Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  July 5, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

6:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the search goes on-- the remainder of the partially collapsed surfside, florida, condominium is demolished, giving crews additional places to look for survivors and remains. then, reflecting on the mission. members of the national guard discuss their controversial deployment to fight the u.s. wars in iraq a afghanistan. and, 75 years of marriage-- former president jimmy carter and his wife rosalynn reflect on their lives together and the current state of american politics. >> i believe that we've overcome even worse and more serious problems in the past than we have to face today.
6:01 pm
>> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> twins! >> grandparents. >> we want to put money aside for them, so, change in plans. >> all right, let's see what we can adjust. >> we'd be closer to the twins. >> change in plans. >> okay. >> mom, are you painting again? you could sell these. >> let me guess, change in plans? >> at fidelity, changing plans is always part of the plan.
6:02 pm
>> the william and flora hewlett foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world. at www.hewlett.org. >> the chan-zuckerberg inittive. working to build a more healthy, just and inclusive future for everyone. at czi.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
6:03 pm
thank you. >> woodruff: crews in surfside, florida, pulled three more bodies from the ruins of a collapsed condominium building today. the confirmed death toll rose to 27, with 118 still missing. overnight, a controlled demolition leveled the remaining wing of the tower. today, the miami-dade county mayor said it cleared the way for the search to resume. >> the area closest to the building was the area we had not been able to access and that is where we needed to go. previously it was not accessible due to the enormous risk to the team of first responders because of the instability of the building. and as we speak the teams are working on that part of the pile that was not accessible before
6:04 pm
the building was demolished. >> woodruff: the demolition was accelerated amid earlier fears that tropical storm "elsa" could bring down the rest of the building. the storm crossed central cuba today, on track to pass over the florida keys and then, the state's west coast by wednesday. on the pandemic, britain's prime minister boris johnson announced england is set to drop face masks and social distancing requirements, despite rising infections. a final decision will come next ek. other parts of the united kingdom are under their own plans. meanwhile, daily infections in the u.s. have risen nearly 20% in two weeks. that's according to a count in "the new york times". hundreds of companies worldwide struggled to cope today with the biggest ransomware attack on record. a russian-linked group demanded $70 million dollars. it breached software supplier kasaya on iday, and infected the firm's clients in
6:05 pm
17 countries, including germany. >> ( translated ): there certainly will be more. kaseya had many iservice providers as clients. some have already reported breaches, and i assume that there will be more in the course of today and in the course of this week. it is a dynamic situation of danger which is evolving here. >> woodruff: the hackers, known as "r-evil," were also involved in extorting $11 million from the u.s.-based meat processor jbs back in may. there's been no let-up in gun violence in the united states over the holiday weekend. in chicago, at least 12 people were fatally shot, with 40 wounded. overall, the city has had more shootings but fewer killings this year than last. three people were shot and killed in dallas late sunday. and, in cincinnati, two people were killed and three others wounded at a fireworks show last night. in afghanistan, the government vowed to launch a counter-
6:06 pm
offensive in the north, after the taliban captured more districts over the weekend. hundreds of afghan troops fled into neighboring tajikistan. in turn, taliban fighters said they will keep up the pressure. >> ( translated ): the only thing that will persuade me to put down my gun is if there's islamic law here, based entirely on islam, and the government is run according to islamic rules. >> woodruff: the taliban surge comes as the u.s. and nato are completing their pull-out ahead of a september 11th deadline. rescuers in japan have spent a third day looking for survivors of a landslide on saturday that killed at least four people. it struck the city of atami, about 60 miles southwest of tokyo, leaving 80 people unaccounted for. heavy rain triggered the slide, and crews have been digging through mud and debris along a steep hillside. hundreds of troops, firefighters and others are involved. d, the vatican reports pope
6:07 pm
