i feel like i'm preaching. but if i don't say it, who will? and i'm not saying it just because i want to say it or i'm making things up. this is the truth about america. this is part of our history. so, i'm going to keep saying it, as long as i have this platform. and that's going to be for a while. i am a completely emancipated person. so, there ya go. an american. happy juneteenth, y'all. president biden calling on americans to view juneteenth as a day of reflection, and fighting for equality for all americans. up next, the woman who literally wrote the book on juneteenth and was at the white house, today, to bear witness.
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holiday? >> well, it was amazing to me. i was surprised by the senate's action. and then, surprised that the house moved so quickly. and even more surprised about the signing today. i got an invitation, this morning, and hopped on a plane. and came down to be a part of the festivities. it was really wonderful, wonderful day. >> you know, this came together, quickly, this week. at a time when voting rights are really under threat, under assault. and it seems, no agreement can be reached here. when people on the right are making a new boogieman out of critical-race theory at a time, you know, when many in the republican party. the party -- they are pursuing a sort of white-identity politics. how can all those things be happening, and yet, there is a near-unanimous support of this? >> well, there was nearly unanimous support for it last year. there was only one senator who held out. you know, voting rights. we are at a really critical juncture in american democracy
here. and the question of voters' rights. and the determination to, in some quarters, apparently, to suppress votes is strong. i mean, the holiday is important. it's a symbolic thing. but it -- it's important, in its own way. but we're talking about politics, now. hardball politics when we come to voting. and that's always, from the days of reconstruction. obviously, after the end of the civil war and blacks -- plaque m black men got the right to vote. black participation in voting has always been a contentious subject. and so, you know, these are -- they're not the same. these two issues are not the same. one doesn't necessarily, you know, mean that the other -- that there is any sort of change of heart about those particular issues. >> that was really what is at the heart of my question. be -- and i'm wondering, because there are some -- some real issues that we need to deal with, obviously, with racism in this country. with the history of this country, as well and the teaching of history. i'm just wondering maybe that it was -- that it had this vote and all of this support because it's
easy, in some quarters, to be performative, to do a performative gesture, rather than do the real work? do you understand what i am saying? >> oh, yeah. yeah. there may be an element of that, as well. but we are going to do right by juneteenth. that is to say, to continue to do the things that people that have been celebrating it have done. and that is, make it an educational holiday. to talk about history and all of those things. and we'll continue to fight about voting rights. >> uh-huh. >> so, there -- i -- i see these things as, you know, i understand a game may be played here. but it's an important day. and there are positive things about it. we are going to take it and run with it. >> yeah. take -- look. you take what you can, and you move forward. listen. i did say near unanimous because 14 republicans in the house voted against establishing the holiday. one of them is congressman matt rosendale. and he says, their intent is to replace the fourth of july with this new day. one that will, inevitably, focus on america's darkest moments. juneteenth is not replacing the
fourth of july. and you actually think the two holidays complement each other. explain that. >> they do comp -- they complement one another. i don't know who they are but i know i have no intention. nobody i know has any intention of replacing the fourth of july. we celebrated juneteenth and the fourth of july, when i was growing up. the interesting thing about it, the order that gordon granger issued, general order number three, talks about the end of slavery. but then, he says that the former-enslaved people would occupy -- basically, be in a state of absolute equality with their former enslavers. he didn't say enslavers. he said masters. but you get the idea. and that's important because that phrase links to the emancipation proclamation. it links to abraham lincoln, who used the declaration of independence, which we celebrate on july 4th, to talk about equality. the importance of equality and creating a new birth of freedom in the united states of america.
