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tv   The Week With Joshua Johnson  MSNBC  April 24, 2021 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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it's good to be with you. i'm zerlina maxwell. joshua johnson has the weekend off. right now, we're keeping our eye on protests over police when will this end? >> they didn't have to kill any of them. nobody deserves to die over a police officer. >> i'll talk to a former member of presidento obama's 21st century policing task force, plus we're expecting a landmark new u.n. climate report to drop any moment. and experts say it will tell us we're focusing on the wrong issue. what would that mean for biden's climate pledge? a young activist who is leading the charge to save the planet will join me live. and tomorrow's oscars set records for diversity. but trust me, they still have a
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long way to go. welcome to "the week." this week saw a guilty verdict for one police officer convicted of murdering a black man. but in the next 24 hours, at least six more people died at the hands of police officers. today, protesters took to the streets in cities across america to demand police reform and accountability. in elizabeth city, north carolina, tonight, there's increasing pressure on a local o sheriff's office to release body cam footage. andrew brown jr. was fatally shot by an officer during the execution of a search warrant. officials say they hope to release the footage on monday. brown's son spoke at a press conference earlier. >> he left a close and tight
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family, with each other every day, talking to each other every day. and we, my brothers, my sisters, we is what drove him as a person. we is what made him better. and now i've got to live every day, my newborn, without even getting a chance to meet him at all. and that's going to hurt me every day. i just want justice. that's it. >> demonstrators also filled the streets of columbus, ohio, today, to protest the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old ma'khia bryant. the common thread through all of these protests is not just the demand for accountability, but s demand for change in the way policing is done in america. so where do we begin? earlier this week, attorney general merrick garland announced an investigation into the minneapolis police department. the probe will assess whether the department engages in a, quote, pattern or practice of using excessive force, including
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during protests. but will justice department investigations like these lead to fundamental changes in how police departments actually function? does it have any hope of preventing the deaths of more ve americans like george floyd? for that, we turn to our panel. and i'm very excited for this discussion with brittany packnick cunningham, former member of president obama's 21st century policing task force. also the host of "undistracted," a podcast and an msnbc contributor. rachel palos, a former attorney from minnesota and professor at the university of st. thomas law school. and jelani cobb, professor of journalism at columbia university, also an msnbc okay, professor, i want to start with you. because i think the announcement this week of the doj taking up an investigation into the pattern and practices of the entire minneapolis police department is a significant development.
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what does an investigation liken this look like and what are the possible outcomes once the doj looks into the history of this police department?ut >> this is a significant -- i'm sorry, we have two professors. >> oh, i'm sorry.y, that's professor palos. i was not specific enough. there are two professors on this panel. >> my apologies. no, my apologies as well, to my colleagues. this is a significant step, zerlina, and so, what this says is that the department of justice does not find credible that derek chauvin was merely one bad apple on the minneapolis police force but believes there are systemic problems. and so these kinds of lawsuits brought under this particular civil rights statute, 14141, look into what you mentioned earlier, patterns or practices. it's very significant that in the announcement, the attorney
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said that specifically, the department would like to speak a to community members and ty ascertain more information about how the police, particularly treated protesters, as well as people with mental health issues. and so we know that those will be two areas of focus and that the department is inviting community participation in this suit. so the investigation will begin with the opportunity for all sorts of members of the community to speak with department investigators. and it is likely to end in a consent decree that places the city of minneapolis under a court order to change systemic policies and we already know, based on mayor jacob frye's statements, that he welcomes this investigation and is likely to be working hand in glove with the department on reforming practices, not just dealing with individual personnel.n me >> so dr. cobb, that's how i'm going to distinguish between the two of you, because lawyers
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don't get to call themselves doctors, so dr. cobb, let's talk a bit about the history. because the doj is looking into patterns and practices, but the history between law enforcement and the black community, that doesn't really have anything to do with the training manual or policies and procedures or patterns and practices. that has to do with how police d officers see black people and whether or not they feel fear or see a threat. so how do you fix that problem, when there is an obvious historical connection between to what has happened to black people throughout history in every context. >> sure. and if i could just talk a little bit about minneapolis in order to contextualize this. i spent two weeks in minneapolis talking to people, and to the professor's point, that's absolutely the case. very many of the people who i talked to had their own run-ins with the minneapolis pd and the st. paul pd. and there were disputes of the prosecution's assessment of