francis is in good condition tonight after intestinal surgery on sunday. the 84-year-old pontiff had half of his colon removed due to a narrowing of the large intestine. he's expected to remain hospitalized in rome for about a week. still to come on the newshour: what's at the heart of the longest presidential marriage in u.s. history. reflecting on the national guard's service in the fight for our freedom. "augmented reality"-- how we can rethink what a monument represts in this moment of racial reckoning. and much more. >> woodruff: with the final military withdrawal from ghanistan underway, a few state legislators are
6:08 pm
reconsidering the use of their naonal guard units for undeclared foreign wars, like the campaigns in iraq and afghanistan. nearly half of the troops deployed to iraq and both countries over the past 20 years were from the national guard and reserves. special correspondent mike cerre looks now at how some national gaurdsmen themselves are seeking to limit the deployment of units like theirs unless congress formally declares a state of war. >> if they're waving at you,ou know they're not holding a gun. >> reporter: i first met sergeant first class john braswell on his year long deployment to afghanistan with his alabama national guard special forces unit in 2002. >> i work for a software company in the real world so it's a little different. i guess i was a little surprised that they would activate a special forces national guard, special forces battalion, you know, right at the outset or just generally almost right at
6:09 pm
the outset of the conflict. >> reporter: so were his two sons and wife laura. >> he took a significant pay cut. we were sort of forced to sell our home. up until that point, we had done two weeks in the summer and one weekend every month. >> reporter: former idaho national guardsmen dan mcnight and kent burns both re-enlisted on 9/11, expecting and anxious for their national guard units to be sent to afghanistan, but not as it turned out. for multiple tours to both iraq and afghanistan the past 20 years. >> and so i became very disillusioned and i came home confused. i came home injured. i came he broke. i came home to a broken marriage. >> reporter: idaho national guard units have been deployed to afghanistan or iraq 15 of the last 20 years since 9/11. >> i expected this all to be over. but in the last 18 to 20 years, it just keeps continuing and the mission for the national guard
6:10 pm
needs to be changed. >> reporter: traditionally the national guard has been activated by their states for domestic emergencies like natural disasters, civil disturbances and currently the covid medical crisis. but they also provide support and back up to the active duty military for overseas operations. >> our guys are getting shot up. we need medevacs now. >> reporter: but since 9/11, the national guard has sent more of its units overseas than it has since world war ii, some as frequently as once every three years. in 2005, over half of the troops serving in iraq were from the national guard. according to the national bureau and operations director brigadier general nick ducich. >> in the past 20 years, the major transition has been from a strategic reserve to a combat operationally focused reserve capability. >> reporter: the federal government pays to recruit, train and equip national gud units, their commanders in chief, the state governors are constitutionally obligated to
6:11 pm
make them available for national security threats. at issue is: what constitutes an overseas national security threat in this the era of undeclared wars, like every america war has been since world war ii >> well, then fine, if it's a real true threat to the united states and our interest, again, as it stated in our constitution, then congress should do their job and they should have a formal declaration of war against the nation. >> reporter: idaho lt. governor janis mcgeachin supports legislative initiatives to restrict the use of a state's national guard in undeclared wars, which she believes are not included in under article 1 of the constitution. allowing federal use of state's militia for executing the laws ofhe nation. suppressing insurrection and repelling invasions. >> it should be difficult to take our state militias and our active duty military into war without a congressional declaration of war. we have no business fighting in
6:12 pm
these foreign overseas misadventures. and so i don't see it as an anti war. i see it as a pro constitution measure. >> reporter: mcknight, both a former marine and army veteran, launched the “defend the guard” initiative, with other veterans and politicians from both parties to limit foreign deployments national guard troops only to wars formally declared by congress. the 2001 war on terror resolution has allowed the past four presidents to send national guard troops to fight in afghanistan and iraq without a declaration of war. >> now is the time to push back >> citizen soldiers were always meant to be the ones who defended america, not a standing army. if america needs to go to war, we should do >> now is the time to push back and to lay claim to our sovereignty as a state. >> reporter: idaho state representative ben adams, a former marine and afghanistan veteran is trying to get the” defend the guard” initiative passed in idaho.
