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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  April 18, 2021 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> oath keepers! >> t they were central to the violent january 6 attack on the u.s. capitol. >> we are in the main dome right now, and we are rocking it. >> but who are the oath keepers? >> i think what makes the oath keepers unique and challenging, beyond the fact that they are a formal group with chapters all over the country, is that a large percentage have tactical training and operational experience in either the military or law enforcement. >> we overran the capitol. we're in the ( bleep ) capitol, bro!
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( ticking ) >> imagine a fully-loaded jumbo jet with 220 passengers and crew taking off and crashing today. and the same thing hpened every day next week, and every day next month, and every day for the rest of the year. that's exactly what is occurring when we say there are racial disparities in health in the united states. over 200 black people dying prematurely every single day. ( ticking ) >> viola davis is currentltly te yoyoungest actctor to haveve won oscacar, an emmymy and a tony a. >> wow. >> and as s you'll heaear tonig, she knew that she needed to slip poverty's grip if she were ever going to slip into character. >> what about my life? >> i needed something to catapult me out of this like a rocket booster. the dreams, they couldn't be casual dreams. >> did you know you had talent deep down? >> abso-freakin-lutely. ( ticking ) >> i'm lesley stahl.
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>> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm sharyn alfonsi. >> i'm jon wertheim. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories and more, tonight, on "60 minutes." ( ticking ) [ crowowd cheeringng ] [ enengine revviving ] [ racece light couountdown ] ♪ ♪♪ whwhen you savave money with allllstate yoyou feel likike you're w win. safe dririvers save e 40% saviving is easysy when you're in n good handsds. allstatate. click k or call for a ququote today.y. struggling to manage my type 2 diabetes saviving is easysy when you're in n good handsds. was knocking me out of my zone, but lowering my a1c with once-weekly ozempic® helped me get back in it. ♪ oh, oh, oh, ozempic® ♪ my zone? lowering my a1c and losing some weight.
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anti-government militia movement. among them: current and former military and law enforcement. their name is a reference to the oath they took to defend the u.s. constitution. but unlike most other militia groups, we learned the oath keepers haven't been hiding. they've been armed and in plain sight, broadcasting plans to mobilize. >> rioter: pull! pull them this way! >> alfonsi: if you were looking for a roadmap to january 6... >> rioter: they're storming the ( bleep ) capitol now! oh my god! >> alfonsi: ...all you had to do was listen. >> zello: okay, guys, we're on an open channel here now. >> alfonsi: these are the voices of far-right extremists communicating with each other in real-time from homes across america and on the ground in washington... >> zello: godspeed and fair winds to us. >> u.s.a.! >> alfonsi: some of them made their way to the capitol. >> jess watkins: trump's been trying to drain the swamp with a straw. we just brought a shop vac. >> zello: stop the steal!
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>> alfonsi: they were talking on a phone and computer app called zello. it's un-encrypted, like a walkie-talkie, and has an international user base of around 150-million. it's popular with truckers, disaster relief groups, activists, and extremists. >> zello: be safe, be alert, and stay in groups. >> alfonsi: anyone can listen to zello, and micah loewinger did. loewinger, a wnyc radio reporter, started working with the online extremist research group militia-watch to understand how militia groups liked to use zello to recruit and communicate. >> micah loewinger: leading up to january 6, we uncovered examples of militias saying things like "revolution or bust." that they were using zello to plan their travel to washington, d.c. that they were going to have separate channels for people gathering intel and separate channels for boots on the ground. >> alfonsi: and they did.
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on january 6, micah loewinger found an open "stop the steal" conversation going on among 100 people on zello, and started recording. >> loewinger: it wasn't until a couple days later that i started to realize how much planning must have gone into this event. and that's when i heard this mysterious woman narrating her march to the capitol and eventually inside. >> watkins: we have a good group. we've got about 30, 40 of us. we're sticking together and sticking to the plan. >> alfonsi: that mysterious woman is jessica watkins, a 38-year-old army veteran. she's the leader of a self- described ohio militia group and member of the oath keepers. >> watkins: we're moving on the capitol now, i'll give you a boots-on-the-ground update here in a few. >> oath keepers! >> alfonsi: that's watkins with the goggles, and here with nine other oath keepers in battle gear. they move in a "stacked" military formation, methodically
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working through the crowd up the capitol steps towards the doors, just as the capitol doors are breached. on zello, others cheer her on... >> zello: you are executing citizens' arrest! >> alfonsi: she offers a play by play. >> watkins: we are in the main dome right now. we are rocking it. they're throwing grenades. they're freaking shooting people with paint balls. but we're in here. >> zello: get it, jess. do your ( bleep ). this is what we ( bleep ) lived up for. everything we ( bleep ) trained for. >> donovan crowl: overran the capitol! >> watkins: we're in the ( bleep ) capitol, bro! >> alfonsi: for weeks, extremist watchdogs like the anti- defamation league, national news outlets, andnd journalists like micah loewinger had been warning of possible violence on the 6. >> loewinger: if they had been paying attention to the whole network of far-right groups online that were extremely vocal and very public about what they wanted to happen, i don't believe we would have seen so many people break into the capitol.
