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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 4, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com thanks, piers. we begin tonight keeping them honest. with new revelations in the trayvon martin killing that may pull you into two opposite directions about what happened
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and whether george zimmerman fired in self-defense. in a moment, a new version of that 911 audiotape that some believe contains zimmerman uttering a racial slur. the fbi now analyzing it. we did our own enhancements early but have now used more sophisticated methods to uncover the truth. also, zimmerman's two attorneys are speaking out about why neither sat down and looked their client in the eye. >> if there's an investigation on going in this case, there are cases where i want to hear my client's version, look him in the eye and see if i believe him or not. i believe the sanford police have given him a voice stress test and he's passed that. so i don't necessarily need to look him in the eye. >> all right. that's something new, george zimmerman taking a voice stress test. sanford police won't comment on whether they put him through such a test when they questioned him, but they do say they use it
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as do other florida police departments. keeping them honest though, how reliable are they? we contacted an expert who did a study of the devices when used to question suspects about drug use. he says their ability to detect deception is and i'm quoting now, no better than flipping a coin. again, we don't know whether the sanford police department subjected zimmerman to such a test, nor if they used it as a basis for not charging him. we do know that the lead investigator had suspicions about his story and now, the mother of a 13-year-old witness to the incident says that same vrtd -- investigator told her so. >> the lead investigator from the sanford police department stood in my family room and told me this was absolutely not self-defense and they needed to prove it. he told me and i'm paraphrasing this quote, but read between the lines. this -- there's some stereotyping going on here.
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>> that's a mother of a young witness on msnbc. and now the 911 tape as he was pursuing trayvon martin through the gated community he was patrolling. we should warn you, you'll hear some strong language. you might want to send your kids out of the room. the two words you'll hear are an expletive and some believe a racial slur. when the question first came up, gary tuchman worked with one of our top audio experts to enhance the tape. >> rick, can we play that second word, what we think that second word is and see if it sounds any different. >> okay. >> coons. >> it sounds like that word to me, although you can't be sure. but that sounds more like the word than using it with the -- with it before that. >> that's correct. >> all right. it seemed pretty clear then, but since then we have been able to use a higher tech method to
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isolate what was said that night. here again, gary tuchman. >> this is brian stone. he's one of our senior audio engineers, an expert in this field. i have not listened to this tape either. two weeks ago i didn't want to listen to it. the second version that's been enhanced i haven't listened to. let's play it. >> are you following him? >> yeah. >> we don't need you to do that. >> now, that certainly sounds much clearer than the first tape we listened to. right? >> it's extremely clear now. >> some are accusing george zimmerman of using the racial slur coons in his 911 call. it was preceded by the "f" word. can we play it again? the problem is this is a very short. it's only about 1.6 seconds. >> roughly, yeah. >> once again, if we can repeat it so we can hear it clearly.
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>> f'ing coons. f'ing coons. >> with this new clearer audio, it's apparent the first word is a curse word. so we'll bleep it out for the rest of the story. it's the second word that's important to hear. i don't want to say what it sounds like this time. but let's play it a few times so the viewer can have an idea for themselves. draw their own conclusion. >> sure. >> coons. coons. >> you can stop now. it does sound less like that racial slur. last time i acknowledged it could have been that slur. this is a state of the art room it doesn't sound like that slur anymore. >> right. >> it sounds like and we wanted to leave it up to the viewer, but sounds like we're hearing the swear word at first and then
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the word cold. the reason some say that would be relevant is it was cold that night. that would make sense if he was saying the word cold. that's what it sounds like to you. >> sound like to me. i have not heard it. >> can we play this a few more times. >> cold. cold. >> so the key is though the wind, get rid of the wind. >> correct. wind and anything broadband noise. >> that's what we've done as compared to last final. >> right. >> it reduces and cleans up the noise. >> does it change the word? >> no, it does not change the word. >> can you play that again? >> sure. >> this is now the clearest
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audio we have heard of george zimmerman's 911 call. but it's readily apparent there will still be controversy over what he really said. gary tuchman, cnn, atlanta. joining me is lou palumbo, he runs a private security firm. and jeffrey toobin and mark geragos. it's a major issue, as far as the justice department is concerned. that word, whether it was a bad word or simply saying it was cold. f'ing cold shall we say, because the justice department presumably wouldn't get involved in a civil rights case if the word is cold. >> that's right. the only way the federal government has jurisdiction over this homicide is if they can prove there was some sort of racial hostility at the core of it. a simple shooting is purely a state matter and that would not -- then the federal government wouldn't be involved. there may be other evidence in the case.