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derek chauvin as a singular exception to the general good behavior of the mpd. now, where this fits into history, if we just stay with minneapolis, there'say a long history of t residential segregation, of restrictive covenants that kept african-americans from living in particularam neighborhooneighbod lining, a kind of northern version of jim a crow, which is documentary on segregation in minnesota. police were used to enforce this. and this is not simply in minneapolis, there's many us metropolises that you can talk about where this is a t fundamental relationship, but if you go all the way back to 1935 and come all the way up to 2020, with the unrest that we saw after george floyd's death, there -- all of those timeframes are just punctuated with incidents of puprisings and social discord, which is generated by police violence directed at african-american
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communities.ol this is a nearly one-to-one correlation there. >> that is important context to understand, as we think about what comes next, because history has a way of educating us. so, brittany, in terms of this conversation, you know, a lot of folks jump to the training on piece, as i mentioned. t but it feels to me like this is a larger conversation about how to eliminate biases that people have towards black and brown communities on site, because police don't act the same way in the suburbs that they do in communities of color.s on >> you're absolutely right, zerlina. and i would expand that to say that we're not only having a conversation about bias, we're n having a conversation about what the point of policing even is. look, i was one of those people who once upon a time thought that the conversation should be about body cameras or training, but if you do what both of the
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professors have already done and you properly contextualize this both in terms of regional history and national history, you're forced to reckon with the simple fact that if someone claims the point of policing in america is public safety, then you are forced to call bs, because the things that actually keep us safe, especially in black, brown and indigenous communities, have been defunded for generations. things like safe housing and good education, living wages ano drinkable water, gun control and health care, mental health support. the things that actually keep us safe, these things have been defunded for a long time. so when black folks and brown folks and indigenous folks have gotten wise enough to say, defund the police and refund the people, we're shunned and treated like we are radical terrorists, when, in fact, we're saying, if we're truly committe to public service like we say we are, then prove it.c use that budget like the moral document it is and actually fund
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the things that keep us safe. zerlina, you know as well as i do, the safest communities do not have more police. they have stronger services andr stronger communities. that is what we are talking about investing in, both now and in the future. and until that happens, we will continue to experience this incredibly violent groundhog's day over and over again. >> i think it's so important to understand that it's the intention of the police in the first iteration, you know, if it goes back to slave patrols, then, is it going to treat black and brown people as human beings on site? if that institution at its inception did not see black and brown people as human beings? and so i think it's a really important question. dr. cobb, i want to play an exchange from a house hearing this week.i it happened on tuesday.d congressman val demings of florida and ohio's jim jordan, they had a moment. let's take a listen.
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>> i served as a law enforcement officer for 27 years. it's interesting to see my colleagues on the other side of the aisle support the police when it is politically convenient to do so. law enforcement officers risk their lives every day. they deserve better and the american people deserve -- i have the floor, mr. jordan! >> the lady has the floor. >> did i strike a nerve? law enforcement officers -- >> the gentlelady -- em >> -- deserve better to be utilized as pawns. and you and your colleagues should be ashamed of yourselves. >> we condemned the violence on january 6th and condemned it last summer, and today we get a lecture about how we haven't been consistent. you've got to be kidding me! >> dr. cobb, i mean, no jacket aside, i feel like, you know, part of the reality is
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post-january 6th is that the so-called blue lives matter crowd andiv conservatives who l to say they're supportive of law enforcement, they were actually attacking law enforcement. so now that we live in this new world, post-january 6th, do you get the sense that we can actually have an honest conversation that's not partisan about how to keep everybody safe, as opposed to, you know, act like republicans are pro-police and anybody who is not a republican is not pro-police.ce because january 6th, i think it ended that >> sure, it was exposed. and still, he said that people had denounced the violence that happened on january 6th, but then turned around and supported the resolutions that had led to that. the idea that there had been some sort of theft of the election and that donald trump should have remained in office.a and so, they continued to promote the very things that had resulted in the insurrection and resulted in those however many hundred-plus officers who were injured and people had to go to
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the hospital, and all of those -- the toll of violence, the psychological toll, that wa imposed upon those people. and so it's been kind of a contradiction that's exposed. the other thing that i think is crucial here and we've known for a long time, what congresswoman demings pointed out, is that african-american law enforcement has for a long time taken a different stance on these issues. and has for a long time said that you can't simply enable the worst and most reactionarypl impulses of law enforcement without producing a kind of racist outcome.f and so, what congresswoman demings said that i think was completely consistent with that, she spent 27 years on the force. he really has no standing to dispute anything she was saying. >> yeah, amen to that. professor paulose, in the last minute here, i want to pivot back to the chauvin trial and verdict. obviously, we got a guilty verdict this week on all three charges. what can we expect next?
