tv American Voices With Alicia Menendez MSNBC August 21, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
>>. as we begin the next hour, the president gets ready to take the stake i'm going to speak with a state health official about her concerns. , the u.s. is tracking isis and america trying to get there and new reporting just into nbc news about how domestic commercial airlines are being recruited to help and the descend ants of two civil rights will talk about this martin
luther king, jr., iii and why they are holding their nationwide event next weekend can change the course of voting suppression across the country. thousands of under a storm tonight as henri barrels up the coast, expected to make landfall in a matter of hours. we are keeping a close eye on its path. this is "american voices." we begin this hour with breaking news, florida hits a major milestone in its uphill battle against covid. new cdc data shows the state just passed 3 million cases of coronavirus. you would think news like this would give the state's governor a reason to rethink his pandemic strategy. no the state's republican-controlled board of education is backing governor ron desantis' push to punish schools with mask mandates. the state promises to withhold salaries of school board members in gainesville and broward county if they don't reverse
their mask mandates by the end of the weekend. it's not just democratic strongholds that define the governor. last night, sar ro so that described the first mask mandate, the first state donald trump won if 2020 to require masks in the classroom. the chair of the school board says it is the right thing to do. >> i have the responsibility to provide for the health and safety of our children and i also have to provide education for them. we can't educate the kid when they are home because they are quarantined because some parent doesn't ask want to get the vaccine and doesn't want to put the mask on their child. >> some republican leaders are searching for scapegoats to explain their botched respond. texas lt. gov. dan patrick blamed unvaccinated black people for the state's spike in
hospitalizations and deaths. but as the associated press reports, statistics from the department of health do not back his claim. blacks texans make up about 12% of the state's population and account for about 15% of total cases and just more than 10% of deaths. as all this unfolds and the covid crisis worsens in the south, donald trump returns to a spotlight via rally tonight. this is a like look from alabama. he will take the stage in an hour. we will not let you listen to that unless there is brakeing news. an outdoor event in the middle of a covid hot spot with 20,000 people expected to attend. the city declared a state of emergency as hospitals struggle with the surge in patients. it's a crisis across the state. the federal government sent in troops to help exhausted healthcare workers. joining me to discuss kerry sanders with the alabama department of health and msnbc
contributor joyce vance, from school of law and an analyst joining us in florida. dr. landers, i want to start with you and the current state of the pandemic in alabama. how is the state's hospital system holding up and what worries you most about this new surge? >> well, as we know, we have over 2600 persons currently hospitalized in alabama with covid-19, about 500 of those are on ventilators. currently, we have 42 pediatric patients hospitalized and it's pretty significant for us. so our healthcare system is under tremendous strain. we are out of icu bed. we have a team in southwest alabama. we will have another federal team on the grounds next week. we are urging all alabamaens to come together, mitigate and vaccination. >> so given that, ahead of donald trump's rally in coleman,
a city declared as a state of emergency as it becomes overwhelmed with these cases. is this such a time to 408 such a massive gathering? >> as we'ved a vieded with the cdc and department of public health, i stress, this is medical advice. we're really talking about protecting your own lives. so again, whether the group the a concert, political group or any other rally. again, take measures to protect yourself. certainly, it's good if you are vaccinated. you still need to wear your mask if you are in close contact and certainly indoors. again unvaccinated people, i remind them, the risk has not changed for you, obviously, you need to mitigate wearing your masks and follow the standard we have. go ahead, get vaccinated. please, come into the alabama department of public health. you are welcome to be vaccinated. >> they have banned making
mandates. it is written into law. how do those constraints get into the way of public health officials as they work to pete this virus? >> well, it's difficult to combat the politicization of public health that's taken place here. the statute prohibits the state from issuing vaccine passports, prohibits schools from requiring vaccination for attendance and requires businesses to avoid collecting vaccine information or a refusing to serve patrons because vaccine status. although, that is an unfortunately broad statute that has discouraged the vaccine and made it tough for folks in public health to have the sort of systemic constraints to mask people. in alabama, there is public sentiment. schools are freely able to use mask mandates.