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this is important. it's not the only piece of evidence in the case. the justice department will investigate every aspect of this to determine it, but certainly if the word is cold, that's highly relevant. >> mark geragos, is there some way this can be cleared up, it's an important point, 100%? >> i don't know if anything is 100% in the criminal justice system, but this is precisely what they do. they try to bring it up or enhance it and once they have enhanced it and they have gone through it, then everybody listens to it and tries to figure out, okay, he either said it or he doesn't say it. it's true, if there's a word used that's racially charged that is going to tend to kind of make their decision a lot easier. if there isn't, then they look at the surrounding circumstances and we saw what happened with the nbc -- i guess enhanced tape
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or edited tape. if that doesn't play out, and it looks like it hasn't played out, then it makes it a much tougher decision for them to file a case federally. >> we were told that zimmerman was given the voice stress test. tell us about this. is it admissible? >> it's not admissible. it's a measurement of stress in your voice. in other words, they examine microtremors in the muscles in your voice in an attempt to determine truthfulness. i don't particularly give it much credence. i think some people do. this attorney has opened up a can of worms to maybe suggest that we take a full battery of tests including a polygraph and have it administered by someone like the fbi. i didn't realize the sanford police department -- i do want to say this. 43 states have adopted this means of screening or
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determining a case. the fbi and the cia also use this. i don't think they use it for the purpose of resolution in criminal matters. they probably use it more for the purpose of screening candidates or if they have a confidential informant that's giving them a lead. >> like a lie detector test, a voice stress test, but not all that reliable and certainly not admissible. mark, let me bring you back into the conversation. we understand that in florida when you are arrested -- arrest an individual, the clock starts ticking to bring somebody to a speedy trial. you're required to bring them to trial within 180 days. could that explain why charges have not been brought against zimmerman? >> well, there are speedy trial rights in every state. i'm not an expert in florida law whatsoever. it occurred to me at least initially is one of the reasons why they may not have -- mind you, everybody at least was first reporting that he had not
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been arrested by any stretch of the imagination, that tape shows that he was under arrest. what then triggers it is whether or not you have to take them to a magistrate within a certain period of time. whether you have to take them directly, whether you have to take them within a certain number of hours because there are -- there is u.s. supreme court precedent that says here in california you'd have to get them in front of a magistrate in two to three days. otherwise, that case would be rejected. i do not think in this case came to play. i think that this was a situation here, from what i can gather and what the prosecutor has indicated that what ended up actually happening is that the police had him under arrest. that there was some discussion at least with internally in the police department as to whether or not the stand your ground law applied. then -- now once it goes over to the state's attorney's office, they don't have that pressure and they want to do frankly what most criminal defense lawyers would like to see a prosecutor
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do, analyze the case. interview the witnesses. make sure before you file something that you have done all of your homework. >> lou palumbo and jeffrey toobin and mark geragos, thanks to you as well. let us know what you think. we're on facebook and google plus. mitt romney has now resumed his attacks on president obama who's giving as good as he's getting. how do the claims again each other stack up against each other? we're keeping them honest, just ahead. [ male announcer ] every day thousands of people are choosing advil®. here's one story.
