tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS April 4, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, april 4: lawmakers weigh in on the biden administration's infrastructure plan. in our signature segment: exploring hate: the wave of anti-asian attacks and how communities are responding. and a vinyl revival. next on “pbs newshour weekend.” >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the anderson family fund. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein
family. the sylvia a. and simon b. poyta programming endowment to fight antisemitism. barbara hope zuckerberg. the leonard and norma klorfine foundation. the peter g. peterson and joan ganz cooney fund. we try to live in the moment, we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no-contract wireless plans, designed to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based cusmer service team can help find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the
american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: good evening, and thank you for joining us. president joe biden is spending this easter weekend at camp david with his family after unveiling his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan last week. on the political talk shows this morning, transportation secretary pete buttigieg made the case for the massive spending legislation, pitching it as a long-term investment that will also create jobs. >> we're still coasting off infrastructure choices that were made in the 1950's. now is our chance to make infrastructure choices for the future that are going to serve us well in the 2030's and onto the middle of the century when we will be judged for whether we meet this moment here in the 2020's. >> sreenivasan: the bill includes funding for modernizing existing infrastructure like roads, bridges, public transit and rail, and also includes funding for electric vehicle charging stations and building high speed broadband. republicans have rejected the main source of proposed funding,
an increase in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. >> how could the president expect to have bipartisanship when his proposal is a repeal of one of our signature issues in 2017, where we cut the tax rate and made the united states finally more competive when it comes to the way we treat job creators? >> sreenivasan: the white house is urging congress to pass legislation by this summer. the c.d.c. reports that four million people were given vaccinations yesterday, a new daily record in the united states. the increase comes as new cases of coronavirus are rising, due in part to two variants that are believed to be more contagious. the vaccines in use are effective at preventing more serious cases and deaths from covid-19. "the nework times" reports deaths are down 22%, but new cases are up 19% on average over the past two weeks. globally, new infections are
rising, with hot spots developing in europe and south america. more than 2.8 million people have died from coronavirus infections worldwide during the pandemic. in florida, the governor has declared a state of emergency and 300 homes are being evacuated as a wastewater pond near an old phosphate mine continues to leak. the leak from the piney point reservoir south of tampa is threatening to flood roads and burst a system housing polluted water. an attempt to seal the wall failed. the 77-acre pond is 25 ft deep, and holds millions of gallons of water containing phosphorus and nitrogen. authorities say it may take 10-12 days to drain the water and prevent flooding into tampa bay. today, the governor said the water is not radioactive. for the second year in a row, pope francis celebrated easter sunday mass indoors with covid-19 restrictions limiting worshippers to small groups. the services usually draw huge crowds to the vatican and to the square outside where the pope traditionally delivers his
annual messa to the city and the world. this year, the pope urged countries to speed up coronavirus vaccinations, and he called ongoing violence and war in the time of the pandemic“ scandalous.” francis also made special mention of the young people protesting in myanmar, saying they are making their voices heard peacefully. in myanmar today, protesters against the military's takeover of the government were in the streets again. calling today's protests an easter egg strike, many carried eggs decorated with protest symbols and slogans. the military has cut off internet access for most of the country, making it difficult for the pro-democracy movement to get its message out. a local news outlet reported a protester was killed when security forces opened fire on a crowd in central myanmar today. since the military coup on february 1, more than 550 people have died in demonstrations. 46 of them were children. for more national and international news visit pbs.org/newshour.