so, juneteenth, that order, is linked to the declaration. it is linked to the fourth of july. it is not a substitute for the fourth of july. nobody -- well, you know, there may be some people out there. but there's no reason to think that the people who are proponents of juneteenth want to get rid of fourth of july. african-american people have been the most patriotic people in this country. >> thank you. >> we have had the deepest faith in this country, from the very beginning. and took the words of the declaration, when they came, seriously. >> seriously. yes. >> and have always tried to make them -- yeah -- always tried to make tell real. so that's -- that's not true. that's a misunderstanding. that's -- that's not the right presentation of what is going on here. >> and that is why people need to know the full history of the country country, professor. you just taught a lesson right there and everyone should listen to. but i have got to ask you, before i let you go, about
94-year-old opal lee. at the bill signing today. your book is on juneteenth. and for many black-americans, like opal, establishing this holiday has been a fight going on 100 years. talk to me about that. >> it was amazing to see her. when i was going down, i was saying to myself, i hope ms. lee is able to get here. is able to get here. and i was sitting there. and then, she walked in at the last moment. and i was, oh, this is great. this is great. because she -- you know, i -- we've been doing some programs together, recently, talking about my book. and talking about her quest. and i asked her, when she got involved in this? and she said, well, when i was about 89 years old and i thought to myself, wow. how wonderful? to be 89 and start on a quest. and now, a successful quest. i mean, it meant so much to her to be there today. and to be recognized and to have the things that she planned come to fruition. so, i mean, i was just over the moon, for her. >> yeah. annette gordon reid, you were
fantastic. i love your work. i love having you on. >> thank you. >> i appreciate the fight and your perspective. thank you, and please come back. best of luck to you, and again, happy juneteenth. >> happy juneteenth to you, too. >> thank you. so, republicans and democrats can work together to make a new holiday. so now, what about voting rights? police reform? and everything else on biden's agenda? >> i hope this is the beginning of a change in the way we deal with one another. ugh, these balls are moist. or is that the damp weight of self-awareness you now hold in your hand? yeah-h-h. (laugh) keep your downstairs dry with gold bond body powder. ♪ ♪ the light. keep your downstairs dry it comes from within. it drives you. and it guides you. to shine your brightest. as you charge ahead. illuminating the way forward. a light maker.
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if you thought president biden had his hands full overseas with russian president vladimir putin, it is nothing compared to what he is up against now that he is back in washington. back at home. joining me now, matthew dowd, former-chief strategist for president george w. bush. good evening, sir. thank you so much. hey. i just want to tell you, before we get started here. i saw your article in "medium." it's great. >> uh-huh. >> beautifully written. honoring juneteenth, by speaking truth and -- and fwietiighting our democracy. thank four that and i suggest
that everyone -- >> my pleasure. we all need to remember what was happened was the truth wasn't told to 250,000 slaves in texas and that's why we have to keep telling the truth, today. >> yeah. thank you, matthew. i want to talk. let's start, now, with the -- this new video from january 6th. okay? president trump goes on fox, the fox-propaganda channel, last night. and he admits that he didn't win, six months after the -- that bloody day. but that's not going to stop the big lie and the impact that it's having on the republican base. >> no. i mean, don, the problem is the big lie's become part of the gop platform. it's -- it's -- it's inherent, in every single conversation they have. they are passing bills in michigan, today, to put more restrictions on votes based on the big lie of widespread-voter fraud. they're going to have a special session here, in texas, this summer to push, again, more restrictions and more partisan involvement in elections based on the big lie. and based on the idea that there's this fictitious-voter
fraud. and so, this is not going away. the -- the former president continues to stir it up. all of his minions that are now out in front on this, across state after state after state and in washington, d.c., keep doing it. and i have to say, on the day that joe biden -- i am -- i'm relating this to juneteenth. signs the federal holiday, which i think is awesome. i have to point out, while this -- that goes on and these republicans -- some republicans voted for it, which is good. or most republicans voted for it. but at the same time, they voted for it, they are telling -- they're lying to people in the similar matter that happened to the slaves in texas. they are being lied to about what the truth is. >> uh-huh. >> and so, to me, it's a complete-hypocritical moment. >> yeah. look. they passed this juneteenth, lawmakers did, this bill, so easily. yet, when it comes to voting rights, right, police reform, infrastructure. most of the gop is all about stonewalling and -- and appealing to white-identity
politics. how do you make sense of that? >> well, i -- i think it's a -- it's become a typical-republican move. which is, do something symbolic so they can sort of try to take credit for it. and say, oh, look what we did. and then, do all kinds of nefarious activities behind the scenes or block everything that may have sub -- substantive gain for people in their voting and holding people accountable. i mean, i -- one of the things i think has been neglected in this is, yes, absolutely, voter impediments and voter restrictions are awful. but why? why is it that the republicans are doing that? it's primarily because they're doing, on the other -- on their left hand -- all sorts of awful policies that they don't want to be held accountable by the voters because the voters -- the only mechanism, by which the american public can hold their leaders accountable is the vote. that's the only mechanism. and now, republicans are trying to figure out a way. the last vestige of
accountability. to rid themselves of the last vestige of accountability. >> uh-huh. you know, the -- the current president, biden, back in washington. facing the messy reality of a stalled agenda. can -- do you think he can build on this rare moment of bipartisanship? is this something that he can build on, off of? >> i think they -- i -- i -- i'm concerned, and this is why i have been arguing that the only way for us to get past this moment in -- in -- in our american democracy is for the republicans to suffer devastating losses in 2022 and 2024. my fear is that republicans are just -- are doing votes, like, on the juneteenth holiday, as symbolic votes for them. and then, everything else they are going to do will be detrimental to the american public. so, i hope the president, president biden, pulls out of his back pocket, all of the ways that he can -- that he says he can, sort of, convince republicans to do otherwise.
