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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  July 15, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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getting an opportunity to show her stuff. nonstop, displayed at the highest performance level... finding something and the us takes gold! ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ - yes! ♪ ahhhhhhh ♪ ♪ dream until your dreams come true ♪ thank you you for watching and giving us the opportunity. it's time, now, for "don lemon tonight," with its big star, d lemon. >> did you hear me screaming a minute ago? >> ah, no. >> i got all the way up here because i had to tape something earlier and i thought i left my jacket in this studio. and i got here, just a minute ago, and i went, ah! and i had to run downstairs. whoo! in order to get my jacket.
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>> well, i am very impressed. >> i thought you would hear me because it was loud. >> -- that you were able to do that. >> so, how are you feeling? >> better than i deserve. >> yeah? uh, we have been talking about -- a lot about the vaccines, about vaccine misinformation. about all the -- about fda approval and on and on. i have been doing some research on that and i think a lot -- i think, listen, it's important, obviously, that the fda approves the vaccines. but everything that i am reading saying that the fda approval doesn't really matter, that much. what matters is the efficacy. and that the emergency-use authorization actually came through the fda. and that, what matters is efficacy, and people put too much -- it's actually become a talking point. people are putting too much emphasis on fda approval, when the fda approval, really, doesn't matter as much as people think. what matters is the efficacy and the vaccines are effective. >> 49% of people, who haven't been vaccinated, say it being fda approved would matter.
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>> i don't believe that. i think that's an excuse. >> that's what the number is. >> i know but i try to argue the numbers the other night. and you were saying, oh, it's perception. and so, maybe, that's part of perception, as well. >> what are you talking about? >> i was trying to give you facts, the other night. and you said, what mattered was -- the facts didn't really matter. perception was reality and it was a whole thing. whatever. i don't want to -- whatever. >> don. >> but it's the same thing about this. if the -- the facts of the matter is that the efficacy is what makes -- what makes a difference when it comes to the vaccine. not someone's idea about fda approval, when there is no research or facts to back it up. so maybe, 49% believe that. but what they are believing is not, actually, the truth. and our job is to tell people the truth about the vaccine. >> the truth is nothing gets fda approval, without efficacy. so -- >> that's not -- that's not -- that's not true. >> you can't get fda approval if
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you can't show a vaccine is effect i have. >> well, you can get emergency authorization. >> that's not an approval. that is an eua. they are different things. >> emergency-use authorization. yes, that's what i just said to you, a minute ago. >> listen, don. your ability to speak is amazing. your ability to listen is limited. okay? >> no, i am trying to tell you what i am reading. >> but you must listen, as well. >> okay. >> efficacy is -- >> many people interpret the lack of fda approval to mean that the vaccines have not been properly tested, and they are, therefore, suspect. but this is a misrepresentation of the facts. >> i don't disagree with that. just because -- here, i will do it this way -- just because something hasn't re -- received fda approval, yet, doesn't mean it's bad. but if it has received fda approval, it means you can count on it, as good. >> does that -- does that mean it's good? >> if it's been fda approved, it
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better be good. otherwise, you can't trust that whole system. >> does that mean it's good for everyone? i think that is -- that has become -- um -- it's -- it's escape mechanism for, oh, i don't want to get the vaccine. or i have hesitancy about the vaccine. or i just want to have my political angle on this vaccine. i don't want to tell people so, therefore, i am going to say that if it's not fda approved, therefore, i'm not going to get it. i don't believe -- i don't believe -- i just don't believe -- i don't believe that if, all of a sudden, this was fda approved, starting yesterday or starting tomorrow, that people would run out and say, oh, it's fine, now. i think they would -- the next excuse would be the next excuse. >> the -- the numbers are suggestive. and i do think it is odd that you have -- put it this way. i've never heard of any, other conversation that we've had about any drug that wasn't fda approved about whether it should be mandated. that everybody should take it. and that this is something you have to do now. i have never heard of that, before, with something that wasn't fda approved. i know we're in a pandemic but
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i'm saying it's just a box they could check. why not remove it? it's just paperwork, at this point. i think that the biggest problem you have with people not taking this vaccine is misinformation. >> yeah. >> and i think that the biggest problem is -- >> well -- >> -- that the people spreading it benefit from it. >> i am going to agree with you on that. people should stop saying oh it's not fda -- that's bs. misinformation is the -- is the main thing. >> i think it's both. >> i don't. i don't believe that. but i got to go. >> i want -- i'm leaving. i am leaving. you can't go. i'm leaving. i love you, d lemon. >> love you, foo. i will talk to you soon. okay, this is "don lemon tonight," and there we go. every night, this is what we do but i am glad we do that because this is what you should be doing. discussing it with people, whether you agree or disagree. you know, and i am just going to be blunt here. okay? i'm gonna be blunt and i want you to listen to me. misinformation is killing us. that's what's killing us. it's killing our democracy, literally, killing us.
