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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  November 29, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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♪ judy: good evening. on the "newshour" tonight. omicron raises concern. as a new covid variance spreads and president biden -- puts a travel ban from eight african nations. tens of thousands of children face a difficult road ahead after losing a parent or caregiver to the coronavirus.. >> our instinct is to say how horrible a child has lost mom and dad. it can lead to food scarcity. children can lose their home. judy: then political stakes. democrats push for a senate deal on the president's build back
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better legislation in the final weeks of the year. all that and more on tonight's "pbs news hour." ♪ >> major funding for "newshour" has been provided by -- >> it is the little things. the reminders of what is important. it is why fidelity dedicated advisors are here to help you create a wealth plan. a plan with tax sensitive investing strategies. planning focused on tomorrow while you focus on today. that's the planning effect from furt-- from fo fidelity. >> consumer cellular. johnson & johnson.
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bnsf railway. financial services firm raymond james. the william and flora hewitt foundation. advancing ideas and supporting institutions to support a better world at the chan zuckerberg initiative. working to build a more healthy, just, and inclusive future for everyone. at and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] ♪
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this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by car to bhushan's to your pbs station from viewers like you -- and from contributions from viewers like you. judy: a growing number of nations imposed a travel restriction today to try to slow the spread of a new coronavirus variant omicron. the moves cam as more cases of the variant were confirmed internationally. but some warn that the travel bans, including one imposed by the u.s., would not be effective, and could even be counterproductive. our white house correspondent reports. >> today, a u.s. ban on foreign travelers took effect. as japan and morocco and israel banned entry by all foreigners. at the white house president biden addressed his a decision targeting south africa. omicron was first detected in seven other african countries. pres. biden: the variant is a
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cause for concern, not a cause for panic. the reason for the travel ban is there are significant number of cases. the few around south africa in the world. we need time to give people the opportunity to say, get that vaccination know before it moves around the world. >> along with a u.s. great britain and canada and a dozen other nations including the european union are banning travel from southern africa. australia delayed its plans to reopen borders. the south african president criticized the rushed and imposed travel bans. >> we need to resist unjustified as well as unscientific travel restrictions. that only serve to further disadvantage developing economies. >> many public health leaders have also pushed back on bans. president biden's former senior advisor and covid-19 took to twitter saying " a far better
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response would be the mass shipment of hundreds of millions of vaccines to the area." the omicron variant has been confirmed in one dozen countries across several continents. europe, the middle east, asia and the pacific have all reported the variant has hit their shores. over the weekend, two cases were confirmed in canada . the first time they variant has been recorded in north america. the makers of two highly effective vaccine pfizer and moderna are addressing the omicron variant. >> we'll know from the laboratory tests in the next couple weeks just how effective the vaccines are against this variant. if we need to manufacture any omicron specific variant, it's going to take some weeks. >> the world health organization has classified omicron as a variant of concern but it is urging nations not to overreact. here's the director general. >> south africa and botswana should be -- detecting and
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suppressing and reporting this variant. >> the delta variant remains responsible for most infections globally. it's not yet clear whether omicron causes more severe disease. president biden said that while he does not favor further shutdowns are lockdown's the vaccine. pres. biden: the vaccines will continue to provide protection against severe disease. >> while omicron is yet to be detected in the u.s., experts say it is not a matter of if but when. judy: in response to the omicron threat, the centers for disease control and prevention today urged all adults receive a booster shot. for more we turn to dr. anthony faucher, director of the institute of allergy and infectious diseases. i spoke with them a short time ago. dr. fauci, thank you very much for joining us. first of all, is omicron in the united states? dr. fauci: we don't know that.