i suspect some of the schools that have tried to ship the burden and the cost of getting tested frequently if you are not vaccinated, that we will see legal challenges there that will test the statute. but like the doctor says, the important thing here is for people to come together, listen to medical advice and get vaccinated. >> get vaccinated. joyce, what are colleges and other organizations doing to get around these bans on vaccine mandates? >> well, it varies widely. there are some schools like birmingham southern in birmingham that told students they'll bear the cost of frequent testing if they're not vaccinated. other schools are strongly encouraging students to vaccinate. universities are providing monetary incentives. as a college student, maybe an extra $20 like the university of alabama is providing for those that vaccinate and self support. that a little extra pizza and a good incentive. the important thing is there is vaccine hesitancy for a lot of
different reasons and we need to consistently be communicating with our communities and assuring them that it's safer to get the vaccine than not. >> a little extra pizza would help me. you heard in florida, i was reading at the top, it feels like what is happening in sarasota county is a tell. right? as this has been politicized, the fact that you have areas that swung for donald trump coming out and saying, we're going to defy our republican governor's order, that feels like a sway in the wing. doesn't it? >> it sure does and greetings from the national epicenter for the pandemic, where me and millions of my fellow floridians, we feel like contestants on the reality show survive. as you alluded to, there is a rebellion going on right now. this is within florida of certain counties against this
reckless governor who has taken the ludicrous anti-science position that school districts during this delta variant, which is more contagious than the chicken pox should not be able to take up mask mandates. you mentioned sarasota county. right now miami-dade, broward to the north, they're on a 24-hour watch of threat by the governor and the education secretary to deny them funds and their potential salaries if they don't rescind that mask mandate. having said that, i think the worm has turned. i think you are going to see more counties, including counties like orange, lee and others potentially start defying the governor and that's when it's going to get real interesting. we're going so see in this game of covid chicken who blinks first. >> i want to ask you, you are a dad, you and i have kids about the same age. they're unvaccinated elementary school students if florida.
putting the politics beside, what has it been like to choose between your kids' education and their safety? >> you just described the decision that me and my wife have paid personally and millions of others. we are between a rock and a hard place. and it feels as parents that we are being penalized for trying to do the right thing. another under reported story to that very point, alicia, it was the governor, ron desantis, himself, who denied parents across the state the option of being able to send their children back through online classes, distance learning and the manner in which they did last year during the pandemic and the great tragedy about that is all of the medical experts. i think the doctor on the panel would agree, it is a more dangerous period notice than it was last year and the fact that the governor eliminated that for parents, it's not only criminal. it's humane. he's lucky he's an american
governor not a foreign one. i think they'd bring him up for charges otherwise. >> you said you were against wearing masks. what do you believe is driving the skepticism. how do you think you get through to people? >> well, it's a decision between myself and a pediatrician. i think it's very unfortunate people are looking at this as not being medical advice. again i am a doctor. i give medical advice. there is vetted information, scientific information to indicate that masks do work. it's really what we have while people are trying to get vaccinated and while we're seeing a slight increase in alabama. i just urge persons again, let's step back and look at where we are as alabamans. look at how we can protect one another. how we can protect our families. let's put these masks on, for right now, let's get this under control. let's get more people vaccinated. again, let's step back and think of this as advice from our doctor. wee in public health consider
our people in alabama to be our patients. again as a physician, i am telling people, please wear your masks. >> thank you all so much for joining us. we are keeping our eye on alabama, where trump is expected to speak publicly for the first time since the exit plan he drew up was carried out by president biden, except the difference between the trump and biden administrations foreign policies and how can inform future efforts. later, dr. martin luther king's gandson join us to talk about the urgency of next week's march on for voting rights. first, standing by with the latest information on hurricane henri. >> thanks, both new york and connecticut are now under a state of emergency as henri overnight strengthened to a category 1 hurricane and shifted its course toward the northeast. henri is expected to make landfall tomorrow morning. it's likely to hit long island first and make its way to southern new england. rhode island residents were
already seen boarding up homes and pulling boats out of the water earlier today. the hurricane is expected to cause flash flooding, storm surges and high wind. emergency officials warn millions could be without power monday morning. more "american voices" after this break. morning more "american voices" after this break knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. [ nautical horn blows ] i mean just because you look like someone else doesn't mean you eat off the floor, or yell at the vacuum, or need flea medication. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ over the years, mercedes-benz has patented thousands of safety innovations. crash-tested so many cars we've stopped counting. and built our most punishing test facility yet, in our effort to build the world's safest cars. we've created crumple zones and autonomous braking. active lane keeping assist and blind spot assist.