>> sreenivasan: today marks the 53rd anniversary of th assassination of the reverend martin luther king junior on the balcony of the lorraine motel in memphis, tennessee. king had been in memphis advocating on the behalf of black laborers and unequal pay. in a year marred by continuing struggles for equality and justice, many of the issues that drew dr. king to memphis are still prevalent today. i spoke with reverend lawrence turner, pastor at the mississippi boulevard christian church in memphis, tennessee, about king's legacy and today's movement in the fight against poverty and for racial justice. reverend, here we are, easter sunday, 53 years after the assassination, and it seems that the civil rights movement, the leadership of dr. king, what he was working for, is resonating in a different w now than maybe two years ago, three years ago. >> yes, we're-- i think, we've
come to what some have called a racial reckoning. these are things that have certainly been going on for years. this year, what makes it different is that people of all races in this country have had to stop. it's called the nation to examine its soul as to where we are as it relates to what we're trying to achieve in this democratic project we call america. and so, of course, that's sprung up from the protests that happen as a result of the murder of george floyd and then breonna taylor that gain lots of interest. i am cautiously optimistic that we will move far beyond mere symbolism and begin to take some
critical steps in order to heal the divide and to move forward with a sense of equity in this country. >> sreenivasan: what are you optimistic about? what in the last few months has given you hope? >> what has given me hope is that we've seen a lot more young people, gen zers, millennials, engaging on the front lines and it is reminiscent, although i wasn't there, of the movement of the 1950's and '60's. and so, we're seeing that reemerge in 2020 and 2021. and it gives me hope that they have not gone to a place of despair and that they're committed over the long hl to continue to push for justice and equity for all people. >> sreenivasan: one of the things that a friend of mine pointed out to me was one of martin luther king junior's last projects was really on behalf of essential workers, an idea that has been brought into stark
relief this pa year. >> yes. and so, that's why this resurrection sunday, this easter, is so important. king came to memphis fhting on behalf of essential workers. and i think it is those people who are the very salt of the earth, the people who are the backbone of our country, that we have to fight on behalf of, to, on one hand, receive a sense of economic justice. i'm hoping that congress will take back up a $15 minimum wage. but also, i think we have to go back to some of the unfinished work of the civil rights movement and that one of the things that coretta scott king continued even after her husband's death, was this fight for a federal job guarantee that if people across this nation, particularly in a city like memphis, tennessee, where so many people are in poverty, if people are ever to risfrom poverty, it's not only that they're fully employed, but that
they're earning a wage, that they're able to rise. and so, i think that speaks largely of the continuation of king's work, but also, i think in this year, where 41 states at least have proposed or some have even passed voter suppression laws, we've got to reengage that work to make sure everybody can participate in our democracy. >> sreenivasan: when you think about the attacks on the things that martin luther king junior worked for-- voting rights, fair wages, and just justice and equity-- in the context of derek chauv's trial that's going on right now and what we all around the world witnessed, how do you-- how do you stay optimistic? here we are, decades later, still fighting in these same ways. >> yeah. so, even the years ago, we may
have had people who would invoke dr. king in some way, but there hasn't been this desire to engage in uncomfortable conversations around race that we haven't h. now, it appears to me that even beyond the election of 2020, that this energy is still there to fight until we get some key policies passed at the federal level that will ensure that everybody can have a seat at the table and a voice that is heard when they're at the table. >> sreenivasan: reverend lawrence turner from the mississippi boulevard christian church in memphis, tennessee. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> sreenivasan: the rise in anti-asian attacks in this country prompted the biden administration to expand an earlier initiative aimed at combating anti-asian bias and violence last week. and while the heightened attention on the latest attacks has drawn support to the asian american and pacific islander community, for many, it also highlights a long history of
feeling invisible. special correspondent mike cerre has the story from san francisco. this report is part of our ongoing initiative "exploring hate: anti-semitism, racism and extremism." a warning: the images in portions of this segment are disturbing. >> reporter: the surge in asian hate crimes, often unreported in the past, are now being documented by surveillance cameras and eyewitnesses for all to see on social media. they range from petty insults and harassment to terrifying physical confrontations and assaults often resulting in injuries and, in the case of several elderly victims, death. >> an elderly asian man, viciously kicked to the ground in san francisco. >> reporter: over the past year, san francisco bay area television reporter dion lim has been covering this alarming local trend. >> and i think what happened in atlanta was perhaps on a more national ale, a catalyst, an
explosion, because it combined something like a mass shooting with the concept of hate and that hyper sexualization of asian-american women. so, i think that's why many see it as a turning point. >> reporter: shocking as the images and stories are of the recent surge in asian hate crimes, it's not totally surprising to the people here in oakland's chinatown. california has the oldest and largest asian community, and as such, a long and tortured history of discrimination and harassment. >> knowing the yellow peril history that whenever a disease arrived from asia that asians would be met with violence and with racist policies, we knew we had to document the racism we're experiencing. >> reporter: russell jeung, professor of asian american studies at san francisco state university, started the stop asian american pacific islanders
hate crimes online tracking system in march 2020, at the start of the covid crisis. >> the chinese virus... >> that's exactly when the same week president trump began to use the term insistently on chinese virus. so, when we were flooded, we knew that that rhetoric was exacerbating. people ask, "is there a surge?" well, in 2019, nobody was spitting and coughing on other people. >> reporter: anti-asian political rhetoric and the backlash it can promote isn't unique to recent political figures, according to u.c. berkeley sociology professor andy barlow. >> probably the classic example of it was the success of ronald reagan in weaponizing anti-japanese sentiments in the early 1980's to explain the collapse of the manufacturing sector of the united states, which he argued was caused by japanese unfair competition.