after watching the last five years. after watching what happened on january 6th. and after watching the response by republicans to an insurrection. why would we think the republicans would do something good, when they are unwilling to condemn something so bad? >> yeah. right on. matthew dowd. i appreciate it. and again, thank you. read his -- the -- the column that he wrote on juneteenth in "medium." thank you so much. i appreciate it. the supreme court making huge decisions on obamacare and gay rights. liberals join conservatives. conservatives joining liberals. what does it mean for the future of the court? but what does that mean? does it mean getting back out here to feed the world? is it about getting back to this commute? this community? or this ingenuity? for folks who run with us, there is no going back. because they've never stopped working towards a better tomorrow. together, we run forward.
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agency that refused to work with same-sex couples. so, joining me now, cnn's senior legal analyst, laura coates. laura, good evening, to you. welcome. so, the conservatives joined the liberals. then, the liberals join the conservatives. laura, do we have the scotus we thought we had? >> you know, it seems that we might have some surprises may have up their sleeve. number one, oftentimes looking at a monday even for these rulings to come down and here we are on a thursday. and two really big ones that actually are quite telling about this refusal, essentially, to be defined along these ideological lines. however, when it comes to the obamacare, aka the affordable-care act decision, it really is in line with the conservatives who, generally, will look for those -- those small opportunities about standing. to say, listen. we only want those, who have, you know, skin in the game. a horse in the race. to be able to actually bring cases before us. we're not going to be expanse iv. we're not going to let people opine and pontificate and try to have these sort of discussions
in front of the court. it's got to be a real matter of controversy, and one that congress is not supposed to grapple with but, instead, the court is. >> yeah. laura, this is the third challenge to obamacare. or as you -- aka, the affordable care act. aka, aca. you know, that the scotus has weighed in on. and the vote margins to uphold it are getting wider and wider. but there is, already, another lawsuit brewing and this one is in texas. do you agree with those who are saying that obamacare is basically enshrined in the law, at this point? >> well, you know, because supreme court already has the authority to decide which cases they want to hear. i mean, the overwhelming, and i do mean the overwhelming majority of cases that people want the supreme court to hear, they don't take. they don't review. particularly, if the case has already been resolved. they don't give two bite us out of an apple, normally. let alone, three. but here, the third time was not the charm and here's why. listen. they went from this moment in time and saying, listen, the
congress can use its sort of power of the purse as a tax issue. to be able to enforce its individual mandate. then, when it went away in terms of an actual-financial penalty and went down to zero. they still said, you know what? you are going to have to show me there's some actual penalty involved. that you're actually been harmed by the impact of this individual mandate. and so, what the court did is essentially close the door, in a particular way, by saying if there is no financial penalty in place, you're really going to have a difficult time showing you are actually an injured party by just having this individual mandate out there. and so, they had left it open, yes. somebody could, essentially, say i am going to assert standing. i have a dog in this fight, essentially. but without that component of actually being harmed by a financial penalty, they have made that door closed, if not locked. >> hmm, so i want to take a look at this foster-care agency case, if you will, laura. this was a case about religious freedom. what did the court say? what's the bottom line here? >> so this comes down to the
first amendment, the free-exercise clause. and you have seen, over a series of cases now, where you have religious organizations who are saying, listen. i don't want the government telling me how i'm supposed to deal with the world. whether it's a matter of whose cake i am baking. or in terms of the healthcare benefits i extend related to contraceptives and the like. and what you are seeing here is the court siding with -- siding against the city of philadelphia and in favor of a catholic-foster agency, that essentially says, look, i'm not agreeing that marriage is between both -- two people of the same sex. they believe it's only for people of opposite sex. and so, for that reason, they're saying we do not -- are not going to abide by the terms of the city of philadelphia. we're looking at how to place a child for foster care. philadelphia said, look, we've got this rule here. we don't want people to engage in discrimination. and, therefore, you are going to have to abide. the court essentially said, listen, you have to give people the opportunity to express these religious viewpoints. and unless there's some,
