pearl harbor, which plunged the united states into world war ii. the national park service and the u.s. navy hosted a joint memorial ceremony in honolulu, hawaii today. i'm tony harris thanks for watching. john siegenthaler is back with today's news right now. hi there, tony. we begin with changes to how the government alerts the public about potential threats. jeh johnson announced that the u.s. will soon get a new terror alert system. this comes a day after the president addressed the u.s. on how to fight isil. >> translator: the old color coded system was announced by the first homeland security
secretary with great fanfare back in 2002. >> presently the nation currently stands in the yellow condition, an elevated risk. >> reporter: it featured five alert levels. the problem is, no one knew what to do when the alert level was raised from say elevated to high. >> the major problem with the color-coded system is it didn't communicate information. >> reporter: she scrapped the color bars in 2011, and replaced it with the national threat advisory system, which it turns out has never been used because it is triggered only by a credible threat of a specific plot. jeh johnson says the bar is simply too high. >> we need a system that adequately informs the public at large, not through news leaks of joint intelligence bulletins to law enforcement, not through
leaks from anonymous government officials. >> reporter: johnson says it would allow law enforcement to share nonspecific threats. the texas republican, chairman of the house homeland security committee, called for tougher screening to shut down what he called the jihadist superhighway that allows isil fighters to easily enter the u.s. >> the united states government has information to indicate that individuals tied to terrorist groups in syria, have already attempted to access the u.s. through the syrian refugee program. >> reporter: he says there have been three isil inspired attacks on three can't tents in just three weeks. but there is no foolproof way to predict or prevent the kind of assault that claimed 14 lives in san bernardino, or the attack
that killed three people at the planned parenthood clinic in colorado springs, something president obama acknowledged even as he tried to calm the fears of the nation. >> the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, no matter how effective they are, cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual is motivated by isil or some other hateful ideology. >> maybe you see something suspicious, but you don't want to get involved. >> reporter: law enforcement says that even more important at issuing alerts to the public is getting more alerts from the public. the fbi says it see something, say something campaign is one of its strongest tools. >> when we look back over our cases over the last 10, 15 years, in almost every case, we find that somebody saw something, whether it was a family member, friend, or coworker, and didn't say something to law enforcement.
wrote an innocent narrative over facts that were making them feel uncomfortable. >> reporter: but jay jansen appeared in virginia to urge that america's 3 million muslims not be vilified. >> people have defended this country. some have lost their lives. they are doctors and teachers and firefighters. no one should make them question their identity. >> reporter: in urging people who see something to say something, jeh johnson stressed he is talking about suspicious behavior, people turns towards violence, not someone's language, religion or skin color. john? >> jamie thank you. . in the wake of the attacks in san bernardino, donald trump is taking his anti-immigration rhetoric to a new level. calling for -- excuse me -- calling for a ban on muslims entering the u.s. tonight he is facing some tough
criticism on both sides. roxana saberi has more. >> reporter: trump called today for what he described as a complete
shutdown on muslims entering the u.s. he spoke a short time ago. >> donald trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. [ cheers and applause ] >> we have no choice. we have no choice. [ applause ] >> we have no choice. >> reporter: his comments came hours after his campaign issued a statement which read in part:
trump's call sparked fierce criticism from other presidential candidates. jeb bush called trump unhinged. and democratic presidential front runner hillary clinton tweeted: when asked about trump's proposal, ted cruz told reporters
that's not my policy. john? >> roxana thank you very much. we're joined by the president and executive director of muslim advocates, a national legal advocacy and educational organize. she is in our studio tonight. it's good to have you. >> good evening. >> your reaction to donald trump? >> first of all let me say, john, americans are understandably feeling a heightened level of fear and
confusion after this recent incident of senseless violence. and unfortunately donald trump is adding further fear and confusion. i think the word's of president obama are very apt. last night he said america is at our strongest when he come together as americans to face our greatest challenges. and that's what our history as has shown and what is required now. >> and yet, donald trump relied on a poll today that suggested that more than 50% of muslims in america hate america. >> i guess it depends on what polls you are looking at. there is a reuters poll that show that most americans have favorable view of muslims in -- of america. anywhere from 20 to 30% of slaves brought to america were
