tv Democracy Now PBS April 11, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
04/11/16 04/11/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: on the road in los angeles, this is democracy now! >> i don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13 year old kids hopped up on crack and sent them into the streets to murder other african-american children. maybe you thought they were good citizens. she didn't. amy: former president bill clinton defending hillary clinton as he is confronted by black lives matter activists who criticized the clinton support for the 1994 crime bill and hillary clinton's use of the term "super predators."
as prosecutors in los angeles are determining whether to retry six black lives matter activists who faced charges for barricading the 101 freeway while protesting the non-indictment of former ferguson police officer darren. -- darren wilson. then john kerry becomes the first sitting u.s. secretary of state to ever visit hiroshima, u.s., site of the 1945 attack that killed 145,000 people. the united states is the only country in the world to drop an atomic bomb. today we will look at another decision the u.s. made against japan in world war ii -- the decision to imprison 120,000 japanese-americans in internment camps. as republican presidential candidates call for patrols a muslim neighborhoods, we will look at whether internment could happen again. >> the fact is, they could round up the muslims tomorrow and the round them upld
and for them in concentration camps. the walls are there. roosevelt signed executive order 9066. amy: we'll speak with professor richard reeves, author of the new book, "infamy: the shocking story of the japanese american internment in world war ii," and with karen ishizuka, a curator of the nationwide exhibit called "america's concentration camps: remembering the japanese-american experience." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. hundreds of refugees were injured sunday when macedonian police fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades at crowds of people on the greek side of the border. more than 10,000 migrants and refugees have been stranded at
the greek border outpost of -- since february after a series of border shutdowns across the balkans closed off their route to central and western europe. one syrian migrant named mahmoud , who was treated for broken arm described what happened. surprised that even before we reach the fence and before we did anything on our part, they fired tear gas immediately, so we were just first, but there was a reaction. the tear gas was fall -- followed by stun grenades and rubber bullets. it was not gradual. they used it immediately and this caused a negative reaction from the protesters and anger them and enraged them. amy: greece condemned the use of force by macedonian authorities , describing it as dangerous and deplorable. according to doctors without borders at least three children , had been treated with head injuries caused by rubber bullets. many syrian refugees say they are stuck in the greek camp with nowhere to go. >> we feel like we are in
prison. i feel like diane in prison. i am banned from moving anywhere were applying anywhere. two months in europe and we experienced more injustice than five years of war under bashar al-assad. there's no humidity here. amy: in campaign news vermont , senator bernie sanders won the wyoming caucus on saturday winning nearly 56% of the vote. he has now won eight of the last nine caucuses and primaries. despite his recent victory streak, hillary clinton remains ahead by about 220 pledged delegates. on april 19, the candidates will square off in new york, the state where sanders was born and where clinton served as a u.s. senator. just before the new york vote, sanders will head to the vatican where he has been invited to give a speech about the economy. >> and i must tell you that i am a very great fan of the role that pope francis has been playing in talking about inequality in this world.
[applause] it goes without saying that i have my strong disagreements with certain aspects of what the church stands for, but he has been out there talking about the need for moral economy. a moral economy. [applause] an economy in which we have the moral responsibility to pay attention to what he calls the dispossessed. amy: that was bernie sanders speaking in new york saturday. hillary clinton also spent much of the weekend campaigning in new york. >> i not only love new york and them incredibly grateful every day that i had the honor of being your senator -- [cheers] but i actually think new york's values are really good for america.
amy: in other campaign news, former president jimmy carter has publicly criticized hillary clinton's tenure as secretary of state. he told "time magazine" -- "when secretary clinton was secretary of state, she took very little action to bring about peace. it was only john kerry's coming into office that reinitiated all these very important and crucial issues." meanwhile, john kerry has become the first secretary of state to visit hiroshima the city , destroyed by a u.s. nuclear bomb on august 6, 1945. three days later, the u.s. dropped another nuclear bomb on the city of nagasaki. hundreds of thousands were killed. the united states is the only country to ever a drop an atomic tom. kerry toured the hiroshima peace memorial and museum but offered no apology for the u.s. nuclear attack. he said hiroshima was a gutwrenching reminder the world should abandon nuclear weapons.