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>> watkins: police are doing nothing, they're not even trying to stop us at this point. >> alfonsi: members told us at least 40 oath keepers were at the january 6 rally, with some, seen here, providing security to trump associate roger stone. 13 people associated with the oath keepers have been charged with federal crimes, including jess watkins, who has pled not guilty. the zello recordings are helping prosecutors make their case. zello has since deleted 2,000 of these extremist channels. >> javed ali: that is just a small demonstration of capability, that luckily didn't turn into a more lethal threat. >> alfonsi: javed ali is a former n.s.c. senior director, and was a counterterrorism official at the f.b.i. under the trump administration. >> ali: i think what makes the oath keepers unique and challenging, beyond the fact that they are a formal group with chapters all over the country, is that a large percentage have tactical training and operational
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experience in either the military or law enforcement. that at least gives them a capability that a lot of other people in this far-right spae don't have. >> alfonsi: the story of oath keepers is very much the story of this man. >> stewart rhodes: hoo-ah! all right. i am stewart rhodes, i am the founder of the oath keepers. >> alfonsi: in 2009, in lexington, massachusetts, where the first shots were fired in the revolutionary war, stewart rhodes founded the oath keepers in response to the election of barack obama. >> rhodes: there is no expiration date on that oath. it is for life. >> alfonsi: rhodes enlisted in the army at 18, and was honorably discharged at 24. he went on to graduate from yale law school and became a constitutionalist. later, warning america was on the brink of government tyranny. in 2010, he told bill o'reilly that it was up to current and former members of the military and police-- who took an oath to defend the constitution-- to
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stop that tyranny. >> bill o'reilly: the commander in chief is the president, by our constitution. if he issues an order, are you telling people not to obey the order if they don't like it? >> rhodes: if it's unconstitutional, yes. >> o'reilly: so each soldier makes up his mind whether the order he's given is constitutional or not? >> rhodes: it's a heavy burden to meet. but if you obey an unlawful order, you can also be in trouble. >> alfonsi: the group recruited thousands, opening up chapters across the country. they formed a board of directors and ten orders to live by, elevating themselves to "guardians" of the republic and the constitution, vowing to protect against mass gun confiscation and a marxist invasion. in 2014, they took their fight to the nevada desert. rhodes sent armed oath keepers to defend the rancher cliven bundy, who was in a 20-year battle with the federal government about public land use. and in 2015, months after the police shooting of michael brown in ferguson, missouri, oath keepers arrived with ar-15-
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style weapons, saying they were there to p protect busininesses. but in 2016... >> u.s.a.! u.s.a.! >> alfonsi: the oath keepers blieved they finally had an ally in the white house. >> trump: we will build a great wall along the southern border! ( cheers and applause ) >> alfonsi: when president trump warned of an invasion of undocumented migrants, the oath keepers called onon members to patrol the border. and this fall, when president trump warned of election fraud, founder stewart rhodes appeared on "infowars," conspiracist alex jones' talk show, setting the stage for what was to come on january 6. >> rhodes: we have men already stationed outside d.c. as a nuclear option, in case they attempt to remove the president illegally. we will step in and stop it. it's either president trump is encouraged and bolstered and strengthened to do what he must do, or we wind up in a bloody fight. we all know that. the fight's coming. >> alfonsi: but for some oath keepers, the rhetoric was too much. former board members told us rhodes adopted a more violent, militia-style ideology, and it
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was tearing apart the group. chapters in virginia and north carolina broke ties with national well before the 6th, citing a departure from the original mission. others distanced themselves after the insurrection. >> jim arroyo: please rise for the invocation. >> alfonsi: including the country's largest chapter in arizona, where jim arroyo is vice president. while arroyo doesn't think the election was legitimate, he doesn't think anyone should have stormed the capitol. >> arroyo: i want to congratulate stewart rhodes and his ten militia buddies for winning first place in the ultimate ( bleep )contest, because that's what it was. that goes against everything we've ever taught, everything we believe in. it was pre-planned. it was pre-staged. ten guys go and do something stupid, and suddenly, we're the devil.l. ( prprotests )) >> alfonsi: in september, some arizona members showed up armed at a black lives matter protest in prescott. jim arroyo told us law enforcement coornatediwith him to help keep the peace. the local sheriff's department