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with victories in three more primary races, mitt romney looks safely on track for the republican presidential nomination. he's talking like a nominee and president obama is treating him like one as well. you could see it in the governor's speech today to newspaper editors and the president's version to the same group yesterday. combined, they're like watching a trailer for the fall campaign. keeping them honest, how true to the facts are they? take this line from governor romney on the recession. >> i've said many times before, the president did not cause the economic crisis. but he did make it worse. >> keeping them honest, when president obama took office, the
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economy was in free fall. 4.5 million jobs lost in president bush's last year and 4.3 million jobs lost in the early obama administration. as you can see job losses slowed. then gains started to appear and grew. for march, the economy is expected to add about 200,000 jobs. on top of the 230,000 jobs in february. that means as of february, the economy under president obama had gained back about 3.2 million of those 4.3 million jobs lost during his administration. according to a cnn money survey of economists, all 4.3 million jobs lost on his watch could potentially come back by year's end. also on the economy, there's this claim about the administration's economic recovery act. >> the $787 billion stimulus included a grab bag of pet projects that languished in congress for good reason, for
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years. it was less than jobs planned and the mother of all earmarks. the administration pledged that their stimulus would keep the unemployment rate below 8%. it's been above 8% every month since. >> he's certainly right about the last part. unemployment is now at 8.3%, up 8.2% when president obama took office, but down sharply from its peak of 10.1% in october of 2009. as for the stimulus, they say it increased employment, created jobs by anywhere from about a million to as many as three million jobs. as far the claim that the administration pledged to keep the jobs number under 8%, it comes from an estimate, not a pledge in a report written by two top obama economic advisers during the transition back in january 2009 shortly before the president took office. moving on to the president's
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speech, no outright false hoods, but not always the whole truth. take this on government regulation. >> you'd think they'd say, you know what, maybe some rules and regulations are necessary to protect the economy and prevent people from being taken advantage of by insurance companies or credit cards companies or mortgage lenders. >> it is true governor romney wants to repeal the law, tightening regulations on the financial industry, however, he's also said as recently as last night and i'm quoting him now, we of course understand in a free market that regulations are necessary and critical. there's also this about health care reform. >> there's a reason why there's a little bit of confusion in the republican primary about health care and the individual mandate since it originated as a conservative idea to preserve the private market place in
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health care while still assuring that everybody got coverage, in contrast to a single. -- single payer plan. now suddenly this is some socialist overreach. >> on this the president is right. the individual mandate was originally a conservative idea, even had some conservative support, by the way, while the obama health bill was being drafted. listen. >> i believe that there is a bipartisan consensus to have individual mandate. >> that was senator charles grassly of iowa on fox news. a leading conservative supporting the mandate at the time it was being drafted. however, keeping them honest, it's a mandate that president obama opposed when running for office. here is his drawing a contrast back in the 2008 debate with then presidential candidate hillary clinton, who unlike president obama, supported the mandate. >> clinton's plan and mine is the fact that she would force in
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some fashion, individuals to purchase health care. >> joining us now, republican strategist and former george w. bush press secretary ari fleischer and democrat poster who currently works for president obama's re-election campaign. thanks for coming in. cornel, it seems as if, as far as the obama campaign is concerned, the republican primary is over. at least that's the impression you're giving. what do you think? >> well, i think pennsylvania will have a lot to say about that. it keeps going along. santorum wins a couple. romney wins a couple. but i think he's not at the magical number yet. however, i think for democrats, it's really about whether it's santorum or romney, they're all sort of cut from the same radical cloth in the same policies, all back being the same policies that in our mind would undermine the middle class. they're all for the ryan budget
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plan and the blood amendment that would take power away from women and give it to their employees to make health care decisions for them. so whether it's santorum or romney, they all have to answer for their policies. >> you've seen recent poll numbers in states that are critical. disappointing numbers for romney. here's the question, throughout this process is he emerging as a weaker or stronger candidate? >> i'll answer that in a second. but first, it sad ups me when people talk about americans as being radicals. we can have political differences left and right, but i don't call anybody a radical on the left. i've never used that for barack obama and i think it's one of the reasons we're starting to fray at the seams instead of coming together. we should be cautious of the words we use. >> hold that thought then, because let me let cornell respond to that. do you want to respond to that? >> well, i responded to him. so we're even. >> when you look at some of the policies that are being put
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forth by the ryan plan that does away with medicare as we know that's something that our seniors have been depending on for years, i would argue that that's radical. when you're trying to give power back to wall street to write their own rules and do the same things that got us into that mess, some of us look at that and say that's radical. this is not the republican party of a decade ago. this is a different sort of republican. >> ari? >> here's the problem with that, wolf. the barack obama of eight years ago, cornell's boss, he said there is no red america, no blue america, he's the united states of america. now he's the one out there calling people radicals. you can disagree is still love this country and not be a radical. that is what is so divisive about the language that president obama and his pollster are now using. that's why this country feels like we're always fighting instead of working it out. >> in fairness, ari, republicans