muslims. so muslims have given their heart and soul to the growth and progress of this country. they died and fought in the military and serve in our federal government. >> this -- the effects people in your organization and people all over america very personally. can you talk about that. >> yeah, it's a time of really heightened concern in the american -- >> what worries you the most? >> so -- well the worst thing right now that we're concerned about is on the one hand potentially being the victim of an attack like this. there was a muslim who was a victim in the san bernardino attack. and at the same time we're concerned about hate crimes. we have been tracking hate crimes, and we have noticed a disturbing up tick in the rates of these attacks. >> muslim american children all over america are watching this. what does donald trump say to them? what impact does it have on them? >> yeah, he is sending a
dangerous message. he is basically saying you have no place in this country. and that's not what we expect of our leaders, john. we expect our leaders to bring americans together. because at the heart of who we are, we come together because of our shared values. >> donald trump is not always big on specifics. what does this mean when he says shut down muslims from doing into the united states. if you are a muslim and you left the united states when he said that, and they were to shut it down for muslims. does that mean muslim americans can't get back in? >> it is very perplexing, because muslims have been a part of this country for literally centuries. >> is it bizarre we're even having this conversation. >> it is. and it is disturbing that this day in america a person running for the highest office in the land would put out a proposal like that.
>> you know after 9/11 there was similar concern. and it sparked a backlash in some communities. is that what we're in for again? >> that is certainly our concern. after 9/11, president bush actually very strongly came out condemning any kind of backlash against the american muslim community. i'm thrilled that president obama has done so, and now we're waiting for leadership from the republican side as well. because that's where some of the rhetoric is being ginned up. and we need to see people like president george bush step forward and do the right thing as well. >> it is good to see you. thank you very much >> thanks for having me. in his speech last night, president obama offered no new strategy to defeat isil, but he said ultimately isil will lose. >> the threat is real. but we will overcome it. we will destroy isil and any other organization that tries to
harm us. our success won't depend on tough talk or abandoning our values or giving into fear. that's what groups like isil are hoping for. instead we will prevail by being strong and smart. resilient and relentless. ambassador james served as director of the central intelligence agency during the clinton administration, and is chairman at the board of the foundation for defense of democracies. he is in washington tonight. it's good to have you. >> good to be here. >> give me your reaction to the president's speech last night. >> i think it is badly timed. it should have been some days to weeks ago, or they should probably wait a few days and had him give it when he was going to have it do something. but i think it's -- in vague in general terms, it's -- it's not
a bad speech. >> some critics called it weak. >> yeah, i -- that's -- that's -- i think that's reasonably fair. it doesn't really have any suggestions in it about how we're going to deal with isis, and it's vague. >> is the threat different today than it was before san bernardino in your opinion? >> well, it's more manifested and therefore more in people's focus and in -- in their concerns. the events in paris both the charlie hebdo attacks, just a little under a year ago, and the other more recent ones in -- in paris, are -- are -- i think brought this home to a lot of people, but when there are people that are americans and people -- anybody who is driven in southern california has
driven through san bernardino, is -- it brings it home. very much. >> there was suggestions that the president wasn't decisive enough. and you said really didn't have anything to add. or didn't have much of a plan on how he is going to achieve this going forward. if you were advising the president today what would you say? >> i would say that you have to put together a plan to not only have a sound approach at home that goes after isis, and i think protects the -- the rights of law-abiding muslims, but you -- you need to have an extremely vigorous effort overseas, even if it takes several thousand special forces working together with aircraft so that they can spot for helicopters and -- and cruise missiles and the rest. you have to not have the kind of rules of engagement, which let
isis fuel trucks, having enough fuel in them to make a million dollars a day for isis, sit there untroubled, unbombed, week after week after week after week. you have to fight. and the united states has not been doing more than dropping a few bombs here and there, and this is a situation in which we are fighting an idealogical enemy, and that means you have to win and be decisive and strong. >> you heard what donald trump said about muslims coming in the united states today. and after 9/11, people were afraid. and there has been concern, you know, looking back that that fear caused the united states to get more deeply involved in iraq militarily than it should have been, and there is concern that