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told us they didn't ask for their help. the critics of your presence there say, like, these are just a bunch of guys who are wannabees, and they can't wait to get dressed up and play the role. >> arroyo: our guys are very experienced. we have active-duty law enforcement in our organization that are helping to train us. we can blend in with our law enforcement and, in fact, in a lot of cases, our training is much more advanced, because of our military backgrounds. there's nothing i love more than my ar-15 and my chainsaw, and i don't know which one i like more! ( laughter ) >> alfonsi: jim arroyo invited us to a meeting to see for ourselves. the crowd, mostly retirees, meet twice a month. >> arroyo: see how warm that is? >> alfonsi: to talk about how to survive disasters like forest fires... >> arroyo: these things are great. >> alfonsi: ...attacks on the power grid, and civil war. >> arroyo: so that's why we talk about civil unrest, civil war. it's not a joke. this can happen, and we need to be ready for it. >> alfonsi: yesterday, jim said "do you think we're in a civil war?" and everybody nodded their
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heads and said yes. cathy york, gary harworth, and mike rice are members. do you all think that we are in the middle of a civil war? >> cathy york: i think that we are. you've got good versus evil right now going on in our country. >> alfonsi: who do you view as evil? >> york: anybody that doesn't support our constitution and follow it. they're trying to change it. >> gary harworth: this country is divided right down the middle, and you're on one side or the other. people have to realize that when things go crazy, things get a little chaos-y around you, you have to be able to take care of yourself, defend yourself, protect your family, those you love. that's part of the constitution. >> alfonsi: so on january 6, when you see these people wearing that same emblem storm into the capitol, what was your reaction? >> york: some of those people with oath keepers could have been b.l.m. they could have been-- >> mike rice: it could have been
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a false flag, as far as i'm concerned. >> alfonsi: you don't think they were oath keepers? >> harworth: well, we don't know. >> york: it could've been. we don't know. >> rice: we don't know. >> harworth: we weren't there. >> york: they're stupid people. it's stupid. we don't do that. that's not oath keepers. >> rice: how are you going to take an oath to defend the constitution and then try to disturb a session of congress during what's supposed to be one of our most precious political things, you know, the transfer of power? how are you going to do that? >> arroyo: i haven't had contact with stewart rhodes. he refuses to talk to us. >> alfonsi: why is that? you're the biggest oath keepers group. why wouldn't you be talking to him? >> arroyo: we have made multiple attempts through national. my honest opinion is, if there's any honor left in this organization at the upper levels, they will deal with it. >> alfonsi: photos and phone records place stewart rhodes on the capitol steps on january 6, communicating with oath keepers before they breached the doors. but, no charges have been brought against him. rhodes declined to speak with "60 minutes" to tell his side of
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the story. he did appear again last month, on "infowars," this time from his car, saying he didn't order oath keepers to enter the capitol, but defended the members who are now in jail and criticized those who put them there. >> rhodes: they are criminalizing patriotism. >> alfonsi: one oath keeper has pled guilty and agreed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation, as new evidence suggests members stashed weapons at a nearby hotel as part of a "quick reaction force"-- evidence a federal judge says "is among the most troubling he has seen." sources tell us prosecutors are looking to build a case against stewart rhodes, and possible separate charges against the national organization. ( ticking ) you know that lolook? that life e of the pararty lok walklk it off lolook one more m mile look reply alall look own yourur look... ...with h fewer linenes. there'e's only onene botox® cosmeticic.
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declared last week that racism is a serious public health threat in america, it acknowledged something that researchers have found for decades-- on nearly every measure of health, african americans are more prone to serious disease and premature death. the coronavirus pandemic has provided devastating evidence of this. black americans have died of covid-19 at twice the rate of whites, and so far, are being vaccinated at a dramatically lower rate. poverty and unequal access to high-quality health care play a role in these disparities. but this is not a matter of genetics. harvard researcher david williams has spent his career showing what the c.d.c. now recognizes: racism itself can be a killer. >> professor david williams: imagine a fully-loaded jumbo jet with 220 passengers and crew taking off and crashing today. and the same thing happened every day next week, and every day next month, and every day
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for the rest of the year. that's exactly what is occurring when we say there are racial disparities in health in the united states. over 200 black people dying prematurely every single day. >> whitaker: dr. david williams, who is originally from the caribbean island of st. lucia, is a professor of public health at harvard, and chairman of its department of social and behavioral sciences. he has spent a quarter-century researching the corrosive impact that racism has on the health of people of color all around the world. you have conducted rigorous psychological, sociological, scientific studies of this phenomenon? >> williams: that's correct. we've done studies in south africa. there're colleagues doing studies in australia, studies in the u.k., studies across the world. and we find, in all of these contexts, empirically, statistically, that experiences of discrimination are directly impacting health.