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call the president a socialist. the rhetoric on both sides can be intense. >> number one, i haven't. number two, i don't believe mitt romney who is all but definite republican nominee has. so if there are people on the side, i'd call them out on it too. >> good for you. let's talk about romney. is romney a stronger candidate or weaker now? >> he is weaker and he's running against a weaker president. one of the factors going on, this republican primary has not strengthened the front-runners. you can make the case it's brought them down in the favorable and unfavorable opinion ratio. the same thing happened to president obama. he began his presidency with a 10% disapproval, increased five times now, under 50% in disapproval. so his presidency hasn't served him well. the republican primary hasn't served republicans well, and the american people are in a bad mood, a surly mood about almost everybody in public life. it's a warning to everybody. >> cornel, your team had a lot
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of fun pointing out mitt romney's weakness with the conservative base. but you look at some exit poll numbers, and he seems to be making real progress with a lot of voters. >> well, i'm going to pull a ari here and respond to ari. when you go back to 2008 and look at how the battle between hillary and then senator obama, as the process went on, voters didn't start to dislike the then senator barack obama more. they didn't. they didn't start to dislike him more. you're now looking at a nominee in romney who's under water. in his favorable/unfavorables. he starts off in a weaker position than most candidates and quite frankly, you just don't want your candidate starting off under water when by the way we haven't really begun spending money to even attack him. so it's qualitatively different than '08. so it's definitely different you certainly don't see new people coming in and wanting to
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join the process like you saw in 2008. so i think it's fundamentally different from what we see now and '08. >> guys, thank you very much for coming in. >> thank you. >> we have breaking news we're following tonight. the l.a. coroner has just released the final autopsy report for whitney houston, and there are new details about the role cocaine played in her death. dr. drew pinsky joins me just ahead. he's got plenty to say about this. [ male announcer ] if you believe the mayan calendar, on december 21st polar shifts will reverse the earth's gravitational pull and hurtle us all into space. which would render retirement planning unnecessary. but say the sun rises on december 22nd, and you still need to retire. td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life. we'll even throw in up to $600 when you open a new account or roll over an old 401(k).
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the los angeles county coroner has released the final autopsy report on whitney houston's death. from the preliminary report, we already knew the singer's death was ruled an accidental drowning with cocaine cited as a contributing factor. the final report says she drowned face down in a tub of hot water about 12 inches deep. it also describes a white substance found on the counter and a spoon near her body. dr. drew has followed this from the beginning. he joins us on the phone. dr. drew, this report is a pretty grim accounting of the final hours of her life. you've gone through it. how serious of a report is this? >> wolf, the shocking thing about this report, and i want to assure you that i have a completely different interpretation from the preliminary report that was put out that somehow the cocaine had
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precipitated a cardiac event or that significant heart disease had contributed to her demise. the fact is this autopsy report showed that she had nominal heart disease, almost none, not sufficient to explain what happened to her. you also mentioned she was found face down in water. how would you have heart attack or take too much medication and slip into the water and drown and end up face down? the way that happens is seizure. i add it up and i get seizure here. she had large amounts of xanax found at her side in the bathroom. pill bottles that had been filled with large amounts that were empty. yet she had very low amounts of xanax in her blood. she had fatty metamorphosis of her liver, which is from drinking alcohol, and yet, she had low levels of alcohol in her blood. so it may well be that she was
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actually was not using these, but had been, but was trying not to. a common feature of coming off those substances is seizure. you want to induce the seizure, put cocaine into your system. that's what she did. large amounts of cocaine was found. meaning she had used within the last four to six hours prior to her death, maybe even minutes before. >> because the toxicology test measured .58 micrograms of cocaine for liter of blood in her right leg. what does that level tell you? >> it tells me specifically it's the metabolites of cocaine that are more interesting and the fact that she has non-met -- nonme ttabolized coe cape, meeching that it was used recently, moderately in all probability, and the idea that it caused a cardiac event is spurious. i think it's an inappropriate and inaccurate conclusion. there was seizure activity that caused her to flip over and drawn. this was someone trying not to
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use certain substances, but add in a substance that commonly causes seizure and ends up in serious trouble. the route to demise through chemical dependency is nefarious and here's somebody you never would have predicted this outcome and drowning ends up the result. >> what a sad, sad story. dr. drew, thanks so much for joining us. still ahead, 360s ground-breaking study on kids and race. tonight we'll hear from 13-year-olds. but first susan hendricks has a 360 business bulletin. >> human rights groups in syria report that a new round of government attacks killed 61 people today. the assad regime fired upon civilian targets across the country, even launching strikes from the military jets. they're facing accusations of escalating violence ahead of the deadline to comply with the latest piece plan. a united airlines flight hit turbulence, injuring 12 people on board the plane.