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we are looking very carefully to see if it is already here, but given the characteristics, which we are starting to see unfold about this virus and what has gone on with other countries over the last 24-24 hours, i really would be surprised if we did not ultimately have it here in this country, but right now there is no definite evidence it is here yet. judy: the world health organization is saying that this is potentially very high risk. what the omicron poses. but then president biden said today it is a cause for concern but not a cause for panic. so, how concerned should people be? dr. fauci: we have to take it seriously because the virus that was isolated and characterized by our south african colleagues, and i must say kudos to them for being so transparent and so helpful in collaborating and giving us the information in real time, it displays a
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constellation of mutations, jduy, that would be suggestive that it has a high degree of transmissibility advantage, and it could evade some of the immunological -- that we follow like monoclonal antibodies and even vaccine induced antibodies. we do not know the ultimate impact of that. it might not be a big deal or it might turn out to be something that we really are going to have to address. there are number of unanswered questions but fortunately we likely will have the answer in a matter of a couple of weeks. namely, what do our vaccines do when we induced antibodies? will it neutralize this virus, and as we are getting information from our south african colleagues, when you do get infected with this, is it is severe disease, or is it only a very mild disease?
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it could be a highly transmissible virus without severe consequences or not. we don't know that. and that is the reason why the president, very appropriately said, we are concerned, we're paying close attention to it, but we should not be panicking about it. judy: is there early evidence, though, as to whether the vaccines being offered right now protect against the new variant? dr. fauci: from our experience i can say i would be very surprised if the level of antibodies induced by our vaccines, particularly following a booster, would not have some e ffect in countering this, because, when you look at the delta variant, which is a variant of that is not really one that the vaccine is specifically directed against, yet, when you get a high enough titer following vaccination and certainly following a booster, you cover the delta variant. you have a crossing over of
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protection to it. knowing what we know about variants, i would be surprised if there was at least some degree and may be a significant degree of protection. we don't know that till we prove it, but i would not be surprised if that were the case. dy: beyond getting vaccinating and getting the booster and we saw the cdc is expanding their recommendation to all adults to get the booster. what more can people do to stay safe? dr. fauci: what we have been saying all along. i do not think anything needs to change. when you're in a congregant setting, indoors with individuals when you do not know their vaccination status, wear a mask. i know there will be traveling during the holidays coming up. when you go to an airport in a congregant setting, wear a mask, keep your mask on. you can enjoy the family settings, particularly if everyone is vaccinated so you do not feel you need to be cooped up in restricted in that regard but just be careful.
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above all, if ever there was a reason for people to say let's get vaccinated if you are not vaccinated, then if you are vaccinated by all means get boosted. this is really a very strong endorsement for that. judy: we know biden administration now over 40 other countries have instituted travel bans against countries in southern africa, but you're also aware there is criticism of this. there are those who say this is overly punitive, it's not effe ctive, that it could lead to governments being less transparent in the future. do you think there is some truth to these criticisms? dr. fauci: it is a very tough call when you have to make a decision like that because when you're looking at something in which the molecular virologist and the who and those looking at the virus say, this is really of a concern, we don't know yet the full scope of it.
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the prudent decision is to try and give us at least a couple of weeks of leeway to be able to be better prepared. that was the motivation for the travel restriction. no one likes to do that with any countries. but, of course, i can tell you, judy, you know the way things go. if we had not done that, we would be highly criticized for putting ourselves in danger. so, there is always going to be criticism. we just have to do what you feel is the best judgment, and, hopefully, if things turn out ok, this will not be a long-duration of a restriction. judy: one final question. in the united states, after all of these months of president biden spoke of the need to get more testing, it seems that there still -- there are many americans having trouble finding a place to get testing. i know from personal expense over the weekend trying to help someone find a testing site. what has happened to that
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should we be further along in this country right now? dr. fauci: there has been an investment of literally billions of dollars to get to the point where you do -- where you have anywhere from 200 million to 500 million tests per month available. that is the goal. we are well on the way there are there places you get tested very easily but you're right. i know expenses of people calling me where they are having trouble finding a place where they can get a rapid test. but that is unevenly distribute it throughout the country. hopefully, when that money gets put to use to get those 200 to 500 test a month, this will not be a problem anymore. judy: dr. anthony fauci, thank you very much for joining us. dr. fauci: good to be with you as always. thank you. ♪ stephanie: i am stephanie sy with news hour west.