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>> whitaker: can something as complex and subjective as racial discrimination really be measured? williams insists it can, with a test that he created nearly 25 years ago. what is the everyday discrimination scale? >> williams: the everyday discrimination scale is a measure, a nine-item measure. it has items like, you're treated with less courtesy than others. you're treated with less respect than others. you receive poorer service than others in restaurants or stores. people act as if they're afraid of you. it's little ways in which your dignity is chipped away on a daily basis. and what we are finding is that persons who score high on the everyday discrimination scale have a broad range of-- of adverse health conditions. it predicts high blood pressure. it predicts the onset of diabetes. it predicts incidence of cardiovascular disease. it predicts poorer mental health. >> whitaker: professor williams has demonstrated that the health
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of black americans suffers whether they are rich or poor, well-educated or not. black women with college degrees are more likely to see their babies die as infants than white women who didn't finish high school. another stark example? the 1970 graduating class at yale. the black graduates were three times more likely to die prematurely than their white classmates? >> williams: that's correct. i mean, that's the magnitude of some of the racial disparities in health we see. >> whitaker: just to make this abundantly clear-- a black man or woman, with a college degree, making a lot of money, is less well off, health-wise, than a white man or woman in the same category, under the same circumstances? >> williams: absolutely. >> whitaker: david williams' research shows that even when treated in the same health care settings, black americans are less well-cared-for than whites.
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>> williams: one researcher coined the term "weathering" to describe what is happening to african americans. imagine a drop of water falling from the rooftop of this building to the concrete sidewalk below. if the water drips today, it's no big deal. but if, day in, day out, week in, week out, year in, year out, there is a constant drip, drip, drip of water? the sidewalk, the concrete below would become weathered. it becomes eroded by the constant exposure to adversity. and so what the research is suggesting is that all of these stressors are weathering african americans in the same way. >> michelle thomas: i can't change the color i am. and i can't change the color my kids are. and i can't, you know, change the way people see us. >> whitaker: michelle thomas is a single mom raising six kids in atlanta. she has felt the drip, drip, drip of all of racism's "stressors."
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>> thomas: you see the confederate flag being flown. you see people driving by are calling you the "n-word." and you're just walking down the street. i don't know any other race that actually say they have to have a talk with their kids about how to handle yourself when you're in the street, or how to handle yourself around a police officer, or how to handle yourself when you go shopping in a store. make sure your hands are not in your pocket. there's a group that... >> whitaker: she points to a particularly painful moment in 2019 when her teenage son, jerome, who is on the autism spectrum, was stopped and handcuffed by atlanta police who said he fit the profile of a robbery suspect. >> thomas: i'm like, "if you talked to him for a little while, you would know for a fact that my son had had autism. but you didn't get a chance to know my son. you just assumed that he was the criminal. and that broke my heart." >> whitaker: what was the impact on your son? what did it do to him? >> thomas: he was, like, "mom, did i do something wrong?" and i'm, like, "no baby.