6:13 pm
as are legislators in 30 other states, with little success thus far in getting it to a vote. >> the state restrictions are highly unlikely because there's already a supreme court decision, perpich versus the u.s. that date back dates back to the reagan administration. >> reporter: former national guard bureau deputy chief of staff brigadier general david mcginnis doesn't believe the state's will be able to limit federal control of the national guard. >> once the guard is mobilized for federal serve in the context of any law or mobilized for training federal training as a reserve of the army or air force, the states have no control over what the president or the department defense does with those units once they're in that status. >> it's hindered them because they're sometimes gone from their communities in times of real emergencies stateside, like the louisiana national guard being gone in katrina, or the oregon national guard being pulled off the fires last season in the worst firefighting season
6:14 pm
in their state history and sent to afghanistan with helicopters that they should've been fighting fires with. >> reporter: and in the past, people who sign up for the national guard really weren't thinking about going active duty or being deployed or certainly going to war. has that all changed? >> it definitely has changed in the old days, it was join the national guard to avoid vietnam. after 9/11, that to me, that all changed, that we were all in, in it to win it and to be war fighters and not just a state mission now i feel like we have to bring that back. >> reporter: the idaho national guard declined our interview request, but shared it's rebuttal to the proposed legislation for giving the governor the option to limit use of the national guard for overseas deployments. it included the possibility of cutting federal military funding for not making the state's military available, when the defense department calls on them. >> why would the federal government pull all that away? it wouldn't make any sense. so, you know, i think it's time to start asserting our sovereignty as states. >> reporter: governor brad
6:15 pm
little, commander in chief of idaho's national guard disagrees. he's not willing to risk the loss of over $200 million a year of military funding from the national guard as the state's fourth largest employer. >> and we're not crying for mercy. we're not asking that the national guard be released from this obligation. we're just simply asking that they do it the right way. >> reporter: the president has enough act of force if they're properly organized to react initially to any situation, and that would give him time to talk and talk to the congressional leaders and get an authorization from congress if congress >> reporter: nearly 20 years since john braswell was part of the first wave of national guard troops deployed to afghanistan, there's general agreement that these combat deployments, constitutional or otherwise, have made the national guard better trained, equipped and more integrated with the active duty military than previous weekend warriors. for the pbs newshour, this is mike cerre in boise, idaho.
6:16 pm
>> woodruff: it was the first sunday in july of 1946. world war ii had been over for months, and the victorious united states was emerging as a global super power. on that day, 140 miles south of atlanta, in the small, quiet town of plains, georgia, a 21- year-old recent naval academy graduate named james earl carter junior and his 18-year-old fiancée eleanor rosalynn smith, exchanged wedding vows. they walked down the aisle of a methodist church and into a partnership that would take them to the height of american power and all over the world. former first lady rosalynn carter is now 93, and former president jimmy carter is 96, making him the longest-living president in american history.
6:17 pm
this wednesday, july 7th, marks their 75th wedding anniversary, another record among u.s. presidents, and it was for that occasion that i spoke with them last week in plains, where they still live, about their life together and a few other things. president carter, mrs. carter, it is so wonderful to see both of you, thank you for talking with us. 75 years of marriage. that is remarkable. congratulations. mrs. carter, what is the secret to this partnership? >> well, i think we give each other space and we try to do things together. we're always looking for things we can do together, like birding and fly fishing and just anything we can find to do together. >> woodruff: and president carter, i think people look at this long and happy marriage, and i think they'd love to know wh it what especially couples who have been through what the two of you have been through,
6:18 pm
what's the secret when you don't see eye to eye on something for how you patch it back together? >> at the end of the day, we try to become reconciled and overcome all the differences that arose during the day. we also make up and give each other kiss before we go to sleep. still in bed. and we are we always read the bible every night, which is a different aspect of the night. so we really try to become completely reconciled each night before we go to sleep. >> woodruff: i'm asking about that, mrs. carter, because the story is when you re writing your book together, it was difficult for the two of you to work together. >> it was not easy. it's a worst thing. i mean i probably the closest thing to bringing us to a divorce we did. it was awful. >> woodruff: but you got through it. >> we got through it.
6:19 pm
but we had help. we had to get another to come and say mrs. carter, you do you say this and president carter, you say this, but we got through it. >> woodruff: and to those americans, who see the both of you and want to know how are you doing? what would you say, mrs. carter? >> doing good. we're doing good, both of us. >> woodruff: president carter. >> well, we a lot and i swim three times a day and i walk every day, every day, and so we are staying in good physical shape as best we can with our handicaps, and we had to live a quite restricted life the last year or so with the virus. but we succeeded very well. and i think in general, that handicap in movement has brought us even closer together. so that's one thing for which i'm thankful.
6:20 pm
>> woodruff: and president carter, you have now live long enough to see this reevaluation of your presidency, there are two new major biographies out that argue that you didn't get the credit that you deserved for so much of what you did as president, whether it was climate change, energy, human ghts, the camp david accords, the panama canal treaties. how do you look on what's going on right now with your presidency? >> well, i'm glad to know that the people are now remembering that during my administration we tried to keep the peace and we and weherished our human rights. so peace and human rights with basises for my campaign and also my administration. so we came out of the white house completely satisfied with
6:21 pm
the way we had acted in the trials that were made to overcome difficulties, and most of the time at least we thought we did. >> woodruff: and mrs. carter, when you look at this reevaluation, if that's what you want to call it, i mean, how do you see it? is it is it about time? is it how do you how do you think about it? >> i think it's about time that people really realized what jimmy did and the books are helping and i've been pleased with that. >> woodruff: so, president carter, there's so much to ask you both about, but as you think back on your presidency and your time as a former president, what are you most proud of and what is there a big regret you have? >> we're very proud of having been elected and having served as president as e epitome of our lives, i think in totality.