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what happens with the other officers who were there that da and were also charged and how does a guilty verdict for derek chauvin impact their trials? >> well, the strategy changed after the judge bifurcated the u trials of the three co-defendants from derek chauvin. and so, the fact that derek chauvin is convicted now means that those officers are more likely to also face some sort of conviction. i hope that they take a message from this verdict and the swiftness with which it was delivered and spare the witnesses, the victims, the family of mr. floyd another arduous trial. but right now, they have a tria date of later this summer in august. as well, mr. chauvin is due to be sentenced by the court in june. we know already that the state will be seeking a higher sentence because of aggravating factors, including the fact that the murder was committed in front of children, that derek chauvin committed this murder in
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uniform, using the power of his badge and with other officers in concert. >> professor, thank you so much for joining us.>> brittany and jelani are sticking around. we're going to bring them back in a little bit.ndnd coming up, it's the largest investigation in american history. from dating apps to surveillance video, we'll look at how investigators are tracking down hundreds involved in the january 6th insurrection. plus, three straight days of recording breaking cases, record-breaking cases of covid. why the covid crisis in india shows no signs of letting up. but first, richard lui is here with the headlines. hey, richard, great to see you. >> a very good evening to you, zerlina. stories we're watching for you next hour, starting this week, pharmacies will stock their shelves with at-home covid tests. no prescription. w results come in as little as 15 minutes. public health experts say increasing testing access to
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critical to beating the virus. israelth launched air strik on the gaza strip, it's in response to rocket atakes by palestinian militants. at the same time, hundreds of palestinians and israeli police in east jerusalem clashed. the u.n. said it's working to de-escalate tensions there. and tiger woods posted a photo of himself on crutches for the first time since his february car crash. he's currently recovering from serious leg injuries at his home in florida. in this picture, as you can see here, woods standing next to his dog, who he calls his faithful rehab partner, no doubt.ul more of "the week with joshua johnson" right after a short break. — they customize my car insurance so i only pay for what i need. 'cause i do things a bit differently. wet teddy bears! wet teddy bears here! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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we have an update on the investigation into the insurrection at the capitol on january 6th. the justice department has charged 440 people in connection with the attack on the capitol. with that number expected to grow to over 500. doj lawyers say this is one of the largest investigations in the entire history of the
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country, both in terms of the number of charges filed and the sheer number of evidence, which includes more than 1,500 hours of video, which is a lot of video. one of those arrests can be credited to a dating app, for real. a new york man used his bumble account to brag about his role in storming the capitol. his would-be date wasn't that impressed, though. first, she typed back, "we are not a match," which is so great. then she provided screen shots of their conversation to authorities. the fbi arrested him on thursday. brittany and jelani are back with us. this story made me chuckle, because i just can't even imagine a world in which men think participation in the insurrection of the capitol is a way to get a date. but that's the reality we're living in.
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so brittney, i just want to start by asking, in all seriousness, actually, the difference in the treatment. because i think post-insurrection, no one can say the police treat black and brown people the same way they treat white people. i think the january 6th insurrection ends that argument. so, speak to how the people who were actually violent but happened to be mostly white were treated kind of like guests in the capitol, you know, removing barricades in some of those videos, obviously, as some of the capitol police were being violently attacked. and black people who were driving around, walking, running, sleeping, they are treated as if they are engaged in criminal behavior. >> that's right, zerlina. i mean, look, first of all, if you're looking at nearly 500 arrestees from january 6th, what that tells us is that the great philosopher nene leakes is correct.