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the fact is people who are refusing to be vaccinated. who are listening to the lies and the misinformation are propelling the spread of the virus. a virus that kills. misinformation is killing us. misinformation is killing us. just ask the surgeon general. >> millions of people don't have access to accurate information, right now, because on social media platforms and other-tech platforms, we are seeing the rampant spread of misinformation. and it's costing people their lives. >> and we know where a whole lot of misinformation is coming from, don't we? it's coming from some in the gop putting owning the libs ahead of lies. the lives of their own supporters. like the qanon congresswoman who compared covid-vaccine outreach to nazi-era brownshirts. like another member of congress calling vaccinators, quote, needle nazis. like the crowd cheering at that big, conservative jamboree over
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the weekend, cheering the fact that the biden administration fell short of its goal of vaccinating 70% of adults by july 4th. >> because clearly, they were hoping, the government was hoping, that they could sort of sucker 90% of the population into getting vaccinated. and it -- and it -- and it isn't happening, right? there's a -- younger people -- >> so, cnn's donie o'sullivan talked to some folks at cpac about why they are refusing vaccines. watch this. >> reporter: do you know any people who got sick or died from the virus? >> i know three people who have gotten -- who got it and died but you know what? i know people who have got cancer and died, too. >> you know three people who died from coronavirus and you won't get the vaccine? >> no, i don't -- like i said, i don't need the vaccine. >> have you guys gotten vaccinated? >> no. >> won't do it. >> can i ask why? why you chose not to? >> i am allergic to a lot of things in the chemicals and stuff like that and freedom. you -- you get to choose. if you can have an abortion and choose your body, i should be
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able to choose if i get a shot. >> what about you, sir? >> i have heart problems. >> okay. >> so i just don't feel that it's -- there is enough data on it. >> okay. >> to warrant me doing it. >> yeah. >> got to wait a little bit. see how everything works out. >> so, they have pre-existing conditions, which makes them more susceptible to the virus. okay. listen. your body, your choice. said it before. people who are vaccinated aren't the ones in hospitals, though. they are not the ones who are dying. if you are not vaccinated, you are right in the sights of this virus. especially, if you have pre-existing conditions. and giving the more contagious delta variant, it's really a chance to take hold by doing that. misinformation is killing us. misinformation is killing us. and it is killing our democracy. the big lie is alive and well. and if you are telling yourself it's all in the past, here is the proof that it's living and breathing, right now, today.