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a federal judge in st. louis blocked a federal covid vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states. they had challenged president biden's order arguing there is no clear legal authority for it. an earlier court order blocked a federal vaccine mandate for large employers. the rulings are in force, pending appeals to higher courts. iran pressed for an end to u.s. sanctions as talks resumed on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal. negotiators from six nations met in vienna for the first time in more than five months. iran's top negotiator said the other parties understand what needed. >> i think it is itself a great achievement that all of the members of the group have accepted iran's demand and clarified that the illegal u.s. actions must be lifted. and then there will be discussion and decision-making on the remaining matters. stephanie: president trump quit the nuclear deal and in response
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iran stopped complying with limits on his nuclear work. president biden has indicated he wants to rejoin the agreement if iran returns to compliance. in honduras, they are still counting votes but left us xiomara castro is headed towards becoming the country's first female president. they celebrate it last light as she ran up a lead and early results from sunday's election. castro called for a new era after 12 years of conservative rule. [speaking spanish] >> we are going to form a government of reconciliation in our country. a government of peace and a government of justice. we are going to start a process in the who of honduras to guarantee a participative democracy, direct democracy. stephanie: castro's husband had once been president but was ousted by military coup in 2009. law makers in sweden have elected magdelena anderson is
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their first female leader. she was briefly prime initial last week before the coalition collapsed. most of the parliament stood and applauded anderson as she accepted her new role for the second time. back in this country, federal prosecutors in your charge that -- maxwell traffic young girls to jeffrey epstein for sexual abuse. the defense answered that maxwell has been a scapegoat for epstein, a sex offender who died and jailed in 2019. jury selection began today for jussie smollett accused of staging a hate crime attack. the former star of "empire" arrived at the courthouse with his family but had no comment. smollett claims white men assaulted him and 2019 shouting racial and homophobic slurs. two black men he said he paid them to attack them. twitter ceo jack dorsey has stepped down.
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he said it is time for change at the social media giant. dorsey cofounded twitter in 2006. under his leadership the company wacriticized for not doing enough to block hate speech. and lee elder who broke racial barriers and professional golf has died. he passed away early sunday in california. in 1975, elder became the first black player to compete at the masters. he won four times on the pga tour. lee elder was 87 years old. decking the halls at the white house. first lady jill biden unveiled the new christmas decorations. photos showcase "gifts from the hearts. still to come, a journalist new book offers an expanded look at the long legacy of slavery in the u.s. tamera keith and amy walter consider the battle over the president's agenda. the life of the late designer
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virgil ableau and his impact beyond the fashion world. plus much more. >> this is the "pbs newshour." from weta studios in washington and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: more than 775,000 people in the united states have died from covid-19, staggering figure. left behind are tens of thousands of children, some or friend entirely after the parent or grandparent who cared for them died. in this report, kaiser health news correspondent, looks at the risk these grieving children face to their well-being, both in the short and long-term. >> i think the little boys don't really have a concept of what's
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really happening, what really happened because i think they keep looking for him. hey, boys. >> betty hamilton says her five grandchildren still haven't accepted that there dad -- the ir dad died suddenly of covid in august. the boys came to live with her because their mom is gone, too. she died in a car crash years earlier and they needed a home. now betty's day is filled with helping her grandsons with homework. >> we're going to hide that turkey there. >> and she spends endless hours in the kitchen trying to feed the growing boys. >> you are going to help them clean up, too? >>t he boys are among 140,000 children in the united states who have lost a parent or grandparent to covid. these kids face grave risk. it was betty who told boys about their dad. >> they looked at me like i was crazy.
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i'm hoping with me and my daughter that we could give them something to look forwad. even though they do not have a mother or father. but you got a grandparent, granddad, grandma. an aunt, an uncle 24-7, anything you need. >> if only it were that simple. she gets no financial help for the boys from the government except food stamps and medicaid. >> so, that was the main struggle, just getting them clothing and fed. >> their aunt tried to move the boys into her home by her landlord said they weren't on her lease. now she frequently makes the trip, three hours each way to help her mom figure out the basics, setting up a go-fund-me page and caring for the boys' mental health. >> how are they feeling? i did not -- death is sad.