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even sometimes when you are a white supremacist, sometimes you really cannot win when you are playing dirty. but if we actually pay close attention to what happened here, much of the evidence came directly from the insurrectionists themselves. because they knew what we know. that so often, this country and its law enforcement agencies do not treat us all equally. they knew that most likely and in most circumstances, they would not actually be held accountable for what amounted to an attempted coup and an attempted takeover of a government building. we have to recognize that in a lot of ways, despite these arrests, they were actually correct, because following the january 6th insurrection, we did not see state houses across the country create anti-protest bills. we didn't see the national guard coming out in all of these places to try to protect state lawmakers, especially in places where those state lawmakers are black and were pushing against voter suppression bills. no, we saw that anti-protest legislation sweep across the
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country as soon as there was an additional increase in the protests of black americans. and folks protesting police violence and racial injustice. so those folks on january 6th knew what we know. that the gop loves to talk about being an originalist and talk about the constitution and talk about those founding fathers, but they also love to skip over that pesky freedom of assembly. they love to skip over that part of the declaration of independence that declares that when government becomes destructive to the ends of the will of the people, that it is the right of the people to alter or abolish that government and institute a new one. that hypocrisy is killing black folks. it is killing brown folks, it is killing indigenous folks. and anybody, anybody at all who believes in democracy should be fundamentally bothered by this attack on first amendment and freedom of assembly rights, unless, of course, you don't
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want the descendants of those who were colonized to actually use these documents to our advantage. let's call this what it is. it is classic white supremacist hypocrisy. that's what we saw on january 6th and that's what we continue to see across state houses in this country. >> dr. cobb, i think the point that brittany just made is so critically important. and i want to dial in on it a bit. our founding documents, they didn't apply to black people. they did not apply to women. we had to amend the constitution, many times over. so in this moment in 2021, speak to this idea that we are trying to live up to the promise of those founding documents in terms of being a multi-racial democracy. and the voter suppression and a lot of this energy around making protesting illegal and these bills in state houses are a reaction to the demographic shifts and the fact that we actually may be a majority
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nonwhite nation by 2045. >> sure. i mean, there's a lot in there, but one thing that i will caution about amending the constitution to achieve democracy is that even the amendment was not sufficient to produce democracy. the 14th amendment was supposed to have created an equal society, equal protection under the law. and that was just nullified. plessy versus ferguson, still the majority opinion of the united states supreme court instituted segregation. the 15th amendment gave black men the right to vote and they just murdered us until we couldn't vote anymore. the 19th amendment extended the right to vote to all women, including black women. and they just physically intimidated them until they couldn't vote anymore. so it wasn't simply that they wouldn't adhere to the original version of the documents, they
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didn't adhere to versions of those documents that extended democracy to the rest of the entire population, at least in theory. and so that's part of it. and so to your other point about the demographic anxiety, i think that's exactly what's driving this. when we saw -- and we could even go back to charlottesville. when we saw those mobs chanting, "jews will not replace us" and also chanting, "you will not replace us," you know, the one thing that i would always say, i've been in many, many activist communities and interviews people in all sorts of settings and gathering and large groups of people of color, i've never heard anyone say, our secret plan is to come out and replace all of the white people. this was a kind of societal paranoia that has become a defining force, even driving what trumpism became and the lingering embers of it that continue even now. and can i add one thing to this really quickly, it's a little
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bit offtopic, but i want to say something. i'm wearing my howard university sweatshirt today. my black howard university sweatshirt. we lost a beloved classmate to covid this week. and i just want to remind people, particularly people in the african-american community that, you know, get the vaccine if you can and take it seriously. i know we feel like this is winding down, but we're still losing people. and it's really terrible and it's a loss that my whole community, certainly my year at howard, we all are feeling a loss right now. >> i'm so sorry for your loss. and amen to that. everyone should get that vaccine. get whatever one is available. that's the best one. so last minute here, brittany, in terms of where we go from here, we talked earlier in our earlier conversation about the fact that this isn't about training, it's about that bias that police have towards communities of color. but if we can't even protest if
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the police kill us, what kind of democracy is that? >> well, the good news about activists and organizers around this country is that we are creative. and we continue to evade and create around the contours of the laws and regulations that are meant to silence our voices and to suppress our votes. and so we can look to places like ithaca, new york, and the mayor who is figuring out how to disband what the police department currently looks like and actually create community-based and community-led public safety. we can look at communities that are investing in mental health resources, so that when wellness checks are made, it's not someone with a gun on their hip, but actually someone with the training to support someone in crisis. we can look to organizers in my hometown of st. louis, who are working to close places like the medium security prison in our city that we call the workhouse and to put that money back into the community. so we'll continue to stay organized, we'll continue to be disciplined. the gop and the police are certainly organized.