6:22 pm
and i would say that we did what we pledged tdo in the campaign. we kept the peace and we obeyed the law and we told the truth and we honored human rights. those were things that were important to me. >> woodruff: and during your presidency, there was clearly a big partisan divide in this country, there were disagreements with republicans, certainly with president reagan in that campaign of 1980. but today, the partisanship, it just seems to be off the charts. it's hyper partisan. do you think you could have done what you did as president if in this environment? >> no. if the republicans had pledged while i was president, not to pass any of my bills, i would have been handicapped greatly. and i'm glad they didn't do that.
6:23 pm
but we had a very good batting average with the congress when i was in office. i think we had the best one since lyndon johnson did. so we had a good administration. >> woodruff: and mrs. carter, as you think about the partisanship of today and the certainly you had there were difficult moments during your presidency in getting done what you wanted to get done. but today, you not only have partisanship, you have a president who claims that he won an election, that he didn't. when you have millions and millions of americans, including here in georgia, who say that president trump won reelection. how do you absorb that? >> it's ha. it's hard for me to know what was happening and then to hear what was being said about it. >> it's known quite accurately as the big lie. and how he, uh trump, ts away
6:24 pm
with it, it's harder to comprehend. and there's a time for extreme partnership, not partisanship, i think that adds to the environment within which a big lie would be possible to sustain. >> woodruff: do you believe that... what would you say to georgia and your fellow georgians, so many of whom believe that president trump won and the laws and now been changed in the state of georgia, that might have made it difficult for president biden or senator warnock or senator ossof to win? >> well, we have a few of those people in plains, unfortunately, but i don't think they'll change their mind. they're convinced of a lie and they're going to maintain it until they're gone, perhaps. so we just have to live with that and accommodate other
6:25 pm
people what they believe and not be overly critical of them. >> woodruff: did you ever think, mrs. carter, that your own carter center would be involved in monitoring elections in georgia? you've monitored elections all over the world, over 100 of them, and you're now involved in monitoring elections in this country? >> in this state, no one ever thought we have to monitor elections in georgia. i just assumed elections were accurate. and i trusted our officials. looking back on it, it's not a very good thing i did, but i did. i trusted the officials and i still do to some extent. i think we know the ones that don't tell the truth and tried to. well, i don't call it corrupt corruption because i don't think that's a good definition for it.
6:26 pm
>> woodruff: and they're monitoring, president carter, they're monitoring for fraud. they're also monitoring for access. make sure people who should be able to vote can vote. how you mean how concerned are you? and again, the fact that your own carter center is now involv in this. >> i think all over the world, we've always, ever since the carter center was founded, tried to promote national involvement in the people in election themselves and make sure that votes were counted accurately. and all of those things have gone by the board because of a republican state legislature, who take the position that trump is espoused. so i think we'll have to grin and bear it until the time comes to change it, which i hope will be soon. >> woodruff: president biden, you've known him a very long time, he was the first united
6:27 pm
states senator to endorse you when you ran for president. >> i remember. >> woodruff: how is he doing? we're almost six months in. what are his main challenges now? how's he doing? >> well, the immigration question still has arisen. and i don't think we still worked out an accommodation with china that's satisfactory for the long term. and when the legislative legislation that he wants to do is still under discussion, we don't know how it's going to turn out. but i think that in general, joe biden has done very well. >> woodruff: and mrs. carter, what do you think his main challenges are? >> i think it's a great relief to have joe biden in office after what we had before, so i'm very pleased about it. >> woodruff: two things i want to specifically ask both of you and mrs. carter to you first, mental health has been a primary interest to you.
6:28 pm
you've poured a lot of energy into it. and we've seen with the pandemic, it's underlined how difficult mental and emotional heal is for many americans. what is the one thing you'd like to see the federal government do if to improve the americans ability to get the help they need? >> i think that making a big issue out of it would help. because i work very hard trying to remove the stigma of mental illness and. i think that one thing that has happened is thathe situation has changed that a little bit, done away a little bit with the stigma. i've been pleased to see that. i think more people are seeking help than they did in the past. and i just hope that people will know that they don't have to suffer from mental illnesses.