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you did nothing wrong. it's just your skin." and he's, like, "well, you think this is going to happen to me again?" and-- you know, i had to say. and i'm, like, "yes. nine-- nine times out of ten, this is going to happen to you plenty of times in your lifetime." >> shirley franklin: people are really tired of these two americas. they want to do something different. >> whitaker: shirley franklin served two terms as mayor of atlanta, and then as board chair of purpose-built communities, an organization trying to improve health outcomes for african americans by investing in black neighborhoods. dr. williams told us that there is a 20- to 25-year gap in life expectancy based on the communities we live in. that's a remarkable number. >> franklin: the life expectancy numbers are startling, and they are horrific. >> whitaker: one of the places where franklin's group is trying to change those numbers is historic south atlanta, the
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neighborhood of about 2,000 people where michelle thomas and her kids now live. >> franklin: we determined that there were three key pillars. one is community wellness and community health, with a sense of community spirit. another is accessible affordable housing. and the third is education. >> williams: if we can improve the living conditions of individuals, we actually can improve their health. let me give you an example of a study that was done years ago. where they took african americans who lived in public housing and, randomly, by the flip of a coin, some of them remain in public housing, and some of them were given a voucher where they could go and find housing in areas of-- of lower levels of poverty than where they currently were. research shows, ten to 15 years later, those african americans who moved to a better neighborhood had lower rates of
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obesity and lower diabetes risk. no health intervention. you just changed their neighborhood. >> whitaker: a crucial factor in that equation is access to healthy foods. for years, south atlanta, like many black neighborhoods, was what's known as a food desert, with no nearby grocery store. katie delp, whose neighborhood non-profit works with former mayor franklin's group, says she tried to convince grocery chains to open a store. you approached, like, every major supermarket chain, to ask them if they would build a supermarket in the neighborhood, and they all said no? >> katie delp: they all said no. >> whitaker: why? >> delp: the community does not have enough disposable income for a large supermarket. so, it doesn't work for their model. >> whitaker: so delp and her colleagues decided to build a smaller one of their own. in 2015, they opened carver market, with community grounds, a coffee shop, in the same
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building. do you remember your reaction the first time you saw or walked into carver market? >> thomas: yeah. i was blown away. like, it has a cafe here, and there's a grocery store. i'm, like, "wow." and i'm, like, "this area is a food desert, and we got something like th--" i was, like, "thank god. amen." i was so happy. >> whitaker: just the things you're saying, to be able to walk into a store and get fresh vegetables and fruits, and have a coffee shop, that's something many americans just take for granted. and that's not something that is available to everybody. >> thomas: yes. it's not. and it's sad. and it should be. >> williams: to have grocery stores that provide affordable access to high quality foods is a good thing, from a health and nutrition point of view. but, in addition to that, it
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provides employment opportunities. and really, a job is a good health-enhancing strategy. >> thomas: you have 5% off, do you want to use that today? >> customer: yeah. >> whitaker: that has been precisely michelle thomas's experience in south atlanta. you didn't just want to shop at carver market. >> thomas: no. i wanted to be a part of carver market. "how can i apply? how can i get started?" >> whitaker: what was your first job? >> thomas: my first job was a barista. >> whitaker: so what is your job now? >> thomas: i'm assistant general manager of-- of carver market. ( laughs ) you have a wonderful day, and you come back and see us again, okay? >> customer: i will. thank you. >> whitaker: the health benefits that a nearby grocery store can provide have been proven in neighborhood after neighborhood. michelle thomas says she sees it in her own family, compared to the food-desert where she used to live. >> thomas: i could never get fresh fruit and vegetables the same day that i needed them. with carver market, i can actually just walk down the street, like five blocks, and
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i have fresh vegetables, fresh fruit. and that's the point. you want to give your kids something healthy. >> rayshard brooks: it was my daughter's birthday. >> whitaker: even with all the progress in south atlanta, >> police officer: put your hands behind your back. last june, rayshard brooks was shot and killed by an atlanta police officer just a half mile from the carver market. in the unrest that followed, the market was vandalized. but that wasn't the whole story. >> delp: one thing that struck me, the morning after the vandalism, is that we had neighbors everywhere, you know, sweeping up glass, scrubbing off graffiti, boarding up windows. >> thomas: we came together. you wouldn't believe how many neighbors came together. and if you see that many people, you know you're at a good place. >> whitaker: that same week, michelle thomas and her neighbors held a peaceful march that drew a stark contrast to the violence. they painted murals over graffiti... >> aden brown: smile for the video, everybody.