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and we will continue to outfox them at every turn. brittany and jelani, thank you so much for being here tonight and taking the time out on this saturday night. really important insights and an important conversation. please stay safe. coming up, what should we be focusing on when it comes to fighting climate? a new u.n. report will suggest methane plays a bigger role than we originally thought. i'll talk to 19-year-old activist jamie margolan about biden's climate pledge and how we can help. ack in black) ♪ ♪ ♪ the bowls are back. applebee's irresist-a-bowls all just $8.99. (mom vo) we fit a lot of life into our subaru forester. (dad) it's good to be back. (mom) it sure is. (mom vo) over the years, we trusted it to carry and protect the things
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we're getting new reporting today on a shift in the global fight against climate change. a landmark report from the u.n. will declare reducing methane emissions, the main component of natural gas, critical for the future of the climate. this is a departure from the global discussion around the
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issue, which has long focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions. this comes as a another major study released on wednesday shed light on who is most affected by climate change. while four out of ten americans live in polluted areas, people of color are 61% more likely to live in a country -- county with unhealthy air than white people. one of those calling for an intersectional approach to climate change is jamie margolan, a 19-year-old climate activist. and cofounder and executive director of zero hour. she's also the author of "youth to power: your voice and how to use it." and she joins us now. wow, first of all, a book and you're 19. i'm really impressed with that that is very impressive. my first question simply is, you know, as we look at biden's agenda on climate, as a young activist, do you think that he has the right approach so far,
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given the fact that just went through a two-day climate summit? >> i think there are some things being done right that can be acknowledges, but there are also parts of his approach that need to be stronger. specifically, i hear biden and other world leaders keep harping on, we're going to get to zero emissions by 2050, by 2050, by 2050. and the science says we need to get there by 2030. i don't understand why he and other politicians are inventing this number of zero emissions by 2050, which by that point, it will be too late to take action. so i need -- we, the youth and anyone who cares about our planet and saving it, need our politicians like biden to actually listen to the science, listen to the science in terms of the deadlines. in union square park in new york city, there's a climate countdown clock that says we have a little over six years left to act on the climate crisis before it's too late. and that's not a made-up number. that comes from the science.