now this fear has become a political football, and the united states is -- is about to get involved or could get involved in the next year in a fight just like the one it got involved in before, and make similar mistakes. do you buy that? >> there is historical evidence on both sides of this. i think first of all, what mr. trump suggested is unconstitutional under the first amendment. it's a restriction on religion. i think we have done this both -- both well and poorly. the united states integrates people into its culture and society as well or better than any other nation in the world. and the number of the real moderate muslims in the united states are undergoing an integration which leaves them, i think, in a good position
in -- in our society. but we also have a history in world war ii, for example, of incarcerated a very large number of japanese americans. kind of ironic a japanese american unit fighting in italy had several medal of honor winners, and was the most positively and heavily decorated unit in the u.s. army, fighting against italy. so we have done it both ways, and we have to be sensible in how we -- how we approach this. but we can't just assume that everything is going to work out if we don't do anything. >> right. >> that's -- that's not the case. >> ambassador is it always good to see you. thank you very much. a candlelight vigil is going on right now to honor the victims of the california shooting. it is being held at the headquarters of the san bernardino county board of
supervisors. melissa chan is there with more on the investigation into the shooting. >> reporter: five days after the mass murder of 14 people inside the inland regional center, the fbi says it is trying to learn what motivated the suspects. >> we are continuing to be extremely methodical, and we have brought in a reconstruction team. we have collected over 320 pieces of evidence so far. and transported a number of those pieces of evidence to washington, d.c. primarily to our fbi laboratory, to our bomb lab. >> reporter: among that evidence, documentation that the couple has been showning their shooting skills. >> we do have evidence that both of these subjects did some -- participated in target practice in some ranges within the metro area or los angeles area. in that target practice on one occasion was done within days of this event. >> reporter: monday's new information comes in part from more than 400 interviews
investigators have conducted, and atf say it now has more details about the guns connected to syed farook. >> farook himself purchased the lama and springfield 9-millimeter pistol as well as the savage rival recovered with the search warrant. we have the federal and california documentation to establish that he purchased the firearm. >> reporter: much of the focus appears to have shifted to tashfeen malik. her background has been one big question mark. there is precious little information and the fbi is working with oversea's partners to find out more. as for san bernardino, local leaders say what is important is trying to get things back to normal. >> the purpose of terrorism is to make ordinary people afraid
to do the ordinary things. last wednesday was an ordinary day in san bernardino county. it was a day when a group of our employees were gathered. these were dedicated public servants. to honor them, to express our gratitude for their unimaginable sacrifice, we have to fight to maintain that ordinary. we can't be afraid. >> reporter: john, just to add a little bit more about what investigators said, they did say early on to dispel a rumor that the female shooter had radicalized the male shooter. they said we just don't know at this point. but they know the couple had been radicalized for quite sometime now, but they don't know when or by whom. >> melissa chan, thank you.
under review, debate over another police shooting in chicago. the department of justice opens a sweeping civil rights investigation. rights and refusals, syrian refugees arrive in texas where a legal battle to keep them out is far from over. plus motor city -- >> i was born in detroit, and it got me thinking about what detroit gave america, and how i could write about that. >> reporter: this author talks detroit in its heyday and after. sure, tv has evolved over the years.
andy? >> reporter: john, the state's attorney anita alvarez insists she is not covering up anything in this new ronald johnson case. the attorney says she is lying. but either way there is no doubt she is under tremendous pressure. >> i am going to call it as i see it >> reporter: and this is what she saw. the police dash cam video of the shooting of ronald johnson in october of 2014. after getting into a scuffle with an officer, the video shows johnson running from officers with what alvarez says is a gun in his hand. a different officer shoots johnson in the back. but you don't see him fall to the ground. alvarez says the video was strong enough to help her decide that the shooting was justified. >> mr. johnson resisted arrest and ran into a public park and towards an occupied police vehicle arriving on the scene.