despite kerry's remarks, the united states has been quietly upgrading its nuclear arsenal to create smaller, more precise nuclear bombs as part of a massive effort that will cost up to $1 trillion over three decades. meanwhile, president obama appeared on fox news sunday. he was asked what was the worst mistake of his presidency. plan forly failing to the day after what i think was the right thing to do in intervening in libya. amy: the political fallout from the release of the panama papers continues to grow. the papers revealed how a panamanian firm had set up a global network of shell companies for heads of state, politicians and others to store their money offshore to avoid taxes and oversight. britain british prime minister david cameron has taken the unusual step of publishing his tax records after he admitted he owned shares in a bahamas-based
trust up until 2010. details about his late father's offshore investments were leaked as part of the panama papers. labour party leader jeremy corbyn said cameron must do more to address the scandal. >> what panama has shown war than anything, there is one role for the rich and one for the rest. if you have a lot of money, you put it in the tax haven. you get a big income as a result. you pay no tax on it. if you are street cleaner or a nurse, you don't have those things. you don't have those options, you pay your tax. amy: meanwhile in malta, several thousand people protested sunday to demand the resignation of prime minister joseph muscat after the leaked panama papers said two of his political allies had offshore accounts. and in el salvador authorities , have raided the local offices of mossack fonseca, the panamanian law firm at the center of the worldwide scandal. meanwhile, nightly labor
protests are continuing in france to protest a new law that would weaken worker protections. the movement is dubbed nuit debout -- "rise up at night." >> i came here to protest against the ever-increasing downgrade of working conditions, against this liberal economy which wants to get full powers to companies and heads of companies. and that is the reason why i am here. amy: since march 31, protesters have been gathering each night in paris and other cities in a movement some have compared to occupy wall street or spain's indignados. critics of the new french labor law say it will lead to worse working conditions and more layoffs. federal prosecutors are saying former republican house speaker dennis hastert molested at least five boys, as young as 14 years old, while he was a wrestling coach in illinois decades ago. in october, haster pleaded guilty to violating bank
reporting rules for giving $1.7 million in cash to one of his victims to buy that person's silence. hastert faces up to five years in prison on that charge but he will not face any sexual abuse charges because the statute of limitations has run out. hastert served as house speaker from 1999 to 2007, making him the longest-serving republican speaker in history. he played a lead role in the impeachment of president clinton. on saturday, hastert's attorney said -- "mr. hastert acknowledges that as a young man, he committed transgressions for which he is profoundly sorry." in columbia -- colombia marches , were held over the weekend to mark the national day of memory and solidarity with the victims to remember victims of human rights abuses in the country. yamileth vasco helped organize a march commemorating the over 300 people that were murdered and disappeared by paramilitary forces in the town trujillo in the 1990's.
>> this is a way to remind the state and colombia about the families who were evicted from their land and who were forced to leave their farms. also those who had family members who were murdered and those who are direct victims. amy: a federal judge in oregon has rejected an attempt by the u.s. government to dismiss a landmark lawsuit over the government's failure to take necessary action to curtail fossil fuel emissions. the lawsuit was filed by our children's trust on behalf of 21 young people all under the age of 19. they argue that the federal government is violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by enabling , continued exploitation, production, and combustion of fossil fuels. judge thomas coffin wrote -- "if the allegations in the complaint are to be believed, the failure to regulate the emissions has resulted in a danger of constitutional proportions to the public health." in entertainment news, rock legend bruce springsteen
canceled a concert in greensboro, north carolina to protest a sweeping anti-lgbt law. in a statement he said -- "some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry -- which is happening as i write -- is one of them." more 3000 people have pledged to risk arrest in washington, d.c., as part of a massive sit-in calling for an end to the corruption of big money in politics. the action is known as democracy spring. over the past week activists , have marched from philadelphia to washington, d.c. and the "boston globe" included a satirical front page in their sunday edition to highlight how the country could change if donald trump is elected president. the banner headline reads, "deportations begin: president trump calls for tripling of ice force; riots continue." another headline reads, "markets sink as trade war looms." and those are some of the headlines.