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his administration negotiated a peace deal in early 2020. on friday, president biden said he had to follow through with the agreement or risk new conflict that may have required additional troop surge in afghanistan. public polling backed both presidents with the majority of americans wanting to see an end to the 20-area war. the result brings a biden docket into focus. the united states lives and american troops are not risking if these battles. nation building is a starter. joining me jonathan alder a presidential historian and political analyst. jonathan, do you agree with that assessment there, this is bringing into focus the biden doctrine? >> yeah. i think that is basically the biden doctrine. it's a position that he has held
for close to 20 years now, which he doesn't believe in using american forces tore nation building and democracy promotion in the region. he wanted this commitment to maintain it's original objectives, which were to end afghanistan as a staging error, area for terrorism against the united states and to bring osama bin laden to justice. and those haven't been achieved for about ten years now by his withdraw. trump beat him to the punch. both of them understood ripping the band aid off was going to cause problems. but for trump tonight in his speech as we can expect to attack biden over this is the height of hypocrisy. this is the president trump who invited the leaders of the taliban to come to camp david. he authorized a very extensive prisoner release of taliban
prisoners. setting them free. so he's not in any position tonight to criticize president biden despite the ineptitude of this evac weighs in the last few days. >> you know, jose, i welcome you to join in on that analysis. but i also want to ask you in the bain of addressing terror threats, you now have the terror threat filling the volume, have you al qaeda, isis, how do you see all of this playing out in the coming days and weeks? >> thanks alicia. yeah, the members of common defense who served in iraq and afghanistan under first hand the realities on the ground and it's just heart breaking to see what's happening right now with the withdraw and how the evacuation is going. jonathan mentioned, this started under president trump and the unrealistic time line that's set forth with the appeal that he made in february of 2020. and i think that you know as
president biden said in his speech recently, you know, the entire resources of the military and our diplomatic efforts are focused on insuring that we bring folks out of afghanistan as quickly as possible. both american citizens as well as our afghan allies. >> jonathan, you have china looking to assert itself as the most influential player in afghanistan. your sense of how the biden administration is looking to expand its own dominance? >> well, this is an issue all over the world, but i'm not sure that this is a big win for china and those who are analyzing it that way are mistaken, because china is in the neighborhood and there are going to be a lot of refugee issues. they're going to have real problems extracting precious metals from afghanistan, which is one of the reasons they're interested in it. and they had protection of the old afghan government in the
past dealing with the taliban to advance their national interests. it's going to be significantly more challenging for china. so, this is not a big win for china. it's obviously not you know hardly advantageous for president biden either. because even though he's right on the strategy, alashia, he is wrong on the tactics. it was just not enough contingency planning here. maybe not any contingency planning at all. because they could have foreseen that it was going to end up like this. he needed corridors to make sure that people could get to the airport and get out. the people who supported us. >> they in late of john that than's analysis there, is there a way to get it right from here on out? >> i mean the military generals understand how to secure space and i think that we've got forces on the ground that can, you know, certainly secure the
airport, you know, i am in a place where i feel like, you know, the sooner we can move folks out, the better i understand that it's very difficult for folks to move from the outer provinces, so right now, our primary focus is on the kabul airport. you know i think this situation is difficult no matter who was in office at the time. and you know reporting has shown that there was some indication that the government around the military forces in afghanistan would you know collapse a loot quicker than we anticipated. so this is a really unfortunate situation that we are in right now. but i do think that there are options on the table. >> you know, jonathan, this is all happening against the context of a u.s. public that did it have an appetite to see those troops. please pull up that polling, biden and trump both saw the need to get out of what was at this point a deeply unpopular war and i wonder how the current
administration is going to look at those numbers and make decisions moving forward. how overall this period, jonathan, is going to shape our thinking as a nation about our role in foreign affairs? >> well, i think if they can get through this period and execute on these evacuations over the next month and get tens of thousands out, they're not going to get everybody out. but to get tens of thousands out and we settle in the united states, whether right wing republicans want them there or not. they need to take a leap from jimmy carter, who brought in the boat people after the vietnam war and resettle these folks in the united states. if they can kind of take a mulligan, if you will, on this week and bring their policy into some kind of coherence, then moving forward, they have the backing of the american people on the bake decision, the core decision, to end this war and
the idea that this is somehow going to cripple democrats in the mid-terms much less 2024 i think is very short sided. there is a lot of time between now and then, jrld ford didn't lose in 1976 because of anything to do with the withdrawal from vietnam. it was a non-issue. i think this will be a much lesser issue moving forward, even though it doesn't do much for joe biden's heretofore competence. next the eldest son of dr. martin luther king junior tell us why it's the utmost important to fight for those that came before them. important to fight for those that came before them.