and she says the fact that he was shot in the back while running away was not enough to convince her that the officer was in the wrong. >> he could have turned around and fired at the officers. >> reporter: but the attorney for the johnson family insists that johnson didn't have a gun. >> the biggest lie is that they said he turned and pointed and no one can argue with that video, that he did not turn or point. >> reporter: alvarez says her investigation relied on the city's independent committee. but he says the officers never gave sworn statements about what happened until after they all watched the video that night. >> the video of the murder of
dorothy holm's son was being played on the screen. >> johnson's mother was furious about alvarez's decision. >> if that had been anybody in her family that got killed like that, that officer would have been charged with murder. >> reporter: the mayor says he is not going anywhere despite calls for his resignation after the mcdonald and johnson videos. and johnson's family is not dropping their civil lawsuit against the city. ipra got a bit of a jolt last night. the head resigned and was replaced today. a man who says he is a whistleblower, you'll hear from him tomorrow on al jazeera america, he says he was fired from his position because he thought that ipra was leaning too heavily in favor of the police in his shootings. >> andy thank you.
the justice department announced a civil rights investigation of the city's police department in chicago. it follows the release of a video, showing the killing of 17-year-old laquan mcdonald. that officer has been charged with murder. the investigation is going to focus on whether chicago police engage in a pattern of behavior that violates the constitution. >> specifically, we will examine a number of issues related to the chicago police department's use of force, including its use of deadly force, racial, ethnic, and other disparities, and its accountability mechanisms. such as disciplinary actions and handling of allegations of misconduct. >> it is the latest in a series of investigations the justice department is carrying out nationwide. congress gave the justice
department the power to investigate police departments in the 1990s after the rodney king beating. there are questions about whether officers needed to use deadly force at all in a shooting in san francisco. police say the suspect refused to drop the knife he was carrying. >> reporter: hon a san francisco street a confrontation between police and a 26-year-old man. this cell phone video captures a burst of gunfire. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: and mario woods goes down. devastating for his mother. >> just -- he needed some help. he just needed some help. >> reporter: police say they were looking for woods after he allegedly stabbed someone. when officers found woods they say he was carrying this knife. the police chief says officers repeatedly yelled drop the knife
then fired bean bag guns. >> when he advanced towards him, he fired in defense of himself -- this is what i have. >> reporter: candling still burn at the spot where he was shot and killed, dozens of people have come by to pay their respects. the community is asking why so many bullets were used. and some are demanding that the police chief resign. the killing has caused outrage among some san francisco residents and activists. police appear to have fired at woods about 15 times. >> maybe we need other tools in our toolbox that are short of deadly force. we need to look at all of this. because -- because this -- this -- this -- i don't ever want this to happen again. >> reporter: this is the city's lead public defender. he says this is yet another officer-involved shooting in a
series of such shootings across this country that lead to anger, protest and a call for change. >> it's situation like this, that require us as a civilized society to say isn't there something better that we can do. >> reporter: sfpd has called for an internal investigation, and the police chief says his department has joined a group of 25 other police departments to steady deescalation tactics. and coming up next on the broadcast, new syrian refugees arrive in texas today after the state said it didn't want anymore. how those families are being received after this.