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kevin mccarthy kissing the ring, getting his marching orders from the undisputed leader of the gop, the big liar, at his bedminster, new jersey, golf club just like he did when he scurried to mar-a-lago, after the bloody insurrection at the united states capitol. the insurrection, fueled by the big lie. a source is telling cnn that the meeting today didn't include any discussion of the insurrection, or the select committee about to investigate the insurrection. sure, it didn't. after all, kevin mccarthy knows exactly what his boss wants him to do. remember, michael cohen? well, he told us the former president doesn't give orders. people who work for him just know what he wants. and kevin mccarthy works for that guy. so, he's got to know what he wants. after his meeting with his boss, today, mccarthy turned around and headed to the white house for a dinner, where president joe biden welcomed german chancellor, angela merkel. the guest list, including,
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hillary clinton. and you will remember that new book from "the washington post" reporters, carol leonnig and philip rucker, "i alone can fix it." quotes that the former president in an oval-office meeting, calling chancellor merkel that b word and there's more, tonight, from the bombshell book. the authors describe the scene, where the then president is watching tv on january 6th, happy about the crowds in maga hats an hats waving trump flags at the capitol. quoting from the book. he thought this was cool. he was happy, recalled one aide who was with trump that afternoon. then, when it turned violent, he thought, oh, crap. so, sources telling cnn's jamie gangel that he wasn't worried about people getting hurt. he wasn't worried that it would make him look bad. he was worried, i should say, that it would make him look bad. and it sounds like he may not have been the only one. the authors write this about ivanka trump. as soon as she saw, on television, in her second-floor office that the rioters were inside the capitol, ivanka trump said to her aides, i'm going down to my dad.
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this has to stop. she spent several hours walking back and forth to the oval trying to persuade the president to be stronger in telling supporters that he stood with law enforcement and ordering them to disperse. okay. whatever. they go on to quote presidential adviser -- a presidential adviser saying that the president's daughter was described as like a stable pony brought in the calm to calm down an agitated race horse. i don't know. sounds like reputation laundering. maybe, reputation dry cleaning. let's not forget that ivanka trump tweeted, then deleted, this on january 6th. calling the insurrectionists, quote, american patriots. her dad putting out a statement, today, responding to the book's reporting that the chairman of the joint chiefs, general mark milley, was so shaken by trump's refusal to concede that he worried he might attempt a coup. well, it's not so much a statement. more like a schoolyard insult. quote, if -- if i was going to
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do a coup, one of the last people i would want to do it with is general mark milley. i totally didn't do it. but i -- if i did, this is how i'd do it. so, these new books make the case that the -- the threat to our democracy is not in the rear-view mirror. it is clear-and-present danger. the lies. the misinformation. they are killing us, and they're threatening our democracy. but president joe biden's speaking on his new child-tax credit that will put hundreds of dollars in parents' pockets, every month, says it's efforts like this that prove democracy can, still, deliver. >> we're proving that democracy can deliver for people, and deliver in a timely way. saving lives. improving lives. helping fuel record-setting recovery. giving working families a fighting chance, again. >> so, what if the president came out and urged his supporters to get vaccinated? the former president. would that counter the misinformation that's killing
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us? >> we see misinformation, literally, costing us our loved ones. costing us lives. all of us have to ask how we can be more accountable and responsible for the information that we share. age-related macular degeneration may lead to severe vision loss. so the national eye institute did 20 years of clinical studies on a formula only found in preservision. if it were my vision, i'd ask my doctor about preservision. it's the most studied eye vitamin brand. if it were my vision, i'd look into preservision. only preservision areds2 contains the exact nutrient formula recommended by the nei to help reduce the risk of moderate to advanced amd progression. i have amd. it is my vision so my plan includes preservision.