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it was flying from tampa to houston. most of the injuries are described as minor, but some passengers came off the plane with stretchers and wearing neck braces. and 14% of the entire work force is being laid off. the company is being radically stream lined. wolf? tonight new video from north texas, shot by a man whose family was in the path of the tornadoes. he recorded what could have been their last moments. that story is up next. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix.
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up close tonight, we're getting a fuller picture of those terrifying tornadoes that ripped across northern texas. 200 homes destroyed, more than 600 damaged, but not a single person killed. that's nothing short of amazing. timing and sheer luck saved so many lives yesterday. the family you're about to meet is one example. here's gary tuchman. >> you see it coming down? >> reporter: the man shooting this video is a husband and father of two. and about to experience the most terrifying moments of his life. >> god, you can see the debris field. look at that. do you see it, michelle? >> yes, i saw it. >> look at it, right above your house. look at the debris field. you got the kids in the bathroom? get the kids in the bathroom. it's right there. look, it's touched down. look at the transformers. it is down. >> oh, my god, did you hear that?
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>> that is a tornado. >> reporter: this is the aftermath of that tornado. here in forney, texas, east of the dallas, the local school, heavily damaged, more than 95 homes damaged or destroyed. this video was shot by brett brown who was standing right here when he shot it, trying to pray it away. while you were shooting it, what are you thinking? >> please don't come here. oh, wow. oh, my god. look at this. oh, no! get in the house! get in the house! go! take cover. take cover. >> reporter: brett's wife amber went into the bathroom with two of her children. >> it's terrifying as a person, for myself and extra because of my children. >> reporter: amber showed us how she put the children in the tub. >> it's hard to look into the eyes of your children and tell them it'll be okay, when you're not sure you're going to be okay. >> reporter: at around the same time, this is what her husband was saying. >> please keep us safe.
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oh, my goodness. we've got debris! >> reporter: seven people in forney were hurt, but nobody was killed. the parents in this neighborhood expressed great relief the tornado hit when it did. because 30 minutes later, their kids were walking home from school. there's a lot of rebuilding to do in this part of texas, but there's great rejoicing that nobody died. brett brown has already been told by his wife amber he's not shooting tornado video the next time. >> it's not something like you see on natgeo. it's a whole different animal when it's right in front of you. >> gary, it's really amazing that no one was seriously hurt. but how strong was this tornado? >> reporter: this was a very strong tornado with top winds between 140 and 160 miles per hour. that makes it an ef 3 tornado. ef 1 the weakest. ef 5 is the strongest.
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officially an ef-3 can cause severe damage. an ef-4 can cause damage and that's what we saw at the deadly tornadoes in illinois at the end of february. so the video here was very dramatic, but the people are fortunate that mother nature didn't dial it up a little bit more. >> gary, thanks for the excellent reporting. next we'll have a special report on kids and race. this week we showed you what children as young as six told researchers. a ground breaking study commissioned by 360. tonight a specially appropriate, as we consider the trayvon martin case. the focus is on 13-year-olds. >> i have been bullied. like the way i looked. and the way of my skin at my previous school. i tried not to break, but i couldn't like hold on anymore. so i asked my mom can i leave?