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just losing their mom, i did not want them really depressed. we tried to talk positive, tell them positive things about how everything that was going around, keep them happy and hopeful and not looking at it like, this is another bad thing. our mom and dad. i bet we can put a mustache. >> cash sometimes acts out of preschool. will you show me how you build a giraffe? >> the yellow block. >> colby is five inning kindergarten. it is difficult for the younger boys to comprehend that there dad is really gone. where you think your dad is now? >> his house. >> the older boys are dealing with complex emotions. what we are some of your favorite things to do with your dad? >> play the game with him. >> it is hard to talk about.
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>> it's ok, christian. >> it's your mama's birthday. >> even though there are so many families and kids left to grieve on their own, there is no concerted government effort to help them or even identify them. there are organizations across the country that help raising children but they are few and far between and often not well-known. >> introduce yourself and introduce your family and introduce who died in your life. >> at kate's club surviving parents and caregivers and kids grieve and learn healthy ways to cope. >> this icebreaker will get us thinking about our group. >> kids who lost parent come from all backgrounds but there are start differences. one out of 753 white children have lost a caregiver compared to one out of 412 hispanic children and one out of 310
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black children and one out of 1 68 native children. compared to kids who have never lost a parent bereaved children are at increased risk to lower self-esteem and poor academic performance and greater risk for death due to suicide and drug abuse and violent crime. >> hi. >> ten year old london started coming after london's dad died at age 46. processing grief in the time of covid is complicated. some children feel guilty for infecting the parent. others like london are angry that their parent did not get vaccinated or wear our mask. do you find when people do not wear their masks, does that make you mad? >> yes, because it reminds me of -- of daddy not --
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wearing his mask at the last soccer game. i told him to put it on but he said he would put it on but he never did. then that's when i got mad. >> the pandemic is far from over and with every surge of covid- related deaths there are more children left behind to deal with the consequences in their own lives. >> the original figure we thought was about 120,000. we think that is closer to 175,000. >> charles nelson authored a study in " pediatric" and estimated the number of chiller who losta parent or caregiver. without interventions, these kids face serious risk. >> there is the issue of depression is not treated and it becomes persistent. >> this could affect them for the rest of their lives? >> these stressful events can be biologically embedded. their physical health could also suffer long-term. >> but nelson said there is more to it. a child's entire life can
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unravel. >> how horrible a child has lost my more dad. we are not thinking about, what will that lead to? it could lead to a loss of income or food scarcity. people can lose their home. they can wind up living with a relative they don't know. they can wind up in foster care. kids could make fun of them. so, eventually all of those things can pull the rug out and make a loss of a paret that -- a parent that much worse. >> their father died of covid a year ago. mallory decided to quit college softball after teammate called covid a hoax. camille faced a bully at school who said her dad abandoned them and did not really die. >> he came up to me and told me my father went to go get milk and never came back. he got suspended.
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>> both girls were home when their dad died in her parents bedroom. >> he didn't -- he was here. >> their mother tried to revive him with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation . mallory called 911. she's struggling to stay on course. >> there are days when i can focus really well. there's always that sense of, good job. and i can study and i'm good but then there is also the other days where nothing seems like it is going to go right. i feel like there is a cloud over my head and it is raining. >> so, this is where they would bring in the big trucks? >> with a sudden loss of his income, helped run a truck repair shop considered an essential business at the height of the pandemic, julie has to pay the bills, find health insurance and therapists and put her girls through college. she is entirely on her own. >> we demand that these