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road in los angeles as our 100-city tour gets underway. the black lives matter movement continues to shake up the race to the white house after former president bill clinton said friday that he regretted his comments to black protesters at a rally in philadelphia the day before. black lives matter activists had interrupted clinton during a speech in support of his wife, democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state hillary clinton. , they challenged the clintons on their support for the 1994 crime bill, which led to a massive expansion of incarceration in the united states. activists shouted, "black youth are not super predators," a reference to hillary clinton's 1996 comments about some youth. they also held signs reading, "clinton crime bill destroyed our communities." in response, bill clinton defended hillary clinton's use
of the term "super predators" and accused the activists of defending criminals. >> i don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13 year old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the streets to murder other african-american children. maybe you thought they were good citizens. she didn't. she didn't. you are defending the people who killed the live you say matter. tell the truth. you're defending the people who caused young people to go out and take guns -- there was a 13-year-old girl in washington, d.c., who was -- i spoke to a lot of african-american groups. they thought black lives matter. they said, take this bill because our kids are being shot in the streets by gangs. we have 13-year-old kids planning her own funerals. she don't want to hear any of that. you know at else?
because of that bill, we had a 25-year-old in crime, a 30-year-old murder rate. in the background check law, we in the deathslow of people by gun violence. and who do you think those lives were that matter? whose lives were saved that mattered? amy: after his comments ignited a storm of controversy thursday, bill clinton spoke friday and elaborated on what he said. but he stopped short of apologizing. >> so i did something yesterday wantiladelphia, i almost to apologize for, but i want to use it as an example of the danger threatening our country. because the founders said -- set this country up so that we could keep growing and being bigger and including more people, but
we would always have to come together to make a decision that would move us forward. we got a 25 year low in the crime rate. we got a 33 year low in the murder rate will stop we got a 46 year low in the illegal death by homicide rate. i think we showed that lives matter to us. i think it was good, but that is not how people see it 30 years later when they just see all of these young people who need to be out of jail. i get that. but we have to get the show on the road. we got enough trouble with the people who aren't for us. amy: president clinton's comments come as prosecutors here in los angeles are determining whether to retry six black lives matter activists who 's trial recently hung in and ended -- ended in a hung jury. the six face misdemeanor charges for barricading the 101 freeway in los angeles in november 2014. that action was in response to the non-indictment of former ferguson, missouri, police officer darren wilson in the killing of michael brown three months earlier. activist rosa clemente was also
tried but was acquitted. , supporters say the prosecution is part of a larger effort by the lapd and city attorney's office targeting black lives matter activists in los angeles. for more we are joined here in , los angeles by two guests. nana gyamfi is a criminal defense and human rights attorney who represents black lives matter los angeles. she is a professor of pan-african studies at california state university los angeles. also with this is melina abdullah an organizer with black , lives matter. she is also a professor and chair of pan-african studies at california state university, los angeles. we welcome you both to democracy now! melina abdullah, before we talk about the trial, respond to this -- what happened with president clinton last week when black lives matter activists interrupted his speech, what he said. >> right. i think what we're seeing with president clinton -- former
president clinton, and what we're seeing in los angeles are actually linked. this idea of neoliberal politics kind of blaming the folks who it assailed for their own oppression. when we think about the initial comments by president clinton around black youth and those that got them "hopped up on crack," i think what he is really neglecting is the policies that bring crack cocaine into inner cities in the first place, the policies that create unemployment and underemployment in the first place, and the policies that he initiates that then go ahead and further oppress and repress communities. that is one of the things that we are so upset about, that he is dehumanizing the communities that are actually the victims, and bear the brunt of neoliberal policies that keep us oppressed. on: after calling for unity
former president bill clinton friday, continued to defend the 1994 crime bill he passed, which led to a massive expansion of incarceration in the united states. >> you are living in a country where young african-americans think they are number one threat now is from police officers. when i find that crime bill, they knew of her number one threat was, it was from gangs making money out of cocaine, taking teenaged kids, hopping them up, giving them guns and telling them to go kill other teenagers. amy: your response, melina abdullah, as he talks about gangs and why exactly he did what he did in the 1990's. >> so as one who was coming-of-age myself in the 90's, as one who lived in oakland, a space where these kinds of conditions that he describes are really part of my everyday experience, one of the things that he is very good at