in detroit, a young man named vincent chin was accosted outside a bar and killed by out of work white auto workers because they thought he was japanese. >> reporter: he believes the recent china bashing over trade and defense issues is continuing this cultural demonizing for political advantage. >> i think that china bashing from government and from politicians, it's probably the second primary source of the racism we're facing. first is that perpetual foreigner yellow peril stereotype that we don't belong. >> reporter: the perfect storm of historical racism, rrent political rhetoric and the rise in extremism has asian communities here and across the country taking more security precautions. these volunteer street patrols in oakland's chinatown and gofundme campaigns for hiring private security are a reflection of the asian community's frustration with
local law enforcement's ability to stem the attacks. >> one of the challenges for the asian community is, when we migrate to places, we're often seen as perpetual foreigners, even if we might have been there for generations. >> reporter: as a south asian, aarti kohli, executive director of advancing justice, asian law caucus, dealt with a similar surge in hate crimes against muslims after 9/11. >> what we learned is that whenever that there is conflict with a foreign country and people think that americans residing here come from that country, there is deep racism and animosity aimed at those communities. >> reporter: her offices on the edge of san francisco's chinatown have also been targeted by extremist groups. >> last year, the patriot front, which is a white supremacy group, actually tagged our office sign.
the bay area is considered a very liberal, progressive place, but you don't have to go far to find a white supremacy group. >> i think there are two ways that racism is expressed in the united states is the clear white black divide. there's a binary, but there's also that insider outsider divide that you're either really inside america or you're cast as not belonging as an outsider. what black lives matter did is it exposed the structural racism of the united states. >> "where are you from," i would be asked. and i said, "i'm from san jose." >> the model minority myth that asian-americans are successful, the myth that because we're hard working and value education, that we're more achieving? i think that myth has been really problematic. it masks the fact that we have the highest income inequality among any racial group. and then what it does is it drives a wedge between us and other racial groups. it pits us because others might
say, "why can't you be like asians who are successful? just work hard and keep quiet." >> hate is learned. you know, you don't come out of the womb hateful. you learn it along the way. and there are many messages in our society and stereotypes that we are teaching our children that we really have to pay attention to. >> jeremy lin on the reverse. >> reporter: after n.b.a. basketball star jeremy lin was recently subjected to an asian slur by another player during a game, he went public with it without naming names, rather than remain silent. he also privately followed up with his offender with a one-on-one discussion on racism. >> i got to talk to the player directly. and we talked a lot about other things. and one of the things that stuck out the most to me was the other player was like, "hey, i-- like i didn't-- i went online and i didn't realize how much was happening to the asian-american community." >> it's ue anything else i
have ever covered-- wildfires, shootings, nothing compares. and i feel myself getting emotional periodically. at any time, because unlike those situations, this is ongoing, it is constant, a it is people who look like me. it is people who look like my mother and father, people that i care about. and they feel so helpless. and they are looking to me because they see that i have a voice and i can help them. >> sreenivasan: even with the popularity of streaming music services, last year saw a resurgence in sales of vinyl records. newshour weekend's christopher booker has the story. >> reporter: for the first time since 1986, there were more
vinyl recor sold last year than cds. >> pressing plants have had trouble keeping up with the volume of records that people have bought over the last year. >> reporter: mac mccaughan is the cofounder of north carolina based independent label merge records, as well as the frontman for the band superchunk. for over 30 years, merge has released some of the most seminal recordings in indie rock, bands like the neutral milk hotel, arcade fire, and the magnetic fields. despite the pandemic, 2020 turned out to be a good year for the label. >> yes, i mean, it's not like a huge jump, but considering that we're kind of predicting a nosedive, it's amazing. and i know personally, being stuck at home for all those months gave me a lot more time with my record collection, which is awesome, and gave me a lot of time to learn about artists i didn't know about just by listening to music online and ordering records from, not only local stores, but stores all over the country. >> reporter: ironically, social distance, for lack of a better