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essential workers go to work. and they did. and they died. it's just like, o k, sorry. we're moving on. and meanwhile, all of the families are drowning. >> this is when we need dad. >> experts say if these kids and their families continue to be left on their own, the deaths of their parents will be felt for generations to come. for the "pbs newshour" in kaiser health news, i'm sarah varney in ohio. judy: with only a few weeks left in the year, the president has a full slate of challenges ahead. from passing his build back better plan to tackling the new covid variant. here to assess the politics, amy
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walter of the cook little report with amy walter and tamera keith of npr. hello to both of you on this monday. very good to see you. we're going to begin with what we're leading with with the program tonight and that is this new variant of covid. amy, just when i think we thought maybe we were on the good side of this, it turns out that there is this big question mark. we don't know yet how serious, how severe. but we know it is on the move. and president biden is imposing a travel ban. he's saying no reason to panic. we know there are health reasons, health things he has to worry about. what about the political? amy: i thought it was noble thing that he said don't panic, and also we said we're are not going to do lockdownss. very clear. we can defeat this with vaccines and boosters. we do not have to go where we were in. 2020
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the challenge for the president as he noted in that speech is, he doesn't have any control over what other countries are doing. this is a global pandemic. yes, the u.s. consent a lot of vaccines around the world, but you're still looking at countries in africa that have, like south africa, 6% or something, of the vaccination rate. this is going to go on for some time. seems to me the other challenge the president has as he is dealing in real time with these mutations that are going to be with us, while the long tail of covid is still with us like the peace that randy forbes about the mental health challenges, our kids. we watch this year we have record numbers of overdose deaths. that we have people who are getting in fights on airplanes and punching flight attendants. we're still dealing with the effects of being a lockdown for 2020 that haven't been resolved. we're getting back into society while we are also dealing with the present reality of a
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mutating virus that is probably going to be with us for some time. judy: not to mention the economy. so many different pieces of this the president has to think about, but it could, it is affecting him. amy: absolutely. and he did come out. he had to come out after this long weekend, where everyone at home got really frightening news that there is a new variant of concern that has this name we have not heard. we don't know how to pronounce. and he had to come out and say basically, i"m president. i am here to help. even though we have virtually no answers on all of the important and relevant questions. and he doesn't have a lot of levers left to push. he can beg people to wear masks, but outside of liberal urban centers, people just aren't we aring masks anymore. the cdc came out with new recommendations pushing boosters even harder than they were before. the president can continue pushing boosters, but they've
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run out of big, bogld things -- bold things they can do to move the needle to get much more of the population vaccinated. he's in a tough spot. and his political future rests on people feeling like there is some sense of normal. and just as we were having this seminormal thanksgiving where w e saw people we have not been in the same room with an along, just as this was happening, this news comes out, that is a big, bad reminder that covid isn't done with us. judy: and as we are heading into the holidays, people are asked to be patient. we'll find out later. meantime, amy, this is not the only thing the president is dealing with. now he's got several things before the congress. build back better, his big social spending program. and then there is a defense authorization bill and funding the government. the debt ceiling.
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what does it all look like? amy: it was not that long ago, maybe it was 100 years ago it feels like, these would be considered a big deal. there would be panic on wall street. my gosh, we are getting to the end of the year and there is a debt ceiling and we are going to follow for cliff and now it just seems like there's a shrug, because this seems to happen every year and it fixes itself and we do not h ead into disaster area. the bigger challenge for the president is getting his build back better plan passed before we head into 2022. the majority leader chuck schumer said today, we are going to get this done by christmas. maybe? but he wants this done so that 2022 starts off with, hey, everybody, look what democrats have offered before -- for you for the midterm elections. judy: 28 days -- i didn't count.