an neoliberal politicians are very good at is kind of distracting us from the real issues, distracting us from how systems create these conditions. so they act as if the young folk who wind up, you know, emitting crimes, committed crimes because they simply were out of control desk committed crimes as if they weren't human beings. so this term "super predators" dehumanizes our children, dehumanizes our people. it acts as if we are behaving in ways that are not simply as a result of the conditions that we experience. we need to turn the tables and looked back a policy makers look back at systems that create oppressions in the first place, that create hollowed out communities where there are no resources, where there are no livable wage jobs, where there are no afterschool programs. policieshe halsted -- of the clinton administration rolling back the kind of resources that i would have
benefited from and many of my peers would have benefited from and kind of moving forward. so rather than looking at superled 13-year-old predators, which, we know, is a term that is used for black youth. this is dog whistle politics, right? we need to look at policies that don't provide the resources we need that began in the 1990's but continue today. the crime bill is another example of it. we are blaming people for being in prison, blaming people for being poor, blaming people for not having access to resources when we are not looking at the policymakers themselves to create the conditions that hold back resources from communities. amy: i want to turn to a clip of bernie sanders speaking at the apollo theater in harlem on saturday. he was asked about bill clinton's defense of hillary clinton's use of the word "super predator." >> i think we all know what that
term meant in the context that it was said years ago. we know who they were talking about. >> right, black people. >> that's right. that is who it was. the presidentat owes the american people an apology for trying to defend what is indefensible. amy: that was bernie sanders at the apollo theater in harlem with harry belafonte, who has come out in support of bernie sanders, the vermont senator. melina abdullah, what bernie sanders said? >> it is absolutely indefensible. that said, we're not looking for an apology from bill clinton or hillary clinton, who is now's the king -- seeking our vote. what we want is substance. responses.stantive we want responses that are actually empowering to communities.
we want it recognize that our children are not super predators. we want it recognize that there is something that can be done today and kind of shift what it is we're doing with our resources and with our policies, to be empowering to communities and be in conversation with communities. i think what is most disturbing is when we talk about super predators, when we talk about 13-year-old children as not being children, it also signals a kind of policymaking agenda that seeks to advance the interest of big business, a white supremacist capitalism. the existing hegemony as the primary agenda that needs to be addressed without engaging the communities that are most in need of progressives, and really can't afford thinking transformational policy work. -- and really kind of for digging transformable policy work.
amy: as newspapers point out, no group has been more loyal to hillary clinton then the african-american community. >> i think the black political class has lined up behind hillary clinton because they see neoliberalism as an alternative to trump, right? but the truth is, we really need to think of the more imaginative. we need to think about what do we really want, not just what do we not want. so we know we absolutely don't want trump, but it doesn't mean that hillary or neoliberalism as a kinder, gentler face on oppression is good for communities, either. it is really important that we understand that we can move things forward paying gauging and work on the ground. so the last time that i was with you, we talked about how black lives matter is not endorsing any political candidate, and i think what is happening around clinton, the clintons, and what is happening just in terms of what is bubbling up from the
two-party system is an indicator of why we're not endorsing any of the candidates, including clinton. i think what we're also seeing is the divide between the political class who tends to behave pragmatically within a two-party system and what is happening with the working class and the people who are really kind of bearing the brunt of neoliberal policies, saying we are not enthused about any of the candidates, including clinton. so i don't hear a whole lot of enthusiasm on the ground in my neighborhood. , thank you abdullah for being with us, organizer with black lives matter, professor and chair of pan-african studies at california state university, los angeles. when we come back, we will talk about a black lives matter case that was just wrapped up and where he goes from here. are the lapd, the los angeles police, spying on black lives matter activists?
our six city los angeles, prosecutors here are determining whether to retry six black lives matter activists whose trial recently ended in a hung jury. the six face misdemeanor charges for barricading the 101 freeway in los angeles in november 2014 in response to the non-indictment of the former ferguson, missouri police officer darren wilson and the killing of michael brown that happened three months earlier. activist rosa clemente was also tried but acquitted. supporters of the prosecution as part of a larger effort by the lapd and city attorney's office targeting black lives matter activists here in l.a. for more we are joined by nana gyamfi, criminal defense and human rights attorney who represents black lives matter los angeles. she is a professor of pan-african studies at california state university los angeles and we're still with melina abdullah, professor at california state and is a black lives matter activists herself, was arrested in different cases.