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trayvon martin parents believe their son was a victim of racial profiling by an armed and overzealous neighborhood watch volunteer. the only thing we know for certain is that martin and zimmerman crossed paths on a dark and rainy night with tragic results. the role that racial bias may or may not have played in the fatal shooting is the subject of fierce debate which makes 360's ground breaking study on kids and race, especially timely. here's anderson. >> tonight we're continuing our ac 360 report kid kids on race. the hidden picture. this project has been over a
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year in the making and its aim, to study children's attitudes on race and understand how and why they form their opinions. children can be a mirror of society and that is the starting point of this report. to look to the youngest generation and see how far we've come when we talk about racial attitudes. we teamed up with renowned child psychologist dr. melanie kiln to design this study. dr. killen is her team showed 13-year-old children this picture and asked them questions like what's happening here? are these children friends? would their parents want them to be friends? the picture is designed to be ambiguous. what's happening is in the eye of the beholder. then they showed them this picture and asked them what happened. with the races flipped. and the psychologist showed a similar set of pictures to 6-year-olds. at our request, they were asked open-ended questions about race to see how it plays in their open lives. the experiences were raw and it was shocking. this is the reality of what kids
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see, hear, and think about race. listen. >> if you have the same skin, you can play together. but if you don't have the same skin, you can't play together. >> so why can't you play together if you have different color skin? >> because your mom might not want you to play with that friend. >> do you think it would be easy for a kid to convince his parents that it would be okay to have other types of people over? >> no. >> why not? >> probably because you might get in trouble. >> why would a parent want you to get in trouble if you wanted someone to come over to your house who was a different skin color? >> probably because they don't allow. >> why not? why would some parents not allow other skin colored kids to come over? >> probably because they might not like that skin color. >> my friend's mom wanted to be only her daughter's friend because he's only white and i'm black. >> okay.
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so it happened with your friend's mom. they only wanted him to be friends with people who are the same color. >> mm-hmm. >> and so he didn't want you to be friends? >> yes. >> how did that make you feel? >> sad. >> there was more. our cnn study found signs of hope and progress as well. watch. >> it really doesn't matter what skin color they have. it's just their personality. that's what i judge people off of. >> i think friendship is important for that reason. because america can grow with different races holding hands and coming together to create one united states. >> last night we told you that when testing 6-year-olds the research showed a majority of white kids were negative about interracial friendships. the majority of black children on the other hand are positive. but we discovered a big difference between childhood and adolescence. when 6-year-old children were asked about interracial
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friendships the majority responded like this. >> do you think that chris and alex are friends? >> yeah. >> and how much would they like it if the two were friends. >> really like it. >> but watch how they respond by age 13. >> she's a bully. she pushed abby. >> do you think that chris and alex are friends? >> no, not really. >> do you think that abbey's parents would like it if she were friends with carrie? >> no. >> the optimism we heard from young black children fades with age. at age 6, 59% of black children think the two kids in the picture are friends. by 13, a total flip. 63% do not think they're friends. which matches white teens' attitudes. our expert says experiences like 13-year-old jimmy's of rejection begin to explain the disappointing trend. he said a white friend's mom forbade her son to be friends with him. >> they said it was because you're black.
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so you can't hang out with her and her son. >> so she kind of very openly said that the reason why her son could not hang out with you and your family was because you guys were black? >> yeah. >> how did that make your mom feel when she heard that? >> it made her mad. >> what was her response? >> i'm not allowed to say that. >> because of your skin -- >> daunte was bullied so badly because of his race. he had to change schools. >> i've been bullied for like the way i looked, and the way of my skin. at my previous school that i went to. they just kept on bullying me. and i didn't like it. i asked them to stop like over and over again. then i tried to -- i tried not to break, but i couldn't like, hold on anymore. so i asked my mom, can i leave? >> by age 13, african american kids match the pessimism of
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white kids when asked if the different races could be friends. our expert says the decline happens because they've been given a reality check on race. >> they're getting a lot of negative feedback through elementary school and adolescence. if you have that experience repeatedly over a number of years, your optimism will decline because you've been told, you really don't belong here. you're not part of us. >> dr. killen also says anxiety about interracial dating from black and white parents can have a profound effect on how their kids view friendships. >> parents of young children do often send messages about, we can all be friends, be friends with everybody, you know, they do send positive messages. but by adolescence, they start getting more nervous about this, they start thinking, you should be friends with people like you or like us. >> how are you? i'm soledad.