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so, the science says, and the big massive numbers counting down ominously over union square park, say that we have a little over six years left, not to wait, not just to sit here and wait to take climate action, but within the span of six years, completely transform our society to adjust transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy in time for us to make the deadlines and save life on earth. and so there's no gray area for survival and i need politics like biden to understand that. yes, it's great that he stopped the keystone pipeline. but what about line three? what about the dakota access pipeline? all of these new fossil fuel infrastructure programs that keep getting approved we need to halt all fossil fuel infrastructure. also, president biden has yet to come out in support of a green new deal, which was just introduced. and a green new deal is a very important first step in order to take climate action. as you said before, a climate issue intersects with social
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justice issues and the green new deal is a resolution that actually acknowledges that and works to combat it, which is something that is not done often in american climate policy. >> well, that was a very thorough list of things that you feel the biden administration could be more aggressive on and to the piece that you just mentioned about how climate change and racial justice intersect, speak to why it is that the burden of climate change and climate crisis are falling mostly on people of color. because of american history and the fact that, you know, the air, the water and all of those resources, you know, in communities of color, they're very polluted and it's very different than in white communities. >> because corporations and governments know who they can take advantage of because of historical precedent. the communities that have been
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disproportionately marginalized for centuries in this country are the communities that they can get away with polluting. you're not going to see a pipeline be built through, i don't know, beverly hills, a rich white community, a majority white community or bel air, any of the wealth -- wealth also has something to do with it. it's the intersection of wealth and racial privileges are the people who feel the least impacts of the climate crisis. and the intersection of race and wealth not being privileged racially or in wealth in this country that decide who feels the worst impacts of the climate crisis. and none of this is accidental. the system is working exactly as it was built to be working. and so, that's why we have to create a new one. >> last question in the last minute here. so, you're 19 years old and you've written a book. you're very active on this issue. do you feel like you have to be active on this issue and do you
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ever wish grownups would actually take charge and you could live out your teenage years with normal stuff that 19-year-olds would want to do? >> i've been fighting for climate justice since i was 14 years old and now i'm 19 years old. from my freshman year of high school to now my freshman year of college, it's been nothing but nonstop climate action. that's the story for me and so many other young people. and i feel like the media keeps doing this thing, and leaders, too, the work you're doing is so cute and so impressive, you're going to save the world. i've had politicians who have the power to actually change things tell me and my fellow young people, you're going to save the world, you're going to create climate action. i'm literally in a dorm room. like, i have homework to do after this. right after i get off of this, i have a bunch of assignments that i'm late on. and so -- and that is the reality for so many other young activists. and so the fact that leaders and corporations and people in power whose full-time jobs, who are
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getting paid to be able to have the resources to solve this issue, have the audacity to tell someone who is a young person, who is stressed, who is dealing with -- growing up is hard, who is dealing with growing up, who is dealing with adolescence, who is dealing with school and has a lot of homework to do and doesn't have any actual hold on, you know, legislative branches or policy or anything like that, telling us, young people, you're going to save the world -- that's on you. it's like they get to hoist it onto us and they think it's a compliment. it's not a compliment. they need to be taking action, they need to be stepping up. it's not the young people's responsibility. we're blowing the whistle but we need them to act. >> well, that's a really g we'll have to leave it there. but that's a message to those folks who are in elected office. you guys have the power. young people are involved in climate because they are going to be here living when many of these dates and deadlines come up. jamie margolan, cofounder and executive director of zero hour, thank you so much for being here.
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please stay safe. still ahead, people are praising the oscars for its diversity this year. what does the creator of the oscars so white hashtag think about it? i'll check in with her, live. but first, today, india crossed 16 million covid cases. hospitals in the country are running out of oxygen. we'll dive into what's behind the deadly surge, next. these are the people who work on the front lines. they need a network that's built right. that's why we created verizon frontline. the advanced network and technology for first responders. built on america's most reliable network. built for real interoperability. and built for 5g. it's america's #1 network in public safety. verizon frontline. built right for first responders. [sfx: psst psst]
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on to quarterly projections! expense report! if you're using multiple systems, re-entering data over and over time sheet! using email and spreadsheets to manage information and approvals, then your hr systems are a drag on productive time. with paycom, employees enter and manage their own hr data in a single, easy-to-use software. visit paycom dot com and schedule your demo today. do they know this door is locked india continues to break global records for coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day. today, the country had nearly 347,000 confirmed cases of covid-19 bringing india's total to more than 16 million. faced with a tsunami of new infections, the country is also facing a crippling shortage of oxygen supplies. authorities are now scrambling
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to get oxygen tanks to the patients that need them. here's nbc news correspondent matt bradley. >> yeah, zerlina, the situation in india is bad and getting worse. india has now the second-highest number of people in their country who have been infected with covid. they have, still, about half as much as the u.s., but they're closing the gap very quickly. just today, india set another record for the most covid infections in one day, nearly 350,000 just today. that's breaking yesterday's record, which was also set by india and the day before, which was also set by india. so, this is the third time in as many days that india has been able to make that dubious distinction. the most covid cases in a single day. the hospitals are being overwhelmed, particularly in the very popular state of
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maharastra, where mumbai is located. that's where so many people are getting turned away from hospitals, because the hospitals don't have enough oxygen. and even those who do get into hospitals are denied the basic medication that would help them not only to be comfortable, but to survive. the bodies are being wheeled out, crematoriums are flowing over and a lot of people we've spoken to said they've had to go searching in the streets, trying to buy medication like remdesivir on the black market. i spoke with one man who said that one injection now costs him about $1,000. that's as much as he says he earns in one month. so, this is a very, very bad situation, but yet, there is a hindu festival, a huge one, that's still going on right around that state and the authorities are still allowing this and this is part of the problem. a lot of indians are becoming very upset, the fact that their government a couple of months ago seems to have avoided the worst of this global pandemic and now it looks like this second wave, because of complacency, is becoming a tsunami across india. zerlina?