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the surgeon general issuing a stark warning about the dangers of health misinformation, as covid cases are on the rise. dr. vivek murthy calling misinformation a serious threat to the public health. and saying it's convincing americans not to get vaccinated. they are believing it's myths -- myths and about -- excuse me -- they are believing in myths about the covid vaccines. but will this warning reach the ears it needs to reach? that is the question. i want to bring in now, frank luntz, republican pollster, and communication strategist. frank, thank you so much. i am glad you are here to talk about this. let's talk about our misinformation nation that we are living in right now. some elements of the -- of the
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right. and we know who they are. they are leading people to make life-and-death decisions, not based on facts but, on party lines. so, give me your -- your take on this. and perhaps, it should not be based in politics. what do you think? >> it shouldn't be. it can't be. if you want people, who have not been vaccinated, to get the vaccine, you have to give them credible evidence. you have to provide them accurate facts, which is not always happening here. you have to acknowledge their hesitations and concerns, and respect them for it. and then, remind them that it's not just themselves, who they're making the decision for. it's their family, their friends, the people they come in contact with. the fact is those people who are getting the delta variant, right now, fact is that virtually all of them have not been vaccinated. and so, you are putting you, your family, your friends, and your community in jeopardy, by refusing to do this. but we get it. we get why you don't want to do it, and we're just asking you,
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if the evidence and the facts are 51-49, please, see it on the side of being careful. being cautious. and getting the vaccine. that that's the right decision. so, i'm telling people, don't shout at those who aren't vaccinated. don't insult them. empathize with them. and then, try to provide them information in a calm, rational way, to make a difference. we will all be better off, if they make the right decision. and frankly, we're all going to be worse off if we got people who aren't protected. >> so a couple things here. um, so the whole idea about it not being -- it shouldn't be political. but we know who made it political. okay. fine. but -- and continues to. so, that -- that is really the issue here because i can sit here every night. or the white house or, you know, the folks in -- in our health experts can say these are the facts. this is why you need to get it.
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all -- everything you just said, frank. and then, you have someone who has a very big microphone telling people otherwise. so, how do we do all those things? and quite frankly, if someone is putting my life at risk, my loved ones' lives at risk, my colleagues' lives at risk, don't you want to yell at them and say, hey, wake up? >> i will make it easy for you. because of where i come from and the people that i support or have supported and worked for, i will make it easy for you. joe biden should, specifically, ask donald trump, publicly, publicly, to join him. say to come to the white house, and be filmed saying, mr. president, mr. president trump, you developed this vaccine, in record pace. and you deserve credit for that.
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because we would not be able to vaccinate people, if it wasn't for you, donald trump. and then, he should say, mr. trump, tell your people right now, right now, that you developed the vaccine. your administration. you know it's safe. you took it. your wife took it. your kids have taken it. now, it's time for the american people to take it. now, it's time for your people to take it. actually, i would ask joe biden, right now, not to call him out. but to call on him to do the greatest-public service he could. now, i get trump's e-mails, every day, and as i said, i'll make it easy for you. every day, they talk about the election being stolen. if he would just spend one day, one day, asking his people to make the right decision. to read the evidence, to see the facts. this is not the government telling them what to do. this is not washington, d.c. or some bureaucrat. this is only donald trump, the person they supported and voted for who, himself, has taken the
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jab. i'm in london right now so i'll use their language. and -- and i did it. and i ask for you to consider doing it, as well. >> okay. let me jump in here because joe biden has done some of what you said. he has given the former president credit, on a public stage, in a press conference, more than once, about developing the vaccine. now, as far as the part about getting him to come to the white house and film him or whatever. do you actually think donald trump would do that? >> i don't. i actually don't and that's the tragedy of it. but it would put pressure on him to, at mar-a-lago, or wherever he happens to be, instead of highlighting anti-vaxxers, if he highlighted the fact that he got it. people need role models and, don, you know this and, i think, in the past, you talked about it. the importance of role models in society. role models in politics. people who are on the right path, who do the right thing, we