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late civil rights icon son and other civil rights leaders will march on for voting rights icross the country. marches are planned in washington, miami, houston, a host of other cities to protest the gop's sustained attack on bake rights. joining me, two civil rights he os, martin luther king, ii, the son of dr. martin luther and chavez is a civil rights leader and organizers of march on. thank you for being with us. martin talk about this nation wide vote. it comes 15 years to the day after the historic march on walk. tell us about what you have planned, why you were doing this, if it was fathomable to you that this many years after your father's march, we are still having these fights. >> let me answer ter first question, the last question first. it's unfortunate, it is really
unconscionable we would be still fighting for the rights to vote to expand voting in what we call a democracy. we go all of the world talking about democracy. at home, some are unfortunately trying to reduce and restrict democracy. in this vain, march on along with our organization along with the black network and future coalition sciu and over 160 organizations are planning major demonstrations all across this country on next saturday, where we expect to convene and say to our senators that now is the time to protect and preserve and expand rights, not reduce rights. if we allow the states to do what they are doing, then many people, particularly in the black and brown community, will have real challenges voting. it's just undemocratic. and so, by this coalition which is vast and of course alejandro
and many others of us are going to be talking about all week. we need americans to come out and stand up as they always have. they did last year and that's why these restrictions are put in place right now. it's very interesting. >> alejandro, what do you think is at stake for latinos in this country? >> it's all at risk. they are targeting communities of people, black, brown, disabled, senior citizens, that when they vote make a huge difference in the election. so you can vote by mail, we are having an event. we vote by mail like 80%. so whenever you strip that away, you hurt people's right to vote and la the i nos that work multiple jobs and can't always get off to go vote in the middle of the day need that vote by mail to fill out at home and drop in the maim. so this is going to be crucial to our vote. >> martin, help us understand
who the core audience is of this march. we've spoken with so many democratic texas lawmakers who have stayed in washington, d.c. and tried to plea with federal lawmakers there about the necessity, the urgency of passing voting rights legislation. they have a sense that what is happening in their state is creating that sense of urgency at the national level, when you are organizing a march like this, who is it that you want to make sure is on the other side of that messaging? >> well, first of all, the messaging is for the united states senators. because the state legislatures are passing these laws that restrict. only federal oversight and the john lewis voter restoration act before the people act will actually change that. you know that was gutted in 2013, the voting rights act. so it's watered down almost non-existent. that's why we need federal
oversight so that no one's rights can be trampd on and reduced. everyone's rights if my judgment should be expanded. it's going to take the united states senate. the house has already passed it. the senate, the house will pass the john lewis bill this week. the senate must take action. we need them to move right now. we don't have the luxury of waiting. >> and that does seem to be alejandro a very open question. they will be back. we know they will talk about legislation, go after infrastructure. what i keep hearing when lawmakers do interviews and something on voting rights dot dot dot, is there in your opinion a sense on their part of the urgency with which there needs to be action? >> well, how about this, i think we need to put more pressure on them. look, one thing we learned from dr. king and my grandfather cesar chavez, have you to have
an attitude, you can't give up. when they tell you you can't do it, you have to work harder to make it happen. that's what we are doing. august 28th is not the end of it. it's the beginning of it. it's the launching part into the rest of the year, the next two years of not only give getting people registered to vote, making plans in case laws don't change. in case the john lewis voting act doesn't change. in case before the people act doesn't change, we need to get people to the polls. they need to know whether they need a second i.d. if they're on the voting roll. these are important thing that will happen. even if they don't fill the urgency, it's on us as organizers and people that need to make this happen now. i'll say this before. this is our have a dream speech moment. this is our seize the moment. we must now act, defend our democracy or lose it forever. >> martin, i think a lot of people are in the rear view. if your dad is around to witness
this latest attack, what do you think his reaction would be? >> number one, he'd be greatly disappointed in our leadership, particularly in the united states senate. he'd be disappointed that we are even having these discussions. he'd be very proud of the millions of young people who have come together in this country, particularly last year during the george floyd tragic death. all over this nation, people black, white, young, old, rich, poor, latinos, hispanic, not just african-american and asian. everyone was out. we need all of those people back out again to make sure that our voting rights are expanded for all people. >> alejandro chavez, martin luther king iii, thank you so much. next, new reporting shows cities and states across the country are sitting on millions in rental assistants for families that need it the most. one person that broke the story
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reporters on the byline, huff post reporter arthur delaney, always good to see you. just explain to me how this happens. >> reporter: so congress allocated 50 billion, which is the most money they put out there to help renters. but they didn't create a program. this isn't like stimulus checks where have you the irs send the money out. so what they did was they said, here's the money and they left it up to cities, states, towns, count 80 i to figure out how to get it out there. they put some requirements on there, but they didn't have municipalities from imposing their own requirements. the municipalitys don't have the ability to move that much money. so basically working the way they wrote it. it became a big disappointment when it was expiring and they're pointing fingers as to whose fault it was. everyone agrees, states and cities haven't done good jobs.
