tv Matter of Fact With Soledad O Brien NBC January 10, 2021 5:00am-5:30am PST
i'm soledad o'brien welcome to matter of fact. it's been a tumultuous week one. that's both threatened democracy and that has laid bare the soul of the country amid the chaos two things are clear. the nation is facing a fragile future and the whole world is watching what happens next. our democracy is under unprecedented assault. where do we go from here? it's a question. we ask ourselves now and it's a question. we asked seven months ago at another their perilous time in our history in the aftermath of the death of george floyd who died when a police officer knelt
on his neck for nearly nine minutes demonstrations erupted and our attention was focused on double standards for policing communities of color. double standards that still exists so as we start our year we pause to reflect on what's changed and what needs to change? i can't breathe hands up. don't shoot black lives matter say their names. 8:46 these are the cries of anguish calling out for an end to racism. new school talent and injustice reverberating across the country and around the world. at 22 years old bakari sellers made history as the youngest elected official in the south
carolina state legislature and the youngest black elected official in the country. well now he's a political commentator lawyer and author at the ripe old age of 35. i've but his new memoir my vanishing country begins with a story years before he was born the 1968 orangeburg. massacre at south carolina state university a historically black college highway patrolman opened fire on civil rights protesters who wanted to desegregate a bowling alley, they killed three people wounded dozens more one of the wounded was cleveland sellers, but cory's father. he was also sentenced to a year in prison accused of inciting a riot he was decades later. i spoke to bukhari earlier about why he says that day 16 years before his birth is the most important day of his life bakari sellers. so nice to talk to you. we've been on panels and had lots of conversations over the years, but never never this conversation and you you talk about your dad's story as as the
most important in your life. why? on that night injustice, it left mothers without the designs and left the pages of this country's history stained red with blood and it looks like my sister born without her father. my sister was actually born while my father was in prison. and so i my frame of reference in the way that i evaluate things socially culturally and politically is is a son of the movement and that trauma from the orange work massacre all the way through the charleston massacred bookends my life, but i think it highlights the pain and trauma of being black in america. you talk about that trauma not just personally but how that trauma actually affects lots of black men black women black families their children. i think people don't necessarily understand how trauma kind of moves through generations. can you explain that? yes, and i think i think most white folk actually looked at race through the lens of their lifetime and one of the things i try to do my banishment country in the way that i've learned about looking at races through the context think contours of
history, my father got involved in the movement. the material in 1955 so you think about emmett till and jimmie lee jackson you think about mega revers the four little girls and the 16th street baptist church and you fast forward and you have rihanna taylor a mod aubrey. we have george floyd and i think that the biggest consternation that i had in my heart is that this is becoming a cycle in black america that we are going to petrol stage of grief and i am 35 in my father calm and we have many of the same. your experiences and it should not be that way. i would describe feeling exhausted and i'm curious as a politician. are you feeling? domestic are you feeling exhausted do you see like hey if we just get through this there's this bright light at the end of the tunnel because as you point out it's going on a long time. so what's your feeling is with fannie lou hamer called? i'm sick and tired of being sick and tired and that's an age-old sage wisdom from black women
from ages beyond you ask a good question. this country doesn't give me a whole lot of reason to be optimistic. however, i refuse to let people take away my hope and i refuse to let people take away my faith. i'm just as american and love this country the same if not more than anybody else because the blood of my family literally runs through the soil of this great country trying to make it be a more perfect. um, and i think about my children all the time and they do not deserve to grow up in a country like this one in which there is a large segment of the population that does not give them the benefit of their humanity. i may not yet be jaded by reality in my 35 years of great wisdom, but you know, i still believe in words like hope and love and truth and justice and peace. i think that's necessary to maintain some sanity and hoping this country. i am often asked and i actually know every single black person that i know and i'm sure you well or asked by white people, what do i do? help me tell me, you know, and i know hashtag black lives matter is not enough.