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point it out. we highlight it because we spend so much time being critical. being negative. tearing people down. instead, we need to build people up who are doing the right thing, for the right reasons. and that is what you challenge president trump to do. you challenge him to save the lives of his own voters, not because they have to but, because they want to. and that's key. if it looks like a mandate/requirement, then -- then they won't do it. and the other group, because we're forgetting them because it's easier to talk about the political group, is the young people. 18-to-29-year-olds who think they won't get the vaccine. >> and they are getting it. they're becoming ill. they're becoming susceptible to covid and young people, as well. sorry, go ahead, frank, we have a delay. go on. >> and so, that's what we need. we need those -- that -- those young people to know that they are as vulnerable as their parents are. and in fact, i'll say in your show for the first time, the group that i really want to get
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involved right now, before -- before the school starts to open up is aarp. because the strongest relationship, familial relationship, isn't husband and wife, isn't brother-sister or parent-child. it's grandparent-grandchildren, because, don, they both have the same enemy. let's get grandparents, all their grandkids, right now, and say, before you go to school, i want you to do your grandmother a favor. i'm going to ask you. i won't make you eat my tuna noodle casserole if you agree to be vaccinated and grandkids can't turn down their grandparents. aarp has an important role to play. and the other group that we need to focus on are pharmacists because there are a lot of people who know their pharmacist as well as their doctor. and the pharmacist getting involved, sending out a 60-second video to people who use them. that makes a difference. so, don, i am trying to find solutions. and we got a project that's
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star starting, right now, that will be advising anyone who is listening, including the current-white house because, in reality, we know no partisan differences. so, if i can provide information language for the white house that they are willing to use, good for them. and it's the right thing to do. >> well, i will tell you. i know exactly how this will go. i -- older than i look. only, by like a year or so. but -- sleepy joe couldn't get it done. he had to call me in to get people vaccinated because he couldn't do his job. so, why would joe biden open himself up to that? and that is exactly the way that fox-propaganda network would -- would cover it, as well. i just think that we've reached the point. we've gone -- listen, i agree with what you are saying. in a perfect world, that would be amazing. and i think that's how it should work but i don't think that we are at that point right now. i think we are too far divided. it doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying but that's where we are. i got to run, though. thank you, frank. thank you, frank. i will see you soon. thank you very much. the same day the world's
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learning top-military leaders feared the former president could attempt a coup, his party's proving they are -- they're willing just to be loyal to him. so, stay with us. that delicious scramble was microwaved? get outta here. everybody's a skeptic. wright brothers? more like, yeah right, brothers! get outta here! it's not crazy. it's a scramble. just crack an egg. icy hot. ice works fast. heat makes it last. feel the power of contrast therapy, so you can rise from pain. ♪ thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer
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of the joint chiefs of staff, general mark milley, was concerned the then president might attempt a coup following his election loss. joining me now to discuss, cnn political commentator, anna navarro, and charlie dent. good evening, to both of you. good to see you. charlie, mccarthy's gone to bedminster. he is going to kiss the ring, getting his marching orders a day after we are learning about leaders of our military, that they were concerned about a coup attempt by trump. speaking about it on sean hannity, tonight, i want you to listen. >> some of the actual discussions i had with president trump. talking about the border. talking about our success in the last election. talking about our first-six months in fundraising. and we even talked about you a little bit, too, sean. and that was all good. >> okay. well, i don't -- i don't want to know that part. we'll see. >> charlie? >> yeah. well, look. it's -- it's clear that kevin mccarthy and the gop leadership have made a very calculated-political decision that they need to be close to donald trump, in order to win the midterms. and, look, they just raised