congress threw the money unin the air and ask other governments to figure out how to make it dead where it was supposed to go. >> in this bureaucratic mess, the elements you laid out, there is a pr communications pace of this. you note that more than half of rentors and 40% of landlords were unaware of the federal rental aid as of may. why this lack of awareness? what more could be done, can be done to get that word out? >> i think starting this summer when the eviction moratorium was expiring, the word got out a little more. this is one provision bury in a bill that does stimulus checks and unemployment benefits. it's just not one of the most high profile of the many high profile provisions that congress has enacted in the past year. but when i think with the eviction moratorium expiring and the attention to heat that democrats were trying to future on local governments, more people know about it. people don't know, for example,
we've heard of people saying, well, there is an eviction moratorium, nobody can evict me. not knowing you have to apply for that protection. i think it's similar with rental assistance, people have to assume they've seen a story about congress enacting this or that policy. it will come to them. it won't. especially with the rental aid. you have to apply foy it. your application might be rejected for paperwork. it's probably the biggest obstacle we heard about. i talk to people who resubmitted the same documents over and over. so it's a big struggle for people who need help. but even after you know about it, it has still been difficult for some renters. >> i want to take a look at the map of how this money has been distributed. because when you look at it, the south sticks out. but as of june, places like new york haven't fared that much better. you write new york was the only stitt that sent out no rent am assistance since the month of
june. the state finally got it book together and distribute tens of millions within days late last month. but what was the initial holdup there? >> i think in this instance, it came down to paper worg. there was a little dispute over why was that such an obstacle and bill de blasio, the mayor said the governor's office was ideological opposed. they made it bureaucratic on purpose. the governor's office, of course, disputed that. but we have heard from other cities and other governments that, well, treeshry has their requirements. we feel like we should do better. they've added requirements for the ones that congress said they should use and it's a question of do you have an idea logical opposition to renters getting this money? so especially in new york. that was a really glaring example of the money not getting out, some nasty things they're pointing at the local level there. >> here's where this comes at
the moment. states and localities are running up against the deadlines of these funds if they don't use 60% allocated by the end of september. the next has the authority to take them back. how do you see that playing out? >> so if they don't use the money, the federal government will take it back and redistribute it no other localities. but we do think like you said that more money has been going out as of july, probably this month. we are waiting for new numbers from the treasury department before july. but they have been slow in releasing them. so, hopefully, more people are getting this money, especially considering they were being bashed by republicans and democrats for not getting it out. but it's not a real policy success at this point. >> arthur dulaney na, thank you, as always, for your time. next, patience runs thin one week after a 7 po in2 magnitude
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magnitude earthquake is reaching 2200 people. 1.2 million people, are desperate, frustrated with the low space u pace of aid flowing into the country. joining me is the managing manager of the times and the founder of the director of the haitian bridge alliance. i present both your time. i will start with you. tell us what you are hearing from haitians right now? what are the efforts to reach those affectedpy this earthquake? >> thank you so much, alicia. what we are hearing is a mix of concerns and cries for help, especially in the rural areas where efforts aren't able to to reach those people. as a matter of fact, we have a video from a very far area where they are literally asking for support, asking for food, asking for water and asking for a real
shelter because the majority of the people have lost everything we had. as you mentioned, 1.2 million are impacted by this and a lot of rural areas are >> you know, haiti has been through so much from the political unrest earlier this year. the assassination of its president last month. how is the country managing under its current leadership? >> alicia, sadly to say, the country's not managing very well is what we've been hearing from a number of people who are on the ground. for one, the haitian government, as you said, has not been able to actually provide the aid that's necessary or help to coordinate the efforts that so many people abroad here in the u.s. and elsewhere have been trying to get to haiti. we've heard of different attempts to try to organize a relief effort. but from what we're seeing, for