nana gyamfi, talk about what happened in this case. >> this is the case -- and thank you for having me on this morning. this is a case in which we really see the los angeles police department and the city attorney joined forces to suppress and repress the speech for black lives on behalf of the black lives matter movement in los angeles. of protesttional day which occurred not just in los angeles, but all over the country. three days of protests right before thanksgiving in 2014 in which los angeles arrested over 330 people, the largest number of arrests in any city. if you think back, amy, to all of those people in new york city, all of those people in washington, d.c., yet none of those cities -- chicago -- had that many arrest. los angeles was way far beyond what you saw in any of those
cities. and then, that happened in november, they decided only to prosecute about 20 people, which was less than 9% of the people whom they arrested. when we look at who they prosecuted, you find that they were all the black lives matter members who were arrested, you find their were people who were associated with known groups and organizations speaking up on behalf of black lives. it was clearly targeted. it was not just -- people who threw bottles at police officers were not tried. they had no charges against them, yet folks who engaged in nonviolent, peaceful protest found themselves in positions in which they were actually being tried as criminals. amy: what did you find out in discovery in these cases for how these people were chosen? >> it was really fascinating. we thought the conspiracy and then you see the real thing. we found that black lives matter
folks had been chosen based upon surveillance that had been done. that the los angeles police department and the city attorney's office have this unit, sortrosecution of informal, that started with the occupy movement and then got bumped up with the black lives matter movement in which they gave officers overtime carte blanche to go through all of social media, facebook, twitter, all of the different -- instagram, everything they had at that time, and spend hours taking snapshots of people and then matching them with names and following that up peoples , people's phones weren't cap. all of these different sources surveillance we expect to be used in antiterrorist way were being used against black lives matter movement folks. amy: this was a cyber unit? >> what the unit is actually called is a cyber unit.
it is one that is not talked about a lot. we were able to get information ourugh our workings and investigation about this cyber unit and begin to press the city attorney's office to the discovery process and also using sort of the freedom of information act, public information act rules, to get information that was being held in the cyber unit. there's a lot we were not able to get because the city attorney just denied existed come even though we know that it did. we were able to get enough to know and to see that this was a format in which they had engaged. some of the photos they gave us had people's names right above their heads. and the way the people's names were the same type of way in terms of the printing that we see in surveillance photos with the feds, but this was being done by lapd. very interesting to see that beyond the headlines. amy: some of the activists were on trial had letter sent to
their employers? >> that was a different set of activists, different folks who were arrested, were not put on trial, but they -- they started getting calls from december 2015 action that occurred on the 405 freeway near the airport. i started getting calls from people that they were getting letters to their employers that were being sent by the doj and the lapd and those letters were going directly to their supervisors saying, hey, this person has been arrested for the crime of felony conspiracy to commit any charge. convicted.e not they are arrested, and these are the letters -- who sent the letters? >> according to the letters themselves, they were either sent by the doj were lapd. we're certain they were sent by the lapd. the department of justice of the state of california -- this is not what they are doing. this is an lapd thing.