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$45 million, the national republican congressional committee raised $45 million in the second quarter. that is an incredible hull it's massive and so that part seems to be working for them. but what they're not calculating here is that they are limiting their growth potential by tying themselves so closely to donald trump. you know, i don't know how they're going to win back these swing districts where trump is -- is seriously underwater in these suburban areas. so they made this calculation. >> they are trying hard, charlie, i will tell you, real quickly, and i will let you finish. they are trying hard with the critical-race theory because they -- they think that appeals to suburban parents, educated people. um, maybe it's having an effect. i don't know if it is showing in the polling but you are saying they're underwater. sorry to cut you off but go on. >> yeah. the bottom line is it's -- it's even more mind boggling that he would have a meeting with former-president trump on the same day that we're hearing general milley, you know, talk about, you know, equating, you know, 1933 by the nazis to, you
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know, to the insurrection. i mean, we have heard this, before. and i mean, it just -- the -- the news gets worse about the insurrection, about the attempt to -- to really prevent the peaceful transfer of power. so, again, this is a political calculation. they think it will work. they don't need to win many estates. but i think they're really taking a great risk. it's a gamble. and clearly, it's not good for the long-term prospects of the party. >> i see you raring to get in, anna, go ahead. >> look. i -- i think kevin mccarthy has mastered the art of sucking up to trump. uh, he realizes he is dealing with a man who's got a fragile, little ego, to go along with his little hands. and he has got to, constantly, be soothing and stroking that ego. so i think, look, on the one hand, kevin mccarthy does not want trump as an enemy. he doesn't want trump meddling
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in primary races in hard-to-win districts that republicans may be able to flip or win, unless donald trump gets behind somebody who will win the primary, that cannot win a general. and i also don't think it's a coincidence. and again, it's about the fragile, little ego that needs to be, constantly, stroked. i don't think it's a coincidence that, on the day that kevin mccarthy or the night that kevin mccarthy is going to be at a small dinner with angela merkel, who trump dislikes, and hillary clinton who trump loathes. and joe biden, who is the president of the united states, who beat trump. kevin mccarthy had to go kiss the ring and soothe, you know, trump's nerves. and what he has -- what he is trying to portray as, like, the white house in exile in bedminster. we saw him use a podium, have all these flags. try to make it look very white housish. so i think it has a lot to do with that. he -- you know, i think trump was gonna -- was gonna throw a
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jealousy tantrum like a spoiled child. >> yeah. bottom line this for me, charlie. you know, you hear what anna says on the very same day as this and they are meeting and they are not talking about the insurrection. what they are talk -- they're strategizing. >> of course. look. there -- there's no question that kevin mccarthy feels he needs to keep donald trump close to him. he needs him more as an ally, than an enemy, in order to -- to win. kevin mccarthy wants to be speaker so badly, that, you know, he -- he knows that if trump turns on him, that a significant number of house republicans will, too. and you remember what happened to kevin mccarthy in 2015 when john boehner stepped down. he was taken down when he tried to ascend to the speaker's role by many on the -- the hard right of the gop conference. and so, kevin mccarthy is doing everything he can to maintain that support from that wing of the party. i think that's what this is entirely about. >> thank you very much, charlie and anna. i appreciate it. so he says there is nothing wrong with a patriotic education but the creator of the 1619
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so, here on this show, we have explained what critical-race theory really is. and how it's being used and manipulated, by the right, as a wedge issue to rile up their base. it's led to protests at school-board meetings, and efforts by republicans in several states to try to ban the theory. the intense debate striking at the heart of what's vitally important to so many parents in our country. and that's our children. and what we teach them about our nation's history. so joining me now, "new york times" opinion columnist. he has written several recent articles about education and how we teach kids about racism. and i found the last one -- um -- really fascinating. so, ross, thank you so much. i appreciate you appearing on the program. >> thanks so much for having me, don. >> i want to start with one of
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your articles. why a patriotic education can be valuable. where you talk about, first, teaching kids a patriotic foundation that focuses on great achievements from, both, black and white heroes. and then, introducing the ugly side of our history, warts and all. why is that the best way to teach kids about our history? >> well, the -- i mean, the argument in the column is basically that, if you think of, you know, if you think of the history you learn as something like the history of your family, right? like, as you come to maturity. as you become an adult, you're going to want to know the whole history of your family. you know, warts and all, right? you are going to want to know -- um -- you know, about the scandals in the past. and things that didn't work out. things that didn't go well. but that's all going to be easier to learn, if there's a basic foundation of love and affection. and that's easier, in certain ways, for the family because, you know, except in really terrible circumstances, you are