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>> nbc's matt bradley, thank you so much for that reporting. coming up, only one film with a black cast was nominated for best picture. so why is this year's event being applauded for diversity? i'll ask the creator of the oscars so white hashtag right after this break.
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which takes place on sunday night, is setting records for diversity. 9 of 20 acting nominees are people of color. the best director category has two women for the very first time. but on the other hand, only one film with a black cast was nominated for best picture. and oscar voters are still mostly white men. joining us to discuss the oscars is april rain, the creator of the oscars so white hashtag. she's also the vp of content strategy at ensemble. so, in 2015, april, you brought attention to the lack of diversity in hollywood with the hashtag #oscarssowhite. how would you characterize the progress made since 2015? do you think progress has been made? and how far do you see the academy still needing to go? >> sure. there has been some progress, so the academy committed to doubling the number of people of color and doubling the number of women within their ranks by last
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year, by 2020. in fact, they met that goal. but the academy is still overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly male. what we also know is that the academy does not require its voters to watch the performances before they vote. and so this really turns out to be a popularity contest amongst older white men. >> so in terms of why it's taken so long, what do you think? i mean, the oscars have been around for 90 years and still the majority of voters are white men. how is that still the case? >> the answer is unclear. you know, franklin leonard has a wonderful op-ed in "the new york times" today, in which he indicates due to research from the mckenzie company that the hollywood studios are leaving $3 billion every year on the table because of anti-black bias. we know that films that represent different aspects of
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various race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, do incredibly well at the box office and that's because they're playing to their audience. the fastest-growing demographic of moviegoers are the latinx community. and so, put more movies out there that represent them and make sure that the filmmakers also behind the scenes also represent diverse communities. when hollywood decides not to do that, we get the results that we see. >> so one of the things in the last two minutes here that is true about hollywood is that generally speaking, in the past there's been a handful of big studios that make all the things. but now with the increase of streaming and other platforms, there is more diversity. is that part of the key to getting to, you know, equity in terms of representation in hollywood? >> let's hope so. having streaming services like
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hulu, amazon prime, netflix and so on sort of democratizes the process, when prepandemic we would go to a theater and hand our money for our ticket anonymously, right? and so what we really need to be talking about is not the oscars because the awards shows are at the end of the line. we need to be talking about who is telling the stories and whose stories are being told. let's start at the screen writing stage and democratize and make that process more inclusive. >> that is a really important point. it's not just who's in front of the camera, it's also who's behind the camera and who is writing the words. april, thank you so much for being here today. it's so great to see you and to chat with you ahead of sunday's oscars, which we're excited to see. creator of the oscars so white hash tag and vp of content
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strategy at ensemble, thanks for being here tonight. please stay safe. thank you, everyone, for making the time for us tonight. we'll be back here tomorrow night. you can catch my show monday through friday at 6:00 p.m. and again at 8:00 p.m. eastern if you miss it on peacock. i hope to see you then. good night. ♪ (car audio) you have reached your destination.
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very dark. we pulled in to his home. it did have the feel of almost being in a bond movie. he had a lot going on. >> a millionaire computer genius living in paradise, and on the edge. >> i tried to cut his throat, but he just said, "do it". >> he takes the gun out, and he puts it to his said. the jungle started to infect hi


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