also invest in america's priorities. >> why democrats say the g.o.p. is looking to weekend federal protections for consumers. >> plus -- >> it allows me to show what detroit gave america, but also the seeds of its collapse. i'll talk to the pulitzer prize winning author. tide a group of 12 refugees from syria arrived in texas. texas is now challenging the federal government in court. heidi zhou castro is in dallas, and heidi what do we know about the refugees who arrived today? >> hey, john, so we know six syrian refugees arrived here in dallas today. it's a family, the parents, two children, and two grandparents, and they are joining family that already is living here in the dallas area. another six refugees arrived in houston with nine more scheduled
to arrive by the end of this week. this resettlement process has long been in the making, and it wasn't until the paris attacks that there was any political opposition. that's when the texas governor joined 30 other state leaders in saying he no longer wanted syrians to be resettled in the state. texas launched a lawsuit against the federal government, but for this group, the state backed down after receiving assurances that these refugees had passed security clearances. >> so heidi is -- texas is still fighting the federal government in court, but they are not the only refugees who arrived. some others have arrived. tell me about those. >> sure, along the texas mexican border, some syrian families have also appeared asking for asylum and turning themselves into the border patrol. in fact we have been in touch with an attorney for those families who says they are still being held in an immigration
detention center in south texas despite having passed credible fear interviews in seeking asylum. we have also told that these families are christians which is something that republican lawmakers, including senator ted cruz has said should make a difference in deciding who should be allowed in. >> thank you very enough. a senior u.s. official tells the associated press that russia is to blame for an attack in syria. rosiland jordan has more from washington. >> reporter: what they are saying is they did carry out air strikes in the province on sunday, but they were against oil wellheads about 55 kilometers from where the u.s. coalition says it believes syrian military forces are stationed, so they are suggesting that there isn't any credibility to the syrian
allegation that the u.s.-air coalition attacked the syrian military, much less killed three of the soldiers and injured upwards of a dozen or more others. the coalition is saying, however, if they do get any credible allegations that any people were injured or killed, they will investigate, but they don't believe that happened. >> that's rosiland jordan reporting. it appears that efforts to prevent recruits from joining isil have fallen short. a new report from a private intelligence group says between 27 and 31,000 fighters from 86 countries have traveled to syria in recent years. the number has dowelled since 2013. a cameraman working for al jazeera has guyed of gunshot
wounds while covering the war in syria. he was shot last week in the province of homs. he was hit during a government bombardment in the area. he had worked for al jazeera for a year. four al jazeera journalists have been killed since 2011. now a major spending bill in the face of another potential government shutdown. republicans are hoping to use the legislation to address several issues. this week we focus on one g.o.p. target, the consumer financial protection bureau. some republicans want to eliminate the agency. hillary clinton argued that democrats must safe it. libby casey is in washington with that. libby? >> reporter: the consumer financial protection bureau has been a lightning bureau for controversy since it launched. it is still at the center of
debate. now has congress negotiates behind closed doors, massive spending bill, republicans see an opportunity to go after this federal agency. congress agreed back in october how much the government should spending over the next year. >> my hope is now that they build on this agreement with spending bills that also invest in america's priorities without getting sidetracked by a whole bunch of idealogical issues. >> reporter: but that was the easy part. now congress is figuring out how to spent $1.1 trillion in the omnibus spending bill. it's at the bottom line for everything from agriculture to education to diplomacy. but the big sprawling package is also a chance to tack on pet issues. and these policy riders can change the very mission of government, one of the most
famous is nearly 40 years old, and still impacting americans today. the hyde amendment, named for henry hyde of illinois, was slapped on to a speing bill. it says federal funds can't be used to pay for most abortions. this year republicans have come up with plenty of riders, and since they control both the house and senate, they are in the driver's seat. >> this is the legislative branch. >> reporter: democrats say more than 30 of them are poison pills. >> what they sent us back takes your breath away. >> reporter: one set of proposals democrats say is too hard to swallow, watering down the federal agency created under dodd-frank to protect american finances. this is the consumer finance protection bureau. it has won $11 billion in settlements, restoring credit,
refunding cash and lower interest rates for 25 million americans. it watches out for unfair billing, deceptive markets, illegal debt collection, discrimination, and companies taking advantage of service members. critics complain that the bureau inflicts the same rules for too big to fail banks on smaller banks too. but the federal reserve reports that consumer credit has increased slightly since dodd frank became law. republican critics aren't satisfied. and want to do everything from eliminating it entirely to giving congress its annual control over funding, to replacing the director with a board, and proposing easing rules on mortgage companies, and crackdown on auto lenders who charge borrowers more based on their rate.