and what advice do you give people who would like to actually do something and not just something hopeful on instagram my first caveat is it's not on black people to cure racism in this country. i think that's important for people to know but i won't i won't like folks a protest with us to get out in the streets with us because those visuals white black blue brown yellow pink etc are really good for the country to see that's healing the most important thing you have to do is talk to some of your races friends cry like you they may not know that there is that there may be blind spots but in this country so that this is the most important for viewers to understand. in this country, you can either be racist or anti-racist. those are the only two choices. we have you cannot sit on the sofa and just say i'm not racist but no you have to actively root out the scourge and cancer of racism in this country. that's what this moment requires bakari sellers always nice to chat with you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you so much for having me
coming up next the tallest officer. he tells me are you some type of tough guy when i turn around and punches me in the face and he screams. he's resisting arrest. i'm scared for my kids every time they step out the door and who arerere when our daughter and her kids moved in with us... our bargain detergent couldn't keep up. turns out it's mostly water. so, we switched back to tide. one wash, stains are gone. daughter: slurping don't pay for water. pay for clean. it's got to be tide. our great street, huge yard. there is a bit of an issue with our neighbors fencing. neighbor 1: allez! (sound from wind chimes) neighbor 2: (laughing) at least geico makes bundling our home and car insurance easy. which helps us save even more. neighbor 2: hey, sarah, hey, peter! neighbor 1: touché. neighbor 2: ahhh! neighbor 1: pret! neighbor 2: en garde! for bundling made easy, go to geico.com
journalist i've reported on too many deaths like george floyd's in 2008. i embarked on a series called black in america followed in 2014 by a documentary called black and blue about aggressive police practices and and its impact on african americans. keshawn harley has never ben in legal trouble, but he says police have stopped him more than 100 times. i first got something first when i was 13. they say i fit her description. that's i would say nine times out of ten the excuse they give
me what's the description young black male? 18 to 25. i've been stabbed over a hundred times. it does all blur together at some point, but there are those extreme. this is where is kind of hard to forget kishin is a sophomore in college. he lives with his mother sophia. i'm just coming home from school and a cop slams me against the wall on behind my back those stuff out my bag. it's called me derogatory terms like and he doesn't even let me pull out my wallet to show him who i am. it's showing him i go to the school right here it messes with you psychologically it messes with you emotionally it i don't sleep until he comes home quite frankly and i know he is not in cuffs or in anybody's more you were okay this weekend when you went out you didn't end up in a cop car for an hour like you didn't tell about last time, you know, i didn't. the fact that it happens just
about every single day. is overwhelming and can lead you to lose your hey, but then your future ends. is hard to stay calm you got somebody slammed in your face against the wall. what's the alternative baby? i'm always about the old narrative what he alternative. what's the alternative? we got punched the cop back to come back, but it's like you want me to stay calm like i do tom's with the stay calm when i said because that's what you do it the same way way way more in and i'm stayed calm when dogs biting them the same way he had to stay calm when his house is being set on fire. dr. rishon ray is a sociologist and david rubenstein fellow in governance studies at the brookings institution. he conducts implicit bias training for police departments writes about policing in america. dr. rae shawn ray. thank you for talking with me. is it as simple as a generational divide where people who are the older generation
talk about malcolm and they talk about mlk and people who are younger say, you know what that hasn't. that they need a new strategy as i look at keyshawn story and i think about the similarities that i have a little cousin named keyshawn who is around the same age that keshawn was in that particular segment and he had been stopped over 100 times and i also think about he sean's mother's health and how research highlights that women particularly black women also oftentimes have to deal with the collateral damages that are left over from police violence. but what i think that they did highlights from a generational perspective is that i hear a lot of young people saying that i am not my ancestors sincerely these hands that is a slogan that i see on social media a lot in mlk even though he was obviously for non-violence. he understood that riots meant something that it means that when people have tried to kneel when people have tried to sit peacefully like colin kaepernick
kneeling on one knee and not saying anything that they are vilified for it. so people then end up speaking up and speaking out and they're expressing that anger. cause they're hurt. what did the protesters what do they want? and how do you how do you bridge that gap between what they say they want and what exists right now, i think for a lot of people they wanted to see all of the officers charged that's obviously happened. i think another group of people actually want to see police department's defunded. i think there are other people who want to see the militaristic ways that law enforcement has become they want to see that separation. so people that have very specific goals two things make prop make these protests different though. first is the racial diversity of these protests. we haven't seen that when it comes to these movements that's related to black lives matter. i think that's a good thing a stat that highlights that is that over 50% of white people now say that these incidents like the one we see with george floyd is part of something bigger. that's something bigger is structural racism people clearly
want change but policy change generally is incredibly slow. so the research that i've done done from a policy perspective shows that in a moment that we call a policy window that is where we have an opportunity to make change on an issue and i tend to think that that change of policing is going to be a comprehensive data reporting system at the federal level to know how many people are killed by police. i think that's going to be federal legislation to ensure that officers terminated for police misconduct and not work again, and then i also think that it's going to be a lot of adoption at the state and local level to make a shift in the way these civilian payouts are done because that is something that taxpayers can demand that is we pay police officer salaries. they're supposed to protect serving create the peace and instead not create more racial disparities in the middle of a pandemic. after rayshawn ray. thank you so much for your time. i appreciate it. thank you for having me coming up as covid-19 races through this rural town can health care workers gain the trust of its residents were not to deport