these folks were not even charged. they're not even having cases against them in court, just based on their arrest, we had a person who was headed to canada who was sent back and told, deported, at the border, told you cannot come in here because you have these charges against you and that is clearly not the case, but being written up intentionally some are any people who are associated with the black lives matter movement. amy: the prosecutor is jennifer wechsler? >> yes, and she describes herself as a political prosecutor. she prosecuted occupy los angeles members who were arrested. if you look her up, there are blogs talking about the tactics she engaged in, the city attorney engaged in, and thus tactics were used again here with like lives matter. just as an example, her offers intrinsically offers, all included jail time and a new
unlawful protesting clause. i pointed out to her in open court and to the judge, i find it to be completely unconstitutional. i don't know what that means, no unlawful protesting. protesting is a first to mimic right in this country. she looked over and said, oh well, that is what they would have to plead to. so obviously, we were not going to plead of that. amy: what about the jury in the case? >> we were in east l.a. and the jury was mainly southeast asians, a couple of whites. no black folks at all in a jury pool of 100 people, the were maybe for black people. most of those people, when they came up for jury selection were not selected, were eliminated. and there is even a motion that was done with respect to the elimination of the black jurors. the jurors were mainly working class. i think a lot of our success in
this case came about because the jurors understood what we were saying when i got up and said, hey, we need to be on the right side of history, the right side of justice as well as the right side of the law. amy: professor, you have been arrested in black lives matter protest, but not in this particular one? >> right. amy: but there are charges of conspiracy, is that right? >> that is in the charges they came out in december 2015. in november 2014, there were two charges, obstruction, willfully and maliciously obstructing a freeway, and refusing the lawful order of an officer. they were misdemeanor charges. with the second freeway action that occurred in december 2015, obviously, the chb decided to pick it up a notch and so they charged folks with felonies when they arrested them. felony vandalism and felony conspiracy to commit vandalism
for spray chalk allegedly written on the 405 freeway, which i call our beautification. [laughter] >> just to be clear, we were not officially charged in the case. i was arrested in december 2015. amy: and what protest? >> the action that nana is describing on the 405 freeway. that we have not been charged yet. those were preliminary charges. the ramifications from those arrests are still resonating. so the letters to our employers, the -- dylan amy: you had a letter to your employer? >> i did not. as far as i know. employers do not have to share with you whether or not you received a letter, but i'm hoping i did not. amy: before we go, i want to turn to another case of black lives matter l.a. is looking into. wakiesha wilson was in lapd custody on march 27 when authorities say they found her hanging in her cell. wilson died at a hospital an
hour later. wakiesha wilson's mother, lisa hines, did not learn about her daughter's death until days later when wilson didn't show up in court. this is lisa hines speaking at a news conference last week. >> that was my only child. all i want to know is what happened. i know she did not take her life. she was supposed to comment back later that evening. i waited and waited for that call. it never happened. amy: that was lisa hines, her daughter wakiesha wilson died after police say she committed suicide. is that right? >> the family is very adamant, even the facts denied that she could have committed suicide. the allegation is that she hung herself from a phone booth that
sits two to three feet off of the floor. so the idea that she could possibly hang herself from a phone booth is absolutely ridiculous. amy: and this was where? >> lapd detention center. it is really important we understand what this case is and what happened to wakiesha will probably happen to --wakiesha wilson, there's a document a conflict between her and a guard shortly before she was found dead. the family says she was not suicide or -- suicidal at all. they just spoke him with her easter sunday. they took four days -- and fact, it was only after the mother begins to look for her when she doesn't show up in court that they find that she was in fact dead. ae was the mother of 13-year-old boy. she is somebody's daughter. you know, she is our sandra bland that is emerging here in los angeles. amy: last comment? >> i think is very important
here is an investigation, that there is an independent investigation and not just in lapd investigation, and that the city of los angeles but the money behind doing that. you can think about how much money was spent on the cases, the case we just talked about with the six, and you think about them thinking about trying these cases again? those tens of thousands of dollars should be going to find wilson killed wakiesha and to prosecute those people. amy: we will leave it there but we will continue to look at this case and 70 others. nana gyamfi, thank you for being with us, attorney representing black lives matter los angeles. professor of pan-african studies at california state. and melina abdullah, thank you for being with us, activists and black lives matter activist, professor and chair of pan-african studies at california state university, los angeles. this is democracy now!, democracy now! gorky's report. only come back, we look at japanese interment world war ii.