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>> whitaker: ...and started bike rides to occupy neighborhood kids idled by the pandemic. and recently, more than 400 neighborhood residents got a covid vaccine during a one-day pop-up clinic. >> thomas: we're more than just a neighborhood. we're more than just people. we're a family. and once you have a family, hey, you have everything. >> whitaker: south atlanta is now one of almost 30 neighborhoods around the country that are part of the purpose- built communities network. all of them working to undo, or at least mitigate the damage done by decades-- centuries, really-- of segregation and racism. if you're working community by community, this is going to take a long time to reach your goals. i mean, people are clamoring for change right now. >> franklin: it took 400 years to get into this desperate situation. so your question about whether we do it one at a time doesn't
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sit too well with me. because we didn't get here overnight. and it's going to take some-- it's going to take some time to get out of this dilemma. ( ticking ) >> cbs sports hq. at the rb heritage in hilton head, south carolina. sink won by 4. s had third career title at harvard town golf links. in basketball, the hawks handled the pacers. and the nicks over the pacers. and completed a sweep over the yankees. reporting from hilton head yankees. reporting from hilton head island, south carolina. hey,y, check it t out. one e time i triripped on the s sidewalk ovover her. [ heavavy-metal mumusic playi] -[ snoringng ] -and a a high of 8 89 degre. [ electrononic music p playin]
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the 7pm news, weeknights on kpix 5. ( ticking ) >> jon wertheim: the triple crown of horseracing is hard to come by. same goes for the triple crown of acting-- that's an oscar, an emmy and a tony in an acting category. of the 24 performers who have pulled off the feat, viola davis is currently the youngest, and the first african american. on stage, or when the cameras roll, davis will rip your heart out, but with a surgeon's touch. she doesn't overwhelm, so much as she inhabits a role. perhaps because of this classical approach to the craft, she didn't vault to a-list status, but rather worked her way up, letter by letter. her most recent role marks davis in full ascent. as we first told you last december, she headlines "ma rainey's black bottom," adapted from august wilson's canon of plays. at age 55, davis put on weight
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and padding, put in gold teeth, and plays the irrepressible title character to such effect that she's a frontrunner for best actress at next sunday's academy awards. >> ma rainey: ♪ my bell rang this morning ♪ didn't know which way to go ♪ >> wertheim: ma rainey was the real-life "mother of the blues," whose cabaret-style tent shows in the 1920s south led her to a lucrative recording career. >> ma rainey: ♪ daddy, daddy, please come home to me ♪ >> wertheim: ma sang from her gut and proudly declared her bisexuality in her lyrics. viola davis swivels into the character, a diva with heft. a role she didn't see herself playing at first. >> viola davis: no, i did not. here's the thing about acting. it's a weird peter pan syndrome that happens. so, i still saw myself as that 19-year-old girl, going, "i
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can't play ma rainey-- i'm too young. you got to get a more formidable actress, who's been out there for 40, 50 years." until i realize "viola, you're actually a little bit older than what ma rainey is." >> ma rainey: they don't care nothing about me. >> wertheim: davis has been out there acting for three decades, first on stage, then in a string of filmsms as the best friend, e junkie, the widow, the maid... >> ma rainey: and they going to treat me the way i want to be treated, no matter how much it hurt them. >> wertheim: ...but ma is different. >> ma rainey: where's my coke? i need a cold coca cola. >> wertheim: take this scene: before recording tracks on a sweaty summer day, ma demands that the white guys profiting from her music first bring her a coke. >> irvin: let's do this one song, ma. >> ma rainey: you're too cheapap to b buy me a cococa-cola? i'll buyuy my own. > wertheim:m: did you g get l that coke down in one take? >> davis: yes i did. yeah, i drank the whole coke.
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yes. >> wertheim: what's really going on in that scene? >> davis: what's really going on is, it's not about the c coke. it's abobout what i i deserve. it's's about whahat i've worked, and what i've earned. >> ma rainey: what you all say don't count with me, you understand? >> wertheim: if ma rainey was unapologetic about her worth, viola davis took a while to get there herself, nudged along by the late playwright august wilson, the man who wrote her breakout stage role, vera, in the 1996 broadway production of "seven guitars." >> vera: you might have been in love. love don't know no age, and it don't know no experience. >> rose maxson: what about my life, what about me? >> wertheim: 15 years later, her layered portrayal of devoted wife rose maxson in another wilson classic, "fences," earned davivis first a a tony awardrd.. >> rosose maxson: : i've been nt here witith you, troroy. > wertheim:m: ...and ththen,n ososcar for bebest supportrting actress inin the film m adaptat. whatat is it abobout august t wn that cleararly resonatates so dy with you?
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>> davis: first of all, he creates real human beings. and he makes the most common black man, black woman, into kings and queens. but i think that there is a common understanding that when you have playwrights and writers like arthur miller, and eugene o'neill, and edward albee, and shakespeare, that they're writing a universal language, because they're white. i think that you could see yourself in an august wilson play. i do. >> wertheim: you don't get to meet shakespeare. you don't get to meet tennessee williams. you met august wilson. what was the most memorable thing he ever said to you? >> davis: that i was beautiful. it was during "seven guitars." she has a monologue that absolutely is like an aria. and he said he would always watch it, and he would always say, "viola, you are just so beautiful." and-- i don't know. i never felt feminine. i never felt like i could fit into that sort of confines of
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what it meant, or the stereotypical ways of what being a woman was about, until i did "seven guitars." >> annalise keating: how to get away with murder... >> wertheim: for six years, davis pushed the boundaries of femininity on the small screen, as cririminal defefense lawyer annalisese keating i in "how tot away with murder," once famomouy removing her wig and m makeup on camera. did you know in advance of the role that that scene was coming? >> davis: yes, because i told them that they had to write it for me. >> wertheim: they had to write ththat scene? >> d davis: absosolutely. i wanted to humanize herer as mh as i could, and i wanted to putt my statamp on her as much as i could. >> werertheim: in her work, dads wiwill choose reality over vaniy everery time. shshe strips a away any veneneen telling g her own story, t too. she grew up in central falls, rhode island, one of six children in a family gripped by poverty. >> davis: there was one apartment that we lived in that was just infested with rats.