6:29 pm
that treatment, there's treatment now, that everybody can live a good life in their communities, working and living a normal life with a mental illness. >> woodruf and president carter, i want to ask you to look ahead as you think about your grandchildren and great grandchildren and their future in this country, are you fearful for the united states or are you more hopeful? >> though sometimes i'm fearful and sometimes i'm hopeful, but overwhelmingly i'm hopeful. i have confidence in the basic integrity of the american people as in totality. and i believe that we've overcome even worse and more serious problems in the past than we have to face today. and so in looking at the historical paths of america, i still have also been hope in the
6:30 pm
american people. >> woodruff: how do you see that, mrs. carter? >> i think that's a good answer. i think you have to have hope. sometimes it's hard with the issues and the things that are on the news all the time, um, to try to figure out what's really, what really to believe. but in the end, i think everything will be okay. >> we watch the newshour in your leadership and assessment every night, and that kind of helps to reassure us and i think we don't watch fox presentation very much. we watch msnbc and cnn very rarely, and all the other aspects of social media, we don't really become involved in it, so we have a very good balance of news coverage.
6:31 pm
so i think that uh, with biden in office and with the inherent qualities of american people's judgment, i would say i'm fairly optimistic about the future. >> woodruff: well, we are very grateful to both of you for talking with us today and on the occasion of your 75th wedding anniversary. congratulations. it's really wonderful to see both of you. thank you very much. >> appreciate you. thank you. >> woodruff: from the battle over voting rights to the fight against covid-19, it's a good time for our politics monday team. that's amy walter of the cook political report. and tamara keith of npr.
6:32 pm
and it is very good to see both of you. amy is away, but we can still see you just like you're here with us in the studio. i have to say, first of all, what a privilege it was, tam and amy, to be able to go to plains, georgia, to sit down with former president carter and mrs. carter, their 75th wedding anniversary. and they're still following the news, amy. it is really something. >> amy: i loved the plug for the "newshour," of course, judy, and for your leadership of it, which is wonderful. obviously, their engagement not with just american politics, but american life, has been quite remarkable. over these last many years, whether it was habitat for humanity, and, of course, the work that president carter has done internationally. i do think you're correct, he is sort of remaking his assessment of his presidency. and it's one of the good
6:33 pm
and bad things about being a president who lived so long, is you get to see your legacy written and rewritten over and over and over again. >> woodruff: it is hard to believe, tam. it has been 41 years since this president left office, and we're still asking him these questions. >> tamara: he has had quite the post-presidency. they both have. it is truly remarkable. >> woodruff: it really has. amy, i want to come back to something i talked to them about because it is so much in the news right now. and, of course, that is voting rights. we had the supreme court decision last week upholding arizona's laws around more restrictive voting. and you heard former president carter say that we'll just have to grin and bear it, this situation, as it is around the country. we are -- given what has gone on in the congress and in the state legislatures, this is a situation that we're looking at for years to come. >> it is. that's why i thought it
6:34 pm
was so interesting, that president carter said we have to grin and bear it until the time comes to change it. to me, judy, that's the real big issue here because democrats and republicans feel very differently about what needs to change. we saw this in that most recent "newshour" pbs maris poll, when asked, what do you think is the bigger problem in america, that not everybody can vote or that people are voting who are ineligible? overwhelming percentage of democrats say it's that people don't have access to voting. very few republicans feel that way. overwhelming percentage of republicans feel the big issue is people who are ineligible shouldn't be able to vote. very few democrats feel that way. and independents are split, and that the bigger problem is access to voting. it leaves us in a very precarious position. and it is the reason why
6:35 pm
also in that same poll almost 70% of americans say they're worried about the future of democracy in this country. that's a very depressing place to be. >> woodruff: it does feel as if the country is stuck on this issue right now, doesn't it, tam? >> tamara: certainly. there was a second supreme court decision that essentially said congress, you need to fix this, if you want to. and for years now, congress -- and congress has been unable to fix it in part because of what amy said. because there is simply no agreement about what needs fixing. republicans and democrats have very different views on voting. and i think that there are some items that they probably would agree on, or adjustmentshat they could agree on, but then there are all of the other parts they simply can't come together on. and so the biden administration, the president, and the vice president are talking not about really getting