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sort of -- you know, you are in community with your family. you can't help loving them, for better or worse, right? but history is distant. obviously, it still echoes, today. but, you know, a founding of the united states, the civil war, all of these things to kids especially, are sort of unimaginably distant, in many ways. so just like with -- with your family, i think, you want to start on a foundation of not even so much love, as appreciation. you want to be able to say, these were things that people did in the past that helped found the united states, establish it as a country. make it a better country, over time. that are admirable. are fascinating. are interesting. are cool. and that doesn't mean, you know, like, you can tell a 5-year-old about the civil war, right? it -- it doesn't mean that you don't -- it doesn't mean that, like, you scrub the whole history but if you tell the 5-year-old about the civil war, the story is going to be about how ulysses s. grant was an incredibly heroic general, right? and similarly, if you are telling a little kid about slavery and about, you know, the experience of black-americans, the story's going to be about
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harriet tubman, sojourner truth, and all the way down to martin luther king. a story of coming up from slavery, the escape, the triumph over slavery. and then, you know, the darkness. the fact it took hundreds of years and there is incredible cruelty and suffering along the way. i think more naturally, comes in as kids get older. and so, that's -- that's basically the argument. >> well -- >> you are trying to establish a foundation and part of it, too, is you want kids to be interested in the past, right? i think one of the dangers, when people, for admirable reasons, set out to teach sort of, you know, the absolute-whole truth is, you can establish a sense among kids that the past is just sort of a long list of terrible crimes. and before you get to the crimes, you want people -- you want kids to find it -- >> but isn't there a balance? i'm just wondering. i'm wondering, that may be okay, i guess, for, quite honestly, for white kids. but for black kids, i learned, very early on, about slavery. i went to an all-black catholic school and, you know, some of
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the first things we learned about history was about slavery and about, you know, the -- the degradation of slavery. and part of our project. i don't know how old you are. was -- but part of my homework was to watch "roots." and that, certainly, wasn't a pretty picture. and i'm okay. and all of the black kids in my class, who learned about it, were certainly okay. listen. i want to ask because i think nikole hannah-jones has a really good response to this. i asked her, you know, she is a 1619 project creator. i asked her about your idea and this is what she said to me. >> must be, you know, an amazing luxury to hold off on the painful stuff, until the right moment because i can tell you, as a black-american, as asian-americans, we can't hold off on those painful parts because they explain so much about our very existence. and what became the united states. so, how does one teach about black patriots, and not say that
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the war that black people were fighting was actually against their fellow countrymen. to be recognized as full-and-equal citizens. >> and -- and bmy response to her, ross, was how then does one teach about harriet tubman and not tell the reason for what she did? why -- why she did what she did and about the underground railroad. doesn't she have a point? >> of course. no, no, the argument is not that you don't tell the kids what harriet tubman was doing. the argument is that, you know, that i mean, the story of "roots," itself, is a story of -- it's a story with an arc, right? it's a story of, you know, it's similar to the black national anthem, right? that, you know, it's -- it's a story where you are telling a story about suffering. but you're emphasizing the idea that suffering is something that heroic people have fought and partially overcome. and i mean, honestly, i think it's -- i think the story of black-americans is the most
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heroic story in -- you know, in the entire-american tapestry. and, of course, you are telling the kids why harriet tubman was doing the things that she was doing, and why she had to do them. but the point of starting with her is to start with a story of heroism and to start with agency and to start with the idea that there are people in the past who we want to identify with. and i don't think my -- i don't think my argument is that far off from -- actually, from what, you know, some of the things that my -- i guess, my colleague, nikole, wrote at the beginning of the 1619 project. right? that like, this is -- you know, this is a story about how black-americans were, you know, the people who were sort of -- who sort of called the country to become what its founding documents said that it was supposed to be. >> okay. i want you to hold that thought because i'm -- i'm going to keep you around because we have much more to talk about. this conversation, not over, yet. more with ross, next. this may look like a regular movie night.