>> the alphabet soup of federal agencies that have descended on small businesses killing jobs all across this great country >> reporter: republicans are basically in control, in fact rank and file democrats had not even seen its contents as of monday afternoon. but if it alienates too many democrats, the president obama will veto it, and risk the government shutting down. john, the deadline to get the omnibus passed is this friday, and we expected to see text today, but negotiators worked throughout the weekend to no avail. they need to get something done of substance before the holiday weekend, and while deadlines certainly clarify the mind here in washington. democrats and republicans have such different opinions over
hard issues like the cfpb that it will be a tough week. john. >> all right. libby thing you. alexis goldstein is a senior policy analyst. she formally worked for morgan stanley, but left to join the occupy wall street movement. what do you think this burrow does in >> this is a bureau that in its short life has already returned over $11.2 billion to over 25 million americans who have been scammed by their financial companies. and they are really the only federal regulator that is tasked with protecting consulars from financial abuse. >> why do they need protecting? >> they need protecting because people are being charged up to 300% apr with predator payday loans, they are being discriminated against at auto
dealers. and quite frankly sometimes they are given add-on products on their credit cards that they don't even ask for. so part of that money that has been returned to people is because they are being charged for products they never asked for. >> how determined with republicans to eliminating or reducing this bureau, and do you think the president will veto it? >> reporter: policy has always been not only should there not be any wall street riders, there should be no riders at all. and they are asking for a clean budget. and they are trying to force congress to decide do you want a funded government or these riders? >> you heard what ted cruz had to say about this, and the whole suggestion is there are too many
agencies, they spend too much money. there is too many regulations. it kills jobs and small business. what do you say to that? >> it is just not true. when americans are scammed by their financial companies, they want their money back. and that's what they are doing. they are investigating cases where there is fraud, abuse, where people have been discriminated against based on their race, where they have been prayed upon. where people have broken the law. this is about prosecuting people who are doing things illegal. this is actually about the rule of law. and conservatives like to say that it are all about the rule of law, except when it is dealing with an organization that is going after some of the most powerful institutions. >> alexis good to have you on the program. >> thanks for having me. coming up, obamacare in kentucky, some say it has been a big success. now a new governor is promising
kentucky will swear in its new governor just after midnight tonight. the tea party conservative was elected last month and promised to cut government powers and rework public pensions, and backed kim davis, the woman who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses. he has also vowed to roll back obamacare in his state. kentucky runs one of the most
successful programs in the nation. but there are fears about what could happen when he takes control. robert ray reports. >> reporter: harlen county, kentucky. over 32% of people live below the poverty line. epa regulations put a lot of weight on the coal mining industry here. that's the bread and butter of this area. there are a lot of people out of work and a lot of people that need health insurance. affordable health care act has done great here, many have utilized it, though so many people's politics are against the current admin stlags. >> my opinion on health insurance is it's supposed to be affordable, and it's not. >> reporter: john lawson was a coal miner for 35 years. he says president obama put him out of work. >> you got lobbyists wanting
this, and politicians wanting to line their pockets with this. and it's just all politics. you can't trust government anymore. it's not like it used to be. everybody is out, just dog eat dog. >> reporter: president obama lost kentucky by more than 20 points in 2012. people like lawson don't like him. but the in coming governor has vowed to break up the healthcare connection. >> my worry is the healthcare, there's no question. when he was elected that night, i was a little sick to my stomach. >> reporter: dr. colton didn't vote for obama either, but worries that hundreds of thousands of people will be in a dire situation if the new governor follows through.
>> reporter: my understanding that if we did our own medicaid expansion there would be more cost savings, and i'm not opposed to that. if people can afford to buy their cigarettes, they should be able to spend a few dollars for the doctor. >> reporter: brent lewis runs a clinic providing low-cost healthcare. many of his clients used to work in coal mines. others are the elderly and some disabled. he says hi was surprised when the governor was elected. >> i think what it is mainly is people associated a democrat in the state of kentucky with obama, and especially in the coal industry. this is the coal industry area here. and i think that the coal miners did associate that with him and all through kentucky. >> reporter: according to the center for american progress, shutting down connect, and
switching to the federal marketplace would raise premiums by 2.5%. and then there is the confusion of how and when a change would happen. john lawson says he is fed up and hopes the new governor leaves the system the way it is. >> i didn't vote for him, but him trying to do away with connect, i don't think it's a very good idea, because there are a lot of people that really need the medicaid, and the connect part, i'm not actually really sure about it. i do use connect myself. >> reporter: there was a time when kentucky was held up as a success, as the number of insured people shot up after obamacare lifting up a population historically uninsured and in poor health. the question now is for how long that will last? robert ray, al jazeera. for the first time the chinese capitol beijing is under a red smog alert. schools are closed.