overwhelming state interest that you apply, uniformly or universally, we're going to side with the -- with the church, every time. >> laura coates, thank you very much. >> thank you. it is the birthplace of the kkk. the biggest confederate monument in the world is there. but they are planning a huge juneteenth celebration. cnn is in stone mountain, georgia, next. otank color print. no more buying cartridges. big ink tanks. lots of ink. print about... this many pages. the epson ecotank. just fill and chill. (man) i've made progress with my mental health. so when i started having unintentional body movements called tardive dyskinesia... ... i ignored them. but when the movements in my hands and feet
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ hey google, turn up the heat. ♪ ♪ ♪ . president biden signing into law a bill making juneteenth a national holiday. even a small georgia town where the kkk was founded will be celebrating juneteenth this year. cnn's martin savidge has the story. ♪ >> reporter: 80-year-old gloria brown remembers when hundreds of
men in white robes would descend on her town each summer. >> as a little girl, they looked like a white ghost. they used to have a face like ghost, and they looked like a white ghost. >> reporter: crosses would burn on the nearby mountaintop. brown's father, a world war i veteran, reassured her one day, things would be different. >> he said, but that will change. >> reporter: he was right. this weekend, stone mountain, georgia, birthplace of the modern ku klux klan, holds its first juneteenth celebration honoring the end of slavery. >> we'll have a dance group, african dancers, a live deejay. we'll have vendors and food, can then we'll end the night with fireworks. >> reporter: the deputy mayor is excited to show how much is different in the village of roughly 6,300, now 78% black. >> it is our hope that people will see us for who we are today
and recognize that, you know, things have changed. we may not be perfect, but we're not who we used to be. >> reporter: but the celebration's not without controversy thanks to the town's neighbor. you see, the entire village sits in the shadow of the largest confederate monument in the united states, a carving on the side of a mountain in stone mountain park. with its confederate named streets, confederate flags, and three-acre mountainside homage to the myth of the so-called lost cause, a twisted reinterpretation of the south's defeat in the civil war. to many, it's a giant reminder of the old jim crow south, and the village has nothing to do with it. you have no say as to what goes on and what the park does? >> we have no say, zero say. >> reporter: the controversy was parked when a protest group, the stone mountain action coalition, which described them as a movement dedicated to a more unkleissive stone mountain park, requested a booth at the
village's juneteenth festival to pass out fliers about the park. the village said no because it was a celebration. >> they want a day without politics, a day without disturbance, and that is not what we stand for. >> reporter: it's not the first time stone mountain village has been caught up in the middle of anger over stone mountain park. last summer, leftist anti-racist groups and armed far-right militia members came to town in a tense face-off over race, politics, and the mountain memorial. morita davis johnson is a commissioner in the county that encompasses stone mountain park. she's no fan of the monument. >> if i had my way, it would be blasted. >> reporter: but johnson also spearheaded the effort to make juneteenth a county holiday and believes it is a time to be celebrated by everyone. >> just like we celebrate the fourth of july for the freedoms of people in this country, i
think it's also important to celebrate juneteenth for the freedoms of black people in this country. >> reporter: gloria brown's father wasn't the only one to predict a different day for his town. so did another man in 1963. in his famous "i have a dream" speech, martin luther king said in part, let freedom ring from the snowcapped -- >> let freedom ring from the kur investigativous slopes from california. but not only that, let freedom ring from stone mountain of georgia. >> reporter: this weekend in stone mountain, georgia, that dream will seem closer than ever, even as they celebrate in the shadow of the confederacy. martin savidge, cnn, stone mountain village, georgia. >> as only martin savidge could do. beautifully done, martin. thank you so much. up ahead, first it was
antifa. then it was tourists. now they are trying to tell you it's fbi agents who stormed the capitol. yeah, they are. maybe all the flags and hats could give them a clue. stay with us. go with simparica trio it's triple protection made simple! simparica trio is the first and only monthly chewable that covers heartworm disease, ticks and fleas, round and hookworms. dogs get triple protection in just one
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