amy: this is democracy now! democracy now, the war and peace report. we're on the road as part of the 100 city tour, now in los angeles, california. i am amy goodman. secretary of state john kerry is in japan today, where he became the first sitting u.s. secretary of state to visit hiroshima, where he went to the atomic bomb memorial commemorating the 1945 u.s. nuclear attack, which killed 140 people in hiroshima. the united states is the only country in the world to drop an atomic bomb, first in hiroshima
then in nagasaki three days august 6, 1945, later. kerry described the memorial saying -- "it reminds everybody of the extraordinary complexity of choices in war and of what war does to people, to communities, to countries, to the world." we are going to turn now to another choice the united states made during its fight against japan in world war ii -- the decision to imprison 120,000 japanese-americans in internment camps across the u.s. could something like this happen again? the 2016 presidential campaign has been marked by calls from republican candidates to create a database of all american muslims and to have the police patrol muslim neighborhoods. following the brussels attacks last month, republican presidential contender ted cruz sparked widespread controversy by saying -- "we need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al qaida or isis presence. we need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure muslim neighborhoods before they
become radicalized." senator cruz later doubled down on these calls in an interview with cnn. >> if you have a neighborhood where there is a high level of gang activity, the way to prevent it is you increase the law enforcement presence there and you target the gang members to get them off the streets. i am talking about any area where there is a higher incidence of radical islamic terrorism. if you look at europe, europe's field immigration laws have allowed a massive influx of radical islamic terrorist into europe and now they are in isolated neighborhoods where radicalism festers. amy: among the many to criticize cruz for these statements was california democratic congressman mark takano, whose parents were placed in japanese internment camps during world war ii. >> as i watch leading politicians was discriminatory policies targeting the muslim community, i cannot be silent.
70 years ago, my parents and grandparents were held prisoner during world war ii without trial and without a reason other than the japanese heritage. at that moment, no one was going to speak up for them. we cannot ignore history. the muslim community is the most frequent intimate terrorism and our greatest ally in ridding the world of extremism. responding to brussels by advocating for patrols a muslim neighborhoods or suggesting that we torture our enemies is not only counterproductive, it violates the moral code that separates us from our enemies. amy: senator ted cruz's proposals came after republican presidential frontrunner donald trump told "time magazine" last year he did not know if he would have supported or opposed japanese-american internment camps had he been a leader during world war ii, saying, "i would have had to be there at the time to tell you." but he has called for a comprehensive database of all american muslims, a ban on all
muslims entering the country, and wall to be built along the entire length of the mexico border. meanwhile, democratic mayor david bowers of roanoke, virginia, also sparked outrage last year after he used the internment of japanese-americans during world war ii as a positive precedent to justify suspending the resettlement of syrian refugees to his city. he said -- "i'm reminded that president franklin d. roosevelt felt compelled to sequester japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of pearl harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to america from isis now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then." well, to talk more about one of the most shameful chapters in u.s. history we're joined now by , two guests. richard reeves is an award-winning journalist and the best-selling author of several books, most recently, "infamy: the shocking story of the japanese american internment in world war ii." also with us karen ishizuka, a , third-generation american of japanese descent. the curator of the nationwide
exhibit called, "america's concentration camps: remembering the japanese-american experience." her latest book is titled, "serve the people: making asian america in the long sixties." she also wrote, "lost and found: reclaiming the japanese american incarceration." we welcome you both to democracy now! , you say it is wrong to refer to what happened to the japanese as internment. why? as both georgek and others have called it interment because that is the common phrase -- amy: george? >> george takai. amy: from star trek, japanese-american. >> yes. when i was asked to curate the show that we did of calling
america's concentration camps, you know, i had 19 advisers, including roger daniels the historian was probably one of the first major historians to write about the camps, as well as the lead researcher on the commission for the relocation interment civilians for the government. all of those 19 advisers advised us to not continue to use euphemisms that have been used mitigate, history to basically, what had happened during world war ii to japanese-americans. amy: what happened exactly? >> people say 120,000 people were interred, but the internment refers to a parallel, set offerent incarceration under the international laws so only so-called enemy aliens,
including germans, italians, and japanese, or so-called interned in internment camps. that was about 7000 or 8000. in the meantime, there was a commission on were relocation authorities that set up 10 camps that they euphemistically called relocation centers, but are now called concentration camps because fdr himself first called them concentration camps. it is not that the japanese-american community started that phrase, it was really came from the government itself. so we were advised and we euphemismso not use such as internment for incarceration, relocation center for concentration camp. amy: i want to correct something i said earlier about the atomic bombing of hiroshima. the u.s. dropped that bomb on hiroshima and killed not 140