outdoor -- construction projects put on hold. authorities expect to continue the alert for another few days. china has been eager partner at the climate change talks happening in paris. >> china not only announced together with the united states its commitment overone year ago, but even in september, they announced a new cap and trade system going forward. so they are taking steps. they have strong regulations. now clearly, we have hoping that the agreement here in paris will also include required verification measures. >> delegates have until friday to reach the new long-term climate agreement. tonight ali velshi ontarget is taking a look at the rhetoric in the aftermath of the mass
shootings in san bernardino. >> we're talking about the politician -- politics of fear. politicians can easily exploit the feelings that americans have. fear is a very powerful weapon, because it makes a lot of americans, quote, stupid. >> david thank you very much. today marks the 74 day of a day that will forever be in imfanny, the day that japan attacked pearl harbor. the surprise early-morn raid lead to the u.s. entry into world war ii. coming up next on the broadcast, detroit's glory days and what wrong went. my conversation with author david mrainis after this.
pulitzer prize winner, david maraniss is known for doing his research. his latest book looks at the roots of detroit. it's called "once in a great city: a detroit story." i asked him why he wrote the book now? >> i wasn't expecting to write a book about detroit until super bowl sunday 2011, when during halftime, i was watching the
super bowl, and saw a commercial. first i saw a -- a highway sign that said detroit, and that made me pay attention and all of these iconic images of detroit. the great heavyweight champ, the wonderful murals, and the rapper driving down a main thoroughfare of detroit, a black gospel choir rising in song and eminem pointing at the camera saying this is the motor city. i choked up seeing that ad. i was born in detroit and it got me thinking what detroit gave america and how i could write about that. >> you focus on the year 1963. tell us why. >> this was a period when detroit was booming. and there are four main themes or threads of the book.
auto industry, obviously, music, motown, the soundtrack of my generation, the labor government in america, the united auto workers was really the heart of the labor movement, and civil rights. detroit was key to civil rights during that period. so that allowed me to focus intensely on those themes. i set up an oil rig somewhere and dug as deeply as i could, and that allowed me to show what detroit gave america but also the seeds of its collapse. >> this was one of the golden years for detroit, but the cracks were beginning even then? >> oh, absolutely. some sociologists that year issued a report largely ignored that said that detroit was on its way to losing a half million people by the engineer of the 1960s, and that depopulation of a half million would continue
for the foreseeable future. stripping the city of its tax base. part of it was the auto industry moving away from detroit. part of it was the history of racial tension, and the white flight that followed that, and the negative aspects of urban renewal, which blacks called negro removal, and other parts of detroit were already showing steins of weakness. >> what happened to the auto industry? what did the move by the auto industry leave to -- to get out of detroit? what did it do to that city? >> it was devastating and it was sho shortsighted in many ways. it began really in the 1950s. they started moving to the suburbs, moving plants to different cities and states. and leaving detroit emotionally. and that was really the key. so when i talk to auto executives today more than a
half century later, they all regret that they left behind the heart of detroit, but -- the people that built -- built the auto industry were really living in detroit, and they were left behind to sort of -- to sink or swim, and they sank mostly. detroit has had a long ongoing collapse, and the -- the leaving of the auto industry was key to that. >> we have all seen the pictures of that city and the houses that have been abandoned and the damage that has been done by the recession and the auto industry leaving. is detroit back on a road to recovery or not? >> i think it is. i'm a journalist and historian, so i'm skeptical, but optimistic, but since the book came out, i have been back to detroit four times and every time i have seen more energy. >> davis maraniss, thank you very much for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you, john. and that's our broadcast,
thank you for watching. i'm john siegenthaler. i'll see you back here tomorrow night. ali velshi, ontarget is next. ♪ >> i'm david schuster in for ali velshi. "on target" tonight. dangerous distraction, how fear gets in the way, and how to make america safer. the fear in america now is clear. in the wake of last week's attack in san bernardino and the slaughter in paris last month, there are growing fears that more terrorism is coming at home and abroad. what is not clear is what to do