6:36 pm
legislation done, though they're trying, but they're talking about using their bully pulpit to go out on the campaign trail, heading into the 2022 mid-terms to campign for voting rights and make that a campaign issue, while at the same time trying to mobilize democratic voters and teach people how to vote under the state laws that they have no power to fix or change. >> woodruff: and we'll see how much they can mobilize people to vote over this issue one way or the other. amy, the other thing i want to talk to the two of you about is fourth july, here we are the day after. and we saw president biden at the whitehouse yesterday speaking to the american people. to mark the day, but also noting he spoke about an independence from covid, from the pandemic. but it is tough right now because, yes, the numbers have been coming down in this country, but we're kind of stuck there, too. they've stopped. we're seeing cases rise,
6:37 pm
as we reported earlier, because of this delta variant. you've got an administration that promised that they'd have 70% of adults with at least one vaccination by now, and that hasn't happened. it is a tough win for the administration. >> amy: it is very tough, too, in this place that we've been discussing, red and blue america, where blue america is seeing numbers in the 70s and 80% of vaccinations. red states, in the much lower percentage. in some cases, 40%, 50%. that's not something that president biden himself is going to fix. it will take republican leaders in the state to do that. the other piece, judy, that really struck me is the fact that voters are giving, both democrats and republicans and also independents, giving the president credit for his handling of covid. he has something like a 64%, 65% approval rating on this issue, and yet his overall approval rating in
6:38 pm
this pbs "newshour" maris poll and "washington post" poll, still stuck at 50%. what that says to me is that even an issue so dramatic that changed all of our lives in such unbelievable way, so much tragedy brought upon us, it -- and we are now hopefully looking at the end of this -- we really are in a very different place this fourth of july than we were last year, and still voters are as divided as ever on the issue about covid and whether they should give president biden not just credit on covid but for being a president who is doing the right thing. >> woodruff: and meanwhile, tam, larger pressuretages of republicans saying they won't get the vaccine. >> tamara: absolutely. if you overlay the monopoly of the election with the map of the percent of the population, percent of adults that are fully vaccinated or partially vaccinated, it looks just like that election map, with biden
6:39 pm
states going for the vaccine, and trump states less so. but there are other things that you have to overlay. things like rural areas, access to health care, sort of the pre-existing conditions of health access and availability in some of these states. poverty, education levels, all of that is part of the mix. i was talking to the republican pollster frank lund, who was trying to get people to get vaccinated, specifically trying to figure out the right message to get republicans vaccinated. he said that the biden white house basically did everything they could. they did the right things. what we know is that the administration does plan to keep pushing on this, keep trying to get people vaccinated. but they did celebrate this past weekend. and part of that is a lesson of the obama administration. they're trying to sort of bank their political wins on this, trying to celebrate where celebrating can happen. >> woodruff: it's a tricky line to walk, amy,
6:40 pm
as tam is saying. celebrating the good but knowing that we are still far away from a place that is safe when it comes to this virus. >> amy: that's right. i think once we get past the summer months, we know where the danger place is, and that's kids going back to school. that's going back indoors. that and ptentially a new variant or one that has been mutated. but i do think it is time to celebrate. we've had a fourth of july where we're able to do the things that last year seemed like they might not happen again for a very long time. so i do think this is a time to be, yes, cautious, but also optimistic. >> woodruff: as we heard from president carter just a few moments ago. [laughter] >> woodruff: given a choice, we'll take a few minutes to celebrate. amy walter, tamara keith, on the fifth of july, so good to see you both. thank you.
6:41 pm
>> thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: the july fourth weekend is a moment to celebrate the founding ideals of our republic and how our idea of democracy inspires immigrants to journey toward a new life. amna nawaz talks to a british- turned-american author with a unique perspective on what it means to call the u.s. home. >> nawaz: judy, roger bennet is the co-host "men in blazers" tv show. but before he became a soccer commentator and american citizen, he was an '80's kid from liverpool, england obsessed with america. from "miami vice" to the superbowl shuffle to the beastie boys, america represented all the opportunities he felt were out of his reach across the pond. his new book is "reborn in the usa: an englishman's love letter to his chosen home." roger, welcome back to the newshour.