people, but 140,000 people. richard reeves, i want to ask you about your book, "infamy." you have written many books on many subjects including the clintons, but why you chose to focus on what happened to japanese-americans. >> because i think it could happen again to muslims, to border crosses, and i wanted to do my bit to try to make that not happen. incidencesink a few -- the supreme court never roles that the laws, the white house in the military use to incarcerate these people, that is still on the books. as justice jackson said, it is a loaded gun on the constitution, so that -- i am amazed at how few people, once you get east of
the sierras and the caskets, really know or believe this happened. amy: who was questioning whether the military have the right to do this at the time? >> no one was questioning. it was all internal dialogue between the justice department, the war department, and the president. and then there was a great speaking of words, there were untildisputes internal they came up with a statement that avoided using the words that partly drove the incarceration. that is race and greed. japanese-americans for japanese are never mentioned an executive 9066, which roosevelt signed, partly under the tutelage of roger baldwin of the
american civil liberties union who was -- these were the people you would think would rise up. amy: the aclu. >> right. baldwin was a great friend and supporter of roosevelt's, and he for bait his people --forbade his people to talk about race in a sentence. the order does not say race, but it was only the japanese-americans who were rounded up. used thewere never real words. amy: where were they held? i mean, for people who are not japanese-american, this is a very little-known chapter of american history. >> yes, i for choice. it is also a continuum, beginning with the treatment of the tories, and the indians before that after the revolution . irish need not apply, and the
summit is him. anti-semitism. the other has always been discriminated against if they came as we needed the labor. they built the country. and they were discriminated against because they were not us , until they were us. and now they are us. as to what happened, they established a war zone along the pacific coast. claiming -- there was great fear reclaiming the japanese, imperial japanese, could invade the west coast. actually, roosevelt knew they did not have the capacity to do that, but he wanted that issue off the boards. and also, so that they were first rounded up and kept usually at racetracks. santa anita had 18,000 inanese-americans held
there, as did other racetracks, livestock fair grounds. that is where they put them for four or five months while they built from prisoner war camp plans the relocation centers -- or the camps into different places around the country. amy: california, arkansas, santa fe new mexico -- a camp. fe was not santa fe was a federal prison. >> that is why sort of the difference between incarceration and interment comes up because santa fe was in internment camp and there were -- my grandfather was interned in sulfate desk santa fe before he was released arkansas to join the rest of my family. i think that is where it gets difficult to accurately talk about the era because the continued use -- i notice that you use the term "internment."
i have to make a correction that i know that george takai was one of the few who stood up to donald trump and asked him to really stand up for his words, but i am not sure whether he's is that term internment or incarceration. but he was part of the japanese-american national museum board when i did the america's concentration camps and was really one who stood up ,or our right to tell the story our history, the way it was experienced. was karen ishizuka, what the role of the u.s. justice department in all of this? it was the military that was rounding people up. what about justice? >> even when i was doing the exhibit and i call the justice department, even they did not have a complete list of so-called interment camps. i think everything happened so hand did notne
know what the other was doing, so the justice department, for my understanding, was in charge of the internment and the so-called enemy aliens. as i mentioned, but japanese-americans as well as italians -- >> the military handled the camps. many people in the justice department were against the roundup as it were, but their voices were still -- some people quit over it i'm a bit roosevelt wanted it and he got it. amy: ultimately, what happens? when were japanese-americans freed? the property gone. what is happened since? of theof the network japanese community in california, at least,
disappeared. on december 8 1941, the day after pearl harbor, japanese-american bank accounts were frozen so that they could not pay mortgages. they could not pay insurance. and then the attorney general of california, earl warren, and his department, ruled that the property was abandoned property and he sold or distributed it to his caucasian neighbors. it was an outrage. amy: finally, your final words, karen, as we wrap up our discussion? there isi think that still a discussion like you said, most people, many people still don't know what happened. i think that -- not amy: compensation was awarded? >> your question is about camp?
amy: the reparations. >> there was an attempt for reparations way back right after the war in the 50's, if i remember correctly, but they were also asked at that time to reduce receipts of what was lost, etc.. -- to produce receipts of what was lost, etc. there was a big fight that came from the community itself and something even japanese-americans, my parents for example did not want to talk about. it was a shameful -- in terms of blaming the victims, they really felt, let bygones be bygones. amy: the government. >> and japanese-americans as well. and that is what -- we needed to bring out the troops and ask our parents to really talk about what had been covered up. amy: we will emit there, but it's really want for the last time we discussed this. richard reeves, author of, "infamy: the shocking story of the japanese american internment
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