the most part, the organizations that have -- um -- a history on the ground with the different towns that are affected. they're the ones right now who are at the forefront of this effort. one of the key -- um -- pieces that we're still baffled about is even why the death toll is -- is three days -- it's been three days since the government was actually able to provide us an update on the death toll. so, just as an example of how inefficient or ill equipped it's been so far, that's just one, very simple example. we know that there are a lot more people who are affected than the official death toll is telling us. and right now, people are crying out for help not just for food and -- and the physical aid that they need but, also, to help take care of them mentally and emotionally, as well. given everything the country has gone through. >> do you have a sense of what would need to happen in order
for these aid efforts to flow directly to the people who need the most? do you have a sense of what is standing in the way? >> so, the most challenging aspect is that many of -- well, i'll take a quick step back. haiti lacked infrastructure, to begin with, in terms of roads and the ability of traffic to move across the country. and so, what little roads that, you know, it had have been heavily damaged. in some places, completely destroyed. we've seen bridges that have collapsed, and just roads that -- with rock slides from the earthquake. with mudslides from the tropical storm. those -- the existing infrastructure has just completely collapsed, and so even getting from point a to point b is a challenge. we've seen different organizations try to use helicopters. today, i heard of folks trying to get over to those rough, tough areas by boat and trying to get there by ferry. in some instances, people have had to get off the convoys and
vehicles, and make their way up to these remote regions on foot. so just at a very basic level, the little things that we take for granted, such as roads, are not available. so that's number one. and in terms of just, like, having an administration in place that can help to coordinate very basic things like the aid at usaid, the u.n., and other people are providing. the aid that inter diaspora have been trying to funnel through. it's just not adequate. and so, we have seen the direct organizations that have a history on the ground be at the forefront of this. and those are the people that are being trusted and with the money and aid that is flowing there because people simply don't trust either the haitian government or some of the larger organizations that were involved in the 2010 earthquake response. >> i -- i want to make sure i
bring you in on this point, which is that homeland security secretary, alejandro mayorkas, went to miami thursday. spoke with local leaders about cuba on haiti. he said the biden administration not extending tps for haitians on the basis of the earthquake. you also had congresswoman saying congress will fight for the tps extension. your sense of how this is going to play out? >> thank you, alicia. i was one of the people who met with secretary mayorkas in miami a couple of days ago. and what we have asked him is specifically to provide humanitarian -- for haitians who are still at the u.s.-mexico border to make sure we provide protection for people -- um -- of haitian nationals who are in need right now. it is unacceptable as the u.s. continues to say they are friends with haiti, friends of haitians, yet refuse to provide
the much needed protection that our people need. so what i have said specifically to secretary mayorkas and juan gonzales in the head of usaid is that it is time for the u.s. to really put their money where their mouth is. and be a true friend to haiti. be able to provide for those impacted. make sure they immediately bring the family reunification program so that people can make sure their families are protected. and on top of that, provide for the locations who are still battling extreme condition, violent discrimination, racism at the u.s.-mexico border. >> thank you, both, so much. we'll be right back. or crohn's disease, i was there. be right back. but my symptoms were keeping me from where i needed to be. so i talked to my doctor and learned
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witch hunt. it is a popular term used by politicians of late. nearly 330 years ago in salem, massachusetts, it is exactly what was happening. mass hysteria led to 20 people being killed and hundreds of others being put on trial for supposedly practicing witchcraft. since then, dozens of those convicted have been cleared. for some reason, 22-year-old elizabeth johnson jr. was never exonerated. do not worry. a group of 8th graders are on the case. civics class at north andover middle school, quote, painstakingly researched johnson and what they would need to do to make sure she was fully pardoned.
that research led a state senator in massachusetts to introduce legislation to clear johnson's name. for the record, she was convicted and sentenced to death. her punishment was, eventually, thrown out. but as one of the 8th graders notes, despite the witch trials ending, the superstition remained. quote it's not like after it ended, people didn't believe in witches, anymore. they still thought she was a witch and wouldn't exonerate her. their civics teacher says it is an effort part of a bigger lesson about acceptance. this that is all the time i have for today. i'm alicia menendez. i'm going to see you back here tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. eastern for more "american voices" but for now, i hand to over to my colleague, joshua johnson. hello, joshua. >> as soon as you used the phrase witch hunt, i was like i know the story. i don't know about you but that gives me huge hope for the future. >> yes. those eighth graders, you can trust them with anything. >> they were amazing. so, very cool. thank for ending with that story, alicia. you have a good night. hello to you. it is good to be with you tonight. wish we could start with a more pleasant story but we, of