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i made that appears however many days it is, how much of this is in the president's control? because we are talking about this at a time when his public opinion approval ratings are moving down. tamara: and this comes at a time when democrats really are convinced they need this. the democrats believe that they need to be able to go out and say, look at all the stuff we did for you. i'm not sure that that i s totally going to work. but they have become convinced they need that. and, certainly, president biden is going to be pushing for this. the white house is signaling they are planning to be tougher on republicans. the thing is republicans have easily consolidated behind a message that is like, no, no. this thing could hurt inflation. no, no. this is going to run up the debt. and democrats haven't quite consolidated behind a message of what is in it and why it is a good idea. and so, the -- white house
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is signaling that president biden is going to get tougher and say, what is the alternative? i do not know that that will make democrats come together before christmas. judy: republicans are saying the country is going to be, fall aprt if this passes. what is the secret potion that the president has? >> to get his own party on board. some of it is, if my approval ratings do not go up, it is going to hurt everybody. you can try to distance yourself from an unpopular president when your party is up, but it is difficult to do. and the big flashing red light right now free democrats isn't that republicans are against what the president wants to do, it is that independent voters have soured on this president. over the course of the last six midterm elections, that the
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president going into that midterm election with approval ratings where this president sis with independents, has lost s eats in that midterm election. judy: flashing red light. >> yes. i call it now, it's the check engine light for american politics. independent voters. judy: remember that. thank you both. >> you are welcome. ♪ judy: journalist nicole hannah jones 1619 project has become a topic of much debate in recent years. for our bookshelfe spoke with her about expanding upon that original work. the importance of looking back at how our nations history unfolded and its relevance to today. >> in 2019, the new york times magazine published the 1619
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project. with the claim that 1619, the year the first enslaved africans were brought to what would become the united states could be considered the origin of this country. the journalist who created and helmed the project is nicole hannah jones, reporter for the magazine who won the pulitzer prize for her work on the 1619 project. it went to a special newspaper section two a multi-episode podcast, and has been expanded into the new book the 1619 project, a new origin story. nicole hanna jones at howard university me now in our studio. welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> why, the expansion? what did you feel is necessary to expand upon in this new book? >> there were still so many areas of american life that we wanted to explore. in other historians we wanted to include that we could not fit into the original project.
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it was an opportunity to expand on the original essays to answer some of the critics and really show our work that undergirded the original project and to make that connection of slavery to modern america even stronger. >> you tackle a lock. even in this -- you tackle a lot. 19 essays, capitalism, music, citizenship, contributes include dorothy roberts, wesley morris, tremaine lee, how did you decide what to include, who to approach? >> it was kind of a mix. there was an essay byr dorothy roberts about how race was constructed. martha jones, i wanted her to write and citizenship. and then there were certain writers, i think he is a brilliant scholar and i did not know what he would write, but i wanted to include him. one of my favorite essays is the one by the harvard historian
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on colonialism and the so-called civilized tribes engaged in chattel slavery. we needed to have an essay that debt with indian removal and we need to find the right one. judy: there is also the inclusion of portraits. >> real people throughout american history. why did you includes those? >> so seldom do see regular black people from the 1800s early early 1900s and every one of those photos are not of famous people. forces you to puase before you enter -- pause before you enter the essays and reflect that these are human beings with the same hurts and wants as anyone else. which is the opposite of what slavery try to do which was stripped that humanity from people. >> this central idea that 1619'could bes considered the country origin, that is not the national narrative.
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and it was met with backlash when you first published. historians and politicians and state law makers.legislating against it . did that backlash surprise you? >> yes, of course. i knew that there was going to be backlash. this is an ambitious and provocative project. the reason the project has to exist if we have wanted to treat slavery as an asterisk. and even a lot of historians are invested in the idea of american exceptionalism. we treat the revolutionary period as a divine event in this project was seeking to unsettle that is to say, yes, we were founded on freedom but the practice of slavery. and, if you think about 1619 as an origin, that explains some of our most vexing tensions. no one could predict that state legislatures would be seeking to ban the project and that the president, donald trump at the time, would be castigating the
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project and passing executive orders against the project. that's really unexpected. >> there was an update to the work published. in march 2020 there was equivocation made, the original language suggested that protecting slavery was 'a primary motivation for all colonists." you updated that to "some" why was that an important cleric occasion? -- an important clarification? >> we say americans love pizza. no one assumes that we mean every single american loves pizza. i was not arguing that every single colonist had slavery as a motivation, but when scholars push back on that, then we amended it because i think that's what a journalist should do. that only strengthens the project. >> more big picture, let me ask you about where we are right now. in the book in the chapter called "fear" that not everything that his face can be
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changed but nothing can be changed unless it is faced. do you see a greater willingness among americans to face the history of racism in this country, the legacy of slavery into begin to do the work to change things? >> i do. i think the response to the 1619 project speaks to that. you you would not see this type of intensive backlash if millions of americans did not actually care about learning history. i believe that if we believe our country is truly great, that it can withstand the light of tru th. it is only if you are afraid that somehow the truth will destroy our country that you try to repress it. so, i think what we saw last year with the racial justice protest was americans starting to make connections and say, wait a minute. we have unresolved issues. when we saw george floyd killed on national television, that was not just about one bad police officer. that was about a 400 year structure that would make this white officer feel he could kill a man in front of witnesses and
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not be punished. those connections are very powerful. that is why we are seeing the backlash. i do think we are at a place where americans are willing to excavate our history, so that we can actually try to build a country that we say we are. >> the author is nicole hannah jones. the new book is the 1619 project, new origin story. thank you for being here. >> thank you. judy: we'll be back shortly with a look at how the design of virtual - virgil ableu transformed fashion.