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>> soledad op'brien asked about some kids about the issue after this came up. >> do you think your parents would be fine if you decided to start dating a black girl and brought her home? >> honestly, my parents probably wouldn't be too happy because if i was to marry a black girl, you're connected to their family now and who knows what her family is really like? >> so they probably wouldn't be that excited about it? >> probably not. >> this girl admitted anxiety and a double standard for interracial dating in her family. >> if i were to date a white guy, a lot of people wouldn't have a problem with that. but if my brother were to bring home a white girl, there's definitely going to be some controversy. >> from who? your parents or you? >> from me. from me. really, because i think it's more of a problem for people who a black man brings home a white woman, because it's been like that for years. >> so it would matter to you? >> i think it would.
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unless, of course, she were not to act i guess so quote, unquote, white. >> what does that mean? >> you know, flipping the air, oh, my god, ha ha ha ha ha, they're so ghetto. no. no. >> there was some good news in our results as well. the racial balance of the school can make a major positive difference on how white kids view race. the study tested them from majority white, majority black and majority mixed schools. students at majority white schools were the most pessimistic about race. only 47% think their parents would improve of kids from different races being friends. in racially diverse and majority black schools, 71% are positive about it. the reason, according to dr. killen is friendships. >> there's almost nothing as powerful as having a friend of a different racial ethnic background to reduce prejudice.
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you have that experience, you can challenge stereotypes. >> these students go to mixed race and majority black schools. >> the color of your skin doesn't change who you are. >> we're all people and we can all get along. >> my grandparents are very racist against african americans and other races, but it's 2012, so they have to, like, push that aside. and i'll be like, no, that's wrong to be -- you want to stick with your own race and i'm like, no, i'm friends with everyone. >> we're here with dr. killen and soledad o'brien. it's sobering to hear that as black kids age, they become as pessimistic as white kids. >> it's true. you have to think about why is that? why is it that young kids think you can be friends with different people. then they start getting messages. i think part of it is from ages 6 to 13, you get increasing number of messages. if you don't have opportunity for friendships, you don't have
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that opportunity to challenge the stereotypes, it starts getting more deeply entrenched. by 13, there's other issues, that start to come up. things about dating. so that's when the messages from parents and society start getting much more negative. as we move towards increasing intimacy, that's where people get more uncomfortable and more nervous about it. unfortunately it kind of backfires because that's when kids start to back away. they start to think friendships aren't possible. we really have to think about that because having a friend of a different race or ethnicity does enable you to challenge the stereotypes but also create a comfort that you're going to have for the rest of your life. >> it was interesting to see how the notion of intimacy does change the dynamic. >> 13 is puberty and i think that changes the dynamic for the kids and in a big way for the parents. so what i think you're measuring is at six, we all get along. at 13, it's, oh, now we're talking about intimate relationships.
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that really changes the dynamic, i think especially for parents and i think you see that messaging change. >> what we find is that parents are already sort of thinking about, well, i wouldn't want them to marry somebody of a different race or ethnicity. maybe that's true, but the point is these are kids are 13 and it's too early to start worrying about that. if you're worry at that age, -- start worrying about that at age 13, you're cutting them off in valuable friendships they could have. >> what do you want people to take away from the study? >> i want everybody to think about their interactions with their children and what kind of messages are they conveying. when can they be proactive? if you went to the park and you saw somebody hitting somebody else, you would talk to your child about it. you shouldn't hit, how would they feel? you would use it as a teaching moment. what we're finding is when issues come up with racism and prejudice, even more benign examples, parents often step back and they feel they shouldn't say anything about it.
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if they say something, they'll make it worse. we're saying, treat that as if somebody had hit another child. use it as an opportunity. talk to them. >> it's also not one conversation. some people say i talk about that, now i can check that off. >> one of the biggest problems we have, we look at martin luther king day. so we have one day of the year where we talk about those issues. what happens on the other 364 days of the year? we need this to be a daily kind of experience. or a conversation. not every day, but when you're a parent or educator or teacher, that when issues come up, talk about it openly and honestly. just as you talked about it. that's really important. very valuable. it will go a long way -- we're a global world. we're going to interact with people from different races and ethnicities as adults. these kinds of stereotypes when they start in childhood and become deeply entrenched by adulthood, they're very hard to change. childhood is the time to make a difference. >> thank you very much for making this happen.
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