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when you have an irregular heartbeat, it's more. it's dignity. the freedom to go where you want, knowing your doctor can watch over your heart. ♪ so we're back now with "the new york times" opinion columnist. you can see that structural racism exists and there's strong
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evidence for it, but you say it's a progressive solutions being offered that are fueling the backlash. how is that? >> well, so a lot of what's happening that's driving controversy in schools right now is not teaching that racism exists and has consequences today. it's a much more specific sort of theory of how you basically deal with contemporary -- where you have a group of writers and thinkers and educators sort of influenced by ideas in critical theory, but really the constellation of ideas is somewhat separate from it, i think, who basically have a kind of pedagogy, a way of teaching where they're encouraging kids to sort of think about, you know, you'll have like the most extreme example is this woman named tima oken, who has this sort of curriculum where she will do workshops for teachers
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and say, we need to think about all of these things, the worship of the written word as like sort of features of a toxic whiteness, right? there's this use of whiteness as a category where you're essentially putting things like meritocracy and a whole host of things that i think most parents assume schools are supposed to be generally in favor of into some kind of basket of white privilege, whiteness, and then you're encouraging kids -- white kids to have sort of -- to in effect cultivate a kind of sense of their own whiteness with the idea being that if you encourage that, these kids will then be able to sort of recognize their own white privilege and transcend it. and i don't think it's clear that that works. i don't think it's at all clear that constructing a stronger sense of racial identity in order to make people feel a sense of their own privilege and guilt is actually effective at doing this. and i think this is a -- but
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that's a lot of where the controversy is, right? it's about these programs that aren't teaching about the history of racism -- >> well, we have to -- >> they're specifically saying, you know, white kids especially need to think of themselves in these categories and in these ways, and that's, i think, a big part of what people are reacting against. >> listen, i don't know if that in fact is happening. but, ross, we should say critical race theory is not being taught. it's not part of the curriculum for elementary or grade school students. it's something that's taught in law school. >> that's not exactly right. critical race theory is incredibly influential set of ideas that has solid influence in education, schools, and elsewhere. again, it's not the foundational text of critical race theory that are being taught in primary schools, but curricula are being developed that do reflect ideas that come out of critical race theory in some attenuated sense. and it's passing through figures
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like robin deangelo and these sort of prominent public intellectuals slash sort of activists slash authors. so it's being popularized. it's moving out of the academy, but there is a real set of ideas here that is different from we're teaching more about jim crow. we're teaching about the tulsa massacre. there is a distinction between teaching more about racial history and the history of segregation and these kind of programs of how we're fighting whiteness in schools. >> and you think critical race theory is teaching kids that whiteness is bad because that's not part of what critical race theory is. maybe that's part of an agenda that some teachers may have. >> critical race theory sets -- i mean, one, it's a really complicated field, right? critical race theory emphasizes the structural effects of racism that are not about individual racists, right? it's about sort of the -- >> institutions and -- >> but then there are thinkers within critical race theory who
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argue that in order to break these patterns, you need to force white people to reckon with the extent to which they, themselves, benefit from these structures. so then you're back to individualizing it. and when that kind of idea is being turned into curricula for fifth graders, i think it's very easy for it to go wrong. at best, you could say it's a very fraught way of teaching, and you shouldn't be surprised that parents -- that, one, there may be situations where it's done well, but there also may be situations where it's done very badly, and it wouldn't be surprising that parents would be a little bit, shall we say, puzzled by having their kids come home and say, you know, today we talked about how meritocracy is connected to, you know, white privilege and a toxic whiteness, right? like that's -- you can see where people -- where the backlash would come from, i think. >> ross, thank you so much. i appreciate you joining us. we'll have you back. we'll continue this conversation because it's certainly not going
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anywhere anytime soon. thanks so much. >> not for a little while. thanks so much, don. he feared the then-president would attempt a coup and now we're hearing about the final conversation between general mark milley and the former president who talked about the wild protests coming on january 6th. erybody's a skeptic. wright brothers? more like, yeah right, brothers! get outta here! it's not crazy. it's a scramble. just crack an egg. now, simparica trio simplifies protection. ticks and fleas? see ya! heartworm disease? no way! simparica trio is the first chewable that delivers all this protection. and simparica trio is demonstrated safe for puppies. it's simple: go with simparica trio. this drug class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions, including seizures; use with caution in dogs with a history of these disorders. protect him with all your heart. simparica trio.
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