racial crisis a reminder that our health crisis which disproportionately affects vulnerable and minority communities remains a threat in may correspondent. jessica gomes visited immokalee, florida america's tomato capital the town is roughly 25,000 people mostly migrant workers living below the pretty level as
covid cases spread around them. they kept working quite simply they can't afford to get sick. okay, take a deep breath and go two weeks after being diagnosed with the coronavirus alliance. walda is back for another test. what sort of the breadth and that nasty cough that comes along with it. it's not not a nice feeling a crew leader at a tomato farm and swall de is anxious to get back to work with no sickly. the days without pay are adding up i've been doing this for over 30 years now, so it's time to go to work. first farm workers here in immokalee, florida the day begins early boarding crowded buses that had to farm fields across the region. they are many spend long hot days harvesting the majority of the nation's winter tomatoes deemed essential during the pandemic their work never stopped and the virus while slow-dancing up up here is now
spreading right now with the last few weeks. we're seeing a significant increase we want to start a business and we want to set aside for weeks now the coalition of immokalee workers a non-profit group dedicated to protecting farm workers has been sounding the alarm about covid-19 and asking the state for more help and more girly it's like bright thinner on the path of a wild fire that wildfire and there there is a need to move fast. this is your part in reducing the spread of coronavirus sheriff's department vans getting the message out in english creole and spanish anna and some area farms have set up hand-washing stations around town. coalition says it's not enough all the recommendations that come out. those are things that make no sense when you're a farm worker many here are migrants on
temporary visas or they're undocumented with no paid sick leave and little access to health care. do you see lee salazar helping her my grandparents while home from college people can't get sick here. you have to work if you don't work, then you are going to pay your bills. how are you going feed your kids? for those who do get sick isolating here is difficult many live in crowded housing with other farm workers only a handful of the hundreds in a makgeolli who have tested positive have used the state's free non-congregate housing. it's more than 40 miles away. we know there's some people are scared and they won't want to leave their particular area at the request of the coalition doctors without borders now on the ground in a mockingly. it's rare that the humanitarian organization works on us soil the idea that you can get tested were then walking distance of your home where somebody speaks your language really alleviates
a lot of the the fear helps people decreases the stigma. single key case is 30th annual st. thomas, but until now there were not enough tests to go around with help from doctors without borders the florida department of health just this week announcing regular testing will begin for anyone who wants one symptoms are not by the end of may fewer than 10% of people here had been tested and not before thousands more. migrant farm workers left immokalee following harvesting in northern states. if there are no workers in the fields because people get sick in all of these farms then who's going to produce the food and the impact of the virus spreading any further likely to be felt far beyond the sunshine state in immokalee, florida for matter of fact, i'm jessica gomes.
welcome back to matter of fact. so who police's the police we wanted to take a look at a legal rule known as qualified immunity the supreme court created this doctrine 40 years ago and critics say it shields police and government officials from accountability supporters. say it protects and officers ability to make a a snap decision during up potentially dangerous. situation qualified immunity sets a high bar in civil cases when victims or their families try to sue for a violation of civil rights, but even convicting officers on criminal charges is an exception not the rule there is no comprehensive official database to track police violence, but one research group called mapping police violence reports police intentionally or accidentally
kill 1,000 civilians each year between 2005 and 2019 only three officers were found guilty of murder and saw their convictions stand. did you know that 70% of the soils on your clothes are invisible? try new tide pods hygienic clean heavy duty. see the difference, after being washed with tide hygienic clean. for a deep clean, try tide hygienic clean! if it's got to be clean, it's got to be tide. honey honey? new nyquil severe honey is maximum strength cold and flu medicine with soothing honey-licious taste. nyquil honey. the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever best sleep with a cold medicine. i'm frlocker room manager best din the league.nt i'm here to help you protect your clothes from getting damaged in the wash. that's why i use new downy defy. that's what's up!
we have an assistant locker room manager? help protect your clothes with new downy defy damage. one ups the cleaning power of liquid. can it one up whatever they're doing? for sure. seriously? one up the power of liquid, one up the toughest stains. any further questions? uh uh! one up the power of liquid with tide pods ultra oxi. - ( phone ringing )es offers - big button,alized phones... and volume-enhanced phones. get details on this state program. visit right now or call during business hours.
and accessoriesphones for your mobile phone. like this device to increase volume on your cell phone. - ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program visit right now or call during business hours. look ahead to the inauguration of joe biden and kamala harris and the issues they'll confront as they take office. before we go we invite you to check out our special project the listening tour the hard truth about bias. it's a starting point for discussions about racial justice in 2021. you'll find it on our website. matter of fact dot tv. i'm soledad o'brien will see you back here next week for matter of fact, listen to matter of fact with soledad o'brien on apple podcasts and spotify.
america," state assemblyman evan low is here to toell us about possible new laws in the new year. and then betty young will update us on the progress of the pandemic fight and why we need to think about what to do for lunar new year celebrations. then we talk with geen utoma who turned 100 years old on new year's day. and we will end with a performance. hello. i'm robert handa, your host for our show on nbc by area and cozi-tv. this is