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they were everywhere. they were in the cabinets, they were in the walls, they were under our beds. and just, never having any food. >> wertheim: you speak very openly about growing up in poverty. >> davis: yeah. >> wertheim: why do you do that? >> davis: i do that because i think that there's a lot of shame involved with poverty. that you wouldn't be poor if you did the right thing. when you're poor, what happens is, it seeps through your mind. it's not just a financial state. it's an invisibility state. it's a worthlessness state. >> wertheim: as a girl, she dealt with these feelings in part by creating alter-egos, an early exercise in slipping into character. >> wertheim: who were jaji and jaja? >> davis: jaja, jagi darling. ( laughs ) they were our imaginary friends. ( laughs ) me and my sister deloris, who were the closest in age, and we would play these, like, two rich white women from beverly hills. we would imagine all these fabulous dishes that we would be eating.
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and at the same time, as a way to escape our lives into these sort of shadow characters who were everything that we weren't. >> wertheim: by the time she got to high school, davis was calling herself an actor and imagining herself on a professional stage. >> davis: i needed something to catapult me out of this, like a rocket booster. the dreams, they couldn't be casual dreams. >> wertheim: did you know you had talent deep down? >> davis: oh yeah. >> wertheim: you did? >> davis: abso-freakin-lutely. >> wertheim: she studied theater in college and then got a scholarship to juilliard, the exclusive performing arts conservatory in new york city. >> wertheim: what was juilliard like for you? >> davis: juilliard, i compared it to mucinex. >> wertheim: mucinex the drug? >> davis: mucinex, yeah, the cough syrup. mucinex, it works. ( laughter ) but it tastes really bad going down. they critique your body, your personality, your speech,
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everything. >> wertheim: so, what is that like to hear? this isn't, "viola, you're not a particularly good dentist," this is you. >> davis: it's devastating. >> wertheim: she came into her own on theater stages around the country. "scorching" and "illuminating" were among the raves critics lavished on her early performances. you played this house. >> davis: i sure did. >> wertheim: despite foot surgery, davis kept her date with us at the ahmanson theater in los angeles, where she performed in the '90s. this is really cool. >> davis: oh man. i know. >> wertheim: the stage still fills her with awe. what's the first thing that goes through your head when you're on a stage? >> davis: wow. it's that big rush of adrenaline. >> wertheim: this theatre's been dark for months now? >> davis: yeah. >> wertheim: to what extent do you worry about the performing arts? >> davis: i worry about the performing arts all the time, even before covid. i know acting is not rocket science, i really do. but it's an art form, and it has its place. we need people to feel.
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we need people to know that they're not alone. thatat's what ththe theatre e d. >> m mrs. millerer: look, sisis. i don't t want any t trouble. >> werertheim: thehe stage actcs vaulted d to hollywowood star wn she e stole a scscene from meryl strereep in the e 2008 movieie "d"doubt." >> mrs. mimiller: you u hurt myn toto get your r way. > sister aloysius beauvier: t won't end d with your r son. >> mrs. mimiller: throrow the pt out then. > sister alaloysius beaeauvii am t trying to d do just thahat. >> m mrs. millerer: then whahatu want frorom me? >> wertheieim: was thehere added pressure p playing alongside mel streep? >> davis: what do you think? and you know she's going to bring her game. so, you have to match it. you just want to look like you belong in the movie. ( laughs ) >> wertheieim: the pererformanc, reremarkable a as much foror wht holds s back as whwhat it revev, made such h an impressssion that streepep lobbied for davis by ne at the s screen actotors guild awardsds. >> meryl streep: viola davis. my god, somebody give her a movie! >> wertheim: that must've knocked you over. i mean, that must've-- >> davis: oh, my god. it was everyrything.