term, has long been baked into the way the independent music world operates. >> people mail ordering music from us has been important to us since we started in 1989, you know. and , while the entire office pretty much has been working at home remotely, the people in our mail order and shipping department, as soon as it was safe to go back into the office anthe warehouse, they've been there shipping orders to people and shipping orders to stores. >> reporter: another surprise boost for merge, waxahatchee, the project of singer/songwriter katie crutchfield, had a song land on former president barack obama's best of 2020 playlist. >> you know, if we can only get them to make an all merge playlist, that might really help us as a label. but, for sure, for that waxahatchee record, st. cloud, that was a big boost for that. >> reporter: while the year went better than expected for the label, it wasn't that way for all of the artists. for the younger acts, the ones just starting out, the lockdown year has been a challenge. >> their plan, like many bands'
plan, is to go out and tour to promote the record. so, you know, we put out amazing records by bands like sweet spirit, jade hairpins, torez, whose tours all got canceled or cut short by the pandemic. and it's really hard to, in the streaming world, cut through the noise and the massive amount of music that is out there if you're a new artist and you're trying to, kind of, break into people's consciousness. >> reporter: what do you think this will do long term to the structure of the independent music world? have things been forever changed by the last year? >> we won't really know until it's been several months po vaccine and we see how things are going in terms of touring and stuff like that and people go back to whatever the new normal is, but i do think that people are really anxious to see their favorite bands again and to obviously see their friends again in those, in those situations.
♪ ♪ ♪ >> this is pbs newshour weekend, sunday. >> sreenivasan: belgium is famous for its chocolates, and easter brings out the best in its candy shops. a warning: you might have a serious chocolate craving after this story. newsur weekend's ivette feliciano reports. >> reporter: in spring, the city of bruges is usually filled with tourists enjoying its historic canals and sampling its famous chocolates. >> here in bruges, we're very known for chocolates. i think we have more than 60 chocolate shops in town. most othem are closed because they're really focused on tourism. for us, tourists are very important, too, but thanks god we have a lot of local customers. and i think 50% of our customers are local customers. but, of course, it's not like a normal year.
>> reporter: rabbits, eggs, ducks, all the expected shapes of easter candies are on hand. but in this shop this year, there are twists to the traditions including what they're calling a "chill pill," a praline infused with some unique fruit juices. >> so, we made a juice of grass, granny smith, and to put an extra acidity on it, we used the japanese lime, yuzu, and the combination of those two, it's amazing. >> reporter: for customers and candy-makers, the temptaons are worth the calories in a time when many businesses are closed, and belgians are barred from leaving the country for non- essential travel. >> now i'm going to buy something for me and my girlfriend because, with corona, we are not seeing much of our friends. it's very hard, and that makes life a little bit better. >> thanks god in chocolate, there is a secret ingredient, hormone, that makes you happy. so, i hope people eat a little bit of chocolate and maybe a glass of wine and we can get a
little bit of happiness in the evening. >> sreenivasan: that's all for this edition of “pbs newshour weekend.” for the latest news updes visit pbs.org/newshour. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. happy easter to those who celebrate. stay healthy and have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the anderson family fund. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the sylvia a. and simon b. poyta programming endowment to fight antisemitism. barbara hope zuckerberg. the leonard and norma klorfine foundation.
the peter g. peterson and joan ganz cooney fund. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of day. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. additional support has been provided by: consumer cellular. and by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a priva corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you're watching pbs.