6:42 pm
>> nawaz: always good to have you here. >> amna, what a way to end this fourth of july weekend, being with you. >> nawaz: so this obsession with all things america, where does it come from? >> i grew up in liverpool in the 1980s, it is a magnificent city, but back then it was in economic decline, the north of england, the coal mines had shut, the steel mills had shut down. if you watch billy elliot, you kind of get the drift. i didn't have belly dancing in my life, but what i did have was america. and as a teen, i inhaled every book, movie, television show, sports star, everything i could get my hands on. that's how i survived the darkness of liverpool in the 1980s. i was an american trout in an english news body. >> nawaz: you had some ancestors in your family who also dreamt about coming to the u.s. and never made it. did that influence your love for america? >> that is the gentleman
6:43 pm
over my shoulder, my great grandfather, harry. they left ukraine with thousands. he thought he was in new york city, and got off the boat thinking he was in the promised land. and my grandfather, who i was very close to, whenever things went wrong, he would pick up a tiny statue of liberty and look at it and stare at it and say, oh, we should have lived there. we should have lived there. even though i never set foot in america, i thought that is where i was supposed to be. >> nawaz: you spent so much of your childhood consuming every bit of america that you could. "miami vice," american music, you soaked up everything you could. it was speaking to you on a r & very deep level. what was it that spoke to you? >> the love boat, "miami
6:44 pm
vice," moonlighting, it was enjoying them in the same way. they say animal farm is just a book about animals and pigs, but the american color that you receive, the life of joy, a life where you can take your own future into your nds, it was a complete contrast to the black and white in which i grew up wit. and that is something that americans often don't remember about their own nation. when you become american, when you say the oath of allegiance with 162 people from 42 countries, many of whom have escaped civil war or famine or worse to arrive here, all of us were animated by the american idea of the american dream, and it gives the world such courage, such joy and tenacity. it saved my lives when i needed it, and thousands more. >> nawaz: you tell that story so beautifully in the book about becoming a citizen in 2018. you also tweeted a photo after you became a citizen, and lots of
6:45 pm
people sent you congratulations. some noted, we're see gd you're an american citizen, and thank you for taking the legal pathway. asou note in the book, you came here in 1993, and you overstayed a tourist visa and then went on to become a citizen. i wonder how you process that, the sort of reaction you got in becoming a citizen and pursuing american citizenship, as opposed to the other ones people get. >> i grew up with the manhattan statue of liberty painted on my wall, and it was the greatest movement of my life to become an american, to swear the oath of allegiance to this country. my whole life has been based around the notion of the american dream, the one i had as a child who had not set foot in the country, it was rich, deep, built on the perception, very different from the american reality. i still love the american idea more than ever. now i am here, now i vote,
6:46 pm
and i have american kids. but it is how i square the circle, the words of langston hughes, let america be america again, the land that has never been, and yet must be. >> nawaz: you spent your childhood of amassing every bit of america, and now people know you as one of england's exports, professional soccer. is there a bit of irony there? is that a full circle moment? what is going on. >> i love two things. i love football. high school football in texas and in liverpool, it is how we understand the world. it is the joy of my life to see the sport that i left when i came here, and on our show we joke, soccer, american sports of the future as it has been since 1972. but theame there are women and world champions -- and the men are only half as good as our women, which may be good enough to make a lot
6:47 pm
of noise at the next world cup. >> nawaz: that is roger bennett, host of the "the men in blazer show." roger, always imood to good to k to you. >> happy independence day to everyone, judy woodruff in particular. >> woodruff: thank you, love hearing from you. in a time of much reg >> woodruff: in a time of much reckoning over american history, there are questions raised anew about what a ¡monument' is and whom should be honored? a new exhibition in los angeles explores that, in what's called "augmented reality." jeffrey brown has a look for our arts and culture series, canvas. >> brown: life in los angeles' macarthur park, but not as you've ever seen in. this is a digital tribute to the workers who have lined the streets of this immigrant neighborhood for decades. an other-worldly portal between past, present and future worlds, exploring the continuing presence of an indigenous people native to l.a.