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>> werertheim: as bigger roles cacame her wayay, davis sasays e still felt stalled. she's been critical of hollywood for provididing too fefew opportunities to black actors, and for assuming movies with black leads won't sell. >> davis: and even after you so- called have "made it," it's still a fight every single day. and what we're fighting, as african americans, we're fighting the movie-making business that has already decided who you are and how you're marketable. i could deal with you if you're just a part of the story, but you're just a secondary part of the story, you're not the main focus. >> ma rainey: you don't sing to feel better. you sing because that's the way you understanding life. >> wertheim: davis is, unmistakably, the main focus of her latest film. even if the character she plays doesn't get top billing on history's call sheet. there wasn't a lot of material on this woman. there are not so many photographs. this is one. probably the best known one. >> davis: yeah, i love this one. i love this picture because i'm
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always wondering, "who is she? who is she really?" beyond the gold teeth, beyond the sereneness you see in this? >> wertheim: what do you think? >> davis: she was a combination of a woman from her time period, which is right in that-- smack dab in jim crow. feeling worthless, but, at the same time, knowing who she was deep inside. >> wertheim: during this most unusual awards season, davis has had to make her various red carpet walks from her backyard. >> announcer: and the actor goes to... >> wertheim: she accepted the screen actors guild award for best actress via zoom. >> davis: thank you, august, for leaving a legacy. >> wertheim: she shares her home in the san fernando valley with her ten-year-old daughter, and her husbanand, julius s tennon. an actoror himself, , tennon appreciaiates the dedepths davin gogo in her work. >> julius tennon: this woman's getting ready to do "ma rainey," and she's s showing meme a fat . she'e's going, " "honey! my fat s suit!"
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shshe's exciteted about ththe transformamation. i i mean, thatat's the epipitomn actotor who realally wants t to disappear.r. and viola disappears when she's working. there's a few other small changes in there. >> wertheim: together, they run juvee productions, which pushes projects the studios might otherwise ignore. the latest movie in their pipeline? it's about a real-life all- female army in west africa. tell me about "the woman king." ( laughter ) >> tennon: oh, man. >> davis: whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo, whoo! ( laughs ) i always wanted a black female "braveheart." this is it. >> wertheieim: the movovie stars filming g next year.r. this pererformer, whwho toiled r dedecades, waiaiting for hollywd to catch u up to her t talent, s now w calling ththe shots. hohow do you t take the memeasuf ththis journeyey you've bebeen ? >> davis: i have to say, two things. number one, i always have to tell myself that i'm not poor anymore, that i'm not that girl anymore.
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but at the same time, i have to honor that young girl, and allow her to squeal with delight at the 55-year-old she gets to become. >> wertheim: that's an acknowledgment of the whole journey. >> davis: absolutely. ( ticking ) davis in fiechl role. extraordinary performance and role. extraordinary performance and role. at 60 minutes over ♪ all goldld to ♪ to s shoes wiwith a lighthter footprir. ♪ yeah, , good to ♪me ♪ mom and d dad left costa ririca, 1971.. anand in 1990,0, they openened . when thehe pandemic hit, pickup and delivery was still viable. that kept t us afloat.t. keeping ouour diners i informen googlele was so imimportant.
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( ticking ) >> whitaker: now an update on a story we first reported 15 years ago. that's when scott pelley went north to the greenland ice shelf to witness a "global warning": the melting arctic. >> pelley: what i'm standing on is a huge block of ice that split off from the glacier recently and dropped into the sea. it's a big iceberg at this point. this part of greenland is melting faster than just about any other. and to get a sense of the enormity of what's happening, consider this: the ice that is melting here is the equivalent of all of the ice in the alps. and just four minutes after we cleared off this berg... ( splash )
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our ice joined in. >> whitaker: since that story aired, the greenland ice shelf has continued to melt, and sea levels have continued to rise. the shelf has lost ice every year since 1998. something to ponder on earth day this thursday. i'm bill whitaker. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." ( ticking ) after r my dvt blolood clot.. i was uncecertain... was anotheher around t the cor? oror could thihings tatake a diffeferent turn?? i wantnted to helplp protect t myself. my doctotor recommenended eliq. eleliquis is p proven to t tt anand help prerevent anotheher dvt or p pe blood c. almost 98 8 percent ofof patis on eliliquis
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and i coululd just bee her dadaughter agagain. captioning sponsored by cbs live from six iconic locations across nashville including the grand ole opry, ryman auditorium and bluebird cafe, cbs presents the 56th acm awards with all-star performances and performances by mir ana lambert, dolly parton, blake shelton, carrie underwood, cece wins, maren morris and luke combs, chris stapleton, carly pearsze, kelsey ballerini, kenny chesney, little bigtown, alan jackson,


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