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judy: the fashion world is mourning one of its most influential black designers, virgil ableu, the artistic director for louis vuitton died yesterday at the age of 41 after battling cancer.
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stephanie sy has more on his legacy. stephanie: virgil was instrument on cementing streetwear in high fashion. an architect by training his first fashion for a was with kanye west. in 2013, he launched his own clothing line called off white. in 2018, he became the first black man to helm the creative side of louis vuitton. for more on how virgil abloh shaped fashion i am joined by robin, the senior critic at large for the washington post. thank you for joining the newshour. what has been the reaction to mr. alboh's death. >> the fashion industry has been in shock. i don't think anyone really realize the gravity of his illness. and he was only 41 years old. the other aspect is just the immense sadness that this was
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someone at the top of their game. and really paving the way for others to have such a short legacy. stephanie: why did his work have such residents-- resonance? was it just the force of his character? >> i think it was a combination of things. one was that he came to fashion from really a circuitous route. he had not studied at fit or parsons. he came from the creative world of music. from branding, from working with kanye west. and he also was someone who walked very tall. when he got to louis vuitton. he was very much proud of the fact that he was a black design at that level. he sought to hire other black designers -- and he sought
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to create scholarships targeting black designers. i also think he was an incredible source of admiration for a lot of young black designers who saw in him someone who wasn't outsize, who is not a superhero, who wasn't a genius, so to speak. who was someone -- he was very talented but also human. stephanie: how many young black designers do you think are reflecting on vigirl -- abloh's pat today and thinking, i can do this? >> i think the numbers are countless. i think part of it was the fact that here was someone who was an and credible optimist, and who believe that he could make existing systems work for him. he was not trying to burn down the fashion system as it was.
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he was trying to blow open the doors. and i think he did that. the other thing is that by stepping through the door at louis vuitton, where he worked as the artistic director for menswear, he was stepping into a world that had an incredible heritage that celebrated that heritage and tradition and exclusivity and, instead of focusing on that heritage and focusing so much on the craftsmanship of the object, he was focused on the ways in which the object connected with customers. he wanted customers to be able to see themselves reflected in the work and not have the work looked down to the customer. but to really create a kind of community with the customer. stephanie: do you think that virgil abloh has permanently
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change the status quo in the fashion industry? >> i have hope that he did. fashion can be quite stubborn when it comes to change. but i do think that he proved to the fashion industry that someone from his background, someone who looked like him had the talent and had the determination and also have the character to be able to excel at thaq level and hopefullyy, if the industry learned anything, it will be that it should look beyond the usual suspects for talent. stephanie: virgil abloh is survived by his wife shannon and his two kids. thank you for joining us. judy: a life cut short too soon. and that is the newshour for tonight. i am judy woodruff. join us again here tomorrow evening for all of us at the "pbs newshour" thank you.
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please stay safe and we will see you soon. >> major funding for "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- >> pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary artist. a raymondjames financial advisor. taylor's advice to help you live your life. life well-planned. >> consumer cellular. johnson & johnson. bnsf railway. the kendida fund, the commitment to investing in transformative leaders an idea. ♪ supported by the john dee and catherine t macarthur foundation.
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committed to building a more just and peaceful world. more information at 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. ♪ this is pbs newshour. from weta studios in washington and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪
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♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -today on "cook's country," i'm making popcorn chicken. toni tells us about a fast fooinnovator. adam reviews electric deep fryers. bryan is making gobi manchurian and lawman is making crispy vegetable fritters.
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