6:48 pm
in a new exhibit, “monumental perspectives” at the los angeles county museum of art or lacma, five artists were tasked with re-imagining monuments through new technology: augmented reality, an interactive experience that overlays digital information with the real, physical world. >> i had to learn all these terms because i wasn't familiar with all these terms. i had to learn how to navigate snapchat. >> brown: one of the five is los angeles-based artist ruben ochoa, whose piece “vendedores presente,” pays homage to street vendors, many of whom are working class immigrants from mexico and central america. >> it's essentially like a magical realism, whimsical lens of vendedores falling and floating down, eloteros flying around, a paletero cart approaching you, and paleta's popping up to a towering bucket
6:49 pm
of flores just spouting out flower petals. >> brown: the technology was new for ochoa, but he comes from a family of street vendors, so his monument was personal and potical. >> for me it was like, h do i address what's happening presently in l.a., what i'm seeing around me, what's occurring. i talk about my roots of my family, the informal economy. how do we pay tribute to that, but not just to one particular vendor or object, but it was more like the social fabric of vending. >> brown: in the height of 2020's social justice uprisings, many monuments were pulled down, many more raised questions: why do they exist? whomr what do they honor? do they need to be here? michael govan, lacma's director, wondered about a different approach. >> how do we move forward and to talk about celebrating figures
6:50 pm
that hadn't been celebrated, what should we monumentalize in the 21st century or who versus other times? >> brown: lacma partnered with¡ snap', the social media company best known for its snapchat messaging app, to create this exhibition. but why augmented reality- instead of something more physical or permanent? >> monuments do augment our reality. they change the way we think of a place that might remind us of something, a monument might be there to allow us to remember something. so whether it's in a virtual space or a real space, i think it can serve exactly the same function. >> when i think about monuments, i think about how they're often a singular moment or a singular person and are kind of often for indigenous people, these histories that are really kind of traumatic for us. >> brown: mercedes dorame is an l.a.-based artist who created“ portal for toangar, a monument that pays tribute to
6:51 pm
her ancestry, the gabrielino tonvga indians of california. >> it's about this continuum of presence in los angeles of the tongva people and other indigenous people there. what do we want to understand or reconnect with? and for me, that is like the cosmos, the sun, the stars. what is inscribed in the land, the history of the land, the plants, the people, the kind of legacy that is still here, still in los angeles. >> brown: she worked with an australian artist who goes by the one name, ¡sutu'-- an expert in virtual reality and other technologies. >> she does paintings. she works with artifacts and stones and shells and different things like this. and i wanted to make sure that we could bring all that into the digital world. she created a painting and took it on site and photographed it on site, which was super helpful. i was then able to take those photos and extract the painting from them and bring that into
6:52 pm
the program. brown: he used a combination of 3-d modeling, animation, and other tools to create the augmented reality of the portal. >> there's no law of physics there. you can have anti-gravity, you can have things floating. one of the things that augmented reality lends to the world, i guess, is th you're bringing to life a physical place with the digital art. so the digital art can provide context to that physical place. >> brown: that led to a question for museum director govan. this whole project raises a question of permanence, right? does it have a life beyond what we see in snap? >> absolutely. you think about monuments, they don't have to be a statue. monuments can be written in books. they can be put on media. what are monuments? monuments are ways to remember things that are useful to us to help us think about our past and hopefully think about our future, too, because there's a heroic aspect to what you want
6:53 pm
to remember to guide you forward. it is also about the future. >> bwn: for ruben ochoa, his¡ monument' has led to an advocacy project: he's raised $60,000 through direct donations and the sale of limited edition prints to support vendors hit by the pandemic. >> they're mostly immigrants. they're not eligible for a stimulus check. and so, you know, this is their only means of rvival and the only means to put food on the table. >> brown: and mercedes dorame sees another benefit to this kind of project. >> the reason why i wanted to engage in a project like this with an institution such as lacma and snaps to push this story forward, to make our people more visible. and for me, that goes into a lot of these pushes into institutions where we're thinking about representation and whose voice is heard.
6:54 pm
>> brown: new technology, new¡ monuments', new ways of mixing art and history. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and a news update before we go: an additional victim has been found in the rubble from the collapsed condominium building in surfside, florida -- bringing the confirmed death toll to 28. 117 people are still missing. on the newshour online right now, a first-of-its-kind study offers new demographic data about people who have gender identities that are neither male nor female. they are not currently counted by the u.s. census. learn more about why this data is important on our website, pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs
6:55 pm
newshour has been provided by: >> architect. bee-keeper. mentor. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life, well-planned. >> the kendeda fund. committed to advancing restorative justice and meaningful work through investments in transformative leaders and ideas. more at kendedafund.org. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org
6:56 pm
and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
[ theme music plays ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -today on "cook's country," bryan makes julia the ultimate texas barbecue brisket on the grill... and adam reveals his top pick for coolers. that's all right here on "cook's country."

57 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on